James Eric Kasenchak, son of Maureen Kasenchak, Kingston, and the late John Kasenchak, recently earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from Drexel College of Medicine, Philadelphia. Kasenchak is a graduate of Wyoming Valley West High School and the University of Pittsburgh. In addition to his Doctorate of Medicine, Kasenchak graduated as a Humanities Scholar from Drexel. Following a one-year internship at Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, he will train at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, specializing in ophthalmology. Kasenchak is a fourth-generation physician following in the footsteps of great-grandfather, Dr. J.F. Dolphin; grandfather, Dr. J. Murray Dolphin; and uncles, Dr. Basil Dolphin, Dr. Kip Dolphin and Dr. Quentin Dolphin. He is engaged to Courtney Marton, Pittsburgh.
Thomasina Watson, Nanticoke, a graduate of Greater Nanticoke Area High School, has been accepted as a member in The National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS). NSCS is the nation’s only interdisciplinary honors organization for first-year and second-year college students. Membership is by invitation only and based on grade point average and class standing. Watson is a sophomore at the University of South Florida, Tampa, where she is majoring in cellular biology and public health. Watson was also accepted to serve as a student board member for the USF Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement. As a BullSERVE board member, Watson will assist with USF student-led projects for positive social change on campus and in the community.
Serena Fulton, Dallas, was selected as one of two winners in Citizens Bank’s “Banking on Youth” competition. Fulton, a recent Penn State graduate, won the award for psYOUconnect (www.psYOUconnect.com), an online platform created to connect students and community members to events and activities in State College. Fulton created and launched the web site in January. Fulton received a $1,000 grant to expand and market the web site. The competition provides young adults with the opportunity to showcase their nonprofit ventures. Conceived by the Consumer Bankers Association Foundation and Ashoka Ventures, the competition required entrants to develop a creative and fun, 90-second video that demonstrated the importance and impact of their program. As a sponsoring bank, Citizens provided seed money to help bring the winners’ ideas to life. More than 200 entries were received this year and are available at www.bankingonyouth.org.
Holly Van Leuven, daughter of Bill and Jan Van Leuven, Pittston, has been named valedictorian of the Emerson College Class of 2013 for her perfect 4.0 average. Van Leuven earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in writing, literature and publishing from Emerson in December. Her thesis work, the first chapters of her forthcoming biography ” I’ll Miss You Most of All: Searching for Ray Bolger and American Entertainment History,” won the Emerson College Senior Creative Writing Award for High Distinction in Nonfiction. She was also named a finalist for the American Academy of Poets Prize for her poetry portfolio. Throughout her busy three-and-a-half years at Emerson, Van Leuven interned for a variety of Boston and New York City publishing houses; completed a year of the Americorps service program, Jumpstart for Young Children; served as the treasurer of Emerson’s oldest student organization, the Communication, Politics and Law Association; presented her experiences teaching Russian seniors to the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin; and researched extensively on both coasts for her biography of Bolger. She is the circulation coordinator at the Harvard Education Press, where she oversees the Harvard Educational Review and the Harvard Education Letter. She resides in Cambridge, Mass.