To celebrate the achievements of our soon-to-be graduates, News@Wilkes will highlight stand-out seniors throughout senior week and in the week following commencement.
Bachelor of Arts, International Studies, concentration in anthropology and minor in political science and women’s and gender studies
College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Hometown: Forty Fort, Pa.
Activities and Achievements: Bonnerwith served as the president of the UNICEF club from 2017- 2019 as well as the president of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society. Through UNICEF, Bonnerwith completed fundraising for Autism Awareness Month and raised approximately $900 for the Wyoming Valley Children’s Association. She also participated in Trick or Treat for UNICEF and Reading Days at the Wyoming Valley Children’s Association. Bonnerwith made dean’s list each semester throughout her academic career at Wilkes. She was awarded the Edward G. Hartmann scholarship and the Lawrence W. Roth scholarship.
Noteworthy: Bonnerwith volunteered bi-weekly with resettled Congolese refugee families to assist in English as a second language lessons. She also completed an internship with the Mission of Rwanda to the United Nations during the summer 2016. During the internship, she assisted Rwandan diplomats in furthering their international agenda through research, report writing and attendance of meetings. She also participated in high-level debates focused on economic and social welfare and attended at least two meetings a day and wrote reports which elaborated on the topics discussed. In 2018 Bonnerwith went to Harrisburg to lobby for the continuance of PHEAA funding for students. She has presented at numerous conferences including Women Gender Studies Conference and presented her capstone entitled, “Reconciliation: How to Cure the Hate Genocide Creates,” which explored the role of Constitutional provisions pre- and post-genocide in Rwanda, Bosnia, and Cambodia and its impact on reconciliation.
Favorite part of the Wilkes Experience: “My highlight at Wilkes is a tie between working at the Mission of Rwanda and working with the resettled families. Both experiences humbled me an incredible amount and made me fall in love with humanity again. My internship at the Mission of Rwanda gave me the unique opportunity to learn about the United Nations and it’s functionality while also allowing me to negotiate development documents. This internship solidified, in many ways, my faith in compromise and humanity, while also giving me hands on experience. Working with the resettled Congolese families, took me out of my comfort zone, and allowed me to learn about the Congolese culture, which is beautiful, while also being able to teach them about my culture as an American.”
Future plans: Boonerwith is preparing for the Law School Admission Test to pursue law school.