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Geltman, Emily and Sidney Memorial Scholarship

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When Mrs. Emily Geltman attended commencement with her son and daughter-in-law, an employee of the College, she was so impressed with the enthusiasm and accomplishments of the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) students that she established an endowed scholarship fund for their benefit. The fund is named in honor of her husband, Sidney, “a kind and generous man who never stopped learning.” The intent of the Geltman Scholarships is to provide tuition assistance for students enrolled in the EOF program.

  • For juniors or seniors enrolled in the Educational Opportunity Fund Program who plan to attend graduate school
  • Chosen by a committee of EOF staff

2022 Recipients

Danny Vazquez

Danny Vazquez of Paterson, N.J. is a Biochemistry major with an Africana Studies minor. He has a 2.9 GPA. At Ramapo, Danny has been active in several organizations and activities, including Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity Incorporated, the Association of Latinos Moving Ahead (ALMA), and the Student Government Association. Danny has held several community activities outside of Ramapo, such as helping in toy drives and community clean-ups in Paterson.

With the help of ALMA, Danny has helped different Latin American communities during his two years as President, even winning 20219-2020 Outstanding President of the Year with ALMA winning 2019-2020 Outstanding Organization of the Year. As the SGA Secretary of Fraternity and Sorority Life, Danny helped transition many Greek organizations to get back into regular formatting after returning from online programming due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Through his experience in multicultural organizations as well as Greek-lettered affiliated organizations  and while working with many different groups, he wants to continue social justice advocacy as well as promoting Latin American culture. 

After graduating, Danny wishes to pursue a Master’s in Public Health while also continuing to help and give back to their hometown of Paterson.

Gustavo Trujillo

Gustavo Trujillo of Tinton Falls, N.J. is a Mathematics major with a Computer Science minor. He is in the National Society of Leadership and Service.

At Ramapo, Gustavo has been active in several organizations and activities, including Ramapo College Indoor Soccer Club, Math Club, and Peer Facilitation. He is currently the President of the Ramapo College Indoor Soccer Club. He has also been a Peer Facilitator for 3 years.

Post-graduation, he plans to go to graduate school to attain his masters degree in Applied Mathematics.

2021 Recipients

Vanessa Messina

Vanessa Messina of Garfield, N.J. is a senior 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.

Vanessa is currently employed at a daycare in Garfield, N.J. and as substitute teacher for the Garfield Board of Education. In her free time, she is involved with the Lindsey Meyer Teen Institute and the N.J. Council for Exceptional Children.

On campus, she is part of the College Programming Board, Future Teachers of America, and L.E.A.D. (Leadership, Education, and Awareness for Disabilities). She has a 3.97 GPA and is a member of Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education.

Ida Lopez

Ida Lopez of North Bergen, N.J. is a Social Work student with a minor in Substance Use Disorders. She has a 3.3 GPA and has been nominated for the Chi Alpha Epsilon EOF honor society.

Ida currently interns at Head Start, an organization that provides low income families with early childhood education, and has also worked for Move Language Ahead, a company that works to provide educational and cultural programs to students from around the world. In 2018, she served as a Resident Assistant for the College Park Apartments on campus.

Post-graduation, she plans to attend graduate school to further her education and attain her Master’s Degree in Social Work.

2020 Recipients

Natalia Torres

“My ultimate goal is to help victims of trauma as well as the minorities of my community,” says Natalia Torres, a Psychology major with a minor in Crime and Justice Studies. She has a 3.2 GPA and was inducted into Chi Alpha Upsilon in the Spring of 2019.

Natalia was one of the founding members of the Enhance Program as a peer mentor to Ramapo students on the autism spectrum in 2018. She also interned at the New Jersey Office of Public Defenders, where she helped low income individuals and minorities.

She plans to attend graduate school for Forensic Psychology in the Fall of 2020.

Jane Marcillo

Jane Marcillo of Newark, N.J. is a Social Work student in the EOF Program. She has a 3.5 GPA, has made the Dean’s List every semester, and was inducted into Chi Alpha Epsilon Honor Society in Spring 2018. Jane is also a member of the Social Work Club, where she participates in projects that expand campus awareness of social issues.

Upon graduation, Jane plans to attend graduate school for a Master’s in Social Work. “I am very proud of my academic success and I value my time spent at Ramapo,” Jane says. “Working alongside those who need support is my passion, and I look forward to applying the skills I’ve learned in the real world.”

2019 Recipient

Yuriria Martinez

Yuriria Martinez of Paterson, N.J. is a Social Work major, and has a 3.8 GPA in her major. The first generation college student is proud to have earned Dean’s List during her time at Ramapo.

She is active in Ramapo Readers on campus, a group that collects and distributes books to children in under-served areas, and has volunteered with West Bergen Mental Healthcare Center. Yuriria also interned at Oasis: A Haven for Women and Children. She hopes to work in child protective services upon graduation.

