Press Release for Thursday, May 28, 2015
Interfaith Center Awards First Interfaith Community Service Scholarship
Jessica Scott, Public Relations Specialist
Department of Public Relations
The University of North Florida Interfaith Center recently made history when it presented the Noor Inayat Khan Interfaith Community
Service Award, one of the first interfaith community service
scholarships offered by a college or university in the United States, to two
UNF seniors for significant voluntary interfaith community service.
Jamall, a senior sociology major, and Clare Stern, a senior health science
major, both from Jacksonville, were the first two recipients of this community
service award, which is thought to be the first scholarship of its kind in
higher education in the nation, according to the Chicago-based Interfaith Youth
“Khan’s story inspires people from all
different religious and non-religious worldviews to work together,” said Tarah
Trueblood, UNF Interfaith Center director. “I could think of no more deserving
recipients than Kalilah and Clare.”
Jamall served as an interfaith leader on the
University’s campus as an active member of the Interfaith Center. She has hosted
difficult conversations on meaningful topics with civil, respectful discourse.
She has also promoted stories of marginalized and minority groups through
activism and outreach events. “Being an interfaith leader, for me, is creating
opportunities to witness change within people that leads to opening minds and
hearts,” said Jamall.
Stern served on the “Better Together
at UNF” campaign, the
Interfaith Community Service and The Campus Challenge on Humanizing
Homelessness. During the Hamas-Israel escalation in summer 2014, she engaged
with communities outside her personal identity to mourn, grieve and stand in
solidarity. “When we embrace each other for our differences and come together
to create that beloved community we remember that we are in this one world and
one life together,” said Stern. “We are one human family that works better
Khan was a young Muslim heroine who joined
the British network of spies sending coded messages between England and the
French Resistance. The daughter of a Sufi Master from India and an American
mother, Noor grew up in a Sufi interfaith center in Paris, where she lived
during the Nazi invasion. Resisting numerous opportunities to escape to safety,
Noor’s selfless decision to aid the resistance saved countless lives ultimately
cost her own.
Eligible scholarship nominees were full-time
UNF students with significant voluntary interfaith community service leadership
through the UNF Interfaith Center and/or Better Together at UNF, who met the
minimum grade point average. On nomination, applicants were asked to share
their interfaith community service leadership story in a short essay.
Candidate applications were
screened by a committee comprised of the UNF Interfaith Center staff in
consultation with two UNF faculty/staff members and individuals active in the
Jacksonville interfaith community.
The mission of
Interfaith Youth Core
, founded in 2002 by Dr. Eboo Patel, is
to make interfaith cooperation a social norm. IFYC works to foster interfaith
leaders on college campuses who drive the dialogue of interfaith cooperation.
UNF Interfaith Center
recognized, award-winning programs, events, and services based on student
development theory and designed to advance interfaith cooperation by developing
student leaders for a diverse democracy and global community.
university located on an
environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to
enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through
a well-rounded education.