Updates On Past Scholarship Recipients

The Thomas and Elsie Deeley Foundation is extremely proud of the accomplishments of all our scholarship recipients.   Ninety five percent of them have graduated from college or are currently enrolled in college.  Most have gone on to earn advanced degrees, and some have earned doctorate degrees.

In this section you can find information about some of our previous scholarship recipients.   It includes their current status and selected accomplishments since graduating from college.  We hope their achievements serve as a motivation for all Sacred Heart High School students!

Congratulations To Our 2017 Scholarship Recipients

Erin Brown, who was awarded a scholarship to attend Central Connecticut State University.

Jatorra Jackson , who was awarded a scholarship to attend the University of Connecticut.

Heather Brown, who was awarded a scholarship to attend the University of Connecticut.

Updates On Past Scholarship Recipients

“Students who are making a difference”

We are both honored by and proud of the accomplishments of our scholarship recipients. Many have gone on to obtain advanced degrees. They are engaged in a wide range of professional pursuits, but what they all have in common is that each of them is “making a difference” in the world!

NOTE: Maiden Names Are Used For The Women Scholarship Recipients

Valerie Moore (1996) – While at Fairfield University, she spent her junior year abroad in Japan and speaks Japanese. After graduating from Fairfield with a double major in International Business and Management Information Systems, she spent several years at G.E. and moved on to work for U.N.I.C.E.F at the United Nations. She recently joined International Turbo Systems, Inc. as their Vice President of Strategy and Client Solutions.

Rocco Guerrera (1997) – Graduated from Fairfield University with a degree in Accounting and went on to obtain his MBA from Fairfield and later obtained his C.P.A. He began his career working for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a national accounting firm, and is now a Partner at Simione, Macca and Larrow, a regional accounting firm.

Christine Lamas (1999) – After graduating from Fairfield University, she obtained her Master’s Degree from Florida State University in Psychology and worked as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with the Newtown Public School System. She is currently working for Cooperative Educational Services in Trumbull, Connecticut.

Julian Saavedra (2000) – Spent a year after graduating from Fairfield University teaching in China and taught 8th grade social studies at a KIPP Charter School in the Philadelphia area.   KIPP is a nationally acclaimed network of 162 free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public schools dedicated to preparing students in underserved communities for success in college and life. He was recently recognized as a top black educator in the city of Philadelphia.  He is a founding Director of Social Studies at Belmont Charter School in West Philadelphia.

Christa Szantyr (2001) – After graduating from Fairfield University with a degree in Psychology, she went on to obtain her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Scranton. She was a middle school teacher in Bristol, Connecticut and is currently the Principal at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel grammar school in Meriden, CT.

Dr. Jenna LoGiudice (2002) – Completed her undergraduate work at Fairfield University, where she obtained a B.S. in Nursing. She went on to obtain her Master’s in Nursing from Yale University and completed her Ph. D. from the University of Connecticut School of Nursing in 2014. She is a tenure track Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at Fairfield University, where she was selected as the Undergraduate Teacher of the Year. She is also a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) and was recently named as the Director of the new Doctor of Nursing Program in Nurse Midwifery at Fairfield University.

Rob Guererra (2003) – While completing his degree in Communications at Quinnipiac University, he worked as an intern at ESPN. After graduation, he went on to full time employment with ESPN and became a production assistant on the “Mike and Mike” show. He switched to NBC Sports Radio, where he became the producer of the “Erik Kusselias Show” and is currently the producer of “Pro Football Talk Live (PFT)” with Mike Florio. This radio broadcast is on from 6-9 AM with the last two hours being simulcast on the cable TV channel NBCSN, where you can see Rob interact on air with Mike.

Stephanie LeStage (2003) – Graduated from Central Connecticut State University with a degree in Psychology and Sociology. She was working for a law firm specializing in intellectual property and has decided to take some time off to raise her children.

Erik Johnson (2003) – Graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in English Language and Literature. He is currently employed as a Sales Consultant at Blasius Chevrolet Cadillac.

Matt Alspaugh (2003) – After completing his undergraduate work at Southern Connecticut State University with a major in Media Studies and a minor in Creative Writing, he moved to New York City, where he is performing improvisational comedy and directing comedic performances. He is currently one of the sketch directors at The Magnet Theater and was selected to perform at the Chicago Sketch Festival.

