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2021 Jefferson Award Winners

News Story

This year, 12 Pace University students, faculty, and staff received a Jefferson Award, known as the "Nobel Prize for public service." Congratulations to the winners!

Each year, the Jefferson Awards for Public Service looks for the “unsung heroes,” the selfless people who make the world a better place through volunteering and community service efforts. 

Known as the “Nobel Prize for public service,” Multiplying for Good established the Jefferson Awards to recognize and honor individuals whose community service efforts best exemplify dedication to enhancing the quality of life in their community. .

"At Pace University, we're fully committed both to serving the communities around us and to educating the next generation of leaders," said President Marvin Krislov. "I'm thrilled that we have 12 Bronze Medal recipients among this year's Jefferson Awards honorees, and I'm even more pleased that our winners represent all three Pace campuses, several of our schools and colleges, and include students, faculty, and staff members. Congratulations to all these winners, who truly represent the best of Pace."

This year's winners include: 

Elizabeth Dosman ’22: Elizabeth is a Dyson College psychology student on the New York City Campus who has dedicated herself to community service for the past several years. A long-time volunteer with Kiwanis International, she chartered a Pace chapter of Circle K International, the world’s largest collegiate student-led service organization.
Joseph R. Franco, PhD: Franco is a Dyson College professor, program director, and director of clinical field supervision in the mental health counseling master’s program. Franco recently served as a supervisor for the Covid-19 Helpline sponsored by the NYS Office of Mental Health, and he and his students have enhanced the lives of female inmates at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility by teaching university-level courses, conducting educational groups and workshops on topics such as HIV and parenting.
Taylor Ganis '21: is a Dyson College environmental studies student on the Westchester campus who has demonstrated a longtime commitment to service, and was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation in 2017 for outstanding volunteer service in Putnam County. She was a top fundraiser for The Alzheimer's Association and for Relay for Life, and is a Peer Educator of Pace “FIRE” (Fighting Ignorance and Rape with Education).
Marisa Angelita Aquino Guillet ’21: Marisa is a Dyson College double major in women’s and gender studies and sociology/anthropology who has been involved in social justice causes since middle school, earning a Presidential Service Award from President Barack Obama in 2013. In 2020, she completed the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion certification through Pace's Social Justice & You course, and served as co-chair of the University’s inaugural Social Justice Week, honoring the memory of former Pace student Danroy “DJ” Henry.
Jolina Halloran, MBA: Halloran is an academic advisor for the Pforzheimer Honors College on the Westchester campus. Halloran and her family formed Break The Hold (BTH), a non-profit organization in honor of their late son, Brian Thomas Halloran, who died by suicide on January 23, 2018 at the age of 19. The foundation's mission is to build resilience and reduce the risk of suicide through education, advocacy, and increased awareness about depression and other mental health challenges.
Brandon Joachim ’21: Brandon is a nursing student in the College of Health Professions on the Westchester campus who has organized and led student-run marches and rallies, and in July 2020, led a fundraiser for the DJ Henry Dream Fund that raised over $1.6K. As the first diversity ambassador for the Pace Student Government Association, he has helped spearhead the creation of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Peer Facilitator Program and worked with Career Services to ensure extra efforts for diversity in the workplace.
Miles Mendez ’23: Miles is a Dyson College digital cinema and filmmaking student who is being honored with a Jefferson Award for his life-saving personal donation. In April 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, he received a call from Be The Match, a global nonprofit that connects volunteer donors with patients in need of life-saving bone marrow or blood stem cells. Miles was an exact match for a 57-year-old leukemia patient.
Gregory Rivera ’21: Gregory is a 5-year combined degree student in Dyson College currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration. His commitment to service has been demonstrated since his days as a Boy Scout, and most recently has joined Ride Connect and delivered food to individuals at their homes, volunteered through Feeding Westchester, and assisted in distributing food throughout Westchester County.
Madison Shaff ’22: Shaff, the first Elisabeth Haub School of Law student to win a Jefferson Award, has organized suicide prevention trainings for law students, founded and participated in the Peer Leader Mentor program, led the Community Engagement Committee, volunteered with the Land Use Law Center, and served as a Junior Associate for the Environmental Law Review.
Kadija Shaw ‘21: Kadija is a business management student in the Lubin School of Business on the Westchester Campus. At age 18, she started a nonprofit in South Africa called Kay Tee's Table, through which she organized two full days of programming for village children that included a food drive, speakers, and activities. She was also elected Student Government Association (SGA) President for the 2020-2021 academic year, overseeing coordination of all Pleasantville student organizations and representing students at University Board of Trustees meetings.
Rebecca Tekula, PhD: Tekula is an associate professor of Public Administration and Executive Director of the Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship with 19 years of leadership experience with social justice and social impact organizations. At Pace, she has developed courses and programs related to social impact and public service, and served on the Hispanic-Latino Task Force and the Women’s Leadership Initiative.
Erin Wilson ’20: Erin graduated in December 2020 with a degree in criminal justice and a minor in political science. As the Vote Everywhere Team Leader through the Center for Community Action and Research and the Andrew Goodman Foundation, she ran Pace’s voter engagement work. Together with a team of volunteers, she was responsible for registering over 1,000 new student voters.

>>Learn more about this year’s winners