The Office of Alumnae Relations announced today Dr. Sarah Dababnah '97 as the 2023 Distinguished Alumna Award recipient and Jennifer Howard '10 as the 2023 Leader on the Rise.
The Chatham Hall Distinguished Alumna Award
was established in 2010 to recognize standout graduates representing diverse professions and interests. The Distinguished Alumna Award recognizes Chatham Hall graduates who embody the characteristics and values of Chatham Hall, such as honor, respect, and integrity.
Sarah Dababnah ‘97, Ph.D., MPH, MSW attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Johns Hopkins University where she earned several advanced degrees. Dr. Dababnah has made a global impact in the realm of health and well-being of families of individuals with intellectual and developmental differences through practice, policy, and research. She is currently an associate professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore School of Social Work; a faculty affiliate at Yonsei University School of Social Welfare, South Korea; and a former U.S. Fulbright Scholar at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. Her research focuses on family-centered, community-engaged, and culturally-relevant strategies to address racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in autism service access.
Dr. Dababnah received specialized training in early childhood and disability practice, research, and policy at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities in Chapel Hill, N.C.; Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, M.D.; Columbia University National Center for Children in Poverty in New York, N.Y.; and Jacobs Institute of Women's Health in Washington, D.C. She is also a former Peace Corps volunteer and has received numerous honors and distinctions, including the New Investigator Award from the American Public Health Association in 2021. Dr. Dababnah’s research has been published in various respected journals across the span of her career.
The Chatham Hall Leader on the Rise Award
was established in 2021 and recognizes graduates who have distinguished themselves through creativity, achievement, and/or innovation either in their profession or through commitment to an issue, project, or cause.
A survivor of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Jennifer Howard graduated from Chatham Hall in 2010 after participating in riding, volleyball, Spiritual Life, Bit ‘n Spur, and the Gold Team. Following graduation, she taught riding in Bermuda, including helping students with disabilities, before starting an undergraduate degree at Brock University in Canada where she graduated with honors in Child and Youth Studies. After receiving both the Bermuda Hospitals Board Scholarship and St. John’s Trust Scholarship, she then traveled abroad to attend the University of Kent in the United Kingdom to study analysis and intervention in intellectual and developmental disabilities. She also earned a Master of Science at Birmingham City University.
After graduating and returning to Bermuda, Howard began her career at the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute, the only psychiatric hospital in Bermuda, where she spent five years as the assistant psychologist. There, she completed a research project about reducing the use of antipsychotic medications for behavior management, which is currently being submitted to the Journal of Positive Behavior Support. Most recently Howard became the administrator of the K. Margaret Carter Center, a day program facility to help adults with disabilities, mental health conditions, and traumatic brain injuries increase their independence and learn functional and life skills.
In fall 2022, she was named Big Sister of the Year by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda. Howard has also formed a charity, Carter House, to fundraise for vulnerable adults to help cover the costs of medical equipment or services, and was named Bermuda’s equestrian coach for the 2023 Berlin Special Olympics in June 2023.
Both Dababnah and Howard will be recognized and give remarks during Alumnae Reunion May 5-7. Learn more and reserve your spot at www.chathamhall.org/reunion