May 4th Legacy Scholars
The May 4th Legacy Scholarship Program was established by Kent State University in 2020, and provides four scholarships to be given to students majoring in our Peace and Conflict Studies program. Each scholarship bears the name of one of the students killed (Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder) to serve as a lasting testament to their lives and presence at Kent State.
Below are profiles of the scholarship recipients since the creation of this award.
May 4th Legacy Scholars for AY 2021-22
The School of Peace and Conflict studies is proud to recognize the four students who were selected to receive the May 4th Legacy Scholarships awarded in the spring of the 2021-22 academic year. The May 4th Legacy Scholarship Program was established by Kent State University in 2020, and provides four scholarships to be given to students majoring in our Peace and Conflict Studies program. Each scholarship bears the name of one of the students killed (Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder) to serve as a lasting testament to their lives and presence at Kent State.
Jo is a third-year undergraduate student who has spent all of her life living in Northeast Ohio. She has always been aware of the events of May 4th because of her physical proximity to the university, but it was her research work at Kent State that allowed her to become more deeply connected to it. In 2021, Jo was an intern for local grassroots organization Growing Democracy (co-led by Kent State professors Dr. Ashley Nickels and Dr. Casey Boyd-Swan), where some of her major contributions included online concept pages about the events of both May 4th and the Jackson State shootings. Jo writes, "I undertook a substantial amount of research to detail the chronology and impacts of each event, and it was largely through this process that the gravity of May 4th was cemented for me." As a research assistant for Dr. Sara Koopman, she has also helped create a walking tour for the Mapping May 4 project, an online oral history of the events leading up to and during that day. "I spent several hours listening to all of the stories to determine which to include in the tour, doing much of my work while sitting outside on campus. Listening to the first-hand accounts while being surrounded by the very spaces being discussed was a poignant reminder for me that May 4th and the people affected by it are not as far away as it may sometimes seem." Jo prioritizes carrying all of the lessons she's learned from May 4th into her future research and writing on peace and violence.
Jo plans to graduate in December 2023 with her BA in Peace and Conflict Studies.
Kouame Constant Bouazi has been a student in Peace and Conflict Studies since Spring 2021. He arrived in the United States in October 2015 from Côte d'Ivoire. Kouame talks about how his background has shaped his current path: "I am a lover of peace and a peace activist because of coming from a country that has experienced a military-politico crisis for 20 years. I have given myself the mission of becoming an ambassador for peace, hence my choice of this major. I had to give up business technology, my previous major, to fulfill my passion of working for peace and a better world. Peace is not an empty word but a behavior. In Cote d'Ivoire I was a volunteer teacher as part of my peace effort in 2006 to 2008 for war-displaced children and adults in areas under government control. Today studying Peace and Conflict Resolution is the biggest accomplishment of my life. It is a great joy to accept the Jeffrey Miller May 4th Legacy Scholarship award."
From Medina, Ohio, Melissa is a recent transfer into the School of Peace and Conflict Studies. She found this major after taking a PACS intro course, which left a profound impact on her life. Having a passion for caring and connecting with others, Melissa is excited to see where this experience takes her. She is honored to receive this scholarship as the events of May 4th have special meaning to her as she explains, “My grandmother was a student here and my great uncle visited the campus in the aftermath. Their stories are a reminder that while life is so fragile, we are immensely powerful and strong when we come together.”
She will utilize this generous scholarship in the fall to work towards her degree. She looks forward to growing as a student and person in the SPCS program and promoting peace and change here at Kent and throughout her life.
Ekklesia Jenkins transferred to Kent in Spring 2020, after obtaining a certificate in Conflict Resolution & Peace Studies and her Associate of Arts degree at Cuyahoga Community College. Ekklesia explains: "I chose to transfer to Kent State University because of my major and the history of May 4th. Reflecting, if I did not major in Peace and Conflict Studies, I probably wouldn’t know much about May 4th at all because the information isn’t as accessible as it could be. Making resources accessible for the masses is an aspiration of mine. I believe through technology I can impact the most people; so, I will be pursuing inclusive product design after graduation this summer. I want to make sure that products are inclusive, accessible, and sustainable; In hopes of improving people’s quality of life, including my own."
Ekklesia plans to graduate in Summer 2022 with her BA in Peace and Conflict Studies; with a minor in Human Sexuality.
