Honors Students

Olesia Koval

Photo of Olesia KovalAlthough Olesia Koval spent just one year with the Honors Scholars, her dedication, presence, and impact did not go unnoticed. Olesia was heavily involved both on-and off-campus with programs such as the Multicultural Fair and Coins to Change, as well as, Aid in Milan and St. Leo’s Soup Kitchen. She completed 120 hours of service while in the program. It was for this level of dedication to service that Olesia received the Heart and Soul Award from the Michigan Campus Compact in 2013. She continues to volunteer and serve the community.

Olesia discovered her passion for graphic design within her first semester at Schoolcraft and became involved with our newspaper, The Connection where she became a staff photographer and began developing her photography skills.  From then on Olesia began honing her graphic design skills through her Honors Option classes and engaged many projects that built on her interest.

Olesia’s passion for graphic design led her to discover the fields of User Experience/User Interface Design, Web Development, Web Interface Structure, and Human-Computer Interaction. Recently Olesia received a scholarship to attend Purdue University to attend the Human Computer Interaction Graduate Program. Olesia commented, “A career in Human Computer Interaction will provide me an opportunity to present my ideas to the public, create joyful web applications, software, and make others think positively, be happier, and be more motivated. The career will help me advance my skills and reach my goals.”

Usha Kadiyala

Photo of Usha KadiyalaUsha Kadiyala graduated from Schoolcraft College in May, 2013.  While at Schoolcraft, Usha was heavily involved in service opportunities and had completed 904 service hours during her time in the program.  Usha was involved with the Schoolcraft Honors Scholars Program, Student Ambassadors, Phi Theta Kappa, Math and Physics Club, Schoolcraft International Institute, The Connections—the college newspaper, University Bound Program, and particularly loved being a mentor as part of the Early Literacy Volunteers.  As a student employee, she received the esteemed Student Employee of the Year.

In 2013 won the Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship—a prestigious scholarship that awards $30,000 per year to assist students with their undergraduate degree completion. Usha used this scholarship to transfer to the University of Michigan-Dearborn to obtain a degree in Biochemistry, which she plans on using to pursue a career in Neuroscience.  

At University of Michigan-Dearborn Usha joined the Honors Transfers Program, Blueprints Leadership Group, and Phi Delta Epsilon Medical Fraternity. She is the Vice President and General Chemistry Executive for MCAT Club, Campus Executive Chair for Global Brigades, and Secretary of American Association of University Women.

She continues to be engaged, crediting Schoolcraft Honors Program for cultivating her passion for service. Usha helped pack food for young children, raised money for students suffering with disabilities, and wrote two grants to support funding for 10-15 students to travel to Honduras on a clinical trip to help provide healthcare to local patients. She is currently organizing an alternative spring break to Washington D.C. to mentor/tutor young children in local schools.

Leah Esslinger

Photo of Leah EsslingerLeah Esslinger graduated from Schoolcraft Scholars Honors Program in 2012. In her own words, Leah is “eccentric, energetic, and forever expanding”. While she has always been active in the community, she became a “radical volunteer” after returning from Lima, Peru. It was there that she saw the power one person has to empower, inspire, and accomplish. Another thing that she found out quickly is life as a volunteer is never boring! Leah has painted orphanages, built houses, driven around Detroit handing out backpacks to the homeless, and helped with monthly community dinners at Detroit Soup.

For her service and academic efforts, while at Schoolcraft, Leah has been awarded several prestigious awards: Michigan Campus Compact’s Commitment to Service and Newman Fellow; All American USA Academic; All- Michigan Academic Team; The Coca-Cola Scholarship.

While at Schoolcraft, Leah was a Writing Fellow and the Vice President of Communication of Phi Theta Kappa. She had contributed to numerous campus publications including The Connection and The International Agenda. She also received the Pageturners Award for a short story inspired by fiction. Leah transferred to Wayne State University in 2012. Her future plans are to pursue a Doctorate in Linguistic Anthropology; as such she applied to PhD programs throughout the country.

Since graduating the program in 2012, she has been heavily involved with the business of becoming a linguist. She has devised various research projects that look at the status of a variety of English called African American Vernacular English. Her projects dealt with differences in politeness formulas between white and black men—and how that may contribute to self-segregation—and how gangsta rap can determine the status of tense/aspect prominence in African American Vernacular English.

