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USJ Receives Hands On Hartford Award for Dedicated Volunteerism

Local nonprofit social services agency, Hands On Hartford, presented USJ President Rhona Free with an award for the University’s volunteerism. From left: USJ Sister Beth Fischer, Assistant Dean Student Life/Community Engagement, HOH Stephanie Boyce, Homeless Prevention & Outreach Manager; Janet Bermudez, Director of CQI, Staff development & Support; USJ Board of Trustees Chair, Brewster Perkins, USJ President Rhona Free, HOH Jackie Kasinskas, Community Engagement Program Coordinator; and Barbara Shaw, Executive Director. Courtesy photo

Rhona Free, president of the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, accepted the social services agency’s school group award.


Local nonprofit social services agency, Hands On Hartford, recently presented University of Saint Joseph President Rhona Free the School Group Award on behalf of the University’s many students, clubs, and organizations that volunteered over the past year.

Hands On Hartford serves Hartford’s most economically challenged residents in the areas of food, housing, and health. President Free was joined in accepting the award by USJ Board of Trustees Chair, Brewster Perkins, and USJ Assistant Dean of Student Affairs/Community Engagement Sister of Mercy Beth Fischer ’76.

Sister Fischer had this to say about USJ’s engagement in the community: “Seeing the many ways our students live out our core value of compassionate service is heartwarming. Not only do they bring their expertise to their service, but they also bring Mercy to everyone they serve.”

Jackie Kasinskas, the program coordinator in the community engagement department at Hands On Hartford, said, “The dedication of USJ students volunteering, hosting food drives, and supporting the folks who turn to us for help has been inspiring. Many classes, clubs, and student groups across campus, both on the graduate and undergraduate levels, have volunteered and had a huge impact on our Hartford neighbors. We are deeply grateful for USJ’s continued dedication and support.”

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