Chapman University’s highest honor for doctoral graduate students has been announced, and the recipient is Dr. Ahmed Younis from the College of Educational studies, who successfully defended his Ph.D. in Education dissertation in late March 2016.

The James L. Doti Outstanding Graduate Student Award is awarded to a recipient who has demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in leadership, service, and scholarly activities. Ahmed taught 17 courses as an Adjunct Assistant Professor during his three years as a Ph.D. student. He also gave over 20 speeches on campus, from high profile ones (TEDx ChapmanU and Leatherby Libraries International Politicians) to panels for Chapman Feminists and as keynote speaker for Chapman’s Inaugural Black Graduation. Dr. Younis was an official member of the Los Angeles Delegation to the 2015 White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) and presented on The O’Reilly Factor of the FOX News Cable Channel.

Dr. Younis’s dissertation, influenced by critical pedagogy, Islam and liberation theology involved a new critical discourse toward American Muslim identity and was entitled “American Muslim Conscientização: A Philosophy for Liberation.”  His dissertation chair, Dr. Suzanne SooHoo remarked, “He is extraordinarily bright, highly personable, impressively articulate and surprising humble and one of the most exceptional students ever in the CES doctoral program. The faculty and students consider him a leader, problem solver, innovator and a deeply reflective and caring educator.”

In learning about his award, Ahmed wrote in an email to his faculty dissertation committee, “This is one of the greatest moments of my life. I am indebted to my teachers and the administration of CES for helping me grow as a student and a scholar. These people (particularly my Chair Dr. SooHoo) have carried me through a three-year transformation of my mind, my heart, and my perception of what is possible for humanity. I am also indebted to my students at Chapman, who have given me hope, love, and shown me great mercy as I travelled a steep learning curve. We all worked hard over the past three years – but the selflessness of my professors is truly unmatched. “

The original Doti Award trophy is on perpetual exhibit in Argyros Forum and incorporates artist Nick Hernandez’s sculpture Emergence. Dr. Younis will receive a copy of the Emergence sculpture featured on the permanent award, along with a cash award at the CES Commencement exercises on May 20, 2016, where he will also give the keynote address to this year’s graduates and audience.