Jenna Senetra ’23 (Waynesville, Ohio) spent last spring on the road traveling for scholarship competitions, recruiting visits and campus tours. One of those stops was Marietta College and Senetra said she fell in love with Marietta the moment she stepped on campus.
Senetra arrived as a candidate for the prestigious John G. and Jeanne B. McCoy Scholarship. The scholarship program was endowed in 1998 by John G. ’35 and Jeanne B. McCoy to promote and recognize outstanding academic ability and achievement in an incoming freshman student. The award includes tuition, fees, room and board, and is renewable for four years.
After writing an essay as part of the application process, Senetra participated in on-campus interviews both as part of a group and one-on-one. She returned to her hometown not knowing if she won.
“My dad and I drove up and spent the day here. I got to meet the women’s soccer coach, Coach Sean (Kaighin), and toured the campus for the first time before the competition began,” she said. “The competition included a group discussion and an individual interview. Both were really stressful, even though the faculty were super nice to us.
“After the day wrapped up, my dad and I were on the road again to make it to my next scholarship competition in Kentucky. I am indecisive and was especially worried about choosing the right college, so I applied to a lot of schools,” she said. “Thankfully I fell in love with Marietta when I stepped on campus and I knew I would be happy here if I had the chance to go.”
Senetra found out she won the scholarship when she received a phone call one day after school.
“I had just gotten home and received a call from a random number. I answered and it was President Ruud,” she recalled. “He congratulated me and told me to celebrate with my parents and friends. I called my mom and told her I finally knew where I was going to school.
“I am so grateful to have received this scholarship. It’s more than I could have ever imagined and made it possible for me to attend Marietta.”
Senetra, who is the 21st recipient of the McCoy Scholarship, is a Biology major and hopes to attend Marietta College’s Physician Assistant program and eventually work as a Physician Assistant.
“I am also interested in osteopathic medicine and marine science, so I am looking into a study abroad opportunity on a coast,” she said.
This active student also participates in the College’s Honors Program and the McDonough Leadership Program, and she hopes to earn a minor in Leadership Studies. She’s joined the Biology and Chemistry clubs, and hopes to do research with a Biology professor.
She is also interested in the College’s Greek life and plays defense for the Marietta College women’s soccer team.
“It is so nice to have a family on and off the field and our coaches are great. I am happy to have the chance to play the sport I’ve grown up with and love,” she said.
While Marietta College was always at the top of her list of colleges, she wasn’t certain she could attend at first.
“The scholarship is what ultimately allowed me to attend Marietta, but it was one of my top schools after my visit and every time I came back to campus, I liked it more and more,” she said. “The atmosphere here is wonderful. There is a positive vibe throughout the campus and every person I met on my visit — staff, students, or otherwise — was friendly from the start.
“I love that the high school is close by and that the community comes to support our college athletics. It’s also a nice change from my hometown where a Walmart is a 25-minute drive away,” she added. “Marietta is the first place I have lived where shops and restaurants are close enough to walk.”
Senetra is the daughter of Anya and Thomas Senetra. She has a 15-year-old brother Kaden, “who I miss all the time.”
“My parents have always had my back and have been my biggest supporters,” she said. “I do a lot on my own because I can be stubborn and too independent, but they can always tell when I have taken on too much or need help and step in to make it all work.”