Meredith Smith Wins National Jesuit Student Personnel Award
Meredith Smith of the Office of Residence Life is this year’s recipient of the Ignatian Medal for Outstanding New Professional in Jesuit Student Affairs. Meredith received the award on Saturday, March 16 at the annual JASPA conference in Orlando, Florida.
JASPA (Jesuit Association of Student Personnel Administrators) is a conference of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU). JASPA was founded in 1954 and works to promote the mission of Jesuit higher education. Members of JASPA represent the 28 Jesuit Colleges and Universities in the United States and also includes affiliate members from other institutions. JASPA is an integral means by which the Jesuit institutions of higher education share information, encourage professional development, support the member institutions, and work to foster an educational ethos centered around the Jesuit principles of social justice and the common good. Fairfield University is a proud and active member, and professional staff within the Division of Student Affairs are actively engaged in JASPA at all levels of its governance structure.
The Ignatian Medal for Outstanding New Professional in Jesuit Student Affairs is conferred on individuals who have distinguished themselves within the first three years of their careers in higher education. Ignatian Medal recipients are recognized as individuals who have brought a strong sense of leadership to their job, have demonstrated a high level of skill or ability, and have shown an early record of success which stands above the norm.
Meredith has done extraordinary work in her role as Area Coordinator, supporting both Claver Hall and the Creative Life Sophomore Residential College. A thoughtful supervisor and engaging presence in the lives of our students, Meredith has also distinguished herself in the area of leadership training, having recently co-authored with Tyler McClain a teaching module entitled, “Interacting in Teams and Groups,” which will appear in W. Wagner, D. Ostick & Associates “Exploring Leadership: For College Students Who Want to Make a Difference.”
“I am personally aware of the large and impressive pool of nominees that were drawn from all 28 Jesuit colleges and universities, a fact which makes Meredith’s selection for this national award all the more impressive,” said Tom Pellegrino, VP for Student Affairs.
Fairfield University had a strong showing from other individuals and programs nominated for the various awards given out by JASPA. They include Ange Concepcion, who received several nominations for Outstanding New Professional. In addition, Act Against was nominated for the Outstanding Commitment to Diversity and Social Justice Award. Finally, both the Conflict Resolution Consortium and the Man 2 Man Living and Learning Community were nominated for the Ignatian Medal for an Outstanding Campus Program or Initiative.