November 2014

John H. Lyons Sr. Scholarship Recipients - Where Are They Now?

Stephen Albers – Graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in biology. After graduation, he hiked the Appalachian Trail (starting in Maine and ending in Georgia). He is currently working as an intern biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He is working in Northeastern California and plans to continue his education and employment as a biologist. For further information on one of Steve’s current efforts, you may view an article at

Brett Bukowski – Graduated from Purdue University where he double majored in genetics, neurobiology and physiology. He is currently attending Boston College working toward his Ph.D. in biology. His future plans, after successfully completing his Ph.D. are to remain in research, focusing on academia or industry, working to gain a better understanding of the genetic modifications responsible for disease onset, which could lead to better treatments and potential cures for currently untreatable illnesses. 

Kevin M. Casler – Is currently a senior at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, Tennessee and will be graduating with a B.S. in civil and environmental engineering with a concentration in environmental engineering in December 2014. Future goals include pursuing job opportunities within the field of civil and environmental engineering and obtaining his professional engineer license.

Josephine Champlin – Graduated from SUNY Geneseo University in December 2013 with a B.S. in biology, a B.A. in psychology and a minor in dance. She is currently attending medical school at New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine and hopes to become a pediatrician in the future.

James Diedrich – Graduated from New York University with a B.S. in biology and a minor in Irish studies. He is currently attending medical school at University College Cork in Ireland. Future plans include becoming a neurological or orthopedic surgeon in New York upon graduating from medical school in 2018.
mily Fennell – Graduated from Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, majoring in cellular neuroscience and serving as a tutor for the introductory neuroscience class. Although mainly science-driven, she also studied Russian literature. During her junior year, she studied abroad in Cardiff, Wales, where she attended Cardiff University and traveled to 10 other countries. Upon her return to the U.S., she moved to Washington, D.C., where she spent six months in a “domestic abroad” program engaging in Alzheimer’s research at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland. With the mentorship of her principal investigators, Dr. Harish Pant and Dr. Joseph Steiner, and her Colgate professor, Dr. Jun Yoshino, she completed her senior research thesis at the NIH on a potential new Alzheimer’s therapy. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude in May 2014. Currently, she is working with the molecular imaging branch at the National Institute of Mental Health, NIH, on a research team, involving patients with traumatic brain injury. She begins the application process for medical school in the spring. 

Sindbad Fennimore – Graduated from Georgetown University with a major in French, minor in justice and peace studies and a certificate in African studies. His educational pursuits include plans to take courses in home inspection and real estate law at the college where he is employed. He is also considering two different graduate degree programs, TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and a dual master’s in historic preservation and community planning. He currently resides in Baltimore and works for two programs as an adult ESL (English as a Second Language) instructor, working with foreign college students at one program and foreign military personnel at the other. In his free time, he is restoring a pair of 1913 and 1918 Victorian row houses in Baltimore. His future plans include spending the first four months of 2015 teaching and living in Algeria after which he will return home to complete the home restoration projects and continue teaching ESL.

Presley Glaser – Is currently in her fourth year of college at North Dakota State University in Fargo, North Dakota. In her sophomore year, she decided to double major in mathematics and statistics, gearing classes toward becoming an actuary. This past year, she switched majors to mathematics and mathematics education and was recently admitted to NDSU School of Education. She will spend 2015 fall semester student teaching and anticipating her graduation in December 2015. Her future plans involve teaching high school math.

Kyle Griffin – Graduated from University of Toledo College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences with a major in pharmacy. He plans to obtain his doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree in May 2015. After obtaining his degree, he plans to pursue a Post Graduate Year 1 (PGY-1) pharmacy residency and later become a licensed pharmacist. His career goal is to work in a hospital pharmacy or become board certified in pharmacotherapy.

Annie Laurie Holfelder – Is currently attending Grove City College pursuing a degree in secondary education. Thoroughly enjoying her college years, she participates in the Outing Club at GCC – a club for outdoor enthusiasts. After graduation, she will be pursuing a teaching job in a rural area. Having grown up in a blue-collar family, her passion would be to help students learn the value of their own blue-collar roots as they pursue their own dreams.

Brian Kelly – Graduated from Franklin & Marshall College with a B.S. in government/political science. While at F&M, he was a four year varsity football player and member of the Sigma Pi Fraternity. Currently, Brian is director of the application development practice at Robert Half Technology in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, where he worked his way up from technical recruiter to account executive to his current position.

Grayson Lindstrom – Graduated from UCLA in 2013 with a B.A. in business/economics and a minor in philosophy. Upon graduating, he tutored SAT math. After spending the summer traveling, he began law school at Berkeley Law (aka: Boalt Hall) where he is currently enrolled in his first year. After law school, his goal is to pursue a career in civil rights, civil liberties and/or restorative justice law.

