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Riesterer, Beate Returning Minority Women Scholarship

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When she retired in 1994, School of Social Science and Human Services professor Beate Riesterer asked that she not be given a gift, but that the money collected be used to start a scholarship fund. Those gifts, plus the proceeds from an on-campus tag sale organized by the students at the Women’s Center, garnered the funds to create this award. “The scholarship fund was a gift to me in honor of my contributions to the College, which I now pass on to deserving women,” Dr. Riesterer wrote in 1999.

  • Minority woman, full- or part-time, returning student
  • Must have 24 Ramapo college credits
  • GPA 3.5+
  • Recipient selected by the Office of the Provost

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2020 Recipient

Zurine Cadena Jimenez

Zurine Cadena Jimenez, of Mount Arlington, N.J. is an International Studies major with a minor in Human Rights and Genocide Studies.  She has a 3.96 GPA and is a member of Sigma Iota Rho.  Zurine plans to enroll in a Master’s program in Human Rights Studies at Columbia University.  Upon completion, she aspires to obtain a position at UNICEF to work with regional and country offices that are engaged in advancing the early childhood education sector in developing countries.

In the summer of 2018, Zurine completed an internship with the director’s office of the Office of Innovation at UNICEF.  Through this experience she was able to take part in quarterly progress meetings pertaining to scaling of regional as well as country infrastructure projects such as healthcare and water access through the use of various technologies.  She also represented the School of Humanities and Global Studies at COPLAC’s Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Conference.

Her life goal is to compose a peace education curriculum, emphasizing tolerance and equality that she hopes will be utilized in the process of intra/interstate conflict resolution.  She also hopes to extend her research on the Colombian civil conflict and 2016 peace accord as well as partake in campaigns working towards the elimination of FGM and child marriage.

Additionally, Zurine has an Associate degree in both Studio Art and International Studies.  She is currently a preschool teacher for Kindercare Learning Centers.  In her free time, she engages in working on art pieces and in writing poetry.  Her poems have been published in the literary magazines Driftwood and the Promethean. She has also been featured as Reward Publishing’s Poet of the Month.



2019 Recipient

Zurine Cadena Jimenez

Zurine Cadena Jimenez of Mount Arlington, N.J. is an International Studies major with a minor in Human Rights and Genocide Studies. She has a 3.96 GPA and is a member of Sigma Iota Rho.

Upon completing her Master’s Degree in Human Rights Studies at Columbia University, she aspires to obtain a position at UNICEF, in which she’ll work with regional and country offices to advance the early childhood education sectors in developing countries. “My life goal is to compose a peace education curriculum, emphasizing tolerance and equality.” She also hopes to extend her research on the Colombian civil conflict and 2016 peace accord, as well as partake in campaigns working towards the elimination of FGM and child marriage.

Additionally, Zurine has Associate degrees in both Studio Art and International Studies. She is currently a preschool teacher for Kindercare Learning Centers, and in her free time, she works on art pieces and writes poetry.



2018 Recipient

Paula Lecky-Smith

For Paula Lecky-Smith, obtaining a bachelor’s degree was a dream. She graduated high school thirty-four years ago with the aspiration of pursuing a college degree, but faced a few detours along the way. Today, she is realizing that dream as a senior in the Adult Degree Completion program, completing a Bachelor of Science Degree with a concentration in Social Justice. “When I graduate in August 2018, I will be the second person in my family, (first and second generation) to receive a college degree.” Paula hopes this achievement will be an inspiration to her younger siblings and their children.  

For the past twenty-four years she has worked with the aging adult population in restorative and palliative care. “I am dedicated to service and committed to enhancing the quality of life for others.” She hopes to continue her studies in social work or public health, and help provide support for the aging population and their caregivers.

Throughout her college tenure Paula’s academic achievements and GPA have earned her placement on the Dean’s List, as well as several honor societies.



2017 Recipient

Melissa Dweck

Melissa Dweck of Long Branch, NJ is a Social Science major with a concentration in community mental health and a double minor in Biology and Psychology. She has a 3.94 GPA.

