The Top Owl Social Justice Award is given to recognize contributions toward helping the university achieve its mission of creating and sustaining an inclusive community that appreciates, celebrates, and advances student and campus diversity.
This award, selected by the President’s Commission on Social Justice, is being awarded this academic year during the months of November, December, January, February, and March to recognize the contributions, leadership, and service of a worthy faculty, staff, part-time student, and full-time student.
For the month of December 2019, the Top Owl Award winners are student Molly Flanagan, staff member Britt Conroy, and Cheryl Green, associate professor of nursing.
Molly Flanagan is a senior Honors student majoring in interdisciplinary studies who conducted two events for Social Justice Month this past November. The first event was an open discussion on diversity, equity, and inclusion within the visual and performing arts communities. Flanagan gathered a panel of professionals from Long Wharf Theatre, Yale School of Drama, Collective Consciousness Theatre, Elm Shakespeare, the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, and other local arts companies to discuss issues and current initiatives around social justice in arts administration and programming. Flanagan also organized a second event, “Voices of Immigration,” where she invited SCSU faculty, students, and members of the Ethnic Heritage Center to address their experiences of immigration to the United States from historical, sociological, political, and personal perspectives. Flanagan’s nominator wrote, “The event was a safe space for open discussion and embraced all with a relationship to or experiences with immigration in the U.S. — a completely important topic right now. I could not get over how one student, probably bombarded with classes and work, put together these two important events all on her own. I believe [Flanagan] should be recognized for her efforts as I don’t know many students that would want to do something like this in their spare time.”
Britt Conroy, who works in the First Year Experience office, is a veteran who leads yoga and meditation sessions for veteran students and also offers these experiences for staff and faculty members of the third floor of Buley Library, where her office is located. Her nominator, who also works on Buley’s third floor, wrote that she observes Conroy “consistently comforting and encouraging a population of students who are academically at risk for many different reasons and obstacles, some of which are out of their control completely. She provides a safe space for students and community members daily in her work. Britt does this additionally to her role in the FYE office. Britt helps to make the third floor of the library a place where each and every individual matters and feels just as important as the next. We are really lucky to have her as part of the Southern family.”
As a licensed clinical social worker, Associate Professor of Nursing Cheryl Green is one of the founding members of the National Association of Social Worker’s first Cultural Diversity Committee in the state of Connecticut. Through this committee, at a legislative level, Green and her social work colleagues have supported legislation on LGBTQ Health and Social Work Title rights, and transfer of licensure from state to state. As a registered nurse, Green is published in the area of incivility and bullying in clinical practice and academic settings. She is also participating in the writing of a white paper on equity with National Education in Nursing Collaborative (NEPIN). Her nominator wrote that “civility and equity are important in the development of healthy environments that do not just talk about social justice, but live it.”
Congratulations to December’s Top Owl Award winners!
To nominate someone for a Top Owl Award, visit the university’s Social Justice website.