Students Recognized with Service Awards
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saint Mary’s College Recognizes Students With Service Awards
Director of Media Relations
Saint Mary's College
April 20, 2011 (Notre Dame, Ind.)—The Office for Civic and Social Engagement (OCSE) at Saint Mary's College is pleased to announce that six students will receive six unique service awards at a banquet to be held on Tuesday, April 26 at 5 p.m. in Stapleton Lounge, Le Mans Hall. The media is invited to cover the event. Five of the awards are named for Sisters of the Holy Cross. The Sisters of the Holy Cross founded the Catholic all-women’s college in 1844 and the awards are a tribute to the founders’ mission—to help where help is needed. The sixth award is named for an alumna, Patricia Arch Green ’61, who lived a life dedicated to serving others. Winners are selected from nominations submitted by faculty and staff. As mentioned below, many of the recipients participate in the College Academy of Tutoring (CAT) Program, which is operated through the OCSE office.
The Sister Kathleen Anne Nelligan, CSC Award for Spiritual Service will be awarded to Anne Maguire ’11, a nursing major from Indianapolis. Anne has been active in spiritually-oriented service since she arrived at Saint Mary’s. Her engagement through Campus Ministry has included serving as a Eucharistic minister, a peer minister, and as a leader for Eucharistic exposition and weekly Rosary prayer. Her deep faith and commitment to her values led her to join the Saint Mary’s for Life club, where she served as vice-president and president. During the summer of 2010 Anne traveled to Uganda to serve with the Sisters of the Holy Cross at their health clinic. The experience had a profound effect on her life and deepened her faith and sense of purpose. The Sisters and clinic staff taught her that faith offers caregivers hope and love for patients in the midst of suffering and adversity. Anne has also been an active member of the cross country team. Coach Jackie Bauters remarks, “Anne’s faith plays a pivotal role in her life and how she interacts with others – she brought all of her passions with her to our team.”
The Sister Olivia Marie Hutcheson, CSC Award for Service in the Health Field will be awarded to Christina Losasso ’11 of Woodbury, Minnesota. As a nursing major she became active in and pivotal to the success of the Friends with Sisters program, where she served as vice president and president. The club pairs Saint Mary’s students with Sisters of the Holy Cross for activities, events, and friendship. Christina has also been involved in Friends of the Orphans organization, which provides permanent homes for orphaned, abandoned, and disadvantaged children in Latin America and the Caribbean. Christina has served with the medical missionary team working with children at the Holy Family Surgery Center in Honduras, traveling there multiple times in 2009, 2010, and 2011. In addition to her service as a direct health care provider, Christina has been an advocate for these children through the Saint Mary’s chapter of Friends of the Orphans, serving as club president and spearheading efforts to raise money for supplies as well as awareness about the program. As one of her professors in the nursing department remarks, “Christina finds it important to share the joy of giving, and her positive attitude rubs off on those around her.”
The Sister Maria Concepta McDermott, CSC Award for Service in Education will be awarded to Aileen Hurd ’12, a social work and communicative disorders double major from Woodstock, Connecticut. Aileen began her service experience as a part of the CAT Scholars Program, a scholarship initiative through the CAT Program, which requires each recipient to volunteer a minimum of 300 hours in the local community. Through the CAT Scholars Program, Aileen was first placed in a LifeSkills classroom at Warren Primary Center in South Bend for 10 hours a week in classroom with developmentally disabled children, most of whom were non-verbal. In this environment, Aileen rose to a new level of dedication to education and children in need. She has given over 700 hours to children in the South Bend community. Olivia Critchlow, director of the CAT Program, wrote, “Aileen is one of the most dedicated students I have ever encountered. She has a quiet strength and very calming presence about her that make her a wonderful leader in the community. Many students in South Bend have been changed for the better because of their contact with Aileen.”
The Sister Christine Healy, CSC Award for Service with Women will be awarded to Claire Yancy ’11, a communication studies major from Holland, Michigan. Claire’s compassion toward others is demonstrated most prominently in her work with the Center for the Homeless in South Bend. She first came to know the Center in 2009 through a public communication course taught by communication studies professor Terri L. Russ. Claire worked with another student to address the needs of women at the Center and created a program called Our Hour. This program, which was nationally recognized by the National Association for Education in Communication and Media, focused on helping women living at the Center find their voice and increase their self-esteem and self-worth. This semester Claire will welcome some of those guests from the Center to the College to share their stories as part of an event about homelessness awareness. As Russ notes, “Claire regularly met with me to discuss ways she would help the women at the Center and showed compassion and concern for the mothers that far exceeded what others students had demonstrated. Her work and service at the Center present a level of dedication and commitment I rarely see in students.”
The Sister Olivette Whalen, CSC Award for General Service will be awarded to Karen Borja ’11, a political science major from Coachella, California. Karen has been active in a wide variety of activities on and off campus including environmental awareness, sexual-orientation education and advocacy, community gardens, and serving in the College Academy of Tutoring (CAT) as both a tutor and a teacher’s assistant. Her dedication to issues of social justice has grown and this year she has been engaged with the student anti-bias coalition. In her advocacy work with the Straight and Gay Alliance (SAGA) she organized and is leading events during Pride Week and has worked diligently to create an open atmosphere that respects all persons. She has also earned her Certificate in Intercultural Leadership and has used her community-organizing skills in a variety of ways to benefit Saint Mary’s community. Says Jan Pilarski, director of the Justice Education Program, “Karen is a gifted leader who understands the importance of both reflection and action. Our campus is much richer for Karen sharing her leadership and commitment.” One of her nominators closed by saying, “Karen takes time to address taboo issues and to reach out to students who would normally be excluded…her passion in life is to create equality for all.”
The Patricia Arch Green Award will be awarded to Carla Leal ’13, a psychology and communicative disorders double major from Brownsville, Texas. Carla is deeply committed to service and has had a positive impact in the lives of many at-risk children in the South Bend community in the two years she has been at Saint Mary’s. She has been an active member of the CAT Scholars Program, a scholarship initiative through the College Academy of Tutoring (CAT) Program, which requires each recipient to volunteer a minimum of 300 hours in the local community. She has already given over 630 hours to the South Bend community. Jennifer Kornexl, assistant director of the CAT Program wrote, "Carla is an extremely talented individual who is truly dedicated to the CAT Program. Her passion for the program, as well as the difference she is making in the community, is evident. Whether she is assisting students in the classroom or working in the Office for Civic and Social Engagement office, she is always willing to go above and beyond what is expected. The positive impact she is making in the schools and here on campus is noticed and most certainly appreciated.” Carla is always generating ideas for CAT activities and has the ability to motivate and inspire those around her to get involved. In recognition for her dedication, Carla will serve as the CAT Student Director next year.
For more information on the award recipients, click here.
About Saint Mary’s College: Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., is a four-year, Catholic, women’s institution offering five bachelor’s degrees and more than 30 major areas of study. Saint Mary’s College has six nationally accredited academic programs: social work, art, music, teacher education, chemistry and nursing. Saint Mary’s College ranks among the top 100 “Best National Liberal Arts Colleges” in the U.S. News & World Report 2011 College Guide. Founded in 1844, Saint Mary’s is a pioneer in the education of women, and is sponsored by the Sisters of the Holy Cross.