Scholarship Recipients

2023 Recipients

Rebecca Ferber, Chestnut Hill College – pursuing MEd in Special Education and Secondary English (2024)

Rebecca is a stellar graduate student, maintaining a 4.0 GPA. She previously graduated in 2014 from the University of Pittsburgh with a BA in English Literature and a Certificate in Children’s Literature. Since 2018, she has worked as an Instructional Aide in Special Education for the Lower Merion School District. She has also been a cheerleading coach for all three of the district’s middle schools, and previously coached at the high school for five years. Other past experiences have included two years as a private nanny, working as an Assistant Educator at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, student teaching and volunteering for two months in Muizenberg, South Africa, and an undergraduate internship with the Fred Rogers Company, working on a short film about Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. In her essay, Rebecca highlighted the importance of integrating Social-Emotional Learning into her lesson planning process. She shared some specific examples highlighting her ability to “meet a child where they are” and to make an impact as she helps her students to learn to reflect on their behaviors. There was one particular elementary student with whom Rebecca established a good rapport that no others did, to the point that she was transferred to the middle school in order to continue to work with that student. Rebecca’s recommenders stated that her positive attitude and constant smile light up the room, her enthusiasm is contagious, that she is an asset to the classroom, and that she is deserving of this scholarship.

Mitzi Herron, Gwynedd Mercy University – MS in Education Master Teacher with a specialization in PreK-4 Certification (2024)

Mitzi is another impressive graduate student who has a 4.0 GPA. She completed her undergraduate studies at Pennsylvania College of Technology in 2009 with a BS in Dental Hygiene with a Health Policy and Administration Concentration. Mitzi is transitioning into the Education field after a long career in dental hygiene. In her essay, Mitzi explained how she actually realized her passion for teaching and desire for working with children early in her career as a dental hygienist. She is a strong believer that learning can take place anytime and anywhere, so she would engage her young patients in counting and letter identification games while they were waiting for the dentist’s exam. In addition, Mitzi also recognized a public health need for oral hygiene education amongst elementary-aged children and traveled to local schools to do presentations. Although frequently told she “would have made a great teacher” and had “missed her calling” Mitzi’s transition was inspired by her experience serving as the pre-K cyber-school guide to her own three children, which gave her a taste of the role of a teacher and prepared her for the life-changing decision that she finally made. Mitzi’s recommendation letters highlighted her strong work ethic, her strong ability to receive and implement feedback, and her development of high quality lessons, and stated that her creativity, attention to detail and passion for teaching will make her a remarkable teacher who will be an asset to any school fortunate enough to hire her.

Elizabeth Rattazzi, Saint Joseph’s University – Master of Science as a Literary Specialist with ESL Certification (2024) & BS in Elementary and Special Education (2023)

Elizabeth completed her undergraduate studies in May 2023 and is continuing on for an additional year of graduate studies.  Her GPA at the time her scholarship application was submitted was 3.88. During the Spring 2023 semester, Elizabeth completed student teaching placements at Merion Elementary School in a first grade classroom and a special ed classroom.  For the past few years, she has worked as a long term substitute assistant teacher at The Learning Experience early education center in Franklin Lakes, NJ and as a Scholar at the Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support on Saint Joe’s campus. She previously worked as an Assistant Librarian for Children’s Programs at the Tuxedo Park Library in New York. Elizabeth’s campus leadership and involvement has included terms as both President and Historian of the Kappa Delta Kappa Education Honor Society chapter, Fundraising Chair of Phi Sigma Sigma sorority, and both Secretary and Education & Awareness Chair of the Circle of Sisterhood group. In her essay, Elizabeth spoke about specific teachers throughout her childhood who each had their own impact on her, and shared a metaphor about them being drops that grew into an ocean that ultimately inspired her to pursue a teaching career herself. Her recommenders commended her passion for the teaching profession and one of them stated that she is the most impressive student leader they have encountered in their 5 years at St. Joe’s.

