2018 Van Dellen Scholarship Winners: Claire Hunter and Mia Melao

Westfield – The Westfield Foundation is pleased to announce Claire Hunter and Mia Melao as the Clarence H. and Florence Horn Van Dellen Scholarship recipients for 2018.

Claire Hunter studies at The College of New Jersey.

Claire was an outstanding student at WHS, taking a very demanding program of study.  She balanced her rigorous academic schedule while teaching “Little Stars” – a dance program for children with special needs and disabilities.  She was an Assistant Athletic Trainer, a Transition Leader and has reached the highest level in Girl Scouts.

Claire is attending The College of New Jersey.  She is studying Occupational Therapy. Her journey to become an occupational therapist was sparked by her Junior research paper.  Being a lifelong dancer, she wanted to combine her love of dance with her interest in the health sciences.   She focused on the use of dance therapy with autistic children.  Her results found a positive effect on the physical, emotional, mental and social well-being of the children. Her goal is to use dance therapy combined with a degree as an occupational therapist to help children with autism.

Mia Melao is a student at Fairfield University.

At WHS, Mia was a standout cross-country runner and is on the cross-country team for Fairfield University in Connecticut, where she is enrolled in the honors program, studying nursing. Mia shared her love of running with youth in the area, as a coach for the Westfield YMCA Flyers Track Club.  Additionally, Mia was an active member at WHS as a transition leader, a member of the WHS National Honor Society, volunteered as a peer minister at St. Helen’s Church, and volunteered for Project Linus, a charity dedicated to distributing blankets to children in hospitals, shelters, and social service agencies.

Mia realized she wanted to be a nurse during her junior year of high school.  An AP Biology class reading requirement, Origins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives by Annie Murphy Paul, inspired her Junior research paper.  For her research, Mia studied new technologies which could predict illnesses in a fetus that would not present themselves until late adulthood.  This paper combined with her dissection unit in biology made her realize she loved the sciences and inspired her to become a nurse.

The Van Dellen Scholarship is $10,000 a year for four years totaling $40,000.  The selection criteria for the scholarship are: community service, academic achievement (top 25% of class), character, financial need and leadership.

The Westfield Rotary’s Scholarship Committee also administers several scholarships for the community-based Westfield Foundation.  Two top scholarships awarded in memory of Charles and Florence Wallace total $15,000 each, to be paid over the course of four years. The 2018 recipients are Claire Hunter and Shea Elliott.   The recipient of the Scholarship in memory of Chester A. Gerdes is Noah Ensslin.  In addition, the Linda Read Memorial Scholarships recipient is Julia Vricella-Stokes and the Read Law Scholarships recipients are Julia Schiano and Julia Robb.

Complete listing of the 2018 scholarship winners is here.

Michael Rodriguez is Awarded the 2017 Van Dellen Scholarship.

The Westfield Foundation is happy to announce Michael Rodriguez as the Clarence H. and Florence Horn Van Dellen Scholarship recipient for 2017.   Michael is a third-generation Westfield resident and the first in his family to attend college.

Michael Rodriguez, the 2017 Van Dellen scholarship winner.

At WHS, Michael was active in the WHS theater program, mainly using his talents working with the backstage crew for various productions.   He was also a student government representative.   While in high school, Michael worked part-time at a local smoothie establishment, Fresh Bui.

Michael is attending George Washington University in Washington DC., planning on achieving a double major in criminology and psychology.  While in HS, his favorite subjects were Psychology, Biology and American Studies. He also admits to be a devotee of Netflix, specifically documentaries.  Although Michael will only be a train ride away from home, he remarked he will most miss the people and the beaches of NJ the most.

The Van Dellen Scholarship is $10,000 a year for four years totaling $40,000.  The selection criteria for the scholarship are: Community Service, Academic Achievement (top 25% of class), Character, Financial Need and Leadership.

The Westfield Rotary’s Scholarship Committee also administers several scholarships on behalf of the community-based Westfield Foundation.   Two top scholarships were awarded in memory of Charles and Florence Wallace totaling $15,000 each to be paid over the course of four years. The recipients are Elizabeth Brown Cordero who will attend the University of Delaware and Christina Harvey who will attend the University of Vermont.  The recipient of the $3,000 Scholarship in Memory of Chester A. Gerdes, is Aliya Barnes who will attend San Diego State University.   Two Wallace $2,500 scholarships are awarded to Mark Kostyack, who is headed for the Ohio State University and to Allesandra Sabba, who will attend Arcadia University.   In addition, two Linda Read Memorial Scholarships of $3,750 each were awarded to Soo Min Chung and Katerina Truch, and the Read Law Scholarship in the amount of $10,000 was awarded to Kerrington Hall.

Over $135,000 was distributed in scholarships to students.  Here is a listing of the 2017 Scholarship winners administered through the Westfield Foundation:

Charles Addams Memorial Art Scholarship – Matt Bernstein

Madeleine Wild Bristol Fine Arts Scholarships – Soo Min Chung and Matt Hopen

Robert L. and Marilyn P. Bunting Scholarship – Kathleen Sullivan

Matthew C. Cahill Memorial Scholarship – Stefan Crigler

Class of ’57 and Robert L. and Linda J. Foose Memorial Award – Kevin Womack

Class of ’57 Distinguished Teacher Award – Molly Dennis

Drude Sparre Crane Music Scholarship – Anusha Iyer

Isabella Dodds Scholarship – Cameron Scalera

Bruce G. Dunning Memorial Award – Claire Brennan

Edmund K. Faltermayer Scholarship – Zoe Rader

Charles H. Frankenbach Memorial Scholarship – Philip Zanfagna

Tomas Garcia Memorial Scholarships – Rebekkah Dayon and Cooper Harris

David M. Hart Science Scholarship – Alessandra Sabba

Waldron W. Holck Memorial Scholarship – Brianna Muselli

Andrew H. Karp Memorial Awards – Samantha Della Fera and Emmy Liederman

Nelson A. Keller Memorial Scholarships – Bianca Cammarano and Caroline Schafer

Joel B. Langholtz Memorial Award – Rayanne Elsheriff

Steven L. Lapidus Scholarship – Marie Eisenhauer

Peggy H. and Jeremiah A. Lott Scholarship – Loukas Carayannopoulos

Frank A. and Margaret R. MacPherson Scholarship – Christopher Swingle

Jean M. McDermott Fine Arts Scholarships – Dale Beyert

Helen Bell and John S. McMartin Scholarships – Elizabeth Brown-Cordero and Cameron Scalera

Lisa K. Monteleone Scholarship – Jenna Iorio

Douglas J. Odenkirk Memorial Scholarship – Emma Buckley

Mandeville Rentrop Memorial Scholarships – Brianna Muselli

Joseph E. Rood Memorial Scholarship – Jack Neiswenter

Rachel Mather Sullivan Memorial Scholarship – Matt Hopen

Justina V. Taylor Memorial Scholarship – Christina Harvey

Noel A. and Thelma C. Taylor Memorial Scholarship – Danielle Rinaldi

Liesja Tortorello Memorial Scholarship – Philip Zanfagna

Gail W. Trimble Memorial Scholarships – Haley Nettler

Ruth V. Vincent Fine Arts Scholarships – Charlie Jeckell and Sarah Lincoln

Earl and Helen W. Wyman Scholarship – Aliyah Barnes

Westfield Foundation Matching McCoy Scholarship – Grace Brindle

If you would like to read more about these scholarships given to area students, please click here..