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Elon names Leadership Prize recipients

The award provides students with $10,000 to research and understand problems of interest to them and then use their leadership abilities to test potential solutions.

Two Elon University juniors have been named recipients of the 2016 Leadership Prize, a top university award that comes with $10,000 to support research into social or community problems and the development of programs to help address those ills.

Sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Division of Student Life, the prize is open to students of any major. Funding will support projects in a variety of manners such as data collection, travel, pilot programs and leadership development activities. A portion of the award may also be used toward tuition.

The Leadership Prize incorporates intellectual inquiry, the study of leadership theory, proposed solutions and the implementation of those solutions over the three semesters of its application.

The 2016 winners are:

Rebecca Nipper
Concord, N.C.
Major: Drama and Theatre Studies
Minors: Women’s, Gender and Sexualities Studies; Communications
Project title: “Mentorship as a Means of Female Empowerment: A Resolution to Lessen Gender Inequality on College Campuses” 
Faculty mentors: Kirstin Ringelberg, Stephen Bloch-Schulman

Nipper will study the issue of gender inequality and how it is “especially dangerous in the context of a college setting where many young adults are growing into their beliefs and self-confidence.” She will explore methods for solving problems of gender inequality and “will combine research on the issues of sexism most relevant to college females, the value in mentorship both between women and for women, and relevant leadership theories to create a mentorship program that addresses these issues and encourages female empowerment.” 

Josephine Gardner
Scarborough, Maine
Major: Public Health Studies
Minor: Poverty and Social Justice
Project title: “Improving Aid Effectiveness to Africa: A Culturally-informed, Skills-based Non-Governmental Organization to Empower Homeless Women in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia”
Faculty mentor: Mussa Idris

Gardner seeks to develop ways that homeless women can “participate in micro-enterprises such as learning how to sew leather bags, cotton garments, and create bamboo works that can be marketed.” To help develop the micro-enterprises, she “will research and identify which handicraft items are most likely to succeed in being marketed and find ways to partner with Addis Ababa organizations that work with artisans.”

“Our two leadership prize awardees illustrate how leaders with intellectual curiosity and a strong work ethic can study and find solutions to some of the most pressing problems we face today,” said Rob Moorman, Frank S. Holt Jr. Professor of Business Leadership and the director of the Leadership Prize. “We look forward to seeing just what Rebecca and Josephine will discover in the semesters ahead.”

Faculty members on the selection committee for 2015-16:

Erika Lopina, assistant professor of psychology
Derek Lackaff, assistant professor of communications
Sara Triffo, assistant professor of chemistry
Brian Lyons, associate professor of management

Nicole Filippo,
4/7/2016 10:35 AM