Alexi Bachuretz (2004) – After transferring from Quinnipiac University, he graduated from Southern Connecticut State University with a degree in Exercise Science. He is currently employed as the Health and Wellness Director and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist at the Westport Connecticut Weston Family Y.

Eric Ellis (2004) – Graduated from Hampton University with a degree in Political Science and obtained a Master’s in Labor and Industrial Management from the University of New Haven. He works at Butler America, an aerospace and defense contractor, where he is a Technical Recruitment Specialist.

Kanping Zhong (2004) - After graduating from the University of Connecticut with a degree in Actuarial Science, he moved to China, where he served as a Loan Administration Officer for the Hang Seng Bank. He recently relocated to New York, where he is a Credit Analyst for the New York Business Development Corporation.

Jessica Bell (2005) – Since graduating from the University of Connecticut with a degree in Medical Technology, she has been working as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist at Quest Diagnostics and is also continuing her education. In addition, she started her own apparel company in 2013, “Always A Lady”.

Peter Gonzalez (2005) – He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, where he received multiple promotions and became one of its youngest sergeants. While in the Air Force, he obtained an Associates Degree in Avionics Systems. After his discharge from the service, he enrolled in an engineering program at Florida International University, where he is currently a student.

Marisa Mango (2005) – Graduated from Southern Connecticut State University with a degree in Psychology and a concentration in Mental Health. Since graduating, she has been employed by NAFI CT (North American Family Institute Connecticut), where she received the employee of the year award for her group home and residential services. She has held several positions and is currently the Foster Parent Recruiter and Trainer for the organization. She plans to return to school for her Master’s in Psychology.

David Bedard (2006) – Graduated from the University of Rhode Island (URI), where he was Student Body President and the President of Zeta Tau Fraternity. After an extended hiatus, he recently completed his degree at URI in Political Science with a minor in Economics. He is considering a career in teaching and/or student advising. He recently relocated to New Hampshire and is working as a Pharmacy Tech at Lakes Region General Hospital while he takes courses to obtain his teaching certification.

Maegen Blankenschen (2006) – Graduated from Southern Connecticut State University, where she spent a summer in The Washington Center’s Political Leadership Internship Program. Since graduation, she has held a variety of management jobs in the private and public sector and is currently a District Manager with National Office Furniture.

Chavonne White (2006) – After graduating from Southern Connecticut State University, she went on to obtain her Master’s in Social Work from Fordham University. She recently took a position as a school social worker at Amistad Academy, in New Haven, CT. The school is a college preparatory charter school through an organization called Achievement First.  The mission of this organization is to open schools in inner cities and provide top education and services to low-income communities.

Melanie Deziel (2008) – Graduated from the University of Connecticut, where she was the editor of the student newspaper and obtained a degree in Journalism. She went on to obtain her Master’s in Journalism at Syracuse University. She has worked at The Huffington Post; The New York Times, as their Digital Branded Content Editor; and as a Creative Strategist for Time Inc.’s native advertising and editorial innovation teams. She was the recipient of several awards for her New York Times project, “Women Inmates”, developed in support of “Orange Is The New Black” series for Netflix. She is also the founder of MDeziel Media, the creator of The Overlap League newsletter, and an international speaker on how storytelling and advertising can be combined to create branded digital content.

Steven Naylor (2008) – After graduating from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, where he served as the Vice President of the Student Government, he joined the United States Coast Guard and was commissioned as an officer in June 2014. He served aboard a U.S. Coast Guard Cutter on the southeast coast of the United States and was recently selected to participate in the Navy/Coast Guard Officer Exchange Program, where he will spend two years assigned to a U.S. Navy destroyer.

Dr. Daniel Camacho DMD (2009) – Completed his undergraduate work as a pre-dental major at the University of Connecticut. He graduated as a Rowe Honors Scholar, with a degree in Molecular and Cell Biology. His undergraduate thesis was titled, “Characterization of Drosophila Interacting Genes: Elucidating the Mechanism(s) of PolyQ Toxicity in Huntington’s Disease”. After graduation he received a full scholarship to the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine and spent time with members of the UConn staff operating a free dental clinic in Grenada.  Dan graduated in 2017 and is currently enrolled in an advanced program as an Orthodontics Resident at Seton Hill University.

Aaron Radden (2009) – He graduated from Central Connecticut State University with a degree in Psychology, where he was a 2nd Team All American in Track and an Academic All American. He visited Kenya with his track coach and adopted several schools in the country by providing tuition, school uniforms, school supplies and food to children who otherwise would have no access to these essentials. He recently completed his Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling (MFT) at Central Connecticut State University and is employed as a Program Director at Community Health Resources in Connecticut.  He is doing research on predictive causes of dysfunction in families.

