Vivian Castleberry Trailblazer Scholarship | Castleberry Peace Institute

Vivian Castleberry Trailblazer Scholarship

Vivian Anderson Castleberry was the founder of Peacemakers Incorporated and a gifted, trailblazing journalist in Dallas, Texas.

The Castleberry Peace Institute is pleased to announce the new Vivian Castleberry Trailblazer Scholarship - a $4000 annual scholarship. The Trailblazer Scholarship supports advanced students who have demonstrated an aptitude for leadership on political, economic social issues especially as they pertain to the role of women in local, national and international efforts to advance peace and justice.

Eligibility: The following criteria are required for consideration for the Vivian Castleberry Trailblazer Scholarship: Students must 1) have earned at least 60 semester credit hours; 2) have at least a 3.0 overall grade point average; 3) have a documented interest and involvement in work related to peacebuilding, peaceful communities in Texas, the United States or around the world, most especially as it affects women; and 4) have demonstrated an interest in and aptitude for leadership.

Application process: Students must provide the following to apply for the scholarship: 1) completed application form; 2) unofficial transcripts; 3) at least three letters of reference that speak to their leadership potential and experience, desire to make a difference in the world, and their plans to pursue a career in leadership involving issues of peace and justice; 4) a statement of purpose regarding the student's interest, experience and plans for a project to be pursued during the Scholarship year. Students will be notified by April 15 of the outcome of the selection process.

The Statement of Purpose will describe 1) the student's interest and experience in leadership on issues pertaining to peace and justice; and 2) a project the student will complete during the academic year of the scholarship that is expected to have an impact on peace and justice in the local community, state, US or another country. The project should live up to the spirit of Vivian Castleberry who was a trailblazing journalist and peacemaker who sought to cultivate leaders throughout her life who went on to make a difference in the world. The project envisioned in the Statement of Purpose may be an ongoing or new project; done alone or with a group; and may or may not be entirely complete at the end of the academic year for which the student is awarded the scholarship. Examples of such projects might include: 1) starting a project to help the homeless in Denton; 2) taking on a leadership role in a community organization to help abused women and children; 3) organizing a supply drive to help immigrants seeking asylum in the US; 4) engaging in similar such projects in other countries; and other topics that students might wish to assume a leadership position. Students should consult with Prof. Meernik ( if they have any questions about the suitability of a project.

Expectations. Awardees are expected to present their final and finished proposal to CPI Director by September 1 of the academic year in which the student is an awardee. Awardees will work and consult with the Director of the Castleberry Peace Institute on a weekly basis. Failure to maintain satisfactory progress on the project because of missed meetings, failure to do work or other problems may result in revocation of the scholarship. No later than April 30 of the scholarship year, awardees will present to the Director of the Castleberry Peace Institute and other stakeholders their completed project. The form the project takes--community work, research paper, documentary, etc. will determine the nature of the submission. Every spring semester during the month of April student award winners are required to make a formal presentation to the university and local community on what they have accomplished during their scholarship year. The CPI Director will arrange the day and venue for the presentation.

Selection Process: Awardees will be selected by a committee whose membership will be representative of the fields of Political Science and chosen by the Director of the Castleberry Peace Institute in consultation with the Department Chair and the Johnie Christian Family Peace Professor. Students will notified by e-mail regarding the outcome of the selection process. Students will be notified by April 15 of the outcome of the selection process.

More on Vivian Castleberry

Devoted to peaceful resolution of conflicts, Ms. Castleberry served as a "grassroots Citizen Diplomat", making four trips to Russia to meet with Russian citizens beginning in 1984. In 2005, she returned to Russia to co-lead women's leadership and intergenerational conferences in Leningrad and Moscow and to interview young Russian entrepreneurs who had trained in the United States and returned to run their own communities to help create a more democratic Russia. In 2006, Ms. Castleberry co-hosted delegations of small business owners and women lawyers from Russia who travelled to Dallas for training on association-building and comparative law. In 1988, Vivian served as Chairwoman of Peacemakers' First International Women's Peace Conference, which was attended by over 2,000 women from 57 countries.

Ms. Castleberry was a native Texan, a graduate of Southern Methodist University (SMU), and an SMU Distinguished Alumnae. In 1999, SMU awarded Ms. Castleberry with an honorary doctorate.

From 1956 to 1984, Ms. Castleberry served as the women's editor of the Dallas Times Herald. She headed the Living section of the paper and was the first woman named to the paper's editorial board. During her 28-year tenure at the Herald, Ms. Castleberry won numerous journalism awards including three "Katie" awards given by the Press Club of Dallas, two United Press International ("UPI") awards, a state Headliners award, two University of Missouri awards for overall excellence of women's pages, a Southwestern Journalism Forum award and the Buck Marryat Award given by the Press Club of Dallas for "outstanding contributions to communications."

Ms. Castleberry was inducted into the Texas Women's Hall of Fame in 1984, the year the honor was created. She has been honored with the Laurel Award given by the American Association of University Women; a Women Helping Women Award given by the Women's Center of Dallas; a Women Helping Women Award given by the Soroptimist Club, and the Extra Mile Award given by the Business and Professional Women's Club.

After taking early retirement in May 1984, Ms. Castleberry wrote four books: Daughters of Dallas, The Texas Tornado, Sarah the Bridge Builder, and Seeds of Success. She was a consultant to other writers, taught at local community colleges, and made numerous speeches, including to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. In May 2009, KERA-TV released a documentary of her life in their "Texas Trailblazer" series. In 2010 she was honored as one of Women's eNews 21 Leaders of the 21st Century.

Ms. Castleberry was married to the late Curtis W. Castleberry, a retired high school teacher. Together they raised five daughters. Vivan had 14 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren, at last count. She died on October 4, 2017. She will be greatly, greatly missed.

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