With the 2019-20 school year coming to a close, graduating seniors at the University of Arizona prepare to finish their final year.
Grace Faerber is this year’s outstanding senior in the College of Humanities. It is no surprise considering all of her achievements in her three years spent at the UA. Faerber is an honors student double majoring in East Asian studies and global studies and minoring in pre-law. She has been speaking and studying Mandarin since she was in the fifth grade.
Faerber said that her professor, honors thesis advisor and outstanding senior nominator Andres Onate was her most influential figure at the UA. Onate said that Faerber is very deserving of the award, and he sees a very productive career in her future as a “Chinese expert.”
In his letter of recommendation nominating Faerber as the outstanding senior for the College of Humanities, Onate highlighted Faerber’s accomplishments.
“I would place [Faerber] in the top 2% of the 25 students in the Spring 2019 course and in the top 5% of all students I have had in my academic career,” Onate said in the letter. “She is most deserving of the outstanding senior award.”
Upon starting college, Faerber said she knew she wanted to continue studying the Chinese language. Through the East Asian studies major, Faerber said she was not only able to continue studying the language but also study the culture, history and government, giving her a more holistic comprehension of the country.
In addition to her studies in the College of Humanities, Faerber was also an ambassador for the college. Through this, Faerber represented the college and encouraged students to add a humanities major. Faerber said she helped students and their parents understand the importance of studying another language or culture.
“I think that the ability to have an understanding of another language or culture or just another region of the world is so important regardless of whatever career path someone is going into,” Faerber said. “I think that ability to specialize in something is so important when searching for jobs because it sets you apart.”
Faerber said she worked as a marketing assistant for the Campus Recreation Center for nearly her entire time spent at the UA. Through this job, she was even able to make her mark at the Rec Center.
Faerber said she was the lead of the International Flag Display project. She helped design the display in the main hallway of the Rec Center which represents “all home nations of UA students.” She also helped design a map showing all the locations of each country, as well as a native nations display showing the native nations of UA students.
“This project was important to me because it allowed me to use my education and interest in international affairs to pay tribute to [UA] students and help them feel more included and respected at the [UA],” Faerber said.
Tara Watson, the assistant director of marketing and communications for the Rec Center, was Faerber’s supervisor during her time working there. Watson said that Faerber makes the most of everything assigned to her.
“[Faerber] wants to make a difference and that shows in everything she does, whether it be for school, in her job, or while building her dream career,” Watson said in an email. “She is someone who knows what she wants and will pursue every opportunity to make it happen.”
Faerber studied abroad both of her summers spent at the UA. During her first summer, she studied in Hangzhou, China. Faerber said it was the perfect opportunity for her to practice her language and cultural skills. In her second summer, Faerber studied in Washington, D.C. Faerber said this study abroad program was very important for her interest in government and politics.
Faerber has been accepted to her top choice graduate school, the John Hopkins University — Nanjing Center for Chinese and American Studies graduate program in Nanjing, China. She plans to study international studies with a concentration in international politics. Faerber said the program is the premier graduate school for anyone who wants to work for the government in U.S. and/or China relations.
Faerber was also awarded a very selective program, the Boren Fellowship, for her graduate degree, through which she is committed to a career in the U.S. government in national security for at least one year.
Considering her involvement in the College of Humanities, Faerber said she is honored and excited to be the outstanding senior for the college.
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