Kendra Chiota Payne Memorial Fund

The Kendra Chiota Payne Memorial Awards are funded by a memorial endowment created from the donations of family, friends, and teammates of Kendra Chiota Payne, UCSB Class of 2006. The UCSB Foundation administers the Memorial Fund that supports these awards. 

The Fund supports two types of awards. The first award helps support a Global Studies graduate student in an overseas internship with an NGO working for the economic advancement of women and children in Africa, Asia or Latin America.  The second award funds an internship to promote Leadership of Young Women through Sports.

Awards that make a difference in people’s lives

The Kendra Chiota Payne Global Studies Award is intended to foster a sense of global citizenship and to promote leadership in international service. The recipient should embody the spirit of character, leadership, and service that was the hallmark of Kendra’s life. 

Swaroopa Lahiri

Swaroopa Lahiri identified the needs of Tiger Widows in West Bengal

Swaroopa Lahiri, a PhD student in the UCSB Global Studies Department, was the 2018 recipient of the Kendra Payne Global Studies Award. Swaroopa traveled to the the Sundarban forests of West Bengal, India where she worked to identify the needs of tiger widows (exceeding 3,000 women) in the region. These women lost their husbands who had gone into the tiger-infested creeks of the forests in search of crabs.

You can read Swaroopa’s article about the plight of Tiger Widows for the Telegraph of India by click here – 'Harsh life on an island'

In past years, UCSB Global Studies award recipients have focused their internships on such diverse topics as human trafficking of Vietnamese women in Taiwan, midwifery services for underprivileged mothers in Indonesia, the experiences of refugees returning to Cambodia, and the lives of child soldiers of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda. Award recipients have gone onto careers of community service in both the private and public sector.

The Kendra Chiota Payne Leadership for Young Women through Sports Internship is awarded annually to two UCSB studenst who works to develop programs and activities for local, under-served girls to experience the personal growth, leadership and character development that participation in sports can bring. 

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In 2018, the interns worked with pre-teen youths at Foothill Elementary School.   

The 2018 recipients of the Kendra Chiota Payne Sports Internship Award were Araceli Huerta and Dajung (DJ) Oh. Araceli is majoring in Feminist Studies and Psychology and graduated in June of 2018; she speaks of her internship experience as follows:

“The variety of activities we have done with the girls have allowed me to interact and highlight each child’s skills. We have the opportunity to expose the girls to a variety of activities and discover their strengths. Witnessing their joy, fascination, and interest was the ultimate reminder as to why I loved being an intern this year and helped me grow as an individual.”

DJ is majoring in Psychological and Brain Sciences and is graduating in 2020. She had this to say about what the Award means to her:

“Through the internship, I was able to provide academic and recreational opportunities for these girls, and it taught me more about myself than I imagined. Working with girls challenged me to be creative with the activities we prepared and I am certain Kendra would have loved to see them and their accomplishments. I learned to believe in myself and I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to impact the girls’ lives, as well as have it affect my own!”

Award Recipients 2018

Rick and Pat with the 2018 Sports Interns - Dajung “DJ” Oh and Araceli Huerte –

at the 2018 running of Kendra’s Race

© Richard Payne 2018