Center for Social Impact Honors 2022 Awardees for Excellence

Center for Social Impact Honors 2022 Awardees for Excellence

Stag statue on Fairfield's campus

The 16th Annual Celebration of Excellence showcased a year of accomplishments and recognized four award recipients for their work in community-engaged teaching, research, and action.

Yesterday in the Kelley Auditorium, Fairfield University’s Center for Social Impact (CSI) celebrated a showcase of accomplishments during the 2021-22 school year. In her introductory remarks, CSI Director Melissa Quan, EdD, highlighted the many achievements of students working in CSI programs, including the student fellows who lead the Humanitarian Action Club — Magdalena Dutkowska ’22, Julia Neal ’23, and Evan Keiser ’24 — for raising money to support local refugee resettlement agencies and for committing “time and muscle to moving furniture and setting up apartments for newly arrived refugee families.” For these efforts and more, said Dr. Quan, the Humanitarian Action Club was recently bestowed the Philanthropy Award by the Fairfield University Association of Clubs and Student Organizations.

Following Dr. Quan’s year-end review, recipients of four annual awards were honored. Congratulations to the following awardees:

884533191_mc_secondary-story_csi-awardees-judy-primavera_04222022.jpgJudy Primavera, PhD, received the 2022 Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., Faculty Award for Excellence in Community Engagement, in recognition of her exceptional commitment to community-engaged teaching, research, and scholarship. For more than 30 years, Dr. Primavera, professor of psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences, has worked as a publicly engaged scholar whose teaching and research efforts focus on social justice issues of importance to the community. She piloted the Adrian Kirby Family Literacy Project in 1994, as a preventative intervention designed to improve preschool students’ language skills through tutoring and parent support. In 2002, she co-founded the Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation to celebrate the life of her daughter, Jamie. The foundation is dedicated to the educational enrichment and professional development of young artists and early career professionals. In 2006, Dr. Primavera was instrumental to the founding of Fairfield’s first Office of Service Learning. “What comes to mind, for me, when I think about Judy and thus when I think about community engagement,” said Dr. Quan, is “joy, pure joy… this joy is cultivated from hard work, grit, fight, and love.”

884533191_mc_secondary-story_csi-awardees-caroline-house_04222022.jpgCaroline House received the 2022 Outstanding Community Partner Award, which recognizes a community partner for their contributions to community engagement with Fairfield University. Located in Bridgeport, Conn., Caroline House, whose mission is to enable women and children to reach the fullness of their potential through education in English language and life skills, has partnered with Fairfield University for more than 20 years. Helen Ramos Paiz, current executive director of Caroline House, was commended especially for “leading with creativity and responsiveness during these past two challenging years” of the Covid-19 pandemic.

884533191_mc_secondary-story_csi-awardees-diane-muteba_04222022.jpgDiana Muteba ’22 received the 2022 Humanitarian Action Student Award, which recognizes the outstanding academic performance of a humanitarian action minor in the program’s courses as well as evidence of commitment to humanitarian work. Introducing Muteba, Julie Mughal, associate director of Humanitarian Action, described her as “a confident, competent woman who will truly ‘set the world ablaze.’” Muteba interned at the Save the Children Action Network, and has also served as the Africa and Middle East fellow at Americares, where she helped to develop a training manual to raise awareness about zoonosis and other infectious diseases. Her capstone project focused on AmeriCares’ use of drones to deliver life-saving maternal healthcare supplies in hard-to-reach areas of Africa. Muteba has mentored refugee youths through the Connecticut Institute for Refugee and Immigrants (CIRI) and the Jones-Zimmerman Academic Mentoring Program at Cesar Batalla School in Bridgeport.

884533191_mc_secondary-story_csi-awardees-vincent-rotondo_04222022.jpgVincent Rotondo ’23 was recognized as the recently announced recipient of a 2022-23 Newman Civic Fellowship. Newman fellowships are awarded nationally to students who are change makers and public problem solvers. “Vincent is a visible and influential campus leader who has developed a passion for social justice and humanitarian issues, specifically around the global refugee crisis,” said President Mark R. Nemec, PhD, in his introduction of Rotondo. Read more about his Newman Fellowship here.

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Last modified: 04-22-22 12:11 PM

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