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St. Norbert College honors Founder's Award recipients

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From St. Norbert College, October 20, 2011
by Chris Swietlik,, (920) 403-3089

St. Norbert College's Office of Mission and Heritage honored Bridget Burke Ravizza, Sarah Griffiths, Carol Smith, Jake DeMarais, and Carrie Roberts as the 2011 Founder's Award recipients at the annual Founder's Day Prayer Breakfast on Wednesday, Oct. 19, as part of the college's Heritage Days celebration.

The awards are given to current employees and students at St. Norbert College who advance the Norbertine principles of community, spiritual commitment, service, collegiality and learning through their lives.

Burke Ravizza has been a member of the faculty at St. Norbert College since 2001, and is an assistant professor of religious studies. Her nominators write that through her speech and actions she respects the sacred dignity of every person, bringing out the best in others, and challenging them to be magnanimous. Her nomination letter notes that she " alerts her students to injustice and unfairness in the world and makes them feel as if they have a calling to remedy it."

Griffiths is director of international student and scholar services at St. Norbert College. Her leadership on the President's Commission on the Status of Women, and continued work on the Committee for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion demonstrate her commitment to fostering communio on campus. One nomination letter noted that Griffiths "serves students and the community in so many hidden and unacknowledged ways as to make her almost saintly."
Smith is a nurse at St. Norbert College's Health and Wellness Services. She contributes to the college community through her efforts coordinating the Step-It-Up walking program, and supports the wider community by volunteering as a Community Emergency Response Trainer. One person wrote in a nomination letter, "Carol is never too busy or too involved to help a co-worker, a friend or a community member in a loving, kind and tender spirit, with no strings attached."
DeMarais, a senior, is one of the student-recipients of the Founder's Award. He is an elementary education major, and science minor from Winona, Minn. and a graduate of Winona Cotter High School. He is active on campus, supporting the spiritual development of students through his involvement in Old St. Joe's Music Ministry, his leadership of Common Prayer experiences, and his service on planning committees for Campus Ministry's Evenings of Reflection. He has gone on service trips to Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, and this year will be serving in St. Lucia.
Roberts, a senior, is the second student-recipient. Smith is an elementary education major and early education minor from Manitowoc, Wis. She has served as a resident assistant since her sophomore year and has been a member of the Zambia project since her freshman year, currently serving as the group's president. One nominator wrote that Roberts is "the very best of what we hope a St. Norbert student is and aspires to be."

For more information about the 2011 Founder's Award recipients, contact Julie Friedman at (920) 403-3049 or

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