Sustainable Urban Planning Graduate Receives Prestigious GW Award at Commencement

Caka SUP student/GW Award/Commencement
Fjollë Caka, recipient of the GW Award, at Commencement on the National Mall (Azwa Salleh).
June 21, 2018

“I’m honored to receive the George Washington Award, one of the most prestigious honors bestowed by the GW University in recognition of my significant contributions to university life -- in front of 25,000 people at the National Mall,” tweeted Fjollë Caka, May 2018 Sustainable Urban Planning master’s degree graduate.

Fjollë, trained in architecture and sociology, is a young urban planner from Prishtina, Kosovo. Since she came to GW two years ago on a USAID Transformational Leadership Program scholarship, Fjollë has distinguished herself with her high academic achievements (3.92 GPA) and numerous contributions to student and university life. Her extracurricular activities included:

  • Serving as elected president of the Sustainable Urban Planning Student Organization;
  • Pushing for greater participation in program governance amongst the student body;
  • Encouraging participation and financing for students to attend national meetings of the American Planning Association;
  • Organizing global awareness raising events in GW’s Foggy Bottom campus, such as PARK(ing) Day;
  • Providing leadership in two annual projects supporting the World Bank’s Land and Poverty Conference;
  • Interning at the Urban Sustainability Laboratory at the Wilson Center; and
  • Presenting her capstone research on Climate Change Human Mobility at relevant meetings and conferences.

According to Prof. John Carruthers. SUP program director, “Working with Fjollë Caka in the Sustainable Urban Planning Program has been a true privilege. I nominated her for the GW Award because she represents the very best of GW. She is an outstanding student and inspiring person, who has distinguished herself in the classroom and out.”

Fjollë aims to improve the built environment and people’s quality of life. “I think that we as urban planners have a lot of power in our hands to make cities more sustainable, resilient, economically viable, and socially equitable. I believe that with passion, commitment, and perseverance we can all contribute in building healthier and better living environments for all,” said Fjollë.

On Sunday, May 20, 2018, GW Provost Forrest Maltzman presented the 42nd GW Award to her on the National Mall, along with three other awardees who have made extraordinary contributions to the GW community. This year’s awardees also included J. Andrew Carlander, a candidate for a bachelor’s degree in business administration; Liesl Riddle, associate professor of international business and international affairs; and Linda Neely Brown, associate director of Colonial Central. The GW Award, instituted in 1976, is one of the most prestigious honors bestowed by the university.

Fjolle Caka with CPS Interim Dean Deering
Fjollë Caka, GW Award Winner and Sustainable Urban Planning master’s degree graduate (left) with Chris Deering, Interim Dean, College of Professional Studies (GW/William Atkins).

In addition to The GW Award, she also received the GW Alumni Association Prize, which honors future alumni who have shown exceptional commitment to GW and its community, at the GW College of Professional Studies graduation ceremony on May 19, 2018.

Congratulations again. We know you will make CPS proud to call you an alumna. To find out what is next for her since graduating and returning to her native Kosovo, follow her on Twitter @FjolleCaka.