Honors Convocation Vol. 23
The twenty-third Honors Convocation took place on Wednesday, April 20, in Dr. Carl Djerassi Theater Hall. The annual ceremony that honors and celebrates the academic excellence of the AUBG students followed its traditional format including recognition of the Presidential Scholars, the students on the Dean’s List, the Scholarship and Award recipients as well as the Presidential Medalist.
The ceremony opened with the AUBG Choir’s performance of “Hymn to St. St. Cyril and Methodius” and the welcoming speech of the AUBG President, Stratsi Kulinski:
“It is a pleasure and a privilege for me to participate in the quintessential event that brings together our community and celebrates our distinguished students,” Kulinski said. “The students we recognize today worked hard to achieve distinction. We honor and applaud the students and we place a lot of hope in their future accomplishments.”
President Kulinski recognized a total of 142 students who were listed as Presidential Scholars for meeting the requirement of having a cumulative grade point average of 3.8-4.0 after the completion of at least two semesters at AUBG. Furthermore, Dean Lucia Miree recognized the 274 students on the Dean’s list who achieved a GPA above 3.8 for a particular semester.
The keynote speaker at this year’s ceremony was Student Government President Marina Georgieva, who congratulated her colleagues for their achievements and for finding the “golden mean” between “keeping you academic standing high” and “being part of the everyday life at AUBG.”
“The students who are honored tonight showed academic excellence and contributed to the AUBG community during the semesters of their studies,” Georgieva said. “You showed how success is born and developed and how hard work is being rewarded. Excellence is a process: making decisions, taking risks, trying harder, failing and achieving.”
The ceremony then proceeded with the recognition of students from the graduating class of 2016 in all major academic fields as well as of the students with achievements in extracurricular activities at AUBG. The winners of the University Council Essay competition and the annual AUBG Programing Contest were also announced. A full list of the recognized students can be found at the end of the article.
“I was told about my nomination prior to the Convocation itself so I spent several days thinking about whether I am the one who should get the award. Still thinking,” commented Tsvetelina Miteva, who became one of the Outstanding Seniors in Journalism and Mass Communications.
“The feeling is incredible, especially the fact that you are recognized for all your hard work and efforts,” said Stancho Stanchev, who got awarded for Outstanding Achievement in Economics and in Business Administration. “Although there are many people I know who deserve these awards, I am really pleased with my achievements.”
“I feel very honored, grateful and appreciative of these awards,” said Mihaela Dimovska, who was recognized for Outstanding Achievement in Computer Science and Informational Systems and who also got the Outstanding Student Advisor Award. “It is a great recognition for one’s efforts but they also belong to all the faculty, staff and students who inspired me to work hard during these four years at AUBG.”
The Presidential Medal, the award given to the AUBG student who “best exemplifies the ideals of the American University in Bulgaria,” as President Kulinski announced it, was given to Levi Kapllani, a fourth-year student majoring in Computer Science. President Kulinski explained that the Selection Committee unanimously recommended Kapllani based on “her excellent academic record, her respect for the liberal arts tradition and for her clear commitment to community service.”
Kapllani shared that she knew she was among the shortlisted candidates and that there was a chance for her to be selected based on her experience and achievements.
“You truely believe it when you hear your name and you feel the medal around your neck. I felt happy, grateful and proud. It was my birthday as well, so it was definitely the best present,” she commented.
The ceremony was followed by a reception cocktail for all students who got recognized.
Full list of recognized students:
Outstanding Achievement in Information Systems: Artem Eremin, Etjen Ymeraj
Nineteenth Annual Programing Contest: Viacheslav Shklyaev, Jimsher Shkirtladze, Tornike Gogniashvilli
Outstanding Achievement in Mathematics: Mihaela Dimovska, Tornike Gogniashvilli
Outstanding Achievement in Computer Science: Mihaela Dimovska, Tornike Gogniashvili, Levi Kapllani
Outstanding Achievement in JMC: Tsvetelina Miteva, Ekaterine Tchelidze
Outstanding Achievement in Economics: Stancho Stanchev, Dragomir Kyosev
Outstanding Achievement in Business Administration: Artem Eremin, Stancho Stanchev
Outstanding Achievement in Modern languages:
French: Alona Zavgorodnia
German: Pavel Kukushkin
Spanish: Katarina Dordevic
Outstanding Achievement in Literature and Writing: Ekaterine Tchelidze
Outstanding Achievement in Music: Yulia Zavadskaya, Nelly Popova
Outstanding Achievement in History and Civilizations: Mariya Boteva
Outstanding Achievement in European Studies: Katarina Dordevic, Anna Ermakova
Outstanding Achievement in Political Science: Daniel Penev
Outstanding student athlete: Elena Doncheva
Al Cyrus Theater Award: Alexandr Soloviov, Hristo Popov
Peer Counselor: Kevin Kostreci
The Tenth Annual University Council Essay: Third Prize: Daniel Penev Second: Ilya Noskov First: Yelyzaveta Glybchenko
Community Volunteer Service Award: Margita Kolcheva
Outstanding Resident Assistant: Margita Kolcheva, Lorena Elezi
Outstanding Student Advisor: Mihaela Dimovska, Chingunee Chimedbat
Outstanding Achievement – EMBA: Evelina Alexandrova