Each year Greater Lansing-UNA sponsors awards for outstanding contributions to Global Education and International Understanding. The Loy LaSalle Award is given to an outstanding K-12 teacher, and the Craig B. Stuttman Award is given to an outstanding high school student. All schools throughout the greater Lansing area are encouraged to submit nominations. Be involved!
2020 Award Winners
GLOBAL EDUCATION STUDENT OF THE YEAR
Ezekiel Zalante Ewulomi
Ezekiel graduated from Waverly HS in the spring, is now a freshman at Michigan State University, and was nominated by his teacher and advisor Robert Lurie who says Ezekiel is self- motivated and actively seeks ways to investigate the world - and then takes action to make a difference.He spends countless hours volunteering with the South Sudan Rescue and Relief Association helping to fulfill its mission of helping the Sudanese community better integrate into the Lansing area.
He was on the planning committee when Waverly HS hosted a Regional Global Teaching Dialogue funded by the U.S. Department of State. It was there that Ezekiel began to focus his own efforts on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
He was the only high school member of LATTICE (Linking All Types of Teachers to International Cross Cultural Education.) The local educators and international scholars gained by Ezekiel’s participation. Lurie closed his nomination with - “Ezekiel is a true global citizen by both birth and by choice. He is an outstanding candidate for this award.”
GLOBAL EDUCATION HIGH SCHOOL JUNIOR OF THE YEAR
Marie Adele Grosso
Marie Adele Grosso is an East Lansing high school student who is passionate about furthering peace and justice locally and in the world. In high school, she is in Amnesty Club, Student Council, in groups specifically addressing LGBTQ+ rights, racial justice and student mental health and in Model United Nations (MUN).
When COVID-19 ended MUN in-person meetings, Marie Adele and other students from the U.S. and other countries created Shelter-at-Home Model U.N. (SHMUN) to provide global, teen-led Model UN virtual conferences twice a month.
Marie Adele is the Director General of SHMUN.
Elaine Gregory, Global Ed Student Awardee
Elaine is a freshman physiology student at Michigan State University. Her parents are Laurie Prange and Thomas Gregory. A Waverly High School graduate, Elaine participated in National Honor Society, student government, lacrosse, and cross country in high school. She has deep passion to learn from other cultures and loves to immerse herself in them. She traveled to Europe to focus on World War II. Her global studies included producing work on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the ten stages of genocide. She is a leader and was co-organizer of a Town Hall meeting at Waverly High School which focused on world issues and on how students can use their voice to effect the change they want to see. She is described as “a global citizen who passionately investigates the world, critically examines issues... and has successfully taken action on issues of importance to her and other students."
Naja Tatum, Global Ed Teacher Awardee
Naja Tatum-Moore is a kindergarten teacher in the River Rouge School District, previously East Lansing Schools. Ms. Tatum-Moore graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in elementary education with a concentration in literacy. During her undergraduate work, she worked as a Cultural Aide for the Office of Cultural and Academic Transition at Michigan State University. This position allowed her to connect and build relationships with freshmen, students of color, and international students to ensure their transition to MSU was successful. The respect and acceptance that she developed for all people and their cultures has continued into her career with children. Fostering positive relationships with her students and their families has inspired her to create a classroom community where all children are accepted and feel safe, one in which their value and differences are celebrated and embraced. Throughout her years as an educator she has built long-lasting relationships with families in the community and around the world. She continues to instill these qualities in her students each year in hopes of teaching them the importance of acceptance and respect for all people.
Lia Bommarito, now a freshman at MSU, has been actively involved in Model UnitedNations since 8th grade. She has been an excellent Model UN leader and role model. In high school, she was the Secretary General of Williamston High School's Model United Nations club for two years and helped to develop the program for all four years of high school and during middle school as well. She is continuing her “MUN" career by volunteering for two different MUN conferences this year. Greater Lansing United Nations Association celebrates Lia's appreciation of the important role of the United Nations and her dedication in helping to develop Model United Nations Programs. After college Lia hopes to work for the rights of minorities by working for the ACLU as an attorney.
Global Ed Teacher Awardee Dana Blank has been bringing the world to Ovid-Elsie students for years.Besides an infusion of international literature in her classrooms, Dana has also brought internationals into her classrooms, school, and community, including Rodgers Kirwa (“Mr. Agriculture”) from Kenya last spring. Over the years, she has hosted 13 foreign exchange students and traveled to Europe multiple times to visit those students and their families. She has brought those life experiences back to the classroom. She helped to start the Ovid-Elsie Awareness and Change group last year and facilitated an eye-opening student exchange with Waverly High School. One needn’t be in K-12 to benefit from Ms. Blank’s internationally-focused classroom; she teaches at Lansing Community College where she incorporates global social issues into her English classes. As a member of LATTICE (Linking All Types of Teachers in Cross-cultural Education) she played a role in bringing a Greater Lansing UNA “World Friendship Day” to the students at Ovid-Elsie Middle School.
Aidan Winters was awarded the 2017 Craig B. Stuttman Student Award for his outstanding contributions and leadership in Ionia High School. He excelled in the Foreign Language Department, demonstrating high motivation in learning about other cultures as well as mentoring others. He successfully participated in an outreach program in which he learned to respect and accept differences in the community as well as various injustices people face. Aidan traveled to Spain and France with a high school group, increasing his awareness of cultural and historical diversity, ultimately developing a greater global perspective. He also participated in numerous extracurricular clubs, including working with the Michigan Task Force to bring awareness of human trafficking to his school. The dinner he organized raised awareness and over $600 for the fight against human trafficking. Aidan participated in "Hillary for America," attending political rallies, participating in the vote re-count, actively involving himself in politics and speaking up for peace and justice. His is now a freshman at Michigan State University.
Erin Parris-Dallia, a middle school foreign language teacher at West Middle School, was awarded the 2017 LoyLaSalle Teacher Award for her outstanding contributions and leadership in the Plymouth Canton Community Schools. Ms. Parris-Dallia attended the MSU Summer Institute for Global Studies, exerting great efforts with her students to create meaningful lessons and personal interactions with people from other cultures. She spent two weeks in Guatemala on a scholarship from the Central States Conference on teaching Foreign Language. She returned home and shared her videos, materials and lesson plans with other workshop participants; thus connecting more students to intercultural awareness and perspectives. She has also planned, led and chaperoned numerous international trips for her students. Through her service on multiple committees, writing curriculum on local and state levels, multiple conference and workshop presentations, Ms. Parris-Dallia has demonstrated immense strength in the area of global education.
Student Award–Shreya Srirastava, Haslett High School
Teacher Awards–Heidi Irvine, Holt High School, and Robert Lurie, Waverly High School