main navigation
my pace

Jefferson Awards | PACE UNIVERSITY

News & Events

Sort/Filter

Filter Newsfeed

News Item

Press Release: Pace Student Wins Jefferson Award

09/25/2020

Press Release: Pace Student Wins Jefferson Award

National Award Honors Ordinary Citizens Doing Extraordinary Acts of Public Service

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – September 25, 2020 -- A Pace University nursing student who founded an international first responder organization in the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes in Haiti has won a 2020 Jefferson Award, a prestigious national honor that recognizes America’s top change makers and ordinary citizens who are doing extraordinary acts of public service.

In selecting Jacqueline Cassagnol for a National Award for Outstanding Public Service, Multiplying Good, the nonprofit organization that administers the Awards, cited the Rockland County resident’s on-the-ground life-saving volunteer work in Haiti and her subsequent creation of Worldwide Community First Responder, Inc., which provides health education, first-aid and disaster preparedness training to people in the United States and Haiti. Since the organization was established in 2011, it has educated and trained more than 350,000 community members in critical life-saving skills.

Cassagnol, a doctoral candidate in nursing at Pace’s College of Health Professions, is the first student from Pace to earn the national honor, and the third member of the Pace community. She joins an impressive list of people who have earned an award that is often considered the “Nobel Prize for Public Service.” This year’s other national winners include actress and activist Kristen Bell, Youth Villages CEO Patrick Lawler, and TOMS clothing brand.

A virtual ceremony was held Thursday evening and can be viewed here.

“I couldn't be prouder of Jacqueline Cassagnol’s many accomplishments, now including becoming Pace University's first-ever student national Jefferson Award winner,” said Pace President Marvin Krislov. “Pace students are committed to serving our community, and Jacqueline embodies that. I'm impressed and inspired by her leadership, hard work, and dedication. She is truly deserving of this great honor.”

Over the past four decades, the list of Jefferson Award recipients has included hundreds of national figures — both public and private —more than 63,000 unsung heroes, and tens of thousands of employees and young people that represent the good that is happening in communities across the country. The list of winners includes an impressive who’s who of cultural icons, political dignitaries and everyday community members and volunteers.

“For nearly 50 years, we’ve used recognition to inspire everyone to find a way to serve others,” explained Hillary Schafer, CEO of Multiplying Good. “By celebrating service on a national stage, we elevate the spirit of America, the resiliency of its people, and the good that is all around us.”

“Jefferson Award recipients represent the highest level of service to others,” Schafer continued. “By telling their stories, we encourage them to do even more and inspire others to make a difference through service.”

The Jefferson Awards is the nation’s largest and longest-running awards ceremony honoring public service. The Awards, which are traditionally held twice a year at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., were entirely online this year. It was presented as a one-hour streaming video and aired a collection of inspiring stories that celebrate unparalleled service to others. It also included special recognition of One in a Million awards campaign winners who've had a positive impact through service in the face of crises. 

Pace University, a champion of the Jefferson Awards since 2008, also held a virtual viewing party that included staff, students and faculty. Cassagnol was among 12 local bronze award winners and was chosen to represent Pace at the virtual awards ceremony.

In addition to winning a national Jefferson Award, Cassagnol has earned many other honors for her work. She was named “Nurse of the Year” by the March of Dimes at its Fifth Annual gala in New York; designated a “Rising Star” by the Rockland Economic Development Corporation at its Annual Forty Under 40 Reception in 2014; presented with the Safe Community Award by Volunteer New York; and inducted into the New York Academy of Medicine in November 2018. In 2019, the New York Yankees named Jacqueline a “Nurse Hero,” and she won the Haitian American Young Citizen of the Year Award from the U.S. Haitian Chamber of Commerce.

In her acceptance remarks, Cassagnol congratulated her peers and noted that it was a great honor to represent Pace University at the Awards.

“I am so grateful to Pace University and Multiplying Good for recognizing extraordinary public service,” Cassagnol said. “Congratulations to all of the recipients of this prestigious award tonight. Your contributions, your sacrifices, your collective enthusiasm clearly are making a significant difference. You are all leaders, highly deserving of the recognition you have received.”

