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Walden News // Dec 29, 2015

Walden University Scholars of Change Demonstrate the Impact of Positive Social Change

$55,500 awarded to students and alumni whose inspiring videos document efforts to make a difference

Minneapolis—December 29, 2015—Walden University Scholars of Change are students and graduates who focus on the future, whether they are founding organizations to make an impact around the globe or working to improve the lives of their community members. This year, 185 Walden University students and alumni submitted inspiring videos of social change in their communities for the university’s 2015 Scholars of Change video contest. These scholars—along with hundreds of their fellow video contributors—are supporting Walden’s mission by putting their knowledge to use for the greater good.

Five scholars each received $7,500 plus a $2,500 donation to the charity of their choice. The 2015 Scholars of Change are:

  • Jackie Kundert, Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) Completion Program graduate from Monroe, Wisconsin. Inspired by her son who suffered from addiction, she founded F.A.I.T.H. (Fighting Addiction; It Takes Help) Addiction Awareness, an organization that helps raise awareness about the effects of addiction on individuals, family members, and the community. Her charity donation will go to F.A.I.T.H. Addiction Awareness.

  • Jessica Christensen, Master of Social Work (MSW) student from South Jordan, Utah. A former member of the polygamist cult known as Kingston Clan, she successfully escaped the oppression at the age of 15 and has been pursuing a new life with her two sisters, which can be seen in the documentary series Escaping Polygamy. She is using her education and voice to inform a national audience about the cult and to help survivors of polygamy. Her charity donation will go to Rape Recovery Center.

  • Andrew Okoh, PhD in Human Services graduate from Moreno Valley, California. Driven to help his native Nigeria and its millions of orphaned children, as well as women who were widowed due to AIDS, he began Gilead Springs, International, Inc., which helps African AIDS Orphans, Other Vulnerable Children (OVC) and widowed women thrive in their environments through health services, education, and spiritual encouragement. His charity donation will go to Gilead Springs International, Inc.

  • Micah Griffin, PhD in Health Services student from Salisbury, North Carolina. As founder of Heal Our People Incorporated, he works to impact underserved groups and minorities through the teaching of life skills and by promoting academic pursuits, healthy behaviors and family values. His charity donation will go to Heal Our People Incorporated.

  • Adam Kyne, PhD in Health Services student from Hamden, Connecticut. He went to Liberia to help with the psychological impact and social implications of the Ebola virus. During his time in Liberia, he worked to give hope to those in need, including family members of those stricken with Ebola. His charity donation will go to Providence Foundation Liberia.

Other inspiring stories of social change from Walden students and alumni include 11 additional scholars, who each received $500.

  • Richard Blodgett, a PhD in Public Health student from Shingle Springs, California

  • Joseph Davis, a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) student from Baton Rouge, Louisiana

  • Charles Emukowh, a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) student from Gillingham, Kent, England

  • Marla Hatrak, an MS in Early Childhood Studies (MSEd) student from Solana Beach, California

  • Prudencia Jacobs, a Doctor of Education (EdD) graduate from Lithonia, Georgia

  • Alison Patton, a Doctor of Education (EdD) student from Savannah, Georgia

  • Christina Sally, an MS in Forensic Psychology student from Park City, Utah

  • Rebecca Schou, a Doctor of Education (EdD) graduate from Piney Point, Maryland

  • Christin Topper, a PhD in Psychology student from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • Emmanuel Uko, a MS in Communication student from Ilorin, Kwara, Nigeria

  • Yudith Vargas, a Doctor or Education (EdD) student from Houston, Texas (Voting Winner—the entrant with the most votes)

The winning Scholars of Change videos are available for viewing online at

The Scholars of Change program began in 2009 when Walden invited students and alumni to submit short videos showing how they were applying their Walden education and experience to create positive social change in their communities and around the globe.

For more information about Walden, go to

About Walden University
For 45 years, Walden University has supported working professionals in achieving their academic goals and making a greater impact in their professions and their communities. Today, more than 52,000 students from all 50 states and more than 155 countries are pursuing their bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees online at Walden. The university offers more than 80 degree programs with more than 400 specializations and concentrations. Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. For more information, visit

Walden is the flagship online university in the Laureate International Universities network—a global network of more than 80 campus-based and online universities in 28 countries. For more information, visit