The University of Scranton has awarded nine students from its class of 2021 four-year, full-tuition Presidential Scholarships. The Presidential Scholarship recipients are Molly Elkins, Hannah Graff, Madison Heaton, Christine Jiang, Jacob Myers, Megan Osborne, Gabriel Ragusa, Amanda Tolvaisa and Kate Wisner.
Presidential Scholarships are awarded to incoming freshmen 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.
Molly Elkins, Owings, Maryland, graduated from Northern High School. A National Merit Commended Scholar and AP Scholar with Distinction, she was the recipient of numerous academic awards in high school, including the Superintendent Scholastic Recognition Award. She was president of the National Honor Society and a team captain of Mock Trial. She was also member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society, the women’s choir, the junior varsity girls’ soccer team and the theater department. She was a leader of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a secretary of the Parish Council, a leader at Youth Group and president of the Future Doctors of America. She served on a mission trip in Appalachia, and with several community organizations and projects. Elkins is a biochemistry, cell and molecular biology major and a member of the Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program. She is the daughter of Scott and Trisha Elkins.
Hannah Graff, Melville, New York, was valedictorian of her graduating class at St. Anthony’s High School. A National Merit Scholar Finalist, National AP Scholar and the AP Scholar with Distinction, Graff is a member of the English, math, French and national honor societies. In high school, she was vice president of honors orchestra, co-president of the book club and on the leadership boards of PB&J Gang (a club that made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for shelters) and SAVE. She was also a Eucharistic Minister, a member of the Kolbe Society and Caring Adolescents. She was also a member of Girls Who Code. She was in the Pit Orchestra, a participant in Independent Science Research, and member of Helping Hands and Clare Council. In her parish, St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Melville, she was a lector. A forensic accounting major with a philosophy and business analytics minor at Scranton, she is also a member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program. She is the daughter of Scranton alumni Craig and Jennifer Graff, both class of 1995.
Madison Heaton, Medford Lakes, New Jersey, graduated magna cum laude from Shawnee High School. An AP Scholar with Distinction, she is the recipient of the AP Latin Academic Achievement Award and a four-time National Latin Exam Gold Medalist. She also received the New Jersey State Seal of Bi-literacy in Latin among other academic awards. In high school, she was the president of the Photography Club, secretary of the American Sign Language Club, and member of the Latin Club and National Honor Society. Heaton served as a volunteer at KinderCare, as well as at nursing homes and assisted living facilities and the Ronald McDonald House. At Scranton, she will pursue an occupational therapy major and a psychology and counseling and human services minor. She is the daughter of Craig and Stephanie Heaton.
Christine Jiang, Dickson City, graduated from Scranton Preparatory School. An AP Scholar Award recipient, she also earned a gold medal for the National Latin Exam, a silver medal for the National German Exam and a green ribbon for the National Greek Exam. In high school, she was a member of the National Honor Society, the Art Society, Cavalier Chronicles, Interactive Media Club and the Prep Players. She served in the Neighborhood Outreach program and the Boys and Girls Club. A sociology and philosophy double major with a minor in Japanese at Scranton, she is also a member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program. She is the daughter of Fen Lam.
Jacob Myers, Ambler, graduated of Abington Friends School. Myers was a member of the Abington Friends School’s baseball team for three years and a captain of the Frisbee team, winning the Edward Thode Award. In high school, he served as a clerk for the Agenda Committee, which is the equivalent to being the president of student government at non-Quaker schools, and as a member of the acapella club. He served as a choral scholar at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Chestnut Hill. A biology major at Scranton with plans to double major in philosophy, he is also a member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program and participant in a pilot STEM Honors Program. He is the son of Erica Nelson and Andrew Myers.
Megan Osborne, Mifflinville, graduated from Central Columbia High School. A National Merit Finalist and an AP Scholar with Honor, she was also a member of the National Honor Society and earned an honorable mention in the National Spanish Exam. In high school, she was a member of the Drama Club and participated in the Model United Nations. She was president of her school’s chorus and placed into the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association District Chorus, Regional Chorus and State Chorus. She also placed into District Vocal Jazz. Her volunteer work included serving as a teacher’s aide for a third-grade CCD class at St. Mary’s parish in Berwick. At Scranton, she will pursue a double major in secondary education and mathematics. She is the daughter of Jeff and Joanne Osborne.
Gabriel Ragusa, Garden City, New York, graduated from Garden City High School. An AP Scholar with Distinction and five-time medalist on the National Spanish Exam, he was a member of the National Spanish Honor Society. He was a 2016 American Legion Boys’ State Representative. In high school, he was a member of the Spanish Literary Magazine, Jazz Band, Hospital Explorers program, Chess Club, math team and captain of the swim team. He served as a junior volunteer at Winthrop University Hospital, a volunteer at St. Anne’s Church in Garden City, New York, and Hofstra University’s REACH program for children with disabilities. A biology major at Scranton, he is also member of the University’s Special Jesuits Liberal Arts Honors Program. He is the son of Debbie Ragusa.
Amanda Tolvaisa, Springfield, graduated from Sacred Heart Academy, Bryn Mawr. She was the recipient of numerous academic awards, including the Alumnae Essay Award, the Isabel Gallagher R.S.C.J. History Award and President’s Award for Educational Excellence. A member of the National Honor Society, she was also captain of the crew team and co-editor of her high school’s literary magazine, Chez Nous. An English major at Scranton, she is also a member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program. She is the daughter of Albert and Patricia Tolvaisa.
Kate Wisner, Hanover, was valedictorian of her graduating class from South Western High School. A National Merit Scholar Finalist and AP Scholar with Distinction, she was a member of the National Honor Society and Tri-M Music Honor Society. She received the Rotary Student of the Month award and the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award. She was a member of her high school’s choir, Key Club and the Future Business Leaders of America. A Church Group Leader at First United Methodist parish in Hanover, she served at Vacation Bible School, Homewood at Plum Creek and the Provide-a-Lunch Program. At Scranton, she will pursue a major in occupational therapy. She is the daughter of Wade and Elizabeth Wisner.
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