Joshua Schield, La Salle University – BA in Secondary Education and History with a minor in Religion (2024)

Joshua is a student in the Honors College, he is the recipient of the Founder’s Scholarship and DENA Scholarship, and his overall GPA is 3.98. Joshua’s experience includes serving as the President of the Education Association at La Salle since 2021, working as a Science and Sports Specialty Leader at the YMCA Camp in Towson, MD for two summers, volunteering with the La Salle Neighborhood Tutoring program, and membership in the History Honor Society and the student historical society called “The Histories”. He also achieved Eagle Scout status, with his project being the repurposing of an entrance garden for the BYKOTA Senior Center in MD. In his essay, Joshua spoke about his radical optimism and how he exhibits this attitude in all of his experiences, bringing a positive energy and level of enthusiasm that is infectious. He doesn’t hesitate to boost his co-workers, campers and students with comments that they are doing fantastic or amazing, and has seen the impact of his optimism, as he’s then heard others making similar comments.  Joshua’s recommenders stated that he is driven and hardworking, that his commitment to education is evident, and that he will make an excellent social studies teacher and role model to his students.

Cianni Williams, Drexel University – Accelerated dual degree program: BS in Education with a concentration in Social Studies and a minor in History & MS in Advanced Teaching, Learning and Curriculum (2024)

Cianni is a Drexel Liberty Scholar and recipient of the 2022 Courageous Conversation Fellowship.  Her GPA is 3.83.  She is currently a Tutor and Teacher Assistant at Steppingstones Scholar Inc., recently student taught at West Oak Lane Charter School and was a Drexel Peer Leader last summer. This past year, she created the new Equity and Inclusion Chair in Drexel’s chapter of the Kappa Delta Pi Education Honor Society. In her essay, Cianni shared her personal story that she actually didn’t want to be an educator because of various hardships she experienced in elementary school, but that everything changed in 6th grade when her father passed away and she found unexpected warmth and care from her teachers. Things shifted and school became her safe space and by high school, she had decided to pursue a career in education in order to be able to carry the flame of hope and encourage her future students the same way her teachers did for her. Her recommenders highlighted Cianni’s ability to make connections with students and stated that she is on her way to becoming one of the best educators of our time.

Scholarship Recipients

2003-2014 Recipients


  • Christopher Alford, Chestnut Hill College – BA in Middle Level Education (2015)
  • Andrew Bleckner, Chestnut Hill College – MA in Education, Secondary Mathematics (2015)
  • Leigh Kaminski, University of Delaware – BS in Elementary Teacher Education, Special Education Concentration, Minor in Mathematics (2015)
  • Kelly Saladik, Temple University – MEd in Special Education (2015)
  • Jennifer Smolyn, Rider University – BA in Biology Education & BS in Biology (2015)


  • Rachel Dorfman, University of Delaware – BA in Spanish Education, Minor in Political Science (2014)
  • Lynsey Graeff, University of Pennsylvania – MEd in Urban Education (2014)
  • Cheryl Heatwole Shenk, Chestnut Hill College – MEd in Early Childhood Education & AMS Early Childhood Montessori Certification (2014)
  • Jenna Knaster, University of Delaware – BM in Instrumental Music Education (2014)
  • Steven Lee, BA in Secondary Education with Citizenship Emphasis, Political Science and Minors in Psychology, History and Business (2014)


  • Christopher Allen, Chestnut Hill College – BA in History & Secondary Education (2013)
  • Gustavo Garcia, Temple University – BFA in Printmaking w/Teaching Certification & Art History Minor (2013)
  • Lindsay Martin, Eastern University – BA in Early Childhood Education (2013)
  • Sarah Sell, Rider University – BA in Elementary Education and Integrated Mathematics & Science, Minor in Middle School Education & Math (2013)
  • Mary-Rebecca Truchan, West Chester University – BS in Education/Early Childhood (2013)


  • Christina Brennan, Rosemont College – BS in Elementary Education, K-6 certification (2012)
  • Christina Roman, Widener University – BA in Early Childhood & Elementary Education / Master’s in Special Education (2012)
  • Steven Rufe, Gwynedd-Mercy College – BA in Elementary, Special & Early Childhood Education, minor in Psychology (2012)
  • Danielle Solomon, Neumann University – BA in Elementary & Special Education (2012)
  • Christina Zabas, The University of the Arts – BFA in Jazz Dance Education (2012)


  • Erika Pohl, University of Delaware – BS in Elementary and Special Education (2011)
  • Robyn Clarke, Ursinus College – BA in History/Dance with certification in Secondary Social Studies (2011)
  • Colleen Knill, Villanova University – BS in English and Secondary Education (2011)
  • Julianne Spadine, West Chester University – BS in Elementary Education with minor in Reading (2011)


