Marion Nestle, Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, was recently awarded the John Dewey Award for Distinguished Public Service at the commencement ceremony of the Bard Prison Initiative (BPI), held at Woodbourne Correctional Facility in Woodbourne, New York.
A program of Bard College, BPI is one of the few privately supported prison education programs in the country. Educating nearly 200 men and women inside three long-term maximum security prisons and two transitional, medium-security prisons, the program offers a rigorous liberal arts curriculum and offers both associates and bachelors degrees.
In accepting the award, Nestle remarked that “John Dewey was a passionate champion of liberal democracy. Dewey argued that education is good for individuals, but that it also has an important social purpose—that of encouraging students to become active and effective members of a democratic society.”
Nestle went on to praise the students not only for their hard work and determination, but also for their work growing a garden and producing food for themselves. She told the students that “you are carrying out John Dewey’s ideals better than he ever could have imagined.”
In closing, Nestle told the graduates that “no award has ever meant so much to me.”