Recognizing Carrie Davis ‘96 of the Mission & Ministry Center

Carrie DavisSaint Mary’s is delighted to announce that the Mission and Ministry Center’s Carrie (Kiskila) Davis ’96 is the 2019 recipient of the prestigious Bassen Service Award from the Lasallian Volunteer (LV) program. The award recognizes former Lasallian Volunteers, Christian Brothers and other significant supporters of the LV program who have dedicated their lives to service in the spirit of the Lasallian mission. Davis was presented her award at a luncheon at Mont La Salle in Napa on Sunday, Sept. 5.

“Carrie embodies the Lasallian mission in all aspects of her life,” says Director of the Mission and Ministry Center Karin McClelland ’90. “She is unfailingly generous with her students and her colleagues, and is always considering how we can expand our reach to serve our community better. I can think of no one more deserving of this award.”

An alumna of Saint Mary’s Integral Program, Davis serves as a steward of the Lasallian mission as director of the popular Lasallian Service Internship (LSI) Jan Term course. She emanates a spirit of warmth and compassion that touches all who know her. 

“I am honored to receive this award from the Lasallian Volunteer program,” Davis said when she learned about being selected as the recipient of this award. “I grew so much during my time as a LV at the San Miguel School in Chicago and am forever grateful for the opportunities it afforded me to live the Lasallian educational mission.”

Dr. Carole Swain, former Vice President of Mission at Saint Mary’s, nominated Davis for the honor and speaks highly of Davis’ contributions both at SMC and within the broader Lasallian educational network. Swain addressed the audience at the awards ceremony, presenting a compilation of commendations made by Davis’ colleagues from the past 20 years. 

“At Saint Mary’s College, Carrie has worked hard to build bridges with Brothers’ works in the Philippines, at our orphanage in Lasi (Yash), Romania, and at our Lasallian Center at the fringe of Naples (Scampia community)…sending students, faculty and staff to learn from these communities through LSI,” said Swain. 

“This Lasallian service course has impacted the lives of countless students because of Carrie’s dedication and generous heart in making it the transformative educational program that it is. 

It exemplifies how Carrie has faith in the presence of God and is genuinely concerned for the [economically] poor and social justice,” Swain added.

Davis gracefully accepted the award. “After what turned into five years teaching at San Miguel, nine years at De Marillac Academy, and now in my seventh year at Saint Mary’s College, I consider myself so fortunate to still be a part of this Lasallian mission. I can’t imagine doing anything else…it is our job to perform miracles by touching hearts. How lucky are we?”

“Thank you to the Lasallian Volunteer program for the honor of this service award, and for the opportunities you have provided for the past 30 years, for young people to find where they belong and discover their calling,” Davis said.

Davis’ ability to build relationships with people and institutions alike has enabled her to shape the lives and careers of so many SMC students. She has inspired legions of SMC students to pursue the LV program after graduation or carry the Saint Mary’s motto “Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve” with them into their lives in other ways.  

One former student who acknowledged Davis as instrumental in her choice to become a Lasallian Volunteer  is Saint Mary’s 2018 valedictorian Savannah Mattox.  “I owe a lot to Carrie,” said the alumna, who visited the campus recently for the Career Fair and other LV recruiting opportunities. Mattox noted that Davis explained to her the “ins and outs” of the LV program and listened to her concerns about stepping out of her comfort zone. “I never would have gotten on a plane by myself going to my site visit to Tucson; it was the first time I ever flew alone.” Now, a veteran LV, Mattox conducts educational immersions to the border of Arizona-Mexico for high school students.  She’s also planning to pursue a PhD in Ethnic Studies. “I think about the role that Saint Mary’s has played in my ability to be an LV and how serendipitous the whole journey was. And Carrie was a huge part of that.” 

Many leave their January Term LSI experience with a lifelong commitment to faith, service and community,  inspired by Davis’ own deep commitment to these ideals. As Swain said at the ceremony: “Carrie is a light and beacon of hope in our world today.” The Saint Mary’s community congratulates Carrie Davis and thanks her for her dedicated service.