2020 Visionary Award: Shawn Ward

On January 28th Shawn Ward, F'99 was awarded the 2020 Visionary Award. Collegium Director, Tom Landy presented him with the citation below at a ceremony followed by a celebration with members of the Le Moyne College campus.

Catholic higher education depends more than ever on the energy and vision of lay faculty who find imaginative, compelling ways to engage Catholic intellectual and spiritual traditions in the classroom and in their scholarship. Collegium, a consortium of 65 Catholic colleges and universities, was founded to encourage faculty in such creative endeavors.

The Collegium Visionary Award is meant to celebrate and support the leadership of Collegium alumni/ae in three areas: the advancement of Catholic mission on member campuses, scholarship that advances the Catholic intellectual tradition and brings other traditions into fruitful dialogue with it, and innovative teaching that brings aspects of the summer colloquy to life for students.
Dr. Shawn Ward, the 2020 recipient of the Visionary Award, embodies the Collegium ideal. Since participating in Collegium’s summer colloquy in 1999, Shawn has demonstrated remarkable leadership at Le Moyne College, particularly in the Ignatian formation programs for faculty and staff, in new faculty development, and in mission-focused work with scholar-athletes through the Inside the L program. He has given generously of his time to mentor colleagues, staff, administrators, and students.

Since 2011, Shawn has shepherded LeMoyne College’s Ignatian Faculty Forum, a program to deepen faculty and staff members’ understanding of the Ignatian, Catholic mission and to foster their personal and professional development. He has facilitated those discussions, participants claim, “with a skillful combination of authenticity, intellectual engagement, and gracious hospitality.” His mission-related work with faculty and staff extends to organizing the annual opening retreat, The Vocation of the Ignatian Educator, and two follow-up seminars: Ignatian Learning and Teaching and Educating for Justice in the Jesuit Tradition, and Ignatian Reflection Day.

His professional scholarship, on developmental issues from childhood through adolescence and adulthood, addresses important issues of well-being across the lifespan. He has served with distinction as Chair of the Department of Psychology, where colleagues report that he was not only effective but unusually attentive to the well-being and needs of others.

Shawn’s dedication to his students is manifest in many ways. He is a popular teacher, first-year student advisor, and mentor. Colleagues report that students flock to his courses, even to difficult ones like his research methodology course. With his guidance, students have presented their research on campus and at national conferences. He has also been extraordinarily dedicated to the success of student-athletes, as faculty athletic representative and as Chair of the Intercollegiate Athletic Advisory Board, helping students to grow academically and personally.

In 2000, Shawn was awarded the Rev. Msgr. A. Robert Casey Teacher of the Year by his teaching colleagues. In 2001, he received the Rev. Robert E. O’Brien Service Award. And in spring 2015, he was named the Beatrice Robinson, Ph.D., Advisor of the Year.

Faith is an animating force in his life, having shaped his relationship to his family, to St. Ann’s parish, and to LeMoyne College. As one of those who nominated him for this award wrote, Shawn is “a gentle, thoughtful educator whose actions communicate his dedication to and care for his students and colleagues alike. He wears the practice of his faith lightly and joyfully, grounded in his family’s practice of Catholicism and in the faith-based service work he has done on behalf of local and international communities.”

In recognition of his leadership advancing the Catholic intellectual tradition and living out Collegium’s mission as a mentor, colleague, teacher, and scholar, Collegium is pleased to present the 2020 Visionary Award to Dr. Shawn Ward.