GREENVILLE, Pa.—Thiel College announces Raquel McDonald ’22, of Syracuse, N.Y., and Sydnee Pilarski ’22, of O’Hara Township, Pa., as the Student of the Month honorees for March.
The Student of the Month honor is awarded to seniors. It is among the most prestigious student awards at Thiel College with only about six students each semester earning the honor.
McDonald is pursuing majors in cognitive psychology, criminal justice, and sociology. She will also earn a minor in Spanish. She is a member of the psychology honorary society, Psi Chi; Spanish Club; the Dietrich Honors Institute; the National Society of Leadership and Success; and the sociology honorary society, Alpha Kappa Delta. She has also participated as captain of the women’s volleyball team, as volleyball coach for a local travel team, and as a member of the Thiel concert band. She has also served as a peer note-taker and a peer tutor for the Thiel Learning Commons.
McDonald is a 2019 graduate of Bishop Grimes Junior-Senior High School. Following graduation, she plans to attend graduate school for forensic and legal psychology. She is the daughter of Ronald and Katrina McDonald, of Syracuse, N.Y.
“Thiel has provided me with the opportunities to achieve my goals,” McDonald said. “Through the guidance of the faculty here, as well as support from my family and friends, I have been able to explore my passions and discover my strengths; this community is the cornerstone of my success, and I would not change anything about it.”
Pilarski is pursuing a degree in English with a secondary education certification. She served as president of the Chi Omega fraternity for two years, during which time she helped raise enough money to grant a wish to a Make-A-Wish child. She has also participated in numerous efforts with the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity to raise money for AWARE, a social services organization located in Sharon, Pa. Pilarski also serves as president of Sigma Tau Delta, the English honor society, and is a member of the Order of Omega, the Greek leadership honor society. She is a member of the Dietrich Honors Institute, the National Society for Leadership and Success, and is a member of Kappa Delta Pi, the education honor society. She has also served as a copy editor and publicity chair for The Phoenix, Thiel College’s creative works journal, and as an editor of The Lectern, the College’s undergraduate research journal.
Pilarski is a 2018 graduate of Fox Chapel Area School District. Following graduation, she plans to attend graduate school to earn a master’s degree in English. She is the daughter of Christopher and Melinda Pilarski, of Pittsburgh.
“My experience at Thiel has been nothing short of amazing,” Pilarski said. “This school has given me opportunities to accomplish things I never thought possible. The variety of organizations and close community has created an environment in which students, like me, can truly grow and thrive. I have created life-long friendships as well as mentorships during my time here, and I will always be grateful for the vast amount of knowledge I have gained about both academics and life. The support I received from both my peers and faculty members has been encouraging and truly inspired me. Though there were challenging times, I always knew I never had to face them alone. Thiel has truly prepared me for any future challenges I may face and for that, I will always be thankful.”
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