Two student projects at the University of Oklahoma were awarded the 2017 Thatcher Hoffman Smith Creativity in Motion Prize.
“OKC South Side Initiative,” submitted by Samara Crawford-Herrera, will establish a community-based collaboration between the OU Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work and community partners in south Oklahoma City.
“We are humbled by the opportunity the award has given us to continue providing engaging and responsive work with the children and families in the South Oklahoma City area,” said Crawford-Herrera. “It is an honor and privilege as social work students to know our learning experiences can lead to social change. We are a collective of students from a variety of human experiences, connected in the belief that making a small difference starts with commitment. In being awarded the Thatcher Hoffman Smith award this year, we are renewed in our ideology that there is also a caring and motivated consortium of people, also committed to making this difference.”
“Success Pad,” submitted by Darius Katono Aruho, will help girls in Uganda never miss a day of school because of lack of access to sanitary menstruation pads. The project provides support to a rural village that is learning to design, manufacture and sew reusable pads.
"Many issues in the world are yearning for our attention, and we may feel the urge to take two routes: shut down or engage. With the CIM prize, I will be able to continue the latter route, especially with regards to menstrual health in my community, Karera, Uganda,” said Aruho. “Without pads or with unsanitary alternatives like rags, a girl will miss an average of 40 days of school – that is longer than a typical winter-break. I strongly believe girls should stay in school despite what their body is doing, and the reusable ‘Success Pad’ will help achieve that goal."
The Creativity in Motion Prize was established in 2004 by Jeanne Hoffman Smith in honor of her parents. The prize is open to any OU student on any of the three campuses. More than 40 applications of varying scope were received this year; all were well-presented and of high caliber, according to OU faculty judges Kyle Bergersen, Hans Butzer, Jonathan Hils and Hollie Mackey.
A social worker in Oklahoma City, Smith has served the community in several ways, including as a member on many boards, such as the Inasmuch Foundation Advisory Committee, Oklahoma Humanities Council and Kirkpatrick Foundation. Her parents’ legacy lives on through the Creativity in Motion Prize. Roy Hoffman Jr. taught his children to “Leave more wood on the wood pile than was there when you came,” inspiring Smith to use her inheritance to build several programs with Oklahoma educational institutions focused on growth and development of imaginative, creative talents and skills in people of all ages.
For more information, visit ou.edu/cim.