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Finalists for 47th Annual President's Award Announced

Finalists for 47th Annual President's Award Announced

by Public Relations | May 04, 2021

Please click here to watch the livestream of this year's 2021 Honors Convocation | 2021 Honors Convocation Program

LATROBE, PA – Saint Vincent College has announced that five seniors have been named finalists for the 47th annual President’s Award, the College’s highest student honor, presented to the member of the graduating class who best embodies the Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts college values in its students – outstanding academic achievement, student leadership and community service.

The 2021 finalists for the President’s Award are Mary R. Anand, a biochemistry major from Gibsonia; Michael J. Cella, a biology major from Pittsburgh (15221); Shae S. Robson, an accounting major from Tarentum; Julia C. Snyder, an English and communication double major from Murrysville; and Moira J. Sullivan, an anthropology major from Waldorf, Maryland.

Father Paul R. Taylor, O.S.B., Ph.D., college president, will present the award at the spring Honors Convocation, which will be livestreamed from the historic Saint Vincent Archabbey Basilica at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, May 5. It can be viewed at

In addition to the presentation of the President’s Award, the College will also announce the Awards for Academic Excellence in the Major Field of Study for the 2021 graduates, the recipient of the Fr. Ronald R. Gorka Scholarship Award, the Quentin Schaut and Boniface Wimmer faculty awards and Student Government Association (SGA) Senior, Faculty and Administrator Awards.

Michael Downey, C’04, principal and vice president of commercial real estate leader Avison Young, will deliver the Honors Convocation address.



Mary AnandMary R. Anand
Named to the Dean’s List in each of her seven semesters at Saint Vincent College, Anand has earned induction into the Alpha Lambda Delta, Gamma Sigma Epsilon and Alpha Chi honor societies, while she is a Benedictine Leadership Studies fellow and is enrolled in the SVC Honors Program. She is a four-year member of the SVC Respect Life Club, presently serving as secretary, while for the past three years, she has volunteered with Bearcat B.E.S.T. as a Bearcat Buddy. For the duration of her time at SVC, she has been active with Campus Ministry, regularly serving as lector, eucharistic minister and altar server. She was also honored to have the opportunity to deliver the “I Have a Dream” speech at the College’s 2018 celebration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. She is a mentor for the American Medical Student Association, having presented seminars on MCAT preparation and sharing her experiences on applying to medical school with her fellow SVC health professions students. Off-campus, she has volunteered at the Mission of Mercy Clinic and has worked at Canonsburg Hospital as a patient fall prevention volunteer, purposeful patient volunteer and general volunteer. In 2019, she was named Outstanding Intern in the Allegheny Health Network Singer Medicine Institute research internship program as a member of the gastroenterology research team under Dr. Shayam Thakkar. Also in the summer of 2019, she took part in the Faith, Work and God in India service-learning trip, where she volunteered at the Missionaries of Charity Home for disabled girls in Kolkata. She is the daughter of Herm and Anita Anand and the older sister of Joseph, Thomas and Regina Anand. A member of Saints John and Paul Roman Catholic Parish in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, Anand is certified by the Diocese of Pittsburgh as a Level 1 Catechist in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program. Following graduation, she will pursue a medical degree with plans to become a physician scientist, performing both clinical care and medical research.


Michael CellaMichael J. Cella
Along with his biology major, with an organismal concentration, Cella is a music minor, with a concentration in piano. He has been named to the Dean’s List in each of his semesters at Saint Vincent College and is a member of the Tri-Beta, Gamma Sigma Epsilon, Alpha Lambda Delta and Alpha Chi honor societies, while he was honored to be selected to the 2020-21 Homecoming court this spring. A prefect in Saint Benedict Hall – and proud 2020 Pod Wars champion – Cella has been involved with a plethora of clubs and activities, including the Activities Programming Board, the American Medical Student Association and the Circle K Club, as well as the March of the Bearcats marching band (serving as treasurer) and the Concert Band. Cella has been active in Campus Ministry as an altar server and in Eucharistic processions, while he has worked as a teaching assistant in the Biology Department for the past four semesters. He was chosen for the DeMazza-Prosperi Internship, shadowing 10 different physicians in various medical specialties and working with debilitated and afflicted patients and completed a senior research project entitled “The Antimicrobial and Antibiofilm Activities of Essential Oils on the Oral Microbiome.” A graduate of Serra Catholic High School, Cella is actively involved in his home parish of Saint John Fisher in Churchill, working its annual church festival and serving as the youth choir saxophone accompanist and an altar server. The son of Jeff and Erin Cella, he will attend Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine to pursue an osteopathic medical degree and hopes to specialize in internal medicine and become a primary care physician.


