Meet Nicole Davidow '15, St. Ignatius Loyola Medalist
Major: International Studies
Minors: Catholic Studies, Peace and Justice Studies, Philosophy
Hometown: Southington, Conn.
Nicole will be recognized with the St. Ignatius Loyola Medal for exemplifying the true spirit of a Jesuit education through her commitment to high academic standards and involvement in community service.
She’ll receive the prestigious award at the Student Achievement Awards Ceremony later this month. Visit www.fairfield.edu/studentachievementawards to see all the honorees.
How did you choose Fairfield?
My decision to attend Fairfield was based off of several key factors: proximity to my home town, academic course loads and curriculums, and opportunities for involvement. But one of the most unanticipated influences that contributed to me choosing to enroll at Fairfield was the recommendation of others, specifically the endorsement by one of my older cousins (a 2005 graduate) and my older sister (a 2011 graduate). I heard nothing but great things about the school and I wanted to see for myself all that Fairfield had to offer.
Favorite Fairfield involvement
It is so hard to choose a favorite Fairfield involvement since I have met so many influential and inspiring people as a result of various events and activities. If I had to choose one, however, it would be my involvement in the Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network (JUHAN).
Despite the cliché, I would not be the person I am today without the opportunities that I have gained by being involved in JUHAN—and most definitely without knowing Julie Mughal and all the supporting faculty and staff. JUHAN has provided me with a space to develop my interests, given me opportunities to grow as a leader, and exposed me to resources and networks that I will continue to utilize as I pursue my professional and personal development further in the months and years to come.
Although late in the game in discovering my interest in philosophy, I was fortunate enough to take two courses with Professor Kris Sealey: “Existentialism and Critical Race Theory.” I think these have been two of the most formative courses I have taken at Fairfield, since they developed my critical thinking abilities in addition to being essential to the development of my personal consciousness. My admiration and gratitude for Prof. Sealey has grown tremendously since I first met her, in part due to her empowering teaching style and also due to her genuine good nature and getting to know and experience the love that she has for her family, students, and the work that she does. I will be forever appreciative of her mentorship and extensive knowledge and perspective she has shared with me and my classmates.
Favorite Fairfield Memory
I honestly cannot choose a favorite Fairfield memory because as I reflect back on my experiences, it hasn’t been the things that I have done, but the people I have met, and it is impossible to choose favorites among them. Dunya Majeed, Ariel Miranda, and Alan Paleaz-Lopez are three of the most amazing individuals I have met during my time at Fairfield.
Their courageousness and passion has taught me the greatest lessons on living a meaningful life not just for yourself, but for others as well—and with that, to not be accepting of the situation we come into but to be a part of the movement towards a better society.
In addition, my friends in S4SJ (Service For Social Justice), including Tim Manning, Kristen Seeto, Marie Matta, Deirdre McElroy, Bridget Mulkerin and Kelly Miraglia, have all demonstrated what is possible when we work together. I am so grateful for their leadership and the positive influence they have had and continue to have on the Fairfield Community.
Finally, my roommates and friends—Enxhi Myslymi, Katherine Nguyen, Marisa Mastrangelo, and Sohail Sumra have been with me through it all, and I will forever cherish the friendship, love and support they have shared with me. All of my favorite memories revolve around these individuals and I am so grateful that each and every one has been a part of my experience at Fairfield.
What have you learned at Fairfield, personal or professional, that you’ll “take with you” when you leave?
One of the most invaluable lessons I have come to learn and will take with me when I graduate is my role in a greater society. Most fundamentally, I have come to understand that my role as a student will never change. I recently came to the realization that for every course I have taken my desire to learn more has grown exponentially. I realize that I still have so much to learn and I can only hope that I will be as fortunate to be surrounded by such interesting and willing individuals in the years to come as I have been at Fairfield University.
Plans for after graduation
I am very excited to be embarking on a two-month-long road trip across the United States this upcoming summer. Following my return, I am hopeful that I will be able to accept a position as an AmeriCorps Vista in the New England area.
How do you feel about receiving this award?
It is extremely humbling to be a recipient of the St. Ignatius Loyola Medal. I am honored to be a part of this 2015 class of truly outstanding leaders. My peers are among some of the most inspiring individuals who work tirelessly for causes above and beyond their personal interests and goals.
I would like to congratulate my peers who are receiving awards alongside me—in addition to the various student leaders across our campus—on their many accomplishments. I would also like them to know that their work does not go unnoticed, and that their impact is greater than they can ever realize. To them I say: I am so grateful for the inspiration and hope you have incited within me.