Mission and Identity

The Fr. George W. Traub, SJ Award

For Exemplary Service to the Mission and Identity at Xavier University

Portrait photo of George W. Traub

The George W. Traub, S.J. Award for Exemplary Service to the Mission and Identity at Xavier University was established in honor of the Fr. George Traub, who established much of Xavier’s Mission and Identity efforts more than 30 years ago. This award is given on occasion to a member of the Xavier community who has provided such exemplary service to the University.

The award is adorned with a tile of the Seal of the Society of Jesus gifted to Fr. Traub by the Midwest Jesuit Province for his lifelong spirit of generosity and support of colleagues in Jesuit Higher Education. Its placement as the center piece serves as a reminder of the spirit of generosity and exemplary service for which this award embodies.

"Lord, teach me to be generous, to serve as you deserve, to give and not count the cost," Ignatius of Loyola


2024 Recipient

Tom Knestrick Traub Award

Dr Tom Knestrict

Whenever there is an opportunity to advance the Jesuit educational mission at Xavier – Dr. Knestrict, Associate Professor of Education, is the first to raise his hand. Most recently, he was the sole faculty member to support the pilot vocational retreat options for sophomore students and was the co-producer of the Gifts of the Ignatian Heritage podcast series.  In addition to both campus and community volunteer service at food pantries and gardens, he was a 2018 Conway Faculty Fellow, a 2023 Collegium participant, a 2014 Ignatian pilgrim and a student-selected Alpha Sigma Nu Teacher of the Year at Xavier. Noteworthy is that he was guided in the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises by Fr. Traub.


2023 Recipient

Photo of James Green receiving the award with President Hanycz

James Green
Head of User Experience and Assessment, University Library

Starting the week after he was hired at Xavier in 2015, James has been a consistent and committed partner leading or engaging in programs that advance the mission and identity of the University.  This commitment includes his ongoing, volunteer service  on the AFMIX Leadership Team since 2019 and  as a small group facilitator of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises since 2018.  James has been a regular guest presenter and small group discussion leader for the Manresa Overnight and Luncheon Series for new faculty and staff,  AFMIX, monthly HR onboarding meetings for staff.  He created a custom presentation on Xavier’s Jesuit tradition for student military veterans enrolled in GOA and a podcast on the Ignatian Heritage. His favorite topics have been on: Discernment and Prayer, the Theology of God, and Living Xavier’s mission.


2022 Recipient

Photo of Douglas Riga receiving the award with President Hanycz

Douglas Riga
Data Warehouse Analytics Manager - Institutional Research

Douglas Riga is recognized for his volunteer service on the AFMIX leadership team for over a decade, serving as a Manresa table host, a panelist for numerous mission-formation programs, co-facilitating the Spiritual Exercises for small groups of faculty and staff, and his partnership with a few colleagues to design the popular campus' Mission Mile, which guides discerners to mission-related artwork and associated reflections.


2019 Inaugural Recipients

Photo of Sheila Doran receiving the award

Sheila Doran
Senior Teaching Professor, Mathematics

Sheila Doran assisted the Center for Mission and Identity through weekly involvement in the AFMIX program for 20 years. She furthered the program as a participant, facilitator, and spiritual guide. She aided in evaluating and redesigning each semester of the program to meet the needs of the faculty and staff in each cohort as she helped them reflect on how they live out Xavier’s mission, each in their own unique ways. 


Photo of Joe Wessling receiving the award

Joe Wessling
Professor Emeritus, English

Joe Wessling assisted the Center for Mission and Identity through guidance in founding of Ignatian Programs. Joe served the Xavier community for 34 years as an active instructor and over a decade of continued volunteer support to Xavier's mission throughout his retirement. He has left a lasting legacy for the university through facilitating Manresa groups, leading AFMIX sessions, representing Xavier during annual visits by the Provincial's Assistant for Jesuit Higher Education, and authoring numerous reflections and prayers for the Jesuit Resource website.