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Ward Family Learning in Action Award Winner Announced

Ward Family Learning in Action Award 2009
The Ward Family Learning in Action Award was established in 2007 through a gift from the Ward family-Dorothy Mears Ward GP’05 and ‘08, Tom and Beth Ward P’05 and ‘08, A.T. Ward ’05, Christopher Ward ’08 and Chase Ward.
This award annually recognizes one rising sophomore, junior or senior and their experiential learning project. The projects may include, but are not limited to, international study, undergraduate research, internships, service and leadership experiences. Fifteen applications were submitted for the Ward Family Learning in Action Award this year.
All the applications were outstanding and the projects were truly amazing. It was obvious that there was a great amount of time, effort and energy put forth from each applicant and the committee and the Ward Family had a difficult time determining a recipient.
Below is a brief synopsis of the winning project plus the top four additional projects.
The Ward Family Learning in Action Award for 2009 was given to Meagan Harrison.

Meagan Harrison
Project: To work as an intern at the Stairway Foundation, a recovery center for sexually abused, former child prisoners, in the Philippines.

The Stairway Foundation, now in its 17th year, actively takes in children from adult and child prisons, rehabilitation centers, and the streets. The Foundation focuses on boys aged from 12-17 and offers them the opportunity for residential and educational rehabilitation at their complex on the remote beaches of Mindoro Island. My internship would be to produce and develop print materials, training kits, documentary videos, and other multimedia for children’s rights advocacy, community education, and outreach. “The Foundation has identified a need for such materials and for a creative advocacy campaign that I hope to meet during my stay”, stated Meagan in her proposal.


Julianne Katz
Project: To choreograph her own “Dream Ballet,” out of the context of a musical, but honoring the trends that previous “Dream Ballets” set.

“Dream Ballets are the all-dance, no-singing productions numbers in musical theatre that advance the plot, offer character insights, reflect themes, clarify, and foreshadow.”Julianne plans to apply her two years of undergraduate research to the production of an original “Dream Ballet.” She will need to travel to New York to study musicals containing “Dream Ballets” at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts video archive. This is the only location where she can view the “works of my choreography influences, which I find a necessity to study again before putting my finished product on the stage.”

Heather Babb
Project: Service Trip to Haiti to assist with the 10 day summer music camp called the North Haiti Music Camp (NHMC).

Heather wrote, “More than ever, Haitians are struggling with enormous catastrophes in their everyday lives. They look for a safe place to escape and find peace. As I saw how music comforted my grandmother in her time of need, I began to imagine the impact it can have on a global level as well…For this reason, no experience sounds more rewarding that volunteering my time and talents to teach music to children in Haiti, a country struggling to find optimism amongst political and environmental chaos.” The camp is maintained by volunteers, including translators and consist of 140 campers. According to Dr. Louima Litite, “Music is a common ground-a point where people can see eye to eye and share mutual understanding. We start with music because it is such an integral part of Haitian culture. Music camp students learn and reinforce music skills, techniques, and knowledge and bring their knowledge to their communities.”

Jana Murdock
Project: To study the ancient Maya and their interaction with the environment in the Petén Forest of Belize.

Jana’s project involves background research, both about the Mayan culture and about the work already completed at the site of Dos Hombres. It will also involve field research through the excavating of a drainage ditch near the main site and scholarly research to draw parallels between her field research and current culture. “The main purpose of my research is to determine how the relationship the ancient Maya had with the environment led to its degradation and how significant that degradation was in the Maya collapse.”

Andrea Dorrow
Project: To establish funding for patient transportation cost in Malawi and to practice loan writing and business counseling with the local microfinance institution.

Last summer, Andrea worked as a intern with CURE International, a unique non-profit organization that seeks to transform the lives of disabled children and their families in Malawi. She became interested in the concept of sustainable healthcare that centers on training physicians and surgeons in third world countries to have the skills necessary to perform operations previously unavailable. CURE Hospital offers free operations for each child that comes to the hospital, but it is unable to cover the cost of transportation for these families. Andrea would like to pursue a project to establish sustainable funding partners to sponsor patient transportation costs in Malawi. “Every child in Malawi in desperate need of a hopeful future and the chance to walk should have access to the free treatment that CURE offers,” wrote Andrea.

Susan Lindley,
3/4/2013 8:30 AM