Albertus Magnus College Staffer Recognized for Student Advocacy and Social Justice

Kelsey Alexander Earns We Rise Together Award

New Haven, Conn., January 7, 2021 –  Albertus Magnus College is pleased to announce that Coordinator for Prevention of Gender-Based Violence, Kelsey Alexander (she/they), recently received the Student Advocacy and Social Justice Award at Duolingo’s We Rise Together ceremony that featured the rapper, actor, writer, philanthropist, and Academy Award winner Common as its keynote speaker.  The honor recognizes trailblazing access to students.  Duolingo is a company that began as a language learning application providing free access to language acquisition and now also offers an affordable English proficiency test accepted by many colleges and universities, including Albertus, for international students who need to provide proof of English proficiency.

A current resident of Middletown, Alexander is praised for their commitment to social justice by facilitating events and leading committees and initiatives in the Student Services Office.  Events include Take Back the Night for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Survivors and the Trans and Non-Binary Voices panel.  In response to the death of George Floyd, Alexander co-coordinated a speak-out event where students, staff, and faculty could gather virtually to express their emotions.

At Albertus, Alexander leads the GIVE POWER (Gender-based and Intimate partner Violence Education, Prevention, and Outreach With Empowering Resources) committee, which is made up of students, staff, faculty, and community partners who are invested in this work at Albertus.  Alexander also co-leads the Basic Needs committee that organized two visits with the Mobile Food Pantry this past fall.  They are the advisor to the Multicultural Club as well as the co-advisor to the PRIDE club on campus and co-leads the Peace Leadership Workshop Series.  Part of their job is to facilitate Green Dot Trainings to empower the Albertus family to stand up against sexual assault and domestic violence.

Alexander, who is a Certified Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Counselor and has a Master’s in Public Health, is humbled by this award, believing it is recognition for years of work with victims of abuse.

“I feel honored to be recognized with this award, and grateful to the students, colleagues, and community members who share my commitment to justice and healing for survivors of gender-based violence, racism, transphobia, and all other forms of oppression.  In particular, so many of my coworkers at Albertus are deeply invested in creating a more equitable school and world for our students.  None of this work can be done alone; I owe so much to people who have been willing to teach me, support me, and give me feedback.  And we still live in a country where Black and Brown people, trans people, immigrants, and so many others experience violence and discrimination at the hands of individuals and systems.  There is so much work still to do,” Alexander said.

“Kelsey has made an impact in the Student Services department in various ways, and never stops opening minds and opening hearts.  They continuously keep the dialogue going so that students, staff, faculty, and community partners are examining practices and procedures to help us evolve into a more inclusive and empowered community,” said Miriam Randall, Coordinator for International Student Services, who recommended Alexander for this latest achievement.

Prior to Alexander’s work at Albertus, they served with the Jesuit Volunteer Corp Northwest, working with pregnant teens at a non-traditional high school in Oregon; and with Safe Futures, an agency in New London, teaching middle and high school students about sexual assault, domestic violence, and the importance of healthy relationships, as well as training staff about working with victims of human trafficking.

About Albertus Magnus College

About Albertus Magnus College: Albertus Magnus College, founded in 1925, is a Catholic College in the Dominican tradition. It is recognized by external rankings such as US News & World Report Best Colleges, Money Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education. The College has an enrollment of 1,500 students in its traditional undergraduate program, accelerated adult degree programs, and 12 graduate programs, including a new Master of Public Administration and the only Master of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling program in Connecticut. In the last year, the College received two significant Federal grants in support of student success and well-being: a $300,000 grant from the Department of Justice and a $1.9 million Title III grant from the Department of Education.