The Charger Blog

Chargers Embody a Culture of Kindness

The University’s recent Random Acts of Kindness Day was a celebration of the many ways members of the University community make a difference and offer kind gestures to their fellow Chargers.

March 8, 2023

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

The University of New Haven’s campus in West Haven, Conn.
The University of New Haven’s campus in West Haven, Conn.

The University’s commitment to embracing and fostering kindness was on full display during the University’s inaugural Random Acts of Kindness Day. It was a celebration of Chargers who go above and beyond to make a difference in the University community.

Members of the University community had the opportunity to recognize their fellow Chargers for their kindness during campus-wide celebrations of kindness. They were also encouraged to extend their own kind gestures to others. Dozens of Chargers expressed their gratitude and appreciation for a variety of acts of kindness, recognizing everything from a check-in to a very sweet offer of a piece of candy.

Below, read about several Chargers whose acts of kindness brightened, uplifted, and brought a smile to members of the University community.

Erica Hutchinson

Accessibility services coordinator, Accessibility Resources Center

Erica Hutchinson
Erica Hutchinson

“I would like to say thank you to Erica Hutchinson for always being that person who is looking out for our students and student staff. She has consistently donated items to the Career Closet; has purchased or given coats and jackets to our international student staff coming from warmer climates who had not experienced a Connecticut winter; has provided food items for our student staff when they were in short supply; and has ensured that students could have snacks and breakfast available to them in the office. We appreciate that Erica has a very caring heart, and so do our students!”

LeighAnn Landisio and Sarah Conroy

Operations coordinator for enrollment & student success and ‪administrative specialist, respectively‬‬‬‬‬‬

“Thank you so much for going out of your way to come by and check in. You always bring a smile and offer your help. You both make me feel remembered and cared about during busy times. Thank you for your kindness.”

Stephanie Gillespie, Ph.D.

Associate dean, Tagliatela College of Engineering‬‬‬‬

Stephanie Gillespie, Ph.D.
Stephanie Gillespie, Ph.D.

“Stephanie has been a tremendous help to me in the last few weeks and through these challenging times. She accommodated and found solutions for all kinds of unforeseen and difficult cases I encountered. She absolutely went beyond the call of duty in every way possible to make things work, including late-night calls for consultations and picking up everything that I could not possibly find the time to do in a timely manner.”

Foluso Ajayi ’24 MBA and Sunday Mabadeje ’23 MBA

“Foluso Ajayi is an amazing soul who I met in class. Thanks for your willingness to accommodate and tutor me after lectures so I can understand my courses so well. Thank you for being a good leader and for providing a leadership style to emulate. Sunday helped me settle in on campus and register for my courses, and he motivates me whenever I need to get things done. He is just a call away and ready to assist always.”

Katelyn Bartone RDH, BS, MPH

Practitioner in residence, School of Health Sciences

“Prof. Bartone is very thoughtful and takes time at the beginning of every lecture to do a mental- health activity with students. She also spreads positivity through her teaching, as well as though her faculty leadership.”

Kristen Smith

Administrative secretary, Accessibility Resources Center

“A huge shout out goes to Kristen Smith! Since Kristen's arrival in the department one year ago, she has brought loads of joy and laughter to the office. She has created a very welcoming and supportive atmosphere for our students. Kristen comes in early to ensure that students have access to their exams on a timely basis; regularly follows up on all requests, makes appropriate referrals and follows up to ensure students have been well served; and compassionately and kindly responds to all requests. Kristen has delighted in coaxing out the quietest among our student staff to enable them to be more effective in supporting students who utilize our office. Kudos to Kristen!”

Ivonne Perez-Quintero

Associate registrar for operations and scheduling

“Any time I have an issue with a student schedule, Ivonne is quick to respond with kindness, patience, and grace. I am grateful for Ivonne!”

Yvonne Sanders

Assistant director, Student Affairs‬‬‬‬

Stephanie Gillespie, Ph.D.
Yvonne Sanders

“I would like to thank Yvonne Sanders for being compassionate and caring towards our students. Yvonne often goes above and beyond to assist students who may be in distress. This semester, she met with a student who was in financial distress needing just a bit of funds to complete her tuition balance for the semester. She worked with the student to obtain both employment and a scholarship that enabled the student to pay off her balance, register for the upcoming semester, and remain in school. When working with other students who found themselves in distressing situations, Yvonne talked with them to help them gain perspective, walked them to Counseling and Psychological Services when needed, took walks with them, and bought them cookies to let them know someone cared about them. She also is the person who arranges for birthday celebrations in the department for staff, which helps everyone feel appreciated.”

Jestine Philip, Ph.D.

Assistant professor, management

Jestine Philip, Ph.D.
Jestine Philip, Ph.D.

“I met Dr. Jestine Philip in an elevator while we were going to our respective classes. Being an introvert, I would rarely start a conversation. But the aura around Dr. Philip made me make the bold step to start a conversation. She was very kind to introduce herself and to know about me. She gave me her business card and I connected with her after a month to enquire about research opportunities. One thing led to another, and I would say that one smile, one hello, and one act of kindness has led to a good working relationship. Thanks, Dr. Philip, for your kindness and friendship!”

Prateek Mansingh ’23 MHA and Muskan Kohli '23 MPH

“I arrived in the U.S.A. and at the University last minute, and I was very nervous about the enrollment and course registration process. Prateek helped me with everything and also guided me through the initial days. The Students Integrated Mentorship Program at the University that Prateek co-created has also been very useful to me. I got great guidance from Muskan, my mentor, regarding my studies, as well as the opportunities I can gain from University resources. I am so grateful to the University for providing me with so many resources and also to all my fellow Chargers who helped me get into the whole new environment easily."

Read this earlier story to see others recognized as part of Random Acts of Kindness Day. To continue the momentum built on this day and to reinforce our culture of kindness, we will have a regular series on the Charger Blog featuring members of the Charger community recognizing their classmates and colleagues for their kindness. We will continue to recognize more random acts of kindness shared during our inaugural campus-wide celebration. Keep acknowledging your fellow Chargers by sharing their random acts of kindness.