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2022 SAIS Europe Commencement

May 14, 2022

On Saturday, May 14, SAIS Europe held its Commencement ceremony in Bologna, attended in person and online by graduates, current students, faculty, and staff.

SAIS Europe Director, and Eni Professor of International Economics, Michael G Plummer, moderated the event and, as part of SAIS Europe tradition for outgoing directors, served as the 2022 commencement speaker. Director Plummer gave a moving address to the 2022 cohort that touched upon the challenges they have faced and overcome, all while weaving in his trademark economics jokes throughout his remarks. In his speech, Director Plummer reflected upon his long career at SAIS Europe, having met thousands of students and teaching 22 classes to date, before specifically addressing the Class of 2022 and highlighting the memorable points and context of their SAIS Europe experience: "This has been a very impressive year, not just for performance in the classroom but for its character. I see great things for the class of 2022. With your degree from SAIS you will have earned a ticket to a career that can, indeed, make the world a better place: you have a strong academic formation, intelligence, and character: all you need to add is your passion." Director Plummer finished his speech by welcoming the newly-minted graduates into the prolific community of SAIS Bolognesi.

Several students and a member of the SAIS Europe faculty were also recognized during the Commencement Program. This year's Student Government Association, (SGA), was honored for their collective ability to lead their cohort throughout the joys and challenges of the year. SGA President Colleen Sullivan was individually recognized as one of the most involved student leaders SAIS Europe has ever had the pleasure of having. As such, Colleen delivered the 2022 Student Commencement address and reflected upon the impact the past two years have had, both as an individual and a member of the COVID generation at SAIS Europe. She thanked her peers for creating and contributing to the profoundly meaningful experience they shared in Bologna and capped off her remarks by introducing the premiere of this year's Student Experience video, a poignant compilation of reflections and well-wishes from the 2022 cohort.

Director Plummer then presented the Johns Hopkins Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award to Professor Jacqueline Mazza, Senior Adjunct Professor of Latin American Studies. The Excellence in Teaching award is decided by student vote, and Professor Mazza's students praised her for her dedication to her teaching, profound knowledge of her respective subject matter, and the lively and engaging classroom dynamic she creates.

Students Martin Wendiggensen, Caroline Klaff, Michael Malinconi, and Eleonora Rinaldi were presented with the C. Grove Haines prize by Professor Mark Gilbert, the C. Grove Haines Professor of History and International Studies. The awards are named for C. Grove Haines, founder and long-time Director of the Bologna Center, and serve to commemorate Professor Haine's commitment to graduate level education in international affairs. Professor Gilbert also recognized student Irene Quadrelli as the winner of the SAIS Europe Excellence in Gender Research prize, the newest category of award at SAIS Europe that recognizes the importance of researching the role and impact gender has on international affairs and policies.

Most excitingly, over 90 students were individually recognized for having completed their degrees at SAIS Europe; our degree candidates included students from the MAIA, MAGR, MEPP, and MIPP cohorts as well as one graduate, Isabelle Slavin, who started her MA career with the Hopkins-Nanjing community and finished her studies in Bologna.

The evening continued with a traditional aperitivo celebration located throughout scenic locations in the Bologna Center campus. This marked the first social event held at SAIS Europe since the pre-pandemic era – and there is truly no better reason to celebrate than recognizing and congratulating the Class of 2022.