Luka Gotsiridze is AUBG's Presidential Medalist for 2020
Luka Gotsiridze, Journalism and Mass Communication major at AUBG, received the Presidential Medal for 2020. In addition to his strong academic record, the Georgian student, who also did a minor in European Studies, has been actively involved with community service.
Despite the cancelation of the Honors Convocation due to the coronavirus outbreak, Gotsiridze, who is still on campus, received his medal from AUBG Interim President David Evans. In fact, the senior was among the people most involved in helping deal with the consequences of the health crisis and keeping the AUBG community in good spirits. As a resident assistant, he worked around the clock to support the students on campus. "AUBG reacted earlier to the outbreak, even before the Bulgarian government announced the state of emergency, and so did we, as RAs," Gotsiridze said in a previous interview for AUBG Today. "We started tracking people's temperatures, arranging the storage, assisting the residents with their questions and helping them to overcome the anxiety and stress."
Gotsiridze also initiated a series of online events that kept the AUBG community together, despite social distancing. He hosted discussions on the effect of COVID-19 with professors from AUBG's business, economics, politics, psychology and history departments, several talks with AUBG alumni and virtual storytelling and poetry nights with JMC Professor Laura Kelly.
As a student, Gotsiridze spent a semester abroad doing an exchange porgram at the University of Maine. He was a social media intern at AUBG's Marketing and Communications office and a student assistant at the university's Admissions office. The senior conferred his JMC degree with honors following the successful completion of his Capstone project The Heresy of Innocence– a hybrid documentary podcast about a woman executed for witchcraft in 17th century Germany. "My Capstone addresses (…) the issues surrounding gender, belief, human rights and otherness," Gotsiridze said. Thanks to his Capstone project, the graduating student was recently selected to represent AUBG at the 4th Bard International Network Debate Conference, which happened online.