From the president

A committed advocate for disability rights, Christopher (Tripp) Lyons has already demonstrated his potential as a “public problem solver” in our campus community. During his fellowship year, Tripp has chosen to focus his social action project on enhancing campus infrastructure for accessibility. Last year, in partnership with the Office of Accessibility, Tripp established the Student Accessibility Ambassadors group, which convenes groups of students to discuss campus accessibility barriers, concerns, and pathways to more equitable and accessible practices. Tripp has identified several strategies to further develop systems and structures for accessibility at Fairfield, including launching an awareness-raising campaign, forming a campus-wide accessibility committee with student, faculty, and administrator representation, and establishing a reporting system for accessibility concerns. A politics major, his goal is to attend law school to become a disability rights attorney. As he writes, “My experience at Fairfield with a Jesuit education has instilled in me the desire and passion to advocate for disability justice.” The Fairfield University community is privileged to accompany Tripp in realizing this purpose and is delighted to nominate him to serve as our Newman Civic Fellow.

Dr. Mark Nemec


Fairfield University


Personal Statement

I am disabled and that is okay! Throughout my life living with a physical disability called cerebral palsy, using a power wheelchair and a communication device, I have grappled with my differences and how society treated me because of them. Through this exploration of my identity as a disabled person, I have discovered that disability is a natural part of humanity. Despite this fact, I have experienced mistreatment and discrimination. This led me to take an interest in politics as I grappled with how to improve equality for disabled people and I decided to major in Politics at Fairfield University. My experience at Fairfield with a Jesuit education has instilled in me the desire and passion to advocate for disability justice. As a Student Ambassador for the Office of Accessibility, I have advocated for the rights of disabled members of the university community. Post graduation, I plan to attend law school and be a disability rights attorney. My social action project seeks to reimagine how accessibility is implemented on campus. Through the implementation of accessible solutions, awareness initiatives, and a committee that specializes in disability justice, I intend to eliminate the exclusion of disabled people on campus.

Christopher Lyons


Fairfield University