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Ken Kufta, a freshman at Penn State University, University Park, received the President’s Freshman Award from Graham B. Spanier, president of Penn State University, at a special awards ceremony. Kufta received the award for earning a 4.0 cumulative grade-point average for the 2008 fall semester. He was awarded a partial scholarship for his freshman year from CVS/Caremark and was nominated for membership in the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Kufta is majoring in physics. He is the son of Bob and Kathy Kufta, Forty Fort, and the grandson of Ray and Jean Krakosky, Swoyersville; Christine Kufta, Wyoming; and the late Thomas Kufta.

Sonia Toporcer, daughter of Mark and Nicolette Toporcer, Nanticoke, received a first-place award at the 48th regional meeting of the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science for her project on dowsing that was sponsored by Anthony Fluery. Toporcer, an eighth-grade honor student at Greater Nanticoke Area High School, had entered the competition for the first time. She will now present her project in May at Penn State University, University Park.

Lindsay M. Stevens, daughter of John and Sharon Stevens, Kingston, performed with the Kenyon College Chamber Singers in the “Home Concert” in Rosse Hall. The concert was held after the group’s successful spring break tour in Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois. Directed by Benjamin Locke, professor of music, the Chamber Singers is made up of 50 students. The group performs a cappella and with accompanied-music programs that feature chamber music of both a religious and secular nature. A graduate of Wyoming Seminary, Stevens is a junior majoring in political science.

Emily Zavada, a sophomore at Crestwood High School, was selected as Outstanding Student for the third quarter. She is the daughter of Robert and Denise Zavada, Mountain Top, and has a brother, Samuel. Zavada enjoys chemistry, mathematics and Spanish classes. She has participated in the Science Olympiad and various math competitions. She belongs to the Spanish Club and the Spanish National Honor Society. She was part of the stage crew for the school musical and is also a member of the girls’ volleyball team. Zavada also enjoys drawing, painting, playing the ukulele, cooking, camping and listening to music. She plays basketball in the Mountain Top Youth Basketball League co-ed program. Her future plans include work in the medical research or chemical engineering fields.

Rachel Curtis, a junior at Wilkes University, will study poison frogs and local medical practices in Costa Rica this summer. Curtis, a biology major, will complete a Global Health Semester through Duke University’s Organization for Tropical Studies. She will also participate in a 10-week research experience for undergraduates funded by the National Science Foundation and offered through Duke’s Organization for Tropical Studies. Curtis will further her studies in conversational Spanish and reside with local families while studying public health and tropical medicine. The research will take place at La Selva, a biological station in Costa Rica, where she will study the warning coloration in poison frogs. She was one of 12 students chosen from more than 100 applicants. Curtis is the daughter of Matt and Mary Ann Curtis, Waymart.

Three members of the Wilkes University Civic Band performed in the 62nd Pennsylvania Intercollegiate Band Festival at Allegheny College, Meadville. Freshman pharmacy majors, Stephanie Douma, Harrisburg, and Christina Inteso, Toms River, N.J., performed on clarinet. Meagan Donaldson, a College Misericordia student and member of the Wilkes University Band, performed on flute and piccolo. The students were part of an elite group of 120 college band musicians from more than 20 Pennsylvania colleges and universities. The musicians were directed by Col. Timothy Foley, a native of Berwick, and retired director of “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band.

Megan Jagoda, Plains Township, was one of more than 50 Susquehanna University students named to the 2009 edition of Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. Jagoda joins the elite group of students from more than 2,000 institutions of higher learning from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and several foreign nations. Students are selected for this honor based on academic achievement, service to the community, leadership in extracurricular activities and potential for continued success. Jagoda is a senior English and secondary education major. A 2005 graduate of Coughlin High School, she is the daughter of Judi and Ed Jagoda.

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