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Staff and Students Honored with Kindness and Spirit of Emerson Awards

Jim Delany ‘91 is eternally kind and goes out of his way to make everyone feel like they are part of the bigger community.

Jim Delaney
Jim Delaney ’91

That is what people said when nominating the Budget & Operations Manager of the Visual & Media Arts Department for the Robert Colby Kindness Award winner.

“I’d never personally met Professor Colby, but I was well aware of his reputation when I started working at Emerson in 2011,” said Delaney. “To be considered in the same breath with a person who was so loved and admired is a little overwhelming, but I’ll do my best to reflect well on his legacy.” 

The award means a lot more to him than anyone can know, said Delaney, who shared that the last year has been very challenging for his family, and he worried it seeped into his work.

“That this many people still see the best in me made me feel more engaged in and connected to the Emerson community than I’ve felt in a long time,” said Delaney.

Delaney was presented the award at Faculty Assembly on April 23 by ex-officio Faculty Member and Communication Studies Senior Lecturer and ex-officio Vice Chair Heather May, Emeritus Professor Tom Cooper, and Stan Nance, Senior Associate Director of Athletics for External Affairs.

Tom Cooper Spirit of Emerson Award Winners

Stefani Davila
Stefani Davila ’24

Stefani Davila ’24 was honored with a Spirit of Emerson Award at the School of Communications Awards Ceremony on April 29. Davila, who graduated on May 12, majored in Business of Creative Enterprises (BCE), and was very involved in the Emerson community as a global ambassador. Davila founded Meraki Youth, an organization dedicated to community service, immigration, and health. Outside of Emerson, Davila is a community organizer and international volunteer with Jovenes Contra El Cáncer in Ecuador, in honor of her late brother. Davila also spends time with students at Miami Dade College to help them transfer to a four-year university.

“Receiving the Tom Cooper Spirit of Emerson Award is truly an honor. It serves as a reminder to continue leading with passion and dedication, persistently pursue my dreams, remain true to my values, advocate for the issues I care about, and most importantly, continue working with Meraki Youth to offer mentorship, guidance, and resources to fellow community college students for career preparation and community engagement,” said Davila.

Stefani Davila, with long dark hair and a white top, is presented a glass statuette by Drew Genova, wearing a floral bandeau dress
Assistant Director of Career Access and Equity Drew Genova, MA ’22, left, presents Stefani Davila ’24 with the Spirit of Emerson Award at the School of Communication Awards ceremony on April 29. Courtesy photo

“This award underscores the importance of giving back to the places that once supported me as I progress in life. I am deeply grateful to all the faculty who nominated me and thank them for believing in me. If you are a community college transfer student,  please feel free to reach out if you need any support!”

People said Noelle Llewellyn, MFA ’28 has gone above and beyond to bring her MFA Screenwriting cohort together. Llewellyn was honored for taking the time to personally get to know all peers in her Writing for TV and Film class. Despite differing time zones, she organized virtual meetings with her cohort so they could spend time getting to know each other outside of the classroom.

Noelle Llewellyn and Stan Nance
Noelle Lllewellyn, MFA ’28 an Stan Nance, Sr. Associate Director of Athletics for External Affairs

“I don’t believe there is a single person in our program who isn’t grateful for her presence. Noelle goes out of her way to include everyone in the class in discussions and social outings, and always facilitates honest conversations with her classmates and our instructors,” said a nominator of Llewellyn.

Llewellyn was to be honored in a Zoom meeting this spring.

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