Abigail Schwartz

At its annual meeting in the spring, the Riverside Branch of the American Association of University Women honored Joyce Van Cura, of Riverside, as its named gift honoree.

A $500 gift has been made in her name to the AAUW Educational Foundation, which provides money to advance education, research and self-development for women and to foster equity and positive societal change.

Van Cura joined the Riverside AAUW in 1983. She holds a B.A. from Bradley University and an M.S.L.S. from the University of Illinois. She has held many branch positions and most recently was membership co-vice president.


On stage

Brookfield resident Clara D’Onofrio appeared as Glinda in the Victory Garden Theater production of WOZ: A Rock Cabaret, which ran from July 14-17 in Chicago. The play was inspired by The Wizard of Oz with a score featuring iconic rock anthems from the 1980s and 1990s.

D’Onofrio operates the early childhood music school Ms. Clara’s Mini Musicians in Brookfield.

On campus

The Brookfield Chamber of Commerce awarded a pair of $1,000 scholarships to two high school seniors who will be heading off to college in the fall. Those receiving the scholarships were Samuel Wilson of Lyons Township High School and Ryan Swift of Riverside-Brookfield High School.

Presenting the checks to the two students at separate events this spring were chamber of commerce board member Phil Richard and chamber treasurer Amy Weinert

At its recent tea the Riverside Branch of the American Association of University Women awarded the Ann Willard Art and Citizenship Grant to Abigail Schwartz and its STEM Fields of Study Grant to Hannah Ranft. Both are Riverside residents and attended Riverside-Brookfield High School. Each received a $500 check.

Schwartz plans to attend North Central College in Naperville. She was active the RB Arts Department as a member of the choir and participant in several plays. She also was part of the speech team, a member of the swimming and water polo teams, orchestra and National Honor Society, a page at the Riverside Library and director and founder of Chante, a student a cappella group.

Ranft plans to attend Johns Hopkins University. She has volunteered at Brookfield zoo and the Field Museum, where she was an intern. She has been active in the RB Orchestra, TriM, National Honor Society, swimming and water polo teams. She spearheaded a tutoring program for students struggling in AP microeconomics.

Alexandra VandeMerkt, of Riverside, received a bachelor’s degree in finance from Endicott College (Beverly, Massachusetts) during commencement ceremonies in May. She is the daughter of Jayne VandeMerkt.

Griffin Smith received a master’s degree in applied economics and Nicole Kmet received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Marquette University in Milwaukee in May. Both are residents of Riverside.

Tara Kaplan, of Riverside, graduated magna cum laude from Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin, in May, earning a bachelor’s degree in graphic design. She is the daughter of Sander Kaplan.

Lorelei Nancy Volpe, of Brookfield, was awarded her Bachelor of Science degree during commencement ceremonies in May from Bradley University in Peoria.

Brookfield resident Emily Andrulis was one of 273 students to graduate from Cornell College (Mount Vernon, Iowa) in May. Andrulis received a bachelor’s degree in computer science.

James Wang, of Riverside, was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree from Coe College (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), majoring in physics with a minor in mathematics. Wang, a graduate of Riverside-Brookfield High School, is the son of Darcy Lewis and Daniel Wang

The University of Minnesota has announced that North Riverside resident Gina Watylyk, a senior in the College of Science and Engineering, and Riverside resident Erica Fong, a junior in the College of Education, were named to the 2016 spring semester dean’s list for attaining a grade-point average of at least 3.66 on a 4-point scale during the semester. 

Nicholas Beltran, of Riverside, was named to the 2016 spring semester dean’s list at Ithaca (New York) College. Beltran is majoring in outdoor adventure leadership.

Among those named to the dean’s list at Augustana College for the 2016 spring semester for achieving a GPA of at least 3.5 were Riverside residents Moira Dunn (liberal arts) and Anne Mitchell (vocal music education), Brookfield resident Jordan Peklo (art) and North Riverside resident Kristen Santoro (communication sciences).

