According to scholarship committee chairwoman Gail Grassel, the SDCCW’s scholarship program “exists to assist women of the diocese with their educational goals.” Recipients are Catholic women finishing their second year of advanced or continuing education.
In 2012, the SDCCW scholarship was renamed in honor of Mary Jane Morancyk Hennessy. Her husband John generously donated in her memory to fund the scholarships.
For 2018, nine applications were received; winners were Sarah Vater of Somerset and Sophia
Svetnicka of Eagle River.
Vater is a parishioner of St. Ann’s attending the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities with a major in Supply Chain and Operations Management with a minor in Spanish. She is on the Dean’s List and has passed the Spanish Language Proficiency Exam.
A born leader, Vater was one of 10 people chosen from a pool of 265 to serve as an ambassador for Land O’ Lakes. She has been active in her church and emerged as an effective leader in her youth group. Leading by example, Vater has helped with Habitat for Humanity, packed meals for Feed My Starving Children, and sorted food at Second Harvest Heartland as well as participated in three mission trips.
The selection committee was impressed by the letters of recommendation affirming her integrity, faith-based way of life, compassion, honesty and natural gift of mentorship.
Vater will be studying in Ecuador in the fall.
Svetnicka belongs to St. Peter the Fisherman Parish and attends the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. Her goal is a degree in psychology and theology with a career in outdoor ministry.
She has been active in the Camp AweSum program at Moon Beach near St. Germain. The camp is designed for kids on the autism spectrum and their families.
Svetnicka is active in St. Paul’s Outreach, an organization on campus; she led a small group for freshmen during the academic year and was also a group leader for the Fan into Flame Retreat. Tommie Catholic, Choir Cru and Special Olympics Club are other groups she participates in. In May, she went to Vietnam with her school choir, Donne Unite.