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Alison Hicks, this year’s Casanova Scholarship recipient, is pictured with Andrew Roybal, a St. Thomas Newman Center staff member, and Dominican Fr. Peter Do, pastor of the Newman Center at the University of Oregon. (Courtesy St. Thomas More Newman Center)
? Alison Hicks, this year’s Casanova Scholarship recipient, is pictured with Andrew Roybal, a St. Thomas Newman Center staff member, and Dominican Fr. Peter Do, pastor of the Newman Center at the University of Oregon. (Courtesy St. Thomas More Newman Center)

EUGENE — “I would have been lost if I hadn’t found Newman,” said Alison Hicks. “I discovered that my identity was rooted in Christ.” 

Hicks, this year’s Casanova Scholarship recipient, said the St. Thomas More Newman Center at the University of Oregon offered her critical support during her just-completed freshman year. 

Earlier this spring at the center’s Webfoot Gala, she was awarded the $10,000 Len and Margaret Casanova Scholarship for the 2019-20 school year. 

Hicks was born and raised in the small town of Quincy, located in the northern California Sierra Nevada mountain range. Growing up, she was an altar server, involved in the community and was president of the Quincy High School Service Club. 

Moving from a small town and a close family to Oregon was a huge change, she said. Her fall term was difficult. Hicks felt lost and missed her family. She would attend Mass and adoration at Newman and would offer up her suffering to God. 

In January of this year, she attended the FOCUS Ministry SEEK Conference in Indianapolis.

Upon her return, she said she “woke up” and realized that love and support were all around her. From the FOCUS missionaries to the priests, from the staff to the parishioners, she did not feel alone anymore. She even spent this past Easter with a few of the St. Thomas More community families.

Hicks, who earned a 4.0 GPA in interior architecture last year, plans to spend the summer abroad in Spain.