Senior Maryam Iftikhar Wins Portz Award

Hood College's Fourth Portz Award Win in Five Years

Hood College senior Maryam Iftikhar received the 2022 Portz Award for Outstanding Maryland honors student from a four-year college or university, awarded by the Maryland Collegiate Honors Council (MCHC). She is majoring in Global Studies with a concentration in global governance and conflict, with a minor in Nonprofit and Civic Engagement Studies. Iftikhar's award marks the fourth time in five years a Hood College student has taken the top prize.

At the MCHC, honors students from around the state present their research to students and faculty from four-year and two-year schools in Maryland. Iftikhar's departmental honors project is titled "Exploring the Legal Parameters of the Crime of Genocide and Analyzing the Efficacy of the Application of the Genocide Convention"; the paper she presented at the MCHC Conference was "Understanding Demographic Trends through the Lens of Cultural Anthropology."

Dean of Faculty Paige Eager, Ph. D., who also serves as Iftikhar's academic advisor, says, "Maryam is one of the most articulate, thoughtful, and gifted writers I have had the honor to teach in nearly 20 years of undergraduate teaching. Maryam can synthesize material at a graduate student level and is writing her departmental honors paper on whether the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide needs to be revised/amended to more fully reflect the 21st century realities of civil war situations that can become genocides through a case study analysis of the Rohingya in Myanmar/Burma.” 

Outside the classroom, Maryam has been a leader in the Model United Nations since her arrival at Hood. In her role as head delegate of Hood’s Model UN club, she has won numerous awards, including Outstanding Initiative and Leadership and the ‘Most Diplomatic’ award in 2021.

In service to the larger community, Maryam and a small team of Hood Honors students won a prestigious $10,000 grant from the Davis Projects for Peace organization for their work with the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services in the summer of 2021 to launch a fund to support refugees affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Maryam transferred from Montgomery College in 2020, where she had completed the Renaissance Scholars program with distinction, and received the Portz prize for outstanding Honors student at a two-year college.

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