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Student Awards

The St. Catherine of Siena Undergraduate Peace and Justice Research Award will be awarded to an undergraduate student research project relevant to peace and justice issues. Students are invited to submit work completed in Spring 2020 or Fall 2020 courses. Submitted papers will be evaluated by CPJE affiliated faculty through a process of anonymous review. A cash award will be presented to the awardee.

Submissions should be no less than six (6) and no more than twenty (20) pages.

In order to be considered, papers must be submitted via this link no later than Friday, March 5, 2021

Papers will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

Excellent writing, clear structure, and adherence to an academic citation style

Significant use of research with sources well integrated and thoughtfully utilized

Topic related to concerns of peace and/or justice

Demonstration of critical thinking, insight, and creativity

Appreciation of complexity

Ability to effectively defend claims

Exceptional papers will include constructive ideas in addition to identifying problems and challenges

The top three papers (including the award-winning paper) will be presented on a panel with a faculty respondent to a University-wide audience on Monday, April 12, 2021, at 4:00 pm.

By submitting your paper, you are agreeing to participate in this panel should your paper be chosen as one of the top three. You will be notified no later than Monday, April 5, 2021, if your paper is selected for inclusion in the panel.

 

2020 Award Recipient: Nora Cowley

2020 Award Recipient: Nora Cowley

Nora's paper titled "Philadelphia’s Irish Memorial: Remembering the Good Immigrant” after An Gorta Mór

2019 Award Recipient: Patrick Flynn

2019 Award Recipient: Patrick Flynn

Patrick's paper titled: Pittsburgh Public Schools Sanctuary Policy: Assessing Ambiguity

2017 Award Recipient: Katie Boyce

2017 Award Recipient: Katie Boyce

Katie's paper titled: America's "Youth" Go to Nazi Germany: The Movement to Boycott the 1936 Olympics and the Racial Divide in American Society

2016 Award Recipient: Claire Kimilu

2016 Award Recipient: Claire Kimilu

 

Claire's paper titled: In the Shelter of Each Other: We Will Live Refugees in Kenya and the United States

2014 Award Recipient: John Catalano

2014 Award Recipient: John Catalano

 

John's paper titled: Empowerment through SNAP: From Hunger to Husbandry

 

2013 Award Recipient: Kevin Gallagher

2013 Award Recipient: Kevin Gallagher

 

Kevin's paper titled: Ethnicity and the State: Philosophies of Memory Preservation in Rwanda

 

The Dorothy Day | Thomas Merton Award is named after Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton who were two outstanding American contributors on the journey toward peace and justice. Their lives of study, writing, prayer and action have encouraged others to become involved in furthering the cause of justice and peace in the world.

This award is given to a graduating senior with a major, concentration or minor in Peace and Justice Education who has maintained academic excellence and made a significant contribution to the effort to further justice and peace during their 4 years at Villanova University.
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2020 Recipients:Rachael Huegerich & Colleen Sharp

Rachael Huegerich

Rachael Huegerich

 

The Dorothy Day | Thomas Merton Award is named after Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton who were two outstanding American contributors on the journey toward peace and justice.

This award is given to a graduating senior with a major, concentration or minor in Peace and Justice Education who has maintained academic excellence and made a significant contribution to the effort to further justice and peace during their 4 years at Villanova University.

The Center for Peace and Justice Education was pleased to present the 2020 Dorothy Day-Thomas Merton Award to Rachel Huegerich.

Rachel’s academic pursuits and extracurricular activities are driven by one common theme: placing the stories and experiences of marginalized communities in the forefront. Her research projects on the spiritual significance of the transgender experience, black representation, and survivors of the Rwandan genocide have been published in academic journals. Rachel’s Honor’s Thesis is titled, “Moral Shame and Catholic Absolution,” which analyzes Roman Catholic notions of sin and absolution as representations of the phenomenological and ontological experience of moral shame and healing. She was partly inspired to pursue this topic while traveling to Rwanda, where she met individuals who were working to promote peace and healing in their communities after confessing to helping perpetrate the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.

Rachel’s service within the community also revolves around inclusion. When working for Catholic Relief Services Ambassadors she advocated for climate justice and the rights of immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. As an Interfaith Ambassador, Rachel increased campus inclusion and encouraged reflection by organizing dialogues, training, and retreats focused on interfaith engagement.

Colleen Sharp

Colleen Sharp

The Center for Peace and Justice Education was pleased to present the 2020 Dorothy Day-Thomas Merton Award to Colleen Sharp. Colleen graduated with a major in Civil Engineering and a minor in Peace and Justice.

