The McSorley Award for excellence in scholarship and service in the field of justice and peace studies is presented each year by the Program on Justice and Peace to a graduating JUPS major(s). The award is named for Fr. Richard McSorley, S.J., a tireless lifelong advocate for peace and justice, author of eight books on peace issues, and founder of the Center for Peace Studies at Georgetown University. From his time as a prisoner of war during WWII, through his close association with the Kennedy family, in marching with Martin Luther King Jr., and by teaching courses such as “The Nonviolent Revolution of Peace,” McSorley distinguished himself as a scholar and activist with a principled commitment to positive change. Father McSorley passed in 2002, but not before leaving an inspiring legacy of intellectual engagement and nonviolent action in the pursuit of justice and peace. The McSorley Award honors this rich tradition of dedication to just causes through research, scholarship, and service.
2015 winner: Gianna Nicole Maita
Gianna Maita hails from Fair Haven, NJ. She majored in Justice and Peace Studies with a concentration in Social Development and a minor in Arabic. She wrote her JUPS thesis on public transit and social cohesion between segregated urban areas, using the DC Streetcar and two Washington, DC neighborhoods as a casestudy. Other topics that interest her include homelessness, peace education, and gender issues. Gianna has worked for the JUPS program as a Teaching Assistant and as a Student Program Assistant. She participated in the committee of students and faculty who proposed the Justice and Peace Studies major. During her time at Georgetown, Gianna also served on the board of Homeless Outreach Programs and Education (HOPE) and acted in GU Children’s Theater. In 2014, she studied abroad in Stellenbosch, South Africa and conducted research in Nicaragua as an Education and Social Justice Fellow. Gianna will be returning to South Africa in 2016 to earn a Master’s in Justice and Transformation at the University of Cape Town. Until then, she will be working in Washington, DC as the interim Program Assistant of Immersion Programs at Georgetown's Center for Social Justice.