Commitment to University community helps Fairfield students earn achievement awards

With the clock ticking toward graduation, a number of Fairfield University's top seniors were honored on Tuesday at the 32nd annual Student Awards ceremony held at the Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J. Center.

Each year, the university's Alumni Association and the Division of Administration and Student Affairs recognize those students who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment and service to the university and the Jesuit ideals. "It is a pleasure to be here today to celebrate the achievements of some of the best of Fairfield University's Class of 2011," said Matt Dinnan, associate dean of students for university activities." The recipients were nominated by university faculty and staff, and then selected by a campus-wide committee.

Image: Dana AugustDana August, a senior majoring in biology received the Student Achievement Award for her environmental action work at Fairfield University. A Carlsbad, Calif. resident, August was recognized for her vital role in creating a variety of environmental awareness and educational programs on campus. "Dana's commitment to the environment is addictive. As a result, she has formed partnerships between students, faculty, and staff; all who are happy to work with her in creating a more environmentally friendly campus," said Dinnan.

Image: Joseph CalvarusoJoseph Calvaruso, a senior majoring in psychology was presented with the Student Achievement Award for his commitment to the field of psychology and dedication to the university's Psychology Club. By incorporating service and justice models into his programs, Calvaruso was recognized for implementing a wide range of living and learning activities for students and members of the Psychology Club. A Pelham Manor, N.Y. resident, Calvaruso said his experiences at Fairfield University have been nothing short of amazing. "With the support of faculty and staff, I have been able to grow as a person without virtually any restraint," he said.

Image: Lauren JohnsonLauren Johnson, a senior majoring in English received the Student Achievement Award for her dedication to creating service opportunities for students and the campus community. "Lauren lives her life with Jesuit ideals serving as her foundation. She is always looking for ways to serve others while enhancing the community in which she lives," said Elissa Carroll, assistant director of university activities.

A Southington, Conn., resident, Johnson has served in a variety of leadership roles including vice president of the Fairfield University Student Association, and as a volunteer for the Boys and Girls Club of Bridgeport, Conn. Johnson tried to hold back tears as she described her experience at Fairfield. "It has been a transformative and rewarding one. I am honored to be recognized for creating student engagement opportunities on campus and in the community," she said.

Image: Shawne LomauroShawne Lomauro is a dual degree senior majoring in economics and politics. She was honored with the Student Achievement Award for incorporating the Jesuit ideals of justice in developing and promoting social activism. "Shawne has the courage to question the status quo, becoming a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves," said Dinnan.

Lomauro said she was proud to accept the award but explained she felt uncomfortable being honored for doing work she is passionate about.

A Freehold, N.J., resident, Lomauro has also excelled in the classroom. She is a member of multiple honor societies including Alpha Sigma Nu (National Jesuit Honor Society), Omicron Delta Epsilon (Economics) and Pi Sigma Alpha (Politics). In 2009, the university initiated a campus-wide activism program, and Lomauro was responsible for coordinating the multi-event summit titled "Dare to Act - Act to Change."

Image: Janet LatugaJanet Latuga, a marketing major from East Williston, N.Y received the William J. Kramer '60 Humanitarian Award for her work with indigenous Nicaraguan artisans. "I've learned from this project that one person can make a difference in the lives of so many people," she said.

Latuga, who is a senior, developed a self-sustaining program, which improves the economic stature of the Nicaraguan artists and their families. "Janet's motivation to serve the community as a global citizen contributes to and compliments her strong passion for her commitment to the Jesuit values of education, humanitarianism, and the desire for a lifetime of learning and service," said Kimberly Droniak, assistant director of financial aid.

Named after the first alumnus to chair Fairfield University's Board of Trustees, the Kramer Humanitarian award recognizes a graduating senior, who exhibits a commitment to volunteerism and service to others.

Image: Student Achievement Award recipients

University President Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J. stands outside the Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J. Center with several of Fairfield's top graduating seniors prior to an awards ceremony. From left, Lauren Johnson, Southington, Conn., Dana August, Carlsbad, Calif., Joseph Calvaruso, Pelham Manor, N.Y., Shawne Lomauro, Freehold, N.J., Janet Latuga, East Williston, N.Y., and Eric Clayton, St. Ignatius Loyola Medal recipient from North Wales, Pa.

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Media Contact: Mark Gregorio, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647,

Posted on May 6, 2011

Vol. 43, No. 300

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