Dr. Harriet R. Feldman, dean of the College of Health Professions and the Lienhard School of Nursing at Pace University, and past Jefferson Award recipient, said Cassagnol was an inspiration and example for others.

“I applaud our student Jacqueline Cassagnol on this extraordinary honor,” Dean Feldman said. “Her dedication to the well-being of local, regional and global communities will surely inspire others in the Pace Community and beyond about the importance of service. We are very proud of her!”

About Multiplying Good

Multiplying Good is a national nonprofit that uses service to others and recognition as tools to unleash potential, inspire individuals, and transform lives. It has offices in 11 communities across the country, delivering on-the-ground impact where it is needed most. Founded in 1972 by Sam Beard, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and Senator Robert Taft, Jr., the organization has recognized the extraordinary public service of thousands with its Jefferson Award. Additionally, Multiplying Good fuels personal growth and leadership development through a continuum that starts with engagement and culminates in recognition. To learn more, visit MultiplyingGood.org or follow Multiplying Good on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

About Pace University
Pace University has a proud history of preparing its diverse student body for a lifetime of professional success as a result of its unique program that combines rigorous academics and real-world experiences. Pace is ranked the #1 private, four-year college in the nation for upward economic mobility by Harvard University’s Opportunity Insights, evidence of the transformative education the University provides. From its beginnings as an accounting school in 1906, Pace has grown to three campuses, enrolling 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in more than 150 majors and programs, across a range of disciplines: arts, sciences, business, health care, technology, law, education, and more. The university also has one of the most competitive performing arts programs in the country. Pace has a signature, newly renovated campus in New York City, located in the heart of vibrant Lower Manhattan, next to Wall Street and City Hall, and two campuses in Westchester County, New York: a 200-acre picturesque Pleasantville Campus and a Law School in White Plains. Follow us on Twitter or on our news website.

News & Events

Sort/Filter

Filter Newsfeed

News Item

"Westmore" featured Professor Kim Collica-Cox in "Facts of Life"

07/18/2018

"Westmore" featured Professor Kim Collica-Cox in "Facts of Life"

On June 28, Pace University Criminal Justice Professor Kim Collica-Cox, Ph.D. won a prestigious national Jefferson Award for outstanding public service, related to her innovative animal assisted therapy program which helps heal mothers incarcerated at Westchester County jail.

Read the full article.

News & Events

Sort/Filter

Filter Newsfeed

News Item

"Daily Voice" featured Criminal Justice Professor Kim Collica-Cox in "Pace University Criminal Justice Professor Wins Prestigious National Award"

07/16/2018

"Daily Voice" featured Criminal Justice Professor Kim Collica-Cox in "Pace University Criminal Justice Professor Wins Prestigious National Award"

  Pace University Criminal Justice Professor Kim Collica-Cox won a prestigious national Jefferson Award for outstanding public service.

She was honored for her innovative animal-assisted therapy program which helps to heal mothers incarcerated at the Westchester County Jail in Valhalla.

Developed in partnership with the county’s Department of Correction and non-profit Good Dog Foundation -- "Parenting, Prison and Pups’" pairs incarcerated mothers with trained therapy dogs to teach them parenting skills as part of their return home after release.

Collica-Cox won the award over 75 other nominees nationwide. She was cheered at the ceremony by her daughters Antoinette, 24, and Annalise, 6.

Nationally, "Parenting, Prison and Pups" is the first program of its kind to incorporate animal-assisted therapy into a structured classroom curriculum. It helps instill trust in female inmates, many of whom have experienced prior trauma and violence or suffer from mental health issues and addiction.

In working with therapy dogs, the program enhances their parenting skills in an effort to return them to their families and reduce intergenerational incarceration.

The Jefferson Awards Foundation was created in 1972 by Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis and others in public service. The Foundation partners nationally with groups such as the NFL, Yale University, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation and the United States Conference of Mayors in an effort to foster meaningful public service for underserved populations and youth.

In addition to Collica-Cox, the Jefferson Foundation honored Super Bowl Champion Chris Long, who donated his entire 2018 salary to underserved youth; billionaire philanthropist Elaine Wynn; and Pia Phillips and Abbie Nelson, teenagers who founded Pab’s Packs, an organization which custom designs backpacks for seriously ill children.

