Five seniors awarded Labouisse Prize for international civic engagement projects 2022

Written by
Pooja Makhijani, Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies
March 31, 2022

Princeton University seniors Beata Corcoran, Fernanda Romo Herrera Ibarrola, Elle Ruggiero, Naomi Shifrin and Frances Walker have been awarded the Henry Richardson Labouisse ’26 Prize to pursue international civic engagement projects for one year following graduation.

Corcoran, an anthropology major from Washington D.C., will help expand free educational and enrichment opportunities for asylum seekers in Nicosia, Cyprus. Romo Herrera Ibarrola, a politics concentrator from Cancun, Mexico, will help expand a grassroots transparency initiative to rural districts in Malinalco, Mexico. Ruggiero, a concentrator in the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) from Malvern, Pennsylvania, will document maternal mortality during the Zika epidemic and COVID-19 pandemic in Brasilia, Brazil. Shifrin, a sociology concentrator from New York City and Newton, Massachusetts, will study the spiritual healing arts in Jerusalem and write songs about those learnings in collaboration with Israeli and Palestinian musicians. Walker, a concentrator in anthropology from Chicago, will travel to Deradhun and Mumbai to examine the evolving landscape of sustainable menstruation in India.

The Labouisse Prize, which awards $35,000 to each recipient, enables graduating seniors to engage in a project that exemplifies the life and work of Henry Richardson Labouisse, a 1926 Princeton alumnus who was a diplomat, international public servant, and champion for the causes of international justice and international development. The prize was established in 1984 by Labouisse’s daughter Anne Peretz and family. It is administered by the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS).

“Princeton alumnus Henry M. Labouisse ’26 was a leader of the great global generation that defeated fascism, ended colonialism and sought to build a more equitable post-war and post-colonial world,” said Emmanuel Kreike, professor of history and chair of the Labouisse selection committee. “Today, perhaps more than any time since the end of the Cold War, Labouisse’s message has gained a new urgency. In a world where war, racism, fake news and epidemic disease threaten to deepen divisions and isolationism both domestically and globally, it’s crucial to restore and expand international in-person exchanges and communications. Virtual globalism through such platforms as Facebook or Zoom have proved a poor alternative to the lived experience of doing service or research abroad. Meeting and getting to know our fellow humans, their communities, their cultures and languages, and their environments are all requirements to prevent the misunderstandings and prejudices that feed the hatred and violence that tear us apart.”