Named after Indiana’s first saint and the foundress of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, the Saint Mother Theodore Guerin Scholarship is a full-tuition award granted by SMWC annually to deserving students who embody the principles championed by Saint Mother Theodore Guerin.
The new cohort of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin scholars is made up of seven students who are intelligent, athletic, faith-filled, service-oriented and brimming with potential. Meet the 2019-20 recipients of the Saint Mother Theodore Guerin Scholarship:
Jaelyn Fennell of Terre Haute chose to study psychology and criminology at SMWC because she plans to become a psychologist at a correctional facility. “I aspire higher in life by doing [my] best to make the people around me feel good. I want to leave people feeling better and happier than before they met me.”
The 18-year-old graduate of Terre Haute North Vigo High School will also play volleyball at SMWC. She was a member of the National Honor Society in high school. She identifies reading, dancing, singing and playing with children at the 14th and Chestnut Community Center, and serving lunch at The Happiness Bag among her favorite service activities. “I am excited to be able to serve my community and school with people who have the same values as me. This scholarship means to me that you can turn negative life circumstances into something positive.”
When asked about her favorite inspirational words, she responded, “I was raised to treat the janitor with the same respect as the CEO.”
Addison Hughes, 17, of Greencastle brings to The Woods passion for the written word. The English major hopes to one day write professionally and to teach English at a college setting. At Greencastle High School, he wrote for the student newspaper and was involved in the Latin club, choir, band and theatre. He works in his church nursery and gives music lessons. He says he aspires to continue his walk with Christ and to introduce Him to as many people as possible.
His passion and faith brought him to The Woods. “I am excited to uphold the traditions of academic excellence, and more importantly, social and spiritual improvement that both SMWC and the SMTG program provide,” he said. He can’t wait to learn and make new friends.
He is a fan of Aunt May’s words in “Spider-Man 2,” “I believe there’s a hero in all of us. That keeps us honest, gives us strength, makes us noble and finally allows us to die with pride.”
Katelyn “Kate” Johnson
Kate Johnson chose not one, not two, but three majors to study at SMWC: psychology, criminology and art. “From the moment I stepped on to campus, I was overwhelmed with a sense of peace and belonging. Not to mention SMWC offers every single course I am interested in pursuing,” Johnson said. “As another huge bonus, this college focuses a lot on environmental sustainability and respect for our planet; these are two things that are incredibly important to me.”
The enthusiastic 18-year-old from Avon, a graduate of Avon High School, lists painting, drawing, ceramics, gardening, hiking and kayaking among her interests. She volunteers at a local animal shelter during her free time and periodically helps her mother serve holiday meals to assisted living residents in Plainfield. One day, she hopes to be a juvenile rehabilitation therapist in either a detention center or a psychiatric stress center. She would like to pursue a doctorate. “I would like to bring reform to the current criminal justice system and focus on healing and bettering the lives of the troubled children who become lost in the system,” she said.
As a Saint Mother Theodore Guerin scholar, she hopes to be a role model to other students and make new friends. “I feel unbelievably honored to represent Saint Mother Theodore Guerin through this scholarship and I hope to make her proud,” she said.
Johnson believes that “Nothing in nature blooms all year; be patient with yourself,” inspirational words by an unknown author.
Lyric Krause says she likes to think that she didn’t just choose SMWC; it also chose her. She said that SMWC has been her first choice for college since she was 5.
The West Terre Haute resident and graduate of West Vigo High School is majoring in biology at The Woods. She will also play softball for the Pomeroys over the next four years. In addition to volleyball and softball, she also loves to sing, participate in musicals and volunteer.
At the tender age of 17, she can say she has served over 150 people at a medical clinic in Haiti and has benefited from experiencing its culture and people. A 10 year 4-H member, Krause is grateful for the opportunities she had to interact with the youth of Vigo County. “I try my best to aspire to improve everything I do. As I walk through life, I aspire higher by not only improving my own actions, but [also] by helping others improve the things they do as well!”
Krause aspires to be a licensed veterinarian so she could give back to her community. “With any luck and a lot of hard work, I plan on opening my own clinic and offering regular free clinics to help those who don’t have the same resources as the people around them,” she said.
Perhaps this heart for service is why these words by Ronald Reagan resonate with her: “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.”
Alicia Lombardo, a member of SMWC’s women’s soccer and track and field teams, wants to be a naturalist or an officer with the Department of Natural Resources, which is why her chosen major at SMWC is environmental science. Lombardo, 18, of Danville, Illinois, is a graduate of Danville Community High School. In addition to sports, she is also involved in youth groups and volunteers at the food pantry, a nursing home, and in her church. “Each day I decide to live each moment out to its potential, I enjoy the small stuff and keep God #1 in my life,” she said.
Lombardo says the education she is looking forward to receiving at SMWC is the foundation for the rest of her life. “I am excited to be a role model as a SMTG scholar and I hope to fulfill my role as Saint Mother Theodore Guerin did in her life. This opens up new doors for my college life and I am ready to take on the responsibility that it comes with.”
She is inspired by the words of Will Rogers, “Even if you’re right on track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
A native of Paris, Illinois, 18-year-old Emilee Roush is a nursing major at SMWC. She is a graduate of Paris High School where she was active in student council, the Interact Club, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, basketball, cross country and track and field. She enjoys volunteering at various non-profits serving her local community. “I try to aspire higher in life through serving other people, whether it be big things, organized events or just picking up trash someone left behind. I enjoy the satisfaction of helping people and the humbling feeling it leaves me with.”
The aspiring nurse practitioner chose SMWC not only for its reputable nursing program but also for its rich history. She says she is very excited to become part of SMWC’s traditions, especially Ring Day. “The SMTG Scholarship made it possible for me to come to SMWC, so I am super excited for this opportunity and so grateful for the scholarship for making it happen.”
The following words by Harriet Tubman inspire her: “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
Jozee Spatta, 18, is a graduate of Owen Valley High School. The nursing major from Spencer brings to SMWC an affinity for cross country after being part of her high school’s cross country, and track and field teams. She is looking forward to continuing her career at SMWC. “I chose SMWC because it felt like I belonged. My very first visit I knew that SMWC is where I wanted to go. I already love spending time with my cross country teammates,” she said.
In high school, Spatta was a member of the youth board, Beta Club and the National Honor Society. She has been on two different mission trips within the U.S. and has spent over 200 hours volunteering at the church she has attended over the last four years. “I am truly excited about being an SMTG scholar because I know that it will give me the opportunity to be a part of something that is greater than myself. I enjoy bringing smiles to others’ faces and [I] love being a part of that pure joy that only service work can bring. …I feel blessed to be able to help carry on the legacy of such an amazing woman, Saint Mother Theodore,” she said.
In all that she does, Spatta keeps these words by Tim Maddox to heart: “Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of all the hard work that you’ve already done.”