Hannah Sweatman ‘20C has been awarded an XLV Senior Scholarship second place award for outstanding academic achievement from the Lambda Alpha National Anthropology Honor Society. As a junior at St. John’s, Ms. Sweatman studied abroad in Ghana as a recipient of the highly selective Boren Scholarship. In May 2020, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Anthropology, and a minor in Africana Studies.
As part of the Lambda Alpha award, Ms. Sweatman will receive a $3,000 scholarship. She will also be featured in The Lambda Alpha Journal, the honor society’s annual student journal. Associate Professor Anne M. Galvin, Ph.D., nominated Ms. Sweatman for the award, and the selection committee also evaluated original research Ms. Sweatman completed during her time in Ghana.
“Hannah is a student that has always identified educational experiences important to her future aspirations and pursued them with full dedication,” said Dr. Galvin. “She was an ideal nominee for the Lambda Alpha National Anthropology Honor Society senior scholarship because she has such an excellent spirit of possibility and genuine interest in her research pursuits. We are proud of her accomplishments and eager to hear about which opportunities she will choose to pursue after graduation.”
The research project, which Ms. Sweatman conducted with the support of the Graduate Admissions Assistance Program (GAAP), investigated access to sanitary toilets in the Okponglo community. Along with social work students from the University of Ghana, Ms. Sweatman distributed a survey among community residents. She also interviewed two Ghanaian doctors about the health effects of toilet access locally. Based on the collected data, more than half of the residents had no access to either public or private toilets, far more than are reflected in official reports about sanitary conditions in the area.
Ms. Sweatman is currently weighing her options for next year. She has been accepted to the Teach for America program to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) in Kansas City, MO, and is also a finalist for the Princeton in Africa fellowship. She is currently working with the Play and Learn Foundation to raise money for public toilets in Ghana and will be contributing some of her scholarship funds toward that purpose.