Colleen was involved in service organizations beginning in her freshman year.  She participated in RUIBAL and COV has been serving at the same elementary school in their aftercare program every semester since.  As a sophomore, she participated in the Service Learning Community and she was chosen to lead her group in designing a project for their service site. The project generated enough money to buy some sports equipment, books and art activities that the learners had requested. Colleen also served on the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service Committee for 3 years as the Marketing and Outreach Chair, continually publicizing the event and different sites involved while recruiting people for participation.

Academically, Colleen’s focus was fusing problems in engineering with a critical lens for social justice.  As a sophomore, Colleen took a Peace and Justice class that revealed the social injustices involved in the redlining in housing and environmental racism whereby poor neighborhoods where affected by the water and air pollutants from highways, landfills and the presence of toxic plants and businesses.  Shortly thereafter, she took a Civil Engineering course that integrated other issues of social justice into the course content and wrote a research paper about the water crisis in CapeTown, South Africa focusing on the structure and functioning of the water system.  In her research, she found great disparity in how the system was structured and how and why poor communities went without water, while more affluent communities had plenty enough for use in their homes and for their swimming pools.  In another research project, she examined the presence of green infrastructure in poor versus wealthy neighborhoods.  While most cities invest in their wealthy communities, Colleen found that there were indeed some which were beginning to build more green infrastructure in the poorer communities because of the increase in health and safety benefits.

In the summer of 2018, Colleen was an intern for project managers in the Construction Department of the Chicago Transit Authority.  Learning how capital projects affect the needs of the communities around them, as a project manager on the renovation of a main station in the south side of Chicago which served as the only source of transportation for most people there, she engaged community members in the design, construction, use of artwork by local artists, and increasing the ADA accessibility of the station to insure that their needs were seen as primary.  Colleen intends to continue this type of work in her career as a Civil Engineer ensuring that the needs and voices of underserved populations are elemental parts of design projects.

Past Recipients

2019:  Julie Greenwald & Sarah Harris
2018: 
Danielle Bradley & Julia O'Connor
2017: Kara English
2016: Alissa Welker & Adam Vincent
2015: Kayla Cooke
2014: Noelle Mapes
2013: Caitlin Billingham & Emily Several
2012: Ellen Salmi
2011: Jen Maez
2010: Amy Richards
2009: Gail Sondermeyer
2008: Amy Knop-Narbutis
2007: Emma Stewart
2006: Diane L. Coffey
2005: Kathleen E.Krackenberger
2004: Caitlin Fouratt & Melissa Wibbens
2003: Nancy R. Steedle
2002: Teresa C. Mambu
2001: Megan A. Kasimatis & Craig E. Hickein
2000: David O. Suetholz
1999: Andrea Maresca
1998: Vincent J. Coccia
1996: Michael E. Kennedy
1995: Raj Chablani
1994: Tara Coughlin
1993: Nantiya Ruan
1992: Stephen M. Smith
1991: Steven G. Liga
1989: Gregory Tucci
1988: Ingrid M. Birnbach
1987: Michael P. McGinnis

 

Each year, Villanova University sponsors The Thomas J. Mentzer Award. The Award honors a graduating Villanova senior who has contributed significantly, through his or her service, to "expanding opportunities for the poor and marginalized." The award consists of a cash stipend and an inscribed plaque.

The award remembers Thomas J. Mentzer, a Villanova graduate of 1955, who later became a faculty member in the History Department. He was active in many of the social issues of the time, including work to oppose racial conflict and segregation. He died in an automobile accident in 1968.

2020 Recipient: Michelle Kimura

2020 Recipient: Michelle Kimura

The Center for Peace and Justice Education is pleased to present the 2020 Thomas J. Mentzer Award to Michelle Kimura. Michelle is majoring in Peace and Justice with a minor in Biology. She aspires to one day work in healthcare as a physician.

Since the 7th grade, Michelle has devoted the overwhelming majority of her extracurricular time to serving children with special needs. She has served as a Special Olympics coach of many sports (soccer, volleyball, swimming, and basketball) in her home of Hawai’I, at Villanova, and in Delaware County. Michelle has served on Villanova’s Best Buddies Executive Board where she organizes events to foster friendships between Villanova students and students of all abilities. The title of Michelle’s senior thesis is, “Health and Disability: Creating Comprehensive Models for a More Inclusive Future.” 

