United Way honors Fairfield University professors and interns


Two Fairfield University professors and their student interns were recently honored by the United Way of Eastern Fairfield County with the United Way Community Builders awards. The awards were presented this year for the first time.

Myra Oliver, executive director of the International Institute of Connecticut, Inc. (IIC), nominated Dr. Katherine Kidd of Fairfield, Dr. Joy Gordon of Milford, and the University interns for the awards.

The director of the International Studies Program at Fairfield, Dr. Kidd coordinates a student volunteer program in conjunction with the IIC Department of Language and Employment Services, successfully enlisting the help of willing and motivated students to donate their time. Dr. Oliver said that through the leadership and guidance of Dr. Kidd, "they have enabled foreign-born citizens to become better acquainted with American ways and have fostered a smoother transition to their new homes in the United States."

Fairfield University student volunteers have tutored in English as a second language and have provided mentoring and familiarization with American language, customs, and culture to a number of refugees serviced by the IIC. "The Fairfield University students have been generous and flexible with their time and availability and have committed themselves to sharing their own American heritage with persons from various countries and cultures around the world," Dr. Oliver said.

Dr. Joy Gordon, an associate professor of philosophy who has developed a student introductory program to human rights, focuses her study on immigrants who are not represented in immigration proceedings at government expense, and who are victims of exploitation. As a direct result of Dr. Gordon's actions, almost two dozen more asylum seekers were represented through IIC's Pro-Bono Asylum Project.

Dr. Oliver noted, "because of the efforts of the students and the organization of Dr. Kidd and Dr. Gordon, dozens of newly arrived refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants to the U.S have had positive and productive experiences in our American society."

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on February 15, 2002

Vol. 34, No. 148