Congratulations to seniors Beata Corcoran and Frances Walker both awarded the Labouisse Prize for international civic engagement projects 2022. The Lobouisse Prize enables graduating seniors to pursue international civic engagement projects for one year following graduation.
Corcoran, who is also earning certificates in African studies and global health and health policy, will spend her fellowship year with the Caritas Cyprus Migrant center in Nicosia, where “there is currently a need for psychosocial support sessions which promote healing, creativity, processing and connection for asylum seeking children and adults,” she said.
“Beata has a deep interest in and commitment to marginalized groups and to diverse cultures, as well as to learning as much as she can about their unique situations and needs,” said Alyssa Sharkey, a lecturer in SPIA and a senior consultant for UNICEF. “This is reflected both in her chosen field of study at Princeton (medical anthropology) but also [in the] work and volunteer activities she has undertaken.”
Drawing on these experiences, Corcoran will launch programming for asylum seekers, and particularly survivors of human trafficking and modern slavery, based around photography, expression and meditation. Art and storytelling will serve as modes of self-expression, processing and community building, and emphasize the voices of participants who will have the opportunity to publicly share their work and, in turn, humanize the refugee crisis in Cyprus.
The guidance of local community leaders will ensure that the program offers comprehensive resources addressing ever-changing challenges in the region. “In taking a trauma-informed approach, I aim to address one of the most trying crises of the 21st century by attending to the individual needs of some of the people caught in its wake,” she said.
Aspiring doctor Walker will partner with Humans for Humanity, an NGO that provides sustainable menstrual health education and products. She will conduct in-person observations and face-to-face interviews with their volunteers, workers and the menstruators they serve, culminating in a Hindi-language booklet to be placed in the menstrual health kits.
“The recent shift specifically towards more sustainable, eco-friendly and equitable menstruation practices may be indicative of further changes elsewhere as sustainable product production and usage becomes paramount in the face of worldwide population growth and global warming,” she said. “With India’s continued economic development and its placement as one of the world’s most populous countries, it’s key to understanding global conceptions of menstrual health.”
Previously, as part of her senior thesis, Walker explored how Indian NGO’s combat historically and religiously constructed stigmas and taboos regarding menstruation for the purpose of increasing menstrual education.
“Methodologically, her project is a well-conceived study of interactions between NGO workers and the people they serve, investigating points of collaboration and tension, for the purposes of fostering greater inter-and-intra-cultural understanding,” said Christina Collins, formerly a lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at Princeton and now assistant professor of anthropology at Indiana University-Bloomington.
Walker is also earning certificates in global health and health policy, African American studies, and gender and sexuality. She served as the Women’s Rugby Club president from 2019 to 2021.