Magdalena Dutkowska ’22 Wins Community Service Scholarship

Magdalena Dutkowska ’22 Wins Community Service Scholarship

Magdalena Dutkowska '22

Magdalena Dutkowska ’22

The international studies/Spanish/politics major and humanitarian action minor will accept her award and deliver an address at a Bridgeport AAUW Scholarship Winner Recognition event on September 25.

Over the past four years at Fairfield University, Magda has demonstrated a passion to help others and an unparalleled dedication to humanitarianism.

— Julie Mughal, Assoc. Director of Humanitarian Action, Center for Social Impact

Magdalena Dutkowska ’22 has been selected to receive a special $3,000 Community Service Scholarship, created this year in celebration of the 90th anniversary of the Bridgeport Area Branch of the American Association of University Women (Bridgeport AAUW). This recognition comes in addition to Dutkowska being named one of the organization’s 2021-22 tuition scholarship awardees.

Dutkowska was selected to receive the special one-time Community Service Scholarship in recognition of the work she has done in service to others, including as a Humanitarian Action fellow at Fairfield University. She will accept her award and deliver an address at the Bridgeport AAUW’s anniversary celebration and scholarship winner recognition event on Saturday, Sept. 25 in Stratford, Conn.

Born in Poland, Dutkowska immigrated to the United States with her parents when she was two-and-a-half years old. She grew up in a Polish-speaking household in Bridgeport and attended Polish Saturday School, a weekend program dedicated to preserving the language and culture in families of Polish heritage living outside of Poland. “It’s always been a big part of who I am,” she said, “Ever since I can remember, my parents have put a big emphasis on our heritage, and on maintaining that connection.”

Currently residing in Stratford, Dutkowska has dual citizenship and is a first-generation college student. She believes, in fact, that she may be the first family member ever, on both her mother’s and her father’s side, to pursue a college degree. She chose to attend Fairfield University, in part, because she was looking to stay close to home, and because “I like being able to create relationships with my professors and advisors,” she explained, “and Fairfield really encourages student-faculty connections both inside and outside the classroom.”

As an incoming first-year student at Fairfield, Dutkowska participated in a summer program for first-generation and immigrant students, and was drawn to the Humanitarian Action and International Studies programs. “I just knew I wanted to be part of those communities, having grown up with international and humanitarian perspectives,” said Dutkowska, who is currently majoring in international studies, Spanish, and politics. She is minoring in humanitarian action.

Her first introduction to humanitarian action came in sixth grade when Dutkowska joined her middle-school’s community service club. The club raised enough money to build a school in Kenya, and along with some of her classmates, she traveled there with the CBS news program 60 Minutes to participate in the building and the opening ceremony. “I knew then, that this is what I wanted to do,” she said.  

At Fairfield, Dutkowska has volunteered as an advocate for human rights through the Africa Faith and Justice Network, and as a U.S. emergency response team member at Save the Children. She has also been active in Fairfield’s Humanitarian Action Club, serving as a fellow since her sophomore year and collaborating with classmates on issues such as sustainability, immigration, social justice, education, and clean water.

During the pandemic, Dutkowska became interested in politics and the workings of local and state government agencies. She interned remotely for Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal’s office during the summer, and is currently interning at the offices of Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03). “I enjoy the social work aspect of these experiences and how we use legislation and our knowledge of different agencies to serve the community,” she said of the case work she handles for constituents on issues ranging from immigration, housing, and education, to taxes and veteran affairs.

“I’m so thrilled that Magda has received this honor from the AAUW,” said Julie Mughal, associate director of Humanitarian Action in the Center for Social Impact. “Over the past four years at Fairfield University, Magda has demonstrated a passion to help others and an unparalleled dedication to humanitarianism. I’m confident that the work she has accomplished as an undergraduate is just the first step on a lifetime path in making a difference in our global community.”

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is a nationwide network of more than 100,000 members and donors, and 500 college/university institution partners. Celebrating its 90th anniversary, the Bridgeport Area Branch is one of nine AAUW affiliates in Connecticut, and is dedicated to advancing the educational and professional pursuits of women in the towns of Fairfield, Easton, Monroe, Trumbull, Bridgeport, and Stratford, Connecticut.

Learn More About Humanitarian Action at Fairfield University


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