What are our scholarship alumni doing today?  Wonderful things! Here are a few stories.  We will update this section of the website occasionally to let you hear about past scholarship recipients and where their educations have taken them.


Awarded 2014:  Vanessa Lusa

Vanessa graduated from Duke University in May 2018 having studied public policy and education. She says she is eternally grateful for her education, because it has opened doors for her to travel all over the world and meet incredible people. Now she is living and teaching English in Spain on a Fulbright Scholarship. She loves trying to inspire and get her students interested in their own education! 



Awarded 2014:  Codi Bierce

Codi Bierce graduated from the University of Connecticut in May 2018 with a B.A. in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Although she originally planned on pursuing a career in medicine, her experience as a Resident Assistant for three years helped her realize her passion for student development and change her career path to Higher Education in Student Affairs. After changing her major to WGSS at the end of her Sophomore year, she raised and maintained her GPA to a 4.0 and became a Babbidge Scholar. She will be attending graduate school at Salem State University as a part of the incoming fall cohort. Throughout her time at UConn, she invested her time in student leadership roles in campus organizations. She attended two alternative break trips while at UConn, one in Atlanta, Georgia focused on Public Health and one in Birmingham, Alabama focused on Civil Rights and Urban Poverty. In her free time, Codi enjoys spending time with her CrossFit community at Tolland CrossFit.



Awarded 2013:  Ethan Alexander Garcia Baker

In 2017, Ethan received a BS in Neuroscience and a BA in History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Pittsburgh. In Spring 2017, he was named a Graduate Research Fellow of the National Science Foundation, which awards full funding to pursue graduate education in the sciences. Currently, he is a second-year PhD student in computational biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, MA. 




Awarded 2012:  Cassandra Svelnys

Cassandra Svelnys received a WSFDFS scholarship in 2012. She will be graduating from the University of Connecticut in May 2016 with an Honors degree in Psychology and minors in both Cognitive Science and English. Cassandra has been actively involved in research for the past two and a half years. As a research assistant in the Language Creation Lab, she is studying the human capacity for language, how space is used in sign languages, and the role of language in understanding numbers. Cassandra is also working on a thesis considering the role of social support in mediating the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, particularly the influence of mother-daughter relationships on adolescent girls exposed to potentially traumatic events. Cassandra is actively involved in many clubs on campus, including EcoHusky and the club running team. She is also the president and founding member of Language for All. This past January, Cassandra volunteered at a mobile medical clinic in Lima, Peru. Cassandra plans to continue her education through a Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology.


Cassandra Svelnys Cassandra volunteering in Peru



Awarded 2012:  Kelsey Peloso

Kelsey Peloso received a scholarship in 2012 when she started school at the University of Connecticut. She is currently a senior working towards a double major in Biological Sciences and Psychology as well as a minor in Neuroscience. Additionally, she has been a member of the Alima International Dance Association, which works to bring different cultures together through dance, for her entire time at UConn. Kelsey also works in a nutrients lab on campus analyzing water samples from around the state. She studied abroad in Scotland for the spring 2015 semester. After graduating in May 2016, she hopes to attend graduate school to study forensic science.


  Kelsey Peloso, 2015  Kelsey and her sister Marissa in Europe, 2015


Awarded 2007:  Kyle Enderle

Kyle Enderle, 2007 scholarship recipient 

Kyle Enderle

Kyle Enderle received a scholarship in 2007 but deferred it for a year while he played Junior hockey in Peoria, Illinois and St. Louis, Missouri. After hockey, Kyle attended Temple University in Philadelphia where he played Rugby and graduated with a degree in Risk Management and Insurance.  He is now in a leadership development program at Great American Insurance Company in Cincinnati, Ohio, working hard but still finding time to pursue his new favorite sport, skydiving.


Awarded 2004:  Nicole Martin and Anna Marco-Cortiel

             Anna Marco-Cortiel and Nicole (Martin) Simon at Nicole's wedding in 2012

                 Anna Marco-Cortiel and Nicole Martin in 2012

Two students who received awards from the Willington Scholarship Foundation back in 2004 took advantage of their education opportunities and are working in their chosen fields today. 

Nicole Martin completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Connecticut, received her Master's Degree in Industrial Psychology in South Carolina, and now works as a Human Resources manager in Windsor, Connecticut.  Nicole has continued studying and has received several important certifications in her field, while caring for her menagerie of four dogs and a rabbit! 

Anna Marco-Cortiel got her undergraduate degree in Linguistics from the University of Minnesota and then worked in Kyrgyzstan and Turkey as an English teacher.  She loves languages and has at least a casual knowledge of nine* different ones.  She moved back to Willington in 2012, has completed a Master's Degree and is now teaching English as a Second Language at the University of Hartford. 

*German, Spanish, Finnish, Bulgarian, Russian, Kyrgyz, Turkish, French, Berber