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A Community of Leaders: Part 1

A Community of Leaders: Part 1Thirteen undergraduate, graduate and professional school students are honored for their commitment to service and active citizenship.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [04.30.10] On Apr. 22, 13 Tufts students-six undergraduates and seven students from professional and graduate schools-received the Presidential Award for Citizenship and Public Service in recognition of their service and leadership at Tufts.

"The winners of the Presidential Awards all share a tremendous dedication to service, which they put into action in innovative and inspiring ways," says Tufts President Lawrence S. Bacow. " I always leave the awards breakfast feeling more optimistic about our shared future."

The Presidential Award for Citizenship and Public Service, established in 1999 by former Tufts President John DiBiaggio, is one of the university's highest student honors.

E-News spoke with the award recipients to learn more about their work, the correlation between their academic and civic lives, and what active citizenship means to them. This week we will feature the undergraduate award recipients and next week the professional and graduate student winners.

Undergraduates:

Kymberly Horth
(A'10), Child Development

An educator in every sense, child development major Kimberly Horth has run the teaching gamut-from preschool to college, national to international.

Since her freshman year, Horth has worked with Jumpstart, a national nonprofit organization that pairs college students with preschoolers in under-resourced communities, serving in many different roles including a corps member, volunteer coordinator and team leader.

"Jumpstart creates a partnership, working with the families and teachers to try to get the best outcome as possible for these children," says Horth. "We're trying to give them the skills that they're going to need to be successful in kindergarten and beyond."

Continuing her work with preschoolers while studying abroad in Ghana her junior year, Horth says it was both challenging and rewarding.

"I was trying to make sense of the two different places I had worked and trying to bring them together and see how I could integrate the two philosophies as best as possible," she says.

Through the ExCollege Explorations program, Horth broadened her teaching experience by teaching a course to freshmen entitled "Sexuality and Society: Attitudes and Influences."

"You're balancing a role of a teacher, a friend, a mentor, a counselor-all these different things and all of those hats were important to the explorations," explains Horth. "Getting to experience all of those and getting to know our students on a really personal level was enormously rewarding."

Duncan Pickard
(A'10), History, American Studies, Middle Eastern Studies

In his four years at Tufts, former TCU President Duncan Pickard has achieved a level of service that spanned the local, national, and international realms.During his junior year his number one priority was the happiness of the Tufts undergraduate community.

"No one's really going to remember who was student body president last year or this year, but the people are really going to remember the clubs that they were part of and events and everything," says Pickard. "And I'm really happy I had the opportunity to support what other people were doing."pickard

As a Tisch Scholar, Pickard also did his part for the surrounding Somerville community, helping to develop a rapid response network for undocumented immigrants in the area while interning with the city's Human Rights Commission, as well as working with the Somerville Community Corporation on their East Somerville Initiative to address areas of need such as education.

Internationally, Pickard interned in the political-economic section of the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, Syria, working primarily on the human rights portfolio, attending trials of political prisoners, meeting human rights activists and helping with the resettlement of refugee Iraqis.

"I think it's really important to give back to the surrounding communities at Tufts, but I also think that if we don't develop a fluency in some international culture while we're here, then it's really a waste. It's just an essential piece of an education at Tufts."

Dean Ladin
(A'10), Political Science

From the start of his Tufts career, senior Dean Ladin took Tufts' focus on active citizenship to heart.In addition to his service work, Ladin is a peer-selected co-chair and sits on the Tisch Board of Advisors.

In his sophomore year as a Tisch Scholar, Ladin worked with the Boys and Girls Club of Somerville to revamp its Teen Night, improving attendance and increasing the number of activities, including the creation of a garden to teach kids how to grow vegetables.

ladin Working with the Middlesex District Attorney's office in his junior year, Ladin helped to establish a diversion program that enables kids who committed petty crimes to erase them from their record.

"Instead of going in front of the judge, they will come talk to us and we will give them a constructive sentence, which usually consists of community service, decision-making classes and a reflection essay," explains Ladin. "As long as they complete it all in a specific amount of time that we give and obviously if they don't get in trouble again, they are able to take that off their record, which helps when they apply to college or a job."

With the help of Tisch College, Ladin helped to found the Institute of Political Citizenship (IOPC) in his sophomore year. As a student board member and intern coordinator, Ladin develops public policy-based internships that give Tufts students a greater opportunity to be involved in state governance.

