April 25, 2022

26 students lauded for notable academic achievement during April 21 event

Hackettstown, N.J., April 22, 2022—Centenary University recognized 26 students and one faculty member for outstanding achievement at the annual Academic Awards Ceremony held on Thursday, April 21. In keeping with Centenary tradition, the event was held in the George H. Whitney Chapel.

During the ceremony, Robert Battistini, Ph.D., associate professor of English, was presented with the United Methodist Church Exemplary Teacher of the Year Award in recognition of his contributions to Centenary’s academic programs and students. In addition to his teaching duties, Dr. Battistini is director of the University’s Academic Foundations program, playing a key role in guiding first-year students during their transition to college life. He also co-chaired a committee that introduced the University’s revised core curriculum in 2019. Dr. Battistini earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology-Neuroscience from Indiana University, as well as an M.Phil. in English and a Ph.D. in American Literature from Columbia University.

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Centenary University students honored include:


Atlantic County

Galloway—Rhiannon Giannetti, Elaine Stewart-Tyrrell Memorial Scholarship 

Bergen County

Norwood—Eve Foote, Outstanding Achievement in the Writing Major

Essex County

East Orange—Daniella Anderson, Raymond Sloan Scholarship in the Arts

Irvington—Anaya Newton-Lawson, Outstanding Achievement in Psychology

Morris County

Budd Lake—Louise Coronato, Outstanding Academic Achievement in Education; Dana Weiss, Outstanding Achievement in Sociology

Long Valley—Nicolas Cavallone, Outstanding Achievement in History, Third or Fourth Year Student

Mount Arlington—Melanie Flynn, The Cathleen Benedict Memorial Scholarship

Passaic County

Little Falls—Austin Elliott—Outstanding Achievement in Communications

West Milford—Alissa Mor, Outstanding Achievement in Chemistry Senior Award

Somerset County

Franklin Park—Serena Buchan, Outstanding Achievement in Theatre Arts

South Bound Brook—Skyle Verry, Outstanding Achievement in Business

Sussex County

Andover—Tricia Degeorge, Outstanding Academic Achievement in Education

Branchville—Hailey Hobson, The Red Knot Award

Byram Township—Rebecca Matthews, Outstanding Achievement in Business

Montague—Samantha Space, Outstanding Achievement in Science, Second or Third Year Student

Union County

Plainfield—Kayla Morales, Centenary University Criminal Justice Achievement Award

Warren County

Great Meadows—Victoria Gentry, Richard A. Dennis Scholarship

Hackettstown—Brandon Hickey, Outstanding Achievement in Social Work

Stewartsville—John Aller, Outstanding Achievement in History, Third or Fourth Year Student

Washington— Andrea Massimo, Outstanding Achievement in English, Third or Fourth Year Student; Sofia Senesie, Outstanding Achievement in English, First or Second Year Student


Salisbury—Abigail Reilly, Outstanding Achievement in Animal Health—Senior


Agawao—Sophia Strain, Outstanding Achievement in Equine Studies—Sophomore or Junior


Lansdale—Jessica McKenzie, Outstanding Achievement in Science, Fourth Year Student


Guilford—Payton Lawrence, Outstanding Achievement in Equine Studies—Senior


Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary University’s academic program integrates a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix provides an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world. The University’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township.

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