Fairfield Students Honored with Angela R. Anderson Award
Blanca Aca-Tecuanhuehue ’16 and Guadelupe Ramirez ’16 were awarded the 2016 Angela R. Anderson Award at the 19th Annual Connecticut Immigrant Day on April 25. The Angela R. Andersen Award was created by The Connecticut Immigrant and Refugee Coalition with the International Institute of Connecticut (IICONN) to honor a foreign-born student who demonstrates deep commitment to issues impacting refugees and immigrants. The honorees are also individuals who have made outstanding contributions through their academic work and their volunteer and service work.
The award is named after past Executive Director of IICONN, Angela Anderson, who was known for her dedication and passion for helping refugees and immigrants in Connecticut before her passing in 2014.
When presenting the awards to Ramirez '16 and Aca-Tecuanhuehue '16, Angela’s brother Anthony spoke about how these two young women “capture perfectly the passion and profound commitment that Angela demonstrated through her tireless effort on behalf of all the people with whom she worked.”
Julie Mughal, assistant director for the Center for Faith & Public Life, stated, “I'm delighted that Guadalupe has received this honor in recognition of her untiring work and commitment on behalf of immigrants and refugees, especially dreamers. She has lent her voice and support to address issues on a local and regional basis as well as nationally during the Center for Faith and Public Life’s unveiling of its Ford Foundation-funded study, Immigrant Student National Position Paper, an endeavor led by Fairfield University, in collaboration with Loyola University in Chicago and Santa Clara University. Guadalupe cares deeply about people, social justice and about making a lasting and sustainable difference.”
Throughout her time at Fairfield, Aca-Tecuanhuehue '16 volunteered at local middle and high schools helping educate girls about STEM. She is a Magis Scholar, president of the Society for Women Engineers, a member of Alpha Sigma Nu, Tau Beta Phi and Pi Mu Epsilon, a recipient of the Christopher B. Love Student Achievement Award and President of the National Society for Collegiate Scholars. Additionally, she recently received the Student Achievement Award for her commitment to women in science. "Blanca has been a valuable member of our Service Learning Associates team and a tremendous role model for students, fulfilling several service and leadership positions on and off campus while maintaining a stellar grade point average in one of Fairfield’s most challenging majors. She has truly embodied the Jesuit ideal of “men and women for others” by serving as a Resident Assistant, a peer tutor working with low-income and first-generation college students through Project Excel, funded by the United States Department of Education, and most recently, through her participation in an alternative spring break service trip to help resettle newly arrived refugees in Atlanta through the International Rescue Committee," said Melissa Quan, associate director of the Center for Faith & Public Life.
The event was co-sponsored by The Office of the Secretary of the State of Connecticut and the Connecticut Immigrant and Refugee Coalition.