PITTSBURGH – The Ukrainian Technological Society (UTS) of Pittsburgh presented its 2017 scholarship awards to 14 undergraduate and graduate students from Western Pennsylvania and Ohio in ceremonies at the Henry Clay Frick Fine Arts Building on the University of Pittsburgh campus on Sunday, July 30.
Students, family members, UTS members and guests were welcomed by UTS Executive Board President George Honchar, who provided an overview of the UTS – now in its 48th year – and its activities. In his opening remarks, he thanked the many donors who have generously offered their financial support to the scholarship program, which has helped students pursue higher education in a variety of fields.
Mr. Honchar noted that the society is an organization of Ukrainian professionals and businesspersons interested in cultivating Ukrainian culture and social awareness and strengthening the Ukrainian community through active participation and leadership. In addition to the scholarship program, Mr. Honchar spoke of the society’s annual tradition of selecting and recognizing a Ukrainian of the Year. Awardees are selected for outstanding scientific or scholarly contributions, humanitarian contributions, or for outstanding efforts in the advancement or perpetuation of Ukrainian culture.
He announced that the 2017 UTS Ukrainian of the Year was being awarded to Natalie Jaresko who served as Ukraine’s minister of finance from 2014 to 2016 and is currently serving as executive director of the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico. The presentation will be made at the society’s annual dinner-dance to be held on Saturday, November 4, at The Club at Nevillewood in Presto, Pa.
The featured speaker for the scholarship award ceremony was Eugene Szestak, UTS Executive Board member. Mr. Szestak, a U.S. Army veteran and a retired Secret Service agent with over 30 years of service, spoke of his experiences as a helicopter crew chief in Vietnam and Secret Service agent under seven U.S. presidents. He shared stories of his personal experiences with several presidents and heads of state during his lengthy career with the Secret Service.
Mr. Szestak had three messages to convey to the UTS Scholarship Recipients – messages that were born from his own experiences: always do the best you can, venture out of your comfort zone to challenge yourself, and always keep learning.
Mr. Honchar and UTS Executive Board members Mr. Szestak and Nickolas C. Kotow awarded the 14 scholarships totaling $9,000. This marked the 45th year of the UTS Scholarship Program, with 455 separate awards made totaling $213,200 to 287 different students. The UTS gave an additional $500 to Smoloskyp Inc. to fund scholarships for students in Ukraine.
The Maria Hulai Lion Foundation Scholarships, awarded to students who demonstrated outstanding academic performance and made possible through a grant from the Maria Hulai Lion Foundation of Brooklyn, were awarded to Alexander Lischak of Brookfield, Ohio, and Nicholas Hladio of Bradford Woods, Pa.
The Michael Korchynsky Memorial Scholarship, awarded to a student pursuing engineering with outstanding academic achievement, was awarded to Dmytri Rakovan of Baden, Pa.
The Ukrainian Selfreliance of Western Pennsylvania FCU Members’ Funded Scholarship, awarded to a member with outstanding academic achievement, was awarded to Michael Kochis of Coraopolis, Pa.
The Chester and Olga Manasterski Memorial Scholarship, awarded to a student with outstanding academic achievement and service to the Ukrainian community and underwritten by sons Myron and Gregory Manasterski, was awarded to Yaryna Korenovska of Carnegie, Pa.
The Ukrainian Selfreliance of Western Pennsylvania FCU Scholarship, awarded to a member who has shown excellence in both academic studies and community involvement, was awarded to Nicholas Spak of Pittsburgh.
The Michael and Anna Komichak Memorial Scholarship, underwritten by Mr. and Mrs. Michael J. Komichak and Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Komichak, was awarded to Michael Yourstowsky of Canfield, Ohio.
The Ukrainian Cultural Trust Choir of Western Pennsylvania Scholarship, underwritten by the choir, was awarded to Allison Cross of Pittsburgh.
The Kateryna Dowbenko Ukrainian Language Scholarship, underwritten in part by a donation from Bohdan Hodiak of Stuart, Fla., was awarded to Kateryna Kocelko of Pittsburgh.
The Virginia Kotow Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Mikaela Kapeluck of Carnegie.
Ukrainian Technological Society Scholarships were awarded to Kateryna Czuczman of Pittsburgh; Katarzyna Goebel of Sewickley, Pa.; Juliana Kochis of Coraopolis; and Alexander Popichak of Carnegie.
The Very Rev. Michael Kochis offered the benediction before the social hour, which followed the program.
To learn more about the UTS, its Scholarship Program and other activities, readers may visit the website www.utspgh.org, or “friend” the organization on Facebook at “Ukrainian Technological Society (UTS) of Pittsburgh.”
Donations toward the 2018 Scholarship Program are now being accepted. Donations are tax-deductible, as provided by law, as the UTS has Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3) designation. Donations or inquiries may be sent to the UTS at P.O. Box 4277, Pittsburgh, PA 15203. Donations can also be made securely via PayPal by visiting the UTS website and clicking on the “Support” page. Readers may contact the UTS by e-mail at email@example.com.