CJ Majors Earn St. Thomas More Scholarship

Hannah Pichardo ’21 and Manuel Savalza ’21 are each one step closer to a career in criminal justice after earning the Hon. Kent B. Smith scholarship from the St. Thomas More Society of the Diocese of Springfield.

Photo of 2019 St. Thomas More Scholarship Recipients Hannah Pichardo '21 and Manuel Savalza '21 . Courtesy of Sharon Roulier and iObserve
The award acknowledges the ethical stance of Thomas More, a 15th-century martyr who prioritized having a clean conscience above all else. Photo courtesy of Sharon Roulier and iObserve.

The two sophomores each received a $1,000 award after submitting personal essays explaining how the funds would advance their academic and professional development. Offered annually by the diocese, the scholarship is granted to students demonstrating moral integrity and financial need.

Hannah, a native of Saratoga Springs, NY, is majoring in criminal justice and minoring in psychology. With her sights set on working as a homicide detective one day, she’s focused on learning the procedural side of policing in conjunction with theories of decision-making.

“You have to understand how people’s brains work, why they do the things that they do,” she said. “The hardest part about crime is that the people in the community are really affected by it, more than some people might realize.”

Manuel, a native of Riverside, CA, is majoring in criminal justice and double minoring in Spanish and biology. Like Hannah, he was influenced to pursue a career in judicial public service after taking classes on forensic analysis and crime scene investigations. Instead of becoming a cop, however, Manuel intends to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather and cousin to become a corrections officer.

“I’m really big on rehabilitation,” he said. “Everyone has a better path, no matter what their background.”