iCons Program Creates First Student Philanthropy and Leadership Awards

From left: Phoebe Hannon, Andrew Keezer, Justin Fermann of iCons and Peg Crowley-Nowick
From left: Phoebe Hannon, Andrew Keezer, Justin Fermann of iCons and Peg Crowley-Nowick

The Integrated Concentration in Science (iCons) program, a College of Natural Sciences curriculum initiated in 2011 that teaches teams of undergraduates to integrate various science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) areas to solve global problems, has created the Crowley-Nowick Award for iCons Student Philanthropy and Leadership with a gift from Peg Crowley-Nowick, founder and president of Zipher Medical Affairs Co. of Marion.

The first recipients, voted by their iCons senior class peers, are Phoebe Hannon, a psychology major from Billerica, and Andrew Keezer, a biochemistry and molecular biology major from Quincy, who were honored at a May 4 iCons senior celebration.

Each student received a $1,000 award and a plaque from Crowley-Nowick, a member of the CNS Advisory Board and iCons Task Force whose company is a sponsor of the program. She told the recipients, “I established this award with a simple vision in mind: to recognize two class leaders who can inspire a culture of philanthropy and a meaningful sense of community among their iCons senior class.”  

Justin Fermann, iCons director, says the students will be expected to be committed leaders within their cohort and to foster a sense of community that will persist beyond graduation. They will be responsible for organizing the senior class gift, which will in turn be awarded to a rising sophomore in iCons.

He adds, “We asked the iCons community – faculty, alumni and current students – to identify what characteristics mark a community leader in the iCons student body. We heard back that the recipient of this award should be an active listener and contributor who supports the needs of others in the iCons community and is committed to the program and its vision; iCons isn’t just a class to this person. They unite their cohort and bring positivity to the iCons method of learning. Especially important is the open-minded nature of this person and their ability to listen to all group members and lead through challenging situations with fairness.”

Fermann points out, “We will look to them for leadership next year, in organizing around the spirit of iCons and giving back to keep the opportunities flowing for future iCons leaders.”