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Jazmyn Blackburn '19, Mariachiara Ficarelli '19, and Isabel James '19 Mark Czajkowski / Office of Communications

Jazmyn Blackburn ’19, Mariachiara Ficarelli ’19, and Isabel James ’19 have been awarded the Henry Richardson Labouisse ’26 Prize Fellowship. The award provides $30,000 to each recipient to allow them to pursue international civic engagement projects for one year following graduation.

The fellowship is administered by the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS).

Blackburn is a sociology major from Brooklyn, N.Y. Next year, she plans to develop a language education model to bring together French and English language teachers of color in Guadeloupe.

“It’s an experimental paradigm I’m calling multi-teaching,” Blackburn said.

Her paradigm focuses on teaching English to students in Guadeloupe interested in business and STEM fields in a way that does not fall into the European-centric mold that Blackburn says teaching English often falls into.

“English is a huge advantage,” she said. “Language is changing every generation, every year, every day. By introducing more perspectives and being more global you're able to stay up to date with that a lot better, particularly in fields in science and technology.”

Blackburn said she was also influenced by her experiences learning French both in high school and at the University, saying she had to make a “conscious effort” to go beyond the “Parisian, metropolitan” centered French teaching.

Blackburn has previously received the John C. Bogle ’51 Fellowship Award and served as a preschool program project leader at Community House, a Pace Center tutoring and mentoring program, and as a youth projects liaison on the organization’s executive board. She has also been a staff translator for the Princeton University Language Project.

Ficarelli is an anthropology major from Reggio Emilia, Italy. She has worked with PIIRS before, having previously received their undergraduate fellowship as well as a Streicker International Fellowship, which she used to work in a school integration program for refugees at the Community of Sant’Egidio in Rome, Italy.

Having focused on migration and human rights work in the past, Ficarelli will be able to produce a film about the “intergenerational collective memory of Eritrean communities in Berlin and Bologna,” according to the Office of Communications. She plans to make the film in London.

James is a Woodrow Wilson School major from Washington, D.C. She also spent two semesters abroad in Cape Town, South Africa and Havana, Cuba.

Throughout her academic career at the University, James focused primarily on economic development and the effects of politics on food security. Her project will study the impact of foreign commercial fishing on Senegalese fishermen in Dakar.

“I will primarily work in French, but also plan on studying Wolof this summer, which I hope will be useful with interviews, especially outside of the capital city,” James wrote in an email to The Daily Princetonian. “I am so grateful and excited for the Labouisse Prize, because I see it as an incredible opportunity to literally implement my dream project.”

James expressed gratitude towards several of her professors and the mentorship they provided her.

“I think the greatest thing that I have discovered at Princeton is the resources available for undergraduate pursuits--internships, thesis research, post-graduate independent projects--you name it,“ James wrote in an email to the ‘Prince.’ “I have been lucky to find that when I believe in my own goals, there are resources in the form of mentorship and financing to help materialize them. I am especially thankful for guidance from Reena Goldthree, Stanley Katz and John Londregan in my pursuits over the past few years.” 

According to the Office of Communications, each project the seniors are engaged in “exemplifies the life and work of” Labouisse, for whom the fellowship is named. After his time at the University, Labouisse was a diplomat, public servant, and “champion for the causes of international justice and international development.”

The fellowship was established in 1984 by Labouisse’s daughter and son-in-law, Anne and Martin Peretz.

Ficarelli has not immediately responded to request for comment.

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