"I think that all my experiences have led me to continue the ideal of being an active citizen past Tufts," says Ladin. "Next year I'm doing Teach for America in Chicago, something I probably would not have considered doing without all my experiences in Tisch and the overall theme of active citizenship at Tufts."

Alice Tin
(A'10), Community Health and History

For the past three years, Tisch Scholar Alice Tin has worked with the Immigrant Service Provider's Group on Health (ISPG), which provides a forum for nonprofits to collaborate.

"As you talk about health care in the U.S., it often boils down into numbers and is viewed as a commodity rather than a right," says Tin.

Her major project has been the foundation and development of the Liaison Interpreter's Project of Somerville, training bilingual high school students in the basics of medical interpreting.tin

"When you think about an immigrant family when they arrive, the parents might not have all the language skills they need to be able to navigate the system," explains Tin. "So often times they have their children who are in the school systems, who are speaking better English, interpret for them. It's a lot to ask from a teenager."

Tin was recently selected as an Albert Schweitzer Fellow and plans to expand the Liaison Interpreter's Project to include a segment that will focus on maintaining fluency. This summer, she will travel to Taipei, Taiwan, to analyze data on that nation's health care reform and gain insight into improving health care in the U.S.

"I think one of the beautiful things about health is that it's very much a common denominator," she says. "Everyone should be healthy and that's the basis for whatever else that we can do."

Shana Hurley
(A'10) Political Science

Since her freshman year, Shana Hurley has been involved with Tufts Democrats. Under her leadership, 140 students traveled to New Hampshire to campaign over Election Day weekend in 2008 and forty students volunteered for Mass. State Rep. Carl Sciortino (A'00).

"The issue of young people in politics has been my modus operandi since I've been at Tufts," says Hurley. "The reward was bigger than the Democrats' partisan victories; I reveled in how enriching my peers found their first experience participating politically."

Noticing a need for voting information at Tufts, Hurley helped re-start Tufts Votes, developing a repository of voting information at the Tisch College. A website was created with up-to-date voting locations and voting registration forms were collected and mailed from students' dorms. Now serving as co-director, Hurley has made it her mission to make it easier for students to vote.

"It's a time of transition," explains Hurley. "You're moving from your hometown to your university, you don't know where to register to vote and you don't necessarily know how to register to vote."

Hurley also expanded her interest in advocacy through internships with local representatives and think tanks, such as NBN, a small think tank founded by a Tufts alum and the Center for American Progress.

"I found myself in a meeting last summer with all the [U.S.] Senate Democratic chiefs of staff talking about what kind of language would fly with volatile constituencies for immigration reform," says Hurley."It was cool to be in the room because I sentimentally think immigration reform is necessary, that's one thing that's really important to me."

As her political experience continues to grow, Hurley remains passionate about youth involvement in politics.

"It's just really exciting to see people my age that are excited about public policy and for the potential for major structural reform vis--vis public policy."

Katie DeGuglielmo
(A'10), International Relations

Like Horth, Jumpstart has been a crucial part of senior Katie DuGuglielmo's time at Tufts since she was a freshman.

"I was not prepared for the kind of impact Jumpstart was going to have on my life and the choices that I made at Tufts," DuGuglielmo says. "It's been a steady force of just positive and the best part of my day for the past four years."

DuGuglielmo has contributed more than 2000 hours of service as a corps member, summer intern and team leader.

"It's been a place for me to grow and to start to understand how people learn, how we work together as teams, how to be a teacher and a mentor," says DuGuglielmo. "I've learned the most from the children that I've worked with."
deguglielmo
During the summer before her senior year, DuGuglielmo worked with Jumpstart as development intern and on Jumpstart Boston's Read for the Record, a national day celebrating early literacy. She was the lead writer on a $50,000 grant, developed an online book drive and helped raise more than $45,000 in sponsorships and individual donations.

In her second year as a corps member, DuGuglielmo realized the Jumpstart preschool's need for a loft that would provide a quiet area, a means of exercise and an educational tool.

"Three-year-olds see everything from about three feet high, but when they climb into the loft they're seeing things from seven or eight feet high," explains DuGuglielmo. "It completely changes their point of view, and I think that's a valuable component of a preschool classroom."

Profiles by Kelsey Anderson (A'11).

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