The University of Scranton honored 83 student-athletes at its 22th annual Senior Student-Athlete Banquet on May 11 at the DeNaples Center.
Highlighting the afternoon’s festivities were the presentations of the Beining, Willensky, Fitzpatrick, Carlesimo and O’Hara awards.
Ron Jordan, founder and owner of Honor Awards in Taylor, received the 10th annual Beining Award for special contributions to the athletics department. This award is named in honor of the late Reverend Paul R. Beining, S.J., a native of Pittsburgh and long-time member of The University of Scranton faculty who passed away on March 20, 2004, at the age of 81. Father Beining was a loyal fan of all Royal athletic teams.
Jordan is honored for his commitment, artistic talent, and expertise that has greatly enhanced the quality of awards that Royal student-athletes have received since his affiliation with The University of Scranton began in 2001. He is a native of Scranton and a graduate of the former Scranton Central High School and Johnson College, where he earned a degree in architectural drafting and design. Ron and his wife, Ann, have four children: Tyler, Connor, Cameron, and Jake.
Bobby Della Polla (Havertown/St. Joseph’s Preparatory) of the baseball team was presented the Willensky Award, which honors the senior student-athlete who consistently undertakes to understand and improve the human condition. It is named after Ron Willensky, a Scranton native and 1963 graduate of the University who was a lifelong fan of the Royals.
Della Polla overcame the loss of his mother at the age of 14 to make a profound impact on The University of Scranton community.
In the classroom, he was named to the Dean’s List every semester and was inducted into two academic honor societies, Beta Gamma Sigma International and Alpha Lambda Delta Freshman Honors Society. Along with earning a Roundtable Financial Scholarship in 2011, one of only three awarded nationally, he was named to the Landmark Conference Academic Honor Roll three times and was twice selected for the conference’s all-Academic team.
In addition, Della Polla served in a number of leadership roles, including as president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and as a member of the Society of Accounting Students and the Business Leadership Honors Program. As a pitcher on the baseball team, he finished his career with 16 wins and struck out 199 batters in 189 innings.
Receiving the Father Fitzpatrick awards were Sarah Gibbons (Monroe Township, N.J./Monroe Township) of the women’s soccer team, Lindsay Ward (Bensalem/Archbishop Ryan) of the women’s tennis team, and Jamie Bresnahan(Exeter/Wyoming Area) of the men’s golf team.
Named in honor of the late Reverend John J. Fitzpatrick, S.J., long-time friend and counselor of Royal student-athletes, these awards are bestowed upon the male and female senior student-athletes who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and who have given extraordinary service and contributions to The University of Scranton community and society in general.
Gibbons, an occupational therapy major, spent nearly three weeks in southwestern Uganda in June 2011, interacting with two occupational therapists to learn about the country’s health-care offerings. She also visited churches, schools, and hospitals to learn about the country’s religious history and educational and medical systems.
She was also an active member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and used her training in occupational therapy to work as a one-on-one summer counselor for a 15-year-old stricken with muscular dystrophy, as well as volunteering at the nearby Jewish Community Center, Clarks Summit State Hospital, and Head Start.
As a member of the women’s soccer team, Gibbons started on three teams that won Landmark Conference titles and advanced to the NCAA tournament in 2010, 2011, and 2012 under head coach Colleen Murphy.
Ward, a marketing and management major, taught leadership, communication, and entrepreneurship to 60 female students at an institute for women in Rwanda, as part of a project for Students in Free Enterprise since August of 2012. In addition, she has been involved with an International Service Program in both Haiti and El Salvador in the summers of 2011 and 2012, respectively, working with various groups on economic, education, health care, and housing projects.
Ward has also used her extensive business background to serve as president of the Omega Beta Sigma Women’s Business Honor Society, attend meetings of the Business Club, and serve as Orientation assistant for two years. Since 2007, she has been actively involved with the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Program, a global community of youth and volunteers dedicated to leadership service, and innovation. She was also a member of two women’s tennis teams at Scranton that won Landmark Conference titles and advanced to the NCAA Division III tournament twice under head coach Liz Sherman.
Bresnahan, a double major in neuroscience and biology with a minor in biochemistry, has served as campus organizer for the Science Enrichment Program for Kids, visited local elementary schools and performed science projects with young children to encourage them to develop an interest in science. As an officer in the Neuroscience Society, Bresnahan has helped organize programs such as the Kid’s Judge Neuroscience and Northeast Pennsylvania Brain Bee, a contest for high school students interested in Neuroscience that awards a scholarship to the University of Scranton to the winner. He has also worked with the Northeast Pennsylvania chapter of the Special Olympics, coaching golf and helping other students find a program in which they can become involved.
Bresnahan has also served as a teaching assistant, a tutor for the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence, and holds memberships in the Biology Club, Biochemistry Club, Scranton Students for Life, and the Health Professions Organization, serving as the HPO’s director of the underclassman mentorship program for the 2012-13 academic year. In addition, he has been a volunteer in the Emergency Department at the Community Medical Center here in Scranton and has assisted the Admissions Office as a campus ambassador, providing tours and information to prospective students and their parents.
