Making the university a better place, one smile at a time

Headshot of Joe DiGioia

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armth and smiles — that’s how the School of Nursing faculty and staff have been greeted by Joe DiGioia for the past 20 years. As a member of our facilities team, DiGioia goes above and beyond keeping the North Haven Campus in pristine condition — while always lending a helping hand and words of encouragement to anyone who needs it.

“I was out for several days and when I returned, Joe welcomed me back and talked to me as I approached my office,” said Jean Lange, former dean of the School of Nursing. “I thought he had work to do in that direction, but he had come just to open my door for me. He enriches our community with his strong work ethic, personalized approach and caring attitude.”

For his extraordinary efforts and attitude, DiGioia is being honored with one of this year’s Center for Excellence in Service to Students awards, the university’s most prestigious staff honors, on October 17.

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“Joe approaches his role at Quinnipiac with love,” Millie Hepburn, an adjunct professor in the School of Nursing said. “In essence, he raises the bar for humanity. Through his authentic and inherent social intelligence, Joe showcases the spirit of true selflessness and thereby improves the intentions and emotions of the environment, and somehow makes us all approach our day desiring to be better people.”

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In recent years, he has taken on the role of mentoring for the Quinnipiac-Cheshire Transition Collaborative partnership. In the position, he works closely with students on the autism spectrum, teaching them his trade and life skills, demonstrating a guiding and patient hand every step of the way.

“Joe’s expertise and professionalism goes far beyond his custodial care,” said Peggy Gray, associate professor of nursing. “The outstanding work he does with the students in the collaborative partnership is nothing short of amazing. His patience, guidance and mentorship are inspiring, and I often find myself wishing I could be more like him.”

DiGioia said that he wants his students to have a positive learning experience.

“I know that growing up when someone wasn’t patient with me while I was trying to learn, it could be frustrating,” DiGioia said. “I don’t want them to experience that frustration.”

DiGioia is partnered with his mentees for anywhere between one to three years and credits the students, faculty, and staff for making his day-to-day interactions his favorite part about working at Quinnipiac. 

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“It’s fun watching the students grow and it’s the little conversations that make my day,” said DiGioia. “If I wake up in a mood and I’m not feeling like myself, by the end of the day I’m back to normal because of the interactions I share with my coworkers and students.”