The three seniors were awarded the inaugural Christopher John Stupak Scholarship for the Next Generation of Elementary School Science Teachers.
HACKETTSTOWN, NJ, June 2, 2023 — Three Centenary University students—Christina Bubniak of Watchung, Sarah Sconda of Bridgewater, and Isabel Dutta of Hillsborough—have been awarded the inaugural Christopher John Stupak Scholarship for the Next Generation of Elementary School Science Teachers. The three exemplary elementary education majors were each honored with a $5000 scholarship to support their upcoming full-time, unpaid student-teaching experiences during the 2023-2024 academic year.
Assistant Professor of Education Jolene Battitori, Ed.D., expressed pride and confidence in the scholarship recipients: “Exhibiting remarkable commitment within the elementary education program, these students are ready to excel in their forthcoming full-time student teaching endeavors. I am confident they will continue to positively influence their future students and foster a love of science that will last a lifetime.”
Named in honor of the late Christopher John Stupak, an outstanding fifth- and sixth-grade teacher, this scholarship recognizes passionate student-teachers who are dedicated to making science accessible, exciting, and fear-free in the classroom. It was awarded by Main Engine Start, a New Jersey-based nonprofit dedicated to igniting student interest and aptitude in science and engineering.
“These exceptional young educators embody the mission of Main Engine Start and the spirit of Christopher Stupak,” said Peter Stupak, founder and president of the nonprofit and brother of Christopher. “They have demonstrated not only an understanding of science but also a commitment to dispelling the fear that often surrounds it. They are dedicated to fostering an environment where curiosity and inquiry are encouraged, and science becomes a journey of discovery rather than a subject of intimidation.”
Christina Bubniak is scheduled to embark on her student-teaching journey in fall 2023, while Sarah Sconda and Isabel Dutta will engage in part-time student-teaching this fall and conduct their full-time student-teaching in spring 2024. All three scholarship recipients are recognized for their academic performance, innovative approach to hands-on science teaching, and commitment to helping young students develop a love for science early in their educational journey.
Recipients of the Christopher John Stupak Scholarship for the Next Generation of Elementary School Science Teachers from Main Engine Start, from left, Christina Bubniak of Watchung, Sarah Sconda of Bridgewater, and Isabel Dutta of Hillsborough.
ABOUT CENTENARY UNIVERSITY
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.
ABOUT MAIN ENGINE START
Founded by Peter Stupak, Main Engine Start is a New Jersey-based nonprofit dedicated to helping students of all ages find their aptitude and passion for science and engineering through hands-on projects. The organization also provides financial support to aspiring educators through the Christopher John Stupak Scholarship, ensuring more science-capable teachers can take their place in the classroom to inspire future generations.