Vies for Massachusetts’s First Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter
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
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
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.