Alixandria James Chosen as Recipient for Newman Civic Fellowship

By Karen Flores, Asst. Features Editor

Manhattan College’s Alixandria James has been selected as one of the recipients of the Newman Civic Fellowship for the year 2022-2023. 

The Newman Civic Fellowship aims to recognize and support students who are not only engaged in collaborative action with others on and off campus but that are also committed to solving public problems and bringing changes to their communities. A single student is nominated by either the president or chancellor of their institution and then are selected based on whether they meet the criteria for the fellowship.

James, a public health major with a concentration in healthcare administration and a management minor, grew up in Stamford, Connecticut. Despite originally being set on going to college in Boston, she decided to attend Manhattan College, the same college that both of her parents graduated from. 

 “My mom works in education and my dad works in healthcare.. Those are two very big things that I have put together here in college,” James said. “They both just have been so supportive and they’ve always pushed me to do whatever I want, and they’ve let me make my own decisions.” 

James was nominated for the fellowship by Richardo Dello Buono, Ph.D, director of study abroad and professor of sociology, and Sheetal Kale, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. 

Dello Buono commented on James’ involvement on campus and her ambition to help create change in her community. 

“What I found really fascinating about her was that she was very interested in a whole lot of social issues, particularly around issues of diversity, equity and inclusion, which are really important priorities for our institution,” Dello Buono said. 

Kale got a chance to work with James when they analyzed the data from the diversity equity campus climate survey and held a town hall about the results last semester. 

“I nominated her because of her excellent work with the diversity council in analyzing the data,” Kale said. “She was studying the effects of microaggressions on people’s sense of belonging and their mental health. Her presentation style showed great poise and confidence. She’s very hard working, and is committed to what she does.”

Dello Buono also believes that it was James’ extensive involvement on campus and with other community organizations that made her an obvious choice for a nominee. 

James is currently working with New York Presbyterian in their division of community and population health where she has been involved in COVID vaccination pop-ups and pediatric offices located in predominantly Black and Brown communities. James also works in the Lasallian Women and Gender Resource Center where she works on advocating for diversity, equity inclusion, and its implications for public health and is a tutor in the Center for Academic Success. 

She has also been a part of the WISE (Women Inspiring Successful Enterprise) internship program in MC that looks to develop female leaders through collaborative projects, training and other experiences and has participated in research with Dello Buono and Kale in regards to the campus climate survey. 

Manhattan College’s Alixandria James has been selected as a recipients of the Newman Civic Fellowship.
ALEXANDRIA JAMES / COURTESY

Rani Roy, assistant professor of public health, spoke to the Quadrangle about James and her outstanding work and dedication both inside and outside the classroom. 

“She’s an exemplary student. She works well independently and in a group setting. She can really do qualitative work and quantitative work and she really tries to put together some pieces regarding disparities in public health,” Roy said. 

Roy believes that James will have an impact on communities in regards to problems about public health. Her commitment and dedication to her field of study is shown through the level of “engagement with academic discipline and with research” she has both on and off campus. 

James is looking forward to meeting and collaborating with other exceptional students and hopes to learn more about how public health ties into other fields of study. 

Dello Buono, Kale as well as other faculty members express their excitement and appreciation for the recognition James is receiving after all her hard work and dedication. 

“I think her dedication to serving the community, both campus community and the larger community, particularly of historically underserved populations, makes her an outstanding representative of the Lasallian traditions,” said Dello Buono. “You know, in our campus climate or campus context, she’s just a great community oriented person. So, for all those reasons, I believe she’s an outstanding candidate for the Newman Civic Fellowship. ”