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La Salle News

April 4, 2012

Freshman Susan Casillo Awarded the Gustave Amsterdam Leadership Award from The Comcast Foundation

Freshman speech-language-hearing science student Susan Casillo was recently awarded the Gustave Amsterdam Leadership Award from The Comcast Corporation. The Award was presented to Casillo by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and Comcast Executive Vice President David L. Cohen during the recent Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce’s annual Mayoral Luncheon. As one of only two recipients of the Award, Casillo received a $5,000 scholarship.

“I was so surprised when I learned I won this award; I did not even know I was being considered,” said Casillo. “It is such an honor to be recognized for my hard work.”

Last year, Casillo was the only student selected from her high school, Math, Science, and Technology Community Charter School, to apply for a Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship worth $1,000, which she won. Casillo was then chosen among the Leaders and Achievers Scholarship recipients for the Gustave Amsterdam Leadership Award. Kelly Ca, a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, was the other recipient.

At La Salle, Casillo is a member of the Resident Student Association, the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association, and serves on the Academic Committee for the University’s Honors Board—all while maintaining a 4.0 grade point average.

Casillo, from Philadelphia, is the third generation to attend La Salle. Her father, Robert G., is a member of the class of 1973, and her grandfather, Robert E., graduated in 1949. “Of course I had to come to La Salle because it is a family tradition,” said Casillo. “My dad still smiles whenever I mention Holroyd Hall because he actually had Dr. (Roland) Holroyd as a professor. However, the bigger reason I came to La Salle was for the five-year speech-language pathology program, as well as the Honors Program.”

Comcast established the Gustave Amsterdam Leadership Award in 2001 to honor Amsterdam, who was a Philadelphia business leader, community advocate, and founding board member of Comcast Corporation. The Award was created to provide financial support to two Philadelphia public high-school graduates planning to attend a Philadelphia college or university. The honorees are chosen for demonstrating outstanding leadership among their peers through a commitment to community service and high academic achievement.

“Comcast is proud to acknowledge the accomplishments of all of our Leaders and Achievers,” said Cohen. “We are particularly proud of students from Philadelphia who continue to have a positive impact on the city by being leaders within our college community. This honor rewards the best and brightest for believing in Philadelphia.”