Erin McFadden – Is currently in her senior year at Rutgers University in her home state of New Jersey. This fall she started research for her senior thesis to complete an English major with honors. She has completed a minor in art and will also complete a second major in economics by graduation in May 2015. Erin has maintained excellent grades and been on the dean’s list each semester. In the fall of 2013, she accepted the nomination to join the Rutgers chapter of Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society. In May of this year, she returned from two semesters abroad after matriculating at the University College Cork in Cork, Ireland. While abroad, she enjoyed the opportunity of a lifetime traveling in Ireland and visiting Spain, Italy, United Kingdom and France. During her time at Rutgers, she has participated in the honors program, club ultimate Frisbee team and honors ambassadors. She is applying to the Fulbright Scholarship program for sponsorship to teach English in South America for the year following undergraduate graduation.

Katie Lee Meusling – Graduated from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, in May 2012 with a B.S. in computer science and a minor in operations research and management science from the engineering college. During college, she worked as a teaching assistant for several different computer science classes. In the summer of 2011, she interned at Google, in New York City, and returned to a full-time position as a software engineer in July 2012. She continues that career today.

Jessica Navarre (Worcester) – Graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, in December 2010, majoring in Christian ministry. Jessica is married and works full-time on the staff of a college ministry, called Christian Challenge, at San Diego State University. She also works part-time as a high school volleyball coach and part-time with Mission Trails Church as the children’s ministry director. She plans to continue being involved with these organizations in San Diego for the foreseeable future, investing deeply where she is currently rooted.

Lauren Nelson – Attended Illinois Institute of Technology and graduated from Purdue University Calumet in December 2012 with a B.S. in mathematics teaching. She currently teaches high school mathematics at Donald E. Gavit Middle/High School in Hammond, Indiana. She also coaches for Gavit’s academic teams – 
Spellbowl, Academic Decathlon and Academic Superbowl. Additionally, she is faculty sponsor for Gavit’s Class of 2017. She plans to continue teaching for a while and then pursue her advanced degree in education, more specifically administration or youth development.

Ken Newcomb – Graduated from Villanova University with a B.S. in chemical engineering. After graduation, he pursued his Ph.D. in chemical engineering at the University of Notre Dame. Future plans include aspiring to become a professional researcher and to advance the field of chemical engineering.

Haley Nutt – Is currently attending Texas Christian University as a senior music education major, specializing in percussion. This past fall, she became TCU’s Presser Foundation Scholar, awarded to one senior music major that excels both academically and musically within the school of music. Next semester, she begins student teaching at Keller Central High School and will graduate in May with a B.A. in music education. Future plans are to pursue a master’s in musicology and eventually become a musicology professor at a university in Texas, sharing her passion in music and helping students discover the path that is right for them as so many of her mentors at TCU have done for her.

Cara Nicole Parliament – Graduated from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey after graduating valedictorian of Manchester Township High School and receiving early admission into the doctorate program for physical therapy at RSC of NJ. They combine their senior year of undergraduate studies with their first year of graduate studies, allowing the degree to be earned in six years. Cara has maintained a 3.8 GPA throughout her college career while playing for the school’s soccer and basketball teams. She hopes to work in the sports medicine field, providing therapy for dedicated athletes such as herself.

Ryan Lawrence Repoff – Graduated from Penn State University with a B.S. in environmental systems engineering. Currently, he is studying for his master’s in civil, construction, and environmental engineering from North Carolina State University and plans to graduate in the spring/summer of 2015. Ryan is studying environmental engineering with a focus on air pollution control. At NC State, his thesis deals with estimating cookstove emissions in rural communities in developing countries. His future plans include the possibility of starting a career at an oil and gas company or consulting firm, specifically working with air pollution permitting and emission measurement and reporting.

Nicholas Salts – Is attending Purdue University as an undergraduate student enrolled in the school of mechanical engineering. As a mechanical engineering student, he is a participant in an engineering co-op program, where he has worked for two semesters at Air Products and Chemicals in their corporate headquarters. During these two work sessions, he worked with nitrogen generating technologies in an operations group, as well as cryogenic freezing technology in the cryogenic R&D group. Nick has recently been accepted into the Global Engineering Alliance for Research and Education (GEARE) program at Purdue, designed to supplement the education of engineers to prepare them to function immediately in the global workplace. Components of this program will allow him to earn a global engineering minor by traveling to Germany during the upcoming spring semester, where he will be working in an internship position. He will then continue his studies, for the summer semester, at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Karlsruhe, Germany. His future plans include applying for graduate school in a field related to renewable energy.

