IMP Senior Wins 2011 Wells Recognition Award
Also Winner of IMP's Richard D. Young Award
Posted: Thursday, September 1, 2011
An IMP senior has received the highest honor not just from her department, but from Indiana University. Erin Chapman (peace and conflict resolution studies ‘11) was awarded both the IMP’s Richard D. Young Award and the University’s Herman B Wells Senior Recognition Award.
For Erin, peace is not simply the absence of war. The relationship between the two conditions is much more complex. When proposing her major, she wrote: “Although my eventual goal is creating peace, I want to first look critically at the situations in which conflict may or may not be appropriate. The goal of any successful diplomatic policy should be not to create peace unequivocally and hastily, but rather to solve the problems at hand. Consequently, my major is as much about learning to think critically as it is about methodologies of peace.” Erin’s major is an excellent example of problem-based learning, marshalling the disciplinary approaches of political science, history, public policy analysis, and international studies.
Erin also developed skills in textual analysis studying the relationship of rhetoric and conflict in a tutorial with former IMP director and professor of English Ray Hedin. That experience was crucial in her final project, a rhetorical analysis of speeches given by Nobel laureates. As one of two student speakers at the IMP’s spring 2011 graduation ceremony, Erin discussed Alfred Nobel’s endowment of the peace prize—which the inventor of dynamite hoped would alter his identification as a “merchant of death”—in light of the IMP graduates’ efforts to shape their own destinies.
Erin took full advantage of the opportunities for international study afforded by the Wells Scholarship. In May 2009 she spent ten days in Seoul, South Korea, studying globalization and economic development through SPEA’s Scholars in Global Citizenship Program. She then spent the rest of the summer studying Spanish and transitional justice in Lima and Ayacucho, Peru, where she also worked for the human rights and legal advocacy NGO Paz y Esperanza (Peace and Hope). During the spring of 2010 she worked as a research assistant at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington, D.C. through SPEA’s Washington Leadership Program. Her interest in international conflict resolution took her to Geneva and London in the summer of 2010 where she studied international organizations and the role they play in conflict resolution.
Erin served as the president of Board of Aeons and was also an IDS opinion columnist, a Student Body Supreme Court associate justice, and an active member of the Student Foreign Policy Initiative and the Collins Living-Learning Center community.
At the university’s Honors Convocation on April 10, 2011, Provost Karen Hanson presented Erin with the Wells Senior Recognition Award and said of her that “her commitment to the life of the mind, to historical research, to precise communication, to giving voice to others is a model for us all.”
After graduation, Erin will join the Teach for America-Colorado corps as a secondary English teacher. She eventually hopes to pursue a doctorate and teach at the university level.