Mona Charara

Photo of Mona ChararaMona Charara majored in Biology at Schoolcraft College and transferred to Wayne State University. She joined the Irvin D. Reid Honors College and recently was accepted in the Pharmacy Program at Wayne State University.
Over the past few years at Schoolcraft College, Mona was actively involved with the Scholars Honors Program, Phi Theta Kappa, Freshmen Focus, and University Bound. When she is not involved in school activities, Mona spends her spare time volunteering at a Saturday Arabic school where Mona had logged in over 110 hours at the school alone and nearly 200 hours total in just a two year span.  

In 2012 Mona received two Michigan Campus Compact awards for her dedication to service: The Heart and Soul Award and the Commitment to Service Award. One person that truly had an impact on her life was her faculty mentor, Anna Maheshwari. Anna introduced Mona to the organization called Coins to Change, which eventually became Mona’s capstone project. Coins to Change, is a program that raises money to help build a school in Uganda for children that have been affected by the AIDS epidemic. To Mona, helping children in need is very important. Education is an important necessity in life and she believes that everyone should have a chance to learn. After all, her pre-college education is the main reason she is successful today. 

Ryan Daniels

Photo of Ryan DanielsRyan Daniels graduated from Schoolcraft Scholars Honors Program in 2011 and transferred with a scholarship at Lawrence Technological University where he is seeking a Bachelor Degree in Physics with a minor in Mathematics, he expects to graduate in 2013. Upon graduation from Lawrence Technological University, Ryan is planning to pursue a Doctorate in Physics and focus on research.
While attending Schoolcraft College, Ryan was involved in many service projects, such as Read Wagon, Reality Store, Early Literacy Volunteers, and Gleaners in Detroit. However, his favorite service activity was Pageturners—the Schoolcraft College book club. For his academic and service efforts Ryan received several awards such as Claren C. Jones Science Award, Schoolcraft College Certificate of Achievement, Schoolcraft College Pythagorean Prize and Michigan Campus Compact’s Heart and Soul Award.

In the summer of 2012, Ryan was part of a team of students selected for a prestigious internship at Princeton University. Ryan credits his academic career at Schoolcraft for his current success. “Among the interns at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory were students from Harvard and Stanford. Despite coming from a community college, I was seen as a competitor and eventually selected for the program. To me this just goes to show that you make your own path in life and the only obstacle you can encounter is you.”

At Lawrence Tech, Ryan is working on his senior project and hopes to present it at local and national conferences. He also hopes to publish the results from the Research Quest Project—a project presented at the Michigan Academy 2013 Conference, Lawrence Technological University Arts and Sciences Seminar Series, and at Schoolcraft College. Ryan returns frequently at Schoolcraft to give various presentations to current students and faculty.

Chris Ciavattone

Photo of Chris CiavattoneChris Ciavattone, graduated from Schoolcraft College with Associates in Science, and transferred to Wayne State as Biology major. Chris served as a Michigan Service Scholar while at Schoolcraft College. For his outstanding efforts, he received the Michigan Campus Compact Heart and Soul Award for community service, and the prestigious Newman Civic Fellows Award for civic engagement. 
Volunteerism was the foundation of Chris’ Schoolcraft experience, and he served nearly 500 hours of community service, frequently bridging the gap between students and the community. He co-founded Schoolcraft's first student food pantry to address food insecurity within our student body, staff, faculty and their families. As an alumnus, he continued to manage the student food pantry with the Student Activities. He also earned the Academic Service Learning designation on his Schoolcraft College transcript. Chris reflects on his experience at Schoolcraft and concludes “I can honestly say that my experience with the Honors Program was in no small way responsible for developing me into the scholar and citizen that I am today.”

Transferring to Wayne State University, Chris was awarded a Gold Transfer Scholarship and was accepted into the Irvin D. Reid Honors College. While at Wayne State, he remained active in the community, volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club of America and St. Leo's Soup Kitchen in Detroit. In 2013, Chris transferred to Madonna University to continue his studies in Biology and pursue a second degree in Healthcare Management. 

When asked about the Schoolcraft College Student Food Pantry that he co-founded in 2010, he was pleased to report that it is still up and running! It was designed to be nearly self-sustaining, and with the tireless efforts of the Student Activities Office, it is entering its fourth year in operation. "It really means a lot to me that the Student Food Pantry is still in operation helping Schoolcraft students and their families. Our goal was to help fight against the very real problem of food insecurity in our community, and it really feels good to help make a difference."