She was on the Dean’s list for her entire first year of Ramapo and was invited into the Golden Key National Honor Society. She was also awarded valedictorian of both her middle school and high school classes. At Ramapo, Melissa has been active in several organizations and activities, including the Hillel Club. She participated in an organization called Sharsheret, to spread awareness for breast cancer. Melissa also volunteers at the community center in her home town.

After college, she plans to go on to graduate school and pursue a Doctor in Physical Therapy degree.

 



2016 Recipient

MaryKate Kubler

MaryKate Kubler of Hackensack, NJ is a Biology major with a 3.96 GPA.  She was inducted into the Golden Key International Honor Society and is a member of the pre-med and biology club.

MaryKate has been a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) for over three years and currently works as an athletic trainer student aide at Ramapo. She has shadowed physician assistants in gastroenterology, neonatal care and flight medicine. She also shadowed a trauma surgeon and completed an International Trauma Life Support course for EMTs. Her goal is to become a physician assistant and work in a trauma center.



2015 Recipient

Sumiyo Dohi

Sumiyo Dohi of Tenafly, N.J. is an accounting major. She has a 3.74 grade point average.

Sumiyo has been working as a bookkeeper in Hillburn, N.Y.

Also, she has been serving as a volunteer with the Tenafly Japanese community in Bergen County.


2014 Recipient

Andrea Persaud

Andrea Persaud of Hillburn, NY is a Social Science major with a concentration in Justice.  This program is offered through the College’s Degree Completion Program for returning adult students.  Andrea has earned a 3.8 grade point average.


2013 Recipient

Susan Vanino

“This award has changed my life, and allowed me to pursue my dreams,” said Susan Vanino who graduated with a degree in Social Work in 2013. “While it was challenging to return to college as a non-traditional student, as a person with a significant disability, I was motivated during my undergraduate studies by my goal to eventually earn a MSW. Last spring, as graduationneared, my plans for graduate school became overshadowed by looming worries of mounting student debt. Being selected for this award not only provided financial support towards graduate studies, it gave me the confidence to move forward,” she said. Susan began the Advanced Standing Program at New York University’s Silver School of Social Work last fall and will graduate in May. She is completing a year-long internship at Comprehensive Behavioral Health Care in Hackensack. She plans to work in an agency setting, where I can assist people with disabilities in realizing their full potential. “I will be forever grateful to Carol Schaefer for making the Carol Schaefer Human Services/Shepherd Foundation Award possible, and to those at Ramapo College who encouraged me to apply for this remarkable award,” Susan said.



2011 Recipient

Maria Molina

Maria Molina is enrolled in a graduate program at New York University.



2010 Recipient

Jessica Stone

“I love the field of community mental health, and am ready to embark on my journey to help people with mental illness,” says Jessica Stone. The senior is majoring in Social Science and has earned a 3.81 grade point average. Jessica has been an intern at Fort Monmouth, Sage Day School and P.S. 28 in Paterson. On campus she serves as a Judicial Board student representative and is a member of the RASCALS Comedy Club and the Democratic Club, where she is the associate director of youth outreach. She has volunteered at the Center for Food Action and for the Cahill Center’s “Adopt A Soldier” project. Jessica is from Tinton Falls, NJ.

This scholarship has motivated me to achieve any goal I choose. I feel empowered to set my mind to anything.


2009 Recipient

Jonelyn Rae Planillo

Jonelyn Rae Planillo is from New Milford, New Jersey and is majoring in accounting with a minor in music. She is in her senior year and has earned a 3.89 grade point average. Jonelyn is a senator in the Student Government Association, a student representative to the Diversity Action Committee, and senior advisor for the Filipino American Student Association. She is a member of College Democrats and Take the Lead, the ballroom dancing club. She works at the Animal Clinic of New York, and last summer was an audit intern at an accounting firm in Edison, New Jersey. In the summer of 2007 Jonelyn was an intern for a Chief Strategy Officer at the United States Mint in Washington, D.C.


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