News of the achievements of local students and members of the Armed Forces.
** Aaron Lopez, a student at Washington-Liberty High School, will compete in the History Bee national championships after scoring success at the state level.
Lopez in March came in fourth place in the junior-varsity division (for ninth- and 10th-graders) at the History Bee Virginia State Championships.
At the National History Bee (to be held April 21-24 in Arlington), Lopez will compete in the U.S. History Bee, the National Political Science Bee and the U.S. Geography Bee categories, as well as in the overall competition.
** Loretta Goodwin of Arlington, chief operating officer at the Aurora Institute, has been appointed to the PBLWorks board of directors.
The mission of the organization is to support teachers and schools to create and implement project-based learning in the curriculum.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to be joining the board,” Goodwin said. “I look forward to supporting an organization that is truly committed to inspiring young people to think differently about themselves as learners, collaborators and leaders.”
** Two years ago, Marymount University professor Dr. Kathleen Garces-Foley was preparing to live in Hungary for a semester, with plans to study and teach at the University of Szeged on the second Fulbright Award of her academic career.
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted those plans and led to the cancellation of her award. But now, after waiting through yet another application process, she’s on her way to Hungary after all.
Dr. Garces-Foley was selected as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar once again, and has been granted a four-month award to Budapest, where she will be hosted by the Department of American Studies at Eötvös Loránd University, a top-rated university in Hungary established in 1635.
There, the religious-studies professor will study the changing religious landscape in Hungary and teach two courses – one undergraduate and one graduate – on religion and American culture.
An expert in a variety of religious topics, Garces-Foley holds particular areas of research interest in the effects of immigration, ethnicity and racial diversity on religious life. In recent years, Garces-Foley has played a leading role in a nationwide study on “The Landscape Study of Chaplaincy and Campus Ministry in the United States.” Alongside a team of co-investigators, she has investigated how religion on college campuses has been transformed over the last decade.
Garces-Foley isn’t the first Marymount professor to travel to Hungary through a Fulbright Award. In late 2021, semester, Dr. Adam Kovach – a professor of philosophy at the university – was a visiting professor at Széchenyi István University in northwest Hungary.
After the COVID-19 pandemic delayed his travel, he began his long-awaited experience this past fall, and taught Introduction to Philosophy and Philosophy of Art courses to students there.
** Several local high schools and their environmental-club student-leaders are partnering with EcoAction Arlington for an Earth Day community event on April 23 from 9 a.m. to noon at Bon Air Park in Arlington.
The initiative will help to raise funds as well as educate the public, in addition to serving as a cleanup event at the park. There also will be a raffle, with the winner receiving a subscription for a year’s worth of 100-percent renewable energy for a home.
“This is the first time local Northern Virginia high schools are united to call for climate action, respresenting several thousand students in the community from public, religious and secular schools,” organizers said.
Charles Wurster, one of the founders of the Environmental Defense Fund, will be among the participants.
For information and registration, see the Website at https://www.ecoactionarlington.org under “Events.”
** The Kiwanis Club of Arlington has established a scholarship in honor of its longtime secretary Richard L. “Dick” Barr, who also served as sponsor for the Washington-Liberty High School Key Club.
The Dick Barr Scholarship will be awarded annually, with preference given to Key Club members from Washington-Liberty and other Arlington high schools.
“The club hopes that many of Dick’s friends will want to honor his memory by helping the youth of Arlington fulfill their dreams of higher education,” Kiwanis Club leaders said.
A resident of Arlington since 1962 and a member of the Kiwanis Club for 27 years, Barr also was active in Clarendon United Methodist Church. He died suddenly last September.
Donations to the Dick Barr Scholarship Fund can be made by a check (payable to Kiwanis Foundation of Arlington) and sent to the foundation, P.O. Box 100131, Arlington, Va. 22210.