Maurice Rippel is a proven leader in the richest sense, being at once smart and judicious, centered and open-minded, courageous and collaborative. He somehow takes on myriad roles throughout the Haverford College community and executes them all with impeccable responsibility and wide-ranging creativity. He has a particularly keen interest in how to improve this community in ways that are both pragmatic and principled. Moreover, as I discovered through his participation in my upper-level seminar last semester, he's a fabulous student who pushes himself beyond boundaries and improves his classmates' insights in deeply respectful but often bold ways.
During his time at Haverford, Maurice has reduced political polarization and led dialogues on action and social change on our campus, made definitive mentoring and youth development contributions in the nearby community of Ardmore, and collaborated with Ghanaian partners on international inquiries regarding the role of education in social change. Altogether, the actions and inquiries that Maurice has undertaken make our campus more inclusive, support education and address inequality locally, and contribute to global dialogues on the role of education in human liberation.
When I was eight, my aunt adopted my sister and I. My biological mom struggled with substance abuse and it was common for her to leave us in the hands of strangers. My aunt's intervention, driven by an act of radical love and selflessness, drastically changed my future. My aunt-the woman I call mom-provided the perfect environment for growing, and continues to work countless hours to support my education, and take me to our home church in my old neighborhood of South-West Philadelphia. She is implicitly saying: Never forget the people or place I come from.
My approach to my work is driven by this same radical love. I believe that change occurs through a process of education, a process of self-exploration. It comes through dialogue, people coming together, talking across difference, and recognizing the power of both, one's individual self and collective voice. It comes from the love of community. Through my work on-campus with Community Conversations, Actionable Solutions, off-campus with supporting the start of SURGE (Sons Uniting, Realizing Goals of Excellence), and even internationally through participatory action research in the Lagim Tehi Tuma Fellowship in Dalun, Ghana I hope to embody this love.