Pitzer College Students Sweep the 2013 Napier Awards for Creative Leadership

Claremont, Calif. (February 15, 2013) – Pitzer College students Rachel Conrad ’13 and Caitlin Watkins ’13 were named the 2013 Napier Initiative Fellows and won Napier Awards for Creative Leadership. The awards include $10,000 stipends to carry out innovative projects focused on social justice.

Conrad plans to help complete a socio-environmental analysis of the Dulcepamba watershed in Ecuador. Her interest in this project began during her semester abroad in Ecuador in 2012, when she became passionate about aiding small communities in their efforts to claim primary use rights to their water. While in Ecuador, Conrad produced a documentary about these issues. She also made a documentary in Haiti with the support of a Katie Lawson Memorial Scholarship. She is a double major in Latin American society & environment and environmental analysis.

Watkins will continue to work with Crossroads, Inc., a transitional residential facility in Claremont for women recently released from prison. She plans to jumpstart the social enterprise project called “Fallen Fruit from Rising Women,” which is part of the food justice program at Crossroads. This cooperative enterprise uses locally harvested and donated produce to create inventive gourmet food products to sell back to the community in a variety of locally-owned marketplaces. The goal of the project is to provide the women in the program with job training, entrepreneurial skills and confidence in the workplace, ultimately promoting healthy living and reducing the rate of recidivism and reentry back into the “revolving door” of the prison system. Watkins is majoring in environmental analysis.

“Caitlin and Rachel exemplify Pitzer’s commitment to produce students with the smarts and the grit to promote social justice both locally and globally,” said Professor Nigel Boyle, Pitzer’s Napier advisor.

The Napier Initiative is a partnership between The Claremont Colleges and Pilgrim Place, a senior community for those serving in religious or charitable organizations. Each year, the Pilgrim Place community offers two $10,000 Napier Awards for Creative Leadership for graduating seniors from the five undergraduate Claremont Colleges. The Napier Awards are given to students who demonstrate outstanding leadership promise on social frontiers akin to those addressed by Davie and Joy Napier, longtime residents of Pilgrim Place, who were advocates for a just, peaceful and sustainable world.

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Pitzer College is a nationally top-ranked undergraduate liberal arts and sciences institution. A member of The Claremont Colleges, Pitzer offers a distinctive approach to a liberal arts education by linking intellectual inquiry with interdisciplinary studies, cultural immersion, social responsibility, and community involvement. For more information, please visit www.pitzer.edu.

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