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​Pitt-Greensburg awards full-tuition scholarships to three western Pennsylvania seniors

Montage of photos of Charlotte Boyle, Elizabeth Martorella, and Mackenzie TaylorThree high school seniors from western Pennsylvania have emerged at the top of the competition for the full-tuition scholarships offered by the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg: Charlotte Boyle, of Altoona, PA; Elizabeth Martorella, of Greensburg, PA; and Mackenzie Taylor, of Connellsville, PA.

Now in its sixth year, the program offers three full-tuition scholarships to qualified first-year students matriculating in fall 2022. The award covers the cost of in-state tuition for up to four years if the student meets the renewal criteria of maintaining a 3.5 GPA each academic year. Each prestigious scholarship has a value of more than $50,000.

“Pitt-Greensburg is committed to providing the world-renowned Pitt education at an affordable cost,” said Michael Husenits, director of Admissions at Pitt-Greensburg. “We recognize the financial challenge associated with pursuing a college degree and strive to make the Pitt-Greensburg experience attainable for our students.”

Students applying for the scholarships must have achieved a cumulative high school GPA of 3.8 or higher, be US citizens, and be admitted as full-time freshman students. Full details about the application process and qualifications are available here: The competition usually opens in January with applications being accepted through the spring.

Charlotte Boyle

Charlotte Boyle, of Altoona, PA, plans to major in biology when she matriculates at Pitt-Greensburg this fall. Her love of biology was sown by her mother, an environmental educator at a state park, and her father, a biology teacher and avid birder. It was then nurtured by her high school biology teacher who suggested that Boyle research topics of interest outside of class.

“It’s almost comedic that such a seemingly simple idea of researching for fun has helped me so much in my academic career,” wrote Boyle in her essay. “I no longer learn information simply because I have to; I learn it because it is something I enjoy doing.”

Boyle is active at Altoona High School, participating in a variety of band and jazz band ensembles. A two-time drum major, she received the Director’s Award for Jazz, was a Regional Band selection, and performed in the “Top Ensemble” in District Jazz. During a summer 2020 internship with the Penn State Herbarium, she created a digital library of plant specimens.

Active outside of school, she balances a job at Sheetz, a six-year commitment to the Girl Scouts that has resulted in earning the Silver Award, and regularly volunteering with the junior high school band and the junior high school anime club.

Elizabeth Martorella

Hempfield Area High School senior Elizabeth Martorella plans to major in business management at Pitt-Greensburg. A Distinguished Honor Roll student, she also is a member of the National Honor Society. She captains the softball team where she is a four-year member. Active in the community, she volunteers with the Autism Summer School, Overly’s Country Christmas, Westmoreland Food Bank, and as a peer mediator and tutor. She also juggles umpiring softball games, babysitting, and working at a local restaurant into the mix.

Struggling with an advanced placement physics class, Martorella sought out her teacher who, she writes, “challenged me to be ‘an active participant’ and start talking more in class.” She took his advice and asked and answered questions during group discussions, tutored students who didn’t understand the homework, and made sure to actively participate in group projects. “My active participation and hard work finally paid off.” She writes. “Physics was by far my favorite class, although it was my hardest, and the lessons I have taken away from that class have changed my entire approach to education.”

President of the Caring Hands Club, Martorella is credited with reactivating a dormant program through her leadership and example. Known for organizing her academic schedule so that her afternoons were available to volunteer in the autistic support classrooms, she was able to style her high school enrichment program so that it provided consistent support to the autistic classroom while further developing her own academic and social skills.

Mackenzie Taylor

MacKenzie Taylor will graduate from Connellsville Area Senior High School with plans to major in biological sciences at Pitt-Greensburg. Her motivation: to have a career in medical research that will contribute to finding a cure for the disease that took the life of a family member.

President of the Spanish Honor Society, Taylor is a member of the National Honor Society and the Penn State 4.0 Club. She also is a highly praised four-year iMedia intern at the high school. Her other activities include being treasurer of the Leo’s Club and a four-year varsity cheerleader who is the current squad captain.

Outside of school, she volunteers at food pantries and community clean-ups and assists with vacation bible school and children’s cheerleading camps. Her work experience includes Walmart, The Yard: A Mobile Eatery, and the Twisted Rose Co.

“Her motivation and desire to succeed is how Mackenzie has been able to balance her school work, extracurricular activities, work, and home responsibilities,” writes one of her references. “I am in awe of how extremely dedicated she is to her studies and how she has been able to balance it all. She inspires me as well as others through her example.”

Because of her life experiences, Taylor writes in her essay, “I have realized that in order to achieve one of my main goals in life, I cannot let the stress of difficult challenges get the best of me. I must also not become as frustrated or give up on my future due to any unforeseen circumstances, but take it as an opportunity to become a stronger student, as well as a stronger person in general.”

About Pitt-Greensburg:

Founded in 1963, the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg is a publicly assisted, four-year, liberal arts college in southwestern Pennsylvania. Pitt-Greensburg offers 31 baccalaureate degree programs, including new majors in data analytics, nursing, and healthcare management, as well as 32 minors and four certificate programs. With nearly 1,200 students, more than 10,000 alumni, and faculty and staff numbering 260, Pitt-Greensburg provides a vibrant, diverse community. As part of the University of Pittsburgh system, Pitt-Greensburg offers the resources of a world-renowned university combined with the individualized and immersive experiences of a small liberal arts college. Creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit permeate the campus and extend into its many collaborative projects with the Westmoreland County community. Nestled in Pennsylvania’s beautiful Laurel Highlands, the campus is a five-minute drive from uptown Greensburg and less than an hour’s drive from Pittsburgh.





Publication Date

Wednesday, June 1, 2022 - 13:45