Jefferson Awards Honor Members of the Dyson College Community
The Jefferson Awards for Public Service honors individuals for their volunteer service and dedication to improving the quality of life in their communities. Known as the “Nobel Prize for public service,” it honors both well-known figures such as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Oprah Winfrey, as well as the lesser-known heroes in our classrooms and offices across the country.
More than 90 individuals at Pace have been recognized since 2006. Mary Ann Murphy, director of the Center for Community Action and Research (CCAR), says “these awards are an important component of Pace’s commitment to educating for citizenship and social justice of society.”
Every year, CCAR at Dyson College of Arts and Sciences solicits nominations from among faculty, staff, and students who exemplify personal, sustained commitment to service both inside and outside of the Pace community.
CCAR has announced that 11 individuals have been selected to receive Jefferson Awards Bronze Medals for 2016-2017, four of whom are from Dyson College.
The Dyson College Jefferson Awards Bronze Medal winners are:
Associate Professor of Political Science Matthew Bolton and Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies Emily Welty are jointly recognized. The former aid workers are married and have worked for non-governmental organizations (NGO) and United Nations agencies responding to the impact of conflict and disasters around the world. At Pace, they bring a wealth of humanitarian experience to the classroom, preparing students for public service and careers in advocacy, peacebuilding and international development. Bolton advises Pace University’s Model UN team on the New York City campus, and has served as an advisor to NGO campaigns conducting disarmament advocacy. Welty directs the Peace and Justice Studies program, leads the International Affairs Commission of the World Council of Churches, and serves on the board of directors for the Peace and Justice Studies Association. They jointly represent the International Peace Research Association at the UN, working on banning nuclear weapons and diverse peace and human rights issues.
Applied Psychology and Human Relations student Kenesha Henry ’18 has a passion to enhance the quality of life in the community of people with disabilities, and as such, is a counseling mentor to young adults with autism disabilities at the mid-spectrum level. Henry incorporates storytelling with these young adults as a means for life planning using iPad and smart tablet technologies. Through her efforts, she has helped young adults participate more fully in society by teaching practical tools and skills to pursue semi-professional positions.
Tiffany Bermudez ’16, MS in Counseling, is a Dyson College alumna and residence director on the Pleasantville campus. Her public service activities have included organizing three trips with Midnight Run, an organization that engages in late-night relief efforts to distribute food, clothing, blankets and personal care items to the homeless poor on the streets of New York City, serving as a committee member and site leader for Pace Makes a Difference Day, and organizing the first Civility and Advocacy Week on the Pleasantville campus as chair of the Civility and Advocacy committee.
Bolton and Welty will represent Pace as finalists at the National Jefferson Award ceremonies in Washington, DC in June.