Ivory Coast ambassador travels to Shepherdstown
Ambassador of Cote’ Ivorie, Daouda Diabate visited Shepherdstown Friday afternoon to recognize the achievements of one of his country’s citizens who is a student at Shepherd University. Business leaders and community members were on hand to welcome the Ambassador, along with his wife and staff at a reception at the Clarion Hotel.
Siriki Diabate (no relation to the Ambassador), is a graduate student at Shepherd University. A native of the Ivory Coast, he received his bachelor’s degree in science from Shepherd last year and is currently enrolled in the Masters of Business Administration program.
Diabate was selected as the recipient of the Lowe Family Award, which was established 16 years ago by the Lowe family.
“The Lowe Family Award is given to an outstanding student for their community and family involvement,” said Ken Lowe, a business and community member. :Lowe went on to say that a tree will be planted on the Shepherd campus in Diabate’s honor as a recipient of the award.
When speaking, Diabate said, “I am excited to have the Ambassador of my country here to honor me in getting this award.”
He shared a bit of his personal history which included escaping his own country after he was targeted by the government for writing about his views on the government practices. He was captured, beaten and left for dead.
He was able to make his way to Ghana and then to the United States with the help of the Virginia Council of Churches Refugee Resettlement program. He has since become a U.S. citizen.
While at Shepherd, Diabate has worked to help bring diversity to the university. He has served as the president of the International Student Union and organized events to educate others on the culture of the Ivory Coast.
In addition to the Lowe Family Award, Diabate also received the Political and Citizenship Award from the Political Science Department at Shepherd. He also received the Student life Council Award-all of which were presented in April of this year.
Ambassador Daouda Diabate expressed his appreciation to the Shepherdstown community, the university and to the Lowe family for their recognition of Diabate.
“What Ken Lowe has done for Siriki goes far beyond what is happening this afternoon,” the Ambassador said. “We are very proud of Siriki. He is not only a student but a member of your family. He has found a father here in Ken Lowe.”