Merit Scholarship winner seeking career in field of constitutional law

Eileen Nolan

BY Molly Congdon
Gazette Reporter
CLIFTON PARK — On April 22, Shenendehowa senior Eileen Nolan received word that she is a winner of a National Merit Scholarship.

There are three different kinds of scholarships. The first is the National, which is a general scholarship that can be awarded to anyone who qualifies; the second is college-sponsored, paid for by your first-choice college; the third is corporate-sponsored, paid for by companies that agree they will sponsor a scholarship.

Nolan was awarded a corporate-sponsored scholarship through her father’s business — a renewable $2,500 dollar scholarship, which will help her afford the costs of college.

She applied to seven schools: University of Rochester, Boston University, Union College, George Washington University, William and Mary, Northeastern and Cornell. She has been accepted by them all.

Her top three are Rochester, BU and Cornell. She plans to major in political science and international relations and continue to pursue some kind of law career.

Nolan has lived in Clifton Park for her entire life. She has two younger brothers, Sean and Derek, 14 and 16, respectively. Her father, Patrick, works for Emerson, an engineering company, and her mother, Jean, takes care of her and her brothers.

She is the vice president of the Model UN club, participates in her church’s youth group, works at the Coburg Village retirement home, has played softball since kindergarten on a recreational team, and is a member of her school’s tennis team.

In 10 years, she hopes to be doing something for the federal government, perhaps the State Department. “I have a serious interest in constitutional law,” Nolan said. “My dad was born in Ireland so we’ve always had a global aspect; my parents are both interested in being globally aware and social issues. It’s a core value in my family so I have always been surrounded with it, and now that I’m older I see how complex it is and how important it is to everything.”

She continued: “It’s multilayered and multifaceted; you can delve in and then there’s this whole new world.”

One of the people that she admires the most is one she read about within her history book as a sophomore. “In tenth grade, when I was taking AP US History, I learned about Alice Paul — she was a suffragette who basically campaigned to get women the vote and she was eventually sent to a women’s prison for some ridiculous charge.

“It takes incredible dedication to be so committed to a value like that, to just sacrifice personal comfort; I thought it was really amazing and took a lot of courage.”

6 questions for Eileen Nolan
Q: What is your favorite subject?

A: Social studies and history.
Q: If you could have one pet, what would it be?
A: A dog, a yellow Lab.
Q: What is your favorite song and why?
A: “Yellow” by Coldplay; it’s a really pretty song.
Q: What’s the No. 1 thing on your bucket list?
A: I would really like to learn Arabic. I’m hoping to do it in college.
Q: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
A: I like being near a city, but I don’t know if I could handle the city life. I guess somewhere on the East Coast, around a city.
Q: What are the three essential toppings you need on your ice cream sundae?
A: Hot fudge, Oreos and they have this thing at all of the frozen yogurt bars — it’s a melted crunch bar and I could just eat that stuff, like a bowl of it!