NOVA celebrated the 45th annual SEAL Awards on April 6, at the Springfield Hilton. The award recognized 71 outstanding students from across all six campuses and the Extended Learning Institute for their outstanding service, engagement, academics and leadership. Many NOVA students have sacrificed a great deal to realize their dream of a college education and a better life, and these students make us proud.
Fairfax County Board Chair Sharon Bulova delivered keynote remarks. Bulova is a graduate of NOVA and shared her unusual path to politics after originally wanting to be a cartoonist. As a young mom, her first forays into civic leadership involved drawing a cartoon and writing a short article for her civic association newsletter.
She was soon convinced to take the position of vice chair of her local civic association on the promise she would not have to stand up and speak in front of a room full of people. After her first meeting, the chair told her he had gotten orders for a job transfer and she would now be chair. She was petrified but overcame her fear only to realize that helping neighbors solve problems ignited her passion to help even more. Bulova encouraged students to work outside of their comfort zone to realize their passions.
Arfa Syed, a marketing professional who earned her associate degree from NOVA and a bachelor’s from University of Maryland University College, emceed the event.
In addition, Elizabeth “Libby” Sears, coordinator of special awards programs, announced finalists for several other important awards. See a list of 2017 SEAL awardees and other important awards in the Flyers section of this edition of the Intercom.