SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. – Cross country runner Cristina Fernandez (Parsippany, N.J.) was named one of only five Seton Hall University-wide recipients of its 2020 Student Servant Leader Awards. 
 
The purpose of the Student Servant Leader Awards is to honor students who exemplify the ideals of servant leadership, both on and off campus. The Awards Committee reviewed a record number of nominations for generous servant leaders. Servant leaders are those whose leadership consists of serving the needs of others — not service to others in addition to leadership, but service that is part and parcel of leadership.
 
Athletically, Fernandez has been a dedicated member of the women's cross country team for three years in South Orange.  The rising senior competed in all eight meets in 2019, concluding the season by taking fourth overall and helping the team to a victory at the ECAC Championship on Nov. 23.
 

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On the course, she undoubtedly makes her team better, but off the course, Fernandez is doing her part to make the world better.  A Biology major, she founded a non-profit group on campus dedicated to providing access to medicine, education and development for low income families.  As president of MEDLIFE at Seton Hall, she has participated in international medical service trips to Ecuador and Peru where she has assisted impoverished communities and set up mobile medical clinics.  Additionally, Fernandez has raised funds for various clean water initiatives for villages across South America.
 
Fernandez joins Seton Hall students Thomas Cadmus, Veronica Cervone, Darby DeBonis and Cecelia Pateman as 2020 Student Servant Leader Award recipients.