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September 10, 2004

Packard Vies for Massachusetts’s First Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Partnership Award

Becky Wai-Ling Packard

Becky Wai-Ling Packard, assistant professor of psychology and education, has been named one of three finalists in Massachusetts’s inaugural Carter Partnership Award for Campus-Community Collaboration. Packard is being recognized for her creation of the Possible Selves Partnership, a collaboration between Mount Holyoke and the nonprofit organization Girls Inc. of Holyoke, which provides inner-city teenage girls with avenues of expression and support as they explore their futures. Massachusetts is one of four states recently chosen as expansion sites for the Carter Partnership Award, which carries with it a $10,000 prize for the winning program.

UMass Boston’s McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies and the Massachusetts Campus Compact, a service organization representing 64 college and university presidents in the state, are organizing the Carter Partnership Award, which recognizes model collaborations between colleges and community groups in Massachusetts. The other finalists are Wentworth Institute of Technology and Clark University.

“These finalists are great examples of the role public service plays in higher education throughout Massachusetts,” said Massachusetts Campus Compact Executive Director Barbara Caynes. “We know that sustained student, faculty, and institutional involvement in community service generates creative solutions and fosters future community leaders.”

The award was initiated in 2000 at Georgia State University in honor of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter as a tribute to their lifelong efforts to build and strengthen safe, healthy, and caring communities throughout the world. The works of the three finalists will be highlighted in a video presentation at the September 27 awards ceremony at the UMass Boston Campus Center. Rosalynn Carter and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino will attend the event.

Packard, who came to Mount Holyoke in 1999, studies career aspirations and identity development during adolescence. She received a Volunteer of the Year Award from Girls Inc. and has been named one of the Arts and Education Visionaries of the Year by Generating Tomorrow’s Futures Today, a Springfield nonprofit organization. In addition, Packard recently received a prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER grant to fund her research over the next five years. Her project, “Educational Trajectories of Low-Income Urban Youth in Science and Technology,” examines the educational paths and underlying career aspirations of low-income youth who actively participate in urban community organizations.



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