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Congratulations to the 2019 Campion Award Winners: Elizabeth Marcelli ’20 and Jacob Fritsch ’21!

In the spirit of St. Edmund Campion, the George B. Sweeney Endowed Campion Award for Service recognizes one sophomore student and one junior student each year with a demonstrated record of involvement in community service and social action, dedication to a faith tradition and/or spirituality, and strong evidence of leadership potential.

This is a one-year, $1,000 award given to one sophomore and one junior each year. The Center for Service and Social Action also administers up to $500 in additional funds to each Campion Award recipient for an approved campus-based service project.

Established in 1996 by JCU alumnus George B. Sweeney ’55, this fund honors John Carroll University students who have made significant service contributions, both on campus and in our larger community and who are committed to becoming leaders in social action. The award is named for St. Edmund Campion, an English Jesuit who was martyred in 1581. Campion rejected a life of prestige, power, and wealth to spend his life in service to others in most need.

Recipients of the Campion Award:

2019 | Elizabeth Marcelli ’20 & Jacob Fritsch ’21!

Elizabeth Marcelli

Elizabeth (Liz) Marcelli has been involved in a variety of activities at John Carroll, in the greater Cleveland community, in her hometown of Cincinnati, and in Honduras.  On campus, she serves as a tour guide, a Lector, a Eucharistic Minister, and a team leader for the Manresa retreat.  Through the Center for Service and Social Action Liz has been involved tutoring children at Shoreview Elementary in the Carroll Reads early literacy program, mentoring youth at the Juvenile Detention Center, tutoring young girls at the Warner Girls Academy.  This year Liz serves in a leadership role as a Student Liaison where she accompanies and mentors other students in service at Thomas Jefferson International School for refugee children and at the Saturday Tutoring Program in University Circle. In Cincinnati she spent time volunteering for Heartland Hospice caring for people with Alzheimer’s near the end of their life’s journey and discovered the profound beauty of the presence of being. When asked what drew her to participate in this wide range of service activities, Liz responded, “Being able to facilitate and lead reflections as well as fostering community within the John Carroll participants and at the service sites has been an opportunity for growth for me and has fueled my passion for service and social justice.” She noted, that “All of these experiences have given me far more than I could ever give in return. I was drawn to all of these because they gave me the power to grow as an individual, and a person for others.” For the past two years, Liz has participated in the Honduras Medical Immersion Trip, first as a participant, and last year as a co-leader of the immersion trip.  Through her time in Honduras, she has learned about access to healthcare and the injustices that are associated with this.  Dr. Colin Swearingen, a faculty member on the trip had this to say about Liz’s engagement, “What is so striking about Liz is not that she went to Honduras, but what she did between trips. She set out to help raise money for water filters for a small village, knowing that clean water is one of the best ways to improve health outcomes in a developing country.  After helping raise $5,000 for water filters, she helped train every household in the village (in Spanish) on how to use those filters.  According to our contact in Honduras, over 70% of those households still use their filters.” Liz’s faith informs her values, how she spends her time, and where she chooses to serve and the generosity with which she does so.  She noted, “My faith and my spirituality are the backbone for this passion ignited within me.” She is planning on pursuing a career in law and is exploring roles that give voice to the voiceless whether it may be doing advocacy work through the Innocence Project or Immigration law, human rights law, or perhaps even a Public Defender. Whichever it may be, promoting justice and advocacy will no doubt be part of her future.


