The Orange Scholarship Fund Association held its annual awards reception at Case Memorial Library on Saturday, June 6. Eight seniors, seven from Amity and one from Laurelton Hall, received a total of $14,000 from the Fund. All the students are attending college in the fall to pursue careers varying from teaching, journalism, musical theater, to farming. The Anthony M. Nastri scholarship went to Amelia Justo, the Francis A. Zeoli scholarship to Jannat Khan, and the Ashley Krakowski scholarship to Cristian Mortali. The other OSF winners were Tyler Coury, Serena Cuozzo, Kevin Durkee, Jenna Pisano, and Natasha Proctor. Cristian Mortali also received the Garden Club of Orange scholarship, which was presented by Gail Nixon, the president of the club.
Before the awards were made, the students, families, and friends were treated to some succinct practical advice by Dr. Pradip Mutalik, who is a research scientist at Yale Medical School. Praising the scholarship winners’ achievements and calling college after the stress of high school “the light at the end of the tunnel,” Dr. Mutalik advised students to have fun, but not too much, to maintain balance. Second, he told them, don’t focus so narrowly on just one thing that you neglect your other skills or interests: too narrow a focus can lead to burnout. The skills you have are what make you unique, and they may surprisingly equip you to adapt to changes that may occur. Dr. Mutalik drew on his own experience of being a math whiz when he was young but not encouraged to become a mathematician because of the limited opportunities that seemed to offer. Instead he followed the family expectation and became a physician. But his interest in math led him to his current career of computer technology applied to medical research and also to his fun job writing the math puzzles column for the New York Times for three years. Finally, Dr. Mutalik said, while in college, think of yourself as exploring the world. Keep your eyes open and find new opportunities. Though his talk was directed to the prospective college students, Dr. Mutalik’s advice is good for anyone, and it was received with enthusiastic applause.
After awards and picture taking, punch and cookies completed the celebration.
Orange Scholarship Fund winners (left to right): Cristian Mortali, Dr. Pradip Mutalik, Tyler Coury, Natasha Proctor, Jannat Khan, Jenna Pisano, and Sarina Cuozzo. Missing are Kevin Durkee and Amelia Justo.