Read by Dr. Jay Pitocchelli of the biology department, 2005

The graduating class will tell you that we have a unique and special experience here at Saint Anselm College. That experience is shaped by the diverse constituencies that comprise the Saint Anselm College community. This year's award winner has made a significant contribution to that special experience through her hard work, dedication, loyalty, sacrifice and intellect. Our administration and our faculty consider her input to be extremely valuable and it is always delivered in a constructive and professional manner. I don't think I know of many other faculty members who have spent as much time and participated on as many important committees as this year's award winner. One of the most important contributions to the Saint Anselm experience is that on a campus where 52% of the students are women, her hard work ethic and professional demeanor, combined with compassion and understanding, have made her an excellent role model for her female students.

So who is this person? She actually shares many similarities with you, the graduating class here today. She is a New Englander. She can't hide her New England accent. She drives her "cahr" to work. She also attended college during turbulent economic times, an era of political divisions and war. A child of the 60's, she was educated in New England with baccalaureate, masters and doctoral degrees from prominent institutions in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. She began her career at Saint Anselm College in the 1970's. Since then, she has taught 16 different courses and I conservatively estimated that she has lectured to and or advised approximately 5000 students.

Unfortunately, I can't describe more of her accomplishments and withhold clues to her identity simultaneously. In fact, those of you in the graduating class with CJ degrees have probably already sensed that she comes from your department. Am I right? Yes - this year's winner is from the Department of Criminal Justice where she has focused her scholarly interests and community work on a variety of important contemporary issues including delinquency prevention programs, alternatives for substance abusing students that drop out of school, outreach programs for behaviorally disturbed children, domestic violence, mentoring children of incarcerated parents and civic engagement. Her work in these areas has lead to publications in professional journals and presentations at annual meetings of the American Society of Criminology, American Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and the New England Sociological Association. The students and our academic program have been enriched by her ability to make the connections in a liberal arts program, especially her leadership in developing multi-disciplinary studies among the departments of Criminal Justice, Sociology, Political Science, Nursing and Psychology. Her multi-disciplinary interests have lead to the creation of the Consortium on Justice and Society through the New Hampshire Institute of Politics.

Oh, by the way, did I mention that she is also human? My wife and I and the Guerra family know that she is a great cook. Her family can attest to the fact that she is a loving wife, mother and mentor to her children. Joe, you are one lucky man to be married to this year's award winner: Dr. Elaine Rizzo.