VIII. Student Success Stories
Names of Student(s) who graduated Modern Greek Program


Victoria Manos

Andreas Pavlou

Dawoon Chung

Father George Zugrafu

Victoria Manos

Georgios Spanos


Theodora Christodoulou






Haritomeni Scoufaras
















Nicole Fridas



Margaret Skourlis






Andreas Pavlou was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for graduate studies in for 2003-2005. The graduating senior is the first student of the Modern Greek Language and Literature Program to be honored by the International Fulbright Committee. He was a student in the College of Professional Studies of St. John’s University. Andreas was a member of the Dean’s List since Sept. 2000. CPS Honor Society . His Major was Computer Science with a Telecommunications major. The graduate is engaged in playing soccer for the Greek League. He plans to pursue graduate studies in Business with a specialization in Marketing.

Father George Zugrafu of St. Gerasimos Church in New York City is a graduate of the Modern Greek Language and Literature Program. He is an Orthodox theologian proficient in Ancient and Modern Greek. The theologian graduated with honors from St. John's University with a B.A. and M.A. in theology. Zugrafu received the Stephen Cherpelis Enterprises: Sotiria Cherpelis Modern Greek scholarship at the 2000 St. John's College Convocation. Father Zugrafu is a candidate for a Ph.D in General Theology at Columbia University.

Victoria Manos, a nineteen year old sophomore at St. John’s University, won $10,000 in the semi-finals of “College Jeopardy” on November 17th, 2004. She was one of ten students chosen nationwide to participate in the three week college edition. Ms. Manos is the first St. John’s student to achieve national recognition on “Jeopardy”.

Dawoon Chung is the first Asian American student to be awarded the Tom Tsongas Modern Greek Scholarship in 2002. She is completing three years of Modern Greek with excellence. Miss Chung, is a medical student at Ross Medical School with plans of becoming a surgeon. She believes "Greek is enabling me to understand scientific terms."

Theodora Christodoulou was awarded the title “Miss Cyprus 2007” by the United Cyprians of America organization. The Pan Cyprian Association of America presented a five hundred dollar in scholarships to her at the second Annual Evening of Greek Culture and Cuisine at St. John’s University. As a spokesperson for the youth of Cyprus, Ms..Christodoulou believes “it is important to continue the customs and traditions of our island in America.”


Georgios Spanos is a legend in Collegiate Soccer. He was ranked in 2007 as one of the top ten Soccer players in College. He is probably one of the greatest Soccer stars who played for St. John’s University. Georgios is the 2006 recipient of the Greek-American Homeowners Scholarship for excellence in Modern Greek Language and Literature.

Haritomeni Scoufaras worked unselfishly to expand the Modern Greek Language and scholarship program for four years. Focused, determined, recipient of numerous scholarships, a scholar with over a 3.9 GPA, her advice and network of friends helped the program reach its height of success in the spring 2009. Her accomplishments are seen on the website from 2004 through 2009.

Ms New Jersey United States 2009, Margaret Louise Skourlis, has been involved in the Greek community throughout her life.  She has three former Greek beauty queen titles from the Omospondia Federation, Miss Messinia 2001, Miss Melpia 2002, and Miss Kalamata 2003.  She will be in the Ms United States 2009 pageant in Vegas in July.         In 1999-2000 school year she took Professor Tsounis’ Greek class while she was a student at St. John’s University. The summer of 2001 Margaret took the D.I.A.S. program thanks to Professor Tsounis’ flyer.  It was one of the best experiences in her life.  She loved it so much she took the program again in 2002.


Nicole Fridas is responsible for establishing the awards program in 2000. Her parents Annette and Nick Fridas worked with Panchiaki Korais Society to establish the first awards with the help of Dr. Anna Lise Gazarian and Dr. Gaetano Cipolla of the Languages and Literatures Department. Dean Salvatore Spizzirri’s guidance through the years was the determining factor that made the Modern Greek Program internationally recognized.

Nicole was graduated 2000 with a degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology and a minor in Education. “Upon graduating, I immediately began my dream job at Child and Parent Bilingual Services Inc,” she explained. “I continue servicing children between infants and school age (about 9 years old). I completed my Masters in Special Education at Dowling College (school of Education) in 2003 and then my Pd. in School Administration receiving my SDA and SAS in 2006. I have been working in Patchogue as the program supervisor for our agencies' integration program since the beginning, three years ago. It has been an experience which I greatly appreciate and learned so much from. I work with infants, preschoolers and school age children who are diagnosed with any area of learning disabilities, speech delays, cognitive delays or are under the umbrella of autisim. I am certified within Applied Behavior Specialist (ABA), provide parent training, translate and perform evaluations to determine placement of services. I primarily work within Suffolk County however I am certified within the tri-state area.