The Company Scholars

The Company Scholars

Kevin Camy ’26 sitting in chair, smiling and looking at camera.

Kevin Camy ’26 of Boston, Mass., is a Company Scholar majoring in theology and psychology, with minors in education and humanitarian action.

Meet five Class of 2026 recipients of a scholarship program that has yielded some of the most engaged, diverse, and academically successful students on Fairfield’s campus.

The Company Scholars program further enhances our commitment to serving a diverse population and making sure that a Fairfield education is affordable and accessible.

— Corry Unis, Vice President of Enrollment

The Company Scholars is Fairfield University’s four-year, full-tuition grant program offered to high school students who attend Cristo Rey (an network of urban Catholic schools) and Jesuit high schools. An expression of the University’s commitment to supporting access to a Fairfield education, students selected to participate in the program become part of an elite group, or company, engaged in the pursuit of academic excellence and equipped with a supportive network and a platform so that they will ultimately be prepared to make a difference in their communities.

“The Company Scholars program further enhances our commitment to serving a diverse population and making sure that a Fairfield education is affordable and accessible,” said Corry Unis, vice president for enrollment management. “By building upon our preexisting relationships with Jesuit and Cristo Rey high schools, we are able to explore this new pathway of access and find ways to remove barriers so students can experience the amazing opportunities Fairfield offers, both in and out of the classroom.”

“Students who have been selected to receive the scholarship have a deep dedication to social justice and a desire to create a positive impact on the world around them,” said Karen Donoghue ’03, vice president for student life. “They are intelligent, engaged students impacting the community in various ways. They’re holding leadership positions, making a difference on campus, and making the most of the Fairfield experience.”

The first cohort of 16 Company Scholars arrived on campus as members of the Class of 2026. Another 20 scholarship recipients began their studies this past fall, with plans to graduate in May of 2027.

There are five core elements of The Company Scholars program that students can benefit from over the course of their Fairfield experience: mentoring partnerships, spiritual development, community engagement and leadership development, academic excellence, and global experience.

“I love going to our partner Jesuit high schools and learning about a student who the school counselor thinks would make a great Company Scholar candidate,” Unis continued. “School counselors know who is a leader in and out of the classroom, and they can attest to the impact the student would make on the Fairfield University campus.

Named for St. Ignatius and his first Jesuit companions who were known as “The Company of Jesus,” students in the inaugural cohort of Company Scholars are now in their sophomore year. Five of them shared their experience at Fairfield thus far:

Kevin Camy ’26

As the oldest of six kids, Kevin Camy ’26 of Boston, Mass., takes the position of role model seriously. Since arriving on campus, he has embraced everything Fairfield has to offer — joining the New Student Leader program, acting as an Admission tour ambassador, and participating in a variety of extracurriculars.

Camy said that the inclusive social scene on campus allows him to feel he can be himself without pressure to conform — something he hopes to pay forward.

“I think that having upperclassmen mentoring first-year students during their transition is something we do well,” he said. “Especially when I hear from my friends at other schools that they feel pretty much on their own. Mentorship has been very important to me and has been very fruitful in my formation; having such strong mentorship programs here serves the community in unseen ways.”

Camy credits The Company Scholars program with having “provided me with ways and a means to communicate better and advocate for myself as a student, helping me to produce even better academic results than I received in high school.”

Most of the universities Camy applied to were Jesuit and all were Catholic – things he connects with both spiritually and through his Jesuit high school education. “I wanted to be at a university where I could interact with students who live out their faith and who are willing to share their faith with others — this was one of the places where I felt that,” he said. “Theology and psychology are my majors, with minors in education and humanitarian action. I am a huge believer in paying kindness forward, in the way it was given to you.”

His selfless nature, inclusive attitude, and mind for mentoring makes Camy a perfect candidate for a career as a guidance counselor or teacher, perhaps even at his former high school, where he’d love to become an inspiration to students just as his teachers and guidance counselors inspired him.

Lliana Joe ’26

Lliana Joe ’26 is from Brooklyn, N.Y., and is a pre-med student with a public health major and a biology minor.

On the pre-med track, Lliana Joe ’26 declared her major in public health with a minor in biology when she first started at Fairfield last year. It was Stag Country’s focus on developing the “whole self,” that helped Joe make her decision as to where she would attend college.

Participating in The Company Scholars program has also helped her transition between high school and college, providing her with a support network of people.

“Something unique to Fairfield is the amount of support, be it academically or emotionally, that’s so readily offered,” she said. “This includes things like easy accessibility to mental health support, the vast amount of mentor programs offered, career support, and tutoring centers — all of which combine to really support the individual as a whole in a very personal way.”

Having grown up going to the island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean to visit family and friends, cultural diversity is important to Joe. As a member of the Black Student Union (BSU), she appreciates the group’s dedication to making sure that diversity is represented on campus. The work done by groups like BSU has helped build bridges across race, culture, and religion, while providing a caring and encouraging environment for students of color.

“Our bi-weekly meetings give us a chance to connect and really foster a strong community on campus,” she said. “One of the greatest events was ‘Rep Your Flag’ Day, when we got to see where everyone’s family is from. It really showed how diverse our student population can be. St. Vincent is small and I was proud to represent the island where my family comes from.”

This fall semester, Joe started research on two interesting health topics: gestational diabetes and how children’s sleep habits reflect on their health. Next semester, she is excited be working with local hospitals and institutes around the country to create her own real-world research.

“I am currently doing research with one of my public health professors, helping with a variety of projects, many of which are centered around breastfeeding and diabetes,” said Joe. “I would love to become a doctor some day — likely with a specialty in neonatology or pediatrics.”