Shea RobsonShae S. Robson
Robson, who minors in finance in addition to her accounting major, has been named to the Dean’s List in each semester at Saint Vincent College and is the College's 2021 recipient of the Award for Academic Excellence in accounting. She is a member of the Delta Mu Delta, Alpha Chi and Alpha Lambda Delta honor societies and was presented Alpha Lambda Delta’s Maria L. Leonard Senior Book Award earlier this semester. On campus, she is a member of the Women in Business Club and holds work-study positions in both the Department of Athletics and the Fitness Center, while she has completed a pair of internships in Pittsburgh. In 2019, she was a global business services intern for Matthews International, while last summer, she was a business tax services (BTS) intern for KPMG. Robson is a four-year starting outfielder on the Bearcat softball team, posting a .325 career batting average with 99 hits, 66 runs and 43 RBIs over the span of her career and earning selection to the Presidents’ Athletic Conference Academic Honor Roll in each of the past three years. The daughter of Jeff and Laura Robson, she is a graduate of Deer Lakes High School and a member of Saint Victor’s Roman Catholic Parish in the Our Lady of the Lakes grouping in Bairdford, Pennsylvania. Following graduation, Robson will sit for the CPA exams and begin as a BTS associate with KPMG in November.



Julia SnyderJulia C. Snyder
A double major in English and communication, Snyder is also an anthropology minor and has earned selection to the Dean’s List in each semester at SVC. An Honors Scholar and the 2021 recipient of SVC's Award for Academic Excellence in English, she is a member of the Sigma Tau Delta, Lambda Pi Eta and Alpha Chi honor societies. Snyder is a founding member of the SVC Writer’s Club, while she has also been a member of the MADComm Club, Reading Club and Respect Life Club, having served as secretary for all three, as well as the Campus Ministry leadership team in Apologetics. She is a staff member for SVC’s student-run literary and art magazine, Generation, having served as co-editor of its recently released 2020-21 issue, while she is copy editor and staff writer for The Review, administrative assistant for the Department of English and marketing intern for Eulalia Books. In this role, she has produced book trailers for upcoming releases, written press releases, assisted with social media management and promoted new releases for the independent publisher of literary translations housed at Saint Vincent College and affiliated with SVC’s literary translation program. In 2018, she completed an internship in Heinz History Center’s publications division, where she wrote blogs and book reviews and served as proofreader, editor and researcher, while in 2019, she traveled to Guatemala for the class Culture and Health in Guatemala. Snyder’s poem “Insomnia” was the first-place winner in Saint Vincent College’s 2020 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Poetry Competition, and her essay “Rationalism in Contemporary American Culture” was the first-place winner in the 2018 Douglas B. Rogers Conditions of a Free Society Essay Contest. Following graduation, Snyder plans to pursue a career in publishing and intends to continue reading and writing poems in her spare time. The daughter of Terry and Christa Snyder, she is a member of Holy Family Roman Catholic Parish in Plum.  


Moira SullivanMoira J. Sullivan
A native of Waldorf, Maryland, and graduate of Saint Mary’s Ryken High School, Sullivan has been named to the Dean’s List in each of the past seven semesters and is the 2021 recipient of SVC's Award for Academic Excellence in anthropology. A Benedictine Leadership Studies Fellow and member of the Alpha Lambda Delta and Alpha Chi honor societies, Sullivan is also active in student theatre at Saint Vincent College, having performed in various productions of The Saint Vincent Players and the Gilbert and Sullivan Club, for which she serves as fundraising chair on its executive board. She holds a work-study position for the Anthropology/Sociology Department and as a part of her Applied Anthropology course as a sophomore, she was part of a research team that conducted researches on student approaches to food and Saint Vincent College Dining Services. She has also studied abroad during a week-long trip to Peru as part of the History and Culture of Peru course, while in the summer of 2018, she participated in a 10-week long Historical Archaeology Field School at historic St. Mary’s City in Maryland. Following graduation, Sullivan will attend graduate school at Monmouth University, pursuing a master of arts in anthropology with a certificate in archaeology. She plans on focusing her research on military sites archaeology and ultimately find a job in that field. The daughter of Carolyn and Eric Sullivan, she is a member of St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Parish in Waldorf, Maryland.



PHOTO 1: Mary R. Anand

PHOTO 2: Michael J. Cella

PHOTO 3: Shae S. Robson

PHOTO 4: Julia C. Snyder

PHOTO 5: Moira J. Sullivan


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