Announcing our 2011 Hydrocephalus Association Scholarship Recipients!

We are so pleased and humbled to announce the 2011 Hydrocephalus Association Scholarship Awards recipients. The scholarships program marks its 17th year and we are very proud to honor these amazing young adults. Despite the challenges and obstacles, these future young leaders of our community are able to further their education, help their community and inspire their peers.

These scholarships were funded by two Gerard Swartz Fudge Memorial Scholarship Funds, two Morris L. and Rebecca Ziskind Memorial Scholarship Funds, two Anthony Abbene Scholarship Funds, the Justin Scot Alston Memorial Scholarship Fund, the Mario J. Tocco Hydrocephalus Foundation Scholarship Fund, and the Giavana Marie Melomo Memorial Scholarship Fund.

We are very grateful to all the funders and the Scholarship Committee for all their support and dedication. Congratulations 2011 Scholarship Recipients!!!

anupali bewtra“I have made what could be my weakness my strength”

Anupali Bewtra is looking into science oriented programs, especially medical research. Anupali is ambitious and wants to make a difference. In high school, she created a club called Ex-Animo: From the Heart, where students get together and get involved, such as fundraising to support children affected by HIV/AIDS. Hydrocephalus and the mechanics of shunts have opened her eyes to medical research and interest in science. Anupali is determined to learn more about hydrocephalus and empower herself by being proactive about her healthcare. She is the recipient of one of the Morris L. and Rebecca Ziskind Memorial Scholarships

matthew e bosler“While Hydrocephalus has undoubtedly affected my life, it has by no means limited it”

Matthew E. Bosler has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and is currently working on his Masters in Public Health from Walden University. His dream is to go to medical school and pursue an MD/DPH degree. Besides school, Matthew keeps himself very busy by working at Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Emergency Department, volunteering with the American Red Cross, being a volunteer medic and avid hiker and runner, as well as spending time with his family. Mathew feels that having hydrocephalus has taught him to be more patient and has many friends who are like family to him as they stood by him through rough times. Matthew is the recipient of one of the Morris L. and Rebecca Ziskind Memorial Scholarships

jennifer kathryn thomas“The value of life has been redefined and who I am has changed as a result. Sometimes I think the maturity forced on me, has given me a step up from the rest of my peers. “

Jennifer Kathryn Thomas
is a vivacious student at Grand Valley State University, working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. She believes that her brain tumor and hydrocephalus diagnosis have given her first hand insights that will allow her to give other patients a unique level of care, courage and compassion and be the best nurse she could be. Despite all the challenges from hospitalizations and learning difficulties she endures, Jennifer holds many leadership roles on campus and loves the outdoors and believes that being positive, active and a productive member of society is key to making a difference in the world around her. Jennifer is the recipient of one of the Gerard Swartz Fudge Memorial Scholarships.

lauren n merrell“Hydrocephalus has greatly impacted my life because it has taught me to be selfless and independent”

Lauren N. Merrell is a student at her local community college in the Honors Program. She plans on transferring to a university to pursue a career in nursing. Lauren has been a great asset to her local hospital’s neurosurgery department as she volunteers her time as a peer supporter to patients dealing with hydrocephalus. She enjoys baking, outdoor activities and going on spontaneous road trips. Lauren takes pride in all the volunteer work she is doing either through the hospital or her local Hydrocephalus WALK event to raise awareness about hydrocephalus and support those who are newly diagnosed. Lauren is the recipient of the Mario J. Tocco Hydrocephalus Foundation Scholarship.

sarah hochberg“I would like to help others by being involved in researching the disease in hopes of finding a cure or improving the procedures that are currently used to treat hydrocephalus”

Sarah Hochberg is attending college and majoring in Economics and Psychology and enjoys spending time with friends. Sarah also likes to participate in science projects and research. Her projects landed her entries to several competitions and science fairs like The Dupont Challenge Science Essay, Siemens Westinghouse Competition and The Long Island Science and Engineering Fair. She was even awarded a certificate from The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for one of her projects. The project that has meant the most to Sarah was her work on understanding flow of cerebrospinal fluid dynamics in children and adults as she said: “I hope this knowledge will help doctors create better techniques to treat hydrocephalus…” Sarah has missed many events and much of her school throughout the years because of her hydrocephalus, but her determination and resolve remains strong at furthering research into other diseases including hydrocephalus. Sarah is a recipient of one of the Anthony Abbene Scholarships.

william lorenzen“Having a learning disability has taught me how to advocate for myself”

William Lorenzen is finalizing his decision as to what college to go to. In 2010, William was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout. Through the years of scouting, William has developed his love for the outdoors. Two trips are particularly special to William, his trip to Allagash Wilderness Waterway in Maine, where he paddled 100 miles and the New Mexico trip to the Philmont Scout Ranch where he hiked 65 miles. William would like to major in Environmental Science and work in the field of environmental management and policy. Even though William had to work harder than the rest of his peers he persevered through school and reached his goals as he puts it: “…this shows that I’m not willing to give up on things.” When he and his family attended the National Conference on Hydrocephalus in Utah, they met another family and started a support group. William kept attending the meetings and shared his experiences dealing with hydrocephalus with the other families and children in the group. “I feel that since I’m doing well, the other families can have hope that their children will do just as well” William is a recipient of one of the Anthony Abbene Scholarships.