Upon graduation, he will attend medical school this fall.
The Carlesimo awards were presented to Emily Farrell (Telford/Souderton Area) of the women’s soccer team,Kathleen Smart (Hatboro/Archbishop Wood), and Tim McGurrin (Clarks Summit/Scranton Preparatory) of the men’s tennis team. These awards, named in honor of the late Peter Carlesimo, former director of athletics and head football, basketball and cross-country coach at the university, are presented to the male and female student-athlete who has demonstrated academic and athletic excellence.
Farrell holds a 3.97 grade point average on a 4.0 scale while pursuing a degree in early and primary teacher education. Last fall, she was named third-team all-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America and was selected the Landmark Conference Senior Scholar-Athlete for women’s soccer.
Her play on the field reflected her commitment to her studies. She was a four-year starter on a defense unit, which posted 41 shutouts over the past four seasons and helped the Royals win three consecutive Landmark Conference titles and advance to the NCAA Division III championships three times. In 2010, she was named first-team all-conference in a ballot conducted among the Landmark Conference’s eight head coaches.
Smart maintained a 3.94 grade point average in accounting while minoring in finance and mathematics. She has been named to three academic honor societies, is a Presidential Scholarship recipient, and is a member of the University of Scranton Business Leadership Honors Program, a highly-selective program that accepts only 15 students per year. She is also a three-time Landmark Conference Academic Honor Roll recipient and a member of the conference’s all-Academic team this spring.
On the playing field, she started 51 games as a goalkeeper and finished her career ranked in a number of Royal all-time statistical categories. She also helped Scranton to three consecutive Landmark Conference postseason tournament appearances. This past season, Smart was named second-team all-Landmark Conference and second-team all-Boardwalk region by the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA). She played for head coaches Becky Davis (2010-2012) and Cindy Wilson (2013) during her career.
McGurrin earned his undergraduate degree in accounting in three years, maintaining a perfect 4.0 grade point average along the way. He competed this past season while pursuing a Master of Business Administration degree.
On the court, he played a majority of his matches at the top of the Royal lineup and was named first-team all-Landmark Conference in both singles and doubles in each of the last three years, helping the Royals to four consecutive Landmark Conference championship match appearances under veteran head coach Keith Hetsko.
This past season, McGurrin beat the Landmark Conference Player of the Year in singles twice within a nine-day span, the most recent coming on April 27 in the conference’s championship match. He finished his career with a 38-19 record (.667) in singles and a 42-18 mark (.700) in doubles.
McGurrin has been named Academic all-America by the College Sports Information Directors of America, has been selected to the Landmark Conference Academic Honor Roll three times, and was named to the Landmark all-Academic team twice.
The O’Hara awards, presented annually to the top male and female athlete of the senior class, went to Bill McGuiness (Forty Fort/Wyoming Valley West) of the men’s soccer team and Gretchen Kempf (Warrington/Central Bucks South)of the field hockey team. These awards are named in honor of the late Frank O’Hara, class of 1925, who served as registrar, director of alumni relations and acting president during his more than 52 years of service to the university.
McGuiness has been a standout over the past three years, leading the Royal men’s soccer team to 30 wins during this span, including an appearance in the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament last fall. He scored three goals and had an assist in Scranton’s three victories in the NCAA tournament this past year.
He was named second-team all-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and d3soccer.com in 2012, in addition to earning NSCAA Mid-Atlantic region first-team honors and being named the Landmark Conference Offensive Player of the Year. He was also named first-team Academic all-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America and first-team Scholar all-American by the NSCAA.
As a junior, in 2011, McGuiness was named second-team all-Mid-Atlantic region and first-team all-Landmark Conference. In his first year with the team, in 2010, he earned all-Landmark Conference second-team honors. In 49 career matches, he scored 16 goals, including seven match-winning goals, and had 13 assists for 45 total points.
Kempf was named all-Landmark Conference three times during her standout career, earning second-team honors in 2009 and first team in 2011 and 2012. As a junior, she was named Landmark Conference Offensive Player of the Year, and this past fall, she was voted the conference’s Player of the Year in a ballot conducted among the conference’s seven head coaches.
Additional honors include being named second team all-South Atlantic region by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) in each of the past two seasons, as well as being selected the Landmark Conference Senior Scholar-Athlete for the sport of field hockey last fall. Overall, Kempf led the Royals to 39 victories during her four years, including berths in the Landmark Conference tournament in each of the past two seasons.
Kempf finished her career with 41 goals and 18 assists for 100 total points, the fourth highest scoring total in Scranton history.
