Ahmed Abbas earned a double major in Religious Studies and International and Global Studies with minors in Arabic & Islamic Studies and Political Science. He was a recipient of the IUPUI Masarachia Scholarship, and in 2019, the Department of Religious Studies granted Ahmed the Tony Sherrill Up-and-Coming Student Award for bringing his excellent academic work to bear on his engagements with Indianapolis communities.

Professor and Chair, Religious Studies, David Craig said of Abbas, “In the classroom, he draws on ideas, thinkers and examples encountered across his different courses. He also builds on other students' insights and elicits sharing by fellow students who do not have his public confidence.”

Ahmed’s ability to forge intellectual connections carried beyond the class and into the community as he served with the IUPUI Social Justice Education program from 2017 until 2019. He co-led the “Shop Talk” program, which cultivated intimate conversations on a vast array of social topics in order to strengthen student thought on campus. In addition, Ahmed co-led the “SpeakOUT” program, providing a space for students to artistically express their experiences with diversity and inclusion, as well as their social justice commitments.

While Mr. Abbas and Ms. Gupta pursued different academic paths, their respective instructors made very similar observations. Both students possessed an earnest curiosity and a desire to elevate their own scholarship which came through in their academic work. Both Ahmed and Kamna tirelessly pursued engagements with their campus, community, and the world at large.

These students and this award mean a great deal for the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. Their ability to make connections and bridge academic pursuits with community engagements serve as an exemplary model for students and faculty in the liberal arts.

The School of Liberal Arts is very proud of Kamna Gupta and Ahmed Abbas and congratulates them both on winning the Faculty Medal of Academic Distinction. The future is bright for both of these young scholars, and the School of Liberal Arts is excited to see where their journeys will lead them. They serve as wonderful examples of the power and breadth of a modern liberal arts education.

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