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Excellence in all things, June 2010

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Robert and Eva Moyad: Professorship inaugurated in their names

A professorship named for Robert and Eva Moyad was inaugurated June 5 at the University of Michigan Medical School.

The endowment for research in urology was funded by two patients of Robert Moyad.

The Moyads were honored in a program at which university administrators spoke to the importance of professorships to the fabric of any university.

Mark Moyad, their son, added an emotional tribute. He noted his father’s dedication to work and family and his parents’ belief in the importance of education.

Willis Burris: School’s Rookie Teacher of the Year

The principal of the Hopper Center knew Willis Burris was the right fit for a teaching position at the school for children with emotional and behavioral challenges the first time he visited.

An accountant by profession whose service included positions at the Bahá’í World Center and U.S. Bahá’í National Center, Burris was walking down a hallway at the school when he noticed a student having a “meltdown.” With the principal as a witness, Burris calmed the child by talking with him about shared hobbies.

Burris, of Sanford, Florida, joined the school’s faculty and recently was honored as its 2010 Rookie Teacher of the Year for Middle School.

Says the principal, Barbara Kirby-Bentley, Burris teaches students “to own their problems and look for solutions to solve them. He helps them to understand that failure is not an option and if they work hard there is not anything that they cannot accomplish.”

Priscilla Griffth: Award recognizes excellence in educational research

Priscilla Griffith of Norman, Oklahoma, received the Daniel Rinsland Memorial Award for excellence in educational research from the University of Oklahoma.

Griffith, whose field is literacy education, holds the Ruth G. Hardman Chair in Education at OU.

She also is director of the Oklahoma Writing Project.

Mahyar Mofidi: Honored for contribution to oral health education

Mahyar Mofidi, a dentist who is a junior dental health officer with the U.S. Public Health Service, received the 2010 Ernest Eugene Buell Award.

The award is presented annually to a USPHS Commissioned Corps officer who has made a significant contribution in oral health education, research or service.

Mofidi also serves as secretary of the Regional Bahá’í Council for the Southeastern States.

Andréana Lefton: Recognized for essay, poetry

Andréana Elise Lefton of Gaithersburg, Maryland, has received two honors for her writing.

She was awarded a cash prize in the 2010 Elie Wiesel ethics essay contest and honorable mention for poetry in The Atlantic’s annual fiction review.

Lefton is a recent graduate of the School of International Service at American University.

She will be attending the London School of Economics in the fall on a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship.

Ellie Baker: Given interior design award

Soleil by Design, owned by Ellie Baker of Brier, Washington, was honored at the 2010 Rex Awards in the category of design excellence.

The Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish counties sponsors the awards, which recognize excellence in interior design and architecture.

Soleil by Design specializes in kitchen and bathroom design and other interior design services.

Mahnaz Javid: Spoke at university graduation

Mahnaz Javid, president and co-founder of the Mona Foundation, was tapped as commencement speaker by the University of Washington-Bothell.

Javid, who received her master’s in education from UW-Bothell and served as an adjunct faculty member there, was completing her doctorate at Seattle University.

The Mona Foundation is a Bahá’í-inspired organization that supports grassroots initiatives around the world and works to raise the status of women and girls.

Commencement exercises took place June 13 at the Bank of America Arena on UW’s main campus in Seattle, with more than 700 undergraduate and graduate students participating.

Fasha Mahjoor: Finalist for top entrepreneur award

Fasha Mahjoor has been named a finalist for the Greater Los Angeles Entrepreneur of the Year award.

Mahjoor is president and CEO of Phenomenex in Torrance, California.

The company manufactures laboratory products used in pharmaceutical development, criminal forensics, pollution monitoring and other fields.

The award program, sponsored by Ernst & Young  recognizes entrepreneurs who “demonstrate extraordinary success in the areas of innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their business and community.”