Full-Tuition Leadership Scholarship Winners 2016: Amanda Becker and Gabriella Bruno

by William Edwards ‘15 | Mar 21, 2016

Bulldog Bash 2016

Bulldog Bash 2016

Bulldog Bash 2016 

Amanda Becker and Gabriella Bruno, two incoming DeSales University freshmen, have received leadership scholarships, a full-tuition award given to students who have displayed exceptional leadership over the course of their secondary schooling. 

This is the second year DeSales has awarded the scholarship, which was created as a way to recognize students for distinctions not academic. To be eligible, prospective students were asked to submit a maximum 500 word essay describing their leadership experience through one of six traits: courage, humanity, justice, temperance, wisdom and transcendence. Twenty-five finalists were then selected from the pool of over 400 applicants. 

Finalists were then interviewed individually primarily during the University’s scholarship day on January 30 by a faculty panel of Vice President of Student Life Dr. Jerry Joyce, Dean of Students Linda Zerbe, Associate Dean of Students Dr. Gregg Amore, and Director of the DeSales Experience Chad Serfass.

“The students we chose hold leadership roles in a variety of capacities, and some of those leadership roles they’ve been appointed to by staff and administration who saw leadership potential, and some of those roles they’ve been elected to by classmates,” Amore said. “And DeSales is a place where those students can come and find themselves and grow into leaders and citizens of character.”

Becker wrote her essay on Humanity and its application in everyday life. Currently a senior at Trinity High School in her hometown of Camp Hill, Pa., Becker cited in her essay both her experience founding a Squire Roses club—a service-oriented, Knights of Columbus-affiliated fraternity for young women, which, in Becker’s chapter, has so far worked with St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and made rosaries for the military—and her time serving as a committee member for her high school’s dance-a-THON to raise money for pediatric cancer patients as perfect examples of humanity in action.

“It was an unexpected blessing,” Becker, who is also a member of Trinity’s track team, said about winning the scholarship. “It was something you put a lot of work into and you just hope for the best and pray for the best, and thankfully those prayers were answered.”

Becker will enroll in the five-year physician assistant (MSPAS) program.

Bruno, who will come to DeSales from Kingsway Regional High School in Swedesboro, NJ, centered her essay around transcendence. The Woolwich, NJ, resident is currently class president, a three-sport athlete and a Student Ambassador at Kingsway. She is also involved in programs like TopSoccer and iCanRide Bikes, both of which help young people with disabilities, and she is a member of Kingsway’s student council executive board.

“I chose to write about transcendence because I find myself regularly looking to pass expectations,” she said. “The very first time I visited DeSales University, I knew I was standing in a community that I could call home for the next four years. I was impressed both academically and athletically with the facilities, and I knew it was a place where I could leave my mark. And, now I can!”

Bruno plans to major in sport and exercise science upon her arrival in August.

All students who entered the competition were honored at a brunch at the 2016 Bulldog Bash, the University’s Accepted Students Day.

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Tom McNamara, Executive Director of Communications

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