The Judith Lee Stronach Baccalaureate Prize supports intellectual and creative pursuits that heighten awareness of issues of social consciousness and contribute to the public good. The award gives motivated students the opportunity to extend and reflect upon their undergraduate work at Berkeley by undertaking a special project after their graduation. Winning projects are creative in the broadest sense, explore themes of significant interest to holders of the Prize, and strive to further understanding of what constitutes humane and effective participation in our worldwide community.
The Prize celebrates the life achievements of Judith Lee Stronach (1943-2002), who as a patron of the arts and education devoted enormous time and energy to numerous charitable organizations. Judith Lee Stronach brought her academic training in art history to her work as a journalist for Amnesty International and her experience as a teacher of poetry to her work at several East Bay schools and centers. She worked tirelessly for human rights both internationally on behalf of Guatemalans and Bosnian children, and locally on behalf of women, girls and the homeless. As a board member of Berkeley’s River of Words project, she helped children throughout the United States learn about watershed stewardship and self-expression through poetry and art. Robert Hass, former U.S. Poet Laureate, UC Berkeley professor of English, and her friend and teacher, has recognized her “passionate love of poetry” and “missionary zeal to bring it into the lives of others.” The Prize commemorates Judith Lee Stronach’s lifelong commitment to intellectual and creative growth, and her mission to effect social change through the arts.
The Prize is open to Berkeley graduates in any area of study who are awarded an undergraduate degree in the Fall of the year before or the Spring or Summer of the year in which the Prize is awarded, including international students. To be eligible for the 2017 award, students must graduate in Fall 2016, Spring or Summer 2017. Proposals for public service, creative, or community-based research projects that engage social issues are welcome. Prize funds cannot be used to support graduate study and recipients may not be registered students during the tenure of the award.
Applications are assessed on the basis of the project's significance, creativity, and feasibility, as well as the applicant's academic record and other experience, especially as they are relevant to the project proposal. Supporting materials such as budget, sample of work, and letters of recommendation are also taken into consideration. Prize winners are selected by a committee of distinguished faculty and other prominent community members.
Prize recipients may be awarded as much as $25,000. The Prize is intended to cover project costs, materials, and living expenses for a period of up to one year.
To apply for the Stronach Baccalaureate Prize you will need to submit a proposal, budget, transcripts, and sample of your work. A complete application file must also include two or more letters of recommendation, including a recommendation from a project mentor. Carefully review the application instructions.
Sara’s project, the Social Justice Sewing Academy (SJSA), establishes a critical-consciousness sewing program for youth in inner-city areas who need an outlet to express themselves and want to develop a potentially profitable skill. She will run two pilot sessions this summer, and will later permanently establish SJSA in partnership with a community or recreational center or high school. SJSA will be comprised of two parts each day. First there will be a workshop developing participant's critical consciousness. Workshops will feature concepts such as colorism, intersectionality, feminist epistemology, and misogyny in hip hop. During these workshops, participants will discuss readings from Angela Davis, bell hooks, Kimberly Crenshaw, Toni Morrison, Patricia Hill Collins,... Read More