The scholarship, which is administered by the UI Center for Advancement’s Iowa Voyagers, covers accommodations, airfare, meals, program materials, and on-site training for students to participate in a two-week service trip. This is a working trip in which students assist young children with daily activities, help teach conversational English, participate in community projects, and contribute positively to the lives of the local people. Students will be traveling abroad, living in comfortable but basic accommodations, eating plentiful, local foods, and interacting daily with other volunteers and staff.
Linda Baker established the scholarship in 2005. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Iowa in 1968 with a double major in English and secondary education. Among many other roles and positions, she taught language arts in an Indianapolis middle school, taught preschool at a United Way agency, worked as an investigative reporter for a local consumer magazine, and served as chairperson of Volunteers for Indiana University Medical Center. Linda formerly served on the University of Iowa Alumni Association Board of Directors.
In her growth as a community and children’s services advocate, Linda was inspired and mentored by author, clinical psychologist, filmmaker, and teacher, Dr. Kenneth Magid. Always interested in service to others, she traveled to Romania with the Iowa Voyagers in spring 2005 on the first “mission-based trip” sponsored by the UIAA. There, she worked for three weeks in an orphanage and was so moved by the experience that she established the Dr. Ken Magid Child Advocacy Scholarship in honor of her mentor who was a tremendous influence on her career and service efforts. In 2012, Linda endowed the scholarship, ensuring the future funding of these meaningful programs.
Dr. Ken Magid was an exceptional educator, counselor, scholar, mentor, role model, and friend. His career encompassed teaching, clinical psychology practice, documentary filmmaking, social science research, television show production, news writing, and many other pursuits.
Ken enjoyed people, especially when he could help them identify and bring out their personal strengths. His own role models taught him to positively engage with others and make the most of each moment. His first teacher, his mother, taught him that a positive attitude in life would determine his altitude in life and that he should reach high for his dreams. Ken’s mother, Kit, flew bombers and pursuit fighters in World War II as part of the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). His father, Louis Magid, was a highly decorated glider pilot during WWII and a personal friend of General Eisenhower and General Patton. He emphasized to Ken the need for courage and integrity in life and to make his word his bond.
Growing up, Ken lived in different parts of the world, since his father was frequently transferred. This diversity influenced the young Ken and offered him new ways to think about different cultures. And there were many other influences in Ken’s life. He particularly noted the inspiration he felt from a personal meeting with Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Ken remembered, "She was interested in seeing only the best parts of me; her unconditional love was palpable. She raised the bar for loving others to a new level. With her strong faith, Mother Teresa personified strength-based living."
On August 13, 2005, Dr. Magid died in a private airplane crash outside Denver, Colorado.