University News

College of Business Announces Newest Cohen Scholars

Published: October 27, 2020 | Categories: Alumni, All News, Business
2020 Cohen Scholars in Churchill Hall

College of Business Dean Sharianne Walker is pleased to announce the selection of three business students as the newest Cohen Scholars. Sophomores Sofia Plaku (Marketing major/International Business minor) of Bristol, CT; Thomas Thayer (Business Analytics and Information Management major) of Albany, NY; and Jenna Welch (Pharmaceutical Business major) of Westfield, MA, join an illustrious group of just 22 other Cohen Scholars dating to the program’s inception in 2013.

Cohen Scholars serve as student ambassadors representing the College of Business at various events throughout the year, and receive an annual merit scholarship of $5,000. In extending her congratulations, Dean Walker said "I am pleased to see these business students recognized for their high academic achievement and all-around excellence," and in expressing her gratitude to the program benefactors, Walker added that "Frances and Norman Cohen would be so proud to know that their generous gift has enabled a growing legion of students to be involved in a really special program that has become a proud tradition in the College of Business at Western New England."

Plaku, Thayer, and Welch were selected from a finalist pool of exceptional candidates after a rigorous application and interview process. This year, 27 high-performing students who have achieved a minimum 3.8 GPA were invited to apply after three semesters at Western New England, and were chosen based on demonstrated leadership, communication skills, citizenship and community service, and interpersonal skills. Interim Provost, Professor of Sport Management, and Director of the Business Honors Program Curt Hamakawa said that he is "excited for the newest Cohen Scholars and looks forward to working with them in the years to come." 

Cohen Scholars participate in a professional development seminar called the Cohen Scholars Chautauqua every other week, which is a unique opportunity to explore and enhance students' skills and attributes. This incoming class of Cohen Scholars comprises the eighth cohort of the Cohen Scholars Program, which was created in part from a $1 million gift from the Estate of Frances Cohen, whose husband, Norman Cohen, was a 1934 graduate of Western New England University.