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Friedman classmates create Leah Horowitz, N06, Humanitarian Award

Leah Horowitz, N06, matched a formidable intelligence with an infectious sense of fun, recalls friend Julia McDonald, N07, MG07. "I knew the first night I met her that Leah would be a close friend for a long time," McDonald says. "Her skills and ability in the classroom were awe-inspiring and sometimes even intimidating: She grasped material and put it in the big-picture context more quickly than anyone I've ever known. Yet what was so incredible about Leah was the balance to her soaring intellectual capabilities. She was one of the goofiest people I've ever known. She injected humor into even the driest statistics project, and I was a better student because of it. In January of my second year of grad school, a Nor'easter blizzard dumped 23 inches of snow in Boston just before the first day of classes. Rather than each of us holing up in our own apartments, Leah planned a slumber party, and a group of about seven of us ended up playing board games, cooking and eating wonderful food, and making snow angels at Leah's house for about 24 hours until we could leave the house."

As a Dartmouth undergraduate, Horowitz had studied in Zimbabwe and South Africa, and she aspired to return to Africa. After graduating from the Friedman School, she worked for the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, D.C., and asked to be transferred to Ghana, where she focused on sustainable agriculture, ever mindful of how agriculture can be used as a tool to increase food security and reduce poverty. She died tragically in a car accident in Ghana in May 2009. "I miss her and think about her every day," McDonald says.

To honor Horowitz' memory, McDonald and classmates Aimee Witteman, N06, Elanor Starmer, N07, F07, Kumar Chandran, N07, MG07, Julie Thayer, N07, MG07, and Sally Abbott, J01, N06, NG10 worked with the Friedman School to create the Leah Horowitz Humanitarian Award. The award recognizes a Friedman alumnus or alumna who shares a commitment to addressing complex problems in the food system in ways that empower individuals and communities. The friends also raised more than $3,000 in Leah's memory to support a Friedman student in an international internship. The aim, they say, is to further the spirit captured in one of Leah Horowitz' favorite quotations, by Woodrow Wilson: "You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand."

For more information and to contribute to the Leah Horowitz, N06, Humanitarian Award, contact:
Sean Devendorf
Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations
Friedman School
150 Harrison Ave., Suite 241
Boston, MA 02111
tel: 617.636.2949