The Hall Foundation Summer Academic Enrichment Program, also known as the Hall Grant, is awarded to William Jewell College students who wish to further their education in a specific area by supplementing it with an experience that can be found only off campus.
The Hall family, known for their stake in Hallmark, contributes the annual grant to Jewell. The Hall’s also give to the Oxbridge program, as well as provide various other donations to WJC.
The connection between WJC and the Hall family began as a geographical interest when Hallmark built its distribution center near college grounds in 1972.
“The Hall family is philanthropic and believes in higher education,” said Dayna Beinke, Executive Assistant to the President and Assistant Secretary to the Board. “They support the programs Jewell offers students.”
The Hall Grant contribution has remained fairly static over recent years and is generally awarded to four or five Jewell students each year. Through the grant, each student has the chance to earn up to $5,000 of funding. Some students couple this sum with their Journey Grant for a larger than life enrichment experience.
Four Jewell students were awarded with funding from the Hall Grant to be used the summer of 2017. These students include Zoe Spangler, junior theater and ACT-In major; Thais Quiroga, sophomore Oxbridge history of ideas and international relations major; Jacqueline Parson, junior psychology, music and mathematics major; and Eric Krieger, senior international relations and business administration major.
“With my Hall Grant, I plan on traveling to Israel, Turkey, and Greece to apply the research I am conducting this semester on the religious music of Judaism, Islam, and the Greek Orthodox Church,” Parson said.
While abroad, Parson will collect information to deepen her studies at Jewell for when she comes back for her senior year.
“I will also be obtaining research for my senior thesis which will analyze the effects war, conflict and PTSD have on community mental health, and how music can be used for healing and unity,” Parson said.
Parson’s focus is critical and somber, but she still is looking forward to the life-changing nature of the adventure.
“I am most excited to travel out of the country for the first time and experience the world in a way that will most definitely change my perspectives on life,” Parson said.
However, Parson looks outside of herself and dedicates her studies to understanding the ways in which the world interacts. She also will focus on finding relief for hard situations.
“I hope to learn more about the practices of the three religions in places where they are held in high esteem and practiced actively by emerging myself in their cultures,” Parson said. “I also hope to bring back insight into the role music plays in communities where conflict is a norm and truly understand the impact this can have on mental health.”
Overall, Parson is working for change and wants others to be more understanding.
“I wish that our society would not be so critical and hesitant towards people that practice these religions, especially Judaism and Islam,” Parson said. “It’s important to show appreciation and respect for people of any religion, race, ethnicity, etc.”
In Parson’s case, the Hall Grant is being put to use to expand the mind of a student, but more importantly, will aid her in helping others in coming years.
“In the future, I plan on becoming a music therapist and using mission work to bring this study to areas in need all over the world,” she said. “This project will help me gain experience in this practice and also bring back research specific to PTSD and how music therapy can be used in direct application to this important topic.”
From travelling abroad to taking classes in the United States, the grant funds various types of educational enrichment projects.
Spangler plans to use her grant to complement her WJC Theater major and set her on the design and production track. She wants to boost her understanding of live entertainment and theater production technologies and is especially interested in lighting techniques.
Spangler discovered the Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas during her first year at Jewell. The institute is an intensive educational program for student designers, programmers and all aspects of theater technology. It is a program lead by industry professionals for the purpose of teaching future industry professionals. The institute draws students from all over the world.
Spangler knew that the institute taught the skills that she wanted to use in her career. She found that the institute exemplified the environment she wanted to work in.
“The only issue was that the tuition was ridiculous,” Spangler said. “I thought there is no way I can do this. I can’t pay for that.”
Thanks in part to the Hall Grant, in the summer of 2017 Spangler will take a three week long course called “Moving lights in Rock ‘N’ Roll” in Las Vegas at the institute.
Spangler will learn about moving lights, also called “moving heads” in the industry. These are the lights that offer various effects, such as dots of light that twist or shoot all over stage. Jewell does not provide extensive opportunities in this specific field of live entertainment technology.
“Moving heads are becoming more of a standard practice in musical theater and live concert spaces,” Spangler said. “It is becoming more of a need to have people who understand that technology to be able to succeed in the industry.”
This specific technology must be programmed, maintained and perfected for each show. Therefore, it comes with challenges.
“This style of programming will be new to me. I have had a narrow experience in programming lights into a show control board,” Spangler said.