Samantha Sheridan – Graduated summa cum laude from Northeastern University in May 2014 with a degree in international affairs and environmental studies and a minor in social entrepreneurship. She is currently working full-time for the American Cancer Society in Acton, Massachusetts as a Relay for Life specialist managing a portfolio of college fundraising events in Boston and Worcester, Massachusetts. Her career interests include social good campaigning and fundraising for global nonprofits.

Robert Schneider – Graduated from Johns Hopkins University in May 2014 with a B.S. in mechanical engineering. He chose to continue his education at Johns Hopkins University pursing a master’s degree in mechanical engineering focusing in robotics and controls with an expected graduation date of May 2015. During the summer of 2011, he worked as an apprentice with Local 350 (Atlantic City, N.J.) on the Route 52 Bridge between Ocean City and Somers Point New Jersey. This job allowed him to purchase a truck and pursue his hobby of constructing a 3D printer. He became a certified welding inspector in 2013. After graduation in 2015, his plans are split between custom engineering design services or industrial robotic design.

Jared Smith – Graduated from Clarkson University in May 2013 with a B.S. in environmental engineering. In August of 2013, he started a MS/Ph.D. program in environmental and water resources systems engineering at Cornell University. His master’s thesis is rooted within the Earth-Energy Systems Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) through the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Cornell Energy Institute. His research involves improving methodology for geothermal resource assessments in sedimentary basins, with a case study in the Appalachian Basin. He plans to remain a researcher in academia after graduation from Cornell.

David Smolinski – Graduated from the University of Michigan in 2011 with a degree in electrical engineering. Currently, he lives in San Francisco where he is an engineer with Shell Oil. Earlier this year, he became a registered professional engineer in the state of California. He plans to pursue a full career in the oil and gas industry and is considering application to MBA programs with the next 1-2 years.

Sarah Smolinski – Graduated from University of Michigan in May 2013 with a B.S. in biopsychology, cognition and neuroscience and graduated with distinction. She currently resides in the Madison, Wisconsin, area and works in quality assurance at Epic, one of the country’s leading electronic medical record providers. Her core responsibilities include testing software development to ensure that products are bug-free, meet customers’ needs and ensure the safety of all patients being treated at organizations that use Epic. Future plans include going to public health graduate school and studying health management and policy.

Kayla Snow – Is attending Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) and completing the Bachelor of Commerce (Co-op) program with a focus in accounting at MUN. This is a five-year program and she is in her fifth year. Future plans include a position with a public accounting firm upon convocation in April 2015, and registering for the Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) program in September 2015 to complete this designation as she begins working in public accounting.

Hannah Stark – Graduated from University of Michigan in 2013 with a B.A. in linguistics. She is currently employed by the University of Michigan and plans to go back to school to obtain her master’s in higher education administration.

Zachary Stevens – Graduated from University of Vermont in May 2014 with a B.S. in psychology. Currently, he is working as a full-time employee for a restaurant in Burlington, Vermont. Future plans include returning to school to pursue a degree and career in the medical field, possibly as a physician’s assistant. 

Crystal Tanksley – Graduated from Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri, in May 2014 with a B.S. in engineering management with an emphasis in management of technology. She is currently a technology consultant at Cerner Corporation in Kansas City, Missouri.

Megan Thistle – Graduated from the University of Notre Dame in May 2013 with a Bachelor of Science degree. She is currently studying optometry at Pacific University and is in the second of four years. She is concurrently working on a master’s in education degree and plans to complete both degrees by May 2017. Future plans include possibly working in a family practice and specializing in pediatric optometry.

Evanne L. Torrecillas – Is currently a senior at the University of California, Berkeley, and will graduate in the spring with a B.A. in political science. Her experience at UCB has fostered an interest in the power of the “American Dream” to inspire greatness in people of all backgrounds. Her father’s labor as a union ironworker for over 30 years also motivates her to achieve her greatest potential. She plans to earn her MBA and is considering careers in either labor research or working with immigrants. 

Brian Williams – Graduated from The College of the Holy Cross for physics and Columbia University for mechanical engineering in 2012. He is currently working at GE Aviation in Lynn, Massachusetts as an engineer for aircraft engines. 

Victor Wong – Graduated from Harvard College with a B.A. in sociology and a secondary degree in government. After graduation, he was a project manager at the New York City Economic Development Corporation where he developed and implemented programmatic initiatives to foster local talent and entrepreneurship on behalf of the city of New York. Since then, he has been with the Partnership for New York City, a nonprofit charged with engaging the business community in efforts to promote NYC as a hub of innovation and commerce. There, he serves as director of business outreach, advocating for the city’s small business community.