Scholarship Requires Rigorous Service, Leadership

Michael Murphy, Reporter

Who has what it takes to receive the Monsignor McGowan Cornerstone Scholarship?

Sylvia Maas, Assistant Director of Enrollment Management and a major contributor to the scholarship, said the honor is earned.

“They want them to live and practice in Northeastern Pennsylvania as well as make a contribution such as volunteering and leadership capabilities,” said Maas.

The scholarship, named after the well-known Monsignor Andrew J. McGowan, is open to applicants who have legal residence in Bradford, Columbia, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Pike, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne or Wyoming Counties.

Glenn Bozinski, Director of Admissions, says one of the biggest benefits of the McGowan Scholarship is the assistance it provides to students struggling to pay tuition.

“The student will get $3000 each year. It is a one year scholarship usually for upperclassmen,” said Bozinski.

Bonzinski said the scholarship is a fitting tribute to the legendary figure, whom he had the opportunity to meet a few times.

“His whole focus was how he could make Northeast Pennsylvania better, so this is focused on young people who will eventually fill some of his role,” said Bozinski.

Many letters of recommendation, including two from non-family members, one from a current educator and one from a person who can reference the student’s moral character are required to pursue the scholarship.

Applicants must provide proof of community leadership, high moral character and contributing activities.

Hard-working students in and out of the classroom have a greater chance of winning the award.

Students must also fill out an application, provide an official transcript from the last institution attended, write a 300 to 500-word essay on their contributions and a complete Free Application for Federal Student Aid form.

The McGowan Scholarship is not limited to students who attend Misericordia, but also to other educational programs that were supported by the Monsignor Andrew J. McGowan during his life.

“Students from Keystone College, King’s, Marywood, University of Scranton, Mount Saint Mary’s College and Allied Services de Paul School for Children with Dyslexia are eligible for this scholarship,” said Maas.

The monetary value of the award comes from two different sources.

“Each school has received a total of $1500, which was matched by the school, making the scholarship worth $3000,” says Maas.

The award was established in 2007 by various nonprofit organizations in Monsignor Andrew J. McGowan’s honor.

“Last year’s winner was Patrick Joyce, a student here who is graduating this year,” said Maas.

Other past recipients include Alivia Womelsdorf in 2015-16 and Rebecca Price in  the 2016-2017 academic year.

The 2018-2019 winner has yet to be named.

“It’s basically what [applicants] do. We and the scholarship community look at them and their financial need based on their FAFSA,” said Maas.

The student must have chosen to make a long-term commitment to serving their community. she said.

The award is available only to incoming or current undergraduate students who obtain full time status. Application materials for the Monsignor Andrew J. McGowan Cornerstone Scholarship are available from the Admissions Office.