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Italian Women’s Civic Club Honors Two from Fisher

November 7, 2018

Two St. John Fisher College students—Jessica Colmerauer ’19 (Pharm.D.) and Mary Elizabeth Kendt ’20—were named recipients of the Italian Women’s Civic Club (IWCC) Dante Scholarship Award.

Jessica Colmerauer ’19 (Pharm.D.) and Mary Elizabeth Kendt ’20

Jessica Colmerauer ’19 (Pharm.D.) and Mary Elizabeth Kendt ’20

Colmerauer and Kendt were among six local college students to receive the award, which recognizes academic achievement and promotes pride in Italian American heritage. The students were formally honored during an awards dinner held on Saturday, Nov. 3.

The club established the Dante Scholarship Fund in 1921 to assist young men and women of Italian heritage in pursuing a college education. The scholarship was named after the great Italian poet, Dante Alighieri, giving recognition to his passion for his literary talents. Scholarships range from $1,000 to $4,000.

Colmerauer is a fourth-year student in the Wegmans School of Pharmacy. She traces her Italian heritage to her great grandmother, who came through Ellis Island from Florence, Italy. Family values of perseverance and hard work are traits that Colmerauer, a native of Canandaigua, New York, has carried into her education. She completed two years of undergraduate work at Fisher before entering the doctor of pharmacy program. Her goal is to become a hospital-based pharmacist and to assist in the care of patients alongside other medical professionals.

Kendt’s Italian heritage originates from the southern region of Italy, in the town of Trivigno. A native of Clyde, New York, she grew up in the same town her great-grandparents immigrated to years ago. With an upbringing filled with stories of her grandparents and an emphasis on family, Kendt was inspired to pursue a degree in nursing. As a future health care professional, her goal is to treat each patient as if they were her family, taking the time to get to know them on a personal level.

The IWCC was established in 1919 to educate immigrant women on their newly acquired right to vote and assist them in assimilating into American life.  The mission of the Club has evolved over the years, and today focuses on supporting higher education opportunities for young adults of Italian ancestry. The Dante Scholarship Award is among the group’s many philanthropic efforts. Applicants for the scholarship must be full-time matriculated undergraduate or graduate students at area colleges and universities. Awards are based on criteria set by the IWCC committee and include academic achievement, extra- curricular activities, community service, and personal identification with Italian American heritage.