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Palazzotto, Dominick Scholarship

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One of the founding members of the Ramapo College faculty, Dominick Palazzotto served Ramapo in a number of capacities, most notably as director of the School of International Affairs, director of American and International Studies and convener of the History faculty. “Most important,” wrote Sydney Weinberg, a fellow History professor, “Dom was a master teacher who cared deeply about the students he worked with during his many years at Ramapo.” Contributions from Ramapo faculty, staff, alumni and members of Professor Palazzotto’s family created this endowed fund, which honors his memory while recognizing outstanding students in history.

  • For an outstanding first semester senior majoring in History
  • GPA 3.5+
  • Recipient selected by the Office of the Provost

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2020 Recipient

Kimberly Evans

“I hope to get a job as a high school history teacher and eventually go to graduate school to earn my Master’s degree in history,” says Kimberly Evans, a History major in the Teacher Certification Program as well as the College Honors Program. She has a 3.96 GPA.
At Ramapo, Kimberly serves as the secretary for the Future Teachers at Ramapo Club junior year in addition to becoming a member of Phi Alpha Theta, the History Honors Society, and Kappa Delta Pi, the International Honor Society in Education. In the spring of 2018, she worked in conjunction with the EOF Program as a Student Supplemental Instructor. She also previously worked at the Jane Addams Papers Project as a transcription assistant.

Currently, Kimberly is a student teacher in a high school history classroom at Ramapo High School in Franklin Lakes, where she would love to become more involved by volunteering to help run a club. Some of her proudest accomplishments include giving a college lecture to Dr. Mustafa’s World Civilizations class and presenting her research at the National Collegiate Honors Council Conference in November 2018.
Kimberly is from Sayreville, N.J



2019 Recipient

Emma Lucier-Keller

“After graduation, I hope to pursue a career in the museum field and go on to graduate school for museum studies,” says Emma Lucier-Keller of Point Pleasant, N.J. Emma is a double major in History and American Studies with a double minor in Museum and Women & Gender Studies. She has a 3.9 GPA and is president of the Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society and a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society. This past summer her essay, “The Visual Production of Chinese Masculinity in Political Cartoons, Photography, and Laundry,” was published by the New Errands Undergraduate Journal of American Studies.

At Ramapo, Emma has been active in several organizations, including History Club, and Ramapo Admissions Student Ambassadors. Last semester she served as president of Colleges Against Cancer, which raised over $33,000 for the American Cancer Society through their Relay for Life event and various other fundraising initiatives. This semester, Emma has served as president of History Club, which is an organization that hosts guest speakers and history networking sessions.

Emma also works for the Jane Addams Papers Project as an editorial assistant, and transcribes documents of the early twentieth century.



2018 Recipient

Sara Catherine Lichon

Sara Catherine Lichon of Long Valley, N.J. is a History major and International Studies minor. She has a 3.958 GPA, and is a member of various honors societies, including Phi Alpha Theta (history honors society) and Sigma Iota Rho (international studies honors society.)

At Ramapo, Sara Catherine has been active in the College Honors Program, Global Roadrunners, and the female barbershop quartet, Orchidstra, where she serves as the business manager. Through the Honors Program, Sara Catherine has attended multiple conferences at both the regional and national levels. In April 2017, she published a paper titled “Identity Crisis: How the Outcome of the Cold War Affects our Understanding of the Crisis in Ukraine” in the undergraduate research journal Augsburg Honors Review. She is currently working on a thesis focusing on the Scottish independence movement in the age of Brexit, which was inspired by a study-abroad program she attended in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Sara Catherine also works for the Jane Addams Papers Project as a research assistant, and has an internship at Congressman Josh Gottheimer’s district office. She has also interned at the Washington Township (Morris County) Municipal Building. After graduation, Sara Catherine plans to pursue a career in government and continue her education through a Master’s program in public administration.



2017 Recipient

Briana Gomez

Briana Gomez of Cresskill, NJ is an American Studies major and Spanish minor with a 3.93 GPA. She is pursuing a Teacher Certification in Elementary Education. Briana has received Dean’s List since starting Ramapo in the Fall of 2013. She has also been inducted into the Alpha Lambda Delta, Golden Key, and Kappa Delta Pi honor societies.

