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    Scranton Names Class of 2025 Presidential Scholars Impact Banner

    Scranton Names Class of 2025 Presidential Scholars

    Eighteen students from The University of Scranton’s class of 2025 have been awarded four-year, full-tuition Presidential Scholarships. Seated from left are: Rev. Joseph Marina, S.J., president of The University of Scranton; and Presidential Scholars Elizabeth McKechney, Theresa Pham, Grace Boyle, Samantha Hoffmann and Amanda Campbell. Standing are Presidential Scholars Cabre Capalongo, Grace Washney, Arissa Chambers, Anthony Torres, Liam Moran, Grace McDonald, Patrick DelBalso, Stephen Butler, Nicolas Hipolito Jr., Alexandra Shomali, Mary Krichbaum, Gabrielle Bingener and Bella Davis.
    October 13, 2021

    The University of Scranton has awarded 18 students from its class of 2025 four-year, full-tuition Presidential Scholarships.

    Presidential Scholarships are awarded to incoming first-year students with outstanding records in high school and notable community involvement. The scholarship covers four years of full tuition provided that the student maintains at least a 3.25 grade point average.

    Gabrielle Bingener, Barto, graduated as salutatorian from Boyertown Area Senior High School. She was a member of the National Honor Society. She played on her school’s junior varsity and varsity field hockey teams. Bingener was elected soprano section leader for her school’s chorus, select singers and show choir. She earned the Karma for Cara national grant for her work with the GreenAllies network providing student grown organic produce to local food insecure families. A member of the University’s Magis Honors Program in STEM, Bingener will major in neuroscience. She is the daughter of Ken and Barb Bingener, who is a 1990 graduate of The University of Scranton.

    Grace Boyle, South Abington Township, graduated from Scranton Preparatory School with gold and silver medals on the national Latin exam and a silver medal on the national Spanish exam. She was a member of the National Honor Society. She served as president of her school’s yoga club, secretary of the Kiva microfinance club and participated in the Climate Change Awareness Club and Nonprofit Leadership Club. She performed at various piano competitions, including one at Carnegie Hall. Boyle also volunteered with representative Bridget Malloy Kosierowski’s 2020 campaign and at vacation bible school at the Church of Saint Gregory in Clarks Green. A member of University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program, Boyle has not yet declared a major. She is the daughter of Dr. John Boyle, who graduated from The University of Scranton in 1987, and Kathleen Boyle, who graduated from The University of Scranton in 1991.

    Stephen Butler, Telford, graduated from Souderton Area School District. An AP scholar with distinction, he was a member of the National Honor Society, as well as the Athletic Leadership Council, and the Principal Student Advisory Council. He served as a peer tutor for math and chemistry. He played four years of varsity golf, two of which he was captain, and played and was captain of the varsity tennis team for one year. After four years on the Academic Challenge team, he spent the latter two as the team’s captain. He was an alter server at Saint Maria Goretti Church in Hatfield.  A member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program and the Magis Honors Program in STEM, Butler will major in neuroscience and philosophy with a biochemistry minor on the premed track. He is the son of Nathan and Stephanie Butler.

    Amanda Campbell, Farmingville, New York, graduated from Sachem East High School. An AP scholar with honors, she received the New York State Board of Regents Award and the United States Presidential Award for Education Excellence, as well as multiple academic awards at her high school. She served as president of her school’s National Honor Society, publicity director of Student Government, secretary of the National Art Honor Society and was a member of the National Math Honor Society, Rho Kappa History Honor Society, National Science Honor Society and National Foreign Language Honor Society. Along with participation in various community events such as the Memory Project, Light the Night and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation walks, she organized an ALS Ride for Life walk and a Thanksgiving food drive for local families. Campbell will major in occupational therapy with a minor in studio art. She is the daughter of Michael and Kristie Campbell.

    Cabre Capalongo, Scranton, graduated from West Scranton High School. She was a member of the National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society and the Tomorrow's Leaders Today program. She also participated in the Scholastic Bowl competition and earned first honors in mathematics. She was captain of both the freshman basketball cheer team and the varsity football cheer team. She served as treasurer of her school’s Art Club and its Spanish Club. Capalongo volunteered with the Feed a Friend program, Matthew’s Mission and Alex’s Lemonade Stand. A member the University’s Magis Honors Program in STEM, Capalongo will major in biology on the pre-veterinary track. She is the daughter of Dino and Tracy Capalongo, who earned her bachelor’s degree in 1996 and master’s degree in 2002 from The University of Scranton.

