Published: September 6, 2016
Updated: September 8,2016
SUBMITTED MATERIALS, AQUINAS PHOTOS/ROBERT CLEARY
Fahad Ashraf is a biology major from Clarks Summit. After serving as vice president of his high school class for four years and as a National Honor Society officer, he said he cultivated and developed the leadership and communication skills necessary to succeed in Student Government. He said he strives to be as approachable as possible, aiming to serve as a bridge between students and faculty. Born and raised in the area, Ashraf said he knows how to utilize and connect with the community here in Scranton and hopes to engage a dynamic relationship between the campus and the city surrounding it. If he is elected as a first-year Senator Ashraf said he will do everything he can to represent the class of 2020.
Marah Alian is a first-year student at The University, majoring in exercise science on a pre-health track. Alian is from Derby, Connecticut. She attended Sacred Heart Academy where she said she was heavily involved both inside and outside of the classroom. During her senior year, Alian was elected president of the executive board of Student Government after serving for four consecutive years. In addition, during her time at Sacred Heart Academy, Alian was a member of the track and softball teams. When not on the field or in class, Alian said she enjoys traveling, reading, caramel iced coffees and binge watching Netflix series. Alian said she wishes to continue community outreach during her time at The University, and hopes to count on the class of 2020 in entrusting her with the position of first-year senator.
Meline Avrigian is a first-year student in the accelerated five-year occupational therapy program at The University. She said she is described by her fellow peers as being reliable, approachable and hardworking in both her studies and extra-curriculars. She said she is determined to become involved on campus as she plans to join the Frisbee team, SOTA, Habitat for Humanity and attend various campus ministry retreats. Avrigian has also served previous government positions such as the vice president of her youth group and president of the drama club in high school, which she said has added to her experience in leadership positions. Avrigian said she is the perfect advocate for the student body as she is driven to lead The University’s class of 2020 into excellence and success
Kimberly Baxter, a recent graduate from Merion Mercy Academy in Merion Station, is a now a first-year student at The University. She is a political science major with a career goal to become a U.S. Supreme Court Justice. While in high school she was involved in many different activities including Student Ambassador, Communications Club, Merion Mercy Musical Theater, newspaper staff, yearbook staff and Mercy Volunteer Corps. In her spare time, she said she enjoys playing chess, reading – specifically Harry Potter – and meeting new people on her adventures to different places. She said she hopes to continue to participate in those activities while attending The University, as well as joining new activates. She describe herself as resilient, compassionate and ambitious. She said she is thankful for her mentors and teachers, including Keith Pension and Paul Clementi, who encouraged her and believed in her dreams and aspirations. She said they inspire her every day to reach her full potential and to achieve success. Baxter said she hopes to make the most out of the next four years here at The University by furthering her knowledge, enhancing the community for the better and forming lifelong relationships with her classmates and teachers.
Gabriela Campusano is a pre-health biochemistry major from Whitehall. There, she attended Whitehall High School and said she demonstrated her leadership attributes as Spanish National Honor Society president, vice president of her Spanish club, secretary for her class junior year, treasurer of Key Club and a senator of Whitehall’s student council her senior year. She said she is also an advocate for the performing arts – she participated in her high school’s marching band, percussion ensemble, jazz ensemble, concert band and was selected for three years to play in her county’s honor band. Here at The University, she said she hopes to achieve her goal of attending medical school, meet even more amazing people, and be one of the proud voices for her Royal peers.
Justyn Choc is a secondary education mathematics major at The University. He said he is trying to get more involved on campus and is starting off by running for a first-year senator position in Student Government. Choc describes himself as a cool guy with a passion for all things involving games, and said he really tries to have fun while still doing his best with everything he does. While he does not have a lot of experience with Student Government, he thinks he will be an excellent addition to the team of senators, and said he looks forward to helping everyone.
Zoë Haggerty is from Clarks Summit and a member of the class of 2020. She is a double major in biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology (BCMB) and philosophy, and she is part of the SJLA program. Haggerty hopes to attend either law school or medical school in the future. She loves running, ice cream and her two little sisters. Haggerty also loves service work and spent a portion of the past summer volunteering at Marley’s Mission, a local nonprofit organization that offers equine-assisted therapy to children who have experienced trauma. Haggerty is also a board member of the Marley’s Mission Gala Committee, and in the past has served as a board member on her local church’s pastoral council and as president of her high school’s chapter of the National Honor Society. These experiences have given Haggerty the opportunity to work and communicate well with others in order to achieve a common goal, she said. She also said she is excited to be involved in a similar experience by running for The University’s Student Government.
