She was a force of nature, a loyal and caring friend, a tireless advocate for women’s and girls’ education, and an international worker in multiple countries. And when Laura Kavazanjian, Ed.M.’10, was killed in a car accident in 2011, her HGSE classmates and friends wanted to find a way to carry on both her name and her work.

“I had never met anyone so determined to make a difference in the world,” says Catie Corbin, Ed.M. ’10, a classmate and close friend of Kavazanjian’s. “Apart from being brilliant, Laura was able to engage people with stories around why education professionals needed to prioritize girls’ education. Because of her conviction and her passion, she gained a series of followers.”

In the fall of 2013, the Laura Kavazanjian Memorial Scholarship Fund awarded funds to Gombas, a student in the IEP Program whose passion aligns closely with Kavazanjian’s. A former Peace Corps member and Fulbright scholar, Gombas has worked and taught English in India, Turkey, and Kyrgyzstan. She came to HGSE to learn more about the policies affecting international education and the questions surrounding access to education for women and girls — just as Laura did.

Gombas is now stepping into a legacy of activism for the education of women and girls. The scholarship will be awarded annually to an HGSE student with an interest in international education, particularly in improving female access to education.

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