On August 11th, 2022, the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty (SHECP)
announced the 2022 winner of the Harlan R. Beckley Award, Dr. Stephanie Rolph. The award, named for Harlan R. Beckley, the Fletcher Otey Thomas Professor of Religion, Emeritus at Washington and Lee University, is granted to an individual deemed to make a difference in Poverty Studies and further the mission of the Consortium.
Dr. Rolph is Associate Professor of History at Millsaps College where she is a member of the Cabinet and serves as the Director of Experiential Learning and Strategic Initiatives. Rolph received a PhD from Mississippi State University and a BA from Millsaps College. Rolph also acted as the inaugural Academic Director of the Consortium, serving from 2017 through 2021, and she led SHECP through a transition within the consortium as well as a societal transition as the world faced COVID-19. The internship program and the accompanying academic program had to be completely reimagined and conducted online instead of in-person. To help develop bonds and nurture thoughtful reflection, Dr. Rolph oversaw the creation of learning communities to support interns throughout the summer. Dr. Rolph developed the theme of racial equity and intersectionality and a rich set of speakers to enhance the program.
Rolph’s colleagues describe her as “smart, resourceful, resilient, unafraid, and diligent,” and these qualities have helped her “bring the program to life—even over Zoom.” “Her leadership on poverty-related issues such as racism, geography, and intersectionality helped to equip SHECP interns to skillfully engage in life and work.”
The Consortium is so appreciative and thankful for Dr. Rolph’s unwavering commitment and bright spirit, and all affiliated with SHECP cannot wait to see how Rolph will continue to better community engaged learning.