In the past academic year, she has expanded economic opportunities for women in India as a student intern for the nonprofit organization Profugo and provided an avenue to shed light on the current water crisis in Singida, Tanzania by serving as a producer for Glass Rose Films, the production company for Villanova’s international social justice documentary.

After graduating Villanova in May 2020, Michelle will be starting her Fulbright research year in Kenya, conducting a project she designed on precisely what her thesis proposes: how a more inclusive model of health can change overall health and wellness outcomes for those with disabilities.

Past Recipients

2019: Ritesh Karsalia
2018: Zachary Ellenhorn
2017: Brendan Carchidi
2016: Rodrigo Rivera
2015: Patrick K. Williams
2014: Ariana Meltzer-Bruhn
2013: Jay Tighe
2012: Kristen Valosky
2011: Jeffrey Sved 
2010:
Emily Felesenthal
2009: Sarah Arscott
2008: Katrine Herrick
2007: Christine Feldmeier
2006: Jaime C. Gentile
2005: Bryan C. Rivera
2004: Matthew D. Nespoli
2003: Nancy Steedle
2002: Teresa Mambu
2001: Michael S. McGlinnis
2000: Paola Gaines

The Solidarity Award is presented to a graduating senior or seniors concentrating in Peace and Justice Studies in exceptional circumstances to recognize distinctive service to the cause of justice and peace.

After 45 years of teaching at Villanova University, beloved philosophy professor Joseph Betz retired in May 2011.  Joe's knowledge of social and political issues, and his commitment to active involvement in anti-war and social justice movements in the U.S. and around the world inspired generations of Villanova students and countless colleagues.  Among his many contributions to Villanova, Joe served as the faculty adviser for Amnesty International for 30 years.  He is the longest serving faculty adviser for any Amnesty chapter anywhere in the United States.  Joe was the 2009 recipient of the Lawrence C. Gallen, OSA, Faculty Service Award.

In honor of his steadfast leadership in countless social justice and peace movements, and his unflinching resolve to stand against injustice wherever it is found, the Center for Peace and Justice Education renamed its "Solidarity award" for Professor Betz.  This tribute is a small acknowledgment of the tremendous impact of a man who lives his commitment to peace and justice each and every day.

2020 Recipient: Morgan Micari

2020 Recipient: Morgan Micari

The 2020 recipient of the Joseph Betz Solidarity Award is Morgan Micari. Morgan graduates with a degree in Nursing and a minor in Peace and Justice.  Morgan has dedicated countless hours to the annual Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week at Villanova.  She has been a key leader for the last two years and multiple students credit her passion with getting them involved in the cause. Off campus, Morgan has served the health needs of marginalized Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic and has worked with healthcare projects of Catholic Relief Services in Madagascar. Congratulations Morgan!

As a Freshmen, Morgan’s four-year involvement and leadership in Villanova’s Catholic Relief Services Student Ambassadors program, the annual Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week Committee, and Nursing Without Borders -- as well as serving on a Spring Break Service and Justice Experience in Washington, DC that helped shape her vocation to solidarity early in her Villanova career. 

As a Sophomore, Morgan additionally served at the CHOC homeless shelter in Norristown as a member of the Sophomore Service-Learning Community, as well as participated in a Fall Break Service and Justice Experience to the Apache Reservation in New Mexico. 

As a Junior, Morgan’s contributions and leadership roles would continue to grow in her established organizations and commitments, as she took on two new opportunities:  she served as the Fall Break Service and Justice Experience Leader for the College of Nursing’s Dominican Republic Clinical Experience (running a week of clinics in La Romana, DR); she also became a member of the Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity which runs events on campus and also supports various other causes.

As a rising Senior in the Summer of 2019, Morgan had the rare opportunity to utilize her nursing skills as an undergrad during a two-month public health and international development internship with Catholic Relief Services in Madagascar.  This immersion in rural home-stay in Antsirabe, was a profound experience for Morgan which has led to lasting relationships which help define and grounded what authentic solidarity is about.  During her Senior year, Morgan would continue to seek ways to keep her vocation to solidarity authentic and proximate by committing to serving weekly at an afterschool program through Campus Ministry’s Community Outreach of Villanova (COV) program at North Light Community Center.  Where Morgan would leave some of her most lasting impact on the Villanova community, however, would be as the Senior Head Chair of the 45th Annual Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week Committee, which requires an incredible amount of work behind the scenes working year-round to empower a committee of 20 students organize a week of advocacy, education, and service/philanthropic events along with and for the Villanova community to promote human dignity, justice, and the common good. 

