Seniors Named Peace Prize Forum Scholars

SIOUX FALLS – Augustana students Kimberly Johnson (Sioux Falls) and Beth Singleton (Moorhead, MN) have been selected 2009 Peace Prize Forum Scholars.

Established by the Nobel Peace Prize Forum consortium, two students from each of the five Norwegian Lutheran Colleges that make up the consortium will be selected annually as scholars and awarded a summer travel seminar experience. The seminar is designed to deepen their understanding of issues related to peace, justice, democracy, and human rights.

The five colleges making up the consortium are Augustana, Augsburg, Concordia (Moorhead, MN), Luther, and Saint Olaf. Kimberly JohnsonThe 2009 scholars will be introduced at the March 6-7 Nobel Peace Prize Forum to be held at Saint Olaf College in Northfield, MN.

In August, Johnson and Singleton will be part of this select core of students traveling to Chiapas, Mexico. As of the mid 1990s, most people in Chiapas were poor, rural small farmers. About one quarter of the population were of full or predominant Maya descent, and in rural areas many did not speak Spanish. The state suffers from the highest rate of malnutrition in Mexico, estimated to affect more than 40 percent of the population.

Johnson, a senior, is majoring in government/international affairs. She is the daughter of Dr. Peter and Sheryl Johnson of Sioux Falls.Beth Singleton

Singleton, a junior, is a religion/philosophy major. She is the daughter of Cathy and Calvin Singleton of Moorhead, MN.

Criteria for selection as a Peace Prize Scholar includes a minimum grade point average of 3.0, a 1,000-word essay articulating the student’s interest in and goals for being a peace scholar, and two letters of recommendation from faculty or staff.

In her essay, Singleton wrote: “I hope to one day work as an advisor for the government, advocating for structural changes of societies that will create true equal opportunities and rights for all people, for both our nation and others.”

Of the summer trip to Chiapas, Johnson writes: “I look forward to sharing whatever I learn and experience with everyone who is interested. If given the chance, I will use this opportunity to, at the very least, make my corner of the world just a little bit better.”