Seniors embark on service projects with funding from ReachOut 56
Princeton NJ -- Seniors Jessica Munitz and Daniel Stover have been awarded 2003 ReachOut 56 Fellowships, which provide each winner with a $25,000 grant to undertake a yearlong public service project after graduation.
ReachOut 56 is an effort by Princeton's class of 1956 to help nonprofit organizations perform valuable public service. More than 100 members of the class have contributed funds to the program, which is involved with a number of other public service activities in addition to granting the fellowships.
Munitz plans to work on expanding the University's Sustained Dialogue program to other college campuses. Stover will work with Trenton-based Isles Inc., a community development organization.
"Since ReachOut 56 furnishes the funds to pay the fellow's living expenses during the year, we prefer to select organizations that wouldn't be able to afford the help otherwise. We consider this an excellent means by which our financial contribution serves a real purpose, through the energetic efforts of a talented public-spirited graduate," said James Freund, who oversees the fellowship process for the class of 1956.
Munitz, a religion major from Hawthorne, Md., will serve as coordinator of campus initiatives for the International Institute of Sustained Dialogue. The conflict resolution initiative was introduced at Princeton several years ago by Harold Saunders, a member of Princeton's class of 1952 and former University trustee who spent 20 years with the U.S. government as a mediator in the Middle East and Central Asia.
Munitz has been a leader in the Sustained Dialogue effort at Princeton, where a dozen small groups -- including student moderators, faculty and administrators -- have been meeting regularly to discuss race relations on campus. The program received the annual Daily Princetonian Award in 2001 for its contribution to student life.
"Sustained Dialogue offers students, faculty and administrators an opportunity to be reflective, to talk openly and honestly about difficult issues, and to gain insight and understanding from hearing the views of others," said Janet Dickerson, vice president for campus life.
Munitz also has helped introduce the Sustained Dialogue initiative to the University of Virginia and Dickinson College. During her fellowship year, she will oversee the development of a college network. The role will be a "springboard for a lifetime as a public servant," Munitz said.
Stover is a molecular biology major from Columbus, Ohio. He has served as chair of the Student Volunteers Council, Princeton's largest student volunteer organization with more than 700 weekly volunteers in 65 projects.
Stover will undertake three projects with Isles Inc., which was founded by Martin Johnson, a member of Princeton's class of 1981 and a University trustee. Isles is a nonprofit community development corporation that works to improve social, economic and environmental health in distressed areas by addressing critical needs such as housing, health, employment and hunger.
Stover will work on implementing a program for Isles to fully utilize outside volunteers; guiding corporate groups through exercises based on volunteering at Isles sites; and playing a key role in public health activities, including a grassroots campaign to disseminate information within the community on the critical problem of pediatric asthma.
Stover has worked extensively on projects in Trenton with both the Student Volunteers Council and Community Action, another student service effort. Stover said he has "worked to forge a link between Princeton University and Trenton striving to revitalize and renew Trenton to a vibrant urban center many of us know it has the potential to become."
The first ReachOut 56 Fellowships were awarded last year to two members of the class of 2002 for programs related to the aftermath of the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Lindsay Campbell has been working with the Living Memorials Project, which is sponsoring green spaces around New York City to remember the victims of Sept. 11. Aili McConnon has been working for the Legacy Project, assembling a literary anthology of works that address the tragedies of Sept. 11 and other 20th-century experiences of war, ethnic conflict and genocide around the world.
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