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Peck, Dr. Judith Scholarship

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Dr. Judith Peck served as a member of the Ramapo College faculty since the College first opened its doors in the early 1970s. An accomplished professional sculptor, Dr. Peck has exhibited her work throughout the New York metropolitan area and beyond with pieces in permanent collections here and abroad. At Ramapo College, Dr. Peck has taught courses in life drawing, sculpture, art education and art therapy. Two of her works are on permanent display at the College, including “One Man In Memory of Six Million” in the Grove, and “Girl with Garland” in the Potter Library.

Dr. Peck is particularly proud of the innovative Art and Interaction course she designed for Ramapo, the first of its kind nationwide, in which undergraduates are trained to bring creative art projects to jails and other non-mainstream populations to share artistic endeavors. By coming into personal contact with under-served individuals the students might otherwise never know, students are exposed to the major domestic issues of our time: crime, mental illness, drug abuse, spousal and child abuse, disadvantaged youth and elder care.

As an extension of her desire to encourage student service to the community, the Dr. Judith Peck Scholarship award seeks to assist dedicated Ramapo College students in their senior year who have interest and expertise in productive, imaginative and creative endeavors. The award may be granted for graduate school enrollment or towards prospective careers in the helping professions as counselors for youth or adults, art therapists or arts activity specialists.

  • Graduating senior accepted into, or already enrolled in, a graduate program related to the helping professions. Art Therapy is preferred but not required
  • Demonstrated expertise in creative endeavors, compassion toward others and dedication to his or her planned profession
  • 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Recipient chosen by faculty in the Visual Arts convening group

This scholarship is not awarded through the application process.

2022 Recipient

Jerlyn Nichols

Jerlyn Nichols of Hunterdon County, N.J. is a Visual Arts Major with a Drawing and Painting Art Therapy concentration and a minor in Psychology. She has a 3.79 GPA.

At Ramapo, Jerlyn has been active in several organizations and activities, including earning her Yoga Teacher Certification.

Jerlyn recently held an internship at the Ringwood Library as an Art Teacher for children ages 5-16, where she has created and directed several art projects such as her Time Capsule and Paint & Plant workshops.  She has also volunteered for Creative Arts Workshop at Nyack Middle School. 

2021 Recipient

Sydney Silodor

“I’m very excited to begin my fulfilling journey as an Art Therapist and Mental Health Counselor,” says Sydney Silodor. A resident of Wayne, N.J., Sydney is a Visual Arts major concentrating in Drawing, Painting and Art Therapy. She also has a minor in Psychology. Her 4.0 GPA earns her a spot on the Dean’s List. 

On campus, Sydney has tutored students at the Center for Reading and Writing. In 2020, her artwork was part of the Visual Arts Senior Thesis Group Exhibition, Here Now.

For several years, she has worked as an Art Specialist at Camp Veritans Day Camp, teaching art to children ages 3 through 15. She has also volunteered with Artworks, the Naomi Cohain foundation.

After she graduates, Sydney will begin pursuing a master’s degree in art therapy.

2020 Recipient

Giselle Ruiz

Giselle Ruiz of Pompton Lakes, N.J. is a Visual Arts Major with a concentration in Drawing and Painting: Art Therapy with a Psychology Minor. She has a 3.8 GPA.

“I’m grateful to the EOF program for helping me to achieve my goal of a college education.” Giselle works on campus with Dining Services, is an EOF Peer Mentor, and a Student Gallery Assistant for the Ramapo College Art Galleries. She has been involved with Hope for Heart.

“After I graduate, my goal is to help others through art, which has always been my way of coping with life’s craziness. I want to take what I’ve learned to instill hope in the lives of others!”

2019 Recipient

Rachel Rosenberg

Rachel Rosenberg of Kinnelon, N.J. is a Visual Arts major with a concentration in drawing and painting. She has a 3.2 GPA.

At Ramapo, Rachel was a member of the track and cross-country team. Off-campus, Rachel works with special needs children and adults, in conjunction with Windsor School. She also works with Girl Scouts and runs birthday parties for children, where she creates art while teaching basic skills.

“I’m proud of receiving a 4.0 GPA during a semester of studio art classes, and have been gratified when my hard work paid off and I made the dean’s list, especially while working three jobs.”

Rachel plans on continuing her education at Caldwell University, where she will eventually receive her master’s in art therapy.

2018 Recipient

Alissa Rose Paulison

“I can assure you that your assistance will not only help me pursue my goals, but will also allow me to give back to others by introducing them to the therapeutic process of artistic creation,” says Alissa Rose Paulison. Alissa is currently completing her senior year with a double major in Visual Arts and Psychology, and a double concentration in Drawing/Painting and Sculpture. She has a 3.9 GPA and has consistently been on the Dean’s List since her freshman year.

