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CNN Hero Maggie Doyne and Arava Institute to Receive Awards At Drew University Gala

New Jersey Director of Homeland Security is keynote speaker for May 11 event.

.Madison, N.J.—Maggie Doyne, a Mendham native who founded the BlinkNow Foundation to serve women and children in post–civil war Nepal, will be honored with a Peacebuilder Award at Drew University’s Center on Religion, Culture and Conflict Gala on May 11 at a private home in Mendham.

Doyne, now 28, was recently named a CNN Hero and has appeared in a feature article on D.I.Y foreign aid in New York Times Magazine. She was also recognized by the Dalai Lama and was the focus of a recent social media fundraising phenomenon started by bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert. Through BlinkNow, Doyne has opened a home for Nepalese orphans, a school that serves 350 students, a medical and counseling clinic and a women’s center. She is raising 50 of the orphans herself and is a guest speaker at schools in the United States where she shares her story with college students.

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Drew CRCC will also present a Peacebuilder Award to the Arava Institute of Environmental Studies, a premier environmental studies and research institute that brings together students from around the Middle East to solve contemporary environmental challenges while promoting cooperation in the region. David Lehrer, executive director of the institute, will accept the award.


Chris Rodriguez, director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, will serve as the keynote speaker. Director Rodriguez is a Morris County native who earned his PhD from the University of Notre Dame. He served for more than a decade in the U.S. intelligence community before being tapped by Governor Chris Christie to head the Office of Homeland Security. Director Rodriguez has been recognized with several awards from the director of National Intelligence for his leadership and professional achievements, both in the United States and abroad. 


The world music ensemble group Jaffna will perform at the gala.


The VIP reception begins at 6 p.m. Dinner and the Peacebuilder Awards Presentation is at 7 p.m.


Visit the event page to learn about the event or to purchase tickets. Please register by April 27, 2015. For more information, including questions about corporate sponsorship opportunities, contact 973-408-3227 or


About Drew University’s Center on Religion, Culture & Conflict


Drew’s Center on Religion, Culture & Conflict (CRCC) focuses critical attention on the complex ways in which cultures and religions interact, especially in moments of crisis and conflict. CRCC seeks to encourage and facilitate scholarly understanding of and conversation about the most problematic, and often tragic, intersections where religions and cultures meet. Each year, CRCC welcomes scholars and public figures to campus, such as leading Egyptian human rights and democracy activist Saad Eddin Ibrahim; Iranian-American scholar and author of the bestselling book Zealot, Reza Aslan; and Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof.

For more information, visit


About Drew University


Drew University, a Phi Beta Kappa liberal arts university, includes the College of Liberal Arts, the Drew Theological School and the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies. Drew is located on a beautiful, wooded, 186-acre campus in Madison, New Jersey, a thriving small town close to New York City. Particularly noteworthy opportunities for undergraduates include the Wall Street Semester, Semester at the United Nations, Semester on Contemporary Art and Semester on Communications and Media in New York City, and several international semester opportunities. The university is home to the Center for Civic Engagement, the Drew Summer Science Institute, the Charles A. Dana Research Center for Scientists Emeriti (RISE) and the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, an independent professional theater, as well as the United Methodist Archives and History Center and one of the country’s leading concentrations of materials on Willa Cather.


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