L.E. Meador Center Scholarship
The L.E. Meador Center for Politics and Citizenship launched in 2015 thanks to a generous endowment in honor of the late professor L.E. Meador. The mission of the Center is to connect the community of scholars at Drury University with city, state, national and global communities. As part of the program’s outreach to help students, scholarships are offered for local community engagement, research and study away or study abroad opportunities.
Since 2015, five Drury students have been awarded funds from the study abroad/away scholarship program. In spring 2017, political science majors Ann Njoki and Christina Faoro spent time at The Washington Center in our nation’s capital.
Njoki worked with the organization Mentors, Inc., a nonprofit that provides mentoring and support to public and charter high school
students in the D.C. area. The overall goal is to improve graduation rates and students’ outlook for the future. She also attended weekly classes and conducted grant research at the Washington Center Foundation.
Njoki says one of her favorite things about the internship was walking down the streets of D.C. and seeing people her own age making an impact. “There are a lot of interns my age in D.C. I loved going for happy hour and engaging in a political debate with someone I didn’t know. I loved sharing a newspaper with someone in the Metro, and I mostly loved that there was always a peaceful protest somewhere, even though sometimes I did not understand why.”
Meanwhile, across town, Drury senior Christina Faoro spent 15 weeks of her time working as a legislative affairs assistant at Churches of the Middle East Peace. Her 20-minute walks to work would often take her by the Supreme Court building and the Capitol. Her daily duties included compiling information about a member of Congress for the Legislative Affairs Director and collecting articles highlighting important events that occurred in Israel and Palestine. Those stories would then be compiled into a newsletter and sent to the organization’s constituents. Faoro says she had the opportunity to meet with a few members of Congress and see how politics work in action.
Although she was over 1,000 miles from Drury, Faoro says support from the Drury community was always there. “Even though I was not actively on Drury’s campus, I still had the input and advice of my Drury professors supporting me through my educational development. This opportunity in some ways taught me more about myself and my desires for my future than two years in classes have. This experience is something that I would recommend to anyone who is looking to grow and engage in the ‘real world’ while still having the help and support of the Drury community.”
Political science senior Johan Englén split his spring semester between working in the Kansas State Legislature and studying abroad in Germany. While at the legislature, Englén worked closely with Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley researching and writing briefs on policies affecting criminal justice reform.
Englén says being the intern for one of the floor leaders had its perks. “I got to see some things other interns didn’t get to see. I watched interviews for the State of the State address. I was also on the Senate floor for an important and closed tax veto override bill.”
Following this internship in Kansas, Englén hopped on a plane to spend the remainder of the spring and summer semesters studying abroad at Leuphana University in Lüneburg, Germany. He credits the Meador Center with affording him the ability to travel abroad via the study abroad scholarship.
In addition to the study abroad/away scholarship, the Meador Center also offers scholarships for student research projects and local community engagement. Applications are accepted for fall, summer and spring semesters.