    Arissa Chambers, Henryville, graduated from Pocono Mountain East High School. An AP scholar with distinction, she was a member of the National Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society and the Psi Alpha Honor Society. She was captain of her school’s color guard and Envirothon teams and also participated in mock trial, Science Olympiad and Biology Olympics. She participated in her school’s speech and debate team, Leo Club, and the East Pride Initiative Committee. Chambers was a member of the Mount Pocono Borough Junior Council and involved in the Pocono Mountain East gifted program, where she helped with giving tree toy donations and food drives. A member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program and Magis Honors Program in STEM, Chambers will major in biology. She is the daughter of Dave and Stacey Chambers.

    Bella Davis, Atlantic Beach, New York, graduated from Sacred Heart Academy. She was a member of the National Honor Society and National Science Honor Society. She was a four-year member of her school’s varsity swim team, the last of which she served as team captain. Additionally, she swam competitively for the Long Island Aquatic Club. Davis was a member of her school’s Key Club, She’s the First Club and Students for Free Tibet Club. She served as an assistant coach for girls basketball and volleyball teams as part of the Catholic Youth Organization program. Davis will major in kinesiology with a guaranteed seat in the University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program. She is the daughter of Stephen Davis and Maureen Horan.

    Patrick DelBalso, Plains Township, graduated as valedictorian of his class from Holy Redeemer High School. He was a member of the National Honor Society. He won the Spiritus Christi award, was named a Citizens’ Voice Scholastic Superstar, and is a Piano Guild’s 5-year national winner. DelBalso played on his school’s basketball, baseball and track and field teams as well as for the Amateur Athletic Union and American Legion. He was class representative, commissioner and treasurer of Student Council and involved in Student Leadership Club. A member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program, DelBalso will major in biochemistry, cell and molecular biology. He is the son of Pat and Leane DelBalso, who is a 1994 graduate of The University of Scranton.

    Nicolas Hipolito Jr., Scranton, graduated from West Scranton High School. He was a member of the National Honor Society and a graduate of The University of Scranton’s University of Success program. He won first place for the 2019-2020 PTA Reflection Literature Contest for the Scranton area. In high school, he was the vice president of his senior class. He was also active in his school’s art club, speech and debate team, PRIDE Club, Red Cross Club and was a National Academy Foundation member. In the community, he volunteered with the Friends of the Poor annual Thanksgiving dinner and, through his school clubs, with Mathew’s Mission’s Breakfast with Santa. He also worked more than 3,000 hours at Walmart as a front-end associate/health ambassador. Hipolito will major in mathematics. He is the son of Irma Retamar.

    Samantha Hoffmann, Millington, New Jersey, graduated as salutatorian from Watchung Hills Regional High School, earning a New Jersey Seal of Biliteracy in Spanish. A National Merit Commended Scholar, she was a member of the National Honor Society, the National Spanish Honor Society and the National Art Honor Society. She played on her school’s varsity soccer team as well as with the NJ Elite Soccer Club. She served as president, vice president and treasurer of her school’s Red Cross Club during her four years in high school. As part of the INTERACT Community Service Club, Hoffmann volunteered at the Matheny Medical and Education Center. She is also a volunteer EMT with the Long Hill First Aid Squad. A member of the University’s Magis Honors Program in STEM, Hoffmann will major in chemistry. She is the daughter of Lisa and Michael Hoffmann.

    Mary Krichbaum, Maine, New York, graduated from Maine-Endwell High School. A member of the National Honor Society, she participated in BAE Systems Engineering Pathfinder program. A member of the varsity cross country and track teams, she was awarded New York State Scholar Athlete four years in a row. She was a chemistry tutor. She also participated in the New York State School Music Association solo festival as a member of her school’s symphonic band. Additionally, Krichbaum participated in the Girl-Up Club, Key Club and the Mathletes Team. She regularly volunteered at various community programs at Most Holy Rosary Church and the Mercy House of the Southern Tier, among other organizations. A member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program and Magis Honors Program in STEM, Krichbaum will major in chemistry. She is the daughter of Jean and John Krichbaum.

    Grace McDonald, Jamison, graduated from Central Bucks High School East. A National Merit scholar and an AP scholar with distinction, she was a member of the National Honor Society and National Spanish Honor Society. She was president of her school’s Mock Trial Team and the East-Holicong Tutoring Club, as well as a Class Council representative. Outside of school, McDonald played travel soccer for the Vereinigung Erzgebirge Club and was captain of her team. She worked as a nursing assistant at a pulmonary practice. She volunteered at the YMCA and local community events. A member of the University’s Magis Honors Program in STEM, McDonald will major in biochemistry. She is the daughter of Thomas and Karen McDonald, who is a 1994 graduate of The University of Scranton.

