University Graduates Recognized for Academic Excellence, Leadership and Service

May 31, 2017

The University of Scranton honored 60 members of its undergraduate class of 2017 for academic excellence, service or both. The awards were presented at Class Night on May 26 on campus.

Students with the highest GPA in each of the University’s three undergraduate colleges were presented Frank J. O’Hara Awards for General Academic Excellence, a memorial to the late administrator who served the University for 53 years.

This year’s O’Hara Award recipients were: Alexandra C. Brennan of Downingtown for Panuska College of Professional Studies; Shannon H. McKenna of Islip, New York, and Jessica Marie Signore of Bronx, New York, for Kania School of Management; and Shannon N. Herrmann of Hopewell Junction, New York, for the College of Arts and Sciences.

Also recognized was the University’s Fulbright student award recipient for the 2017-2018 academic year, Albena Ivova Gesheva of Scranton, and Matthew Robert Owens of King of Prussia, who received the National Catholic Band Association’s Robert F. O’Brien Award.

In addition, students were honored for outstanding academic achievement in their fields of study. The students honored, and the awards received are as follows:

Jacqueline R. Bailey, Scott Township, Excellence in Counseling and Human Services Award;

Karissa Barbarevech, Moosic, Prof. Joseph P. Harper Award for Excellence in Physics;

Amy Elizabeth Tiberi-Black, Hop Bottom, Excellence in Theatre Award;

Laura K. Bopp, Wantagh, New York, Mary E. Quinn Award for Excellence in Secondary Education;

Ryan Kristopher Burdick, Lexington, South Carolina, Excellence in Chemistry Award;

Matthew Robert Busch, Mahwah, New Jersey, Excellence in Biomathematics Award;

Brittany Nicole Cafiero, Merrick, New York, Excellence in Health Advocacy Award;

Marisa Angela Ciriello, Hicksville New York, Excellence in Community Health Education Award;

Carson Earl Clabeaux, New Woodstock, New York, The Military Science Leadership Award;

Julien E. Cuny III, Spring Lake, New Jersey, Prof. Frank C. Brown Award for Excellence in History;

Kaitlyn Victoria Davis, South Abington Township, Alumni Loyalty and Service (undergraduate) Award and the Jesuit Community Award;

Jordan Den Herder, West Milford, New Jersey, Excellence in Finance Award;

Brina J. Desai, Fort Morgan, Colorado, Spitzer Award;

Megan Elizabeth Fleming, Shavertown, Excellence in Biochemistry Award;

Corey Alexander Gallis, Dickson City, American Chemical Society Award;

Nicholas Yale Gambal, Washington, D.C, Excellence in Economics Award;

Christopher Joseph Gasper, Jessup, Dr. A.J. Cawley Award for Excellence in Engineering;

Danielle Guari, Archbald, Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award;

Shannon N. Herrmann, Hopewell Junction, New York, Excellence in Psychology Award, the Lawrence Lennon Award for Outstanding Service and Achievement in Psychology, and the Prof. Joseph G. Brunner Award for Excellence in Foreign Languages;

Brian P. Holle, East Hanover, New Jersey, Excellence in Computing Information Systems Award;

Nicole A. Hvozdovic, Mountain Top, Sigma Theta Tau, International – Scholarship in Nursing Award;

Rosemarie Kaminsky, Staten Island, New York, Excellence in Early and Primary Education Award;

Kelly M. Kudla, Scranton, Excellence in Business Administration Award;

Matthew C. Lasewicz, Greenfield Township, Prof. Timothy H. Scully Award for Excellence in Political Science;

Frank Matthew Wilkes Lesnefsky, Peckville, the J. Harold Brislin Memorial Award for Excellence in Journalism and the Prof. Bernard J. McGurl Award for Excellence in Communication;

Christopher C. Louin, Dolyestown, Excellence in Electronic Commerce Award;

Emily R. Machado, Fishkill, New York, Excellence in Middle Level Education Award;

William Robert Mackey, Dickson City, Excellence in Management Award;

Shannon H. McKenna, Islip, New York, Excellence in Accounting Award;

Thomas Joseph Meehan, Jr., Elmhurst Township, Excellence in Economics Award;

Kyle Patrick Miller, Jamison, Excellence in Forensic Chemistry Award;

Catherine Mitchell, Jessup, Excellence in Environmental Science Award;

Megan E. Olsakowski, Randolph, New Jersey, Excellence in Marketing Award;

Christopher J. Olsen, Farmingdale, New York, Student Life Award;

Ashley N. Opalka, Carbondale, Excellence in Neuroscience Award;

Matthew Robert Owens, King of Prussia, Excellence in Applied Mathematics Award and the Excellence in Computer Science Award;

Kishan Patel, Wilkes Barre, Excellence in Biochemistry, Cell, and Molecular Biology Award;

Alexandra M. Petrullo, Ossining, New York, Excellence in Sociology Award;

Elizabeth Gloria Polishan, Clark Summit, Prof. Joseph B. Cullather Award for Excellence in English;

Farrah F. Qadri, Drums, Excellence in Women’s Studies Award;

Noah M. Riggenbach, Pocono Lake, Excellence in Mathematics Award;

Kyle J. Rodgers, Lancaster, Excellence in Biochemistry Award;

Mary Katherine Rohrbaugh, Newtown, Kathryn and Bernard Hyland Memorial Award for Excellence in Biology;

Elizabeth M. Rynar, Bridgewater, New Jersey, Excellence in Exercise Science and Sport Award;

Jessica Marie Signore, Bronx, New York, Excellence in Operations Management Award;

Morgan Elizabeth Smith, Belvidere, New Jersey, Excellence in Human Resource Studies Award;

Victoria Spagnolo, Long Beach, New York, Excellence in Criminal Justice Award;

Shannon Louise Stricker, Morrisville, Excellence in Health Administration Award;

Mackenzie Lynn Thompson, Breezy Point, New York, Excellence in Occupational Therapy Award;

Summer Jeanne Vaughan, Byram Township, New Jersey, Prof. Joseph B. Cullather Award for Excellence in English;

David Andres Velez, Long Beach, New York, Lawrence A. Mann Award;

John D. Vitkus, Mahopac, New York, Excellence in International Business Award;

Juliana Catherine Vossenberg, Fredericksburg, Virgina, Excellence in Philosophy Award and the Excellence in Theology and Religious Studies Award;

Gregory A. Wagner, New Canaan, Connecticut, Excellence in International Studies Award;

Sophie Virginia West, Los Angeles, California, Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants Award;

Katherine Ruth Wroge, Allentown, Excellence in Nursing Award.

Also at Class Night, University graduate student Christopher Kustera, Seaford, New York received the J.J. Quinn, S.J., Achievement Award for Demonstration of Excellence in English Studies.

An archived recording of Class Night can be seen at


Back to Top