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William F. Connell School of Nursing

Senior Jean Reidy Bestowed Connell Award

connell school news

Jean ReidyWe are pleased to nominate Jean Reidy for the Connell Award.  Jean is an extraordinary leader who stands out in the crowd. She has been the president of her class in the School of Nursing since she was a freshman, and in that role she has spearheaded several projects,  provided guidance to underclassmen, and coordinated elections and fundraising projects. She also took the lead in getting Mairead Hickey to speak at the CSON convocation this May.

Among Jean’s favorite activities were as an Appalachia trip leader, an Orientation Leader and an Immersion Trip leader to El Salvador.  Jean says that “being a leader is not a job; it is a way of treating others and conducting yourself.”  Her commitment to those she leads extends beyond the required tasks.  For example, she continued to meet with her Appalachia group and her Orientation group after her formal affiliation was over.  Jean truly cares about those in her charge, and she recognizes her own growth through leadership.  Jean uses her sense of humor to make people laugh, smile and feel comfortable.  She communicates her passion for life, people and Boston College, and she has developed her ability work well in a group. Jean describes her thoughts on the leadership opportunities that she has participated in at Boston College as follows: “Working with 4Boston, Appalachia and Campus School has redefined my outlook on service and shown me that I was not fully appreciating my blessings.  These organizations changed me because they showed me how to become a 'woman for others,' which is the Jesuit ideal I admire most.  If I had not been involved in these activities, I do not believe I would have studied in El Salvador, where I was lucky enough to spend four months walking with the people here and learning about their daily reality.  I have grown personally from my leadership positions because each activity is one that I care about with my whole heart, and want to be able to give something back to an organization that has given me so much.”  Her goal as a leader is to benefit of all those involved in the activity. She has a genuine compassion and caring for people, and an intense desire to get to know them on a deeper level. She recognizes that leadership is an ongoing process and that her evolution as a leader is still in the early stages.  

As an Orientation Leader, Jean was organized, positive, and inspiring.  She was able to answer questions about all aspects of the Boston College experience.  Students hung on her every word.  She made them feel so at ease, and she stimulated communication among the individuals in the group.  She was an important resource for parents as well.    She has participated in open house events in our nursing lab, where she has become a resource for others who use a complicated computer simulation program related to patient care.

Jean took it upon herself to learn Spanish here at BC, and has become fluent.  She participated in the Nicaragua community health trip and plans to work as a nurse in an underserved community after graduation.

This spring, Jean was also the recipient of the Nicholas H. Woods Leadership Award for her contributions to the co-curricular life of the University, her growth in leadership roles, and her creative involvement in campus life. Jean will be returning to Chicago, where she will continue her work with underserved populations. 

In addition to exuberant thanks for the bestowing of this honorable awards, Jean states, "I am donating your generous gift to a scholarship fund for a community in El Salvador that I stayed in during this past spring break.  It is enough money to send 3 children to middle school for a whole year!"

We are proud to have her among our graduates, and we congratulate her on this prestigious award in memory of William F. Connell.