On campus, Briana serves as the Ambassador of American Studies. Currently, she is student teaching in a first grade classroom in Cresskill, NJ, an experience she loves.

In the future, Briana plans to pursue her Spanish language certification and Special Education certification.



2015 Recipient

Mary DiPasquale

Mary DiPasquale of Berkeley Heights, N.J. is a history major with a minor in creative writing. She has a 3.8 grade point average and is a member of the honor societies Phi Alpha Theta and Sigma Tau Delta.

At Ramapo, Mary has been active in several organizations and activities. She was published in the literary magazine two times and interned last spring for the American History Textbook Project. She is the current student president of Phi Alpha Theta for the Ramapo Chapter.

Mary has also been involved in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program, acting as a big sister for a fourth grade student in Paterson, N.J.


2014 Recipient

Emily Moore

Emily Moore of Hamilton, NJ is an American Studies major who plans to pursue certification in Secondary Education and Social Studies. She is president of the American Studies Club, fundraising chair for Relay for Life, a member of the RASA Advisory Board, a peer facilitator, an American Studies ambassador and a global roadrunner. Emily is a member of Phi Alpha Theta and presented research she conducted on the Dust Bowl at the organization’s national conference in New Mexico. Emily was part of the first student group representing Ramapo College to do so. She serves as leadership secretary of Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honor Society, president of Phi Beta Delta International Scholars Honor Society and a member of Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society for Education, among others. Emily participated in a national student exchange to Hilo, HI, has backpacked through Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Western Europe and completed an Alternative Spring Break program to the Dominican Republic. She works on campus as a student aide in the Office of Admissions and completed an internship in Assemblyman Dan Benson’s office. Emily has a 3.90 grade point average.



2012 Recipient

Maria Kheyman

In her sophomore year, History major Maria Kheyman worked on a research project transcribing a diary left by a reverend in South Carolina, and a paper she wrote for a historiography class was accepted for presentation at a conference at Villanova University. “There I defended my original research on FDR’s pioneering work to create Presidential Libraries,” Maria says. Maria is currently a senior with a 3.69 grade point average. She has worked at Pearson Education since 2010 in the social studies department. “My career goal is to become an editor at Pearson to make textbooks more affordable.”



2011 Recipient

Alexander Ruiz

Alexander Ruiz of Toms River, NJ is a History and International Studies major. “History is a lesson in the mistakes of humanity and International Studies is the demonstration of those lessons remembered or relearned,” he says. Alexander participated in a South India cultural immersion program where he lived in an intercultural center near a remote village and is studying abroad in China this spring. On campus Alexander works with History Professor Paul Elovitz as a research assistant analyzing sources and collecting data. Alexander maintains a 3.76 grade point average.


2010 Recipient

Marissa Dragone

Marissa Dragone of Union, NJ is a History major and Psychology minor who is pursuing certification in secondary education. A motivated student, Marissa is a History tutoring fellow, a research assistant for Professor Stephen Rice, a substitute teacher in Union County and a volunteer at a youth group. Her goal is to teach high school Social Studies classes. “I pride myself on getting work done, doing it correctly and learning from it,” says Marissa. She is especially proud of her work with the College’s American History Textbook Project that aims to house a collection of high school Social Studies textbooks in Ramapo’s library. Marissa, who has a 3.97 grade point average, looks forward to student teaching.



2009 Recipient

Kelly Grapentine

“Working as a resident assistant in Pine Hall and being a peer facilitator for first-year students cemented my decision to enter the teacher education program,” says Kelly Grapentine. Kelly is a senior majoring in history while pursuing teacher certification in social studies. She has earned a 3.74 grade point average. Last year she participated in a semester exchange at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Kelly has been a volunteer with the Student Literacy Corps, Relay for Life, and at The Hermitage. She is Vice President of the Student Government Association and is involved in the American Democracy Project. “If I were not becoming a teacher, I would have tried to be a politician,” she says. “I love making people excited, and hearing their concerns and then doing something about it.”


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