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Senior Student-Athletes Honored In May

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Nine seniors received the top awards at the annual Senior Student-Athlete Luncheon in May.  Sitting (l-r):   Gretchen Kempf (field hockey, O'Hara Award),  Emily Farrell (women's soccer, Carlesimo Award co-recipient),  Kathleen Smart (women's lacrosse, Carlesimo Award co-recipient),  Sarah Gibbons (women's soccer, Fitzpatrick Award)   Standing (l-r):   Jamie Bresnahan (men's golf, Fitzpatrick Award),  Bobby Della Polla (baseball, Willensky Award),  Bill McGuiness (men's soccer, O'Hara Award),  Tim McGurrin (men's tennis, Carlesimo Award).   Lindsay Ward (women's tennis), the co-recipient of the Father Fitzpatrick Award, was unable to attend due to her playing in the NCAA Division III championships with the rest of the women's tennis team that day.

Eighty-three student-athletes were honored at the 22nd annual Senior Student-Athlete Luncheon in May. Highlighting the afternoon’s festivities were the presentations of the Willensky, Fitzpatrick, Carlesimo and O’Hara awards.

Bobby Della Polla (Havertown, Pa./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 when he was 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. Along with earning a Roundtable Financial Scholarship in 2011, one of only three awarded nationally, he was selected the Landmark Conference Senior Student-Athlete for the sport of baseball and was named to the conference’s Academic Honor Roll three times.  

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 played a key role in helping the Royals advance to the championship series of the Landmark Conference Tournament twice in the past four years under head coach Mike Bartoletti.

Receiving the Father Fitzpatrick awards were  Sarah Gibbons (Monroe Township, NJ/Monroe Township) of the women’s soccer team,  Lindsay Ward (Bensalem, Pa./Archbishop Ryan) of the women’s tennis team, and  Jamie Bresnahan (Exeter, Pa./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 community and society in general.

Gibbons, an occupational therapy major, visited Uganda in 2011 and interacted with two occupational therapists to learn about the country’s health-care offerings. She also visited churches, schools, and hospitals to further enhance her knowledge of the country’s religious history and educational and medical systems.  

She was an active member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and worked as a one-on-one summer counselor for a 15-year-old stricken with muscular dystrophy, as well as volunteering at nearby community organizations. 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 three times under head coach Colleen Murphy.

Ward, a marketing and management major, taught leadership, communication, and entrepreneurship to female students at an institute for women in Rwanda as part of a project for Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) 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.  

She also used her extensive business background to serve as president of the Omega Beta Sigma Women’s Business Honor Society and as an Orientation assistant. She was also a member of two women’s tennis teams that won Landmark Conference titles and advanced to the NCAA Tournament twice under head coach Liz Sherman.

Bresnahan, a double major in neuroscience and biology with a minor in biochemistry, served as campus organizer for the Science Enrichment Program for Kids, which involved visiting local elementary schools and performing science projects with young children to encourage them to develop an interest in science. As an officer in the Neuroscience Society, he helped organize programs such as the Kid’s Judge Neuroscience and Northeast Pennsylvania Brain Bee. 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 too can become involved.

Bresnahan has also served as a teaching assistant, as a tutor for the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence, and held memberships in the Biology Club, Biochemistry Club, Scranton Students for Life, and the Health Professions Organization (HPO), serving as the HPO’s director of the underclassman mentorship program this past year. In addition, he volunteered at the Community Medical Center here in Scranton and served as a campus ambassador for the Admissions Office.  

The Carlesimo awards were presented to  Emily Farrell (Telford, Pa./Souderton Area) of the women’s soccer team,  Kathleen Smart (Hatboro, Pa./Archbishop Wood) of the women’s lacrosse team, and men’s tennis player  Tim McGurrin (Clarks Summit, Pa./Scranton Preparatory). Named in honor of the late Peter A. Carlesimo, former director of athletics and head football, basketball and cross-country coach here at the university, these awards are presented to the male and female student-athlete who has demonstrated academic and athletic excellence. 

