University recognizes accomplishments of class valedictorian

Maria Kidron '13 poses with her parents before Commencement.
Maria Kidron '13 poses with her parents before Commencement.
Maria Kidron '13 poses with Dr. King at the awards ceremony.
Maria Kidron '13 poses with Dr. King at the awards ceremony.

Misericordia University recently recognized the academic accomplishments of class valedictorian Maria Kidron of Elysburg, Pa., at the annual Honors and Awards Ceremony in Lemmond Theater in Walsh Hall on campus.

Kidron, a graduate of Southern Columbia Area High School in Catawissa, Pa. is the daughter of Robert and Joan Kidron. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree summa cum laude in health science and a Master of Science degree in speech language pathology.

During her academic career at Misericordia University, Kidron was recognized by the Pennsylvania Speech-Language-Hearing Association by being awarded the 2012 Dr. Robert Von Drach Memorial Scholarship, which is presented annually to an outstanding student from one of Pennsylvania’s 14 SLP schools. It is given to a student who exhibits strong leadership abilities, outstanding academic performance, exceptional clinical skills and scholarship within the profession.

At Misericordia, Kidron has also been a member of the department’s National Student Speech-Language Hearing Association and of the Pennsylvania Speech-Language-Hearing Association Chapter since 2008. In her academic studies, she maintained a 4.0 grade point average while also gaining clinical and fieldwork experience at the Misericordia University Speech-Language and Hearing Center, the Hazleton Area School District’s Office of Special Education Early Intervention Program at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Dallas, Pa.; Geisinger HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital, Danville, Pa., and at Shamokin Area School District, Coal Twp., Pa.

“She was always so consistently prepared and adept in clinic that the parents and caregivers of these clients never failed to mention how pleased they were with her and how disappointed they were when the semester was over and clinic ended,’’ said Hunter Manasco, Ph.D., assistant professor of SLP at Misericordia University. “I oftentimes tell my students that a sign of the highest level of success in pediatric clinics is when your children get better from all the work they are doing, but then do not want to leave because they were having so much fun putting that work in.

“Maria consistently achieved this objective when I watched her in clinic,’’ Dr. Manasco added.

Kidron also participated in numerous research projects with her mentors in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and helped to present their findings at state, national and international conferences – including the 7th World Congress on Fluency Disorders at the Vinci International Convention Center in Tours, France.

Under the direction of Kathleen Scaler Scott, Ph.D., assistant professor of speech-language pathology at Misericordia University, Kidron worked as a graduate assistant for a Misericordia University research grant-funded project on cluttering. She performed tests on research participants, transcribed speech samples, analyzed data and assisted with the development of materials for presentations discussing the relationship between cluttering and the working memory.

The Class of 2013 graduated May 18 at Misericordia University’s 87th annual Commencement ceremony in the Anderson Sports and Health Center on campus.

For more information about the Speech-Language Pathology Program at Misericordia University, please log on to or call (570) 674-TALK. For more information about Misericordia University, please log in to or call (570) 674-6400. Founded and Sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy in 1924, Misericordia University is Luzerne County’s first four-year college and offers 36 degree programs in three colleges in full- and part-time formats.


Misericordia University Class of 2013 valedictorian Maria Kidron of Elysburg, Pa., center, poses with her parents, Joan Kidron, left, and Robert Kidron, right, before the 87th annual Commencement ceremony at Misericordia University.