Elizabeth Kenny is a first-year student at The University studying occupational therapy. In high school Kenny was a member of the track team, art club, yoga classes, and student government, all of which she plans to pursue this year. Kenny plans to get involved with student government and become an advocate for the first-year class on the senate. Kenny says she has leadership experience and plans to develop those skills if elected. She says she wants to address any and all concerns of her peers and make the first-year student concerns heard. Kenny says she is ready for the year ahead and hopes to initiate the changes needed for the new year and make changes for the next four.
Brian Kilner is a first-year student from Rockville, Maryland. Kilner attended Gonzaga College High School, another Jesuit institution, in Washington, D.C., so he said he is familiar with the Jesuit ideals and the value of a Jesuit education. At Gonzaga, Kilner was a member of the crew team, the National Honor Society, the National Spanish Honor Society, and a retreat leader for Kairos and other retreats. Brian attended the F.I.R.S.T. week of service and has previously participated in service in Washington, D.C. and Costa Rica. In his free time, Brian said he enjoys watching and playing sports with his friends. During the summer Brian swam for his neighborhood team and worked as an assistant swim coach and lifeguard.
Ashley Kooney is running for a spot on Student Senate. She describes herself as a hard-working, passionate woman. Kooney is a neuroscience major on a pre-med track. She hopes to attend medical school to become a neurosurgeon, focusing on the health and wellness of children. Kooney said she is academically driven and finds pleasure in reading literature and research on the human body, specifically the nervous system. She is a part of multiple clubs, including Autism Awareness, Neuroscience Club, and the Suicide Prevention Club. Kooney said she looks out for others and constantly lends a hand to anyone in need. She said she can usually be found in one of the independent study rooms found in the Loyola Science Center.
Enis Murtaj is running for one of the four first-year senator positions in The University’s Student Government. Murtaj is commuter student majoring in accounting. He lives about twenty minutes away in Clarks Summit. At his high school, Abington Heights, he served as senior class president, editor-in-chief of the yearbook, vice president and co-founder of the Student Leadership Forum, senior senator, NHS member, Student Council member, and Diversity Club member. He said he wants to bring his dedication and enthusiastic energy to The University serving the class of 2020 as a first-year senator. Murtaj describes himself as a very hard working individual and said he will bring his great work ethic to the office in which he is running for. Murtaj said he is running for the position – not for the title – but to do what he truly loves which is serve his classmates.
Narry Ouk is a first-year biology/ pre-dental major in at The University. She is a member of the HPO and Biology Club. Throughout her four years in high school, she led the fencing team and was a Pennsylvania state representative for Future Business Leaders of America. In her community, she was an active youth group leader and community service volunteer. This past year, Ouk earned the title of state finalist in a national pageant. When she isn’t studying to become an orthodontist, Ouk said she enjoys spending time with her family and dog Callie and taking trips back to her hometown near Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
Jewel Stokes is a first-year from Columbia, South Carolina studying biochemistry. When she is not in class or studying she said she enjoys playing volleyball, violin, guitar and reading. By becoming a senator of the first-year class she said she hopes to be an advocate for first-year students by listening to their concerns and finding a strategy to solve their problems. She said she will continue the sense of community that The University has created. Stokes said she aims to be a resource for students, to ensure that everyone feels like a person and not another complaint in a jar.
Nyssa Thompson is double-majoring in neuroscience and philosophy. She is on a pre-medicine track and is in the SJLA Honors Program. Thompson recently become a member of the HPO and the Scranton Neuroscience Society. When she is not studying, she said she enjoys playing violin – which she has played for the past 17 years – reading, photography and meeting new people. She is from southern Maryland, where she lives with her parents and toy poodle named Pumpkin. Thompson said she realized she wanted to become a doctor after seeing her mom’s difficulties with the neuromuscular disease CMT. She said she immediately recognized The University as the perfect place for her to study neuroscience because of its impressive academics and opportunities for research. However, she said she has found another important aspect of this institution – the people, which she said makes the campus a warm and welcoming place. She said her hope is to contribute to and be inspired by this unique atmosphere. Thompson said she is enjoying her studies in addition to making new friends and is extremely excited to be attending The University.