Farrell maintained a 3.97 grade point average 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 in her respective sport. She was a four-year starter on a defense unit that posted 41 shutouts over the past four seasons and helped the Royals win three Landmark Conference titles and advance to the NCAA Tournament three times.

Smart carried a 3.94 grade point average in accounting while minoring in finance and mathematics. She has been named to three academic honor societies and was a Presidential Scholarship recipient, along with being a member of the university’s Business Leadership Honors Program, which accepts only 15 students per year. She was also a three-time Landmark Conference Academic Honor Roll recipient and was named to the conference’s All-Academic team this past spring.  

On the playing field, Smart started 51 games as a goalkeeper and finished her career ranked in a number of Royal all-time statistical categories. This past season, she was named second-team All-Landmark Conference and second-team All-Boardwalk region by the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA). She helped Scranton to three consecutive Landmark Conference Tournament appearances while playing 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 at the university. 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 head coach Keith Hetsko. He finished his career with a 38-19 record (.667) in singles and a 42-18 mark (.700) in doubles.

He has been named Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America in each of the past two years, has been selected to the Landmark Conference Academic Honor Roll three times, was named to the Landmark All-Academic team twice, and capped off his career by being selected the conference’s Senior Scholar-Athlete for men’s tennis.

The O’Hara awards, presented annually to the top male and female athlete of the senior class, went to  Bill McGuiness (Forty Fort, Pa./Wyoming Valley West) of the men’s soccer team and  Gretchen Kempf (Warrington, Pa./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.

In three seasons, McGuiness led the Royals to 30 wins, including an Elite Eight appearance in the NCAA Tournament this past year. He was named second-team All-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and last fall, in addition to earning first-team NSCAA Mid-Atlantic regional 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 program, in 2010, he earned All-Landmark Conference second-team honors.

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. 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 her respective sport last fall.  

The following senior student-athletes were honored:
Fall Sports  

Men's Cross-Country
Brock Walsh (Scranton, Pa./Scranton)
Matt Willcox (West Chester, Pa./Malvern Preparatory)

Women's Cross-Country
*Kathleen Druther (Clarks Summit, Pa./Scranton Preparatory)
Marisa Dussel (Glen Head, NY/North Shore)
Kristina Jimenez (Jersey City, NJ/St. Dominic Academy)
Veronica Kurtulik (Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY/Cornwall Catholic)
*Shannon Lavelle (Hicksville, NY/Holy Trinity)

Field Hockey
*Gretchen Kempf (Warrington, Pa./Central Bucks South)
*Corinne O'Kane (Springfield, Pa./Cardinal O’Hara)

Men’s Soccer
Patrick M. Daley (Rochester, NY/Aquinas Institute)
Patrick R. Daly (Lebanon, NJ/Immaculata-Sommerville)
James Dillon (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown East)
*Bill McGuiness (Forty Fort, Pa./Wyoming Valley West)
Kevin Romanauskas (Elizabethtown, Pa./Elizabethtown Area)
Matt Salvatore (Howell, NJ/Howell)

Women’s Soccer
*Emily Farrell (Telford, Pa./Souderton Area)
*Sarah Gibbons (Monroe Township, NJ/Monroe Township)
Amanda Kresge (Clifton, NJ/Immaculate Heart Academy)
Noelle Malone (Rockville Centre, NY/Kellenberg Memorial)
Sydney Parker (Randolph, NJ/Randolph)
*Jessica Sciscione (Freehold, NJ/Red Bank Catholic)
Caila Zappala (Annandale, NJ/North Hunterdon)

Marissa Every (East Norriton, Pa./Mt. St. Joseph)
Emily Keim (Bethlehem, Pa./Liberty)
Jenell McFadden (Springfield, Pa./Merion Mercy Academy)
Juli Woods (Wallingford, Pa./Strath Haven)

Winter Sports  

Men’s Basketball
Travis Farrell (Middletown, NJ/Christian Brothers Academy)
Tim Lavelle (Clarks Green, Pa./Scranton Preparatory)