  • Macy Kozar, Swarthmore College – BA in Biology and Educational Studies with a minor in Women’s Studies (2010)
  • Jacquelyn Nevius, Chestnut Hill College – BA in English Literature and Secondary Education Certification (2010)
  • Joslyn Young, Swarthmore College – BA in Sociology/Anthropology and Secondary Social Sciences Certification (2010)
  • Amber Spurka, Ursinus College – BA in Spanish and Secondary Spanish Education Certification (2010)


  • Ann Gambuzza, West Chester University – MEd in Special Education, Concentration in High Incidence Disabilities (2009)
  • Sarah McClean, Immaculata University – BA in English with certification in Secondary Education (2009)
  • Laura Ng, Ursinus College – BS in Mathematics with minors in Computer Science and Statistics (2009)
  • Ashley Sulzbach, La Salle University – BA in Elementary Education, Special Education and American Studies (2009)


  • Wanda Allaire, Immaculata University – Certification in Secondary School Mathematics (2008)
  • Benjamin Joseph, Saint Joseph’s University – BA in Elementary/Special Education & MS Reading Specialist (2008)
  • Elena Price, Drexel University – BS in Secondary Math Education, Psychology minor (2008)
  • Carolyn Wilson, Cabrini College – BS in Secondary Math Education, Psychology minor (2008)


  • Rebecca Benjamin, Swarthmore College – BA in Mathematics with a Minor in Education (2007)
  • Jessica Furman, Ursinus College – BS in Mathematics with Minors in Biostatistics, Statistics and Secondary Education (2007)
  • Eliezer Gottlieb, Temple University – BS in Elementary and Secondary Education (2007)
  • Laura Sockol, Bryn Mawr College – BA in Psychology & English with Secondary Education Certification (2007)


  • Leah Angeline, Neumann University – BA in Elementary/Early Childhood Education, certification in Special Education (2006)
  • Donna Butler, Temple University – MEd in Secondary Education/Spanish (2006)
  • YoonMi Cho, Bryn Mawr College – A.B. English with Education Certification (2006)
  • Antoinette Evangelista, Villanova University – BA in Education with a concentration in Social Studies (2006)
  • Mary Pat Mars, Chestnut Hill College – Instructional I Certification in Spanish (2006)


  • Martin Brown, University of the Arts – MAT in Music Education (2005)
  • Krysta Elfstrom, Rider University – BA in Elementary Education (2005)
  • Stephanie Giacone, Villanova University – BA Elementary Education/Psychology (2005)
  • Joy Muhlbaier, Rutgers University, Camden – Social Studies Education (2005)


  • Stephanie Bradberry, Ursinus College – BA in English (2004)
  • Christine Cameron Brady, Villanova University – MEd (2004)
  • Catherine Cataffo, Rutgers University, Camden (2004)
  • Stephen Pomella, Widener University – BA in Elementary Education (2004)
Scholarship Recipients

2022 Recipients

Allyson Meakim, Ursinus College – pursuing BA in Psychology and Educational Studies (2023)

Allyson is on the Dean’s List, has a 3.9 GPA and was awarded the William A. Norcross ’70 M.D. Scholarship for Internships in Mental Health Advocacy, Addiction and Recovery, and Suicide Prevention. Ally is a committed student athlete, serving as captain of the Ursinus softball team. She is actively involved in the campus Student-Athletic Advisory Committee and participated in the Ursinus Emerging Leaders Academy. Ally is a passionate mental health advocate, having volunteered via the Andre L. Hicks Jr. Foundation supporting children at an overnight camp; serving as Campus Captain and Treasurer for The Hidden Opponent at Ursinus, which is a chapter of a national organization advocating for the mental health of student athletes; and founding the Downingtown East Mentor Program, where she created a startup for mental health initiatives at Downingtown East High School. Ally works at Ursinus as a Campus Safety Dispatcher while she also holds two off-campus jobs: one at a garden center and another at a bowling and entertainment center.

Ally’s application essay touched on the very heavy topic of suicide, specifically sharing a personal experience from high school about the loss of a friend and fellow athlete. Ally was able to process this tragic situation in a way that helped her to identify her passion to be an educator and her commitment to provide students with the support that they need.

In her recommendation letters, Ally was commended for her relationship-building skills, her campus leadership and her sense of purpose. Adjectives that they used to describe her include curious, proactive, mature, organized, committed, responsible, and delightful. To quote one of her recommenders, “Ally is the embodiment of a future educational professional whether it be as a teacher or a counselor.”

