GREENSBURG, PA- Victoria J. Churilla, a resident of North Huntingdon and sophomore psychology major specializing in elementary and special education at Seton Hill College, was recently named one of eight women to receive a $2,000 Women Overcoming Adversity (WOA) Scholarship from the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (AICUP). The WOA scholarship program supports the determination and commitment of women who have persevered in the face of substantial adversity in order to attend college. The program recognizes that many women face the challenge of coping with difficult life circumstances- including major illness, personal tragedies, physical and psychological abuse, learning disabilities, substance abuse and financial hardship- nearly everyday, even as they strive toward completion of a college degree. In its first year, the WOA scholarship was restricted to applicants from the eight institutions- Seton Hill College, Chatham College, College Misericordia, Gannon University, Immaculata College, Marywood University, Villanova University and Wilson College- that participated in the “Celebration of Pennsylvania Women 2000” conducted in cooperation with House Speaker Matthew J. Ryan and the Pennsylvania Humanities Council. For the 2002-2003 academic year, the scholarship competition will be open to women at any of the AICUP’s 81 member institutions. The selected recipients must exemplify a spirit of committed persistence to overcoming life’s adversities within the communities in which they live, serve and study. “I was overwhelmed and ecstatic that I was chosen to receive one of the awards,” Churilla said. “Charmaine Strong [Dean of Student Services] approached me with the information for the scholarship saying she thought of me. I believe that God put it on her heart to think of me because this will be a tremendous help as I complete my education.” Churilla also recently received a scholarship award from the Townsend Press Foundation Scholarship Program.