Women’s Basketball
Shernai Bentley (Warwick, NY/Warwick Valley)
*Erin Boggan (Danbury, Conn./Danbury)
KC Hawkes (Binghamton, NY/Seton Central Catholic)
Christina Hiltunen (Brooklyn, NY/Bishop Kearney)
Tayler Pallotta (Dunmore, Pa./Dunmore)
Katherine Torto (Binghamton, NY/Seton Central Catholic)

Men’s Swimming
*Tim McCormick (Scranton, Pa./Scranton)
Steve Nicolosi (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights)
Andrew Urban (Ambler, Pa./Lansdale Catholic)
Nate Wynosky (Schnecksville, Pa./Parkland)

Women’s Swimming
Margaret Beyer (Highland Mills, NY/Monroe Woodbury)
Jenny Fitzmaurice (Milford, Conn./Academy of Our Lady of Mercy)
Colleen Logan (Garden City, NY/Garden City)
Aileen McGonigle (New Hyde Park, NY/Sacred Heart Academy)
Victoria Meyer (Massapequa, NY/Massapequa)
*Chloe Scobee (West Granby, Conn./Northwest Catholic)
Lauren Snyder (Holmdel, NJ/Holmdel)

Joshua Javitz (Dickson City, Pa./Scranton Preparatory)
Stephen Kaiser (Stewart Manor, NY/Chaminade)

Spring Sports

*Michael Amaturo (Rye, NY/Rye)
*Bobby Della Polla (Havertown, Pa./St. Joseph’s Preparatory)
*Anthony Duchnowski (Dunmore, Pa./Holy Cross-Bishop O’Hara)
*Corey Gorman (Laflin, Pa./Coughlin)
Tim LeCompte (Philadelphia, Pa./Roman Catholic)
Matthew Marinelli (Westbury, NY/Holy Trinity)
Gregory Monastra (West Chester, Pa./Cardinal O’Hara)
Matthew Mosko (Hillsborough, NJ/Hillsborough)

Men’s Golf
*Jamie Bresnahan (Exeter, Pa./Wyoming Area)
Michael Brown (Scranton, Pa./Scranton Preparatory)
*Michael Genello (Scranton, Pa./West Scranton)
Justin Riley (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield)

Men’s Lacrosse
Kevin Brier (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks West)
Tim Cleary (Shrewsbury, NJ/Christian Brothers Academy)
Olaf Gilliam (Piermont, NY/Tappanzee)
Dillon McInerney (Hawthorne, NJ/Bergen Catholic)
*Taylor Nelson (Chester Springs, Pa./Downingtown East)
Brendan Synan (Mahopac, NY/Mahopac)
Ben Worthington (Jenkintown, Pa./Archbishop Wood)

Women’s Lacrosse
Jaclyn Calabrese (Smithtown, NY/Smithtown-East)
Jilliana DePaolera (Kinnelon, NJ/Kinnelon)
Kristen Gieschen (Boonton, NJ/Mountain Lakes)
Deanna Giorno (Warrington, Pa./Central Bucks South)
Shannon Howe (Pearl River, NY/Pearl River)
*Kaitlin Lazorko (Philadelphia, Pa./Nazareth Academy)
*Kathleen Smart (Hatboro, Pa./Archbishop Wood)

Jamie Shackles (Philadelphia, Pa./Little Flower)
Kristen Williams (Monroe, NY/Monroe Woodbury)

Men's Tennis
James Dalkiewicz (Shavertown, Pa./Lake-Lehman)
Bennett Kelley (Pennington, NJ/Hopewell Valley Central)
*Tim McGurrin (Clarks Summit, Pa./Scranton Preparatory)
Joe Morra (Bronx, NY/Fordham Preparatory)
Michael Pannone (Maplewood, NJ/Seton Hall Preparatory)
*Devin Patel (Clarks Summit, Pa./Scranton Preparatory)

Women’s Tennis
Cristina Marzello (Bethpage, NY/Plainhedge)
*Lindsay Ward (Bensalem, Pa./Archbishop Ryan)

*Merit Award for Academic Excellence & Athletic Achievement recipient (3.6 cumulative grade point average-or-higher)