Center for Excellence Honoree: Kristen Richardson

Kristen Richardson, laboratory instructor in the College of Arts and Sciences, is a tireless educator who leads by example and always puts her students first.

Richardson has been recognized for her efforts with the University's most prestigious academic honor, the Excellence in Service to Students award. She was honored at the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Service to Students ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 25 in the Recreation Center on the Mount Carmel Campus.

"Professor Richardson is truly an unsung hero," said Jillian Moruzzi, a graduate student. "She puts hours into the organization of farmers markets, movie screenings, speaker presentations and, of course, Earth Day celebrations."

Richardson is always available to help students and works diligently to give them the best possible experience, Moruzzi said.

"Whether she is transporting chickens to the University for our Earth Day celebration or helping vendors unload cart after cart of vegetables and baked goods for our farmers markets, she is constantly extending herself to transmit the value of sustainability and, more significantly, the importance of friendliness," Moruzzi said.

Richardson said she enjoys working with students and colleagues from across the three campuses.

"I think of myself as a collaborator and therefore it is really exciting to work with other people on campus and it's been great," Richardson said.

Karla Natale, director of special events, said Richardson is a diligent worker.

"She puts in countless hours working to educate the Quinnipiac community on sustainable and environmental issues," Natale said. "She never looks for or expects recognition."

Richardson doesn't just encourage the University community to live sustainable lifestyles, she lives one.

"I have chickens roosting under my back porch," she said. "I love chickens and I fell in love with the notion of getting closer to your food. I decided to try backyard chickens. I never had them as a kid even though I was a farm kid. They are adorable. Our original idea was to do the whole life cycle with the chickens, hatching our own chicks and harvesting them when the hens stopped laying. But now, I can't eat them."

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