The title "ARISE" is drawn from Isaiah 60:1, " Arise, shine; for your light is come." The ARISE award seeks to recognize currently enrolled master's and doctoral students who have demonstrated exemplary service related to a social justice issue and who have unselfishly sought to bring positive change in the community.

  1. Applicants must demonstrate and provide examples of how their social justice efforts contribute to the community in a positive way.
  2. The activity must have occurred during the student's current graduate education at UIW
  3. Applicants should not have received compensation for the social justice work nor should the work be a part of their regular job.
  4. Students may be nominated by a community leader, UIW faculty or administrator, or by self-nomination.


ARISE Award Recipients

Arise Award Recipient Blayn Crandall


Blayn Crandall is a physical therapy student who has been involved in many different non-profit organizations. Blayn goes beyond volunteering by creating partnership with the organizations. She allows the needs of the community to have massive impact on her. For the past 12 years, she has served in the Shared Beats organization. The mission of Shared Beats is to empower children and their families, in rural communities of Guatemala, through wellness care and education. Blayn is also involved with the Alamo Head Injury Association, an organization that provides resources and monthly support group meetings for individuals who have had a stroke or head injury.

"It was really eye opening to see the total sense of community that was shared around the room. As a physical therapy student, I naturally focus on the physical wellbeing and recovery of the people with which I intend to treat. The curriculum at the UIW School of Physical Therapy encourages treating "the whole person" rather than their diagnosis, and working with the Alamo Head Injury Association has helped me truly realize the importance of hearing patients' stories and treating patients holistically."


ARISE Award recipient Melanie Bass


Melanie Bass is a physical therapy student who spent her spring break in Bacha, Vietnam providing humanitarian aid to the Thai Giang Pho community.

Melanie worked with three other health professionals  to train elementary school teachers in basic first aid including CPR and the treatment for choking, snake bites, and excessive bleeding. Additionally, they addressed personal hygiene by demonstrating proper care for feet, hands, faces, and hair.

"My perspective has changed regarding what it truly means to 'want' something versus to 'need something'."


Application Requirements

Recommendation Letters

Applicants should submit one to two letters of recommendation. The letters may be written by a community leader and/or a UIW faculty/administrator and describe in detail how the student has demonstrated an exemplary degree of social justice activity in the community with as many examples as possible.

Student Application

  1. Explain the social issue. Describe the social justice issue in the community where you are involved in service. Discuss the importance of addressing this issue beyond a surface-level.  What is the deeper meaning in addressing this issue? (max 250 words)
  2. Tell your story. Provide one or more examples of your engagement in social justice activities in the community related to the issue you identified. How did your service contribute to the community in a positive way? Why did you become involved? Did your service relate to your UIW experience in and outside of the class? What did you learn about yourself and the community? How did you build relationships with the people in the community? Did you have any "Aha!" moment? (max 500 words)
  3. Next Steps. Explain how you plan on continuing to serve or make a change in the community in the future. Would you like to share any other insights? (max 250 words)
  4. Optional Items. You may choose to include photos, links to news articles, links to videos, or other items that demonstrate your involvement in civic activities.



Only currently enrolled graduate, professional, and doctoral students are eligible for this award.

For more information on the award or the application process, please contact Dr. Trinidad Macias at