Three students, accompanied by a faculty or staff member, were given a rare opportunity to travel abroad to meet the award recipients and see their work firsthand. We invite you to read about their experiences.
SU student Tuseef Chaudhry and SU faculty member Catherine Punsalan
Tamil Nadu, India
Graduate student Tuseef Chaudhry and Catherine Punsalan, assistant professor of theology and religious studies trekked to India to meet Jagannathan. Instantly, Chaudhry and Punsalan were struck by her faith, generosity and unfailing commitment to the cause.
“Krishnammal is so focused and when she sees a need she responds to it,” Punsalan says. “This experience will make me a better teacher.”
The experience was also profoundly meaningful to Chaudhry, who now feels compelled to do more in his own community.
“She has such wisdom to share with us. There's always meaning behind what she says,” he says. “The trip gave me inspiration.”
SU student Emily Griffin and SU faculty member Madhu Rao
When Madhu Rao traveled to Nicaragua to meet Woodard, he found someone quite different than what he expected.
“Mike's a bit of a character,” says Rao, an associate professor at Albers School of Business and Economics. “He's kind of a cowboy. He has this southern drawl, and he's quick to laugh. You can tell he is passionate because his voice starts to rise and he gets impatient with bureaucracy.”
Accompanying Rao was student Emily Griffin, '09, who was moved by what she saw.
“It's uplifting … the whole idea of learning through contact and seeing things through action,” Griffin says. “It's one thing to read about his work but then to experience it, it's inspiring. It's so awesome to be part of the process.”
SU student Matt Lyons and SU staff member Joe Orlando
Joe Orlando, director of Jesuit Mission and Identity and assistant vice president for Mission and Ministry, and student Matt Lyons, '09, focused on the work of Barankitse.
“Maggy fully believes in this calling to reach out and build a sense of unity and community,” Orlando says. “She is a person who represents the best of the human response.”
For Lyons, meeting with Barankitse reinforced his values and the importance of faith and giving back.
“For me, it's serving God and serving others,” Lyons says. “This was the personification of that.”
Learn more about the students
The following video is produced by Margaret Larson, a 25-year veteran of broadcast journalism. Her most notable position was with NBC News. For her last decade in journalism, she spent time volunteering with international aid organization, Mercy Corps and acting as a board member.
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