katherine magradey“I never allowed myself to think “if” I go to college, I always said “when” I go to college”

Katharine Magradey has applied to several colleges and heard from many. Her first choice is to attend Maryland Institute College of the Arts as she has a great interest in photography and would like to pursue a career in the field. Katharine was diagnosed with a Brainstem Tectal Glioma and suffered years of symptoms like vision and memory problems as well as debilitating headaches. Her tumor grew bigger so she finally received a shunt to treat her hydrocephalus and is currently undergoing radiation. Katharine feels much better these days: “… I feel so much better. My headaches have gone away, my energy level is so much better and my memory has improved….” Despite all what Katharine has endured (and continues to endure) she found time and energy to volunteer at the Howlmore Animal Shelter, play violin through middle and high school and in the South Carolina Junior Philharmonic Orchestra, discover new rock bands and go see them in concerts, teach herself to play the guitar and loves to read. Her love for photography had allowed her to exhibit her art and spread awareness about hydrocephalus. One of the pictures she displayed at the gallery was a self-portrait she shot while she was experiencing a headache. Katharine says: “It generated some discussion and allowed me to share the impact this kind of pain has on a person’s life” Katharine is the recipient of the Giavanna Marie Melomo Memorial Scholarship.

nicholas r marino

“I try to focus on the good things in life… sure sometimes things are tough but there are many people that have it much worse”

Nicholas R. Marino is a young man aspiring to be a policeman and have a career in criminal justice. He has chosen to go to Centenary College because of the excellent program and for their support program, Project ABLE, for students with disabilities, as he had a shunt placed at one month of age and since then has had 4 revisions, deals with Spastic Diplegia and Cerebral Palsy. Nicholas endured years of physical therapy and occupational therapy. This did not stop him from staying busy with biking and hiking. At 16, because of all the issues he experienced and his visits to the hospitals, Nicholas decided to volunteer on the first aid squad and received his EMT training and now he is an official EMT on the Cedar Knolls First Aid Squad. He also volunteers his time to assist elderly to learn computer skills and feels that his greatest interest in life is helping others, which earned him a “Character Counts” award last year from his school. The award is given each marking period to students who exhibit good character and treat people kindly with respect. As Nicholas said: “There are different phases that you go through on your road to acceptance of your disabilities and I’d like to help others as they do this…” Nicholas is the recipient of the Justin Scot Alston Memorial Scholarship.

heather miller“I hope to help others with hydrocephalus by getting the word out so that more people know what it is and understand it”

Heather Miller is a student at Western Michigan University in the special education teaching program. She is also minoring in Early Childhood Education and English. Heather envisions herself as a pre-school teacher and working with children in foster care. Unfortunately, Heather had to deal with headaches that were so severe they limited many aspects of her life and led her to miss school and work. Her health issues also led her to go to school part time but she is still very determined to finish college and fulfill her goals. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys dancing, swimming and going on the boat out on the lake as well as spending time with friends. Heather is a recipient of one of the Gerard Swartz Fudge Memorial Scholarships


CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2011 SCHOLARSHIP FINALISTS! Wishing you all the best in your endeavors!!

Jonathan Abernathy Kelsey Hurst
Ricardo Miguel Aranda Anna Jones
Paula Babakhanloo Sarah Katz
Karley Barnett Serina Kocher
Meldrid Barrios Michelle Koehler
Shannon Bashor Andrew Lopez
Desiree Aimee Ashleigh Bellman Molly Martin
Lynzee Benoit Martha Mason
Jacob Michael Bentley Ryan Matheny
Christopher Boes Lauren Mazzant
Diane Bojarcik Shaylene Michaels
Cody A.  Bondeson Katherine Murphy
Benjamin Cody Bowman Jeremy Ryan Nafus
Elliot M. Browning Ralph James Nappi Iii
Patricia Bugh Elizabeth Ann Norris
Matthew W.  Bush Juliette Ohan
Aaron Buttram Mary O’Malley
Cosmin T.  Catavei John O’Shaughnessy
Victoria Chang Tyrell Paige
Ashley Nicole Clark Jennifer Perry
Karl Conroy Tammie Person
Charissa Cooper Morgan Pesante
Mercedes   Coreano Lauren Elizabeth Poole
Rosha Crawford Sarah Regan
Kristoffer G.  Crockett William Riva-O’Connell
Keith Crosby Emily Robinson
Chelsea Davis Daniel Rusinek
Holly Dunlap Shelby Kaitlyn Sampson
Tabatha Dunlap Elise Sauder
Adam Dwyer Eryn Smith
Sebastian Edmonds Martha Sorto
Wesley Eggleston Michael Stabile
Michaela Renee Else Mandana Stone
Benjamin C. Enz Arielle Sutton
Amanda Feld Ashley Taylor
Michael Fenstermaker Joseph Davis Thompson
Shannon Fowler Cynthia Taylor Marie Waddell
Molly Fuchs Bridget Wagner
Brittney Hansen Kimberly Warren
Keaton Hardwick Megan Whitehead
Alexandra Gregson Harper Terry Williford
Ashley Hasler Amanda Witzig
Tyler James Hebberd Alyssa Worley
Jennifer Hoffmann Erica Zohn
Kori Hondrick