The Magis Medal was founded as part of the Centennial celebration of Alpha Sigma Nu in 2015. To honor the 100th anniversary of the Society, 100 members were awarded the Magis Medal. The original 100 Magis Medal winners embodied their Jesuit roots in their daily work in varied ways. Many started or contributed significantly to non-profit organizations, some with Jesuit connections, which directly addressed social justice issues. Others advocated for social justice through their professional work, such as attorneys making pro bono work a priority. Winners focused their work on social justice issues from the environment to disaster relief to refugee aid programs. Through this annual award, Alpha Sigma Nu hopes to highlight the great work being done by fellow members living their pledge out in the world after graduation and inspire new members to carry that flame with them as they begin their careers.
Alpha Sigma Nu is proud to announce the winners of the 2019 Magis Medal are Dr. Phil Lane and Ms. Janet Lee
Philip Lane, PhD (Fairfield '90)
Dr. Lane is associate professor of economics at Fairfield University, but to his students he is much more. As a professor and Ignatian Spirituality Mentor, Dr. Lane embodies scholarship, loyalty, and service in his life and teaching. His encouragement, selflessness, and commitment to helping his students grow are examples of the Jesuit values of magis and cura personalis. According to his student nominee, "I truly believe I would not be the person I am today without his guidance and positivity throughout these three years of knowing him as a mentor and professor. Dr. Phil Lane lives out his ASN pledge every day and inspires me to carry the flame as I prepare to graduate in the spring of 2019. There is not a single other professor at Fairfield University that has had this type of an impact on me."
He has received numerous honors and awards, including Teacher of the Year from Alpha Sigma Nu, Advisor of the Year from FUSA, and the Father McGrath Faculty Award from the National School of Banking.
Dr. Lane received his BA from Providence College, his MA from Northeastern University, and his PhD from Tufts University. He was inducted into Alpha Sigma Nu at Fairfield University in 1990.
Janet Lee (Regis '09)
Janet Lee has lived a life of service since her Peace Corps tour in Ethiopia after her graduation from Regis College in 1974. Since returning to Regis University as a librarian in 1982 and serving as the Dean of Library since 2012, she has melded her professional passion for libraries and literacy in serving underserved populations locally and internationally, most specifically returning to her adopted home of Ethiopia on several occasions to assist in library development and literacy training with an emphasis on first language publishing.
While on sabbatical in 2010 in Mekelle, Ethiopia, she helped establish the Segenat Children and Youth Library, a fully functioning children’s library with an online catalog, reference services, and audio-visual resources. This brought her to the attention of the Ethiopian Community Development Council, which had an even more expansive library project in the historical town of Axum, known for its stelae, rock-hewn churches, and the Ark of the Covenant. After being awarded a coveted Fulbright Scholar award, she spent ten months in Axum (2017-18), dividing her time between the University of Aksum and the Axumite Heritage Foundation Library, where she assisted with cataloging the extensive collection and setting up a Chromebook Lab that provided access to open access text books, content-rich databases, and the Ethiopian Ministry of Education-approved curriculum.
An advocate for publishing children’s books in first languages, or mother tongues, she has assisted in delivering workshops in cloth book publishing (where the medium is pieces of cloth rather than paper) and in collaboration with the African Storybook project, an open access publishing platform where books may be translated into multiple African languages, downloaded, or printed for distribution. From these workshops, seven books in Ethiopian languages were selected and published on the platform, providing children with attractive books in their own languages.
Locally, under her direction, the Regis University Library has sponsored Arrupe Jesuit High School students as part of Arrupe’s Corporate Work-Study program. Janet worked with the local ASN chapter in setting up an online catalog for the library of the dual-language Escuela de Guadalupe, a K-5 elementary school. She is currently the co-editor of Jesuit Higher Education: A Journal, an open access peer-reviewed journal with a focus on development, advancement, and critique of higher education in the Jesuit tradition. She has published and presented extensively on library and literacy issues related to first language publishing and library development as it relates to Ethiopia, Africa, the developing world, and Arrupe Jesuit High School.
She received her BA from Regis College in 1974, her MBA from Regis University in 1990 and was inducted into the Regis University Chapter of ASN in December 2009.