For Immediate Release —Oct. 1, 2008

David Irwin
Media Relations Manager
(585) 245-5516

Rose-Marie Chierici Receives Ernest A. Lynton Award for Exemplary Community Engagement

RMChiericiGENESEO, N.Y. – Rose-Marie Chierici, a cultural anthropologist at the State University of New York at Geneseo, has been awarded a prestigious Ernest A. Lynton Citation for Distinguished Engaged Scholarship for her efforts in developing a comprehensive health care system in one of the most impoverished regions of Haiti.

Chierici was one of two in the nation to receive a citation for exemplary community engagement from the New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE).   The two receiving citations and another award recipient were selected from 33 nominations this year from across the country.  Lynton was a founding member of NERCHE and believed a major focus of American higher education should be on direct outreach to society.

“This award is certainly not about me but about the collaborative work among colleagues and students in improving the human condition in Haiti,” said Chierici, an associate professor of anthropology at Geneseo and a native of Haiti.  “It has been particularly difficult for me to see the devastation the recent hurricanes have caused the people there and makes me realize how much more we have to do.”

Chierici’s work in Haiti has ranged from grassroots engagement with peasant organizations, village cooperatives and women’s groups to a formal partnership with the Haitian Ministry of Health.  The partnership helped organize, manage and fund a comprehensive health care system for the city Borgne, which experiences a high level of poverty. 

Early in her academic career, Chierici began a deep commitment to understanding marginalized people within communities.  Her work is accomplished collaboratively with the people in the villages of Haiti and with the involvement of students and professionals from Geneseo, the University of Rochester, RIT, high schools, religious groups and other organizations supporting global poverty relief and social justice. 

“Dr. Chierici is a leader who brings out the best in everyone around her and is our greatest supporter in involving students in service learning projects,” said SUNY Geneseo provost Katherine Conway-Turner.  “She demonstrates an enviable set of professional, practical and personal qualities that few possess.  The devotion she displays in the classroom and to her scholarship is reflected in the commitment she bestows on the scholarship of engagement through her service to the world community.”

Chierici joined the Geneseo faculty in 1994.  She resides in Rochester.