University of Scranton Student Wins Prestigious Scholarship

Oct 3, 2012

Vivienne Meljen, a senior biology major at The University of Scranton, was selected as a recipient of a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) Scholarship to pursue graduate-level study.

To be eligible for the scholarship, a student must demonstrate active participation in community service activities, strong writing skills and financial need, among other criteria.

“It was a highly competitive process and our review committee was very impressed with Ms. Meljen,” said Anissa Pérez-Perla, associate manager of the Scholarship Program at CHCI.

Guided by a mission to develop the next generation of Latino leaders, CHCI offers programs that serve more than 1,500 young Latinos annually, from high school students to those pursuing graduate study. Many are the first in their family to attend college.

A member of a diverse group of honor societies, Meljen has balanced her academic studies with participation in numerous research projects, activities and service initiatives both on campus and in the community. Meljen, who also has a minor in modern Spanish, served as a translator for primary care physicians at the University’s Leahy Clinic for the Uninsured on campus, participated in the student advisory board as committee head of translators, facilitated a skin cancer prevention booth for a community health fair, and organized a booth on Cuban history and culture at the University’s Diversity Fair. She has also conducted neuroscience research studies, worked with underprivileged high school students to encourage them to pursue careers in science and served as a tutor of chemistry, biology, Spanish and calculus at the University’s Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence.

Meljen’s passion for service extends back to high school, when she volunteered with emotionally disturbed children at the Hoboken University Medical Center in N.J. She has won several awards for her research projects during her high school career and graduated from Union City High School in Union City, New Jersey, as the salutatorian of her class in 2010.

After graduation, Meljen plans to attend medical school with the goal of becoming an internal medicine physician serving minorities in a rural area.

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