University News

Alex Caputo, Owen Harding, and Thomas Hyjek Named 2021 Cohen Scholars

Published: August 23, 2021 | Categories: All News, Business, Alumni
Churchill spiral staircase

Western New England University College of Business Dean Sharianne Walker is pleased to announce the newest three members of the Cohen Scholarship Program. Alex Caputo, Owen Harding, and Thomas Hyjek were selected this year, and will join a prestigious group of 25 other Cohen Scholars since the programs inception in 2013.

Cohen Scholars serve as student ambassadors representing the College of Business on campus and at various events throughout the year, in addition to receiving an annual merit scholarship of $5,000. This year, 37 high-performing students who have achieved a minimum 3.8 GPA were chosen to apply based on sound leadership, communication skills, citizenship and community service, and interpersonal skills. After a multi-stage interview process, Caputo, Harding, and Hyjek were selected to be a part of this renowned program.

Cohen Scholars also participate in a professional development seminar called the Cohen Scholars Chautauqua every other week, which is a unique opportunity to explore and enhance student skills and attributes. Programming for the Chautauqua series feature a wide variety of business topics including personal finance, ethical leadership, networking skills and personal branding. Cohen Scholars are also mentored by members of the College of Business Advisory Board.

"The College of Business faculty and staff are excited to welcome these exceptional students into the Cohen Scholars program," says Dean Walker. "Each student will gain tremendous leadership and professional development skills that they can keep with them throughout their careers and lives."

Alex Caputo is a Finance and Accounting double major from Milton, MA. On-campus, Caputo plays middle-linebacker for the football team and is a member of the WNE Marketing Association. Outside of WNE, Caputo enjoys playing rugby, skiing, focusing on fitness, and volunteering at his local church. After graduation, Caputo plans to work in Boston at either an accounting firm or a bank, where he can leverage his finance and accounting background. Confident that being part of the Cohen Scholars Program will be fundamental in his continued academic and career success, Caputo explains that he will "…grow as a student, learner, leader, and person…" throughout the program. Caputo also hopes to build meaningful and lasting connections with fellow Cohen Scholars as well as alumni.

Owen Harding is a Pharmaceutical Business major from North Attleboro, MA. On campus, Harding is a Peer Advisor, a supervisor in the Anthony S. Caprio Alumni Healthful Living Center, and involved in intramural sports. Outside of WNE, Harding volunteers for the Special Olympics. Harding aspires to work in pharmaceutical sales after graduation and is confident that being part of the Cohen Scholars Program will help him reach his goals. Harding explains that being a Cohen Scholar will, "…enhance my communication skills…" and provide exposure to the pharmaceutical sales industry through valuable alumni connections.

Thomas Hyjek, also a Finance and Accounting double major, is from Montgomery, MA. Hyjek is Treasurer of the Marketing Association, a Peer Tutor, Student Assistant in the College of Business, and a member of the Investment Club. Outside of WNE, Hyjek is an Investment Banking Intern and a Volunteer Firefighter in his local community. After graduation, Hyjek plans to pursue a career on Wall Street in investment banking. As a part of the Cohen Scholars Program, Hyjek explains that he will, "…further develop and build soft skills, which often are over-looked in the classroom…" Hyjek is also looking forward to serving as a College of Business Ambassador in the many programs the College holds for students, alumni and the business community.

This incoming class of Cohen Scholars comprises the ninth 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.