Students to Be Recognized for Achievement, Service, and Leadership, April 28

Students to Be Recognized for Achievement, Service, and Leadership, April 28

From international service and advocacy to mentoring and program development, the achievements of Class of 2021 undergraduate and graduate students from across all schools will be recognized at the annual Student Achievement Awards ceremony.

Student Achievement Awards

Each year, Fairfield University recognizes a select number of seniors with Student Achievement Awards, for both academic and service-related accomplishments. These awards highlight the students' contributions to excellence, engagement, and the Ignatian tradition. This year's Student Achievement Awards ceremony will feature a limited in-person celebration and will also be livestreamed at 5 p.m. on April 28.

Jessica Castillo ’21 and Seamus Digan ’21 have been announced as this year's co-recipients of the prestigious undergraduate St. Ignatius Loyola Medal for committing themselves over the last four years to the Jesuit educational ideals of maintaining high academic standards and substantial involvement in community service and extracurricular activities. 

Castillo, an International Studies and Politics double major and Latin American & Caribbean studies minor, has a full résumé of accomplishments, including Dean's List and inductions into Alpha Sigma Nu, Pi Sigma Alpha, Alpha Mu Gamma, and the St. Robert Bellarmine Pre-Law Society. Castillo practices her passions through extracurricular activities, internships, and study abroad opportunities. She was the president of Model United Nations, a assistant teacher, an international student ambassador, senior lector co-leader for Campus Ministry, and a International, Graduate, and Part-Time Student Life Intern. Additionally, she was one of 30 juniors selected to go to the Princeton Junior Summer Institute, which is one of five institutes across the country, to take part in the prestigious Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Junior Summer Institute Fellowship, and one of five selected to participate in the Junior Summer Institute through the Princeton University Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. While studying abroad she interned with Humaid, an organization supporting people with disabilities, where she assisted in translating their website.

“I feel extremely honored to be selected for the St. Ignatius Loyola Medal. These last four years have been among the most formative and transformational years of my life and I will be forever grateful for the gifts Fairfield University has given me," said Castillo, noting that Jesuit values have been "a guiding mentality throughout my undergraduate career.” 

An accounting major, Digan is a member of Alpha Sigma Nu and Beta Alpha Psi, and was a recipient of a scholastic achievement award from the Institute of Internal Auditors of Southern New England. During his time at Fairfield, he served as a new student leader, worked as a new student leader development intern, served on the tour ambassador executive board, and co-created the 9 O’Clock Company and Making Friends on Thursday events. He is also president of Club Wrestling.

The William J. Kramer ’60 Humanitarian Award will be awarded to Luckario Alcide ’21 for his “commitment to volunteerism and service to an external community activity that best exemplifies the Ignatian tradition of being men and women for and with others.” As a student at Fairfield, Alcide was awarded the Martin Luther King Jr. Vision Award, JUHAN Global Citizen Award, Rising Stag Award, and the Civic Newman Fellowship. He has served as a Bigelow Tea student ambassador and a youth program coordinator for the International Rescue Committee in Abilene Texas where he coordinated activities for refugee students. He interned for Iracambi Rainforest Conservation NGO in Brazil, and was a FUSA class senator. Alcide was also a JUHAN/Humanitarian Action Club Fellow and a member of the Black Student Union.

"I am overwhelmed with gratitude to have been selected for the William J. Kramer Humanitarian Award. In my heart, I’ve always understood my calling to be a contributive member of my community and to be a social agent of positive change. I have ingrained this philosophy into me in order to allow myself to better my immediate community," said Alcide. "During my four years, I have found many ways to be engaged and I have been fortunate enough to work with so many great students, faculty, and staff members. I would not have been able to achieve this award without the help of the individuals I have met throughout my time here at Fairfield University. I would like to personally thank my Fairfield families such as the Center for Social Impact, the Humanitarian Action Club, FUSA, and the Black Student Union for allowing me to develop as a student leader."

Three students will receive the Student Achievement Award for exceptional dedication to, enhancement of, and/or creation of a specific Fairfield University program, activity, organization, or project, which has had a significant and positive impact on the larger Fairfield University campus community. They are:

  • Erin Curtis ’21, a psychology and behavioral neuroscience major in the College of Arts and Sciences. Curtis has been selected for her contributions to the Psychology Club. During her time at Fairfield, she has been on the Dean’s List and served as the president of the Psychology Club, director of club development for COSO, chair of Fairfield’s Walk for Suicide, chair of Fairfield’s National Alliance on Mental Health, and also volunteered for the Bridgeport Rescue Mission.
  • Phuc Nguyen ’21, a mechanical engineering major in the School of Engineering. Nguyen has been selected for his work co-founding the 3D Printing Club and Innovators Club. At Fairfield, he was a research assistant for SERVO-ROBOT, a mechanical engineering intern for Otis Elevator Inc., a research assistant for the Department of Physics, teaching assistant, and was part of the group of students who educated and trained students to produce 3500 face shields during the pandemic. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers. He was also a recipient of the 2020 NASA Connecticut Space Grant.
  • Holly McGarrigle ’21, a marketing major in the Charles F. Dolan School of Business. McGarrigle has been recognized for the founding of Students Helping Students Tutoring and Mentorship Club, where she serves as president. She was the assistant editor of Dogwood Magazine and an intern for Hulkman Health. 

Graduate Student Service Awards

Each year, Fairfield University recognizes one graduate student within each academic school who has made an impact during his or her time at Fairfield. The following students will be recognized for their exceptional dedication to — and enhancement of — a specific program, activity, organization, or project within Fairfield University and the greater community:

  • College of Arts & Sciences: Ivan Cartagena, Jr. MFA’21, Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
  • Charles F. Dolan School of Business: Jeffrey Ni MS'21, Master of Science in Business Analytics and Master of Science in Finance
  • Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions, Alexis Rinaldi MA’21, Master of Arts in Counselor Education
  • Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing & Health Studies: Danielle Katz DNP’21, Doctorate of Nursing Practice Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • School of Engineering: Michael Gurge MS’21, Master of Science in Applied Data Science

Student Achievement Awards and Graduate Student Service Awards

Date: April 28
Time: 5 p.m.

Additional Details:

The event will feature a limited in-person celebration and will also be available for online viewing.

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