News of the achievements of local students and members of the Armed Forces:
* Morten Lamps of Arlington earned a master’s degree in international public affairs and Claire Sweeney of Arlington earned a bachelor of science degree in human development and family studies during recent commencement exercises at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
* Nick Farr of Arlington earned a bachelor of science degree in aquaculture and fishery technology during recent commencement exercises at the University of Rhode Island.
* Michael Crawford of Arlington has been named to the dean’s list for the spring semester at Union College.
* Jasper Kerr, a rising senior at Washington-Liberty High School, was one of 32 students from around the nation accepted into the Foundation for Teacher Economics’ “Economics for Leaders” program.
Students participated in a week-long program in July at Wake Forest University, having been selected for their excellent leadership potential.
* Kelly Melnick, the daughter of Paul and Meredith Melnick of Arlington and a member of Girl Scout Troop 386, recently earned the Gold Award, the highest award available to Girl Scouts.
As part of the initiative, Melnick worked to instruct students in Honduras in basic first aid and dental hygiene, engaging in creative educational teaching activities with the Honduras Independence Bilingual School (HIBS) students from pre-kindergarten through seventh grade.
“Kelly arrived at the HIBS school prepared to educate the students and to provide all the students with dental and health kits,” said Rev. Glen Evans, who works to support missionary activities in Honduras and oversaw the project. “She leaves behind an ample stock of hand towels to be used at the bathroom sink, [as] there were no towels before; a deep resource of educational materials for teachers to use in the upcoming school years; and a plethora of over-the-counter medicines and school supplies. The HIBS school deeply appreciates the impact Kelly’s project has had on the school.”
The Gold Award project was held in conjunction with a June 23-29 trip to Quimistán, Honduras, by adults and youth from Clarendon United Methodist Church.
* Swanson Middle School teacher Mary Beth Donnelly has been named the 2019 Virginia History Teacher of the Year, an award presented annually by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to K-12 American-history education.
In addition to a $1,000 honorarium, Swanson will receive a core archive of American history books and Gilder Lehrman educational materials.
As part of her selection, Donnelly became one of 53 finalists for the $10,000 National History Teacher of the Year Award, to be presented at a ceremony in New York City on Oct. 2.
Inaugurated in 2004, the History Teacher of the Year Award highlights the crucial importance of history education by honoring exceptional American-history teachers from elementary school through high school.
* George Mason University is among 11 research institutions named to the Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (JCOIN).
The National Institutes of Health (NIH), through the National Institute on Drug Abuse, awarded $15 million in grant funding over five years to establish Mason’s JCOIN Coordinating and Translation Center.
JCOIN is part of the NIH Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) Initiative, launched in early 2018 and focused on improving prevention and treatment strategies for opioid misuse and addiction, and enhancing pain management.
Mason’s center is led by University Professor Faye Taxman, with Mason researchers Danielle S. Rudes and Rebekah Hersch joining experts from other universities as part of the center’s team. There are 19 Mason faculty and staff members who will be associated with the center.
“The team at Mason and our partners will provide opportunities to advance science and practice,” said Taxman, who teaches in Mason’s Criminology, Law and Society Department and is director of the Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence. “We intend to break new ground in building the next generation of workforce of scientists and clinicians.”
The Mason effort also will focus on research to identify effective dissemination strategies for reaching criminal-justice and addiction-treatment stakeholders and provide funding for rapid turnaround innovation efforts.
“So many individuals who struggle with substance-use issues find themselves in the criminal-justice system because of their addiction,” said Bill Hazel, senior adviser for innovation and community engagement in Mason’s Office of Research and the former Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources. “This work is essential to helping the nation find workable solutions to their unique challenges.”