Namedropper 7/8/2018

July 8, 2018 GMT

Clarks Summit native teaches in Mexico

Lauren Coggins mother, Patricia, encouraged her daughter in eighth grade to take Spanish as her foreign language choice.

“It’s the second most commonly-spoken language in the United States and it will help you in your future,” Patricia said to her daughter.

That push was the beginning of Ciggins’ road to a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Mexico. Coggins, who graduated summa cum laude from the University of Scranton in May, will teach English as a Second Language at a university in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, Mexico.

While on her Fulbright, Coggins, as a community engagement project, intends to organize an after school program for young children to learn English along with their mothers before starting to study the language in school.


While at the university, she was a double major in secondary education and Hispanic studies with a concentration in Latin American studies and was awarded the University’s Profressor Joseph G. Brunner Award for Excellence in Foreign Languages (Hispanic Studies).

Coggins is one of over 1,900 United States citizens who will conduct research, teach English and provide expertise abroad for the 2018-2019 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, according to the university. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement as well as record of service and leadership potential in their respective fields.

“Lauren maintains a GPA above 3.9, is passionate about teaching and possesses a keen ability for language. She also holds a deep admiration for Hispanic culture. She embodies the qualities the Fulbright program was designed to cultivate,” said Susan Trussler, Ph.D., the University’s Fulbright Program Advisor and associate professor of economics and finance.

Coggins said for her, teaching is something that comes from the heart. She considers the Fulbright a gift that will help her help her future students.

At home, Coggins is a cantor for Our Lady of Snows Parish in Clarks Summit. She lives in Clarks Summit with her parents, Patricia and John Coggins, and her brother, Matthew.

After completing her Fulbright, Coggins plans to be a high school Spanish teacher and pursue a master’s degree in Hispanic literature or English as Second Language education.

High notes

During the NEPA Philharmonic League Luncheon’s charter and long term members, including Ann Moskovitz, Eleanor Ganader, Christine Zike, league chair; Violet Kelly and Goldye Weinberg were honored.


The league supports the orchestra financially and provides refreshments for orchestra during rehearsals. For more details, contact the Philharmonic Office...

...Mark DeStefano received the Lois Kearney award during the 2nd annual Everhart Honors on June 9.

DeStefano is a former Everhart Board President and maintains a role on the museum’s finance committee. He is the current CFO of Pagnotti Enterprises Inc. and Latona Trucking Inc. and holds financial leadership positions at several other local businesses.

DeStefano was recognized for his commitment to the museum and his unprecedented level of support that brought in $110,000 in sponsorships.

DeStefano’s financial knowledge and skills have been instrumental in sustaining the museum in challenge times and setting a course for growth, said Aurore Giguet, Everhart executive director.