Morgan’s future as a nurse will no doubt be taking her to the frontlines of human suffering, and for that confident know that her commitment to solidarity that will ground her the challenges and triumphs to come.

Past Recipients

2019: Yvonne Nguyen
2018: Mackenzie Niness
2017: Jordan Trinh
2016: Jane Richter
2015: Nora Doherty
2014: Siobhan Cooney 
2014:
Carolyn Rau
2013: Marissa Pardue
2012: Lauren Adderly
2012: Caitlin Ingraham
2011: Caitlin Greene 

 

The Justice-in-Business Award is designed to encourage the development of innovative business practices that incorporate justice and work to increase social equity in the world.

Eligible nominees are senior undergraduate students who have accomplished one or more of the following during their time at Villanova:
*demonstrated, in theory or practice, how the interaction of business and justice can enhance human dignity and the common good
*engaged in a creative project or initiative to support the connection between business and justice
*laid the foundations to integrate business and justice in one’s future life and career.

2020 Recipient: Yeralmi Valladares

2020: Yeralmi Valladares

The Center for Peace and Justice Education was pleased to present the 2020 Justice in Business Award to Yeraldes (Massiel) Valladares who is graduating with a degree in Business and a minor in Peace and Justice

Massiel’s draw to serving those struggling from injustices began on her first trip to Philadelphia by train in her freshman year. Traveling down from the Main Line, she was impacted by the disparities in housing and wealth and immediately joined the Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week of activities  serving as Chairs of both the Education Committee and the Promotion and Awareness Committee for the next 2 years.  In her sophomore year, Massiel began her focus on immigration justice by participating in the Sophomore Service Learning Community at ACLAMO where she served as an ESL tutor for adult Spanish speaking learners.  In this experience, she was able to learn firsthand about the sufferings of people at the hands of a broken and unjust immigration system.

Massiel also worked for VIISTA, Villanova’s new program under the College of Professional Studies offering certification for non-lawyers to represent immigrants in court hearings by using her knowledge of analytics which prompted her to focus on the issue of basic human rights.  She served as President of the student group, Amnesty International + No Lost Generation, and founded and organized the inaugural Immigration Awareness Week.  The week was a resounding success as she solicited support from the Office of the Provost, faculty at the Law School, Office of Student Involvement and our Facilities Office, plus artists in California who helped with the design and branding of the week’s events.  Massiel’s legacy here will live on through the years with the hope that the Immigration Awareness Week becomes one of the seminal activities offered by a student group.

In her sophomore year, Massiel had an internship at the United Nations Development Programme in Honduras, her home country, wherein she was able to integrate the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals into strategic goals of top Honduran companies and which illustrated the potential of business to foment social change through a vision of justice.  After graduation, Massiel intends to start a career in management consulting by getting exposure to different industries and build key relationships with private sector executives there. Her ultimate goal is to apply this skillset, exposure, and relationship-building to a position in an NGO, specifically the UN or Human Rights Watch. 

In giving Massiel this award, we want to thank her for the impact she has made on campus and for inspiring others to fuse their degrees in Business with creativity, innovation, and a commitment to serving those who need it most.

Past Recipients

2019: Nicole Anderson. Nicole's days at Villanova have been a representation of what the Justice in Business Award aim to enhance. As a Villanova Catholic Relief Service Ambassador, Nicole played the key leadership role as the Marketing Chair, in advocating for social justice, planning a variety of events including the Human Trafficking Awareness Week and the Immigrant Refugee Panel with Villanova Law School.

As an economic development intern for Catholic Relief Service, Nicole visited and spent summer traveling village to village in Madagascar, and then observing and evaluating USAID-funded community health and financial education projects.  Having directly witnessing health data gap, Nicole has been following up her trip to Madagascar by writing her capstone paper for international economics, titled “With Big Data Comes Big Responsibility: A case for public-private collaboration on big data sharing for development and humanitarian action.”   In her senior year, Nicole also visited Ethiopia, which happens to be among my favorite countries in Africa.

While Nicola must be very excited about what lies in ahead for her future, she is determined to pursue a career in healthcare, one day hoping to become a leader in global public health to help shape international policy.  Having been nominated as  the Fulbright Semi-Finalist, Nicole is looking forward to gaining professional business experience before further seeking to study public health.

