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Retiree honoured

International student wins Lisa Savage MBA Convocation Award

By Susan White

An international student from Egypt has won the first Lisa Savage MBA Convocation Award, named in honour of a longtime staff member and a retiree of the Faculty of Business Administration.

Mohamed Seyam, from a small town outside of Cairo, studied business administration at the German University in Cairo, double majoring in strategic management and finance, before coming to Memorial to complete his master of business administration (MBA).

A photo of Lisa Savage, who retired in October after 36 years at Memorial.
Lisa Savage retired after 36 years of service.
Photo: Karen Roche

Ms. Savage worked for Memorial for nearly 37 years. She was the program assistant for the MBA program for 26 years, during which she provided assistance to 1,134 of the program’s 1,284 alumni. She retired in October 2015.

The award recognizes a graduating MBA student who has demonstrated a commitment to excellence, integrity and quality in their program. It commemorates Ms. Savage’s significant contribution to the program from 1989-2015.

“Lisa was the main contact for most of the inquiries I had during my application to Memorial, as well as later when I joined the MBA program,” said Mr. Seyam. “I feel honoured to be the first recipient of this award. Being told that I reflect the qualities that Lisa Savage displayed in her long service to the business faculty is a true privilege.”

Committed to community

Mr. Seyam is an MBA Dean’s List recipient and a Fellow of the School of Graduate Studies. He was actively involved in the business faculty as a teaching and research assistant and volunteered his time with several organizations at Memorial, including the Graduate Students’ Union, the Student Volunteer Bureau, AIESEC Memorial, The MUSE, the International Student Advising Centre and the Culture-to-Community Program. He organized on-campus presentations about Islam, acted as an interpreter for Syrian refugees upon their arrival in St. John’s and volunteered with the United Nations Human Rights Commission to raise money for refugees. Mr. Seyam now lives in Toronto, Ont., and is pursuing work in management consulting or investment banking.

Mohamed Seyam is pictured outdoors carrying a cup of coffee. He is the first recipient of the Lisa Savage MBA Convocation Award.
Mohamed Seyam is the first recipient of the Lisa Savage MBA Convocation Award.
Photo: Submitted

Ms. Savage recalls Mr. Seyam fondly.

“Every interaction I’ve had with Mohamed has been a pleasure,” she said. “He is a warm, cheerful and inclusive person. I always enjoyed his visits to the MBA office, whatever the reason. Mohamed is reliable and very generous with his time. In my experience, he is a great ambassador for students in the MBA program.”

The Lisa Savage MBA Convocation Award is the first convocation award named in recognition of a staff member at the business faculty, which Ms. Savage calls “an honour beyond words.”

‘Highly impressed’

During her time at Memorial, Ms. Savage won the business faculty’s Dean’s Service Award, the School of Graduate Studies’ Service Excellence Award and the President’s Award for Exemplary Service.

“I wanted to create something special that would honour Lisa’s hard work, dedication and support of MBA students.” – Dr. Peggy Coady

Contributions recognized

In 2013, the MBA program was reviewed and the external reviewers acknowledged her contribution to the program, stating, “In regard to the administration of the MBA program, we were highly impressed by program assistant Lisa Savage. We were repeatedly told by various stakeholders of the excellent work being done by Lisa. Lisa Savage’s service to the university has been duly recognized; however, if only half of the stories about her are to be believed then the title of program assistant does not come close to describing her range of duties, her institutional memory and her work ethic.”

Dr. Peggy Coady, associate dean (course-based master’s), developed the idea for a new convocation award in Ms. Savage’s honour.

“I experienced first-hand, first as a MBA student and later as the MBA program director, how integral Lisa was to the MBA program,” she said. “I wanted to create something special that would honour Lisa’s hard work, dedication and support of MBA students. The convocation award is a tribute to her outstanding contribution to the MBA program for so many years.”

MBA students will graduate at the spring convocation ceremony on June 1 at 7:30 p.m.

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