Legairre Radden (2009) – Graduated from Central Connecticut State University, where he was at the top of his class with a 4.0 G.P.A., was Senior Class President, and was the recipient of the President’s Citation and Dean’s Citation awards. After graduation, he received a research assistantship to work towards his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Wesleyan University. He worked as a Research Scientist at Boehringer Ingelheim and is currently a Research Associate at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., working on human immune diseases. He has published several peer reviewed papers on various scientific research topics and has his name on a patent. He also continues to work towards his Ph.D.

Michael Strumski (2010) – Graduated from the University of Connecticut with a 3.7 G.P.A. while also working as an intern in the Sacred Heart High School guidance department. He recently received his Master’s degree in School Counseling from Southern Connecticut State University.  He recently accepted a job in the Guidance Department at Platt High School in Meriden, CT. working with high risk freshmen students.

Dr. Alexandra McDonald (2010) – She recently graduated from a six-year degree program at the Massachusetts College Of Pharmacy and Health Sciences where she received her Doctorate in Pharmacy (Pharm D.). She passed her NAPLEX test to become a registered pharmacist and is currently the Pharmacy Manager at the second busiest CVS in Boston.

Henry Sahn (2010) – Graduated from Quinnipiac University and is coaching the Sacred Heart High School girls soccer team. He is enrolled in the Master’s program for Public Health at Southern Connecticut State University, after which he plans to attend medical school.

Andre Gary (2010) - While attending the University of Connecticut, where he graduated with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies, he was a cofounder and captain of the ENCORE Hip Hop and Contemporary Dance Team. He is currently working as a member of the Dana Foglia Dance Company. Ms. Foglia has worked with many well-known performers, including Rihanna, Janet Jackson, and Beyoncé. You can watch him perform in this short YouTube video Dana Foglia Dance Performance (note: the first 15 seconds are somewhat dimly lit).

Deanna Rosa (2011) – Graduated from Fairfield University School of Nursing, where one of our previous scholarship recipients, Dr. Jenna LoGiudice (2002), was one of her nursing professors! She maintained a G.P.A. of 3.69 throughout her four years and is working at Yale New Haven Hospital as a nurse in the Intensive Care Unit. She recently was accepted into the Doctor of Nursing Practice Family Nurse Practitioner program at Fairfield University.

Kaitlyn “Kate” Dwyer (2011) – Maintained a 3.8 G.P.A. as a double major in Communications and English from Central Connecticut State University. She was captain of the Women’s Swimming and Diving Team and led the team to the NEC Swimming and Diving Championships. She holds several diving records and was also named to Traveler’s All Academic Team. She is currently a marketing coordinator at eThink Education.

Jake Martin (2012) – Graduated from Gordon College with honors in Business. He was a four year starter on the lacrosse team and named to the all Commonwealth Coast Conference team, where he led the team in scoring with 49 goals. He is currently working for Curriculum Associates, an educational software company.

Kim Grendzinski (2012) – She was a Dean’s List student at the University of Connecticut, where she obtained a degree in Animal Science. While at school, she participated in several research studies to improve herd growth and health.  After graduation, she worked at the Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park and is currently working at the Prospect Park Zoo in Brooklyn, New York.

Dionne Parker (2013) – She was a Dean’s List student at Coastal Carolina University, where she obtained a degree in Public Health. While at school she played intramural sports, worked as an athletic manager and was a walk-on for the Coastal Carolina’s Division I Women’s Basketball Team. She was named the assistant coach of the women’s basketball team at Lake Superior State University in Michigan and will be the head coach of the junior varsity team.  She plans on pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Health and Social Work.

Haley Iannantuoni (2013) – She recently switched majors and has two more years before obtaining her degree in Social Work from Southern Connecticut State University. She plans to continue her education by pursuing a Master’s degree. She received recognition for her blog post on “The (I’m) Possible Project”, and this recognition prompted her to consider writing a book about mental health. You can read her blog post about what motivated her to become a social worker at this link: Dear Mom, It’s Not You, It’s Me.

Molly Murphy (2013) – She recently graduated with a degree in Marketing from Southern Connecticut State University where she was the Vice President of SUMA.  After graduation she accepted a position working in the Office of Graduate Admissions at Southern Connecticut State University.