An Award for Alexandria

September 21, 2010

GW gives fellowship to an art therapy graduate student.

The George Washington University awarded its second Alexandria Partnership Fellowship to an art therapy student who’s committed to giving back to her community.

Lauren Hayes, a graduate student at GW’s Alexandria Graduate Education Center, is in her second year of the art therapy and counseling master’s program.

“Art therapy offers someone a different form of expression,” says Ms. Hayes, an Alexandria resident. “I really love what art can do for people. It’s really enriching.”

The fellowship, which was created last year by President Steven Knapp, is intended for students who live or work in the city of Alexandria and are pursuing graduate study at GW’s Alexandria Graduate Education Center. The goal of the fellowship, which covers all tuition costs, is for students to use the knowledge and skills gained from their study at GW in their workplace and give back to Alexandria through community service.

After graduating from the University of Maryland in 2009 with a bachelor’s in psychology, Ms. Hayes began volunteering at Cora Kelly Recreation Center in Alexandria, where she works with 9 and 10-year-olds on art after school.

“Lauren Hayes exemplifies the commitment to service and passion for changing the world for which George Washington University students are well known,” says Dr. Knapp. “We are proud to support her efforts to make a difference in the lives of others.”

Ms. Hayes, who plans to continue volunteering at the recreation center this year, hopes she can use art therapy to work with returning veterans one day.

“I’m enjoying the opportunity to spread awareness for art therapy, and I hope to make its presence more known in Alexandria,” she says.

President Knapp created the new fellowship to recognize GW’s partnership with Alexandria. In 2008, the Alexandria Graduate Education Center moved to a new location near the King Street Metro Station as a way to continue to meet the growing education needs in northern Virginia.

The center includes a Mac lab, a community counseling center, an art studio, 11 working classrooms and an art gallery. Graduate programs are offered in art therapy, educational administration, human resource development, landscape design, school counseling and public relations.

“I am pleased that the presence of George Washington University in Alexandria has become a great partnership that will benefit our community as well as the students that attend the center,” says Alexandria Mayor William D. Euille.

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