Grinnell Prize selection committee announced

10-member committee will select 2013 Grinnell Prize winners

Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

Grinnell College has announced the 10-member selection committee to determine the winners of the 2013 Grinnell Prize. The award program honors young innovators under the age of 40 who have demonstrated leadership in their fields and who show creativity, commitment and extraordinary accomplishment in effecting positive social change.

Nominations for the 2013 Prize will be accepted beginning Sept. 5, when the winners of the 2012 Prize will be announced, and are due by Nov. 5, 2012. Winners of the 2013 Prize will be announced in the fall of 2013. Details of the program and its nomination process are available atwww.grinnell.edu/socialjusticeprize.

“Each year, the Grinnell Prize selection committee is required to select Prize winners from hundreds of qualified and impressive nominations,” said Grinnell College President Raynard S. Kington, M.D., Ph.D. “With the prize program entering its third year, the quality of these nominations continues to impress us, and we are thrilled to have a selection committee with so much experience and passion for effecting positive social change.”

The selection committee will be chaired by Eliza Willis, professor of political science, Grinnell College. Willis teaches courses on Latin American politics, global development, international political economy, and the political economy of developing countries. She previously served as chair of the Grinnell faculty.

The nine other members – largely Iowa-based – are recognized individuals who work for social change in various capacities. Their backgrounds, accomplishments and experiences reflect the diversity in Grinnell students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the state.

  • Meg Jones Bair, director of donor relations, Grinnell College. She has served in a variety of positions in the Development and Alumni Relations office during the past 17 years and also served on the Poweshiek County Foster Care Review Board and the Grinnell College Collection Committee.
  • Emily Westergaard Hamilton, executive director, Des Moines “I Have a Dream” Foundation and Grinnell College 2002 graduate. Her organization works with at-risk youth to help students graduate and attend college.
  • Chris Hunter, professor of sociology, Grinnell College. He has served as coordinator of the college’s Minority Opportunities through School Transformation Program, a faculty representative on the Associated Colleges of the Midwest Committee on Minority Concerns, and on the boards of Mid-Iowa Community Action and the public library.
  • Kristi Knous, president and COO, Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines.  She also serves on the boards of Bravo Greater Des Moines, Midwest Housing Equity Group, and the Iowa State University Foundation Women and Philanthropy Advisory Committee.
  • Colleen Osborne, Grinnell College senior and student body president. She is a political science major hoping to pursue a career in women’s advocacy and international relations.
  • Suku Radia, president and CEO, Bankers Trust. He is active in numerous professional, economic development, educational and charitable organizations, including United Way of Central Iowa and the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines.
  • Suzanne Siskel, executive vice president and chief operating officer, The Asia Foundation. She oversees the foundation’s day-to-day operations and works on strategy and policy issues in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Marsha Ternus, former chief justice, Iowa Supreme Court. As chief justice, she made the improvement of court oversight of child welfare cases a priority for the Iowa Judicial Branch, and in 2012, was honored with the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.
  • Barrett Thomas, member of the Grinnell College board of trustees and a 1997 graduate. He is an associate professor in the Department of Management Sciences at the University of Iowa and is active in the fields of process improvement, logistics, and dynamic programming.

Selection committee members will pick one to three winners to receive an award of $100,000, half awarded to the individual and half to an organization committed to the winner’s area of social change, for a total of up to $300,000 in prize monies. Past nominations have spanned a diverse array of social issues, including hunger relief, childhood education, environmental issues, literacy, youth arts, fair housing, violence prevention, immigration, GLBTQ, youth services, hospice care, children’s mental health and global peace, among many others.

The Grinnell Prize directly reflects Grinnell’s historic mission to educate men and women “who are prepared in life and work to use their knowledge and their abilities to serve the common good.” Nominations are open to U.S. citizens as well as nationals of other countries and are encouraged across a wide range of fields, including science, medicine, the environment, humanities, business, economics, education, law, public policy, social services, religion and ethics, as well as projects that cross these boundaries. Special efforts are made to seek nominees who work in areas that may not be traditionally viewed as directly connected to social justice, such as the arts and business. No affiliation with Grinnell College is required.

Grinnell College is a nationally recognized, private, four-year, liberal arts college located in Grinnell, Iowa. Founded in 1846, Grinnell enrolls 1,600 students from all 50 states and from as many international countries in more than 26 major fields, interdisciplinary concentrations and pre-professional programs.