Makechnie Instructional Resource Center, is honored for her work in mental illness." /> Sargent Staff Member Receives Lifetime Achievement Award | BU Today | Boston University

BU Today

Campus Life

Sargent Staff Member Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Lucia Grochowska-Littlefield, director of the SAR Makechnie Instructional Resource Center, is honored for her work in mental illness.

Lucia Grochowska-Littlefield

As director of the George K. Makechnie Instructional Resource Center at Sargent College, Lucia Grochowska-Littlefield supports students recovering from mental illness, teaching them life skills in an internship setting that will help them reenter the working world. On February 5, she will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for Employment Support for Persons with Psychiatric Disabilities from BU’s Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation (CPR) in honor of her more than 20 years of service.

“I never expected this,” says Grochowska-Littlefield. “It makes me smile. I truly appreciate the special recognition.” She adds that it is the CPR interns who truly deserve the recognition: “They are the ones who have had to achieve and overcome so much.”

An experience during her teenage years drew Grochowska-Littlefield to the field. In the 1960s, one of her relatives suffered from severe depression, quickly losing 60 pounds and becoming catatonic. Grochowska-Littlefield stayed with her as she slowly recovered. She says she keeps that memory in mind as she helps students struggling with mental illness learn to be hopeful about the future.

“I was brought up to believe that everyone is equal,” Grochowska-Littlefield explains. “I accepted this fact, no matter what, and it makes me accept people for who they are. If society as a whole believed this, maybe these students wouldn’t have to struggle, but would instead have a sense of belonging in the world.”

Littlefield says the Instructional Resource Center fosters that sense of belonging, enabling students to explore their abilities and to “slowly put their toes into the water” so that they can reenter society and the work world.

“Lucia teaches people that hope emerges out of their dreams,” says Dori Hutchinson, CPR’s director of services and an adjunct assistant professor of rehabilitation counseling at Sargent. “She nurtures their hope through respectful opportunities, supervision, and guidance. And she gives hope through her gentle, warm, and genuine care.”