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Parish Episcopal School Celebrates Alumni's Success of Prestigious Awards
Posted 05/12/2017 02:23PM

Parish Episcopal challenges students to be creative learners and bold leaders, prepared to impact our complex global society. Parish alumni, Sydney Ariagno '10 and Sara Scully '09 are doing just that as they embark on new challenges in their careers – Ariagno as a Medical Research Fellow from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Scully as a Fulbright Scholar in Taiwan. Continue reading below for more on each of the young ladies accomplishments.

Sydney Ariagno ‘10

Parish alumna, Sydney Ariagno ’10, a Washington University graduate and soon to be Weill Cornell Medical College graduate, is one out of five students named the 2017 Medical Research Fellow from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). HHMI offers a fellowship exclusively to medical students, providing recipients with a year of “full-time, mentored laboratory research training.” At the one year completion of her fellowship, Ariagno will share her research at the American Society of Clinical Investigation-Association of American Physicians Joint Meeting on April 20-22, 2018 in Chicago.

“I am so honored and humbled to receive this award,” said Ariagno. “This fellowship gives us the opportunity to devote one year in our medical training to full-time research in an area we are passionate about; I will be studying pediatric brain tumors.”
Ariagno will be helping to develop a non-invasive blood test which can diagnose the most common malignant brain tumor in children, called medulloblastoma. Ariagno's goal is to be able to monitor the disease’s growth and predict its future progression. (Read more about the fellowship from Weill Cornell Medicine)  

“There are so many unanswered questions in this field, and I am hopeful my work this year will contribute to the scientific discussion in a meaningful way,” added Ariagno. Through this fellowship, I will also get the chance to work with some of the nation’s top researchers and collaborate with other scientists in my field. Learning from these mentors and collaborators will give me invaluable experience as I start out in my career.”

When Sydney graduated Parish, she left with the feeling that Parish really helped shape her love of learning, remaining with her throughout college and medical school. She especially appreciated teachers who pushed her to get to the root of topics and to deeply understand a concept, rather than just memorizing it.

“I think that attitude has prepared me for a career in medicine, where the desire to be a life-long learner is critical,” noted Ariagno.

In addition to the fellowship, Ariagno was selected to be the Cornell Medical School representative at the Installation Ceremony of the new Cornell President in August 2017. She was the only medical student chosen to present on behalf of each college of the University for the Ceremony.

Ariagno is a great example of a Parish student who has passion with purpose and offers some advice and words of wisdom to Parish seniors as they head on to their next adventure in the collegiate world.

“I think it’s so important to recognize that college is a completely new environment with challenges unlike those we face in high school,” she explained. “It is only natural that when faced with such a big change, we might fail or fall short of expectations from time to time. I want Parish seniors to know that failure at this time in your life is okay and totally normal; approaching failure with a positive attitude and a desire to learn from the experience is the only way to grow! Remember that the experience is preparing you for the next challenge ahead and will only help you in the long run.”

Sara Scully ’09

Sara Scully ’09, and DePauw graduate ’13, was recently selected as one of DePauw's finalists to the Fulbright Program that promotes international exchange and education through a selective, merit-based grant award program. Scully will be working as an English teacher in Taichung, Taiwan for 11 months.

“I will be ingratiating myself in the community and promoting intercultural understanding,” said Scully. “I'm so excited not only for the opportunity to experience another culture, but also to serve my country as a diplomat overseas.”
DePauw published a story on Scully’s achievements and success post-graduation.

After graduating from DePauw, Scully worked for KSM Consulting in Indianapolis. From there she worked as an instructor for Beaver Creek Children’s Ski School in Colorado. She continues to work as a staff director and counselor at Camp Longhorn in Burnet, TX.

Scully has held some rather exciting career positions post college, but is looking forward to her next career step that combines her passion and achievements.

“I can hardly describe what an impact Parish had on me,” noted Scully. “I entered the School an insecure, quiet student, and graduated with confidence, intellectual curiosity and friends. I'm incredibly grateful to Parish for transforming me into the person I am today.”

We congratulate Sydney and Sara on their achievements.

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