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2 Transfer Students Win 2022 Intellectual Curiosity Scholarship Competition

June 10, 2022 | by the Office of Marketing and Communications

From left: Jackie Jung, Matthew Nigro

Two community college students with a deep love of learning, and who are transferring to Elmhurst University, have been named the first-place winners of the 2022 Elmhurst University Intellectual Curiosity Scholarship Competition.

Jackie Jung, who lives in Arlington Heights and is a transfer student from Harper College; and Matthew Nigro, who is transferring to Elmhurst from McHenry County College and lives in Crystal Lake, each were awarded a $5,000 renewable scholarship for up to two years of study at Elmhurst.

All admitted transfer students with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.25 or above were invited to participate in the Intellectual Curiosity Scholarship Competition, which was launched in 2020 to support the enrollment of transfer students with a natural propensity toward curiosity.

Applicants were asked to write an essay about how their curiosity drives them and where it might take them, at Elmhurst University and beyond. More than 50 transfer students representing 15 community colleges participated in this year’s competition.

During the second round of the competition, held virtually on June 1, participants formed teams to compete in a small-group exercise. Each member of the winning team was awarded a $2,000 renewable scholarship for up to two years of study. Members of the winning team were:

  • Moises Hernandez, a Triton College student from Franklin Park
  • Taylor Hanks, a College of DuPage student from Lombard
  • Daniel Monzon, a Harper College student from Schaumburg

All students who submitted essays and participated in the second round of the competition received a $500 renewable scholarship for up to two years of study. During the awards ceremony, also held on June 1, Oakton Community College President Joianne Smith delivered the keynote address.

In her winning essay about how curiosity drives her, Jung said that “knowing that the future is never guaranteed keeps me motivated to take every day as a learning opportunity.” Through her job as a nanny, she has been inspired by the “endless curiosity” of the young children she cares for. At Elmhurst, she plans to prepare to become a pediatric speech and language pathologist. As a student and throughout her career, she will continue to ask questions and keep an open mind so that she can keep finding new solutions, growing her skills and helping more children.

Nigro said in his winning essay that as a child, “curious” would be the No. 1 word his mother would use to describe him. As he prepares to attend Elmhurst, he said, “I see nothing but the potential encounters that I will have. I can see myself conversing, debating, laughing and crying with others.” He also hopes to study in Washington, D.C. The new experiences and different points of view will feed his curiosity and diversify his “intellectual portfolio,” which guides him throughout his career and life.

For more information about transfer programs at Elmhurst, email admit@elmhurst.edu or call (630) 617-3400.

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