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Six Widener Freshmen Named Apogee Scholars

Six Widener University freshmen have been named Apogee Scholars by the Oskin Leadership Institute at Widener for their high potential for leading change on campus and in their communities. The students are also recipients of the Widener High School Leadership Award and received a $20,000 scholarship to attend Widener.

The Apogee Scholars include:

  • David Bennett, a computer information systems major from Drexel Hill, Pa.
  • Victoria Giansante, an English major from Mays Landing, N.J.
  • Valerie Quinones, a fine arts major from Wilmington, Del.
  • Holly Reynolds, a nursing major from Edgewater Park, N.J.
  • Audrey Rucker, a nursing major from Coatesville, Pa.
  • Emily Verdinelli, a social work major from Pennsville, N.J.

"Widener and the Oskin Leadership Institute are excited to welcome this class of Apogee Scholars to campus,” said Arthur J. Schwartz, executive director of the Oskin Leadership Institute. “They have already proved themselves to be leaders in their high schools and in their communities, and we look forward to helping them reach their leadership potential.”

As Apogee Scholars, the students will be asked to complete the 18 workshops required for a LEADERworks Certificate by the end of their sophomore year. LEADERworks is Widener’s leadership certificate program, offered through the Oskin Leadership Institute. Once they earn their certificate the Apogee Scholars will be involved in all aspects of the Oskin Leadership Institute, including serving as leadership coaches for new students and designing and facilitating their own leadership workshops.

The mission of the Oskin Leadership Institute is to perpetuate the university's long and noble tradition of inspiring students to be strategic leaders and responsible citizens who possess the character, courage and competencies to affect positive change throughout the world.

As Widener High School Leadership Award recipients, all of the students were nominated by their high school for their abilities to stand up for what is right, address a wrong and make a difference in their communities or schools.

Widener University is a metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate’s, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The university’s campuses in Chester, Exton and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., serve more than 6,300 students. Widener is proud to be a tobacco-free campus. Visit the university’s website,