Graduating Student Essraa Nawar Shows Outstanding Professional Promise


Graduation day is almost here, and to help send off her peers on their newest endeavors will be MLIS student Essraa Nawar, this year’s outstanding student speaker and recipient of the Ken Haycock Award for Professional Promise. Congratulations, Essraa!

Graduation day is almost here for the master’s degree and certificate program students at the San José State University School of Information. Joining them as the outstanding student speaker will be Essraa Nawar, the recipient of the Ken Haycock Award for Professional Promise.

Nawar, who graduates from the Master of Library and Information Science online degree program in May, was nominated by multiple faculty members for demonstrating “flexibility in program delivery modes, excellence in academic performance, ability to think theoretically and practically, and ability to analyze and communicate the results of knowledge gained,” the award criteria states.

“What makes Essraa stand out is her continuous work to exceed expectations in her classes and work,” committee chair Dr. Cheryl Stenstrom remarked. “Essraa’s efforts in developing understanding with classmates and in bringing new insights to her course work were noted as ranking among the best some faculty members have seen across their career.”

Nawar has been previously recognized with multiple notable awards, and Stenstrom believes “her skills and experiences will serve her well in a global, 21st century workplace.”

Her resume spans the globe, including professional work experience as the coordinator of Library Development and Marketing and the chair of the Arts, Exhibits and Events Committee at the Leatherby Libraries at Chapman University, where she helped raise more than 1.5 million dollars in support of the libraries at the school. She also worked for the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, D.C., and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Alexandria, Egypt. In 2009, she moved with her husband and family to Orange County, California.

Additionally, Nawar is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, The Orange County Register and other magazines and blogs where she shares her story as a Muslim woman living in the United States while trying to bridge cultural misunderstandings between Arabs, Muslims and Americans, according to her biography. She recently took her diversity message to the international stage where she spoke at a TED conference at the Technical University of Munich on how to feel welcomed and empowered in a diverse world. Her talk has been viewed and shared more than 6,000 times, and she continues to share her message through public speaking, radio interviews and podcasts.

As the honoree of the Ken Haycock Award for Professional Promise, Nawar will address her peers and instructors during the school’s virtual convocation ceremony. She will also receive $1,000 and a citation.

“I feel a deep honor and appreciation to my faculty and mentors who shaped who I am today. It’s a perfect way to end my SJSU career as an MLIS graduate student. I’m grateful,” Nawar expressed.

The virtual convocation ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 20, 2017, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time. In addition to Nawar, convocation speakers include Dr. Sandra Hirsh, director of the SJSU School of Information, Dr. Mary Schutten, dean of the SJSU College of Applied Sciences and Arts, and Dr. Debra Wallace, executive director of knowledge library services at the Harvard Business School. For more information, visit the graduation ceremonies web page.