Westchester Commissioner of Correction Joseph K. Spano said: “Professor Collica-Cox’s receipt of this prestigious award confirms her commitment to ensuring that incarcerated mothers are provided with transferable skills that are critical for a safe and productive reunification with their families." 

Read the article.

News & Events

Sort/Filter

Filter Newsfeed

News Item

"Westchestergov.com" featured Dyson professor Kim Collica-Cox in "Pace Professor Wins National Service Award for County Jail's Animal-Assisted Mothering Program"

07/12/2018

"Westchestergov.com" featured Dyson professor Kim Collica-Cox in "Pace Professor Wins National Service Award for County Jail's Animal-Assisted Mothering Program"

July 10, 2018 -- On Thursday, June 28, Pace University Criminal Justice Professor Kim Collica-Cox, Ph.D. won a prestigious national Jefferson Award for outstanding public service, related to her innovative animal-assisted therapy program which helps to heal mothers incarcerated at the Westchester County jail.

Developed in partnership with the County’s Department of Correction and non-profit The Good Dog Foundation, the ‘Parenting, Prison and Pups’ pairs incarcerated mothers with trained therapy dogs to teach them parenting skills as part of their return home after release. Professor Collica-Cox won the award over 75 other nominees nationwide, cheered on at the ceremony by her daughters Antoinette, 24, and Annalise, 6.

Parenting, Prison and Pups is one of 22+ inmate recovery programs in place at the Westchester County Jail. Nationally, it is the first program of its kind to incorporate animal-assisted therapy into a structured classroom curriculum and instills trust in female inmates, many of whom have experienced prior trauma and violence or suffer from mental health issues and addiction.  In working with therapy dogs, the program enhances their parenting skills in an effort to return them to their families and to reduce intergenerational incarceration.

The Jefferson Awards Foundation was created in 1972 by Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis and other members of public service.  The Foundation partners nationally with groups such as the NFL, Yale University, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation and the United States Conference of Mayors in an effort to foster meaningful public service for underserved populations and youth. In addition to Dr. Collica-Cox, the Jefferson Foundation honored Super Bowl Champion Chris Long, who donated his entire 2018 salary to underserved youth, billionaire philanthropist Elaine Wynn, and  Pia Phillips and Abbie Nelson, teenagers who founded Pab’s Packs,  an organization which custom designs backpacks for seriously ill children.

Commissioner of Correction Joseph K. Spano said: “Professor Collica-Cox’s receipt of this prestigious award confirms her commitment to ensuring that incarcerated mothers are provided with transferable skills that are critical for a safe and productive reunification with their families.  Programs like Parenting, Prison and Pups have resulted in a steady decline in our inmate population – to the lowest level since 1986.  This benefit is two-fold: a lower inmate population results in a safer working environment for staff, while also allowing us to provide more programming opportunities for those individuals who are in custody.”

Nira Herrmann, Ph.D., Dean of the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences at Pace said: “Professor Collica-Cox truly epitomizes the goals of the Jefferson Award: not only is she fully engaged in supporting an often-forgotten community of incarcerated women, but she has also engaged Pace University students in life-changing experiences with this community. Her personal commitment is expanding outward through her mentoring of students, to touch more and more lives in positive and uplifting ways. She is truly an influential role model and we are very excited to see her excellent work acknowledged with this prestigious award.”

Read the article.

News & Events

Sort/Filter

Filter Newsfeed

News Item

"Rockland County Times" featured Dyson Professor Kimberly Collica-Cox in "Pace University Professor from New City Honored with Greatest Public Service by an Employee Award by Jefferson Foundation"

07/06/2018

"Rockland County Times" featured Dyson Professor Kimberly Collica-Cox in "Pace University Professor from New City Honored with Greatest Public Service by an Employee Award by Jefferson Foundation"

Pace University Professor Kimberly Collica-Cox, PhD, a resident of New City, was honored on June 28 at the National Ceremony of the Jefferson Awards Foundation in Washington, D.C., in the category of Greatest Public Service by an Employee.  The Jefferson Awards Foundation is the nation’s most prestigious and longest-standing organization dedicated to inspiring and celebrating public service.

