Six honors scholars at the University of New Haven have been named John Hatfield Scholars for 2013-14.
The six, three juniors and three seniors, were chosen because they had at least a 3.5 point grade point average and participate in both UNH activities and community service.
The program is named for John D. Hatfield, the university’s first executive vice president, provost and chief operating officer. After his death in 2003, the John Hatfield Scholar Program was established by Henry and Nancy Bartels. Henry Bartels is an emeritus member of UNH's Board of Governors.
The students receive a scholarship and a medallion commemorating their participation in the program.
The six students include:Jaclyn M. Kubala of Poughquad, N.Y., a senior majoring in forensic science and biology. Kubala is a second-year Hatfield Scholar and serves as an academic peer mentor, an organic chemistry teaching assistant and a member of the Forensic Science and Chemistry Club and the Biology Club. A pre-med student, Kubala also plays intramural volleyball. She serves as a Vacation Bible School counselor and a Christian Youth Organization basketball assistant coach. In April she presented her research at the NASA Astrobiology Conference in Atlanta. “I have found that research can be one of the most educational and rewarding experiences that college has to offer,” she said.
Christina L. Kling, of North Haven, Conn., a senior biotechnology major who serves as a lab assistant in chemistry and chemical engineering. Kling has served as a peer mentor at the Sound School for students working on senior capstone projects. “I’ve taught the students I work with the basic techniques of microbiology as well as some of the principles of academic research,” she said. “I’ve also helped one of them with some aspects of college planning, as she is going to be the first person in her family to go to college, as I was in my family.”
Victoria L. Galica, Manchester, Conn., a senior majoring in psychology/forensic psychology with a minor in English. Galica is a youth group leader at the Faith Lutheran Church in East Hartford, Conn., a babysitter for low-income families, a volunteer at the Alzheimer’s Association and a former Girl Scout. She is also a member of Psi Chi, the national honor society for psychology students, a student note-taker and a tour guide for admissions. “During Hurricane Sandy, there was an overwhelming sense of community present,” she said, “as individuals across the country came together to offer aid to those who were affected by this disaster. It is not enough to only come together as a community when the members need one another. By making times of closeness and dependability more of a norm, individuals are able to experience the support that comes along with being a member of a community in every part of their lives.”
Sierra N. Rocco, of Catskill, N.Y., a junior majoring in marine biology. She is a member of the UNH Community Violence Prevention and Intervention group, the Biology and Marine Biology Clubs, the Undergraduate Student Government Association, and the bowling club. She has also participated in a number of volunteer activities including helping to clean up Painter Park in West Haven, working at the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry and participating in UNH’s Light the Night Walk. “Scholars in the 21st century have a responsibility to better the world,” she said, “because they have the means to do so. No two people are alike, and no two people are graced with the same gifts, and these gifts should not be wasted.”
Caitlin R. Izzo of Wyckoff, N.J., a junior majoring in forensic science and biology. Izzo is a member of Alpha Tau, the national criminal justice honor society, the Biology Club, the Elm City Review and the Forensic Science and Chemistry Clubs. Izzo is active in her church, the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Glen Rock, N.J., where she is a church office volunteer, an acolyte and an aide in both the Sunday School and the Vacation Bible School. “To be involved in a community means to not only have a support system of people with common ground,” she said, “but to be a support system for someone else in the community as well. Twenty-first century communities are essentially expanded ‘villages’ that serve to be crucial in the development and growth of individuals.”
Avery J. Appleton, of Danville, N.H., a junior majoring in forensic science and biology. Appleton is a member of the American Chemical Society, the Forensic Science and Chemistry Club, the Biology Club and the Campus Crusade for Christ. She also worked with middle school students at the Engineering and Science University Magnet School in New Haven and worked with one of her professors, Timothy Palmbach, the head of the forensic science department, on developing a new organization to stop human trafficking. She is also a volunteer at City Church in New Haven and has worked in the Sonshine Soup Kitchen in Derry, N.H. “Ultimately, being a true member of a community means having a heart for those around you,” she said, “and a vested interest in the wellbeing of society in the present as well as the future.”