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Project L/EARN News and Events » Two L/EARN alumni share Award

Two L/EARN alumni share Alington Memorial Award
A new award named after Project L/EARN founder Dr. Diane Alington was created to honor those who have made exemplary contributions to the development of Project L/EARN. In August, the inaugural Alington Memorial Founders Award was given at the Project L/EARN 20th Anniversary Conference to Project L/EARN alumni and course instructors Dawne Mouzon and Theresa Simpson, for their many longstanding and fundamental contributions to the design and implementation of the summer training curriculum. They modified reading lists, developed new ways of teaching and reviewing statistical and research methods material, implemented the practice of interns giving several short oral presentations during the summer to help them become comfortable with public speaking, gave detailed written feedback to interns on drafts of their summer research papers, and coordinated the curriculum with Project L/EARN Faculty Director Dr. Jane Miller, who teaches the summer writing workshops.

Program Director Diane (Deedee) Davis, Theresa Simpson, Dawne Mouzon, and Faculty Director Jane Miller; photo of Dr. Diane Alington is on the screen behind them.

Together, Dr. Mouzon (L/EARN class of 1998) and Ms. Simpson (L/EARN class of 2003) have taught nearly half of all Project L/EARN interns. Dr. Mouzon was a teaching assistant for the program three times before returning as course instructor seven times. Ms. Simpson was the only intern who stepped directly into the role of course instructor the following summer, taking advantage of her statistical training and maturity. Summer 2010 was her 7th season as course instructor as well.

Dr. Mouzon, who defended her doctoral dissertation in medical sociology at Rutgers in August, is undertaking an NIMH post-doctoral position in mental health services research at Rutgers’ Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research. She will return to Project L/EARN next summer as a mentor in the program. Simpson is an advanced doctoral student in sociology at Rutgers. Both Simpson and Mouzon delivered research presentations at the L/EARN 20th Anniversary Conference.

Simpson and Mouzon received a standing ovation from the audience at the 20th Anniversary Conference, which included many alumni as well as members of the Project L/EARN advisory panel, faculty mentors, and other leading researchers from other nearby foundations and universities. When giving the award, Dr. Miller pointed out that some universities will soon be the lucky beneficiaries of highly experienced, thoughtful, and talented instructors – an unusual level of teaching credentials among those who have just completed their doctoral work. She also noted that although Project L/EARN will miss them terribly as course instructors, they have left a phenomenal set of lecture and other teaching materials for the next instructors to use.

Dr. Alington would be particularly heartened to see Project L/EARN alumni grow up and give back so much to the program.

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