“Recognizing individuals who are making a positive difference in their communities – and encouraging people to follow their lead – has never been more important,” said Hillary Schafer, Jefferson Awards Foundation CEO. “The Jefferson Awards Foundation is proud to continue its long tradition of honoring those who have dedicated their lives to serving others.”

Collica-Cox has spent nearly 19 years working with incarcerated populations and implementing programs to support them. Collica-Cox is a certified Prison Rape Elimination Act and American Correctional Association auditor and serves as a professional trainer in the cross-section between HIV and incarceration. Since 1997, she has worked with inmates, correctional staff, and community-based service providers. At Pace University’s Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, she serves as the adviser to the Criminal Justice Society and Alpha Phi Sigma student organizations. She developed a civic engagement course, which resulted in the creation and implementation of the Parenting, Prison and Pups (PPP) program, volunteering her time as the program’s director and lead trainer. In partnership with the Good Dog Foundation, PPP is an animal assisted therapy-integrated parenting program offered to female inmates at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan and at the Westchester County Jail in Valhalla, NY.

“Professor Collica-Cox truly epitomizes the goals of the Jefferson Award: not only is she fully engaged in supporting an often-forgotten community of incarcerated women, but she has also engaged Pace University students in life-changing experiences with this community,” said Nira Herrmann, PhD, dean of the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences at Pace. “Her personal commitment is expanding outward through her mentoring of students, to touch more and more lives in positive and uplifting ways. She is truly an influential role model and we are very excited to see her excellent work acknowledged with this prestigious award.”

“One major learning objective for our Pace University students is to grasp the complexity of the criminal justice system,” said Joseph Ryan, PhD, head of the criminal justice program at Pace. “It important to understand what happens to those who confined to our jails and prisons. The correction component of the system could be considered an oxymoron. Inmates receive little to no guidance on how to resume a better life upon entry back to society. My colleague, Dr. Kimberly Collica-Cox, is at the forefront of not only helping incarcerated mothers become better parents, but to learn how best to maintain a relationship with their children during their incarceration. I have rarely encountered a person with her level of enthusiasm. Kimberly brings light into the lives of those who need guidance. She is truly multiplying goodness.”

Read the article.

News & Events

Sort/Filter

Filter Newsfeed

News Item

"Daily Journal" featured Dyson Professor Kimberly Collica-Cox in "Jefferson Awards Foundation Honors Local Volunteers at Annual National Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C."

07/06/2018

"Daily Journal" featured Dyson Professor Kimberly Collica-Cox in "Jefferson Awards Foundation Honors Local Volunteers at Annual National Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C."

Washington, D.C., June 29, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Washington, D.C. (June 29, 2018) – The Jefferson Awards Foundation, the nation’s most prestigious and longest-standing organization dedicated to inspiring and celebrating public service, honored local volunteers from across the country at its National Ceremony in Washington, D.C. on June 28, 2018.“Recognizing individuals who are making a positive difference in their communities – and encouraging people to follow their lead – has never been more important,” said Hillary Schafer, Jefferson Awards Foundation CEO. “The Jefferson Awards Foundation is proud to continue its long tradition of honoring those who have dedicated their lives to serving others.”The grassroots winners were honored alongside the 2018 Jefferson Awards Foundation national honorees:

-- Kimberly Collica-Cox, PhD of New York, N.Y. o Nominated by Pace University, Dr. Kimberly Collica-Cox has spent nearly 19 years working with incarcerated populations and implementing programs to support them. Dr. Collica-Cox is a certified Prison Rape Elimination Act and American Correctional Association auditor and serves as a professional trainer in the cross-section between HIV and incarceration. Since 1997, she has worked with inmates, correctional staff, and community-based service providers. At Pace, she serves as the adviser to the Criminal Justice Society and Alpha Phi Sigma student organizations. She developed a civic engagement course, which resulted in the creation and implementation of the Parenting, Prison and Pups (PPP) program, volunteering her time as the program’s director and lead trainer. PPP is an animal assisted therapy-integrated parenting program offered to female inmates in Manhattan and in Westchester County.

Read the full article.

News & Events

Sort/Filter

Filter Newsfeed