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Public Relations
Posted: Tuesday Apr 17, 2012

April 17, 2012

Saint Vincent College announced that five seniors have been named finalists for the 38th annual President’s Award, the College’s highest student honor, presented to the member of the graduating class who best embodies what the Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts college values in its students – outstanding academic achievement, student leadership and community service.

The finalists are Michael G. Barkowski, a biology and theology double major from Natrona Heights; Simon P. Clayton, a marketing major from Newark, New Jersey; Taylor L. Guido, a chemistry major and secondary education minor from Greensburg; Julie M. Pomerleau, a psychology and theology double major and sociology minor from Jeannette; and Renold M. Sossong, a finance and politics double major from New Germany.

College President Br. Norman W. Hipps, O.S.B., will present the award at the spring Honors Convocation on Wednesday, April 25 at 12:30 p.m. in Saint Vincent Basilica.

Michael G. Barkowski

Michael G. Barkowski is the son of Lawrence and Kathleen Barkowski of Natrona Heights. He graduated from Saint Joseph Catholic High School, Natrona Heights, in 2008. At Saint Vincent, he has been a member of the Life Science Club (vice president), Service Learning Community Meal committee, Respect Life Club (public relations officer), Equestrian Club, Campus Ministry (altar server, lector and Eucharistic minister), The One community enhancement initiative, Knights of Columbus (founder, trustee, chief squire, youth counselor and associate state director of squires program), and coordinator of Sports Friendship Day. He has been honored as a member of Alpha Lambda Delta honor society for excellent academic achievement (most active member award); Dean’s List; Academic and Leadership Scholarships Awardee; Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities; Theta Alpha Kappa national honor society in fields of theology and religious studies; Highest Level of Engagement as a Prefect and Benedictine Award; Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society; and Senior Benedictine Values Recognition Award. He has served as a prefect for the Residence Life Office, as an ambassador for the Admission Office and as a tutor and teaching assistant for the Biology Department. He completed shadowing experiences at the Alle-Kiski Medical Center, St. Clair Hospital and a pre-medical summer internship in Latrobe and Pittsburgh. Michael participated in service trips to Taiwan, Calcutta, Nicaragua and attended World Youth Days in Germany, Australia and Spain. After graduation, he will begin medical school at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine as well as pursue a dual degree in public health in Temple University’s master of public health program. He is a member of Saint Joseph R.C. Church in New Kensington.

Simon P. Clayton

Simon P. Clayton graduated from Saint Benedict’s Prep School in 2008 and is the son of Robert and Lydia Clayton of Newark, New Jersey. He served as a member of the Student Government Association as a freshman and sophomore senator and as Executive Board treasurer. A member of the Marketing Matrix (executive board treasurer and director of fundraising), he is a member of Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity and has been named to Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities. A member of the Multicultural Student Coalition, he has also participated in Saint Vincent College Singers, Saint Vincent College Choir and the Saint Vincent Camerata. As a member of the Schola Gregoriana, he performed in a recital of traditional Gregorian chants at Heinz Hall. The recipient of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, he studied abroad in China during his junior year and completed an internship with the International Trade Office for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Simon has been active in community service as an AmeriCorps program volunteer, Martin Luther King Challenge Day volunteer, mission service volunteer in Calcutta, India, Missionaries of Charity Soup Kitchen volunteer and Sports Friendship Day buddy. He has served the College as a prefect for the Office of Residence Life, as a tour guide for the Admission Office, completed an internship with Merrill Lynch and served as an instructor with Kids Corporation in Newark. After graduation, he will begin work for PNC Bank in Washington, D.C. He is a member of Saint Augustine R.C. Church in Newark, New Jersey.

Taylor L. Guido

Taylor L. Guido has been an active member of the Education Club, Student Government Association (Executive Board vice president), Student Athlete Advisory Committee and the Chemistry Club (treasurer). She has been honored with the Senior Benedictine Values Recognition Award, Dean’s List, Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities, SVC Community Service Award, Chi Alpha Sigma National College Athlete Honor Society, Kappa Delta Pi International Education Honor Society and Alpha Lambda Delta Academic Honor Society (president 2009-2010). She also served as homecoming queen, Westmoreland County Food Bank volunteer, missionary service volunteer in Calcutta, India, End Hunger Café volunteer, Campus Ministry pilgrimage to Italy, service volunteer in Toronto and as a Locks of Love donor. She presented her senior research at the American Chemical Society national conference in San Diego. She played varsity volleyball for four years (senior captain) and was recognized as a Presidents’ Athletic Conference player of the week, member of the academic honor roll and received all-team honors. After graduation, she plans to complete her 7-12 chemistry teaching certification and pursue a master’s degree in education to prepare for teaching secondary chemistry and coaching volleyball. Taylor is the daughter of Christopher and Sharon Guido of Greensburg and graduated from Greensburg Salem High School in 2008. She is a member of Saint Vincent Basilica Parish.

Julie M. Pomerleau

Julie M. Pomerleau, daughter of Paul and Teresa Pomerleau, is a 2008 graduate of Greensburg Central Catholic High School. She has been very active with Campus Ministry as a participant in the spring break service trips to Brazil, Guatemala and West Virginia and has served as a high school retreat leader, cantor and sacristan. A member of the Saint Vincent College Choir and Camerata, she was featured on the Camerata Scholars CD, A Blessed Day Has Dawned, and participated in the group’s pilgrimage to Milan, Italy. She is a member of the Art Club, Shakespeare Club, Psychology Club and Respect Life Club and has served as an iPraise student prayer group music leader, as a Christian Women’s Fellowship group leader and as a summer camp counselor on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in North Dakota. She has been honored with membership in Alpha Lambda Delta for excellent academic achievement, Psi Chi national honor society in psychology, Alpha Theta Kappa national honor society in the fields of theology and religious studies (and its undergraduate achievement award) and the Dean’s List. She is the recipient of the Saint Vincent Alumni Scholarship. After graduation, she plans to serve for a year with Amate House, an Archdiocese of Chicago service program serving underprivileged youths in schools and social service agencies and then to attend graduate school for counseling psychology. She is a member of Saint Vincent Basilica parish.

Renold M. Sossong

A 2008 graduate of Bishop Carroll Catholic High School, Renold is the son of Mark and Andrea Sossong of New Germany. While studying at Saint Vincent, he completed internships with the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Johnstown Department of Economic Development and the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. He has been an active member of the Saint Vincent College community serving as president of the Student Government Association Executive Board, as president of the Saint Vincent College Republicans, as a prefect for the Office of Residence Life, as business manager of The Review student newspaper and as vice president of Delta Mu Delta, the national honor society in business administration. He has participated in Campus Ministry volunteer service in West Virginia, Brazil and Alaska and will serve in Taiwan/China this summer. He has been honored with membership in Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science Honor Society), Delta Mu Delta (chapter vice president), Aurelius Scholars, Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities and as a member of the Dean’s List. He has served as a project counselor with the Diocese of Buffalo’s Camp Turner and as a project manager with Applewood Development in Johnstown. After graduation from Saint Vincent, he plans to attend law school and may pursue a dual degree JD/MBA program. He is a member of Immaculate Conception R.C. Church in New Germany.


Photos: Michael G. Barkowski, Simon P. Clayton, Taylor L. Guido, Julie M. Pomerleau and Renold M. Sossong


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