PoliSci Blog

Posted on May 17th, 2024 in Alumni, Students, Students/Alumni, Teaching by Aaron Dusso
Left to Right: Dr. Tijen Demirel-Pegg, Oriana Fuenmayor, Dr. Scott Pegg

May is always a great month to celebrate our graduates and their accomplishments. This year, we were thrilled to watch Oriana Fuenmayor lead the student procession as the recipient of the Chancellor’s Scholar Award during the School of Liberal Arts Graduation Ceremony at the ballroom of the JW Marriot Hotel on Friday, May 10, 2024. Oriana graduated with a double major in Political Science and Global and International Studies, as well as two minors in Africana Studies and Legal Studies. In addition to the Chancellor’s Scholar Award, just within the last year, she received the Academic Achievement Awards from both Political Science and Global and International Studies, the Building Bridges Award, the Essay Award in English, the Winslow Prize for the best essay in Political Theory, and the 2024 William M. Plater Civic Engagement Medallion. She was also named one of the Top 10 Most Outstanding Students at IUPUI.

Beyond her long list of academic achievements, Oriana also excelled in extracurricular activities focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion both within and outside of our campus. Her valuable contributions to the University Writing Center’s Language and Diversity Committee, her volunteer work as a Spanish-language medical interpreter at the Trinity Free Clinic in Carmel and as an interpreter at the Noblesville Schools for multilingual families, and her internship with the Domestic Violence Network, supporting survivors of domestic abuse, are a few examples of her meaningful efforts to build a more diverse and equitable society.

Oriana is a great example of what our department, the School of Liberal Arts, and IUI strive for. Oriana came to the United States from Venezuela with her family to seek asylum from a repressive political regime. Rather than taking a college education for granted or going through the motions just to get a degree, Oriana immersed herself in knowledge, took every chance to learn more, and tackled every challenge with a determination to move forward, while simultaneously giving back to her community. We are extremely proud of Oriana’s accomplishments and wish her the best for the next chapters in her life.