2019 Community Award: Sally Demirdjian

The Graduate Community Award is designed to recognize outstanding community service undertaken by graduate students on behalf of the entire Dartmouth graduate community. The award is presented annually to the graduate student who best exemplifies a deep commitment to serving the Dartmouth community. Past recipients have been recognized for participation in student governance, service on campus-wide committees, and the development and promotion of programs that enhance the academic and social options of the entire community. 

This year we are delighted to honor Sally Demirdjian, a PhD candidate in the Microbiology and Immunology department.

Given the pressures of the scholarly life finding time for others often falls lower on the long to-do list. Not so in Sally's case. In fact, since her undergraduate years at the Lebanese American University where she was recognized for outstanding leadership and service, Sally has made community development a leading priority.

Soon after joining Dartmouth Sally found opportunities to enrich the lives of those around her through participation in numerous outreach events, lending her time and knowledge to grow the STEM community both on campus and beyond.  She has volunteered in the annual Science Day at Dartmouth, an entirely student-coordinated event, and partnered with local non-profits to enhance their STEM outreach efforts.

Mindful of her contributions to her peers, Sally served as student representative on the Molecular and Cellular Biology Graduate Committee, advocating on behalf of her cohort, and supporting the department in recruitment efforts through organizing and running recruitment events. 

After serving a two-year term as a department representative on the Graduate Student Council, she successfully ran for the position of Service Chair. During her tenure, Sally ran numerous events and activities that brightened and enriched the lives of many in the Upper Valley. 

From practical events including organizing meals at The Haven and establishing an annual Day of Service, to more fun opportunities including Bingo at elderly care homes, making cards for children in hospital, and more, Sally finds opportunities for everyone to be part of and asks not "what can I get" but "what can I give".

Sally is undeniably a worthy recipient of the Graduate Community Award and we are proud to recognize her work today. Congratulations, Sally!