Julian Nazario Martir ’26

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Julian Nazario Martir ’26 is doublemajoring in digital journalism and political science.

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Julian Nazario Martir ’26 is the first of his family to attend college in the continental United States. As a Company Scholar in his second year of the program, he is excited to mentor this year’s new first-year scholars, and to continue to represent the program.

“Fairfield University caught my attention when one of the admission counselors visited my high school and talked about an opportunity that Fairfield had opened that year for a scholarship that covers the cost of attending college,” said Nazario Martir. “Obtaining the scholarship was a major factor in my process of committing to Fairfield. I was looking for a university with a small campus, a close community, and a journalism program that would give me opportunities to be engaged outside the classroom.”

His interests led Nazario Martir to the role of copy and news editor with The Fairfield Mirror, the University’s student newspaper. He takes great pride in his work and in bringing new ideas for a fresh look to The Mirror’s layout. A digital journalism and politics double-major, he hopes to take advantage of the Global Fairfield program and study a semester abroad in Spain.

Nazario Martir already has a bunch of treasured memories from his first year at Fairfield, like sledding down Bellarmine Hill with his roommate and friends, and going to the first basketball game in the new Leo D. Mahoney Arena. He loves walking around campus with his friends and grabbing a coffee with them, especially at the Starbucks in the Dolan School of Business building. He said some of the best conversations he’s had at Fairfield were during walks to get coffee with friends.

“Our sense of community is fantastic here,” he said. “I’m a tour ambassador and I always joke with my tours that having lunch by yourself in The Tully is a bit difficult because friends are always going to ask to join you — something I really enjoy.”

Upon graduating from Fairfield, Nazario Martir would like to continue his journalism career as a reporter, helping to make a difference in the world and covering Latin American politics for a national-level newspaper.

Blessed Stephen ’26

Blessed Stephen ’26, from Chicago, Ill., is pursuing an individually designed major with classes in art history, studio art, communication, sociology/anthropology, and history.

Chicago native Blessed Stephen is taking full advantage of the unique offerings at Fairfield, such as the individually designed major. She is currently in the process of creating her own major with classes in art history, studio art, communication, sociology/anthropology, and history. In addition to joining student clubs, Stephen also plans to study in Florence, Italy, before she graduates from Fairfield.

Having attended a Jesuit high school, Fairfield was a comfortable choice when Stephen was looking at colleges to attend. The close proximity to New York City and the beach solidified her decision. First in her family to attend college, she is excited to work toward her degree and turn her passion for art into a career at an art museum.

“Coming from a first-generation, single parent house, the Company Scholars program was a rare opportunity that doesn’t come along that often,” she said. “My family is originally from Belize in Central America, and I plan on making them proud.”

Being rather far from her Illinois home, Stephen appreciates the family she has found here on campus. In particular, her membership in the Black Student Union has helped her feel connected on campus.

“I had the opportunity to start as a general club member, then made my way up to being event coordinator — something that I am very proud of,” she noted. “I’m able to have that sense of a close family, where we can just hang out with each other, connect, and have fun.”

Reflecting on her Fairfield Experience so far, Stephen was quick to point out that “I have always had people there to answer my many questions, supporting me, and teaching me to advocate for myself.”

She continued, “Thanks to the scholarship program, I had a set spot in Academic Immersion [an intensive college prep program], where I was able to get a head start on the core curriculum and finish two courses the summer before my first year here. We had workshops on study habits, navigating life, and more.”

Stephen hopes to soon declare her major in art history with a visual administration concentration and a minor in studio art. She envisions herself in a job as a curator at a museum, and maybe one day opening her own art center in Chicago.

Jared Alicea ’26

New Jersey native Jared Alicea is a double major in finance and in film, television, and media arts.

It wasn’t until Jared Alicea ’26 spoke with the Admission Office that he realized Fairfield was the school for him — complete with programs and majors to help his dream of one day becoming an entrepreneur come true.

“[Admission Vice President] Corry Unis helped me see what Fairfield had to offer,” said Alicea. “After my visits to campus, I truly saw Fairfield as a place where I could grow and reach my full potential. The opportunity to experience a high-level education without the pressure of managing the finances of it was something I couldn’t pass up.”

Being a Company Scholar provided him a spot in the summer Academic Immersion Program, which means he took two classes and was able to meet other incoming first years while living on campus. According to Alicea, this was a vital experience to his transition from high school into college. He described the program as “a sample of college life before diving into the real thing,” and said, “I know I would not have been as prepared as I was without it.”

The mix of lifestyles that Fairfield provides was another reason Alicea chose to attend. During warm days of each semester, he enjoys going to the beach, or taking the train to New York City, or heading downtown on the shuttle bus for an ice cream and a neighborhood stroll.

“I don’t know of any other university where all of these very different experiences are so accessible. I love the energy that comes with being a Stag,” he said. “Socially, I believe that there is something for everyone to get involved.”

Growing up in New Jersey and attending school in Philadelphia, Alicea was raised in a proud Puerto Rican household. He’s happy to have found people with similar backgrounds at Fairfield. Being involved in the Latinx Student Union, the Black Student Union, and FUSA have all been integral parts of his Fairfield experience. Not only does he enjoy attending events and the camaraderie that ensues, but these groups allow him to be a part of something meaningful and powerful on campus.

As a double major in finance and in film, television, and media arts, Alicea would like to study abroad his junior year, in a location that will expose him to new experiences and enhance his cultural education. Looking ahead to graduating in 2026, he is already thinking about furthering his education beyond a bachelor’s degree.

Other Articles in the Winter 2023 Issue

Letter from the President

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Discovery & Innovation

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Arts & Minds

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Donor Profile: Amy (Searles) and Bill Curley ’83

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