Sarah Lawrence Students Win Awards

Jessica Lockard ’08 and Justin Butler ’10 will have opportunities to pursue work in their areas of interest having successfully competed for two prestigious awards.

Jessica LockardJessica Lockard ’08, Watson Fellow

Graduating senior Jessica Lockard is the recipient of one of 50 Watson Fellowships, awarded to seniors at eligible colleges – 50 selective, liberal arts colleges and universities across the country. The award from the Thomas J. Watson Foundation will allow her to travel for a year to explore modernist architecture and planned cities around the world.

In her application essay Lockard notes that “Today, as the great structures of modern architecture age into relics, they are being conceptualized as cultural heritage in places as dissimilar as Tanzania and India…Yet, the forms, theories and dreams of architectural modernism arose in response to the paradigm shifts that occurred in Europe as it struggled to come to terms with, and remake itself in, the early to mid twentieth century.”

Lockard poses questions she will seek to answer as she travels to and resides in the places she will study: Chandigarh, India; Brasilia, Brazil; the Narvskaya Zastava district of Russia’s St. Petersburg; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Ankara, Turkey. She will seek to discover whether “the homogeneity of poured concrete swept sites clean of historical and cultural reference.” She will attempt to discover if “the new aesthetic language got assimilated into the histories and ideologies shaping cities, societies, and nationalities,” as it did in Israel, the country she grew up in. And, “how do the same designs become ‘cultural heritage’ for drastically different cultures across the globe – and what does that mean about the ways in which people form and conceptualize their identities today?”

Rosemary Macedo, the Executive Director of the Watson Fellowship Program and a former Watson Fellow said: “We look for people likely to lead or innovate in the future and give them extraordinary independence in pursuing their interests. They must have passion, creativity, and a feasible plan. The Watson Fellowship affords an unequalled opportunity for global experiential learning.”

Justin ButlerJustin Butler ’10, Udall Scholar

Citing inspiration from the late Congressional leader Morris Udall to connect social and environmental movements, Sarah Lawrence College sophomore Justin Butler has been selected as a 2008 Udall Scholar, one of 80 students from 64 colleges and universities to receive the award, based on a commitment to a career in the environment, health care or tribal public policy. The 80 Scholars were selected from among 510 candidates nominated by 239 institutions of higher education nationwide.

According to Melissa Millage, spokeswoman for the Morris K. Udall Foundation, this year was the most competitive since the first awards were made in 1996. The Foundation was authorized by Congress in 1992 to honor Congressman Udall’s legacy of public service and is supported by a trust fund in the U.S. Treasury and contributions from the private sector.

Butler plans to build a community organization that uses innovative economic and social models to solve local issues of social and environmental justice, while also influencing state and national policy. This summer he will be working with the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights Green-Collar Jobs Campaign in Oakland, California, an initiative to leverage the growing green economy to secure dignified jobs for low-income communities and communities of color. Through his classroom and field work at Sarah Lawrence, Butler has been “learning from the ‘elders’ of the growing movement for environmental justice, eco-equity and green jobs—a movement that links oppressive mechanisms like unemployment, mass-incarceration, and urban segregation with environmental degradation and global warming.”