IDEAL Award Speech 2020


Today I am presenting the IDEAL Award, designed to recognize a fellow colleague for their work in Inclusion, Diversity, Education, Access, and Leadership. The recipient of this award has demonstrated long-standing commitment to issues of access including, but not limited to, students of color, first-generation college students, low-income students, undocumented students & LBGTQ+ students.

The recipient of this award is extremely involved in NEACAC and has formed lasting relationships on both sides of the desk. It always amazes me how many connections and relationships they have established in our field to help support students and to serve as a mentor to new professionals entering the field.  

One of their favorite ways to engage with students and colleagues is through their many years of volunteering as a mentor at Camp College New England. This person is also our institution’s representative for NECBAC. They bring back valuable information to share with our team and advocate for inclusive policies and practices.

The person who is receiving this award is a first generation college student themselves, who came to the US at a young age, attended high school in a local under resourced, low-income school district, and benefited from the support of a CBO. They then went on to receive a bachelor’s and master’s degree and to become a successful higher education professional, who now gives back in a tremendous way to the same school district & community from which they graduated.

In their current role, they serve as an office liaison for the Pioneer Scholars program, which provides full scholarships to students who participate in the early college program on our college campus. This person helps to train our campus community on the scholarship interview process, assists with welcome programming for incoming scholars, and serves as a translator for Spanish-speaking parents & families of scholarship recipients.

This person receiving this award has a recruitment territory that spans not only two New England states, but also two continents. One day you might find them in Lawrence, MA, the next day in Connecticut, and then taking a red eye to Abu Dhabi or Islamabad. They have traveled to over 100 countries & counting, and they are someone who I consider a true global citizen who promotes access and inclusivity in both their work and daily life.

I am proud to announce the NEACAC’s IDEAL Award winner for this year goes to my close friend and colleague, Dauri Torres


Rachael Tampone
Associate Director of Admission & International Recruitment, Merrimack College