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MVCC student trustee gives last board report

  • Written by By Kelly White

Moraine Valley Community College Student Trustee Karim Awwad gave his final board meeting presentation on March 9

Awwad’s one-year term is coming to an end in April. Moraine officials have not yet decided on a new student trustee.

“I say this every year and it probably sounds like a broken record, but every year the student trustee gets better and better and better,” said Joseph Murphy, chair of the Moraine Valley Board. “The time flew by and it’s been a true pleasure having Karim on our board. His dedication, time and opinions have been very much valued.”

Awwad, an American citizen who grew up in Jordan, was determined to be different from his 10 cousins and brother. He wanted to attend school in the United States but not Moraine Valley Community College like they did. However, after several discussions, they influenced him to choose Moraine Valley. Nearly a year later, the Orland Park resident not only attends Moraine Valley but has been representing all of its students. He was sworn in on April 15 of last year as student trustee.

“This is just the beginning of my journey,” Awwad said. “Moraine has changed my perspective of community colleges in general. It is a playground of opportunities.”

Under his leadership, the student body has had a successful and involved academic and extracurricular year filled with activities, including several groups on camps experiencing the spirit of giving. The Women in Action, Action Social and Political Empowerment (ASPE), International Women and Phi Theta Kappa clubs participated in food drives. The Combat to College Club participated in a toy drive. The Asian Diversity Club participated in gathering and donating coats and winter accessories during the harsh winter months. The American Red Cross Club participated in Cards for Heroes. Student Government Association held a blood drive where more than 75 units of blood were collected. Student Life held its annual Thanksgiving dinner served by administrators and during which the hard work of students was recognized.

His guidance and leadership over Moraine Valley students doesn’t end there. The Model Illinois Government Club took a trip to Springfield to promote civic responsibility of the Democratic practice. In November, students had an opportunity to join an interactive dialogue with Palestinian students living under Israeli occupation to examine and discuss educational topics. And, a petition with 7,887 signatures of community college students – with 258 from Moraine Valley – was presented to Gov. Rauner regarding the state not funding MAP grants. The petition expressed how important higher education is to the students and how the issue is directly affecting them.

“Trustee comes from the word trust, and since students are putting their trust in me, as promised, I have offered my commitment, dedication and loyalty to the needs of my fellow students,” Awwad said.

Awwad will be leaving the college majoring in Economics/Finance with a minor in Political Science. After he completes his term in April, he has his eye on attending the University of Illinois to earn his bachelor’s degree and then pursue an MBA. After that. he may start his own business or work in the government sector either in the U.S. or Jordan — wherever the best opportunity arises.

“Karim has done an excellent job representing the students this year,” said Dr. Sylvia Jenkins, president of Moraine Valley Community College.