It is a vital part of any community to have individuals and organizations that help the community flourish in a variety of ways. It is this commitment to one’s community that the Campus Compact for New Hampshire, a statewide consortium of college and university presidents and private sector partners, honors in its annual President’s Awards.
The awardees of the 2018 Campus Compact for New Hampshire’s President’s Awards for Keene State College include the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), Professor of Geography Dr. Christopher Cusack and Director of Clinical Integration at Cheshire Medical Center Dr. Rudy Fedrizzi.
The SAAC won the President’s Leadership Award. This award is given to either an individual student or a student organization that has demonstrated great contributions to community service and civic engagement on their college campus.
The SAAC often works with the Keene Parks and Recreation Department. President of the SAAC Samantha Sullivan said, “We have a very close relationship with Keene Parks and Recreation that has really started to develop over the past couple of years… every winter each team goes to the Keene Parks and Recreation Center on a Saturday morning to run a basketball clinic.”
The SAAC also has a national affiliation with the Special Olympics and often works with the New Hampshire branch. “We pride ourselves on our community involvement and affiliation with the Special Olympics of New Hampshire, so it’s very gratifying to be recognized for our hard work,” said Sullivan.
The recipient of the President’s Good Steward Award was Professor of Geography at KSC Dr. Christopher Cusack. This award is given to a college employee who has continuously employed public service on campus. Cusack encourages civic engagement and community support from his students through their senior capstone research project within the geography department.
“Small groups of students are partnered with external agencies, this could be the Keene Planning Department, the Keene Young Professionals Network… anywhere around Keene. Students work with these community organizations or agencies to do projects that would benefit those entities,” Cusack said.
Cusack also said that, to him, being a “good steward” means, “just to be active in the community and to try to be there for others and provide support as it’s necessary just to make a community a better place to live… just try to live your life the right way and do right by others.”
The Community Partner Award was granted to Director of Clinical Integration at Cheshire Medical Center Dr. Rudy Fedrizzi. This award is given to a non-profit organization or representative that has worked towards sustaining a high quality of life in a community and has maintained a partnership with a college or university.
Fedrizzi has taken on KSC students for a variety of internships, recently worked with KSC faculty on the Monadnock Coalition for the Promotion of Breast Feeding, partnered with the Cohen Center Civic Leadership Project and done research with the Environmental Studies Department about air quality.
“Most important to me is that I’m eager to take student volunteers or student interns… over the years I’ve probably had a dozen or more Keene State students work on projects… Over the years I’ve done a lot of work with the college,” Fedrizzi said.
Fedrizzi also said that receiving the award came as a surprise to him, and that he has found KSC to be “such an important partner to the work.”
The awardees will be honored on Tuesday, April 10, at the annual President’s Awards Luncheon in Concord, New Hampshire.
Rachel Vitello can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org