2021 SFIS Annual Charter Awards

Fall Charter Awards 

November 19, 2021

4:30 p.m. Az time Charter Award Presentation

Tempe Mission Palms

The SFIS Charter Awards are made annually to three students from within each SFIS degree level  (PhD, Masters and undergraduate ) that embody and demonstrate the core ASU Charter values of access, excellence, and impact within their studies, activities and lives.

The nine awards of $250 each are made possible through the generosity of our community members on Sun Devil Giving Day. Charter Awards recipients will be announced at the Fall SFIS Charter Awards on November 19, 2021.

We invite you, your peers, your family, friends and professors to join us for this school-wide celebration of our students.

Fall 2021 Recipients

Student Recipients:

  • Excellence – Samantha Whitman Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology PhD (HSD)
  • Impact – Salah Hamdoun Innovation in Global Development PhD (IGD)
  • Access – Farah Najar Arevalo Innovation in Global Development PhD (IGD)


  • Access and Impact – Rebecca Stuch Global Technology and Development MS
  • Excellence – Shomari Williams Global Technology and Development MS virtually
  • Excellence – Dina Carpenter-Graffy Public Interest Technology MS

Undergrads “Access Excellence and Impact”

  • Zuzana Svarkova Innovation in Society BS
  • Nini Preciado Innovation in Society BS
  • Chloe Holt Innovation in Society BS

Outstanding Graduates:

  • Grad student – Melissa Smallwood*
  • Undergraduate – Nikhil Dave*

*both are the SFIS outstanding students and were selected as the college’s outstanding graduating student


Charter Award Nominations close Sunday, October 24, 2021

Nominations close Sunday, October 24, 2021 

Nominations must be submitted through the web form. Only information provided in the nomination submission will be reviewed and considered by the committees for award selections.

Students may be nominated by SFIS faculty, staff or students. Self-nominations are accepted.

PhD Degree Charter Awards Selection Committee Erik Johnston, Netra Chhetri
Masters Degree Charter Awards Selection Committee Kathleen Vogel, Faheem Hussain, Bob Cook-Deegan 
Undergraduate Awards Selection Committee  Jen Richter, Lauren Keeler, Jesse Senko, Jeremy Babendure, Mary Jane, Jamey Wetmore

Each SFIS Degree Program has its own Charter Awards Selection Committee who will review the nominations for their corresponding degree and make the final recommendations for the degrees three Charter Award recipients.

Nominations should clearly describe how the nominee uniquely exemplifies the spirit and values of the ASU Charter, and which value of access, excellence, or impact they have demonstrated most strongly, if not all three. Selection criteria will remain broad, allowing recognition of students who exemplify the ASU Charter in novel, unexpected, and serendipitous ways. Criteria may include:

  • Access: Proactively contributing to increasing accessibility of undergraduate and graduate education for students from backgrounds and circumstances that may otherwise discourage pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees; proactively contributing to a culture of inclusivity and acceptance; proactively contributing to the success of fellow students; helping convey the accessibility of educational programs at ASU to audiences outside of the university.
  • Excellence: Excelling academically in their SFIS degree program; excelling in specific courses and programs of study and research, including the applied project, thesis or other capstone project, demonstrating exceptional academic, intellectual, personal, and/or professional growth within the program; making a critical contribution to excellence and achievement in group projects; contributing substantially to the achievements of peers; making substantial contributions to research projects led by others; excelling in work carried out as part of an internship.
  • Impact: Helping develop and implement innovative ways of connecting knowledge and understanding to broad and diverse audiences; contributing substantially to the success of others; translating applied project products into tangible public/community-relevant outputs; working with groups and communities outside the university to address specific issues and challenges; proactively working with others to demonstrably and directly address socially relevant issues through internships; demonstrating innovation in applying learning and opportunities to making a positive impact on communities and organizations.


Melissa Waite