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Mara Steven '15 Serves the New Orleans Community through Teach NOLA

Mara graduated with honors in 2015. In her final year at Loyola she racked up an impressive number of awards including a Fulbright U. S. Student Grant to teach English in Tajikistan. She received the Department of History's "Outstanding Graduate Award," and completed her three-year stint as editor-in-chief of the Loyola University Student Historical Journal. Mara's honors thesis "Woody Guthrie: Instrument of Change: Woody Guthrie as a Social Justices Advocate, Leader, and Enduring Inspiration" received the Constance Mui and John T. Sebastian Award for Outstanding Research in Honors. The thesis contained an impressive amount of original archival research partially funded through the Loyola University Collaborative Scholarship initiative and the Patricia Carlin O'Keefe Distinguished Professorship that funded her three research trips to the Woody Guthrie Archives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Department of Psychology also honored her with their Senior Academic Achievement Award. For her exemplary service and commitment to Ignatian values, the Department of History selected Mara as the first recipient of the Sonia Bordes Memorial Award. After much soul searching, Mara has decided that her talent and commitment to community service would be best served by staying in New Orleans and helping the community she embraced when she came to Loyola by joining Teach NOLA. In the fall, she'll be teaching World History at Sophie B. Wright Charter School in the Crescent City.