Fairfield’s Alpha Sigma Nu Announces Teachers of the Year

Fairfield’s Alpha Sigma Nu Announces Teachers of the Year

Alpha Sigma Nu Logo

Alpha Sigma Nu is the national Jesuit honor society.

Catherine Giapponi, PhD, and Erica Hartwell, PhD, LMFT, have been recognized by the Fairfield University chapter of Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit honor society, as the undergraduate and graduate 2020 Teachers of the Year.

Professors Hartwell and Giapponi represent how Fairfield faculty inspire their students to reach for the magis, the more, of academic excellence by translating their service into deeply meaningful classroom learning that transforms our students’ lives.

— Jocelyn M. Boryczka, PhD, Associate Vice Provost for Scholarly, Creative, and Community Engagement

Alpha Sigma Nu Teacher of the Year recognition is a tradition at Fairfield for which students nominate an undergraduate and a graduate faculty member for their dedication to the teaching profession and their support for students. Nominations are based on scholarship, loyalty, and service: the three pillars of the Alpha Sigma Nu Jesuit honor society. 

Catherine Giapponi, PhD, associate professor of management, has been named this year's undergraduate Alpha Sigma Nu Teacher of the Year, and the graduate honoree is Erica Hartwell, PhD, LMFT, associate professor of marriage and family therapy, and director of the Sexual and Gender Minority (SGM) Mental Health certificate program.

“Our 2020 Alpha Sigma Nu Teachers of the Year, Professors Hartwell and Giapponi, represent how Fairfield faculty inspire their students to reach for the magis, the more, of academic excellence by translating their service into deeply meaningful classroom learning that transforms our students’ lives,” said Jocelyn M. Boryczka, PhD, associate vice provost for scholarly, creative, and community engagement.

2020 Undergraduate Teacher of the Year, Dr. Catherine Giapponi
506693925_news-at_alpha-sigma-nu_catherine_giapponi_150x200_05152020.jpgDr. Giapponi joined the Fairfield faculty in 2001 as a visiting assistant professor of management. She shared that she has always been drawn to committee work involving students and learning; she has served on the Fairfield Student Life Committee, the Fairfield Dolan Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, and the University Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. Dr. Giapponi has also enjoyed working directly with students through the Ignatian Residential College Program, the Faculty Athletics Mentoring Program, and First-Year Student Summer Orientation, among others. Students recognized Dr. Giapponi’s commitment to service and dedication to their learning in and out of the classroom, a marker of Jesuit education.

"I am honored to be recognized as Fairfield University’s Undergraduate Teacher of the Year, and humbled, given the number of extraordinary teachers across our campus,” said Dr. Giapponi. “This recognition holds special meaning because it is student-initiated. I am deeply grateful to the students who are my inspiration and fuel my passion for teaching and learning each and every day."

2020 Graduate Teacher of the Year, Dr. Erica Hartwell
506693925_news-at_alpha-sigma-nu_erica_hartwell-2_150x200_05142020.jpgDr. Hartwell joined the Fairfield faculty in 2013. She serves the community through a variety of roles including instructor and supervisor of therapists, president of the board of directors of the Triangle Community Center in Norwalk, Conn., and chair of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) Queer and Trans Advocacy Network. She is passionate about the health and well-being of sexual and gender minorities and last year launched a first-of-its-kind online certificate in SGM mental health at Fairfield. Students recognized Dr. Hartwell’s dedication to community engagement and commitment to mentorship as they prepare for professional careers.

“This is one of the most meaningful awards I could receive because it comes directly from students,” said Dr. Hartwell. “I have worked hard over the years to grow and develop as a teacher, to find new ways to connect with students, and to help them grasp what it means to be a marriage and family therapist. To me, this award means that all of that work has had an impact on them. I am so grateful for that and for the honor of being named Graduate Teacher of the Year.”

Tags:  Dolan School,  Top Stories,  GSEAP

Last modified: 05-14-20 12:00 AM

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