University Announces Class of 2015 Presidential Scholars
Presidential Scholarships are awarded to incoming freshmen with outstanding records in their high school and community involvement. The scholarship covers four years of full tuition provided the student maintains at least a 3.25 grade point average. In addition, Presidential scholars are invited to participate in a Presidential Colloquy that includes academic discussions with the president, a seminar on leadership and civic responsibility, and meetings with the provost and faculty about topics raised by guest speakers at the University.
The following students were awarded Presidential Scholarships.
Joseph Breslin, Arlington, Va., graduated from St. Anselm’s High School, Washington, D.C., with the Mark Duchesne Scholar-Athlete Award. He received national and state honors as an AP Scholar with distinction and as a National Merit Commended Scholar. He was captain of the varsity baseball and basketball teams, on the varsity soccer team, student government, cultural student organization, and St. Anselm’s Big Brother-Little Brother program. He was active in the community as a volunteer at Christians Communities Group Homes. Breslin is a neuroscience major. He is the son of John and Anne Breslin.
Maria Cleary, Cherry Hill, N.J., graduated as salutatorian and received the Monsignor Krzysiak Memorial Award for Achievement in English from Paul VI High School, Haddonfield, N.J. She received honors as an AP Scholar with distinction. She was also editor of the school yearbook and participated in intramural bowling, Italian club, National Honor Society, and hospitality club. She was active in the community as a volunteer at Christ Our Light’s Vacation Bible School and the Cherry Hill Food Pantry’s summer program. She also worked part-time at Springdale Farms. Cleary is a member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program and has not yet declared a major. She is the daughter of Joseph ’84 and Susan Cleary.
A National Merit Commended Scholar, Katherine Fields, Yardley, graduated as a top scholar from Pennsbury High School, Fairless Hills. She also received the PHEAA Certificate of Merit for outstanding performance on the SAT, AATG Ehrenurkunde for Outstanding Achievement in German, the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany Award, and the Nate DeTample Memorial Scholarship. Fields participated in the National Honor Society and varsity lacrosse. She was active in the community as a volunteer for patients with Alzheimer’s disease at Arden Courts, Special Olympics, Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, Woodside Presbyterian Church and tutoring elementary school students in math. Fields is an occupational therapy major. She is the daughter of Steven and Elisabeth Fields.
Dustin Frisbie, Tunkhannock, graduated from Tunkhannock Area High School. He participated in the spring musical, lacrosse, steering committee, mock trial, chorus, as drum major in band, and was president of the physics club. His community service projects included planning trees in riparian zones and teaching elementary students about environmental issues and initiatives. Frisbie is a physics major. He is the son of Thomas Frisbie and Victoria Roof.
Michelle Graham, Succasunna, N.J., graduated with National Honor Society honors and the Renaissance Award from Roxbury High School, Succasunna, N.J. She placed first in her county in the National Merck Biology Science Exam in 2011. She was in marching band, recreational basketball and soccer, peer leadership and key club. She was also swim team captain, director of logistics for Junior Statesmen of America and the National Honor Society vice president. She ran an annual street-fair fundraiser to raise money for local social services. Graham is a biochemistry, cell and molecular biology major. She is the daughter of Michael and Cindy Graham.
Joshua Ray Jimenez, Binghamton, N.Y., graduated as valedictorian from Seton Catholic Central High School, Binghamton, N.Y. He was recognized as a National AP Scholar, received the Bausch and Lomb Science Award, and was a United States Achievement Academy All-American Scholar. He received the varsity athletic award for tennis. He was also president of the National Honors Society, captain of the varsity golf team and tennis team, and participated in Mathletes. He was active in the community as a volunteer at Binghamton General Hospital and Don Hengel Golf Tournament, and was an alter server and usher at his parish. A biology major in the pre-med program, Jimenez is a member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program. He is the son of Domingo and Lornamarie Jimenez.
Michael McCabe, Doylestown, graduated with Phi Betta Kappa Award from Saint Joseph’s Preparatory School in Philadelphia. He received honors as an AP Scholar with distinction. He was editor-in-chief of the yearbook, a Kairos retreat leader, a member of the National Honors Society, and on the speech and debate club. He was active in the community as a volunteer at a living facility for disabled people, Inglis House, as a tutor for both underclassmen and elementary students, and has attended mission trips to the Mexican border and worked in an orphanage in Cusco, Peru. McCabe is a double major in secondary education and English. He is the son of Gregory and Adrienne McCabe.
A National Merit Commended Scholar, Catherine Thurston, Lake Ariel, graduated third in her class from Scranton Preparatory School. She won four gold on the National Latin Exam, a gold medal and two silver medals on the National Spanish Exam, and is an AP Scholar with distinction. Thurston was part of the yearbook staff, Spanish club, 4-H Horse club, National Honor Society and captain of the varsity cheerleading squad. She was active in the community as a volunteer for a Thanksgiving food drive, altar server and lector at St. Eulalia’s Church, and she attended a service trip to St. Joseph’s Indian School in South Dakota. A biology major, she is a member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program. She is the daughter of Alan and Lisa Thurston.
Benjamin Turcea, Baltimore, Md., graduated with the St. Alphonsus Scholastic Award as valedictorian of Archbishop Curley High School, Baltimore. He also received the Franciscan Scholars (magna cum laude) Award and the School Service Award. He received gold in the President’s Education Awards Program and the State of Maryland Merit Scholastic Award. He was president of the National Honor Society, a student government senator, and captain of the volleyball team. Turcea was active in the community as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and in-school tutoring. He is a member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program and is an international studies major. He is the son of Robert and Cindy Turcea.
A National Merit Commended Scholar, Victoria Wrightson, Jessup, graduated with high honors from Scranton Preparatory School. She was captain of the varsity soccer team and participated in the varsity basketball cheerleading squad, French club, softball team, the Harry Potter club, the Junior Statesmen of America, and the National Honor Society. She was active in the community as a volunteer for Project Hope at Camp St. Andrew and with the American Red Cross. Wrightson is a exercise science major who plans to pursue a post-baccalaureate degree in physical therapy. She is the daughter of Brian and Karin Wrightson.