Awards of $5,000 and $2,500 support students who are applying ideas and actions to improve human and social conditions.

Three doctoral and three master’s degree students were selected to receive Walden University’s Commitment to Social Change Scholarship for promoting positive social change in their communities and possessing a strong social change vision. Master’s recipients receive $2,500 and doctoral recipients receive $5,000.

The next deadline for applications for the Commitment to Social Change Scholarship is Oct. 1. 


Recipient: David Cipolloni

Title: Assistant Professor of Psychology, Flagler Beach, Fla.

Program: Ph.D. in Psychology 

Social Change Achievement: Performed consultant work for early childhood program development, culminating in the establishment of a demonstration site for an instructive model that employed respect and positive self-esteem for young children in a rural area. The once-flagging operation became a laboratory for the training of teachers, for parenting practices, for public school educators and for improved funding, and it garnered a national program excellence award.

Social Change Goal: Address issues of individual empowerment within their respective social contexts, acknowledging the capacity for personal change and for corresponding changes in the beliefs and perceptions toward individuals by different levels of influence, such as family, school and community.


Recipient: Pauline Harvey

Title: Epidemiologist, Dulles, Va.

Program: Ph.D. in Public Health with a Specialization in Epidemiology

Social Change Achievement: Worked with the World Health Organization team in Abuja, Nigeria, focusing on eradicating polio from the country, one of four remaining countries with wild polio virus.

Social Change Goal: Address opportunities to effect social change in public health efforts in Nigeria, where the great diversity in social, cultural, behavioral, political and religious practices contributes substantially to health outcomes.


Recipient: Julie Treadwell

Title: Teacher, Buford, Ga.

Program: Doctor of Education with a Specialization in Teacher Leadership

Social Change Achievement: Worked collectively with administration and peers to raise students’ achievement levels, served on a committee to examine assessment items to improve instruction, and created additional learning opportunities for at-risk students, including ESOL Best Practices for countywide dissemination.

Social Change Goal: Forge a direct link between a school’s education and constructive social change in the community, contributing to a literate, articulate society.

Julie Treadwell  Teacher, Buford, Ga.  Doctor of Education () with a Specialization in Teacher Leadership  Worked collectively with administration and peers to raise students’ achievement levels, served on a committee to examine assessment items to improve instruction, and created additional learning opportunities for at-risk students, including ESOL Best Practices for countywide dissemination.  Forge a direct link between a school’s education and constructive social change in the community, contributing to a literate, articulate society.


Recipient: Tara Kelley

Title: Teacher, Commiskey, Ind.

Program: M.S. in Education with a Specialization in Science  

Social Change Achievement: Chartered a middle school service club, allowing students to learn the importance of service and leadership, and initiated club involvement in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, raising thousands of dollars.

Social Change Goal: Provide every student, despite academic or athletic achievement, with the opportunity to learn the importance of involvement in community service.


Recipient: Donna Militello

Title: Nurse, Midland, Mich.

Program: M.S. Degree Program in Nursing with a Specialization in Education

Social Change Achievement: Developed an effective plan to qualify school staff in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training, trained 40 teachers and school staff in basic life support (BLS), and continues to provide BLS instruction. Before Militello's efforts, many parents had been astounded to learn that the school had no CPR-trained staff to care for their children. Since then, 16 school professionals have been trained in CPR and maintain those skills, and the school system received automated external defibrillators and is providing first aid and CPR training to at least two individuals annually.

Social Change Goal: Educate people of all ages and socioeconomic status in BLS training and serve as a hospital educator.


Recipient: Devin Rubadeau

Title: Professional Sailing Coach, Kelowna, B.C., Canada

Program: Master of Business Administration

Social Change Achievement: Assisted in the development of new coaches across Western Canada in all sports and across Canada in sailing and windsurfing. Volunteered thousands of hours to help athletes attain their potential, including initiating programs for low-income families; served as the Canadian Yachting Association’s coach development representative (windsurfing, disabled sailing, and sailing instructor policies); served North American coaches on the International Sailing Federation Coach Committee; and served as sailing director of the Central Okanagan Sailing Association.

Social Change Goal: Help youth and the disabled to realize their potential through sporting events by mentoring, teaching, supporting and caring for athletes. 


Walden and Social Change

Social change is at the heart of Walden University’s mission. This change requires a deliberate process of creating and applying ideas, strategies and actions to promote the worth, dignity and development of individuals, communities, organizations, institutions, cultures and societies. Positive social change, by its definition, results in the improvement of human and social conditions.

To qualify for the Commitment to Social Change Scholarship, applicants must demonstrate the capacity to effect positive social change. Doctoral applicants also must demonstrate the capacity to conduct and succeed in research.

The Walden University community believes that knowledge is most worthy when put to use in the interest of the greater good. Through the combination of research, critical thinking and analysis required by Walden’s graduate programs, graduates should be better prepared to make a positive impact on their communities.