Spangler is not discouraged easily when it comes to her passion of stage lighting.
“I am trying to brush up on the things that I know that I can learn online, but honestly, the best way to learn is to do it,” she said. “Moving lights is a whole new world. It is a multi-parameter programming style that I am not accustomed to. I am trying to ground myself in what I know, so that I can be best prepared for what I don’t know.”
Spangler will be intellectually tested during her grant-funded experience but knows there will also be fun times. She is looking forward to meeting new people during the adventure, whether it is international students in her class or industry professional instructors.
She is also excited because the institute gives students a free ticket to a Las Vegas show of their choice. Spangler plans on seeing a Cirque du Soleil performance.
Spangler is proactive in learning and making contacts in the field she intends to make a profession after graduation.
“I think that in completing this project all by myself it will show future employers that I am not afraid to take initiative when I really believe in something,” she said. “I think this will be a good opportunity for me to grow as a Jewell student, professional and a person.”
From overseas to the western region of the United States, the Hall Grant will take another student to the east coast to be immersed in the political realm.
Krieger will use his grant to do extensive research, interning in Washington D.C. as a part of The Fund for American Studies’ Institute on Economics and International Affairs and take classes at George Mason University.
“I plan to research the US Constitution’s Emoluments Clause and how its interpretation has evolved since its inception,” Krieger said. “The structure of my research will answer this primary question: How have President Donald Trump’s business dealings and personal contacts affected modern interpretations of the emoluments clause?”
Krieger clarified his intentions and research by offering his interpretation of the issue. He also describes why he finds the topic of interest.
“The Emoluments Clause is a ban on foreign gifts to US officeholders without the consent of Congress,” he said. “It was designed by the framers as an anti-corruption measure. Because there is little precedent surrounding the Emoluments Clause it has varying interpretations, and there is debate over whether or not the Clause applies to the office of the Presidency. The Emoluments Clause has never been successfully litigated, and that makes it a fascinating part of constitutional law and American jurisprudence to study.”
Krieger has intensively used Jewell research resources, but he is excited to get a first hand look at the situation. He explains how he plans to make the most out of his experience and his methods for conducting research.
“I plan to utilize my presence in DC to interview legal scholars, Presidential historians, Congressional staff and others on the problem,” Krieger said. “The objective in each interview will include how they respond to arguments from other views.”
Through his exploit in D.C., Krieger plans to gain knowledge in his field of interest, which will help him in his future aspirations of pursuing a career as an attorney.
“I hope to hone my research and writing skills and draw my own conclusions regarding this complex issue,” he said. “In doing so, I hope to gain a wider perspective of constitutional law and American jurisprudence. In my internship I hope to apply my skills to help solve real problems.”
Quiroga will use her grant to address issues that she sees as a leading problem in the world.
“I am from Bolivia, in South America, and Human Rights—particularly children’s rights, gender equality and social justice—have always sparked my interest due to the close-to-home experiences of injustice I witnessed along the way,” Quiroga said.
In the summer, she plans to attend a four week long, Human Rights-focused program at Hessen International Summer University (ISU) in Marburg, Germany.
“The academic program will focus on the topic of Business, Politics, and Conflicts in a Changing World,” she said. “The program offers seminars on the Prospects for the United Nations, and the humanitarian projects that have shaped international relations, political science and policy, and sociology.”
Quiroga will take an in-depth exploration of human rights policy, mainly pertaining to children and gender rights. The program also includes visits to several concentration camp sites and museums.
Quiroga will use her grant and the experience it enables her to to fuel her future.
“I am grateful to the Hall Summer Grant Foundation for the opportunity to engage academically with these topics [human trafficking and forced child labor], which I hope to address as a professional in Bolivia,” Quiroga said.
The grant requires that students share their findings with the rest of the Jewell community upon completion of the experience. Krieger and Spangler will be sharing their insights at the Duke Colloquium in 2018.
The Hall Grant is an educational enrichment offering that allows students to stretch their bounds and experience something truly unique and specific to their interests. The grant encourages Jewell students to find a passion and pursue it.
To apply for the grant you must be in you must be a non-senior in good standing. Applications are due Feb. 1 of the year the funding is requested. To learn more or to apply visit http://www.jewell.edu/hall-family-foundation-summer-academic-enrichment-program