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CSON’s Dickson Earns Milestone Award

Sandra Dickson (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)

By Reid Oslin | Chronicle Staff

Published: Feb. 16, 2012

Sandra Dickson, a Connell School of Nursing junior who helps coordinate CSON’s AHANA student outreach program as one of her multiple extracurricular service activities, has been named winner of the 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship, given annually to a BC junior who reflects King’s philosophy in his or her own life and work.

Dickson was announced as the winner last Friday in a special ceremony held at Robsham Theater where Harvard Law School Professor Charles Ogletree, featured speaker at the 30th annual scholarship event, joined in presenting the coveted award to her. She was one of five candidates for the King Scholarship.

As a KILN (Keys to Inclusive Leadership in Nursing) scholar in CSON, Dickson serves as a research assistant to Assistant Professor Allyssa Harris on a project examining the effect of urban literature on adolescents, and she helps Associate Professor of Sociology Shawn McGuffey with his research on refugees from Darfur.

Dickson participates in the University’s PULSE program, working with the Samaritans’ suicide prevention hotline effort. She also volunteers her time as a campus tour guide for the Undergraduate Admission Office, a student guide for the 48 Hours retreat program, co-chair of the Black History Month planning committee, and as a member of the AHANA Leadership Council’s Volunteer Corps and its annual service trip to Mississippi.

“Nursing is an embodiment of Dr. King’s philosophy,” Dickson, a Newark, NJ, native who is of Ghanaian descent, wrote in her scholarship application essay, “because it is a profession that demands compassion, selflessness and advocacy from its workers. My approach to tackling the challenges we face is to, first and foremost, value and honor the opportunities I have had thus far and use it to uplift others.

“I am grateful that I attend an institution that teaches young men and women to be well-rounded, to constantly reflect on themselves and to be altruistic. Aligning with the Jesuit ideals, Dr. King’s teachings summon us to replenish ourselves spiritually and to lead a life of purpose,” she wrote. “My personal goal for dealing with the injustices in our society is creating awareness and finding ways to integrate the Jesuit ideals with that of my own.”