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Rosa Parks competition winners feted Thursday
Wednesday, April 16, 2008

2008 Rosa Parks Scholarship Winners

Rosa Parks Scholarship winners, clockwise starting at top center: Abdul Lawal, Rebecca Grady, John Lozza, Julia Hopson, and Sarah Schwab.

Vivian Garcia

Vivian Garcia  founded the Rosa Parks Scholarship Competition 19 years ago. She is retiring this spring.

A record five Rosa Parks Scholarship Awards winners, culled from 46 entries – also a record for the annual contest – werehonored at a presentation and award ceremony Thursday, April 17, at the Juliet J. Rosch Recital Hall. Each student received a scholarship of $350.

Works submitted by the five students explored ideas of multiculturalism and pluralism in today’s society. So impressive was the volume of entries that the selection committee postponed its meeting on two occasions to insure a thorough and accurate evaluation of every entry. Nearly one month was needed to complete the adjudication process

The 2008 Rosa Parks Scholarship Competition winners are:

  • John Cozza, a senior English major from Williamsville, wrote a short story, “One More Drop into the Pool of Hate.”
  • Rebecca Grady, a senior Sociology and Women’s Studies major from Fredonia, wrote an essay, “Explorations of Identity: Thoughts on Gender, Race, Ethnicity and the Social Construction of Categories.”
  • Sarah Schwab, a graduate student English Literature major from Eden, who wrote an untitled fictional story.
  • Abdul Lawal, a senior Communications major from Bronx, who produced a DVD movie, “The Truth.”
  • Julia Hopson, a junior majoring in Graphic Design from Poughkeepsie, who created a drawing, “These Words.”

Vivian Garcia was honored at the ceremony for founding the scholarship. The record 46 entries will stand as a fitting tribute to Dr. Garcia, associate dean of Academic Advising, who announced she is retiring at the end of the academic year. Her tireless work during the last 19 years since the scholarship was created has insured that the vision and legacy of Rosa Parks.

Rosa Parks was an African American Civil Rights activist in the 1950s whose legacy is renewed each year at SUNY Fredonia through the Rosa Parks Scholarship Competition. Ms. Parks’ act of civil disobedience led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955. The U.S. Congress later heralded her as the “Mother of the Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement.”



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