The Egan School Shares Peace and Joy this Holiday Season

The Egan School Shares Peace and Joy this Holiday Season

The Egan School of Nursing & Health Studies' students, faculty, and therapy dog spread holiday cheer across campus as the semester draws to a close.

With the holiday season -- and finals -- in full swing at Fairfield University, the Egan School remains committed to hosting community service outreach programs, offering health education, and providing charitable donations to a wide array of organizations within the community.

Although this semester has been an extremely busy one for members of the Student Nursing Association (SNA), it has heralded excitement and a sense of reward for all those involved. Every month, members embody Fairfield’s core Jesuit values by passionately participating in community service outreach programs. This semester, the SNA has volunteered for a variety of noble causes, including: assisting with the Hope After Loss fundraiser, participating in an Alzheimer’s Association 5K walk, performing blood pressure screenings at Bridgeport clinics, and hosting a Game Night at the Jewish Home in Bridgeport.

The association’s most recent outreach event took place this past Sunday evening for the nonprofit organization, Ella Grace Place. Partnership with the organization came at the suggestion of Student Nursing Association member Olivia Piccoli, who babysits for the family that founded Ella Grace Place, back in Piccoli's New Jersey hometown. The organization distributes care packages to families with sick children, to honor the legacy of Ella Grace who passed away from an extremely rare form of dwarfism.

“We decided on preparing these goodie bags for our community outreach project this semester because the story about Ella Grace truly pulled at our heart strings, and we loved the idea of how a seemingly small gesture, like packing overnight bags for families of hospitalized children, could have such a strong impact,” stated Student Nursing Association President Casey Collins ’19. At the event, Fairfield’s SNA members compiled over 50 care packages consisting of toiletries and other items, to be distributed to hospitals all throughout the state of New Jersey.

In addition to providing joy to local communities this holiday season, the Egan School will bring a sense of peace to our campus community through a series of events featuring the Egan school’s beloved emotional support dog, Dakota, who greets every visitor with tail wags and kisses. Her presence grants students comfort and happiness during the most difficult week of the semester, and she has opened her schedule to be of service to any and all students.

Nursing student Kristen Gibney ’19, said, “We love having Dakota in the building because she is such a friendly dog who is always eager to interact with students. She also comes to our classes before exams and plays with us to help us decompress before the tests start. Dakota brightens everyone’s day.”

Carole Pomarico, assistant professor of nursing and Dakota’s handler, added, “The one word that describes how the entire campus responds to Dakota’s presence is JOY. It seems that she was born to do her job of bringing happiness to people.”

Be on the lookout for Dakota in the following places if you are looking for JOY during finals week!

Dakota Office Hours

Date: Monday-Friday until the end of the semester
Time: 11 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Location: Egan School, Room 401

Have Dakota Visit You or Your Study Group

Date: December 11-21

Additional Details:

Dakota is taking requests to visit students before their final exam. E-mail the request to

Destress for finals with Bagels and a Dose of Dakota Compliments of the Student Nursing Association

Date: December 10
Time: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Location: Egan School, Third Floor

Additional Details:

FREE bagels and coffee will be available on behalf of SNA to kick off the beginning of finals week. Best of luck to everyone with finals and happy holidays!

Dakota in the RecPlex

Date: December 11
Time: 2:30 – 5 p.m.
Location: RecPlex

Therapy Dogs at the Library

Date: December 13
Time: 1-4 p.m.
Location: DiMenna-Nyselius Library, Room 114

Additional Details:

Visit with Dakota and President Mark Nemec's puppy, Monty!

Dakota at the RecPlex

Date: December 14
Time: 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Location: RecPlex

Egan School 2018 Holiday Celebration

Egan School 2018 Holiday Celebration

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Last modified: 12-07-18 9:13 AM


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