RECIPIENTS of 20182017201620152014201320122011201020092000-08

2000 to 2008
Giddings Foundation Scholarship Recipients

The Giddings Foundation recently began contacting former Scholarship recipients in order to build an active archive of their personal and professional accomplishments, activities, and plans. We are interested in all of the accomplishments and current activities of our graduates, and will publish information on this website as it is updated. If you are a former recipient of a Giddings Scholarship and have not been contacted as yet, please Keep Us Up To Date now! Some of our Giddings Scholars:

Alyssa Abitabile

2007 Graduate of Hudson High School

College and Post-Graduate Education:

  • BA in Psychology from Siena College (2011)
  • Currently attending the University at Albany, SUNY. Alyssa will receive a Masters in Educational Psychology in December 2012, and a Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) in School Psychology in May 2014.

Caitlin Hilliard

2006 Graduate of Hudson High School

College and Post-graduate education

  • BA Brain and Cognitive Science, BA American Sign Language from University of Rochester
  • Currently doing Post Graduate work at the University of Iowa toward a PhD in Cognition and Perception (Psychology)

Current Activities and Future Goals

  • After graduating from the University of Rochester, Caitlin worked for one year as a lab technician at the University of Rochester in a Cognitive Science lab. She started her first year of graduate school this past August.
  • Other: Her sister Christie is in her second year at Cornell University. Her four younger siblings are still in school: Michael Dolan, and Jack, Abigail, and Grace Hilliard. I have four parents: Don and Lisa Dolan and John and Amy Hilliard.
  • Caitlin spent six weeks this past summer backpacking solo through six countries in Europe. She hopes to travel there again this upcoming summer for a conference.
  • Caitlin plans to finish her PhD (five years) and continue my career as an academic researcher; and hopes to eventually become a professor.

Robert Tryson

2006 graduate of New Lebanon Jr/Sr HS

College and Post-graduate education

  • BS in Computer Engineering from Lehigh University
  • MS in Computer Engineering from Lehigh University, anticipated graduation: 2012


  • Software Engineer, DaVinci Concepts, LLC (2011)

Shylah Weber

2006 Graduate of Ichabod Crane Central School

College and Post-graduate education:

  • Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science, concentration in Digital Media (2010) from Columbia University
  • Entering Master's Program in Computer Science at John's Hopkins in Fall 2012; expected to graduate in 2014.

Activities / Current Employment: Activities:

  • I am currently managing and programming eLearning applications for a boutique media company in the Rensselaer Technology Park.
  • I spent the past two years volunteering as a cross-country coach for Hudson Valley Community College and Kipp: Tech Valley Charter School.
  • Other: I will run in the Mohawk-Hudson marathon in October - my first marathon. I've also taken up cycling and plan to compete in my first triathlon next summer.

Theresa Matthews

2005 Graduate of Chatham High School

College and post-graduate education

  • Bachelor's Degree, Major Law and Policy, Dickinson College (2009)
  • Master's in Public Policy, American University (2011)


  • Chief Case Administrator for the DC Bankruptcy Court Trustees Office, Washington, DC (10/09 to present)

Ria Simmons

2005 Graduate of Taconic Hills High School

College and post-graduate education

  • B.S. Adolescent Education: Social Studies, SUNY at Oneonta
  • SUNY at New Paltz: completed graduate work in Adolescent Special Education and Literacy


  • High School Social Studies teacher in Hampton, Virginia

Activities / Future Goals

  • Currently focusing on new career and looking forward to completing a graduate degree in current place of residence.
  • Would like to study Educational Administration with goal of being a Building Principal

Sarah Clark

2004 graduate of New Lebanon High School

College and post-graduate education:

  • 2008 Graduate of Colby College
  • Currently enrolled in Ph.D. program in Microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania

Willie Costello

2004 graduate of Ichabod Crane High School

College and post-graduate education

  • B.A. in Philosophy and B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Pittsburgh
  • Currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program in Philosophy at the University of Toronto (expected date of graduation: 2014)

Brandon Graver

2004 graduate of Germantown High School

College and post-graduate education

  • B.S. In Environmental Engineering and Science, Technology and Society from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (2008)
  • M.S. Environmental Engineering from North Carolina State University (2011)
  • Currently enrolled in Ph.D. program in Civil Engineering at North Carolina State University (expected date of graduation: 2013)

Activities / Future Goals

  • Graduate Research Assistant / Doctoral Fellow, Aug 2008 to Present, North Carolina State University, Measurement and Comparison of Energy Use and Emissions in Transportation
  • Engineering Intern certificate in the State of New York
  • Other: Presented research findings at conferences in the United States, Canada, and Portugal

