Joe Belle Memorial Young Alumni Award

Joe Belle Memorial Young Alumni Award

For volunteer service to students and early career achievement

Joe Belle made significant contributions to the University of Dayton's Catholic and Marianist character through his exceptional caring about people.

The Joe Belle Memorial Young Alumni Award is designed to recognize young alumni who carry that same spirit and have shown great promise and accomplishment in their chosen profession and/or service to their community or to the University of Dayton and its mission. To be eligible, candidates must have graduated from the University of Dayton within the past 10 years.

Nicole Miller Olszewski ’08

Bachelor of Arts, Journalism/Spanish

Helping Students Envision a Future with No Limits, Nicole Miller Olszewski ’08

Helping Students Envision a Future with No Limits, Nicole Miller Olszewski ’08

Nicole Miller Olszewski majored in journalism and Spanish but wasn’t quite sure what she wanted out of a career.

Through an experiential learning opportunity her senior year, she visited Fairview Elementary School in Dayton and helped teach English to students. That experience dramatically brought into focus what she felt was her life’s mission.

“I just loved the mentoring and the teacher and student relationship,” she said. “It excites me to teach, train, motivate and coach individuals to meet their end goal.”

She decided to get her master’s degree and later joined Teach for America Nashville in 2009, teaching in a low-performing high school.

In 2011, she joined Knowledge is Power Program Nashville as an eighth grade teacher. It was there that she became respected as a school leader and obtained a Fisher Fellowship — a highly selective leadership program that prepares educators to found, lead and grow their own KIPP schools.

She opened a charter middle school in 2013 — KIPP Nashville College Prep — which serves the lowest income area of her community. She’s been serving as the school’s principal ever since.

And though she never thought teaching would be her career, she can’t see any other role she’s better suited for.

“I’m always trying to find out how I can play a role in changing the life trajectory for my students, and even their families,” she said. “I stay because of our students and community.”


Past Recipients

Matt Maroon '06
Sean Young '12
Mandy Brogdon '04
Maura Carew '04
Thomas J. Dharte '05
Justin Forzano '08
John Gravier '08
Laura Schmitz Keefe '05
Michael L. Lofton '05
Molly MacCready '08
Adam G. Molina '00
James "Scott" Murphy '01
Jeffrey P. Rombach '02
Chris Schmidt '99
Michael Vehar '05, '09
Rashad M. Young '98

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