The following senior student-athletes were honored:
Brock Walsh (Scranton/Scranton)
Matt Willcox (West Chester/Malvern Preparatory)
*Kathleen Druther(Clarks Summit/Scranton Preparatory)
Marisa Dussel (Glen Head, N.Y./North Shore)
Kristina Jimenez (Jersey City, N.J./St. Dominic Academy)
Veronica Kurtulik (Cornwall-on-Hudson, N.Y./Cornwall Catholic)
*Shannon Lavelle (Hicksville, N.Y./Holy Trinity)
Gretchen Kempf (Warrington/Central Bucks South)
*Corinne O'Kane (Springfield/Cardinal O’Hara)
Patrick M. Daley (Rochester, N.Y./Aquinas Institute)
Patrick R. Daly (Lebanon, N.J./Immaculata-Sommerville)
James Dillon (Downingtown/Downingtown East)
*Bill McGuiness (Forty Fort/Wyoming Valley West)
Kevin Romanauskas (Elizabethtown/Elizabethtown Area)
Matt Salvatore (Howell, N.J./Howell)
*Emily Farrell (Telford/Souderton Area)
*Sarah Gibbons (Monroe Township, NJ../Monroe Township)
Amanda Kresge (Clifton, N.J./Immaculate Heart Academy)
Noelle Malone (Rockville Centre, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial)
Sydney Parker (Randolph, N.J./Randolph)
*Jessica Sciscione (Freehold, N.J./Red Bank Catholic)
Caila Zappala (Annandale, N.J./North Hunterdon)
Marissa Every (East Norriton/Mt. St. Joseph)
Emily Keim (Bethlehem/Liberty)
Jenell McFadden (Springfield/Merion Mercy Academy)
Juli Woods (Wallingford/Strath Haven)
Travis Farrell (Middletown, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy)
Tim Lavelle (Clarks Green/Scranton Preparatory)
Shernai Bentley (Warwick, N.Y./Warwick Valley)
*Erin Boggan (Danbury, Conn./Danbury)
KC Hawkes (Binghamton, N.Y./Seton Central Catholic)
Christina Hiltunen (Brooklyn, N.Y./Bishop Kearney)
Tayler Pallotta (Dunmore/Dunmore)
Katherine Torto (Binghamton, N.Y./Seton Central Catholic)
*Tim McCormick (Scranton/Scranton)
Steve Nicolosi (Clarks Green/Abington Heights)
Andrew Urban (Ambler/Lansdale Catholic)
Nate Wynosky (Schnecksville/Parkland)
Margaret Beyer (Highland Mills, N.Y./Monroe Woodbury)
Jenny Fitzmaurice (Milford, Conn./Academy of Our Lady of Mercy)
Colleen Logan (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City)
Aileen McGonigle (New Hyde Park, N.Y./Sacred Heart Academy)
Victoria Meyer (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa)
*Chloe Scobee (West Granby, Conn./Northwest Catholic)
Lauren Snyder (Holmdel, N.J./Holmdel)
Joshua Javitz (Dickson City/Scranton Preparatory)
Stephen Kaiser (Stewart Manor, N.Y./Chaminade)
*Michael Amaturo (Rye, N.Y./Rye)
*Bobby Della Polla (Havertown/St. Joseph’s Preparatory)
*Anthony Duchnowski (Dunmore/Holy Cross-Bishop O’Hara)
*Corey Gorman (Laflin/Coughlin)
Tim LeCompte (Philadelphia/Roman Catholic)
Matthew Marinelli (Westbury, N.Y./Holy Trinity)
Gregory Monastra (West Chester/Cardinal O’Hara)
Matthew Mosko (Hillsborough, N.J./Hillsborough)
*Jamie Bresnahan (Exeter/Wyoming Area)
Michael Brown (Scranton/Scranton Preparatory)
*Michael Genello (Scranton/West Scranton)
Justin Riley (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield)
Kevin Brier (Doylestown/Central Bucks West)
Tim Cleary (Shrewsbury, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy)
Olaf Gilliam (Piermont, N.Y./Tappanzee)
Dillon McInerney (Hawthorne, N.J./Bergen Catholic)
*Taylor Nelson (Chester Springs/Downingtown East)
Brendan Synan (Mahopac, N.Y./Mahopac)
Ben Worthington (Jenkintown/Archbishop Wood)
Jaclyn Calabrese (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown-East)
Jilliana DePaolera (Kinnelon, N.J./Kinnelon)
Kristen Gieschen (Boonton, N.J./Mountain Lakes)
Deanna Giorno (Warrington/Central Bucks South)
Shannon Howe (Pearl River, N.Y./Pearl River)
*Kaitlin Lazorko (Philadelphia/Nazareth Academy)
*Kathleen Smart (Hatboro/Archbishop Wood)
Jamie Shackles (Philadelphia/Little Flower)
Kristen Williams (Monroe, N.Y./Monroe Woodbury)
James Dalkiewicz (Shavertown/Lake-Lehman)
Bennett Kelley (Pennington, N.J./Hopewell Valley Central)
*Tim McGurrin (Clarks Summit/Scranton Preparatory)
Joe Morra (Bronx, N.Y./Fordham Preparatory)
Michael Pannone (Maplewood, N.J./Seton Hall Preparatory)
*Devin Patel (Clarks Summit/Scranton Preparatory)
Cristina Marzello (Bethpage, N.Y./Plainhedge)
*Lindsay Ward (Bensalem/Archbishop Ryan)
*Merit Award for Academic Excellence & Athletic Achievement recipient (3.6 cumulative grade point average-or-higher)