Innovation Celebrated at Second Annual University Convocation
The second annual Fairfield University Convocation, held Tuesday, September 27, included a new tradition to celebrate the successes of the University community.
It was the first year of the the President’s Innovation Awards, which were announced to an audience of faculty and staff at the Convocation. The Awards, which boasts a $5,000 prize, acknowledge faculty and staff who, through invention and advancement, have either generated additional revenue for the University or have decreased expenses.
Prior to the announcement of the Award winners, the audience of faculty and staff were addressed by University president, Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., Executive Vice President and COO, Kevin Lawlor, Senior Vice President and Provost, Dr. Lynn Babington, and Vice President for Mission and Identity, Dr. Nancy Dallavalle. The panel gave updates on current and future University happenings, including the Strategic Plan and Master Plan, as well as Mission and Identity initiatives and the University’s ongoing commitment to diversity and global citizenship. Lawlor spoke of the commitment to increasing programs and revenue streams, and discussed specific new facilities on the horizon, including the prospect of a new Charles F. Dolan School of Business facility and a new convocation hall.
After the panel discussion, eight Innovation Awards were presented. In the category of Pedagogical Innovation, a team of faculty members was awarded for developing a new online course titled “Multivariate Data Analysis for Decision Making,” which will be a complete online curriculum that will cover five different advanced multi-variate techniques used day-by-day by industry professionals. The team consists of Dr. Rajare K. Rajamma, Dr. Mark Ligas, Dr. Camelia Micu, Dr. Michael Sciandra and Dr. Iman Naderi.
Kamala Kiem and Carrie Robinson were awarded the Student Support, Mentoring and Advising award for expanding the existing Lucy Katz dialogue and Resolution Program to create a vital social justice program on campus for students, faculty and staff to meet the needs of the institution.
Two Awards were given in the general innovation category. The first, created by team members Dr. Matt Bernstein, Barbara Ghilardi, Robert Hoyt, Jackie Kremer and Witt Meesangnil for redesigning the previous plagiarism avoidance tutorial in the FYE program and ESL Engineering classes.
The second went to Peter van Heerden, Lori Jones and Dr. Marti LoMonaco for taking artistic and intellectual risks with“Global Theatre: A Performance Series,” a new series that combines artistry, intellect and innovation.
The Cost Savings and Productivity Award went to Caitlyn Hughes, who initiated a number of sustainable innovations that streamlined processes, saved time and money, reduced the University’s liability exposure and enhanced the division’s interactions with students.
Jay Rozgonyi received the Systems and Technology Award for simplifying classroom technology to enhance the over learning environments across campus. Rozgonyi worked collaboratively across campus to institute an innovative and technology driven approach, starting with only a few classrooms and growing it to what is now a campus wide adoption.
The Community Engagement and Service category included two Award winners. Dr. Bryan Ripley-Crandall, director of the Connecticut Writing Project-Fairfield (CWP), was recognized for his dedication to creating and maintaining a relationship between the University and community schools. His efforts include summer programs, service learning courses, and a proactive support to the Newtown Poetry project.
The second Community Engagement and Service Award went to Diane Avery for her initiative on the Veteran’s Care Certificate Program. Avery created a certificate program to ensure that all students receive the necessary level of knowledge to care for Veterans.
For a recap of 2016’s Convocation, click here.
Pictured above: Dr. Bryan Ripley Crandall; Pictured at right: Rev. Michael Tunney, S.J., gives the Invocation at the second annual Fairfield University Convocation for faculty and staff; Credit: Julian Focaretta