Kyle Howe

2004 Graduate of  Chatham High School

College and Post-graduate education:

  • BSc (Hons) in Atmospheric Science (2008) from McGill University
  • Masters degree in Meteorology (2010) from The Pennsylvania State University

Activities / Current Employment:

  • Currently working for Levelton Consultants Ltd. in Richmond, BC Canada as an Air Quality Meteorologist

Brendan O'Connell

2004 graduate of Chatham High School

College and post-graduate education

  • B.A. in Music, Wesleyan University
  • Currently enrolled in Master's program at School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


  • Futuree Circuits: Design and build custom electronic instruments and guitar effects for professional musicians and amateurs; designed and maintain website (4/04 - present)
  • Language Assistant for French Ministry of Education and Culture, Tours, France (9/08 - 6/09)
  • Web designer / webmaster for Greater Bridgeport Medical Association (8/10 to present)
  • Online English as a Second Language Teacher for Kaplan International Center (9/09 to present)

Activities / Future Goals

  • Presented at 2010 BENT Music Festival, NYC
  • Hope to serve diverse communities as a public librarian after graduation in 2012
  • Continue to be interested in electronic music and instrument building

Stacia Kroetz

2003 graduate of Taconic Hills High School

College and post-graduate education

  • B.S. and Master's of Business Administration, Fordham University
  • Currently completing second year at Boston College Law School

Activities / Future Goals

  • Worked for two years as a CPA at KPMG before entering law school
  • Worked part-time at a law firm in Boston
  • Will be participating in a Summer Associate program at a NYC law firm during the summer of 2011
  • Have traveled a few times to Europe, loved it and met great new friends

Tara Libruk

2003 graduate of Hudson High School

College and post-graduate education

  • B.S. in Health Sciences
  • M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies (2009)


  • Currently employed at Albany Medical Center as a Physician Assistant in Cardiothoracic Surgery. Job responsibilities include 1st assisting in cardiac and thoracic surgeries, conduit procurement for coronary artery bypass grafting surgery, more specifically Endoscopic Vein Harvesting (EVH), invasive line and chest tube placement/removal, and extensive post-operative management of critical patients in the cardiac intensive care unit.

Activities / Future Goals

  • Member of the Advisory Committee at the Center for Physician Assistant Studies at Albany Medical College.
  • Board member of the Alice and Murray Giddings Foundation.
  • Member of the following professional organizations: American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), Association of Physician Assistants in Cardiovascular Surgery (APACVS), and the Cardiothoracic Surgery Network.
  • Other: In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family. I also enjoy dancing and cardio-kickboxing. I am extremely excited to be a mom, expecting in July of 2011!

Rachel Schneider

2003 Graduate of Ichabod Crane Central Schools

College and Post-graduate education:

  • BA (Biological Sciences and Spanish) from Wellesley College
  • Post Graduate: Currently enrolled at University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing in a BSN/MSN program to become a Certified Nurse Midwife.

Activities / Future Goals:

  • Since graduation, spent one year living in Spain and teaching English to elementary school students.
  • Spent two years working at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, MA doing gestational diabetes research.
  • Plan to complete Master's Degree in Nursing by 2014

Rachel Wolff

2003 graduate of Chatham High School

College and post-graduate education

  • Bachelor's Degree in Media Studies and Art History, Vassar College (2007)
  • Dual degree Master's Candidate in Art History and Arts Administration and Policy, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (expected date of graduation: 2012)


  • Dia Art Foundation, NYC (2007 - 2009)

Activities / Future Goals

  • While at School of the Art Institute of Chicago, have pursued professional opportunities in curating and exhibition practice, museum development and fundraising, and teaching.
  • Plan to pursue a Ph.D. in Art History post-Master's degree, beginning in 2012

Ashley Tittemore

2002 graduate of New Lebanon High School


College and Post-graduate education

  • B.A. in Mathematics from Tufts University (2005)
  • M.A. in Education: Culture, Curriculum and Change Program from UNC Chapel Hill (2010)/li>


  • 2008-Present: Program Manager for UNC Chapel Hill Upward Bound Program Upward Bound is a program funded by the U.S. Department of Education which serves high school students from low-income families and high school students from families in which neither parent holds a bachelor's degree. The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from institutions of postsecondary education.
  • 2006-2008: Middle and High School Mathematics Teacher; and Coach of Girls Varsity Basketball and Volleyball at Woods Charter School, Chapel Hill, NC
  • Summer 2004: Middle School Mathematics Teacher at the Breakthrough Collaborative, Houston, TX A national nonprofit, Breakthrough Collaborative is devoted to preparing high-achieving middle-school students, most of whom are of color and from low-income families, to enter and succeed in college-preparatory high school programs. Breakthrough also recruits and trains outstanding high school and college students to become Breakthrough teachers and build an interest in careers as educators.

