Print Page
News: School News

Advocate for Justice Scholarship Profiles

Wednesday, October 15, 2008  
Posted by: The Advocate
Share |
Advocate for Justice Scholarships are three-year full-tuition scholarships awarded to entering students with excellent academic records and a demonstrated commitment to working for justice.

Michael Ewall is a recipient of the Advocate for Justice Scholarship. A graduate of Pennsylvania State University-University Park, where he majored in sociology, Michael is the founder and director of the Energy Justice Network, a national support network for grassroots community groups fighting dirty energy and waste industry facilities, such as coal power plants, incinerators and ethanol refineries. He is also the founder and director of a related state-wide group called ActionPA, leading the grassroots environmental movement against waste and toxics in Pennsylvania. In 2004, Michael co-founded the Energy Action Coalition, a youth-led coalition of 48 organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada working together to fight for a clean, just and renewable energy future. Michael has developed networks to stop proposed coal power plants, ethanol biorefineries, incinerators and numerous other damaging energy industries. He has also developed the nation's strongest mercury and dioxin air pollution ordinances and has used these local-level laws to stop proposed polluters in small towns in Pennsylvania. With a special focus on environmental issues, Michael plans to use his law degree to further his non-profit activist work.

Leandra Goedvolk is a recipient of the Advocate for Justice Scholarship. A graduate of McMaster University, where she majored in Political Science, Leandra was a student coordinator for the Peer Helper Program and a board member for McMaster University's chapter of the Ontario Public Interest Research Group. She also completed an internship with the City of Hamilton's Waste Management Department, acting as an outreach worker during the roll-out of the city's household organic waste collection program, the Green Cart Program. Here, she realized her passion for community outreach and development. After college, Leandra worked at a local organic, fair-trade, vegetarian bakery and founded Don't Sweat It, a not-for-profit company that works to make sweat-free living possible by offering ethical apparel to consumers at low cost. Leandra then became Membership Coordinator of the National Arboretum, where she was charged with bringing the Friends of the National Arboretum (FONA) into the "green" age, reaching out to the public, and increasing the grassroots support for the Arboretum during potentially devastating cuts to its budget. She currently serves on the Membership Committee of FONA and is organizing their participation in alternative gift fairs. She is also exploring opportunities to work with a local attorney on national Indian law and the Takoma Park Committee on the Environment. Mostly, however, she is savoring the gift of being here at UDC-DCSL to study law in a way that will give her the tools to make real change.

Donald Padou is the recipient of the Cafritz Advocate for Justice Scholarship. He is a graduate of the University of San Francisco, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in History, and Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Policy, where he earned a Master’s degree in Science with honors. While in graduate school, Donald interned with the Foreign Ministry of Argentina, serving in the Organization of American States planning group and Civil Societies Section. Donald also began a letter-writing campaign to Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) officials regarding poor lighting conditions inside Metro stations. Donald was eventually appointed a member of the Riders’ Advisory Council (RAC) for WMATA, and authored a paper entitled "Lighting Metro," which compared lighting conditions in existing Metro stations to lighting conditions in other public spaces. Donald challenged, and continues to lobby, WMATA officials to move beyond the minimal lighting standards set by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and establish their own standards. Donald also has a strong community focus, particularly in his Brookland neighborhood of Washington, D.C. For the past three years, he has served as a reporter and editor of Brookland Heartbeat, a local community paper. He also serves on the steering committee of the Brookland Small Area Plan and served as the elected Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for his Brookland neighborhood, where he also advised the D.C. Office of Planning on neighborhood zoning and development. Prior to law school, Donald worked for almost two decades in investment banking. The September 11th attacks influenced his decision to look for a new career with a stronger public service focus, which led him to UDC-DCSL. After graduation, Donald plans to practice disability law with a focus on visual impairments.

Katherine Piper is a recipient of the Advocate for Justice Scholarship. A graduate of Wesleyan University in Connecticut, where she majored in Sociology, Katherine was involved with prison activism and focused on women and their education. She received numerous awards, including the Davenport Grant for Undergraduate Research, given to support research in the field of public affairs; the Social Activist Award, given to a student who exemplifies the spirit of social activism; and the Anna Julia Cooper Prize, given for excellence in academics and the pursuit of social justice. She also wrote the "Prison Activism" entry published in Sage Publications’ Encyclopedia of Prisons and Correctional Facilities. After college, Katherine worked in New York at the Osborne Association, providing services to incarcerated mothers and their children, and, for the past few years, with prisoners and other advocates to end the abuse of prisoners at Red Onion State Prison, a Virginia supermax prison. She decided to pursue a law degree due in part to the lack of dedicated pro bono Virginia attorneys available to advocate for prisoners in the Virginia Department of Corrections. After she earns her law degree, Katherine plans to litigate on behalf of prisoners’ civil rights.

Site Search
Sign In

School News

7/23/2018 » 7/27/2018
17th Annual Human Rights on the Hill Program

7/23/2018 » 7/27/2018
Asylum Seeker Assistance Project: Job Readiness Training

8/1/2018 » 8/3/2018
2018 Youth Summit

8/9/2018 » 8/17/2018
Orientation and Start of Classes for First Year Students (8/9-8/17)