Student Achievement

John Mesaros ’23 Awarded Cognella Cares Student Scholarship


John Mesaros is the first Marist student and one of just three students nationally to be awarded the Cognella Cares Student Scholarship. Mesaros’ award-winning essay discusses truth, credibility, and “fake news.” 

Image of John Mesaros June 16, 2021 - Environmental Science and Policy student, John Mesaros ’23, is among three winners of the Spring 2021 Cognella Cares Student Scholarship Program. Mesaros is the first Marist student to be awarded this scholarship.

The Cognella Cares Student Scholarship Program provides students with a platform to speak on current issues that matter to them, highlight experiences that are unique to higher education, and share ideas that can inspire social, political, and intellectual change.

For his essay, John chose to write about truth, credibility, and, “fake news”. “In 2020 alone, the United States faced a global pandemic, civil unrest and mass protests across the country, a presidential election marred by claims of fraudulency, and countless other events where an informed and educated public would have helped mitigate concern and led to smarter decision making,” said Mesaros. “However, the people of our nation were at odds with one another as they clung to a belief or stance offered to them by their media and political affiliation of choice, while going on to denounce the other side and their beliefs as incredible and “fake news.” As a result, there was little cooperation between Americans in a time it was needed the most,“ he continues.

The other scholarship recipients include Kelly Basil of Eastern Kentucky University and Ismihan Almasa Uddin of the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“Even before the award, I was impressed when John told me he had submitted the essay, because it revealed to me another dimension of this young man, one where he wants to express his thoughtful views on a topic that is essential to higher education and to democracy,” said Dr. Richard Feldman, Chair and Associate Professor of the Department of Environmental Science and Policy. “John’s essay and award exemplify the integrated higher order learning and expression that are fundamental to Marist’s Core Liberal Studies curriculum. To already excel in such expression during his sophomore year is outstanding and encouraging,” he continued.

Read John’s award-winning essay here:

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