Haley Mosseri, University of the Arts – pursuing MAT in Visual Arts (2023)

Haley previously completed her undergraduate studies in 2020 at The College of New Jersey, earning a BFA in Fine Arts. Haley graduated from TCNJ with a GPA of 3.7 and her current GPA at UArts is a 4.0. Her relevant experience includes her current position as the Assistant to the UArts Art Education Program Director, as well as previous roles as a Kindergarten Assistant Teacher at Cedar Hill Prep School, Art Teacher at Artist People and Substitute Teacher in East Brunswick School District. In addition Haley is an actively exhibiting artist and has worked in the art world as a Photographer/Videographer/Curatorial Coordinator for Alfa Art Gallery and a Photographer/Sales Representative for JCPenney Portrait studios.

Her recommendations stated that Haley has a thoughtful and unique perspective to her work and praised her for her recent semester-long research project entitled “How Art Can Teach You What You Wish You Learned in K-12 Schools: The Musical.” Haley truly wowed the scholarship committee with her essay, which was definitely the most creative we have ever received, as it was written in poetic form. I don’t have time to read the entire poem, but her final lines were “What you said or did, they may not remember; But how you made them feel, they’ll remember forever; Art ed is my passion, my love through and through; ‘Cause we always go back to what we’re meant to do.”

Elizabeth Parker, Eastern University – MEd in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) (2023)

Elizabeth previously graduated cum laude from Eastern University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education, Middle Level Education and Spanish. Her current GPA is a 4.0. Lizzy’s engagement in the campus community has included membership in the Kappa Delta Pi education honors society, serving on the Education Department’s Student Advisory Council, serving as President of both the Political Activism Club and Refuge (the Queer-Straight Alliance) and as an Officer of Students Advocating Gender Equality (SAGE). During her undergraduate studies at Eastern, she was also a Peer Tutor in Math, Physics, Theology and History and a Teaching Assistant in the Spanish department. Lizzy completed student teaching experiences at the Mazapan School in La Ceiba, Honduras as well as the Eisenhower Science and Technology Leadership Academy in Norristown, PA, and since July 2020 she has been working as a 7th Grade World History Teacher at Colegio Interamericano in Guatemala City, Guatemala.

Lizzy launched her teaching career during the height of the pandemic, and in her essay she shared how she found herself to be an unexpected asset to her school and fellow teachers in the transition to virtual learning. She also highlighted her proudest accomplishment, which was the complete redesign from scratch of her world history curriculum to make it less Eurocentric and more comprehensive and inclusive. Lizzy’s recommenders praised her as an outstanding classroom practitioner and a true joy to work with, stating that “she has the ability to inspire students, co-workers, and parents with her informed expertise, enthusiasm, and dedication.”

Scholarship Recipients

2021 Recipient

Angela Carmel Alquiros, Temple University – Pursuing Bachelor of Science in Education in Early Childhood Education and Spanish (2022)

Angela transferred to Temple Univesrity after attending Catholic University, and she has maintained an impressive 4.0 GPA. Her relevant work experience has included a previous position as a tutor with the DC Reads after school homework assistance program, and two current positions: one as a Teacher’s Aide at the Malvern School in Blue Bell and the other as House Monitor for A Better Chance in Radnor, which is a residential program supporting the academic excellence of a select group of students of color. Angela is a leader both on campus and in the community. She was previously the Cultural Director of the Filipino Organization of Catholic University Students, has been a Community Leader with the CFC Youth organization for over 7 years, and is currently a Transfer Mentor at Temple University.

Angela’s scholarship application essay was engaging and well-written. In it, she discussed her role as the oldest daughter in a Filipino family, called an ate in her native Tagalog language, and her fulfillment of the expectation to be responsible for her three younger siblings. Angela spoke of how the values of empathy, patience and sacrifice have molded her personality and provided her with the skills to become an effective teacher. She said that even though she can’t put “being the ate for her family” on any resume or job application, her experience in caring for her siblings and family has shaped her teaching philosophy and her commitment to be a teacher who continuously supports her students and tries to do what is best for their growth at all times.

Both of Angela’s recommenders gave her the highest ratings on every characteristic on our list in the recommendation form, which are passion for teaching, passion for their subject area, work ethic, communication skills, organization skills, and working well with children. They spoke of Angela’s smile and how she makes children feel welcome and loved in her classroom and they praised her enthusiasm and passion for her work, stating that she is on track to become an exemplary educator who is already making a positive difference in the lives of young children and will continue to do so as she completes her degree and launches her professional teaching career.