Villanova University Announces 2023 Opus Prize Finalists
VILLANOVA, Pa. (August 17, 2023) – Villanova University and the Opus Prize Foundation are pleased to announce the finalists for the 2023 Opus Prize, an annual faith-based humanitarian award that recognizes social entrepreneurship. The 2023 Prize will be awarded at Villanova University on Thursday, November 9, 2023.
Members of the Villanova community led the process to identify the recipient pool for this year’s prize, which will award $1 million for first place and $100,000 to each of the two runners-up. Finalists for the Opus Prize are selected for their work in championing faith-filled change and their efforts to solve the world’s most persistent social issues.
In February 2023, Villanova invited 11 distinguished jurors to select the three finalists from the pool of nominations. This summer, University delegates participated in site visits to the finalists, two international and one domestic.
“The 2023 Opus Prize finalists have had a remarkable and lasting impact in the communities they serve,” said University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, and chair of the Opus Prize jury. “Their unwavering commitment to improving the human condition, each in their own ways, is a testament to the boundless potential of compassion in action.”
The 2023 Opus Prize Finalists are:
Kristin Schroeder, MD MPH
International Cancer Care and Research Excellence Foundation (iCCARE)
Dr. Kristin Schroeder is the co-founder of iCCARE, whose mission is “to give any child who is diagnosed with cancer the same chance of cure regardless of where they live.” While pediatric cancer has a survival rate of nearly 85% in many developed countries, cancer care is essentially non-existent in many hospitals across low-income countries. For nearly a decade, Dr. Schroeder and iCCARE have worked to deliver and improve cancer care with curative therapies, as well as supportive and palliative care at Bugando Medical Centre in Mwanza, Tanzania. Through her efforts, the survival rate for her patients has risen to 50% in the eight years that she has spent in western Tanzania.
Bishop Paride Taban
Holy Trinity Peace Village Kuron
Bishop Taban is the founder of South Sudan’s Holy Trinity Peace Village Kuron, an intentional community for people of diverse ethnic backgrounds who have experienced conflict. South Sudan gained independence in June 2011 after more than 50 years of armed struggle and conflict in the North. As a result, South Sudan has more than 3.25 million people living in United Nations camps for internally displaced or refugee camps in neighboring countries. In response, Bishop Taban established Holy Trinity Peace Village Kuron as a peaceful destination where human dignity can flourish. The Village’s operations focus on agriculture training, education, health services, and food security, as well as conflict resolution and peacebuilding, forever changing the lives of thousands of Sudanese.
Catholic Partnership Schools
Jameka Walker is the Executive Director of Catholic Partnership Schools (CPS), a network of five Pre-K to 8th-grade schools providing educational opportunities for children of all faith backgrounds in Camden, N.J., and the surrounding areas. CPS’ goal is to provide “a safe, loving and achieving environment in which students are encouraged to find their path forward.” As Executive Director, Ms. Walker has been instrumental in advancing CPS' mission in a city fraught with poverty and violence, leading to challenges and low proficiencies for students. CPS prepares its students with the skills they need for success in high school and ultimately college. Their work also extends to the families of their students, empowering families to understand the value of education in creating opportunities for the future.
2023 Opus Prize Winner Announcement
Each year, the Opus Foundation partners with a Catholic university to oversee the process of identifying nominees, selecting finalists, participating in site visits, planning the awards week, and, most importantly, inspiring others to ignite change in their respective work and organizations. The 2023 Opus Prize, hosted by Villanova University, is centered around the theme of “Awakening Restless Hearts,” and will be celebrated during Opus Prize Week on Villanova’s campus November 6-9. 2023 Opus Prize jury members include leaders from the Greater Philadelphia arts, business, non-profit, faith and civic communities.
For more information on the 2023 Opus Prize, please visit the Villanova University Opus Prize website (www.villanova.edu/university/opus-prize).
About The Opus Prize Foundation: The Opus Prize Foundation is a private and independent nonprofit foundation. Established in 1994 by the founding chairman of earlier Opus Companies, the Opus Prize Foundation is a self-sufficient foundation independent from The Opus Group. The foundation selects universities as partners to organize and execute the Opus Prize selection process and award ceremony. Through these partnerships, students are challenged to think globally and inspired to live lives of service.
About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges—the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. Ranked among the nation’s top universities, Villanova supports its students’ intellectual growth and prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit www.villanova.edu.