From bringing Guatemalan children the gift of literacy to changing government policy on HIV/AIDS and mental health, Walden scholarship recipients are initiating social change. Next application deadline: April 1.

In fall 2008, Walden University awarded the Commitment to Social Change Scholarship to seven incoming graduate students who have achieved positive social change in their fields and possess clear visions to do more of the same in the future.

The next application deadline is April 1. Read the application criteria

One doctoral student received $25,000:

Name: Ana Abad-Jorge

Title: Program Director, University of Virginia Health System Nutrition and Dietetic Internship Program (Va.)

Program: Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Social Change Achievement: Completed numerous research and clinical studies on topics including pediatric and neonatal nutrition, served as research mentor, collaborated to effect lasting changes and promote improved quality in practice and education  and impacted statewide legislation for pediatric and adult nutrition services

Social Change Goal: To improve and broaden the scope of the University of Virginia’s higher education nutrition program


Three doctoral students received $5,000 each:

Recipient: Deona Austin

Title: Counselor, Winnfield Senior High School (La.)

Program: Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Social Change Achievement: Consistently helps students find their potential, seeks and reclaims drop-outs, served as member of the Alternative Diploma Options Task Force and co-authored the article “Influences of a Student Selected High School Vocational Major,” which was published in the College Student Journal

Social Change Goal: To change her community one student at a time

Deona Austin  Counselor, Winnfield Senior High School (La.)  Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) ()  Consistently helps students find their potential, seeks and reclaims drop-outs, served as member of the Alternative Diploma Options Task Force and co-authored the article “Influences of a Student Selected High School Vocational Major,” which was published in the College Student Journal  To change her community one student at a time


Recipient: Mary Morrissey-Ross

Title: Nurse Practitioner, Nursing and Home Care (Conn.)

Program: Ph.D. in Public Health

Social Change Achievement: Advocating for individuals, groups and communities by improving access to care and communicating the need for screening; led a health care project for the people of Senegal focusing on two of the country’s greatest health care concerns: malaria and diabetes


Social Change Goal: To teach others how to create and implement health projects in needy communities


Recipient: Andrea Stehle

Title: Latin teacher, John Paul Stevens High School (Texas)

Program: Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Social Change Achievement: Enhances classroom teaching skills through participation in Texas Classical Association (TCA) and American Classical League (ACL); serves as TCA editor and ACL chair for National Creative Writing Contest; served as department chair for foreign languages at Stroman High School in Victoria, Texas; completed upper-level course in action research

Social Change Goal: Create an environment conducive to teaching and learning as an “instructional” leader for both students and teachers


Three master’s students received $2,500 each:

Recipient: Kristen Anderson

Title: Program Coordinator, Child Aid (Guatemala)

Program: M.S. in Education

Social Change Achievement: Worked with children in the rural villages of Guatemala to help them gain a love of reading; also helped develop training programs for Guatemalan teachers and librarians to bring reading programs into their classrooms.

Social Change Goal: Bringing the children of Guatemala the gift of literacy in order to open doors to a brighter future


Recipient: Molly Hillig

Title: Community Health Nurse, La Crosse County (Wis.)

Program: Master of Public Health

Social Change Achievement: Developed the first existing perinatal hepatitis B risk-reduction program in La Crosse County Health Department, including a written policy and procedure; helped a group of students implement a free health care clinic at the Salvation Army

Social Change Goal: Focus on HIV/AIDS, perinatal hepatitis B and tuberculosis education and prevention via a nongovernmental organization in Central or South America


Recipient: Bruce Soskind

Title: Volunteer, HIV/AIDS Public Health Groups (New York)

Program: Master of Public Health

Social Change Achievement: Served on several government and private sector HIV/AIDS community and consumer advisory boards and committees, gaining opportunities to study, plan and offer advice on ways to deal with HIV/AIDS as well as find solutions for budget cuts

Social Change Goal: Influence government policy on HIV/AIDS and mental health through expanding knowledge and personal experience


Applying for a Scholarship

The 2009 Commitment to Social Change Scholarship application deadlines for incoming students are April 1 and Oct. 1.

For more information about the scholarship and to watch videos of four Walden change agents, visit Walden’s Real People. Real Change Web site. 

The 2009 Commitment to Social Change Scholarship () application deadlines for incoming students are April 1 and Oct. 1.  For more information about the scholarship and to watch videos of four Walden change agents, visit Walden’s Real People. Real Change () Web site.