Walden University awards $5,000 Presidential Scholarships to graduates of a Walden master's program who are enrolled in a Walden doctoral program. Applicants must demonstrate a personal, continued commitment to public service and demonstrate how their doctorate will improve their professional effectiveness.

In May, Walden named three 2008 recipients.

Recipient: Jill Watson Riley

Program: MS in Education, Ed.D.

Title: Teacher, Greenwood, S.C.

Public Service Goal: To educate parents and caregivers of at-risk children about the importance of literacy and education

How the Doctorate Will Improve My Professional Effectiveness: “Earning my EdD will improve my professional effectiveness by giving me the resources and knowledge to make a difference in the field of education. I hope to help others understand the importance of early intervention in the area of literacy. Encouraging students to learn to read should be a high priority for everyone in our society. The knowledge I have gained while earning this degree will provide me with an opportunity to share my knowledge with others and, hopefully, improve children’s lives.”

Recipient: Harold Watkins

Program: Master of Public Policy, PhD in Public Policy and Administration

Title: Organizational Consultant/Management and Policy Advisor, Richmond, Va.

Public Service Goal: To encourage the continued flow of information among public, private and government agencies for all citizens

How the Doctorate Will Improve My Professional Effectiveness: “Pursuing a doctorate degree has improved my professional effectiveness because of systematic opportunities to conduct original research. It has better prepared me to investigate and thoroughly examine critical implications of existing research and the need to further expand a particular interest in my field. A doctorate degree, while not essential to my profession, has helped me to prepare, to seek out, and to share information. It has also helped to clarify my professional interest in better serving the public and taught me how to articulate that interest in a professional setting.”

Recipient: Elisa Watters

Program: Master of Public Health, PhD in Public Health

Title: Public Health Worker, Poulsbo, Wash. and Nepal

Public Service Goal: To serve the health care necessities of different populations, wherever needed most

How the Doctorate Will Improve My Professional Effectiveness: “A doctorate in public health will not only broaden my horizons of service but will also deepen my professional effectiveness to do so. I look forward to learning how to design and implement programs aimed at health prevention, and I plan to monitor the spread of disease in our communities across the globe. In my line of work, the research process itself becomes a tool of inquiry, and I plan to master that through my participation in Walden’s doctoral program. My dissertation research will provide a valuable foundation to future development of health education materials and assess the needs of ethnic peoples of Nepal. The health professions draw on a tradition of lifelong learning, and I feel honored to participate in that.”

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