Ben Rabinowitz Award
2015 Student Driven Project
Recipients of the award receive $2,500.
The Ben Rabinowitz Student Project Endowment is given in honor of former Whitman College President, Tom Cronin, to assist students with demonstrated leadership skills who wish to implement new projects or learning opportunities that promote compassion in medicine or politics and enrich the campus community.
The recipient will be required to present the outcome of their project either in the following semester or within one year of winning the award, whichever is most appropriate.
2014 Winner: Samuel Curtis '16
Project: Samuel founded the Glean Team to raise awareness on issues pertaining to food insecurity and to provide opportunities for Whitman students to harvest and donate fresh produce to Walla Walla food banks. With 220 members, and over 90 gleaning events in the past year, it has quickly become one of the most active groups on campus. In combined efforts with community volunteers, nearly 35,000 pounds of fresh produce have been donated to the Blue Mountain Action Council (BMAC) Food Warehouse and distributed to those in need throughout the county.
Personal Statement: This has been a very meaningful and rewarding way to engage in service that extend past the Whitman community. I am thankful to have met and work with all those involved—Glean Team leaders, Whitman students and staff, BMAC volunteers, local farmers and community members—this project would not be possible without the positive spirit and work ethic that everyone brings to the table.
2012 Winner: Keiler Beers '14
Project: Keiler focused on promoting a compassionate approach to immigration issues on campus and in the Walla Walla valley. He organized a panel around the theme of "compassion in immigration reform", bringing speakers from all over the state to speak about the issue. In the spring he funded five Whitman students' spring break to the U.S-Mexico border. The students volunteered with No More Deaths, an organization that seeks to end cruelty and suffering in the desert by putting out food, water and other life-saving supplies for crossing migrants.
Personal Statement: “During the course of the project I was reminded of how broadly impactful the issue of immigration is, as it affects lives all the way from Mexico to the Walla Walla valley in profound and undeniable ways. I was also inspired to see the interest and passion that it generated in other Whitties to get involved when they were exposed to an issue of importance.”
2011 Winner: Michaela Lambert '14
Project: Michaela started the Buddy Program three years ago when she saw that there was a lack of support for adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in the community. The Buddy Program is a student-run program that connects Whitman students with adults in the Walla Walla community with intellectual and developmental disabilities to create friendships that defy the norm.
Personal Statement: “The Buddy Program was a dream that I thought would never become a reality due to the costs associated with starting such a program on the Whitman campus. Without the Ben Rabinowitz Award I would not have been able to start the Buddy Program and put on a wide range of events for the buddies involved. I am very grateful for Whitman's support and for helping make my dream a reality.”