Achievement, Service, and Leadership: Student Awards Ceremony, April 24

Achievement, Service, and Leadership: Student Awards Ceremony, April 24

Jillian Bauknecht, Lauren Adams, Nya Jones, Vincent Rotondo, and Jordan Gale

(L-R): Jillian Bauknecht, Lauren Adams, Nya Jones, Vincent Rotondo, and Jordan Gale.

From international service and advocacy, to mentoring and program development, the achievements of Class of 2023 undergraduate and graduate students from across all schools will be recognized at the annual Student Achievement Awards ceremony.

Each year, Fairfield University recognizes a select number of seniors and graduate students with awards, for both academic and service-related accomplishments. These awards highlight the students' contributions to excellence, engagement, and volunteer service in the Ignatian tradition. This year's Student Awards Ceremony will feature an in-person celebration on Monday, April 24 at 5 p.m. in the Dolan School of Business Event Hall.

This year’s Fairfield Student Awards will honor:

Vincent Rotondo ’23

Vincent Rotondo is 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. 

In her nomination, Residence Life area coordinator Katie O’Rourke stated, “Vinny has truly touched every corner of this campus with his passion and determination to make Fairfield a better place. In Vinny’s four years on campus, he has held various leadership roles simultaneously, with ease, and all while maintaining an impressive 4.0 GPA.”

A political science and government and public relations major with a minor in business management, Rotondo has a full résumé of accomplishments, including inductions into Alpha Sigma Nu, Pi Sigma Alpha, and the honors program. He is a Magis scholar, a Newman Civic fellow, and the recipient of the Ronald Reagan Leadership Medal, the John J. Sullivan Scholarship, and the St. Timothy Award. He is a resident assistant, FUSA senator, Admission intern, and founder and president of Recycling for Refugees.

Nya Jones ’23

The William J. Kramer ’60 Humanitarian Award will be awarded to international studies and sociology/anthropology major Nya Jones 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.” Jones is a member of Alpha Sigma Nu, a Martin Luther King Jr. Vision Award recipient, and winner of a Model United Nations Award for Summer International Internships.

She is also a Division I volleyball student-athlete and a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Board. Jones has served as an intern for the Center for Social Impact, a volunteer for the Jones-Zimmermann Afterschool Program, a Save the Children fellow, and a Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants tutor.

In his nomination, vice president of athletics Paul Schlickmann wrote, “Nya Jones is an exemplary representative of Fairfield University and Fairfield Athletics. She is an active member of our Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and a vocal leader in athletics and on campus.”

Five 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:

  • Lauren Adams ’23: a psychology major and health studies minor in the College of Arts and Sciences. Adams has been selected for her contributions to the Psychology Club. During her time at Fairfield, she has served as a Psychology Department research assistant, Campus Ministry retreat director, Psychology Club president and mentor, and Covid-19 student ambassador. She has worked as an intern at the Center for Family Justice and in  the Admission Department.
  • Kafo Bagagnan ’23: a mechanical engineering major and mathematics minor in the School of Engineering. He was recognized for his efforts in re-establishing the National Society for Black Engineers. Bagagnan is president of the National Society for Black Engineers, a commuter peer assistant, and a Gilbane Construction intern. He was also the recipient of the Gerard Phelan Award and the O’Keefe Award.
  • Jillian Bauknecht ’23: a psychology major and sociology and public administration minor in the College of Arts and Sciences. Recognized for advancing liturgy during her time at Fairfield, Bauknecht is a Psi Chi member, a research assistant, a teaching intern, and she has served as a Psychology Club executive board member, a Campus Ministry team leader, a liturgical minister, and a Ski Club member.
  • Jordan Gale ’23: an accounting major in the Charles F. Dolan School of Business. He served as 2022-23 FUSA President; his efforts increased school spirit by over 300 percent in a year. Gale is a tour ambassador, accounting tutor, and Ernst & Young intern. He previously served as a New Student Leader Development intern.
  • James Vizzard ’23: a physics major in the College of Arts and Sciences. He is a Division I cross country athlete, an honors program member, and a Goldwater Scholar. Vizzard has also served as a research assistant under Robert Nazarian, PhD, working on climate, geophysical, and ocean research, and as an intern for the Naval Surface Warfare Center. 

Additionally, the following graduate students will be recognized for their exceptional contributions to excellence, engagement, and the Ignatian tradition:

  • Ignatius Loyola Medal: Matthew Laiz
  • Graduate Student Service Award: Ram Tamanampudi

Student Awards Ceremony

Date: Monday, April 24, 2023
Time: 5 p.m.
Location: Dolan School of Business Event Hall

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