On Tuesday, Nov. 13, the campus community celebrated Cabrini Day, an annual celebration of heritage and mission honoring Cabrini’s namesake, Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini.
Each Cabrini Day, classes are canceled and students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to participate in the day’s mission-oriented activities and educational programming. This year’s theme was Positive Identity & Resilience.
Some of the day’s events included a Student Presentation Forum where students presented research, a lunch served by faculty and staff, a March for Change where participants were able to create and display signs about social issues close to their heart, a Workshop on building Positive Identity, and a moving keynote address from Dr. Bhavna Shyamalan, Co-founder and Vice President of the M. Night Shyamalan Foundation.
The Cabrini community filled Grace Hall to hear Dr. Bhavna Shyamalan’s share her story “Becoming Me” in which she shared her life journey, how she started founded the M. Night Shyamalan Foundation, and how she personally created her own positive identity and fostered reliance in spite of her circumstances.
“I used to be quiet in many social situations because I was not sure I had anything exciting or knowledgeable to offer,” said Shyamalan. “I would think that I am not good enough, smart enough or anything enough.”
Shyamalan shared that her life started to turn around when she began to say yes to new opportunities and stepped beyond her comfort zone beyond that, she became comfortable with the idea that no one is perfect and life becomes a lot more meaningful when you liberate yourself from the idea that you have to be perfect to make a difference in the world.
“We are all vehicles for each other,” she reminded the audience. “We are all human, we are people, we are all in it together and when you begin to let go of those shields, you really realize we are all going through the same thing. If we could just be with each other and acknowledge that I think it can be such a powerful experience.”
Awards were presented on Cabrini Day to students for their commitment to leadership and service and winners from the morning’s Presentation Forum were announced.
Recipients of the Charles A. Mastronardi Award for Service and Leadership—a prestigious scholarship that recognizes outstanding contributions to leadership in service to the community—were Samar Dahleh (‘21), David Delpo (‘21), Daisy Rodriguez (‘20), Dessire Rosario (‘19), and Brenda Cabrera Vicens (‘19).
The Nerney Family Leadership in Community Service Award, which promotes Cabrini’s mission of providing an Education of the Heart, was awarded to Patrick Bell (‘21), Viola Varfley (‘21), and Rakayat Alam (‘21)
The Newman Civic Fellowship Award acknowledges motivation and potential in public leadership was awarded to Nia Alverez-Mapp (‘19) and Chardanay White (‘20)
The Student Disability Awareness Award, which is given to a student who shows dedication and leadership while striving to educate the campus community about disability-related issues was awarded to Alyson Fisher (‘19).
Awards from the morning’s poster Presentation Session were selected for their representation of Cabrini’s spirit and mission.
Angelina Miller (‘19) and Hope Daluisio (‘19) received the small group award prize for their presentation titled “Mental Health is Ruff” which educated people how important it is to advocate for mental health issues (faculty mentor Cathy Yungmann, COM 474 Senior Honors Convergence Program affiliation).
ECG 100: Our Interdependent World (a part of the Communication: Telling Stories That Matter Learning Community) taught by Jerry Zurek, PhD won the large group award for their presentation titled “Power in Your Purchase” which showcased some of the harsh realities of modern-day slavery still existing today and encouraged viewers to make educated purchases to help change the world.
For more photos from the day’s events, click here.