Moraine Valley Community College faculty members Dr. Maha Sweis-Dababneh, professor of Arabic, and Dr. Sundus Madi McCarthy, academic advisor, were recognized by Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas during a May ceremony that recognized contributions made by Arab Americans.

Pappas awarded Certificates of Excellence to 30 business, civic, political, religious and educational leaders from the Chicago Arab community.

Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas congratulates Dr. Sundus Madi McCarthy and Dr. Maha Sweis-Dababneh for their contributions in the Arab American community.

“I was very surprised,” Madi McCarthy said. “I know the dedication of all the others who also were being awarded. Being seen as a contributor to all the great work done by Arab Americans really made me feel proud and honored.”

The event was held at the Cook Country Treasurer’s Office to observe Arab American Heritage Month. Honorees included individuals who have made significant contributions in industries such as retail, banking, law, medicine, art, as well as organizations that support Arab Americans.

Madi McCarthy and Sweis-Dababneh were nominated for this honor by Naderh Hana Elrabadi, an attorney who serves on the advisory board of the Arab American Business and Professional Association and is a board member of The Refugee Life Foundation.

“Having an event that celebrates the important contributions Arab Americans have made in our community is incredibly valuable,” Sweis-Dababneh said. “It provides a platform to recognize and honor the achievements of Arab Americans and acknowledge their contributions across various fields.”

Moraine Valley’s honorees expressed how proud they were to be recognized for their work at the college.

“It was such an honor to represent academic advising at Moraine Valley. This profession has a profound effect on student success,” said Madi McCarthy. “As an academic advisor, I honor each student’s unique journey, knowing the work we do at the college will not only help students reach their potential but also make the path smoother for their transition into their chosen professions.”

Sweis-Dababneh noted that receiving this recognition reflects positively on the college and the work she does there.

“Winning this award would not have been possible without the inspiration I have received daily from the colleagues I work with and the administration that offers continuous support and guidance,” she said.


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