School of Arts and Sciences

Education Major Sara Mahmood Named Point Park's Outstanding Graduating Senior

Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Pictured is education major and outstanding graduating senior Sara Mahmood with Point Park President Paul Hennigan. | Photo by
Mahmood is pictured with Point Park President Paul Hennigan, Ed.D., at
the Outstanding Student Awards.

Meet Sara Mahmood 

Degree earned: B.A. in elementary education with a dual certification in Pre-K through fourth grade and Pre-K through eighth grade special education, 2014
Minor: Dance with a concentration in ballet
Hometown:
Silver Spring, Md.
Now living in:
Pittsburgh, Pa.
College Activities:
Community facilitator for the Office of Campus Life, mentor for Strong Women Strong Girls, Honors Program, Future Educators of America Club and Class of 2014 commencement speaker
Hobbies/Interests:
Ballet, cooking and spending time with family and friends

“Sara is the perfect example of an outstanding student. Her enthusiasm for teaching is only matched by her enthusiasm for her fellow Point Park students. She has impacted the lives of hundreds of students here at Point Park and answered the concerns of parents who visited our office. Her positive attitude and cheerful perspective are contagious.” — Nathalie Burford, assistant community director for the Office of Campus Life.

What was your reaction to being named Outstanding Graduating Senior?

I was very surprised! I knew I had been nominated by a friend of mine, but I had no idea that others, including professors and staff members, nominated me as well. I felt so honored knowing that others wanted to recognize my accomplishments.

Why did you decide to attend Point Park and major in education?

I was originally looking to major in dance. However, the four-year special education dual certification option at Point Park really appealed to me. Also, Point Park gave me the chance to individualize my education with the opportunity to study both education and dance. I don't think I would have had that type of flexibility and support at other schools.

Describe the classroom atmosphere at Point Park.

I love that all of my professors have relevant experience in the fields they teach. They are extremely flexible and it’s apparent that they want their students to succeed. I genuinely love the small class sizes, too.

What was one of your favorite experiences at Point Park?

I’ve truly loved being involved in campus life at Point Park. It’s very suited to my personality and was a perfect way to get involved. I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.

What advice do you have for students to make the most of their time at Point Park?

My biggest piece of advice is to be proactive about your education and experiences. No one is going to make things happen but you. Take advantage of all the opportunities at Point Park that are offered to you.

What’s next for you?

I am working as a full-time substitute teacher at Pittsburgh Greenfield K-8 until mid-June. Following that, I plan to move back to the D.C./Maryland area and find a full-time teaching position. I’ve had several offers already so I’m optimistic about finding a job. Plus, I believe my dual certification in special education will make me marketable.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I am so grateful for all of the experiences I've had at Point Park and am very humbled and honored to have won the Outstanding Graduating Senior award. I am so thankful for the relationships I have formed with some incredible people here as well, and I know I would not have been able to accomplish everything that I have without their support.

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