Students Reflect on Ivan Allen College Jr. Prize for Social Courage 

Posted May 3, 2023

Awards are sometimes fleeting. They become dusty plaques nailed to walls, trophies pushed to the rear of crowded shelves, lines buried on a resume. Not so in the case of the Ivan Allen Jr. Prize for Social Courage, certainly not from the perspective of students at the College that bears the name of the visionary civil rights leader, the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. 

“To me, this award, and having this College be dedicated and named after Ivan Allen Jr., means a lot. It is a constant reminder that we as students must continue Allen’s legacy, as well as the legacy of those who have won this award in the past,” said third-year Public Policy student Sophia Abedi. “The legacies of these influential people continue to instill hope and inspiration within me, knowing that I, as one individual, can seek to implement positive change with the help of those around me within Georgia Tech and the Atlanta community as a whole.” 

Last week, Georgia Tech awarded the 2023 prize to CNN international anchor Christiane Amanpour for her commitment to calling out human rights abuses and holding powerful leaders to account. Kaye Husbands Fealing, dean and Ivan Allen Jr. Chair in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, was a member of the award committee, as were Senior Associate Dean Richard Utz and Joseph R. Bankoff, professor of the practice in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs.

“We are so proud of our continued association with this award and its role in carrying on Mayor Allen’s legacy of socially and ethically conscious action,” said Husbands Fealing.

‘An Absolute Inspiration’  

Before accepting the award at a luncheon, Amanpour held a Q&A session with Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts students and a fireside chat with the campus community moderated by CNN correspondent Tom Foreman.

Among those attending the student meet-and-greet was Katherine Grace Pietkiewicz, a student in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication.

“Christiane Amanpour is an absolute inspiration, and I walked away from the meeting will a new sense of confidence and purpose,” Pietkiewicz said.

“Her reflection on the need for social commentary and humanities expertise resounded with me strongly. She emphasized certainly, and without a doubt, that many of the modern issues affecting our society come into conflict due to poor ethical thinking and rationality. Through the unique analytic skills and critical context provided by a humanities education, future leaders will be better equipped to tackle complicated problems and avoid future catastrophe.”

Ivan Allen College: A “Hidden Gem”  

Anaïs Acree, who is pursuing a degree in International Affairs and Modern Languages, said she feels it’s an honor to be enrolled in the College that bears Allen’s name.

“Every time this award is presented to a worthy recipient, it brings more pride to the Ivan Allen College students at Georgia Tech,” said Acree.

Later, at the fireside chat, Foreman reminded the audience of the central importance of the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts to Georgia Tech’s mission.

“I think the Ivan Allen College under Dean Kaye Husbands Fealing is really doing extraordinary things and is sort of a hidden gem here that really has to be paid attention to,” he said.

Georgia Tech President Ángel Cabrera drove the point home again at the luncheon ceremony, thanking Amanpour for talking with students about the importance of a broad education, saying “how essential it is that that for those young leaders that are coming out of Georgia Tech that are going to shape the future of technology and what technology can do to have that broader understanding of the world.”

Related Media

Ivan Allen College students met with CNN international anchor Christiane Amanpour on April 24, 2023, in an intimate q-and-a session prior to the luncheon at which Amanpour was awarded the Ivan Allen Jr. Prize for Social Courage.

Contact For More Information

Michael Pearson
Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts