Dean Awn Honored at Annual Community Impact Gala

Dean Awn Honored at Annual Community Impact Gala

Friday, November 3

Columbia University Crown

By Sharanya Sivakumar

On October 25, 2017, Peter J. Awn, Dean of the School of General Studies, received the Making a Difference Service Award in recognition of his service and dedication to Columbia University at the annual Community Impact Gala Benefit Auction.

Dean Awn has served the Columbia University community for more than 35 years as a professor of Islamic and comparative religion and for the past 20 years as dean of the School of General Studies (GS). Under his leadership and vision, GS has strengthened and expanded its undergraduate, postbaccalaureate, and dual-degree programs while ensuring greater diversity and a distinct academic experience for the School’s nontraditional students, including its veteran students, more than 400 of which are currently enrolled.

Dean Awn is a recipient of the Great Teacher Award by the Society of Columbia Graduates, and the first recipient of the Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Award for distinguished teaching and research. His book, Satan’s Tragedy and Redemption: Iblis in Sufi Psychology, a study of Sufism, received the book award from the American Council of Learned Societies.

Dr. Michael Massimino was also honored at the event, receiving the Outstanding Community Service Award. Dr. Massimino is the Professor of Professional Practice in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Columbia University’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, and a veteran of two NASA space flights.

Community Impact is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to serving disadvantaged people in the Morningside Heights, Harlem, and Washington Heights communities. Community Impact strives to advance the public good by fostering meaningful opportunities for students, staff, and faculty of Columbia University in order to provide high-quality programs and instill the importance of life-long service.

There are currently more than 900 student volunteers who dedicate their time and talent to making the vision of Community Impact a reality. To learn more or get involved, visit the website.