Bea Amsalu, George Barakat win this year’s Spirit of Pitt award


Pamela Smith | Visual Editor

Bea Amsalu and George Barakat were announced as the winners of this year’s Spirit of Pitt award during halftime at Pitt’s homecoming football game against Virginia Tech on Saturday.

By Allison Radziwon and Madison Dean

Bea Amsalu and George Barakat were announced as the winners of this year’s Spirit of Pitt award at the homecoming football game on Saturday during halftime. The award, which is hosted by the Pitt Alumni Association, is given to two students who exhibit a strong sense of Pitt pride, academic excellence and involvement within the Pitt community, according to Pittwire

Amsalu, who is a member of the Blue and Gold Society, Pitt Student Alumni Network, Pitt Global Medical Brigades and Rho Psi Eta, said she “wasn’t expecting” to win the award. 

“I feel like I’ve given so much to this university,” Amsalu, a senior neuroscience major, said. “And so winning this award is like showing that… knowing that I’ve made a positive impact on people that they felt inclined to vote for me. It’s just unreal… it’s really such an honor and a privilege.” 

Barakat, who is a member of the Biomedical Engineering Society, the Middle Eastern North African Student Association and the Lebanese Student Association, said it “feels like a dream” to win this award.

“I just appreciate everyone who supported me in this way. Like I got a lot of support from my friends that really told their friends about this award,” Barakat, a junior bioengineering major, said. “I’m really thankful for everyone who voted and took part in this.” 

Amsalu and Barakat were among the eight candidates nominated for the award, which Pitt students had the opportunity to vote on earlier this week. Amsalu said everyone on the Court was “so deserving” of the award. 

“Every single person on this Court was so deserving, and so qualified. Such phenomenal people,” Amsalu said. “It was so great getting to know them these past few weeks and getting to hang out with them… it was just really great. So I love all of them.”