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Dr. Alkazemi honored with Presidential Award for Community Multicultural Enrichment

Apr 20, 2020

Posted in: News

Mariam Alkazemi, Ph.D., assistant professor in public relations
Dr. Mariam Alkazemi

Dr. Mariam Alkazemi, assistant professor in the public relations sequence of the Robertson School of Media and Culture, has been selected as the 2020 faculty recipient of the Presidential Award for Community Multicultural Enrichment (PACME) at VCU. 

The PACME faculty award was created to recognize and encourage contributions such as advocating equity, building community, establishing cross-cultural initiatives, nurturing acceptance and promoting civility within the university community. With this award VCU recognizes Dr. Alkazemi's contributions and efforts toward enhancing the goals of inclusive excellence and diversity.

"This is an extraordinary honor for Dr. Alkazemi that makes our entire School beam with pride," said Dr. Marcus Messner, interim director of the Robertson School. "It is an honor for all of us to work alongside an impactful and widely respected scholar and educator like Dr. Alkazemi."

Dr. Alkazemi joined VCU in Fall 2018 from the Gulf University for Science and Technology in Kuwait and has made her mark since then. As the Robertson School Awards Committee put it in the nomination letter: "Dr. Alkazemi intentionally creates an environment in her classes where the difficult topics of differences in politics, religion and social norms can be openly discussed."

"I am humbled to receive this award, and it speaks to the degree to which the values of VCU as an institution match my own," said Alkazemi. "Innovation and creativity are a byproduct of safe environments where people can exchange ideas without fear of expressing difference and disagreement. Looking forward, I hope to continue to contribute to the creative culture at VCU that I’ve enjoyed immensely."

The following are a few of Dr. Alkazemi's recent accomplishments:

- Development of a new undergraduate course in Fall 2019, titled International Media Coverage: The Middle East
- Fostering greater understanding between Middle Eastern and Western cultures through continuous engagement with VCU students
- Scholarship focused on cross-cultural initiatives to promote mutual understanding between the U.S. and the Arab and Muslim world
- Mentoring of Saudi Arabian doctoral students from across disciplines at VCU
- Participation in a research and training project Understanding Marginalized Communities in the Arab World through Social Science Research, funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and facilitated by the University of Michigan and Princeton University

"I would like to thank VCU President Dr. Michael Rao and his team for selecting Dr. Alkazemi for this award and recognizing her accomplishments," said Messner. "Also thanks to our Robertson School Awards Committee for selecting and nominating Dr. Alkazemi, especially Professor Judi Crenshaw who led the nomination initiative."

Dr. Alkazemi will receive the PACME Award at a virtual ceremony on April 30 at 3 p.m.