The National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI) has announced the recipients of this year's Taylor L. Willingham Legacy Fund awards. This year's recipients are Kimberley Allonce and Jessica Traylor.
Taylor L. Willingham Legacy Fund grants are provided to individuals to enable them to develop an understanding of deliberative democracy and launch one or more deliberative dialogues in their communities and organizations in order to advance NIFI’s overall mission, which is to promote public deliberation about national issues and to coordinate the activities of the National Issues Forums network.
Meet this year's recipients:
Kimberley Allonce is currently a third-year doctoral student in public affairs at the University of Central Florida (UCF). His research interests include citizen engagement, citizen participation, public deliberation, and economic development. He is a recent graduate of the UCF Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning. Allonce is a visiting professor at the College of Social Work and Social Justice of the Episcopal University in Haiti. He is currently the economic development manager for the city of Wilton Manors in South Florida. Prior to joining Wilton Manors, Allonce worked as an economic development coordinator for the city of Orlando and held several positions at the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. He received an MPA in 2016 from the University of Georgia in Athens.
Allonce was born and raised in Haiti and came to the United States in 2011 following the major earthquake in Port-au-Prince in 2010. He is a firm believer in education and community service and currently serves on the scholarship committee for the National Alliance for the Advancement of Haitian Professionals (NAAHP). He is a sports enthusiast and enjoys coaching youth soccer.
Jessica Traylor has been a professor since 2014. She is currently an assistant professor of psychology and the coordinator of service-learning at Gordon State College. She also serves as a lead affiliate faculty for Ohio Christian University.
Prior to making the shift to higher education, Traylor was as a school psychologist for more than a decade. Her research interests include mental health literacy, deliberative pedagogy, adverse childhood experiences, resilience, service-learning, and civic engagement. She enjoys teaching courses in psychology of adjustment, human growth and development, and trauma and resilience. In addition to her formal degrees, Traylor is also a certified yoga instructor, holistic nutrition coach, therapeutic drumming instructor, and Hellenistic astrologer.
Click here to read more about the Taylor L. Willingham Legacy Fund grants.