CHP Student Wins Prestigious Jefferson Award

Jacqueline Cassagnol, MSN, RN, PMC, a Pace College of Health Professions student has been recognized with a 2020 Jefferson Award, a prestigious national honor that celebrates ordinary citizens who are doing extraordinary acts of public service.

Cassagnol, a PhD in Nursing candidate at CHP, is the first student from Pace to earn the national honor, and the third member of the Pace community. She joins an impressive list of people who have earned an award that is often considered the “Nobel Prize for Public Service.”

In selecting her for a National Award for Outstanding Public Service, Multiplying Good, the nonprofit organization that administers the Awards, cited her on-the-ground life-saving volunteer work in Haiti in the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes and her subsequent creation of Worldwide Community First Responder, Inc., which provides health education, first-aid and disaster preparedness training to people in the U.S. and Haiti. Since the organization was established in 2012, it has educated and trained more than 350,000 community members in critical life-saving skills.

This year, the awards traditionally held twice a year at ceremonies in Washington, D.C. were presented virtually as a streaming video. Pace, a champion of the Jefferson Awards since 2008, also held a virtual viewing party that included staff, students and faculty on hand to celebrate Cassagnol’s honor.

In accepting the award, Cassagnol said, “I am so grateful to Pace University and Multiplying Good for recognizing extraordinary public service.” Winning the Jefferson Award, she says encourages her to do even more and to continue doing work to save lives

In addition to the Jefferson Award, Cassagnol has earned many other honors for her work, among them being named “Nurse of the Year” by the March of Dimes; designated a Forty Under 40 “Rising Star” by the Rockland Economic Development Corporation; presented with the Safe Community Award by Volunteer New York; and inducted into the New York Academy of Medicine. In 2019, the New York Yankees named Jacqueline a “Nurse Hero.”

“I couldn't be prouder of Jacqueline Cassagnol’s many accomplishments, now including becoming Pace University's first-ever student national Jefferson Award winner,” said Pace President Marvin Krislov. “Pace students are committed to serving our community, and Jacqueline embodies that. I'm impressed and inspired by her leadership, hard work, and dedication. She is truly deserving of this great honor.”

Over the past four decades, the list of Jefferson Award recipients has included hundreds of national figures — both public and private —more than 63,000 unsung heroes, and tens of thousands of employees and young people that represent the good that is happening in communities across the country.

According to Hillary Schafer, CEO of Multiplying Good, “Jefferson Award recipients represent the highest level of service to others. By telling their stories, we encourage them to do even more and inspire others to make a difference through service.”

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