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Unanue Scholars Embark on Careers of Service After Graduation  

Class of 2019 embodies the vision and legacy of Unanue family

2019 graduating Unanue scholars. x320

Unanue Scholars at the Baccalaureate Commencement Exercises on May 20, 2019.

Unanue Scholars of The Joseph A. Unanue Latino Institute received their degrees before they embark on careers focused on serving others in medicine, education and media. These graduating seniors succeeded in the classroom, held leadership positions in University organizations and pursued internships related to their professional goals.

Unanue scholars represent the ideals of the Unanue Institute, first envisioned by its benefactors Joseph and Carmen Ana Unanue, which aims to cultivate the next generation of servant leaders in a global society.

"We are proud to have been a part of the academic journeys of our Unanue scholars," said Stephanie Macias-Arlington, executive director of the Joseph A. Unanue Latino Institute. "Providing scholarship, a sense of community and resources for professional development was the vision of our benefactors Joseph and Carmen Ana Unanue. The graduating class of 2019 Unanue scholars exemplifies this mission and represents the enduring legacy of our benefactors."

The following scholars received their diplomas at the Baccalaureate Commencement Exercises on May 20, 2019.

Alexandra Kathryn Recupero is a diplomacy and international relations and communication studies double major with a minor in Spanish from Charlotte, North Carolina. As a student leader, Recupero served as the director of Community Service and Engagement, director of Public and Alumni Relations and class representative for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Association. She also remained actively involved as a team leader for the Division of Volunteer Efforts (DOVE), a writer for The Diplomatic Envoy and the secretary of the Sociology Club. Recupero interned at La Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos and the Interamerican Court for Human Rights in San Jose, Costa Rica while studying abroad at Univerisad Veritas. After graduation, Recupero is moving to Samoa to serve in the Peace Corps.

Angie Loveday Solano is a broadcasting and visual media major with a concentration in film production and a minor in Asian Studies from San Jose de Dos, Costa Rica. Solano served as the chief operating officer of Epsilon Nu Tau entrepreneurship fraternity, danced with the K@SHU Dance Team and participated as a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Korean Language and Culture Club. Solano also performed various roles on campus as a DJ, tronner, newscaster and assistant producer for WSOU, assistant editor for Alive Inside Foundation, videographer for Ars Nova Video Photography, director and crewmember for Pirate Television and assistant language teacher for DOVE. After graduation, Solano plans to continue studying film production and Asian Studies and working with directors in the Costa Rican film industry.

Lesley Aguiar is a nursing major from New Brunswick, New Jersey. Outside of class and her involvement with the Unanue Institute, Aguiar taught English as a Second Language (ESL) classes with DOVE, volunteered with the Don Bosco Center and served as a member of Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity and the Educational Opportunity Program. Aguiar interned with Bayshore PCT and University Hospital of Newark. Following graduation, she would like to become a nurse practitioner.

Chelsea Dantas is a biology major and psychology minor from Kearny, New Jersey. Dantas served as president and special events coordinator for Adelante, senator from the College of Arts and Sciences, public relations chair for the Student Government Association, and a Resident Assistant (RA). In addition to performing various roles with student organizations, Dantas interned at the Jersey Shore Medical Center, worked as a tutor for Varsity Tutors and completed a work study for the chemistry department. In August, Dantas will enroll in St. George's Medical School in Grenada.

Geraldine Burga is a biology major and chemistry minor, graduating magna cum laude, from Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Burga was a member of Adelante, served as fundraising chair and medical outreach chair for Global Medical Brigades and worked as a research assistant in the biology department and assistant to the Office Manager in the Dean's Suite at the College of Arts and Sciences. Burga plans to pursue a career as a pediatrician or pediatric physician assistant.

Adam Varoqua is a psychology and social and behavioral sciences double major and anthropology minor, graduating magna cum laude, from Haledon, New Jersey. Varoqua served as a senator in the Student Government Association, president of PRIDE/Allies, president of the Psychology Club, president of the Youth Democratic Socialists of America, vice president of POETIC (People of Education Together Influencing Culture), vice president of GERA (Global Emergency Response)-SHU. He actively wrote for The Setonian and The Diplomatic Envoy and worked as a peer mentor for the Inclusion Alliance. As part of his passion for the mission of the Unanue Institute, Adam also worked as the resident writer and researcher for the Institute. Over the course of his undergraduate career, he completed internships at the Lambert Castle Museum, GERA, Bergen Conklin Youth Resources Center, the Hudson Pride Center and David's Shoes. Varoqua also held a number of student worker positions. Following graduation, Varoqua hopes to attend graduate school.

Jaquelin Rivas-Tejada is a nursing major and Spanish minor, graduating cum laude, from West Orange, New Jersey. Rivas-Tejada served as a member of Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, and the Student Nurses Association while also working as a program coordinator for DOVE and the Don Bosco Youth Center. She also had been distinguished as a servant leader scholar with the Center for Vocation and Servant Leadership. Outside of the classroom, Rivas-Tejada interned with the Red Cross in Oaxaca, Mexico. After graduation, Rivas-Tejada plans to work as an ER Nurse.

Desire Almonte is a nursing major from Little Ferry, New Jersey. Almonte served as public relations officer for Adelante and secretary of the Educational Opportunity Program of South Orange (EOPSO). Almonte completed an externship at St. Joseph's Medical Center and various work studies as a nurse's aide. Her goal is to become a nurse practitioner.

Adrian J. Orozco is a political science major and Africana Studies minor from Elizabeth, New Jersey. Orozco served as the senate secretary for the Student Government Association, president of the United Greek Council and president of Lamdba Theta Phi fraternity. Orozco interned with Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ) through the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, worked with the Catholic Charities of Newark Immigration Law Center and assisted with numerous local political campaigns. Orozco will be joining Teach for America and later aspires to work on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Categories: Campus Life , Education

For more information, please contact:

  • Stephanie Macias-Arlington
  • (973) 761-9422
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