Student Achievement, Service, and Leadership Awardees Announced

Student Achievement, Service, and Leadership Awardees Announced

(Left to Right): Jasmine Nguy ’22, Mahfouz Soumare ’22, Tobenna Ugwu ’22, and Nwachukwu Ibekwe ’22

From international service and advocacy, to mentoring and program development, the achievements of Class of 2022 undergraduate and graduate students from across all schools will be recognized at the annual Student Achievement Awards ceremony on April 11.

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 an in-person celebration at 5 p.m. on April 11 in the Dolan School of Business Event Hall.

Nwachukwu Ibekwe ’22 has been announced as this year's recipient of the prestigious undergraduate St. Ignatius Loyola Medal for committing himself over the last four years to the Jesuit educational ideals of maintaining high academic standards and substantial involvement in community service and extracurricular activities. 

"I am overwhelmed with gratitude to have been selected to receive this prestigious award. It fills me with pride and honor to have my efforts recognized in this way by the Fairfield University Alumni Association and the Division of Student Life. I will definitely continue my efforts to make the best of my environment and reach as high as I can," said Ibekwe. 

Ibekwe, a mechanical engineering major in the School of Engineering, has a full résumé of accomplishments, including inductions into Alpha Sigma Nu and Tau Beta Pi, and being the recipient of two prestigious American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) scholarships and the Bridgeport Engineering Institute Scholarship. Ibekwe practices his passions through extracurricular activities, internships, and research opportunities. He is the project vice president for the Society of Automotive Engineers' Baja Competition, a member of the National Society of Black Engineers, a new student leader, peer tutor, resident assistant, FUSA senator, music minister, house manager at the Quick Center, and he serves as a research assistant and teaching assistant at the School of Engineering. Ibekwe has volunteered on the Jesuit Humanitarian Action Network's immersion trip to Abilene Texas, and with the International Rescue Committee, the Caroline House Build a Library program, Engineers Without Borders, Carmelite Prisoners Interest Organization, and Prospect House. He also served as an apprentice at Mmabro International Motor Tech, Ltd., and authored a published research paper, “Micro-Bioreactor for Tissue Scaffolds."

The William J. Kramer ’60 Humanitarian Award will be awarded to nursing major Jasmine Nguy ’22 of the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies, for her “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, Nguy is a Corrigan scholar, is on the Dean’s list, and was awarded the Bellarmine Scholarship and Alumni Multicultural Scholarship. Nguy is a VALOR student serving at the VA Connecticut Healthcare system. She served as a lab assistant at Egan’s Simulation Center, a Covid-19 vaccine clinic volunteer, and is a member of the Student Nursing Association. In her nomination, Jancee Pust-Marcone, MSN, RN, CCRN-K wrote, “[Nguy] demonstrates both passion and dedication to caring for our nation’s veterans in her clinical practice and summer intern experience.”

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:

  • Tobenna Ugwu ’22, a biomedical engineering major and mathematics minor in the School of Engineering. Ugwu has been selected for his contributions and advancement of Fairfield at Night. During his time at Fairfield, he was a Bellarmine Scholar, senior fellow for the Office of Admission, vice president of FUSA, managing editor of The Fairfield Mirror, and creative director of Fairfield at Night.
  • Gabriel Rodrigues ’22, a biology major and biochemistry and health studies minor in the College of Arts and Sciences. He was recognized for his contributions to the Biology Department. At Fairfield, he is a Magis scholar and was inducted into Alpha ED Pre-Med Society, Alpha Sigma Nu, and Phi Beta Kappa. Rodrigues serves as a research assistant in the Department of Biology, where he conducted a two-year research project with Professor Brian Walker, PhD, on micro-plastic contamination on penguins, and developed a video presentation on the global health role model for St. Basil. Additionally, he was a Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Service Intern EMT, BASE camp counselor, resident assistant, senior resident assistant, Ignatian Leadership Residential College mentor, Relay for Life co-president, Dean’s advisory council board member, and a member of the Global Health Club.
  • Mahfouz Soumare ’22, an international studies and economics major, and a French, humanitarian action, and finance triple minor, was recognized for his ongoing commitment to humanitarian efforts. A Division I men’s soccer player, his accomplishments include Dean’s List and the honors program. He was the recipient of the Magis Scholarship, Catalyst Foundation Scholarship, Goals and Glory Foundation Scholarship, the Chris C. Quick Scholarship, and the MLK Vision Award. During his time at Fairfield, Soumare has shown his commitment to vulnerable populations locally and internationally as a project manager at Sky Africa, a mentor at the Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants, a United Africa mentor, a Door Youth Center intern, and as an Ana Nobleza Siscar, LLC intern. He is also Fairfield’s Model UN treasurer, a McDonalds Partners portfolio analyst intern, the Chippeur Melo Clothing founder and CEO, a Grand Prize Winner in Tribeca’s Annual Student Film Festival, and a Downtown United Soccer Club assistant coach. He was also selected for a Nike, Inc. commercial to represent sports leadership and to discuss how sports corporations can support ending global warming.
  • Lou Lopez-Senechal ’22, a marketing major, was recognized for her excellence in athletics. She is a Division I Women's Basketball athlete, a social media intern for Fairfield's Division of Marketing & Communications, and she served as an operations intern at Guide Fabrics. Her accomplishments include Dean's List, MAAC Player of the Year, Fairfield's Female Athlete of the Year, MAAC Rookie of the Year, All-MAAC Rookie Team, four-time MAAC Rookie of the Week, All-MAAC First Team, MAAC All-Academic Team, and team captain. Lopez-Senechal also volunteered at the Green Village Initiative, Future Frogmen, and Surfrider. 

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: Margaret Moore
  • Charles F. Dolan School of Business: Brendan Bruneau
  • Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing & Health Studies: Stephen Sanchez
  • School of Engineering: Philip Ruggirello
  • School of Education & Human Development: Erica Spino
  • Student Engagement Award: Thomas Debicella       

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