College of Art and Architecture
phone: (208) 885-4409
fax: (208) 885-9428
College of Art & Architecture
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2461
Moscow, ID 83844-2461
phone: (208) 334-2999
Designing a World Through Other Eyes
Scholarship From Dedication, Dignity, and RespectThousands of miles from home -- and several years ago on a mission trip to Russia -- architecture graduate student Jonathan Gallup volunteered at a school for the blind. The experience was life-changing, and as he finishes his master’s degree at the University of Idaho, the Idaho Falls native has continued to change the lives of those around him.
That commitment to improving lives with integrity, dignity and respect that led to Gallup being awarded the Idaho Inclusiveness Coalition Human Rights Leadership Scholarship. But, the $2,000 scholarship is more than a check for him.
“I was really excited and honored to receive the award,” says Gallup. “I really enjoy doing service learning and volunteer work, and to be rewarded for it is really nice.”
Starting with Freedom By Design, a student service club made up largely of art and architecture students, Gallup has worked with community members to provide meaningful and simple designs and installation to create accessible environments. He worked with club members to design and install an entry ramp, remove carpeting and sand floors to provide easy wheelchair access and mobility in homes.
But for Gallup, it’s not just service-learning or volunteering his time, it’s about learning from, and with, other people; understanding their needs; and making sure everyone gets the same chance.
A catalyst for moving from service work to authentic engagement presented itself in the Universal Design class he took last fall. For the class, students spend time outside the classroom engaging with people and the environment, and focusing on access, inclusion and quality of life of all people. While the class taught him architecture and building skills with an eye toward career preparation, his greater lesson was the ability to put others first.
“It takes a lot of work, but the end result is what really matters,” says Gallup. “Volunteering and service work has really opened my eyes to a whole new world.”
To help him better understand the world from the viewpoint of a disabled person, Gallup participated in the City of Moscow Human Rights Commission’s and Mobility task force’s Walk and Roll through Moscow, which helps people understand daily struggles and barriers those with disabilities face by using canes and wheel chairs around the city where codes are a minimum requirement. The experience has encouraged Gallup to continue working with civic groups to help improve the community for those with disabilities after graduation this May.
“As a student, you are provided with opportunities to serve your community, but it is up to you to go out and pursue those opportunities to their fullest potential,” says Gallup. “Having those opportunities has made a difference in my life, and hopefully in other’s lives.”
It was Gallup’s honesty, humility, action-oriented sense of dignity and respect during her Universal Design class that made Gallup stand out to art and architecture professor Rula Awwad-Rafferty. She nominated Gallup for the award.
“Jonathan took a deep interest and was engaged in service learning,” says Awwad-Rafferty. “He put himself in someone else’s shoes throughout the diverse engagement experiences and came at projects with fresh eyes and authenticity. He really believes in, values, and calls out for dignity for everyone.”
The Idaho Inclusiveness Coalition Human Rights Leadership Scholarship is open to all college students in the state. This is the second year in a row that a University of Idaho student has received the scholarship.
“One of the goals at the University is to give transformational experiences to our students through volunteerism and service learning,” said former Provost Doug Baker. “Jonathan is a wonderful example and role model for us. We aspire to have all students experience a similar transformation.”