Congratulations to all four scholarship recipients!
May 4th Legacy Scholars for AY 2020-21
Special recognition goes to four students who were selected to receive the first May 4th Legacy Scholarships, awarded in the fall for the 2020-21 academic year. The May 4th Legacy Scholarship Program was established by Kent State University in 2020, and provides four scholarships to be given to students majoring in our Peace and Conflict Studies program. Each scholarship bears the name of one of the students killed (Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder) to serve as a lasting testament to their lives and presence at Kent State.
Deborah, born and raised in Brazil, has been active both in her home country and in the US in working for social and environmental justice and human rights. Since coming to Kent State and learning more about May 4, she feels a deep connection to the students who were there in 1970. When attending protests, both here and in her native Brazil, Deborah says, “every single time, I keep thinking that I would be there 50 years ago; it could have been me.” While at Kent State, Deborah has interned with the International Institute of Akron and continues to work with the Office of Global Initiatives at Kent State Stark. She recently served as moderator for the virtual public talk given by Nobel Peace Laureate Rigoberta Menchú Tum on Friday, April 30, and was actively involved in organizing and facilitating the PeaceJam conference on Saturday, May 1, as well as assisting with other events over the past few years. As Deborah explains, “I want to use the privilege that I have to pursue my academic studies in the United States to give a voice to those that need to be heard, and to create a peaceful change in all the communities that I am or have been a part of, in Brazil, the U.S or any other country through activism and nonviolence.”
Deborah expects to graduate in Spring 2021 with her BA in Peace and Conflict Studies.
Jeremy is a nontraditional student who transferred to Kent State in Fall 2020 after earning a certificate in Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies from Cuyahoga Community College. Growing up, Jeremy learned about May 4 from his parents, and was profoundly impacted. Jeremy explains, “The events of May 4th, 1970 are forever in my mind because my parents were on campus” the day before the shootings. He goes on to say, “The Vietnam War was a very real part of my family’s history, both as we had relatives serving but also my parents losing many friends. The day holds a deep cultural significance as well to my life as a kid growing up in Ohio, who was drawn into the social justice areas of life. “ As a result, Jeremy has a long history of activism over the years, stating that “as an adult I have committed myself to peace, through direct action, creative process, and educating myself.“
Jeremy is a junior majoring in Peace and Conflict Studies with a minor in Creative Writing.
Margi Straub has a passion for communication and connecting with others, and found that the School of Peace and Conflict Studies provided the perfect channel for her to further develop those skills. As she explains, “… my major has taught me that at the core of communication are the values of human connection, human needs, human rights, and social justice.“ During her time here at Kent State she has been actively involved in helping with many of the School of Peace and Conflict Studies’ events (including recruiting new students) and co-founded the student organization Peace and Conflict Students (PACS). “I am honored and excited to now be the president of this organization and I work diligently to promote peace, activism, and education through this organization’s events.” Margi’s leadership skills have not gone unnoticed. In Spring 2020, she received the Ohio Peace and Conflict Studies Network Leader Recognition Award, and she has been selected to received the A&S Distinguished Student Leader award for the School of Peace and Conflict Studies this year. Margi plans to go into human resource management with a focus on labor relations.
Margi expects to graduate in Spring 2021 with her BA in Applied Conflict Management (and a minor in Human Resource Management).
Lucas Steinkamp is driven by a desire to help others. As a Peace and Conflict Studies major, he was initially interested in entering the ministry, and says, “When I came to Kent, I was already seeking to live a life that fostered peace.“ During his time in college, his career goals shifted, but his commitment to helping others has remained a consistent theme. He worked for the KSU police, held student leader positions at H2O church Kent, and was a member of the Provost Leadership Academy. He interned at Brunswick High School training students in the basics of conflict resolution and building the foundation of a peer mediation program.
Lucas utilized his scholarship in the fall to complete his BA in Applied Conflict Management (with a minor in Criminology and Justice Studies), graduating in December 2020. Lucas is currently preparing to enter paramedic school, and plans to become a Firefighter/Paramedic. As he explains, “My aim is to give peace, to aid those in need and give them someone to talk to in their darkest hours. I want to use my unique position to be an opportunity to bridge between my fellow first responders in blue and the community they serve.”
Congratulations to all four scholarship recipients!