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AFT Scholarship

In 2002 the American Federation of Teachers Union (AFT Local 2274) at Ramapo College joined with the President’s Office to create an endowed scholarship fund.  When it was created, then President Smith wrote of the “constructive, harmonious and very productive relationship that exists between the Union and the College.”

The AFT Endowed Scholarship Fund has two programs: a Graduate School Scholarship and the Hank Frundt Memorial Scholarship. The Graduate School Scholarship provides an award to a graduating senior who intends to pursue graduate studies, particularly to students seeking careers in teaching or other academic areas.  The intent is to provide recognition for outstanding academic achievement and to encourage post-graduate scholarship.

The Hank Frundt Memorial Scholarship is for sophomores or juniors who are interested in labor studies, social justice, or Latin American economic/social development.  In 2011 the undergraduate award was named in memory of Dr. Frundt, who taught at Ramapo for 37 years in the areas of corporate studies and Latin American social and economic development.  Dr. Frundt served as president of the teachers’ union, as a delegate to the Council of New Jersey State College Locals and as a liaison to U.S. Labor Against the War.


  • For graduating senior who intends to pursue graduate studies or
  • For sophomores/juniors who are interested in labor studies, social justice, or Latin American economic/social development
  • Recipients chosen by representatives of the AFT Union at Ramapo College

2022 Recipients

Marsha Naklicki

Marsha Naklicki of Hamburg, N.J. is a Social Work major who is continuing her studies by attending the Master of Social Work Advanced Standing program. “I am so excited to expand my knowledge and experience in the social work field.” She is interning at Vantage Health System in Englewood, N.J.

Marsha has a 3.9 GPA.

Elle Pascal

Elle Pascal of Passaic, N.J. is a Global Communications major with a minor in Digital Filmmaking. They have a 3.8 GPA and are an Educational Opportunity Fund Scholar. Elle is also a recipient of the 2019 Outstanding Leadership Award and a Peer Facilitator Scholarship recipient. 

At Ramapo, Elle has been active in several organizations and activities including the Association of Latinos Moving Ahead and The Women’s Center and LGBTQ+ Services. 

Elle also holds on-campus positions working with the Center for Student Success and the Mentorship program for the EOF program.

2021 Recipients

Gabriella DeGennaro

Gabriella DeGennaro of Wayne, N.J. is an Elementary Education major with a 3.78 GPA. She has made the Dean’s List every semester and is a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta National Honors Society. Gabriella will be furthering her studies in Ramapo’s 4+1 Master of Arts in Special Education (MASE) Program.

At Ramapo, Gabriella has been active in several organizations and activities, including Ramapo’s Orientation Leader program, Future Teachers Of America, as well as the Leadership, Education, and Awareness for the Disabled (LEAD) club.

Off-campus, she is currently a Teacher’s Assistant at a daycare in her hometown. She has been working at the establishment for three years and truly loves caring for children of all ages. Gabriella is eternally grateful for the opportunities that have been given to her at Ramapo, and she is looking forward to the future that is ahead of her.

Gabriella’s goals revolve around making a difference in education as she hopes to guide, inspire, and educate students of all ages.

Lumana Shakya

“I regard a career in economics to be meaningful and inspiring,” says Lumana Shakya, a senior majoring in Economics and minoring in Mathematics. She has consistently earned Dean’s List status with a 4.0 GPA. 

Lumana has held leadership positions in the Dance Company, International Student Organization, and Naach. She is also a member of Omicron Delta Epsilon and N.J. Collegiate Business Administration Honor Society. 

After Ramapo, Lumana will attend graduate school and become a Research Economist, where she’ll concentrate on macroeconomics and development economics. 

2020 Recipients

Ameerah McCoy

Ameerah McCoy of Paterson, N.J. is a senior Social Work major. She has a 3.73 GPA and is on the Dean’s List. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Phi Alpha Honor Society, and a member of the National Association of Social Workers.

At Ramapo, Ameerah serves as the Vice President of the Social Work Club, and is active in Ramapo Readers. In the Spring of 2020, Ameerah developed and facilitated the club’s First Annual Social Work Transfer Student Info Session. “The info-session presentation included information about on-campus resources, GPA requirements, study abroad programs, scholarships, and volunteer opportunities. Since this was the first meeting of this kind, I created a survey to measure the effectiveness of the meeting, which turned out successful.” Ameerah has also returned to her Bergen Community College several times in 2019-2020 to speak to students on behalf of the RCNJ Social Work Program.

Ameerah has used her educational experience and leadership skills to gain opportunities including, but not limited to, interning for Senator Nellie Pou and Holy Name Medical Center. She also works per diem at Hackensack University Medical Center to get herself prepared to become a medical social worker upon completing her graduate degree in 2021.


Vanessa Messina

Vanessa Messina of Garfield, N.J. is an Elementary Education major with a minor in Psychology. She is a first-generation college student and is a part of Ramapo’s 4+1 Master of Arts in Special Education (MASE) Program. She has a 3.97 GPA and is a member of Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education.

At Ramapo, Vanessa has been active in several organizations and activities, including Future Teachers of America and the College Programming Board.

Vanessa has also been involved in off–campus activities and organizations, including the Lindsey Meyer Teen Institute and the New Jersey Council for Exceptional Children. She is currently employed at a daycare in Garfield and as a K-12 Substitute Teacher for the Garfield Board of Education.

2014 Recipients

Erin Mulligan

Erin Mulligan of Brick, NJ is the recipient of the Graduate School Scholarship. She carries a double major: American Studies and History. She also has a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. Erin has worked in Residence Life for three years and is the assistant residence director of Laurel Hall. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in American Studies and become a professor. “Receiving this scholarship puts me one step closer to achieving my long-term goal,” she said. “It is a wonderful feeling to be supported by the larger Ramapo Community in my academic endeavors.” Erin has a 3.86 grade point average.

Elena Rubinetti

Elena Rubinetti of Milford, NJ is the recipient of the Henry J. Frundt Memorial Scholarship. She is a Communication Arts major with a concentration in Global Communication and Media. Elena carries an International Studies minor. She has a 3.83 grade point average.

2012 Recipient

Nicole Catalano

Nicole graduated in May 2012 with a degree in Psychology and a grade point average of 3.56. Her minor was Science, Technology and Society. “My career interests led me towards an avocation in mental and physical health, clinical practice and psychological theory,” she says. Nicole is from Howell, NJ.

2011 Recipient

Gabriela DeCandia

Gabriela DeCandia graduated in May 2010 with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Environmental Studies. At Ramapo, Gabriela was active with WRPR, Catholics at Ramapo United, the Ramapo Chorale and Skylark choirs. “My professors were extremely passionate and well educated about what they taught and this promoted an engaging classroom setting where it was easy to learn,” she says. Gabriela is currently enrolled in the School of Psychology’s Psy.D. Program at Rutgers University. “I am interested in factors that influence the self concept and identity development, particularly in adolescents,” she says. When she graduates, Gabriela plans to work as a school psychologist.

2010 Recipient

Erica Solomon

The 2009 recipient of the AFT Scholarship was Erica Solomon. Erica graduated in May with a degree in Psychology, and earned a grade point average of 3.99. Erica lives in Manalapan, NJ.

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