Walden is proud of the efforts, passion and skill that our faculty, staff, students, alumni and changemaker friends
contribute in support of social change worldwide.
We'd like to recognize our leaders who have received awards for their work.
Eligibility and Criteria
The purpose of this award is to recognize exemplary social change activities employees are engaged in, both within and outside of the university, that exemplify Walden University’s mission of positive social change.
Nominees for the Commitment to Social Change Award will have:
- Demonstrated significant social change impact at the local, national and/or international level.
- Demonstrated social change efforts that may be internal or external to work at Walden University.
- Demonstrated social change efforts that extend beyond the critical functions of the employee’s day-to-day work responsibilities.
Internal social change examples may include, but are not limited to, identifying and promoting change in the workplace, classroom, or in student, faculty or support service functions. As well, this may include research or scholarly activities that support the development of scholar-practitioners to effect social change.
External social change examples may include, but are not limited to the creation of, or participation with, local, state, national and/or international organizations that promote social change for the well-being of individuals or contribute to change in professional disciplines.
Walden Commitment to Social Change Award
The purpose of the Walden Commitment to Social Change Award is to recognize exemplary social change activities employees are engaged in, both within and outside of the university, that exemplify Walden University’s mission of positive social change.
2022 Commitment to Social Change Winners
Dr. Sandra Bever
Dr. Bever has volunteered her time in numerous leadership roles in her community. She volunteers as an internship coordinator and Spanish-language media lead for San Diegans for Gun Violence Prevention. She is also a school foundation executive and board member for Community of Impact. In addition, she is an evaluator for Miracle Babies in Southern California.
Dr. Bever serves as Associate Dean, Office of Institutional Effectiveness.
Bruce George knows the importance of giving back to his community. His efforts included assembling a team to make a living space better suited for a widow caring for her granddaughter with special needs. He also helped raise nearly $15,000 to secure an adoption for a special needs child from Serbia.
Bruce George serves as Senior Director of Enrollment.
2021 Commitment to Social Change Winners
Sasha is an advocate for quality education, human rights, social justice, and economic development opportunities for women and youth. She has two nonprofits, one focused on leaders who work with youth and another that focuses on the youth themselves. She is a member of the Harvard University Think Tank on Global Education and has been a presenter at the UN General Assembly and Commission on the Status of Women conferences. Sasha was nominated by a Walden grad who is president-elect of the National Employment Counseling Association and worked with her on a youth empowerment round table.
Sasha has been a Student Success Advisor for 10 years and will soon be a Walden graduate when she completes the Doctor of Education program.
Dr. Renata Hedrington-Jones
Dr. Hedrington-Jones has been making a difference in the profession for more than 40 years, most recently as vice president of the National Association of Black Social Workers. She is also a Walden graduate with a PhD in Human Services. She was nominated by the president of the Richmond Association of Black Social Workers, who describes her as a historian, educator, warrior, and healer. Her decades of social change include assisting two Virginia governors, public school superintendents, and community leaders in areas from K-12 education to housing, mass incarceration, and restoration of rights.
Dr. Hedrington-Jones is core faculty member in the Barbara Solomon School of Social Work.
2020 Commitment to Social Change Winners
The Center for Social Change is proud to announce that Dr. Christie Jenkins, a core faculty member in the School of Counseling, is our recipient of the 2020 Faculty Commitment to Social Change Award.
One of the colleagues that nominated Dr. Jenkins noted that:
“In addition to modeling what it takes to be an empathic and effective counselor in connecting with students and clients, Dr. Jenkins excels in living a social change scholar-practitioner model, fully engaged with the profession at the national, state, and local levels.
“The Ohio Governor, the Ohio House of Representatives, and Lucas County have formally recognized Dr. Jenkins for her work with abused populations this past year, as they have done in previous years as well …
“Her work in serving the needs of those impacted by domestic and interpersonal violence demonstrates how her passion, energy, and efforts have had significant impacts in her home community and as a professional mentor for the future counselors that she works with here at Walden.”