    Elizabeth McKechney, Fairport, New York, graduated from Fairport Public High School. An AP scholar with distinction, she was a member of the National Honor Society and served as secretary of her school’s German National Honors Society. She won the New York State Senate Leadership Award.  McKechney was vice president of Outreach for FIRST Fairport Robotics team from 2019 to 2020. Through this team, she ran a Knitting for a Cause initiative that knitted and distributed over five hundred masks to local essential workers at the beginning of the pandemic. Additionally, she served as a worship leader in Pittsford Community Church’s youth group and a religious education teacher at St. John of Rochester Church. McKechney will major in nursing. She is the daughter of Michael and Heather McKechney.

    Liam Moran, Scranton, graduated from Scranton High School. He is a member of the National Honor Society. He participated in the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University. He participated in both his school’s orchestra and in district orchestra. Moran served as captain of his school’s soccer and track and field teams and was a Lackawanna League First Team Soccer All Star. He participated in the Coaches vs. Cancer and Feed a Friend programs. A member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program and Magis Honors Program in STEM, Moran will major in biology. He is the son of Patrick and Leslie Moran.

    Theresa Pham, Philadelphia, graduated as valedictorian from Archbishop John Carroll High School with the United States Presidential Award for Educational Excellence. An AP scholar with distinction, she was the executive board tutoring chair for her school’s National Honor Society. She was involved in the Community Service Corps, Hi-Q, Best Buddies program and Student Ambassadors. In her church, she served as a volunteer church pianist, an altar server and a lector. She was a dance leader at her cultural dance program. A member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program and Magis Honors Program in STEM, Pham will major in biology. She is the daughter of Duc Pham and Trang Nguyen.

    Alexandra Shomali, Ellicott City, Maryland, graduated from Notre Dame Preparatory School. A National Merit Commended Scholar and AP scholar with distinction, she was a member of the National Honor Society, National Science Honor Society, National French Honor Society and National Music Honor Society.  She was a recipient of the Rensselaer Medal. She also participated in Tri-M, French Club and the Ambassador Club. In high school, she played first chair clarinet in concert band as well as tenor saxophone in jazz band. Outside of school, she played for the Catholic University of America Honor Band. Shomali was awarded the Maryland Music Educators Association Solo and Ensemble first place medals. She played for the Soccer Association of Columbia. She spent summers mentoring Baltimore City children at Camp Umoja. Additionally, she was a concert manager at UNMUTE and participated in Leadership U. A member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program and Magis Honors Program in STEM, she will major in neuroscience on the pre-med track. She is the daughter of Mansur and Margaret Shomali.

    Anthony Torres, New Milford, graduated as salutatorian from Blue Ridge High School. An AP scholar with distinction, he was a member of the National Society of High School Scholars, National Junior Honor Society and National Honor Society. He was a Hispanic Scholar of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. He was captain of his school’s Scholastic Bowl and Envirothon teams. With the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association, he was involved in both district and regional band and orchestra, as well as all-state wind ensemble. Additionally, he played in the Pennsylvania Lions All-State Band as well as the Northeastern Youth Wind Ensemble and American Youth Wind Ensembles. He was head manager of his school’s varsity basketball, soccer and track and field teams. He served as a lector, an altar server, a youth choir member and a cantor at Holy Name of Mary Church in Montrose. He was involved in various community programs such as the Big Brothers, Big Sisters and Relay for Life programs. Torres will major in biochemistry. He is the son of Israel and Marilyn Torres.

    Grace Washney, West Wyoming, graduated as valedictorian from Wyoming Area Secondary Center. An AP scholar with honor, she received first, second and third place medals in hovercraft, astronomy and mission possible, respectively, for her school’s Science Olympiad Team, as well as first place in Health Care Administration for her school’s Future Business Leaders of America program. She played basketball and served as captain of the varsity field hockey team and won her school’s award for the highest average of a student athlete. Washney was also a member of the Key Club and Student Council. Working with the Junior Leadership Wilkes-Barre program as a member of the class of 2021 and as a senior advisor, she collaborated with a local wellness center to raise more than three thousand dollars for World Cancer Day and create 100 boxes for the Jared Box organization. A member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program and Magis Honors Programs in STEM, she will major in biochemistry and philosophy on the premed track. She is the daughter of Robert and Jennifer Washney-Thomas, who is a 1987 graduate of The University of Scranton.

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