Jeremy Craig, 404-413-1357
ATLANTA — Georgia State University’s Layli Phillips Maparyan, associate professor of Women’s Studies, has been honored with a prestigious Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award for her work in encouraging students to change the world.
|Layli Phillips Maparyan.|
The $25,000 award from the Gail McKnight Beckman Trust will be presented during a ceremony at 6 p.m. on Jan. 7 at the Carter Center in Atlanta. She joins 15 distinguished professors from across the country in garnering the award, and is the only awardee from Georgia.
“The Beckman Award means a lot to me because it really validates the central mission of my teaching from day one – to inspire social change by providing students with the information and perspectives that make it possible,” Maparyan said.
The honor is awarded to current or former academic faculty members who have inspired their students to establish, on a lasting basis, a concept, procedure or movement that benefits the community at large.
“When I work with students, particularly one-on-one, I always ask them, ‘What is it that you really want to do? What were you put on this Earth to do? What is your big dream, and how can I help you achieve it?’” Maparyan said. “Often this conversation results in the very kinds of creative community impact that the Beckman Award Trust was established to recognize.”
Over the years, her students have started projects and formed organizations with wide ranging focuses, including groups for communities of students of African descent, programs for youth, founding a charter school and mobilizing youth to get involved in the political process.
Maparyan said the award links her spiritually to her late father, Duane D. Dumbleton, a community college president who worked for interracial harmony and interreligious understanding in Jacksonville, Fla.
“He became well-known and well-loved for this work, and this award almost feels like an approving nod from him,” explained Maparyan, who is an advisor for the National Center for Civil and Human Rights’ Women’s Initiative.
Maparyan co-hosted a 10-part TV series called “Faith and Feminism” for Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasters (AIB-TV). She currently co-hosts a new spirituality-focused current affairs talk show, “The Circle,” airing monthly on AIB-TV.
Since August 2009, she has chaired the University Consortium for Liberia, a network of educational institutions with current or future projects in the country. She also a member of the National Advisory Board of Foreverfamily, an organization dedicated to support children whose parent or parents are incarcerated.
The Gail McKnight Beckman Trust was founded in 2008 under the will of Gail McKnight Beckman in honor of her mother, Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman. Since its inception, the Beckman Trust has donated more than $150,000. The trust is administered by Wells Fargo.
For more about Maparyan and her work, visit http://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwwsi/11183.html.
For more about the Women’s Studies Institute at Georgia State, visit http://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwwsi/index.html.
Jan. 4, 2012