Austin, TX—American Atheists presented three students with scholarships totaling $4,000 at a dinner ceremony during its 50th Anniversary Celebration and National Convention last weekend at the Hyatt Regency in Austin.
The $2,000 Founders 2012-2013 scholarship was awarded to Chris Calvey, a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Calvey was recognized for his activism as a student group leader, first as an undergraduate at the University of Illinois and in his current role. His student group organized a free conference with over 20 noted speakers, and he helped his group secure a $69,000 grant from his university, the largest grant to a secular student group in the history of the atheism movement. The grant included funds for paid staff.
American Atheists presented its $1,000 Founders 2012-2013 scholarship to Julie Mankowski, a student at George Washington University. Mankowski founded her school’s secular student group and was responsible for booking Nathan Phelps as a guest speaker, working together with her campus’ LGBTQ group, and organizing events such as a “Stone a Heathen” fundraiser with water balloons, and an “Ask an Atheist” day.
The $1,000 LGBTQ Atheist Activism 2012-2013 scholarship was awarded to Lillian Horin, a high school student in Los Angeles, for standing up to discrimination against atheism in her school, her citywide anti-bullying activism, her work with a teen hotline for troubled youth, and for saving her school’s Gay-Straight Alliance from being shut down.
The 50th Anniversary convention featured such speakers as former California Congressman Pete Stark, Twisted Sister lead guitarist Jay Jay French, authors A.C. Grayling and Katherine Stewart, former atheists-turned-pastors Teresa MacBain and Jerry DeWitt, popular debater Matt Dillahunty, and American Atheists President David Silverman. The convention also included a costume dinner, free concerts, a comedy show, an art show and silent auction, more than 25 national and local vendors and exhibitors, and childcare options for attending families.
AMERICAN ATHEISTS is a national 501(c)(3) organization that defends civil rights for atheists, freethinkers, and other nonbelievers; works for the total separation of religion and government; and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy.
American Atheists, Inc.
P.O. Box 158
Cranford, NJ 07016
Tel: (908) 276-7300
Fax: (908) 276-7402
Keywords: American Atheists, scholarship, student, college, Congressman Pete Stark, Teresa MacBain, award, atheism, 50th Anniversary National Convention