Activities / Future Goals

  • Volunteer Service: Adolescent Parenting Program Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Triangle Orange County Literacy Council Extended Disaster Relief for New Orleans, Louisiana Helping Youth by Providing Enrichment Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA
  • Professionally and personally, Ashley is committed to improving the educational and life trajectories of underserved youth of all ages. She hopes to earn a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership in the future; and to eventually become the director of an educational non-profit organization.

Rachel Sullivan

2001 graduate of Hudson High School


College and Post-graduate education

  • B.S. in Theatre from Northwestern University
  • M.A. in Applied Theatre from CUNY (City University of New York) School of Professional Studies

Current Employment

  • Rachel currently works as the Program Director at Urban Stages where she runs the education and community outreach program.
  • Activities / Future Goals

    • Rachel has worked with numerous theatre companies as a performer, director, and facilitator.

    Megan Zwingelberg Cardoso

    2000 Graduate of Chatham High School


    College and Post-graduate education

    • Bachelor's of Science in Biology from The George Washington University (2004)
    • The George Washington University Medical School (2004-2008)
    • Pediatric Residency: The Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA (2008-2011) Current Employment
    • Pediatric Hospitalist at the Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA and at MetroWest Medical Center, Framingham, MA

    Activities / Interests

    • Married with one daughter
    • Fluent in Portuguese

    Giddings Scholarship Recipients attend a wide variety of post secondary programs. Representative schools attended by recent scholarship recipients include:

    Bard College
    Brown University
    Cazenovia College
    Clarkson College
    Colby College
    College of Saint Rose
    Columbia Greene Community College
    Cornell University
    Dartmouth College
    Dickinson College
    Dutchess Community College
    Emerson College
    Fordham University
    Gordon College
    Haverford College
    Hobart and William Smith
    Ithaca College
    Lehigh University
    Marist College
    McGill University
    New York University
    Northeastern University
    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    The Sage Colleges
    Saint Lawrence University
    Salisbury Colleg
    Sienna College
    SUNY Cortland
    SUNY Oneonta
    Syracuse University
    Union College
    University of Michigan - Dearborn
    University of Pittsburgh
    University of Rochester
    Vassar College
    Wagner College
    Wellesley College
    Wesleyan University

    Comments by recent Giddings Foundation Scholarship winners

    "The Giddings award was very helpful in enabling me to financially afford college. The award also allowed me to expand upon my interest in biology during my freshman year. It relieved me of the financial burden of having to take on a campus job, thus allowing me to concentrate on my academics and to also volunteer in the research lab."
    Emma Furlano, Giddings Scholarship 2006
    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    "The Giddings Scholarship has given me the freedom to broaden my intellectual and academic pursuits, as well as expand myself socially and culturally. Without the constant financial stress of having to work a job, I have had time to enjoy my studies, and the people around me, more."
    David Koweek, Giddings Scholarship 2005
    Brown University
    "I am truly appreciative of the assistance of the Giddings Foundation in supporting my higher education. Without you, I do not see myself being where I am now; finishing my undergraduate education at Rensselaer and pursing a graduate degree."
    Brandon Graver, Giddings Scholarship 2004
    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    "I continue to pursue my interests in scientific research and plan on going to graduate school for my Ph.D. I have had a very rewarding college experience, and am grateful for the help that this scholarship has given me."
    Sarah E. Clark, Giddings Scholarship 2004
    Colby College
    "We were very excited and proud when our son won the Alice & Murray Giddings Foundation scholarship (2004). This generous scholarship helped alleviate some of the stress of college tuition payments. It was great to see him rewarded for all of his hard work and involvement during his high school years. Thank you Giddings Foundation Scholarship!"
    Peggy and Emil Meister, Parents
    "The Giddings Scholarship gave me the freedom to spend the second semester of my freshmen year studying French language and culture in three countries. The growth I experienced living in France and Senegal, and traveling around Europe, was beyond what I could have imagined, and the Giddings award made it financially feasible. I am very appreciative."
    Morganne Wheeler, Giddings Scholarship 2005
    Saint Lawrence University

    **Listings of recipients since the inception of the Foundation's scholarship program will be added as they are verified. All former recipients are being contacted to update their accomplishments since leaving high school. If you are a former Giddings Scholar, you're invited to Keep Us Up To Date.

    RECIPIENTS of 20182017201620152014201320122011201020092000-08