Fairfield Awards Dinner raises over $600,000 and celebrates more than $4 million raised in scholarships this year


Fairfield University's 27th Fairfield Awards Dinner was held on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at the Grand Hyatt New York in New York City. The annual dinner honors alumni, faculty, administrators, parents, and friends of Fairfield University and is the University's signature event to raise need-based financial aid funds to support students from diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. Since 1988, the event has raised more than $14 million specifically for the endowed Alumni Multicultural Scholarship Fund, providing scholarships to 435 students of color.

Image: FAD Dinner

The event, which raised $605,000 in new funds in support of this scholarship effort, also celebrated all scholarship contributions since the last Fairfield Awards Dinner, totaling over $4.2 million.

The featured keynote speaker was Juju Chang, an anchor on ABC News Nightline. University alumni and faculty were also recognized for the highest levels of professional achievement, outstanding leadership, academic excellence, and meritorious service. Honorees included:Joyce M. Phillips '74, a member of Fairfield's first class of women graduates and Executive Vice President and Global Head of Human Resources at Cushman & Wakefield, who received the Alumni Professional Achievement Award; Nancy A. Altobello '80, Vice Chair of Talent at Ernst & Young, who received the Alumni Service Award; and Shelley A. Phelan, PhD, Professor of Biology, who received the Distinguished Faculty / Administrator Award.

The Dinner Committee of 44 alumni and parents was chaired by Joellin Comerford '74, Sheila Kearney Davidson '83, and Jack L. Kelly '67, P'96.

The 2014 Honorees and Keynote Speaker

Alumni Professional Achievement Award

Joyce M. Phillips '74
Being part of Fairfield's first class of women was a big reason Joyce Phillips '74 chose to come to the University. "We were truly pioneers for many new initiatives and making a statement for women at Fairfield for the long-term," she said. Phillips earned her degree in English, and started on a long and successful career in human resources, with increasing responsibilities at Fortune 500 firms such as Canadian Imperial Bank, Marsh & McLennan, Citibank, GE, and others. She is now Executive Vice President and Global Head of Human Resources at Cushman & Wakefield, the largest private real estate services company in the world, with more than 16,000 employees in 60 countries. Phillips covers everything from employees' day-to-day activities, to supporting global businesses, establishing global HR practices, and working with the Board of Directors. Phillips earned her master's degree in industrial relations from the University of New Haven. She and her husband live in Greenwich, Conn.

Alumni Service Award

Nancy A. Altobello '80

As Vice Chair of Talent at Ernst & Young (EY), Nancy A. Altobello '80 believes that the success she has achieved in her career is largely due to the quality of the people with whom she works. At a company like EY, which currently hires 50,000 people worldwide and more than 12,000 in the U.S. - 36 percent of whom are diverse - the careful development of talent and leadership planning is critical. Altobello serves on the company's Inclusiveness Advisory Committee, and is committed to mentoring young people both before and after they enter the workforce. Outside of EY, she serves as a board member and treasurer for the Business Council for International Understanding, and for MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, an organization that supports youth mentoring through advocacy and resource development. Altobello was a University trustee from 2002 to 2007, and is now serving a second term. Along with other alumni, Altobello continues to host the University's successful Boston Briefcase Breakfast networking series, which she was instrumental in launching. She and her husband live in Greenwich, Conn.

Distinguished Faculty / Administrator Award

Shelley A. Phelan, PhD
Professor of Biology

Biology is one of Dr. Shelley Phelan's passions; teaching is the other. She is well known on campus for giving students an active partnership in her research, and many students have become co-authors on national research presentations and published manuscripts. Dr. Phelan's current research is focused on antioxidant genes, which protect normal cells from damage and death, and how they are manipulated in breast cancer to allow cancer cells to grow and even resist chemotherapy treatment.

During her time at Fairfield, she has published 15 peer-reviewed research articles and given numerous presentations at conferences. She has been awarded over a million dollars in grants from organizations such as the National Cancer Institute, the National Institutes of Health, Research Corporation, Merck, Pfizer, and others. Dr. Phelan was promoted to full professor in 2010, and held the prestigious Elizabeth DeCamp McInerny Chair in Health Sciences at Fairfield from 2007 to 2013.  Dr. Phelan was also a key player in the development and launch of Fairfield's WiSTEM (Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) first-year student learning community, and she founded the successful summer BASE (Broadening Access for Science Education) Camp, a faculty-mentored research immersion program for inner city high school girls.

Dr. Phelan received her undergraduate degree in biology, magna cum laude, from Wellesley College, her doctorate in cell and developmental biology from Harvard University, and conducted post-doctoral work at the prestigious Jackson Laboratories in Bar Harbor, Maine. She lives in Sandy Hook, Conn.

Keynote Speaker

Juju Chang
Anchor, ABC News Nightline

Juju Chang is an anchor for ABC News' Nightline, an Emmy Award-winning special correspondent. She also reports regularly for Good Morning America and 20/20.

Over the span of her career, Chang has covered breaking news and has also done investigative reporting on global events and issues. Her Nightline segments have covered a wide range of topics - from parenting and lifestyle issues, anti-gay bullying, and juvenile justice to celebrity profiles. Chang received one of her two Emmys for team coverage of California wildfires, and a Gracie award (one of two) for a 20/20 story on gender equality in the sciences. 

A former news anchor for Good Morning America, Chang had previously anchored the early morning newscasts World News Now and World News This Morning in 2000. She began her career at ABC News as a desk assistant and eventually became a producer at World News Tonight and rose to become a correspondent. From 1996-97, Chang was based in Washington, D.C., where she covered the White House, Capitol Hill, and the 1996 Presidential election for NewsOne, ABC's affiliate service.

Born in Seoul, South Korea, and raised in California, Chang graduated with honors from Stanford University with a B.A. in political science and communication. At Stanford, she was awarded the Edwin Cotrell Political Science Prize. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a founding board member of the Korean American Community Foundation.

For additional information about the Fairfield Awards Dinner, contact the Fairfield University Office of Corporate Relations, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2927, or visit www.fairfield.edu/awardsdinner.

 

Pictured (l-r): Maureen Errity Bujno '90, President of the Alumni Association; Joellin Comerford '74, Event Co-Chair; William Atwell, Chairman of the Board of Trustees; Joyce Phillips '74, recipient of the Alumni Professional Achievement Award; Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., President of Fairfield University; Jack Kelly '67, P'96, Event Co-Chair; Shelley Phelan, PhD, professor of biology and recipient of the Distinguished Faculty/Administrator Award; Nancy Altobello '80, recipient of the Alumni Service Award; and Sheila Kearney Davidson '83, Event Co-Chair.

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Media Contact: Mike Horyczun, (203) 254-4000 ext. 2647, mhoryczun@fairfield.edu

Posted on April 10, 2014

Vol. 46, No. 267