MEDIA ALERT: 2007 Cyrus R. Vance Awards to be presented in ceremony tonight
The 2007 Cyrus R. Vance Awards for International Education in West Virginia will be presented in a ceremony this evening at the Cultural Center in the State Capitol Complex. The ceremony, which will begin at 6 p.m. in the Great Hall, is free and open to the public.
The annual awards are sponsored by the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts. At the ceremony, Cabinet Secretary Kay Goodwin will present two awards to educators or educational organizations that best exemplify dedication to the understanding of international issues and affairs. Each award includes a $5,000 gift to advance the winner’s endeavors in the field of international education.
The ceremony will feature remarks by Jean Johnson, executive vice president and director of programs at Public Agenda, and West Virginia native and Harvard University laughter researcher Zach Warren.
Johnson leads Public Agenda, a New York-based non-profit organization dedicated to unbiased public opinion research. Johnson has developed and managed research and communications projects on a wide variety of public policy issues, and authored or co-authored numerous studies on education, parenting and families, religion, race relations, manners and civility, retirement, welfare reform and health care. She is the principal author of “Life After High School: Young People Talk about their Hopes and Prospects,” “Where We Are Now: 12 Things You Need to Know about Public Opinion and Public Schools,” “Getting By: What American Teenagers Really Think About Their Schools” and “Reality Check,” a yearly status report on academic standards in public schools prepared for Education Week. She has appeared on CNN, the “Today Show,” “Lou Dobbs Tonight” and “The O’Reilly Factor,” among others.
A seminary student at Harvard University, Warren is a Guinness World Record-holder for completing the fastest marathon while juggling three objects. In 2005, he spent three months in Afghanistan teaching and performing with the Afghan Mobile Mini Circus. Moved by what he saw there, he returned to the U.S. determined to continue to help the Afghan Mobile Mini Circus. He used his world record marathon performance to raise funds for the Circus.
The awards are named for Cyrus R. Vance, a Clarksburg native who devoted nearly 50 years of his life to international diplomacy and peacekeeping efforts. Vance served as secretary of state under President Jimmy Carter. Last year’s recipients were Richwood High School Spanish teacher Mary Jane Williams and Dr. Clark Egnor, executive director of the Center for International Programs at Marshall University.
For more information about the awards or tonight’s program, call (304) 558-2440.