Jacob Fritsch

Jacob Fritsch has hit the ground running since first arriving at John Carroll just a little more than a year ago.  He got involved in weekly service activities his first semester here. He currently serves as the President of the Respect for Life Club, is a core team member of Labre, is involved in Carroll Faith Communities, and serves as a student Liaison with the Center for Service and Social Action. Jacob cares deeply about the reality of people who experience homelessness. He first began working with people who were homeless when he was in high school.  When he came to John Carroll, one of the things that drew him here was how impressed he was with John Carroll students’ commitment to service.  On most Friday nights now, you will find Jacob bringing food, warm clothing, and friendship to people who are homeless as part of the Labre program.  He noted, “Labre focuses not only on feeding and clothing people who are homeless but treating them like human beings. I found service to those who are homeless among us to be one of the most important ways to care for others.” Jacob’s warm and welcoming demeanor are just one way he meets other people where they are. Already Jacob has recognized that, “service learning is real and valuable; it helps you recognize and tear down your stereotypes and biases. Because of service, I have worked and talked with many people who are different culturally, socioeconomically, and religiously from me. Learning to get along with and work with a wide range of people is something I will continue to value. Overall, my service experiences have made me more prepared for life after John Carroll.” Jacob’s genuine passion for service and justice, his personal commitment to his faith and values will continue to inspire others to be men and women for others.

Past Recipients
  • 2018 | Sean Freeman ’19, Maura Wallace ’20
  • 2017 | William M. DiPasquale ’18, Leanne Tang ’19
  • 2016 | Marina Giannirakis ’17, Robin Goist ’18
  • 2015 | Patrick Vecellio ’16, Annmarie Kirchner ’17
  • 2014 | Courtney Radtkin ’15, Katie Coffey ’15, Grace Donnelly ’16
  • 2013 | Alyssa Giannirakis ’14, Ned Barnes ’15, Michael Gong ’15
  • 2012 | McKenzae Bartels ’14, Maggie Hutchison ’14, Julia Blanchard ’14
  • 2011 | Catherine Distelrath ’12, Jeffrey Hatgas ’12, Jillian Dunn ’13
  • 2010 | Daniel Fitzmaurice ’11, Thomas Coast ’12
  • 2009 | Natalie Terry ’10, Kevin Henderson ’11
  • 1999 | Chris Kerr ’00, Trena Marks ’00, Patrick Corrigan ’01
  • 1998 | David Birchok ’99, Patrick Scanlan ’00, Brian Sinchak ’00
  • 1997 | Grant Mast ’98, Melanie Shakarian ’98, Julie Thorud ’99
  • 1996 | David Roth ’97, Penny Roxas ’98, Valerie Williams ’98
Campion Award Application Information

Applications are now being accepted for the 2020 Campion Service Award! See below for how you can apply today!

The George B. Sweeney Endowed Campion Award for Service is available to full-time, enrolled, sophomore and junior students who are in good academic standing (a GPA of 2.0 or higher) and good University standing. All candidates meeting the required conditions of the award are eligible for consideration.

Candidates should have a strong background in the following (1) record of involvement in community service and social action, (2) involvement/dedication to a faith tradition and/or spirituality, and (3) strong evidence of leadership potential.

Selection Process:
Awardees will be selected by a committee composed of the Director of the Center for Service and Social Action and other JCU faculty, staff, and administrators.

Evaluation Criteria:

  • Demonstrated commitment to service and social action
  • Involvement in/dedication to a faith tradition and/or spirituality
  • Leadership ability/potential
  • Sophomore (having completed 25-54 hours and are in their third semester or more at JCU) or Junior (having completed 55-85 hours) in good academic standing
  • Letters of recommendation from two references

Application Requirements:

  • Complete an application form
  • Provide two references who have knowledge of your service activities. Those references should be full-time JCU faculty or staff, or people who are familiar with your leadership role in a campus or community organization. Fellow students may NOT serve as references. Please distribute this reference form to these individuals and provide their information below. Please have letters sent directly to
  • Letters of support from agency-based service supervisors are appreciated, but not necessary. Please ask the supervisor to send the recommendation directly to

NOTE: The award is not intended to reduce existing institutional aid already awarded. However, if the student is a recipient of Federal funds, regulations may require John Carroll University to alter a student’s self-help aid such as loans or work study. In rare cases, student aid may be limited to the total cost of education.