From eliminating the cycle of incarceration to educating the public about HIV prevention, scholarship recipients are initiating social change.

In spring 2009, Walden University awarded its Commitment to Social Change Scholarship to five 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 Oct. 1. Read the application criteria.  


Two doctoral students received $5,000:

Caron JacobsonRecipient: Caron Jacobson

Title: Instructor at Governors State University (Ill.)

Program: Ph.D. in Human Services

Social Change Achievement: Founded Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness, the first sexual assault prevention and education program in Michigan; served as executive director for Women ARISE, an agency that provides services for women in the criminal justice system

Social Change Goal: To support women in the criminal justice system and eliminate the cycle of incarceration 


Recipient: Bridget Smith

Program: Ph.D. in Public Health

Social Change Achievement: Identified the relationship between cockroach allergens and asthma, as well as prevention and intervention methods; worked on tobacco prevention and community environmental health programs with the Miami-Dade County Health Department

Social Change Goal: To determine effective strategies that reduce the prevalence of emerging environmental health issues


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

Recipient: Sarah E. Forrest

Program: M.S. in Psychology

Social Change Achievement: Medical mission with a nongovernmental organization in Peru, as well as several previous academic and volunteer experiences in East Africa

Social Change Goal: To establish a nonprofit organization that promotes accessible mental health care services to Africans in culturally sensitive and appropriate ways


Natanya JenningsRecipient: Natanya Jennings, Pharm.D.

Title: Research pharmacist

Program: Master of Public Health

Social Change Achievement: Conducted a research study on African-American women infected with HIV; guest researcher for HIV-prevention methods with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Social Change Goal: To serve the HIV-prevention movement beyond the role of a traditional pharmacist


Recipient: Dr. Lisa R. Norman

Title: Associate professor of the public health program, Ponce School of Medicine (Puerto Rico)

Program: Master of Public Health

Social Change Achievements: Works with impoverished women in public housing in Ponce, Puerto Rico, to increase HIV/STI testing and educate them about the risk of contracting HIV

Social Change Goal: To decrease HIV infection among impoverished women


More Information
Read about the Commitment to Social Change Scholarship and past recipients.