Louie Al-Hashimi, Zach Patton Named ODK Seniors of the Year

Issue Date: 
April 28, 2014

University of Pittsburgh 2014 graduates Louie Al-Hashimi and Zach Patton have been named the 2014 Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) Seniors of the Year.

Founded in 1914 at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., ODK is an honorary society that recognizes students who maintain a high standard of leadership in collegiate activities. The award is given to students who possess and exhibit outstanding leadership qualities in service to the University. 

ALouie Al-Hashimi native of Monroeville, Pa, Al-Hashimi will receive today a Bachelor of Arts in economics with a minor in political science. He also earned certificates in global studies, with a concentration in global governance and economy in the Middle East, and Arabic language and linguistics. Patton, a native of Kittaning, Pa., will receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and communication rhetoric.

Al-Hashimi, who will deliver the student response during Pitt’s Commencement today, served as president of Pitt’s Muslim Student Association and worked as a resident assistant at Lothrop and Panther Halls and as a teaching assistant in the Department of Economics.

Al-Hashimi tutored Somali refugees in Pittsburgh through the Keep It Real program and volunteered with Alternative Spring Break, Adopt-a-Block, and Pitt Make a Difference Day. He is a member of Pitt’s Outside the Classroom Curriculum Honorary Society and served as a student ambassador for the Global Studies Center.

Currently an international trade intern with the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce in Pittsburgh, Al-Hashimi studied modern standard Arabic and Islamic society and politics in Meknes, Morocco, during the summer of 2012 through a David L. Lawrence Memorial Award, awarded by Pitt’s Nationality Rooms and Intercultural Exchange Programs. 

PattonZach Patton served as president of Pitt’s Intrafraternity Council (IFC) as well as executive board officer of its Judicial Affairs Committee and as the organization’s representative for his fraternity, Sigma Chi. As IFC president, he was awarded a Blue Star of Distinction for Collaborative Program of the Year for an awareness event on safe sex and sexual assault that was sponsored by the IFC, the Rainbow Alliance, and Campus Women’s Organization.

Patton also received a Dietrich School Summer Undergraduate Research Award to explore how government and private entities work together to solve energy, transportation, and environmental sustainability challenges in Switzerland. Closer to home, he received a grant from Pitt’s Outside the Classroom Curriculum to create a public education program, Courthouse Kids, which taught school children in Armstrong County about the legal system.

At Pitt, Patton chaired ODK’s environmental group and was a member of the ODK Communication Club. Within his fraternity, he served as house manager, risk manager, and chair of its judicial board, and he participated in many service projects. He was also active with Pitt’s Hesselbein Academy, the OCC Honorary Society, and the Student Government Board constitutional amendment committee.