Meghan Murray ’21 named recipient of first Daniel Cavarretta Award

The award, presented in memory of Lumen Scholar Daniel Cavarretta ’19, is offered by current Lumen Scholars to rising juniors or seniors outside the Lumen program in support of undergraduate research and scholarly development.

Meghan Murray ’21, an international business and finance double major and Honors Fellow, has been named the recipient of the first Daniel Cavarretta Award.

The Cavarretta Award, which supports undergraduate research and scholarly development, honors the memory of Lumen Scholar graduate Daniel Cavarretta ’19, who died shortly after his time at Elon. The award includes a $1,000 grant to support a deserving student in their proposed research, scholarship, or creative project or experience over the course of a single academic year.

Meghan Murray ’21

The award will support Murray in her research with faculty mentor Assistant Professor of International Business Carri Tolmie, titled “Leadership and corporate social responsibility: The role of spiritual intelligence.” Through her project, Murray aims to highlight the roles that leadership, spiritual intelligence and other characteristics play in corporate social responsibility practices.

“If specific relationships can be pinpointed, the hope is that firms will then be able to adopt best practices to more intentionally improve their positive societal impacts,” Murray said.

The Cavarretta Award selection committee, comprised of senior Lumen Scholars, selected Murray because of the passion and enthusiasm she showed toward her research.

“Meghan has a passion for serving others,” said Lumen Scholar Jonathan Martinez ’20, who led the selection committee. “And she described how that passion can positively impact employees and businesses, which not only aligned with Elon’s mission of creating innovative and leading scholars within their profession, but also embodied many of Daniel’s core values. That is what set her apart.”

Daniel Cavarretta, a 2019 graduate of Exercise Science, was a member of the Lumen Scholar Class of 2017. Cavarretta was deeply committed to helping people build sustainable exercise plans and healthy lifestyle habits by focusing on the pleasure of activity. Cavarretta was a founding member of Elon’s Rock Climbing Club, started his own personal training company and published three papers related to affect and exercise in top journals in the field as an undergraduate.

Lumen scholar Daniel Cavarretta ’19 (right) poses with his research mentor, Professor of Exercise Science and Faculty Athletics Representative Eric Hall (left).

Applicants for the Cavarretta Award must be rising juniors or seniors with full-time student status, a cumulative GPA and in-major GPA of 3.30 or higher, and have the support of a faculty mentor or recommender. Recipients are selected based on their ability to demonstrate interests, values and motivations that align with their proposed project or experience. They must also communicate the benefit or impact of the project or experience to their development as a scholar, to their field, or to the greater public good.

Cavarretta Award recipients are selected based on their passion for their work, as well as their commitment to a fair and just world. Murray says she is honored to be chosen as the award’s first recipient and hopes her work shows that commitment.

“I am so grateful to have the opportunity to continue to engage in invaluable scholarly experiences,” Murray said. “It’s extremely evident how committed Daniel was to pursuing his passions and making the world a better place, and I hope to use my research to do the same.”

Through this award, Daniel Cavarretta will continue to impact Elon, its surrounding communities and the world, for years to come. Martinez says he hopes the award reminds everyone of the support, encouragement and wisdom Cavarretta displayed at Elon.

“Daniel Cavarretta, an outstanding colleague and friend, was a part of this community that impacted my life, as well as the lives of many others through his kindness and compassion,” Martinez said. “Being able to give back to the community by helping create a lasting award that honors and reflects this part of him is one of the most satisfying and memorable experiences I have ever had.”

For more information about the Daniel Cavarretta Award, visit the award’s webpage here.