This article originally appeared on Fairfield County Catholic.
Sacred Heart, Greenwich graduated 82 young women on June 5, 2020.
Sacred Heart Greenwich is proud to recognize Valentina Grether as valedictorian and Caroline Badagliacca and Elisa Howard as co-salutatorians for the Class of 2020.
Valentina Grether of Riverside has spent eight years as a student at Sacred Heart. She played tennis and squash, was a freshman peer leader and served as a Eucharistic Minister. She will attend Brown University in the Fall.
“I chose Brown firstly because of the open curriculum,” says Grether. “Since I plan on majoring in engineering, which has stricter requirements than other majors, it was really important to me that I still had as much flexibility as possible to pursue courses in all my other interests. Ultimately, Brown’s open curriculum seemed ideal to extend my college experience to encompass not only my intellectual development, but also my growth as an individual. Another important factor was the collaborative culture at Brown, and the amazing opportunities that the university offers. Many of the current students I talked with highlighted the Brown UTRAs, which are undergraduate teaching and research awards for Brown students. Brown fascinated me because the students and faculty are always challenging each other to grow together in learning. Last but certainly not least, Providence is a great town for college students. Students always praise the art exhibits and other events available outside of Brown, not to mention a seemingly endless list of amazing Providence restaurants.”
Caroline Badagliacca of North Salem N.Y. has spent ten years as a student at Sacred Heart. During her time at Sacred Heart, she was the co-editor of Voices publication, served as a music therapy volunteer with Alzheimer’s patients, was a participant in Sacred Heat’s science research program, a Regeneron Scholar for studying music and cognition, and the Girl Scout Gold Award recipient. She will attend Vanderbilt in the Fall.
“Upon first visiting Vanderbilt’s campus, what stood out to me the most is the incredible balance the school possesses,” says Badagliacca. “I knew when looking for a school I wanted a place that was academically rigorous, but still left room for other enrichment and Vanderbilt’s programs, research possibilities, SEC sports, and boundless opportunities to be involved on campus were perfect for me. Additionally, one of my main focuses during my time at Sacred Heart has been working with those suffering from dementia and trying to use music to improve their quality of life. Not only does Vanderbilt have a music cognition laboratory, but the interdisciplinary nature of their academic programs, as well as my acceptance into the Curb Scholars Program, provided me with a unique chance to combine my interests in music, cognition, and business both in and out of the classroom.”
Elisa Howard of Norwalk has spent two years at Sacred Heart. She was co-captain of Sacred Heart Robotics, Perspectives Art Editor, NY Medical College Summer Prostate Cancer Research Assistant, saxophonist in Sacred Heart Jazz Band, a participant in varsity track and field, varsity cross country, and varsity fencing, a Kairos Retreat Leader, Kumon Math and Reading Instructor, George Washington Carver Community Center volunteer, White Plains Hospital step-down unit volunteer, CT Special Olympics volunteer, an altar server and Eucharist Minister. She will attend Yale University in the Fall.
“I have always been fascinated by the innate intricacies of the human brain and nervous system,” says Howard, “and Yale University’s renowned research opportunities, including the First-Year Summer Research Fellowship, will enable me to explore unanswered questions of neuroscience. When applying to Yale, I was particularly inspired by the research of Professor Nenad Sestan, who revived cellular functionality in a pig brain four hours after its death. Through research in one of Yale’s over 1,200 laboratories, I can investigate my own rather unconventional questions of the brain. At the same time, I am an aspiring neurosurgeon, and, through Yale’s affiliations with the medical school and hospital, I may explore my surgical interests as an undergraduate student.”
“Whether in the classroom, on the turf, in the chapel, at the anchor desk, in the lab or behind the podium, the graduating Class of 2020 accomplished so much at Sacred Heart Greenwich,” says Pamela Juan Hayes, Sacred Heart Greenwich alum, Class of ’64. “We’re especially proud to see these talented students matriculate to strong colleges and universities that reflect their individual academic interests and passions so closely. We look forward to seeing how far their academics, faith and commitment to others takes them in the future.”