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Ward Family Learning in Action Award to support residential home in Ethiopia

Elon sophomore Josephine Gardner will use the 2015 award to assist Ethiopian women and children by creating a "safe home" in the nation's capital.

From left: Elon sophomore Josephine Gardner, Vice President for Student Life Smith Jackson, and Elon senior Colby Halligan

The student winner of a $10,000 award to support an experiential learning project will use that money to create a residential "safe home" for women and children in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Elon sophomore public health studies major Josephine Gardner received the 2015 Ward Family Learning in Action Award and was formally recognized at an April 30 leadership awards ceremony.

The Ward Family Learning in Action Award was established in 2007 through a gift from the Ward family: Dorothy Mears Ward GP’05, ‘08, and ’14; Tom and Beth Ward P’05,‘08, and ‘14; A.T. Ward ’05; Christopher Ward ’08; and Chase Ward ’14.

The 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, and service and leadership experiences.

Jacquelyn Lanphear
Alexandra "Allie" Barteldt
Margaret Bryant

The 2015 award was presented by last year's winner, Elon senior Colby Halligan, and Vice President for Student Life Smith Jackson.

Gardner wrote in her proposal:  “My goal is to establish a safe home for women and children. The safe home would provide medical care, intensive counseling, basic literacy education and skill development training.” In her interview with the award committee, she noted that $10,000 in U.S. currency is the equivelant of $200,000 in Ethiopian currency. 

Other top finalists included:

Jacquelyn Lanphear
Project: Internship with the New England Center for Children

Lanphear's goal for the upcoming summer is to complete an internship at the New England Center for Children, a school for children with autism and maladaptive behaviors. This position provides interns with direct hands-on opportunity with residents and takes place on the residential campus on which the students attend classes and receive therapies and specialized education.

Alexandra Barteldt
Project:  Undergraduate research into comparative religion and gender in heavily patriarchal societies

Barteldt seemls to compare female religious authority through spirit possession within Hindu Sakta (feminine divine energy) and West Africian ancestral tribes. Her passion for both regions and religions is leading her to uncover underlying themes with regard to feminist movements in the name of religion. The ultimate goal of the preliminary research will be to explore how female religious authority through divine possession is reconciled with social constructs and gender roles.

Margaret Bryant
Project: Undergraduate research into the Beat Generation across the generations

Bryant's research project focuses on the importance of the Beat Generation and how the literature transcends generations. By definition, the Beat Generation is made up of post-WWII American writers who were known for challenging the constructs of society and their new, nontraditional writing and methodology. The purpose of the research is not only to document and preserve the Beats and their work, but also examine their lasting impact today and in the years to come.


Eric Townsend,
5/6/2015 10:10 AM