Manhattan College’s Lois Harr Receives Lasallian Educator Award

Bronx resident recognized for outstanding work and dedication.

Lois Harr, director of Campus Ministry and Social Action at Manhattan College, will receive the annual Distinguished Lasallian Educator Award at the Huether Lasallian Conference, Nov. 15-17. The award honors educators for their outstanding work and dedication to exemplify the ideals of St. John Baptist de La Salle, patron saint of teachers.

The Brothers of the Christian Schools, District of Eastern North America (DENA) notified Harr of the honor today, and she was selected along with two additional recipients.

“It is an honor and privilege, on behalf of the District’s Mission Executive Council, to recognize Ms. Lois Harr as one of our three Distinguished Lasallian Educators for 2012,” said Alan Weyland, executive director for mission and ministry at DENA. “In the context of this year’s Huether Lasallian Conference theme, Faith in Action: Global Engagement through Lasallian Education, Lois epitomizes the ideals of Christian service, especially to the poor. Lois’ tireless work for social justice and civic engagement, along with her unwavering faith and zeal, as educator, mentor and advocate, make her a most deserving recipient.”

Harr, a lifetime resident of the Bronx, has integrated faith with her profession to educate the Manhattan community on the importance of helping others. In addition to working as director of Campus Ministry and Social Action since 1998, she is the assistant to the vice president for Student Life and is an adjunct instructor of religious studies. In Harr’s Urban America and Catholic Social Teaching course, students are required to complete 25 hours of service-learning community work outside of the classroom and have partnered with a number of community organizations to make a difference.

During Harr’s time at Manhattan, she has organized a variety of service opportunities for students including blood drives, trips to the Part of the Solution (POTS) soup kitchen in the Bronx, and fair trade events on campus, which helped the College become the first Fair Trade Certified College in New York City.

She has also helped to plan many Lasallian Outreach Volunteer Experience trips (L.O.V.E.), and attended trips to Ecuador, Kenya and Rwanda. The program was created to further promote the College’s Lasallian tradition of expanding the pillars of service and social justice by building community, deepening spirituality and experiencing cultural immersion.

“Lois Harr is universally respected and admired by faculty, student life professionals, students, administrators and staff,” said Brennan O’Donnell, Ph.D., president of Manhattan College. “The award is much deserved, as she is without a doubt among the handful of people in our community whose work most strongly embodies the charisma of the De La Salle Brothers.”

In addition, Harr’s commitment to foster the Lasallian mission is evident through her completion of the Lasallian Leadership Institute in 2003 and her participation in the Lasallian Social Justice Institute (LSJI) in 2004 and 2005. She was on the planning team for the third LSJI on homelessness in 2006 and was a facilitator/presenter for LSJI San Francisco during the summers of 2007 and 2008.

Harr graduated from Fordham University with a bachelor’s in political science and master’s in religious studies from St. Joseph’s Seminary.

View photos from the awarding: