Fairfield University’s Staff Association has awarded over $70,000 in scholarship money over the last 20 years to exemplary students. As in previous years, this year’s scholarship committee comprised of University staff members Colleen Gilbertson, Jonathan Hodge, Cathy O’Donnell, and John Richie, was charged with deciding which deserving student would be the recipient of the 2012 scholarship. “This was a difficult decision as so many of the applicants were well deserving of the scholarship,” Jonathan Hodge commented. However, after some careful deliberation, it was clear to the scholarship committee that one student in particular demonstrated her commitment to the Jesuit ideal of being ‘men and women for others’ – Melissa Hannequin ’13.
Melissa, of Bethel, Conn., is a Sociology & Anthropology and International Studies major, with a minor in Peace & Justice Studies and Black Studies. Melissa impressed the committee with her commitment to academics, her social consciousness, and her numerous examples of community engagement.
Melissa entered Fairfield University as a Magis Scholar and hit the ground running, immediately becoming involved in various clubs and organizations. She joined Students for Social Justice, became a Student Leader for Ignatian Solidarity, and made the Dean’s list. Melissa continued the depth of her involvement by joining organizations such as JUHAN and First Year Experience. She has participated in service trips and studied abroad in Tanzania.
Melissa was thrilled about receiving the award. “I thank the Staff Association and its scholarship committee for this gracious award. It is very thoughtful of the staff to put together such a scholarship in recognition of the undergraduates’ contributions. I am so honored to have been chosen for this award and deeply appreciate the union between Fairfield’s staff and students that this scholarship represents.”
Passionate about her future, after graduation Melissa is planning to pursue a master degree and eventually work with a non-governmental or a non-profit organization and perhaps get involved in conducting academic research.
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