A fellow board member of the nonprofit Family and Child Abuse Prevention Center in Toledo, Ohio, where Dr. Jenkins serves as CEO, notes:
“Besides improving FCAPC overall, it is [Dr. Jenkins’ leadership] in creating and implementing the long-term counseling [program] that demonstrates Christie’s impact for social change here in Toledo …
“The board’s and Christie’s focus are delivering the FCAPC mission and best serving the community.”
Dr. Jenkins has served as a public relations expert on behalf of Walden and has been featured in the Huffington Post, Today’s Parent, and Care.com. She has most recently taken on the role of co-advisor for the newly formed LGBTQ+ PRIDE organization at Walden.
Congratulations, Dr. Jenkins! We appreciate you and all the efforts, skills, and passions you bring to Walden and your community as a social change leader.
2018 Commitment to Social Change Award Winner
Dr. Jonas Nguh has been a leader in global maternal and infant health for more than 20 years, and his work in improving the lives of vulnerable populations and empowerment of disenfranchised communities spans the globe. Dr.Nguh is a Walden University School of Nursing faculty member, and active Alumni Ambassador.
2017 Commitment to Social Change Winner
2016 Commitment to Social Change Winner
Molly Raymond, Walden Field Education Coordinator, Founder of EDIT (Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Together), 2016 Co-Chair of Walden’s Minneapolis Community-Building Committee.
2015 Commitment to Social Change Winners
|Dr. Iris Yob, Walden Director of Social Change initiatives and Faculty Emerita, in recognition of Dr. Yob’s important research in better understanding how higher education can support social change through the development of relevant curricula.||Chue T. Vang, Walden Student Success Advisor and President and Founder of the Hmong American Education Fund (HAEF), St. Paul, Minnesota.|
Other Notable Social Change Award Winners
Faculty Member to Receive Climate Justice Award
Contributing faculty member Dr. Debbie Sturm was selected to receive the 2021 Climate Justice Award from Counselors for Social Justice, a division of the American Counseling Association.
The award honors professional counselors and counselor educators who have an exemplary record of challenging the concerns that focused on the combination of environmental justice (defined as efforts to improve the lives of others in relation to climate crises) and social justice (defined as efforts to bring equity to marginalized populations in terms of opportunities and outcomes).
Walden Alum Research Mental Health Support in African-American Men
Dr. Tiffany Coleman, a Walden Master of Public Health and PhD of Public Health graduate, provides critical research and resources on the mental health support needed for African-American men.
Shortly after graduating college, Dr. Tiffany Coleman joined the U.S. Army and worked as an operating room technician. During her nine years of service, she found her interest moving toward preventative health. She was intrigued by the underlying causes of unhealthy behaviors and diseases. In particular, a specific health issue her “battle buddies” fought with piqued her interest. Several of her African-American male colleagues were struggling with mental health issues.
Faculty Member to Receive Humanitarian Award
In April, Dr. Rebecca Cowan will receive the 2020 Gilbert and Kathleen Wrenn Award for a Humanitarian and Caring Person from the American Counseling Association at their conference in San Diego. Dr. Cowan is a core faculty member in the School of Counseling.
The award “honors an ACA member who gives to others without fanfare or expectation of reward other than the personal satisfaction of seeing other people made happier.”
Doctoral Grad Named Community Champion
Dr. Shagranda Traveler, a 2019 Doctor of Business Administration graduate and president of the Divine Nine Alliance student organization at Walden University, received the 2019 Empowering Visionaries Community Champion of the Year Award from the National Black MBA Association’s Dallas/Ft. Worth chapter.
Traveler is vice president of talent and leadership development at Citigroup. She is an American Corporate Partners Mentor and volunteers with the North Texas Food Bank, Meals on Wheels, the Mansfield Independent School District and Chamber of Commerce, and other organizations.