Honors Convocation Recognizes AUBG’s Most Distinguished Students of Two Classes
The biggest celebration of academic success at AUBG, the Honors Convocation recognizes the university’s outstanding students every year. However, as the pandemic hindered the plans for a ceremony in spring 2020, this Saturday AUBG awarded its students from both Class of 2020 and Class of 2021.
“This has been an extraordinary year—in fact, an extraordinary 16 months, since COVID-19 first appeared on AUBG's horizon and began upending almost everything about our institutional life,” said AUBG President Dr. David Evans. “Our community has met the challenges posed by the pandemic with grace and patience, and I am particularly grateful to our students and faculty, who have endured uncertainty, rapid changes in their classes, and the ongoing stress of adapting to new technologies. Throughout this period, the students we honor this evening have maintained their high standards and continued to perform with dedication and focus.”
Arlinda Osmanoviq, who studied Political Science and International Relations and Business Administration at AUBG and comes from Montenegro, was this year’s presidential medalist. She served in the Ambassador’s Club and ABLE Mentor program. As President of the Epsilon Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Delta Honor Society, Arlinda and her team organized the first online International Week. She also worked as a judge during the Varna BEST National tournament and represented AUBG in ERASMUS+ projects in Poland and France. Outside of university, she worked as Project Coordinator for the NGO New Horizon in her home country of Montenegro. Through the organization, Arlinda helped conceive and then open Youth Corner, where young people may gather to share ideas and plans for their own initiatives for social change.
Luka Gotsiridze from Georgia is the recipient of the Presidential Medal for 2020. Back at AUBG, he majored in Journalism & Mass Communication and minored in European Studies. He is passionate about artistic activism, digital and sonic storytelling, issues surrounding freedom of expression and the right to religion & belief. Luka is currently pursuing his master’s degree in Human Rights at the Central European University in Vienna, Austria and plans to develop a career that lays around the intersection of human rights and the arts.
At the ceremony, all academic departments recognized outstanding seniors. Lubomir Valkov was selected the outstanding senior in Information Systems for class 2020, while Radostina Kisleva received the award for 2021. Lazaron Shyta, Battulga Enkhbayar and Volodymyr Lapytskyi were recognized for receiving third, second and first place respectively at the Twenty-second Annual Programming Contest.
Phuc Tran for class 2020 and Aleks Lyubenov, Kejsi Jonuzai and Antonia Kaisheva for class 2021 received the Outstanding Achievement in Mathematics.Thoma Zoto got the Outstanding Student Award in Physics. The Computer Science faculty at AUBG awarded Alex Mishev from class 2020 and Jasmina Stratorska from class 2021 as outstanding seniors. Luka Gotsiridze (’20) and Trayana Karamihaleva (’21) received the highest recognition in Journalism and Mass Communication. The Economics Department chose to award two students from each year - Ognyan Trednafilov and Sergey Litvinenko from class of 2020 and Sonja Plaku and Fjorda Kalo from class of 2021.
Martin Gorunov and Kamen Nikolov received the Outstanding Achievement in Business Administration for 2020 while Simona Petrova and Flavia Ganci were selected outstanding seniors for 2021. The Outstanding Senior in Modern Languages is Yevhenii Kripak, and Milka Stoycheva and Milostina Krasteva-Mmango and Leman Pehlivanova and Christian Tsenov were awarded Outstanding Seniors for German Language for 2020 and 2021 respectively. The Outstanding Seniors in French for 2021 are Andria Shehu and Mariia Chukhlantseva, who is also the Outstanding Senior in Bulgarian. Mira Kirova and Radostina Kisleva both got the Outstanding Senior in Spanish for 2021.
Georgi Staykov ('21) is the Outstanding Senior in Literature and Oraz Kereibayev ('21) is the Outstanding Senior in Film Studies.
The winners in the Filitsa Sofianou-Mullen Creative Writing Competition are: second place for Mai Nguyen for "Bare" and first place for Kalina Panayotova for "I Am Not There" in the prose category and second place for Elizabet Ivanova for "Eyes" and first place for Binderiya Usukhbayar for "Yellow Love" in the poetry category.
Several distinguished faculty members were also awarded at the ceremony. Professor Lucia Miree receive the Emeritus Recognition, Professor Diego Lucci was awarded the Research Recognition and The Cosmina Tanasoiu Excellence in Teaching Award went to Professor Lubomir Terziev.
The Outstanding Student in Music for 2020 is Preslav Vachev and the Outstanding Student in Music for 2021 is Christian Tsenov, piano and Bozhana Marinova. The Outstanding Seniors in Applied Music Voice & Choir are Ventsislava Bormaliyska as well as Mariia Chukhlantseva and Tatiana Milshina.
This year's outstanding psychology student is Anika Shinikova and the outstanding student for 2021 is Liliya Radkova.
The Department of History and Civilizations nominated for honors Yordanka Savova and Ivanela Arabadzhieva from class 2020. The Outstanding Achievement in European Studies went to Simona Tarpova. Ivanela Arabadzhieva and Iliyana Nalbantova got the Outstanding Achievement in Political Science for 2020 and Svetoslav Milushev and Oraz Kereibayev for 2021.
The EMBA faculty recognized Miroslav Mladenov and Lili Yordanova for 2021 and Nikolay Kazmin for 2020. The Outstanding Contribution to the Development of Athletics was won by Georgi Staykov. Leda Dragieva and Slivia Nako won the Al Cyrus Theater Award for 2020 and Viktoria Dimitrova won it for 2021.
The 2021 Annual University Council Essay Awards were won by Monica Dimitrova (third prize), Georgi Staykov (second prize), Dimislav Penev (first prize). Outstanding peer counselor is Madison Miller for 2020 and Simeon Milev for 2021. This year’s Outstanding Subject Tutors are Nino Kutubidze – a tutor in statistics and Ivelina Markova – a tutor in German language.
The winner of the Outstanding Contribution to Community Volunteer Service Award 2020 is AUBG Alumna Asya Velichkova and the winner for 2021 is Simeon Milev. Desislava Manova received both the Outstanding Resident Assistant Award and the Outstanding Contribution to shared Governance. The Outstanding Student Advisor is Bojana Petrova.
President Evans awarded Dean Lydia Krise "for her immense contribution to the growth and development of AUBG ever since 1993."