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Class of 2018 Presidential Scholars Begin First Year

Class of 2018 Presidential Scholars Begin First Year
The 12 students awarded Presidential Scholarships are pictured here. Front row, from left are recipients Kathleen Heslin, Smithtown, New York; Erin Alexander, Linden, New Jersey; Caleigh Wilenstein, Aldenville; and University of Scranton President Kevin P. Quinn, S.J. Standing are Presidential Scholarship recipients Anne Kennedy, Conshohocken; Cameron Hughes, Fairport, New York; Rebecca Clark, Newark, Delaware; Matthew Reynolds, Apalachin, New York; Martha Carter, Greenfield Township; Laura Romanovich Peckville; Mary Halligan, Crofton, Maryland; Daniel O’Reilly, Flushing, New York; and Michael Powell, Conklin, New York.

Presidential Scholarships, awarded to incoming University freshmen with outstanding records in high school and notable community involvement, cover four years of full tuition provided that the student maintains at least a 3.25 grade point average. 

This year, four of the 12 awardees were valedictorians of their high school class.

Erin Alexander, Linden, New Jersey graduated as valedictorian of her class at Mother Seton Regional High School, Clark, New Jersey. She is a National Merit Commended Scholar. In high school, she served as student council president and participated in the school’s musical productions every year. She also participated in the academic challenge team, the New Jersey Math League, the science league and writing workshop. She volunteered in her school’s Big Sisters/Little Sisters program and served as a peer minister. Alexander is a neuroscience major and member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program. She is the daughter of Joseph and Deborah Alexander.

Martha Carter, Greenfield Township, is a graduate of Scranton Preparatory School. She is an AP Scholar with Distinction and member of the national honor society who achieved a national Latin exam gold medal and national Spanish exam gold medal. In high school, she was a member of the “Prep Players” drama club, Scranton Prep Student Choir, art society, and Spanish Club. In the community, Carter volunteered in the Project Hope summer service at Camp St. Andrew and at the Covenant Presbyterian Church’s Infant Care Program. She participated in summer mission trips with the Covenant Presbyterian Church youth group. She is a biology major who intends to pursue a veterinarian degree after graduation. She is the daughter of R. Stephen and Catherine R. Carter.

Rebecca Clark, Newark, Delaware, is a graduate of Ursuline Academy, Wilmington Delaware. She is an AP Scholar and recipient of the St. Ursula Scholarship. In high school, Clark was a senior class representative, JV basketball team captain, an Ursuline Student Ambassador, treasurer of the national honor society, and a Kairos Leader. In the community, Clark volunteers at the Delaware Nature Society. A finance major, she is part of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program. She is the daughter of Raymond and Jeanne Clark.

Mary Halligan, Crofton, Maryland, is an alumna of Mount de Sales Academy, Catonsville, Maryland. A National Merit Commended Scholar, Halligan was in the national science, math, and English honor societies and served as president of the Mount de Sales chapter of the national honor society. She is the recipient of the State of Maryland Governor’s Award, Archdiocese of Baltimore Distinctive Scholar Award and Presidential Education Award. In high school, she participated in the Spanish club, academy ambassador office, and mock trial, and received the William J. Held athletic leadership award in varsity field hockey. As a member of the community, she served as a peer minister and liturgical minister. Halligan is a biology major who has a guaranteed a seat in the University’s doctor of physical therapy program. She is the daughter of Steve and Chrissy Halligan.

Kathleen Heslin, Smithtown, New York, graduated from Smithtown High School West. A national merit scholarship finalist, a National AP Scholar and an AP Scholar with Distinction, Heslin was involved with several clubs including the English honor society, Italian honor society, and the literary magazine, where she acted as president, secretary, and editor, respectively. Heslin played junior varsity tennis. She volunteered in the Smithtown Public Library Summer Reading Program in her community. She is a biology major and member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program. She is the daughter of David and Karen Heslin.

Cameron Hughes, Fairport, New York, graduated as salutatorian of Fairport High School. In high school, he played varsity soccer for three years and is a member of the French national honor society. In the community, Hughes volunteered with service projects that supported local military veterans, was a member of St. John of Rochester youth group and served for two years as a retreat team leader for the St. John of Rochester youth group. He is an exercise science major and the son of George and Caryn Hughes.

Anne Kennedy, Conshohocken, is a graduate of Mount Saint Joseph Academy in Flourtown. She is a National Merit Commended Scholar and AP Scholar with Distinction. In high school, she was secretary and treasurer of the glee club, and participated in orchestra and the handbell choir. She also served as a student Eucharistic minister. A biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology major, Kennedy is also a member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program. Her parents are Kevin and Jean Kennedy.

Daniel O’Reilly, Flushing, New York, graduated from Archbishop Molloy High School, Briarwood, N.Y. He is an AP Scholar with Distinction. He was president of the national honor society at his school ans was also a retreat leader, peer tutor and senior leader for peer group counseling. O’Reilly served as a summer camp counselor for incoming high school first-year students, inner-city children, and mentally handicapped children. He is currently declared an English major, but plans to major in philosophy and human services and counseling as well. He is also a member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program. He is the son of Terry and Barbara O’Reilly.

Michael Powell, Conklin, New York, is a graduate of Seton Catholic Central High School in Binghampton, New York. The valedictorian of his class, Powell is also a National AP Scholar. In high school, he participated in the science Olympiad and robotics, and the volleyball club. He volunteered at the Wilson Regional Memorial Hospital and took part in Relay for Life and Red Cross blood drives. He is a biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology major and a member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program. He is the son of Drs. John and Marita Powell.

Matthew Reynolds, Apalachin, New York, is a graduate of Vestal High School, New York. He is a National Commended Scholar, AP Scholar, and International Baccalaureate Diploma Recipient. In high school, he was a member of the varsity indoor and outdoor track team, captain of the Science Olympiad team, member of the French Club and national honor society. In the community, Reynolds was an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America and participated in Our Lady of Sorrows church youth group. He is a biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology major and member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program. He is the son of William and Rosemary Reynolds.

Laura Romanovich, Peckville, graduated as the valedictorian of her class at Valley View High School. Romanovich is a National Merit Commended Scholar. In high school she was a member of the Spanish club, math honor society, and national honor society. She is an active member of her community and volunteers at the Lackawanna County Health Care Center in Olyphant. Romanovich is a member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program. She has not yet declared a major. She is the daughter of Paul and Diana Romanovich.

Caleigh Wildenstein, Aldenville, graduated as the valedictorian of her class at Western Wayne High School. In high school, she was the captain of the basketball and soccer teams during her senior year and was a member of the national honor society. She also served as a tutor. In the community, she coached a U-6 soccer team and volunteered for the Steamtown Marathon. An English major, Wildenstein is a member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program. She is the daughter of Lawrence and Leighann Wildenstein. 

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