2018: Shayla Frederick graduated with a major in marketing and a minor in peace and justice.  Her courageous choice of studying both marketing and peace and justice demonstrates and reflects her passion to integrate and bridge the gap between the two seemingly distinct subjects.  In other words, Shayla’s days at Villanova have been a representation of what the Justice in Business Award aims to enhance.
In her sophomore year, she participated in the service trip to Marion, South Carolina where she directly witnessed the root causes of inequality, including poverty and segregation.  It was a formative experience for her as a peace and justice student, especially connecting to her passion for education and social justice.  Shayla has integrated such experiences and interests with two of her research papers:  one on the black-white education gap in America and another examining the role of segregation and busing in her hometown, Denver.
Having been keenly aware of the important role of media, as a marketing major, she also participated in the Special Olympics as a media and publicity assistant, striving to connect the business of Special Olympics as sporting events with promoting respect for inclusion and human dignity. Her awareness of the role of advocacy in enhancing justice in society has also led her to complete another research paper on the role of rescuers in saving lives during the Holocaust. 
As part of her coursework for a Sales for Social Impact class, she diligently worked to develop a fundraising campaign for a Catholic high school in Philadelphia, a school that is committed to making its education accessible to all regardless of socioeconomic background  As a result of her dedicated effort, Shayla was selected with her team members to present the fundraising plan at 3M national headquarters in Minnesota.

Her active engagement in service also includes her experience in tutoring at Graterford Prison as part of the Prison Literacy Project.

While Shayla has yet to know what lies in ahead for her future, she is determined to commit herself to integrate business and justice.  She states: “If I work for a nonprofit, I hope to expand their reach and impact on local communities…If I work for a corporation, I hope to work on their social outreach efforts to shift their focus from profit to creating a greater impact on the world.”

2017: Jonathan Pizzutti graduated both with a degree in economics and with one of the first independently designed majors in Peace and Justice.  Jonathan’s course work, service, activism, and research exemplified the synthesis of spirituality, ethics, and economics that the award is specified to honor. The recipient of this year’s award has fulfilled all three of these conditions.  He has taken a variety of courses across several disciplines that deal with poverty, war and peace, racial inequality, and ecological protection.  At the same time, he has engaged in service and activism as co-President of Business Without Borders, a student group that links with non-profit organizations, fundraises for microfinance loans, assists low-income individuals in completing tax forms, and hosts lectures and small group discussions on campus.  As a recipient of the Ron Cruse International Fellowship, he also created a partnership with an international development agency in Nicaragua that both assessed the needs of business in impoverished areas of the country and initiated a financial education scholarship program for 1,000 businesses.  He was also a student representative on the Committee on Socially Responsible Proxy Voting that evaluates Villanova's investments from a moral perspective and utilizes shareholder voting rights to promote social responsibility.  He has also worked as an Economic Justice Intern for the Thomas Merton Center to build a network of worker-owned cooperatives in Pittsburgh, and as a Strategic Consulting Intern at Opportunity Finance Network to consult financial institutions that serve historically underserved communities. Moreover, our recipient has engaged in two noteworthy research projects.  His senior seminar project examined and critiqued the dominance of neoclassical economics in undergraduate teaching.

2016: Nicholas Carney.
Senior student Nick Carney received the 2016 Justice in Business Award for his outstanding service to various communities over the course of his four years at Villanova University. His involvement with the Center for Peace and Justice Education began in his freshman year, after working with his faculty mentor in the business school. While taking classes in both business and peace and justice, he made the conscious decision to leverage this training to serve the larger community, from fundraising for groups like LEVEL to marketing for Special Olympics. He also spent my summer before his senior year interning with a nonprofit, Special Olympics Pennsylvania, rather than pursuing an internship with a large corporation. This coming year he will be starting a career-oriented job working for a marketing agency designed to help small and medium-sized businesses compete and be successful. His ultimate goal is to also leverage the knowledge gained to work in the nonprofit industry, either as an entrepreneur or a consultant. His education, especially through CPJE, has allowed him to provide a voice for marginalized people who we often treat without acknowledging their human dignity.

2015: Kelly Gabriel.
Kelly sees how business skills can promote human dignity and serve the common good. She recognizes that her chosen field of marketing allows practitioners to disseminate and promote information to various populations; they can advocate for public health, happiness, and justice. During the summer of 2013, she researched the relationships among religiosity, materialism, and life satisfaction.  In February, Kelly submitted this research as a paper which is presently under consideration for publication with the Journal of Macromarketing.This spring she presented a paper on gendered products and how some marketers perpetuate harmful gender roles in society. 

The intersection of marketing and justice can also be witnessed in Kelly’s impressive work as a Domestic Violence Counselor at the Montgomery County Women’s Center. She has presented ideas on domestic violence and safe dating to local high schools, including Haverford High School.This summer, she is continuing counseling work at the women’s center, and is working on improving its marketing efforts to increase awareness of domestic violence.

