Sixteen Elizabethtown College students flew down to Atlanta, Ga. to attend the third biennial National Stamps Scholar Convention at the Georgia Institute of Technology this past weekend.
The students, accompanied by Dr. Jean Pretz, associate professor of psychology and director of the Stamps program, had the opportunity to meet an estimated 600 Stamps scholars from 41 partner schools across the country. They also interacted with donors, business executives who are interesting in getting involved with the Stamps foundation and “friends of Mr. and Mrs. Stamps,” sophomore and Stamps Scholar Tiana Ferrante said.
The convention, which took place April 10 to April 12, was organized by the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation, Inc. The foundation is named for its benefactors, E. Roe Stamps IV and Penelope W. Stamps.
According to its website, the scholarship program began in 2006 “at Penny and Roe Stamps’ alma maters, the University of Michigan and the Georgia Institute of Technology.” The program has been expanding since that time, now partnering with 41 institutes of higher education. The Elizabethtown College program was added in 2011.
According to Ferrante, there were different “threads” throughout the conference. There were threads related to areas such as health, science, arts and law.
Ferrante chose the law thread and participated in a discussion with the former president of the Georgia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Senior Tamara Eichelberger decided to pursue the social courage, change and equality thread. “We discussed a lot of issues involving social justice on our own college campuses and around the world,” Eichelberger said. The other scholars involved in the thread visited the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and spoke with Doug Shipman, a founding CEO of the center.
“My favorite parts of the convention were being inspired by the remarkable students who attended and by the speakers, including Mr. and Mrs. Stamps in their keynote interview,” senior Alicia Froh said.
Junior Gates Failing said that the convention was filled with engaging presentations, thought-provoking workshops and opportunities to network with “highly motivated students from institutions around the country.”
The scholars were also given some time to explore the city, including attractions such as the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and the Georgia Aquarium.
“Atlanta is a nice place to be,” Ferrante said. “It was very sunny.”
“It was an inspiring weekend,” Failing said.