Several local students were named to the 2016 spring semester dean’s list at the University of Iowa, including Brookfield resident Melissa Frieberg and Riverside residents Rachel Heuel, Alanna Maloney and Meghan Orgler.

Riverside residents Brian Brown (mathematics) and Andrew Salij (chemistry) were named to the 2016 spring semester dean’s list at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, for attaining a GPA of at least 3.75.

Brookfield resident Jennifer Frieberg and Riverside resident Rachel Corcoran were named to the 2016 spring semester dean’s list at the University of Kansas.

Named to the 2016 spring semester dean’s list at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey, for attaining a GPA of at least 3.4 was Riverside resident Emily O’Connor.

Among those named to the 2016 spring semester dean’s list at the University of Dayton for achieving a minimum GPA of 3.5 were Riverside residents Megan Schoen, Emily Michl and Stephanie Rodriguez and Brookfield residents Collin Sventy and Mayra Baeza.

Brookfield resident Lauren Kreiss was named to the 2016 winter semester dean’s list at Saginaw Valley State University in University Center, Michigan, for earning a GPA of at least 3.4.

Riverside residents Margaret McLaughlin (College of Letters and Sciences) and Charles Wert (School of Education) were named to the 2016 spring semester dean’s list at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Sonja Davy, of Brookfield, was named to the dean’s list for the 2016 spring semester at Wheaton College for attaining a GPA of at least 3.5.

John Ivansek, of Riverside, earned honors recognition at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point for the 2016 spring semester by attaining a GPA of between 3.5 and 3.74.

Riverside resident Alberto Diaz, an accounting major, was named to the 2016 spring semester dean’s list at Lewis University in Romeoville for attaining a GPA of at least 3.5.

Alma (Michigan) College has named Riverside resident Adam Martinson to its 2016 winter term dean’s list. Students attaining a GPA of 3.5 or better are named to the list.

Triton College awarded Trustee Honor Scholarships, which covers all in-district tuition and fees for the fall and spring semesters of the 2016-17 school year to Brookfield residents Isabella Eliopoulos, Laura Heirigs, Hannah Hettasch, Karli Rivera and Anna Stawarz; North Riverside residents Gabriel Kirkines and Robertson Scott; and Riverside residents Cassandra Moguel Cano and Molly Stamm.

The scholarships are awarded to high school seniors in the Triton district who are in the top 10 percent of their class, have a GPA of 3.5 or higher or who have scored a 25 or better on the Act exam.

Nazareth Academy in LaGrange has announced its honor roll students for the second semester of the 2015-16 school year. Among those on the A Honor Roll are Brookfield residents Gloria Corona, Gina Crisanti, Jeremy Kolasa, Braden Schneider, Brittany Schneider and David Sullivan; North Riverside residents Guillermo Arroyo, Connor O’Neill and Danny Zontos; and Riverside residents Gregory Bernasek, Carlie Merola and Hana Sedivy.

Among those on the B Honor Roll are Brookfield residents Jiayin Li and Archer Wagner and Riverside residents David Hertogs and Allyson Jones.

Trinity High School in River Forest has released its honor rolls for the fourth block of the 2015-16 school years. Among those attaining First Honors (3.75+ GPA) were Riverside seniors Carolyn Judy and Olivia Maher; juniors Emma Alm, Molly Gates, Andrea Ramirez and Liucija Siliunas; sophomores Sara LaMantia and Daniela Pope; and freshmen Francesca LaMantia, Cassandra Llapa-Gonzalez and Alexandra Lukas. Earning Second Honors (3.3-3.74 GPA) was Riverside freshman Isabella Mullins.

Brookfield resident Christina Rossetti has landed a position as a reporter on the staff of the Lion, the student newspaper for Lyons Township High School. Rossetti, a junior, is one of 28 students named to the newspaper staff, who will produce eight print issues and maintain an online version of the publication.