2016 Recipients

Hannah Amgott Memorial Scholarship:

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Meghan Cullinan, Villanova University, Pursuing Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Secondary Education, Class of 2017
Meghan has a cumulative GPA of 3.73. Meghan is a member of Kappa Delta Pi: International Honor Society in Education and Pi Mu Epsilon: National Mathematics Honor Society, and she has been awarded the Ron Cruse International Fellowship for involvement in non-traditional global study and experience by teaching English at the Sukma Bangsa School in Indonesia. Last October, Meghan went to the Dominican Republic to teach English to public school students. She has also been a Service Tutor in Philadelphia and Norristown for three years, has held leadership roles in the Villanova Panhellenic Council and Chi Omega Sorority, and has participated in Habitat for Humanity service break trips to Mississippi and New Mexico. Two summers ago, Meghan went to London where she had a student teaching internship at a school for high need students. Last summer, she worked for Success Academy Charter Schools in New York City as part of a team developing middle school math curriculum and assessment materials, and she will be returning there this summer after completing her fellowship in Indonesia. In her essay, Meghan stated that her goal as an educator is to spread a culture of caring and active learning so that all students have the opportunity to build a personal connection with learning. She has a strong desire to understand educational inequity on an international level, and from a global development perspective, she believes education is a fundamental component of community advancement. Meghan had glowing recommendations, with one of them stating that “She will represent the goals of the scholarship beautifully and will be a wonderful ambassador for others.”

Jennifer O’Neill, West Chester University, Bachelor of Science in Early Grades Preparation PK-4 with minors in Elementary Mathematics and Literacy, Class of 2017
Jennifer has an impressive GPA of 4.0! She is an active member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Alpha Upsilon Alpha – International Literacy Association, and Student PSEA, of which she was previously the chair of the West Chester chapter. She has had a variety of paid and volunteer experiences working with young children as a camp counselor, teacher’s assistant and assistant dance teacher, and served as a West Chester University Ambassador tour guide for two years. In her essay, Jennifer stated that she believes children are capable of anything if they are given the skills and the encouragement to succeed, and that it is her responsibility as a future teacher to prepare children to achieve greatness in their lives. One of Jennifer’s recommenders stated, “With her mature demeanor, intelligence, and natural enthusiasm I believe that Ms. Jennifer O’Neill will be an exceptional representative of your organization’s mission and goals. I support this wonderful recognition for a wonderful student with exceptional potential to grow and learn as a teaching professional.”

Emma Ryan, St. Joseph’s University , Bachelor of Liberal Studies, Elementary Education and Special Education with a minor in Autism Studies, Class of 2017
Emma’s GPA is 3.65. She studied abroad last fall at the Madrid Campus of Saint Louis University. She is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Council for Exceptional Children. As an incoming freshman, Emma was selected to be an Apprentice with the Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support at St. Joe’s, and she has continued her involvement as a Kinney Scholar during her sophomore and junior years, and an Assistant Lead Scholar last summer with their camp program. She is also an ASPIRE Peer mentor, providing support to a fellow student who is diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Emma’s involvement in community service is extensive and includes the Hand in Hand Club, Back on My Feet, Relay for Life, Appalachian Experience (alternative Spring Break service trips), and many more. Emma’s scholarship essay was very creative and extremely engaging to read, as it was in the format of a letter written to Mr. Smith, her former high school Math teacher. In this letter, she stated how he refused to give up, and because of his faith in her, she was able to believe in herself. Emma’s commitment to being an educator is evidenced in her recommendations, as one of them stated that she “will make an extraordinary teacher; any classroom would be lucky to have her genuine care and perseverance to guide them.”

Julien Tomasello, The University of the Arts, Master of Arts in Teaching in Visual Arts, Class of 2017
Julien’s current GPA is 3.918. He previously completed an MFA in Studio Art in 1999 with a concentration in Sculpture/Mixed Media via a partnership program between Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and did his undergraduate studies at Monmouth University, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Art and Art History. Julian is a career changer, having had extensive work experience in the art and publishing fields. He was the Gallery Director at Bernard Toale Gallery in Boston for three years, and has been photo editor for multiple magazines including OUT, Smart Luxury Travel, Hemispheres & GO (in-flight media), Philadelphia Magazine, and Philadelphia Wedding. Julien was the
Picture Editor for the 2014 book “PANTONE on Fashion: A Century of Color in Design” which reached #13 on the New York Times best sellers list, the Co-Author/Picture Editor of the book “ART + FASHION”, and most recently Picture Editor for “WHY BOYS NEED PARENTS” which was just released in March 2016. With all of these impressive accomplishments, Julien felt a calling to teach art, and enrolled at UArts in 2015. During the fall semester, Julien was a Teaching Assistant for middle school students enrolled in a 3D Art & Design class at the UArts Saturday Arts Lab, and he has become a member of both the National Art Education Association and the PA Art Education Association. Julien referenced Harry Potter in his essay, which he titled The Magical Classroom, by stating that teachers can become real-life Dumbledores and McGonagalls – admired mentors who shape facts and ways of thinking and seeing into tools of great power and possibility. One of his recommenders stated “Julien left the publishing field to become a “best practices” art educator–to pass on his love and understanding of art to others” and Julien himself sums it up nicely in his essay in saying that becoming a certified K-12 art educator is a path he views as the perfect culmination of his educational and professional experiences.

Michael Youngkin, Rutgers University-Camden, Post-baccalaureate Teacher Certification in Secondary English, 2017 
Michael graduated summa cum laude in 2012 from Rowan University with a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Arts. Michael is another career changer. After his college graduation, he was hired by the NJ Courier-Post as a Digital Media Producer, where he’d be working in a real newsroom with actual journalists, a dream come true. However, in spite of earning a Best of Gannett (company-wide) award for short form writing on Twitter, he felt unfulfilled in his role and left to seek more meaningful work. Michael was drawn to teaching-related jobs: substitute teacher in Mt. Laurel School District, tutor with The Tutoring Club, and his current role as an Instructional Aide at Haddon Heights High School. These experiences have affirmed his calling as a teacher, which he states in his essay actually began many years ago at Boy Scout camp, where he found himself teaching scout skills and then teaching others how to teach scout skills. This former Eagle Scout says that he plans to use his experiences in journalism and new media to create a classroom connected to the outside world and full of functional applications. One of his recommenders commented that “Michael is always willing to get to the heart of the matter and to support the student through the rigors of learning” and the other said that Michael “is a most deserving candidate for the Hannah Amgott Scholarship” and he was proud to recommend him to us.