Kristin Daly-Barnes will take her Ursinus community-building experiences to Philadelphia. The 2011 graduate will join the next generation of civic leadership when, as a Philly Fellow, she becomes part of the solution to the city’s most pressing social problems. She credits the Ursinus faculty with her desire to promote change.
“The Ursinus faculty illuminated the complexity and interrelatedness of social inequalities,” she said, “sparking my desire to unite my academic pursuits with my concerns for social justice.”
Leadership experiences at Ursinus led to her interest in the Fellows program. “Although I have always had an interest in public service and volunteerism, the Ursinus College Bonner Program cultivated this interest in ways in which I will forever be grateful,” said Daly-Barnes. “The Bonner Program gave me the resources to transform my hobbies and convictions into realistic, sustainable service opportunities, while the Ursinus faculty and staff gave me the guidance and support to fully develop my beliefs and to carry out my ambitions.” The Bonner Program encourages service and leadership, through a special leadership course.
Daly-Barnes, of Bensalem, Pa., graduated in May with a B.A. in Philosophy and a minor in Media and Communications. At Ursinus, she was a Summer Fellow, researching punishment in prisons. Her project was expanded as a Distinguished Honors paper in which she integrated academic research and philosophical arguments for a wide scale reform of the American penal system.
Philly Fellows work at Philadelphia non-profit organizations, creating a bridge between the non-profit, college, government and business sectors to strengthen the city’s cultural, educational and social services organizations. They are members of the AmeriCorps*VISTA program and receive a stipend, housing and other awards, as they spend a transitional year between college and traditional employment or continued education.
Daly-Barnes will spend this year as the Development Associate for Students Run Philly Style, which provides marathon training to youths. Through training with adult mentors, students realize their ability to achieve goals they previously may not have even considered possible, she explained.
Daly-Barnes studied abroad in Florence, Italy and also was a participant in The National Education for Women’s (NEW) Leadership Pennsylvania. She was co-president and co-founder of V-Day at Ursinus College, establishing an official campus organization which planned community dialogues on women’s issues and promoted awareness of violence against females. Daly-Barnes completed domestic abuse counselor training through the Women’s Center of Montgomery County, and was one of five student leaders on the Ursinus Diversity Committee. As a tutor for Acción Comunal Latinoamericana de Montgomery County, in Norristown, Pa., she provided educational activities for Hispanic children from low-income families. She was a member and officer of WeCAN, (We Care About the Nation), and successfully campaigned for cage-free eggs in the campus dining services. She tutored female inmates at Montgomery County Correctional Facility and also was a volunteer at St. Francisvale Home for Small Animals. Additionally, she was a member of Best Buddies Program, for adults with learning and mental disabilities, and was the project coordinator of the Ursinus College International House.
At Ursinus, Daly-Barnes was recognized with several awards, including the Gundaker Grant Rotary Award for academic leadership and service, the Wagman Prize for demonstration of loyalty to high ideals and the Paisley Prize, for recognition by the Philosophy and Religious Studies departments. She was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, the national honor society.
After Philly Fellows, Daly-Barnes has an interest in law school, particularly public policy and nonprofit law. “Philly Fellows will allow me the opportunity to better understand the complex makings of the nonprofit sector, while also providing a leadership and professional development training curriculum,” she said. — W.G.