SNHU Alumna Wins $60,000 Ford Foundation Fellowship

Wednesday, July 15, 2009
SNHU Communications Office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Gregg Mazzola
Director of Communications
Southern New Hampshire University
603.629.4649
g.mazzola@snhu.edu                                                   

SNHU Alumna Wins $60,000 Ford Foundation Fellowship

Manchester, NH (July 15, 2009) - SNHU alumna Akilah Watkins-Butler was one of 60 students nationwide to receive a $60,000 Ford Foundation Diversity Fellowship. Watkins-Butler earned masters’ degrees in business education and community economic development at SNHU.

Watkins-Butler is working towards a doctoral degree in African American marriage and family structure and its impact on community.

"I'm really interested to find out why African-American marriage rates have been declining, especially over the last 70 years, and what that decline has meant for communities," she said. "I want to find out how [residents] perceive their community changing, if any, and what they perceive as the effect that marriage has on it."

Ford Foundation Diversity Fellowship grant recipients have demonstrated superior academic achievement, are committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level, show promise of future achievement as a scholars and teachers, and are well prepared to use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.

Watkins-Butler is a dedicated community organizer and an activist focused on helping at-risk children and communities. She received a Ford Foundation Fellowship in 2005 while participating as a program officer with the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta. She is the co-author - along with her husband Kamau - of "The Love Ethic: The Reason Why You can't Find and Keep Beautiful Black Love."

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