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Last modified: Thursday, April 21, 2011

Erin Chapman receives IU's Wells Senior Recognition Award

April 21, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Erin Chapman, a graduating senior at Indiana University Bloomington, has been awarded the Herman B Wells Senior Recognition Award, the campus's top academic award for undergraduates. It was presented April 10 during the IU Bloomington 2011 Honors Convocation.

"Erin has achieved remarkable success in her four years at IU Bloomington," said Provost and Executive Vice President Karen Hanson. "She has excelled in the classroom, but also stands out as a student leader and as an advocate for human rights and social justice. Her entire career at Indiana University has been very much in the spirit of Herman B Wells. Her commitment to the life of the mind, to historical research, to precise communication, to giving voice to others is a model for us all."

Established in 1962 in honor of the late Chancellor Herman B Wells, the Wells Senior Recognition Award recognizes excellence in academic achievement and excellence of contribution to the campus community through leadership and participation in campus activities.

Chapman will graduate with majors in history and in conflict resolution and peace studies through the Individualized Major Program in the College of Arts and Sciences. A graduate of Taylor High School in North Bend, Ohio, she was named a Wells Scholar as a freshman and came to IU Bloomington as a student in the Hutton Honors College. Her parents are Monica and Rob Chapman.

As an IU student, Chapman won several awards for scholarship and writing, including the World History Prize and the Elfrieda Lang Award given by the Department of History. She served as a research assistant to Michael McGerr, Paul V. McNutt Professor of History, conducting research for an upcoming book about the Vanderbilt family.

"Creative and committed, Erin Chapman is an outstanding representative of the talented undergraduate student body at IU Bloomington," McGerr said. "She has accomplished a great deal in just four years, both as a student leader and as a scholar."

As a member and president of the Board of Aeons, a student group that advises IU President Michael A. McRobbie, she was involved with recommendations to repurpose the Old Crescent area of the Bloomington campus and extend hours of operation at the IU Health Center. She served on the Dean of Students Advisory Council and the founding executive council of the McKaig Leadership Fund.

She has been a member of the student body Supreme Court and student representative to the Bloomington Faculty Council Educational Policies and Student Affairs committees, and she held several positions at Collins Living Learning Center, where she has lived for four years.

She co-founded the Student Foreign Policy Initiative, an organization that promotes thoughtful discussion on campus of foreign policy, and established a program in which IU's Wells Activism and Volunteer Effort provides volunteer support for the Midwest Pages to Prisoners Project.

She worked as a volunteer in Peru with the organization Paz y Esperanza (Peace and Hope) in the summer of 2009, producing photographs and video regarding human rights and legal advocacy. In the summer of 2010, she was a campaigns intern in London with Free Tibet. She also worked as a research assistant for the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., where she provided research assistance on post-conflict transitions, peace-building and economic development.

This fall, she will teach secondary English in Colorado as a member of Teach for America.