Three Sacred Heart University students minoring in Catholic studies have received the 2017 M. Theresa Martinez Catholic Scholarship.
The scholarship honors Martinez, a SHU alumna who dedicated her life to helping others. She was a champion of education, a supporter of the arts and a humanitarian. She passed away in 2010, and her family and friends established the scholarship fund in 2016 to provide select students minoring in Catholic studies with a $1,000 scholarship. Sophomores Erin Curley of Bellmore, N.Y., and Cameron Kemmer of Holmes, N.Y., and junior Christina Cerreta of Old Bridge, N.J., received the scholarship this year.
Martinez “was an exceptional person,” said Michelle Loris, professor and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, who was a friend of Martinez. “This honors her legacy; it’s a supreme honor for her. It’s something she would want—she would want to support young people’s college education.”
“The Catholic studies minor not only further develops my intellectual faith journey, but it also provides me with better insight into myself and more awareness of the world around me,” Cerreta said after receiving the scholarship. Fellow recipient Curley said, “The fact that this is an interdisciplinary minor helps me to see how my responsibility as a Catholic can be carried out in all different areas of society and my life.” Kemmer noted, “The value of a Catholic studies minor is that, when you apply for a job, this minor shows your potential employer that you have a well-rounded education and that you can think in many different ways.”
Minoring in Catholic studies provides students an interdisciplinary understanding of the breadth and richness of the Catholic intellectual tradition, Loris said. It furnishes them with broad-based knowledge and imparts critical thinking and analytic skills necessary for 21st-century careers, she added.