Kelly is on the Dean’s List, in the Honors Program and a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society.  She graduates from the Schoool of Business with a marketing major but will continue studying at Villanova part-time in Gender and Women’s Studies. Kelly hopes to pursue an academic career and is committed – in her words – to always “work through a lens of justice and enhancing the common good.”

2014: John Catalano. John came to Villanova to study in the business school, leaving his comfortable suburban life behind. The first two years went by quickly, and John sought new ways to challenge himself intellectually and ideologically. He confronted his beliefs about poverty in all of its manifestations. What emerged was a new sense of God's grace and a path that would introduce him to people around the world who live difficult lives that reveal both their humanity and diligence in the face of insurmountable impoverishment. John became deeply interested in food security as one of the fundamental rights of all members of our human family. This concern led him to rethink governmental policy in this regard and seek more lasting and dignified solutions.

During his time at Villanova, John has served as a member and facilitator of the Sophomore Service Learning Community.  He has tutored high school students in West Philadelphia and volunteered with both Veterans Comfort House and the Philadelphia Committee to End Homelessness.  This past year he has served as a client advocate at LIFT West Philadelphia which helps individuals look for a job, apply for benefits, search for subsidized housing, and the like.  For two years he has served as a Student Ambassador for Catholic Relief Services, focusing on Microfinance and Fair Trade. And last semester, when we put out a call for student help to organize a powerful memorial to victims of gun violence, John stepped in to co-lead the effort alongside graduating senior, Grace Cipressi.

He has worked faithfully to educate himself in business and justice, moving toward a possible career in social responsibility, microfinance, or nonprofit management. 

The Medallion Awards are conferred each year by the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences to graduating Seniors who have excelled in their study during their undergraduate years at Villanova.  The medallion award for a Major in Peace & Justice is named in honor of Gustavo Gutierrez, a Dominican priest and a prophetic intellectual widely regarded as the of the founder of Liberation Theology. 
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2020 Recipeint: Leah Waltrip

2020 Medallion

The Center for Peace and Justice Education is proud to present the 2020 Gustavo Gutierrez Medallion of Academic Excellence in Peace & Justice Studies to Leah Waltrip. She graduated with a double major in Peace and Justice and Neuroscience.

Leah was active both on and off campus. As a Freshman, she took a position with the group Get Woke Nova as the Social Media and PR Director. As an result of her work to increase sexual assault awareness on campus, she was asked to serve on the university’s Sexual Violence Prevention Advisory Committee as a sophomore.

Academically, she had the great privilege of researching the mechanisms which underlie many psychiatric disorders in Dr. Benjamin Sach’s lab. She was also granted the Presidential Scholar Professional Development Award to research addictive binge-drinking behaviors in mice following chronic stress exposure.

But it was her tutoring at Strawberry Mansion in Philadelphia (SLC), her internship at Generation Teach, and her study abroad program in Seville, Spain where she made the  connection between the classroom and larger world. “Thanks to [CPJE], education has become central to my life and I am determined to continue fighting for education equity through Neuroscience research.”

Over the last four years, Leah has been consistent in her dedication to use science in the pursuit of justice and equity. The question that drives her asks: “How can we utilize neuropsychological data to reduce the opportunity gap?” Her senior thesis, Unlearning Helplessness: Lessons from Neuroscience and Psychology on Bridging the Opportunity Gap, was the capstone that combined both her majors and her passions.

Past Recipients

2019: Kalin Schultz. The Center for Peace and Justice Education was pleased to present the 2019 Gustavo Gutierrez Medallion of Academic Excellence in Peace & Justice Studies to Kalin Schultz. Kalin has performed in an exemplary manner in her study of Peace & Justice.  Highlights from her studies and research include issues such as: education inequality, women’s rights, sexual assault rhetoric in pop culture, ableism, gender socialization, racial and cultural intersectionality, Latin American immigration and the U.S. 

Kalin has exemplifies the integration of theory and praxis that we believe is part of an authentic PJ education.  Outside of the classroom she spent a semester in Rome Interning with the International Fund for Agricultural Development, as a member of the Sophomore Service Learning Community she volunteered at a shelter for women escaping domestic violence, she spent 3 weeks in Haiti with YourStory International working on women’s health initiatives.  For the last 3 years Kalin has been a member and leader of the CRS Global Ambassadors where she led recent campaigns focused on Global Hunger.