Florida State University

College of Social Sciences & Public Policy

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Social Science Scholar Honored For Humanitarianism

by Jenny Ralph, University Communications, and COSSPP communications staff

For more than 20 years, Florida State University has recognized undergraduate students who exhibit a tremendous commitment to service through its annual President’s Undergraduate Humanitarian of the Year Program.

This year’s 11 nominees have done everything from starting their own nonprofits to supporting local migrants and refugees to being a camp counselor for children affected by their parent’s cancer.

Each school or college nominates one student to be the Humanitarian of the Year. Typically, students are recognized at an awards luncheon hosted by FSU President John Thrasher, and the student who best exemplifies commitment to service is named the President’s Undergraduate Humanitarian of the Year during the annual Student Leadership Awards.

This year, under current social distancing guidelines, students were recognized virtually by President Thrasher and their respective deans.

“Our distance at this time is itself an act of community service,” Thrasher said. “I want to thank each of our 11 college nominees for their efforts to bring people and causes together. Collectively, these nominees have dedicated more than 3,900 hours of service. But truthfully, it’s not their hours that we’re recognizing today. It’s their compassion, their understanding, and their ability to support positive and sustainable change by working with leaders in local, national and international communities.”

Each nominee receives a $200 donation in their name to the nonprofit agency of their choice. The overall winner receives an additional $1,000 donation to the nonprofit agency of their choice.

Myah Freeman, the nominee from the College of Fine Arts, received the 2020 President’s Undergraduate Humanitarian of the Year Award. The honored nominee from the college is Molly McQueeney, a a junior majoring in economics and social work with a minor in mathematics and a 2020 Social Science Scholar.

McQueeney has served with Darasa, a language support group to migrant and refugee K-12 students in Leon County Schools, since her freshman year. She also worked with Chios Eastern Shore Response Team in Greece during Summer 2019, providing emergency support to individuals living in the displacement camp on the island.

McQueeney connects her service to Florida State University through her involvement with Darasa by recruiting FSU students to tutor with the organization and educating members of the FSU community on the vibrant migrant and refugee community in Tallahassee. As president of Darasa, she is continuing to communicate with Leon County Schools during the COVID-19 outbreak to see where Darasa can facilitate the transition to online learning for its students.

She has interned at FSU’s Center for the Advancement of Human Rights and is a member of Amnesty International and Presidential Scholars. She also was an honors colloquium leader in fall 2019.

She is currently working on an honors thesis that focuses on the effectiveness of U.S. and European resettlement policies in integrating refugees into the local labor market.

After graduation in 2021, McQueeney hopes to pursue a graduate degree in economic development and work with nonprofit organizations and international aid agencies to support developing communities around the world. She hopes eventually to work as an economic consultant to policy makers and nonprofit organizations that support refugees.