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Highlands Honors Six 2024 Global Scholars


Connor, Haley, Elizabeth, Aubrey, Jocelyn and Ella

by Laura Fleischer Proaño

Congratulations to the 2024 Highlands Global Scholars: Jocelyn Bielak, Aubrey Coward, Haley Dixon, Elizabeth Ransom, Ella Rittman and Connor Watson! They are among 19 Highlands Global Scholars to receive this recognition and the largest group of students in one year since the program was introduced six years ago. They join a prestigious group of 129 Global Scholars from 22 high schools in Pennsylvania this year. 

These students demonstrated global competence during their high school career by completing a rigorous Global Scholars portfolio of eight global courses including four years of Spanish, four global extracurricular activities, 20 global service hours and eight global literature and media reviews. When reflecting on the most meaningful global components of the program and how they plan to continue developing their global competence after graduation, they shared a variety of rich experiences. 

Jocelyn Bielak cited the Highlands International Club food buffet and Carnegie International field trip as memorable parts of her Global Scholars portfolio. Through both, she was able to explore different cultures and experience them with others. She said, “You don’t need to know the same languages to communicate through food and art, as they are things that connect us on a basic human level.“ Jocelyn plans to play basketball and study Biology and Spanish at the University of Pittsburgh Greensburg. She would like to travel, study and/or work in other countries to continue learning about the cultures of the world. 


Aubrey Coward appreciated the opportunity to expose Highlands elementary and middle school students to different cultures by teaching language and culture lessons as part of her Global Scholars service hours. She taught a Spanish food lesson to HMS students and shared how Christmas is celebrated in France as part of Holidays Around the World at HES. Aubrey plans to study physical therapy at the University of Pittsburgh. She intends to continue to use her global competence skills in her daily life and eventually study abroad in college. 


Haley Dixon valued her Global Scholars extracurricular activities such as International Club and Honors Choir and her academic classes, including Mrs. Dickerson’s Holocaust and Genocide Studies class, one of her favorite at Highlands. Haley also enjoyed her language classes, stating, “I truly enjoyed my four years in Spanish and loved learning about the cultures and traditions of Latin American countries.” Haley plans to study Criminology and Criminal Justice at Slippery Rock University. She would like to travel to new places and take electives to continue learning about other cultures and developing her global competence. 


Elizabeth Ransom enjoyed researching and learning about the world through her Global Scholars experiences, particularly exploring how cultures and the challenges we face are similar and different. She said, “Learning about other countries was very eye-opening because I realize how fortunate I am.” Elizabeth plans to study Music Education at Ohio University and eventually audition on Broadway. She would like to continue exploring and learning by traveling the world. 


Ella Rittman named the collaboration with Covestro for the Sustainability Design Challenge, a discussion with South African students about the Holocaust play “Perseverance” and the reading of “Palestine: A Century of Settler Colonialism” as her most meaningful Global Scholars activities. She felt they enabled her to make a difference by participating in important discussions on modern global issues and exploring ways to help communities in need. Ella plans to study Audio and Music Recording with a Minor in Spanish at Youngstown State University in the Sokolov Honors College and Dana School of Music. She would also like to study abroad in college and eventually travel as a recording engineer or producer. 


Connor Watson also found the Sustainability Design Challenge experiences in his CHS Spanish IV class as some of his most impactful. He enjoyed using his language skills to talk with native Spanish speakers of Covestro’s Lo Latino group as well as his presentation of his “Students for Change” project at the Energy Innovation Center with students, educators and business leaders from the Pittsburgh area. Connor plans to study History or Anthropology at Penn State University. He would like to build on his global competence skills through college classes and activities and a career in history or anthropology in the future. 


¡Felicitaciones Jocelyn, Aubrey, Haley, Elizabeth, Ella y Connor! During the Senior Awards Ceremony in June, they received a Global Scholars certificate and global honors cords to wear at graduation. 

*The Global Scholars Program, sponsored by Highlands High School and the Pennsylvania State Modern Language Association (PSMLA), is an interdisciplinary program that helps cultivate globally-minded students who, upon graduation, will be better prepared to negotiate our increasingly international society. 

For more information about the Global Scholars Program, visit the website or contact Laura Fleischer Proano, Global Scholars Advisor, at