Five students have been awarded a 2015 AUNE Horace Mann Spirit of Service Scholarship in the amount of $2,500 each. A committee selected this year’s recipients from a pool of 30 applicants. Named after the university’s first president, The Horace Mann Spirit of Service Scholarship honors students who have won victories for humanity through work or volunteerism in the areas of community service, diversity, lifelong learning, sustainability or social justice.
Lily Hughes-Dunn, Department of Applied Psychology
Lily’s commitment to social justice is her greatest passion. She’s volunteered and worked for organizations that share her philosophy, including the Better Waverly Community Arts Center in Baltimore and the Urban Tree Connection, a community garden and food justice organization in Philadelphia. For the past eight years, she’s served as an ally to veterans and service members, providing strategy development for Veterans Against the War, and co-founding a national ally organization, Civilian Soldier Alliance. After seeing first hand the benefits of a mind-body integrated approach to healing for under-served traumatized populations and recognizing the need to make these services available to them, she decided to pursue her master’s degree in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling at AUNE.
Kristen Lauer, Department of Clinical Psychology
As an undergraduate student, Kristen volunteered and eventually was hired to work as a project coordinator during her summer breaks for a non-governmental organization in Peru that provided support to children from low-income families. She also volunteered at a public psychiatric hospital in Argentina. When she returned to the United States, she started working in a residential facility for undocumented minors caught crossing the border illegally. Inspired by the resilience and strength of those living in difficult circumstances and recognizing their unmet needs for mental health support, she decided to pursue an advanced degree in mental health. She plans to continue to work primarily in under served Spanish-speaking communities.
Rachel Oblak, Department of Applied Psychology
During her junior year of college, Rachel took a stand and withdrew from a college that did not reflect her values. She also exited the fundamentalist religious sect in which she had been raised. Since first asserting her commitment to social justice, she continues to advocate for survivors of institutional and spiritual abuse and for the LGBT+ community, She is pursuing her master’s degree so she can provide trauma-informed services for those who’ve exited destructive groups, and to raise awareness about the existence of survivors of extreme groups and their unique needs.
Andrew Taylor, Department of Environmental Studies
Andrew began helping those in need in high school as an active member and patrol leader in the Boy Scouts of America. During his senior year in high school, he spent his spring break in Mexico where he helped build homes for families in need. In college his volunteerism began to focus on the environment. More recently, he served as a volunteer with the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California, working with ill and malnourished sea lions and baby elephant seals. This experience coupled with work at NOAA in Santa Cruz fueled his desire to further his studies in the area of sustainability practices.
Lauren Weisberg, Department of Clinical Psychology
After relocating to Keene, Lauren began volunteering at Miracles in Motion, a therapeutic horseback riding facility. She became a certified therapeutic riding instructor and started working as a staff member. She also co-facilitated the development of a new program, Equine Assisted Learning, at Miracles in Motion. She serves as the AUNE campus representative for the American Psychological Association’s Division 35: The Society for the Psychology of Women, and is the chair of a research project to advocate for Syrian refugees.