September 05, 2017
Communications and Marketing
Seniors Matthew Bremis and Hannah Pirozzoli have been selected to receive the 2017-2018 Thomas A. Melucci Jr. Memorial Scholarship, an award that annually provides full tuition to incoming seniors who have demonstrated significant spiritual and personal growth throughout their time at Saint Anselm College.
A criminal justice and sociology double major from Plymouth, Mass., Matthew Bremis is known across campus for his positivity, integrity, and hard work. Whether he is leading his teammates as their captain on the football field, planning campus-wide events with Student Activities and Leadership Programs, or mentoring at-risk youth in the greater Manchester area, Bremis is a leader who serves his community.
"Matt is much more than just a football player," says varsity football coach, Joe Adam. "Matt is the model and standard for a student who has engrossed himself in the mission of the college to engage in every part of life that he can. I can honestly say that he is a joy to coach and a young man that continues to make a difference in everyone's lives he touches, including my own. He will forever leave his mark here."
Bremis takes his studies far beyond the classroom, volunteering and interning for organizations such as Big Brother, the John H. Sununu Youth Services Center (YDC), the Hampshire House, and the Manchester Police Department. At YDC, Bremis serves as a positive role model to teens who have been detained for gang-related behavior, substance abuse, or violence; he teaches Hampshire House inmates life skills; and he partners with Manchester police officers to aid investigations. He also brings these skills back to Saint Anselm as a member of the Criminal Justice Club, Campus Judicial Board, and a leader on a 2017 Service and Solidarity Missions Trip to Phoenix, Ariz. He plans to have a career in law enforcement.
Upon receiving the Melucci Scholarship, Bremis felt overwhelmingly "humbled" and "grateful" for the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Melucci, who created the scholarship, and for the community he is part of here on the Hilltop.
"Everyone I have come in contact with at Saint Anselm College has really influenced me to be a leader," says Bremis. "It is hard to have one role model, when every part of this campus is filled with leaders- from athletics to the student activities office, the Meelia Center, my professors, and even the staff at Davison Hall. It was not hard for leadership to rub off on me too."
Like Bremis, Hannah Pirozzoli, a nursing major from Bridgeport, Conn., is a positive force in and out of the classroom. Not only do Pirozzoli's professors note her hard work and desire to learn, but her peers do as well. She is a leader across campus, having served as the Residence Hall Council President for upperclassmen, freshman retreat and parish outreach leader, women's rugby player, and Road for Hope participant.
Pirozzoli has also volunteered for Child Health Services, working with refugee children while their parents learn English; Easter Seals Child Center, using therapeutic communication techniques to support mental illness in three-year-old children; and Camp Friendship, laboring to preserve the summer camp for underserved children in rural Mississippi.
In addition, she works as a licensed nursing assistant (LNA) and personal care assistant, and as a research assistant for Professor Deb McCarter. As part of their study, Pirozzoli recruits mothers who suffer from postpartum depression and parenting stress, looking to enhance the follow-up mechanisms for women at risk for postpartum depression.
"Hannah is a diligent young woman who loves this Anselmian community," says Director of Campus Ministry Susan Gabert, who nominated Hannah. "Her genuine desire to help others and to grow personally is noteworthy. She is the essence of both hard work, desire for continual growth, and engagement on campus."
"I felt honored," Pirozzoli says, when asked how she initially felt when she received the Melucci Scholarship. With her desire to care for others, she believes that this award will allow her to focus on becoming the best person and nurse she can be: "I believe that laboring for love is one of the best ways we can learn about love. I want to synthesize my experiences from being a student at Saint Anselm College and transform them into being a competent and well-rounded nurse in our community."
The Thomas A. Melucci Jr. Memorial Endowed Scholarship was established by Thomas and Gail Melucci, as a way to memorialize their son, Thomas, who graduated from Saint Anselm in 1988. Mr. and Mrs. Melucci remain closely involved with the scholarship, serving on the committee that selects recipients each year.
Story by Jasmine Blais '17