At Ramapo, Alissa has been active in several honor societies and serves as President of the PSI CHI Honor Society. Additionally, Alissa works as a studio technician at the Ramapo sculpture studio and as a gallery monitor at the Berrie Center.

Off-campus Alissa is an employee at Alpine Learning Group where she helps train young autistic individuals by running social-skill groups. She also studies with a variety of artists off-campus including Lee Price, a recognized oil painter, and Donna Conklin King, a recognized sculptor. This year Alissa represented Ramapo College at the annual COPLAC Conference in PA.

Alissa’s artwork has been displayed at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, at the Greenpoint Gallery, and at Sticks & Stones. “After graduation, I hope to earn an advanced degree in art therapy while continuing with my own artistic training.”

Alissa is from Wayne, N.J.

2017 Recipient

Audrea Leiva

Audrea Nicole Leiva of Paterson, NJ is a double major in Visual Arts (concentrating in drawing and painting) and Psychology at Ramapo. She has accomplished a 3.0 GPA and is currently a member of Chi Alpha Epsilon National Honor Society.


At Ramapo, she has been active in several organizations, including Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority, The Black Student Union and The Health Awareness Team. As a sister, she has programed many educational, cultural, political, and social events for the Ramapo community. An example was the “Love is in the Hair Festival” during Latin Heritage month promoting the Latin culture and its identity through hair alongside 16 co-sponsorships. In her involvement with the Black Student Union, she helped create successful programs that uplift and support minorities on campus. The Health Awareness Team educated her over the years on the importance of wellness for an individual and the impact that peer-led organizations have on educating the campus community. “Through my involvement with these organizations, I’ve had the opportunity to travel and attend many conferences, trainings and workshops, and all those experiences have helped shape my vision for a professional career,” says Audrea.


Audrea has also been involved in Gear Up/ College Bound, a government funded program located at Passaic County Community College. As a mentor she interacted with students, realizing the importance of enrichment in a child’s life. Her post grad goal is to continue her education and create programs in urban communities that promote the importance­ of mental health in our children through artistic practices and enrichment.


2016 Recipient

Rebecca Colson

Rebecca Colson of Howell, NJ is a Visual Arts major with a concentration in Drawing and Painting and minor in Psychology. She has a 3.4 GPA.

Rebecca is a Ramapo Admissions Student Ambassador and member of Ramapo’s Residence Hall Association and Council, where she was public relations chair.

Off campus, Rebecca volunteers with organizations to help children through art.

2015 Recipient

Alyssa Maurin

Alyssa Maurin of South Brunswick, N.J., is majoring in visual arts with a concentration in photography.  She carries a second major in psychology.  Alyssa has a 3.92 grade point average.

At Ramapo, Alyssa works as a global roadrunner in the Roukema Center of International Education.  She is also secretary of Phi Beta Delta.  Off campus, Alyssa exhibited her work at the Center for Fine Art Photography and at the 2014 COPLAC Northeast Regional Undergraduate Research Conference.  She has completed study abroad programs in Argentina, Denmark and Scotland.

Alyssa is interested in a career in art therapy.

2014 Recipient

Maeve Gray

Maeve Gray of Glen Ridge, NJ is a Social Work major and Gerontology minor. She is a member of the Social Work Club and a representative for her minor at the annual Major/Minor Fair. Maeve will attend Rutgers University to pursue an MSW; she has been accepted to the university’s program on aging. Maeve will also study Public Policy and Administration to enhance her skills to engage in leadership roles in social work. “Receiving this scholarship has meant that my unique interest in serving the aging population has been noticed and supported by the people I respect the most, the Social Work faculty of Ramapo College,” she said. Maeve has a 3.18 grade point average.

2013 Recipient

Katherine Mayr

Katherine Mayr is a senior from Mahwah, NJ. She attended the Art Institute of Philadelphia, Fashion Institute, and Montclair State University before enrolling at Ramapo where she is majoring in Contemporary Arts. Katherine is also pursuing a minor in Psychology. She has earned a 2.93 grade point average.

2012 Recipient

Carly Patterson

“Carly Patterson is applying to the master’s program in counseling at Caldwell University, specializing in Art Therapy,” says Professor Donna Crawley. Carly is a Psychology major in her senior year who has earned a 3.57 grade point average. Carly conducted an empirical research project in Dr. Crawley’s Research Methods in Psychology course on whether people could readily discriminate between real and posed smiles. Continues Dr. Crawley, “Carly is very enthusiastic about combining her artistic talents with psychology, and plans on a career in counseling.”

This award has made me realize that someone became aware of my passion I have demonstrated for my academic career. It has boosted my self esteem and made me confident in my future success.

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