2018 Recipients

Nerissa Betty

Nerissa Betty is a Social Work major from South Hackensack, N.J. She has a 3.3 GPA. She will be the first person in her immediate family to graduate from college. Nerissa is extremely proud of this accomplishment, and knows she is very lucky to have the opportunity to attend Ramapo College. “It took hard work and dedication which I try to emphasize in everything I do in life. I am a dedicated and hard-working person who loves to help people who are in need in any way I can.” Nerissa’s plans post-graduation are to attend graduate school to further her education and attain her Masters Degree in Social Work.


Moesha Muir

Moesha Muir from Paterson, N.J. is a senior Psychology major with a Biology and Neuroscience minor. Moesha is a graduate of SAIL, the Sophomore Advancing in Leadership program as well as a Peer Mentor in the EOF program, where she is part of the “Wellness is Now” team, helping to promote, educate and advocate for the wellness of the peer mentor’s physical, mental, and emotional health. She also serves as a Senior Advisor for Ebony Women, to educate and advocate for all women to obtain acceptance and respect within the campus and community by establishing social change through services and programs.

In fall 2017, Moesha interned at the Division of Family Guidance, Youth Resource Center in Hackensack, N.J. where she interacted with teens who faced various psychological disorders. In addition, Moesha works in the media department, sings on the youth choir and is the youth secretary at the True Witness Church of Jesus Christ in Paterson, New Jersey. After Ramapo, Moesha will attend graduate school for her Masters in Psychological Services and then go on to obtain her MD to become a pediatric psychiatrist.

Yasmin Angon

“I’m proud to be a first generation Mexican-American college student,” says Social Work major Yasmin Angon of Paterson, N.J. Yasmin has a 3.85 GPA and has earned the Dean’s List status each semester of her college career.

At Ramapo, Yasmin has been active in two honor societies, Chi Alpha Epsilon and Alpha Lambda Delta. She has had internships at Transition Professionals and Care Plus NJ. She also works as a part-time bank teller. Upon graduation, Yasmin plans to pursue her master’s degree in Social Work at Rutgers University. “I hope to become a program director of a social welfare agency and help those in need.”

2017 Recipients

Candace Beboe

“I am proud of the growth that I have undergone during my time at Ramapo and hope to have a career as an attorney and help fund the education of students like myself in the future,” said Candace Beboe of Jersey City, NJ.  She’s active in the Student Government Association, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority on campus. “In the positions I’ve held with these groups I’ve become a better leader and friend to my peers,” she added.

Candace has also been involved in off-campus organizations, including New City Kids, actively participating through their alumni base.

She has a 3.82 GPA and has been on the Dean’s list since her freshman year.

Stephen Molchan

Stephen Molchan of Toms River, NJ is an Accounting major. He has a 3.1 GPA. He is in the IMA Accounting Honor Society as well.

At Ramapo, Stephen has been active in several organizations and activities, including A Better Tomorrow, Residence Life and EOF. Stephen is currently a Resident Assistant for transfer students in Bischoff Hall and always loves meeting new residents and building community. Stephen also is the President of A Better Tomorrow which is a community service club he started on campus his Freshman year.

Stephen has also been involved in off-campus activities and organizations, including his internship at his accounting firm where he accepted a full time tax position, NJ AIDs walk and Project Linus. Stephen has been interning at his accounting firm for close to 3 years now and was excited when they offered him a full time tax accounting role. Outside of work Stephen loves giving back to the community by participating in the NJ AIDs walk and giving back to Project Linus.

After graduation Stephen will be working on his Masters in Taxation and his CPA, and hopes to get his PhD and eventually become a college professor to share his knowledge with other students.

Brittany Peters

Upon learning of her scholarship, Brittany Peters wrote: “I am thankful that you and your husband’s legacy will be a part of what has shaped my experience here at Ramapo.” The senior from Maplewood, NJ is a Communication Arts major with a concentration in Journalism. She has a 3.3 GPA and was proud to be inducted into the Chi Alpha Epsilon Honor Society as well as the Lambda Pi Eta Communications Honor Society.

Brittany has made the most of her time on campus, working and getting involved in on-campus organizations.  She works as a student Coordinator in the Civic Community Engagement Center, is the President for Ebony Women for Social Change, and also serves as the Academic Advisor for the Black Student Union.

She also writes for an online magazine, works in her local church, and performs community service. She plans to attend law school in the fall of 2018.

2016 Recipients

Patricia Bergamasco

Patricia Bergamasco of Newark, NJ is an International Studies major with minors in Anthropology and Spanish Language Studies.  She has a 3.323 grade point average.  Patricia has been inducted into Chi Alpha Epsilon National Honor Society.

At Ramapo, Patricia has held leadership roles in several organizations, including Mu Sigma Upsilon (secretary and vice president), United Cultural Greek Council (secretary), and the Organization of Latino Unity (secretary).  She has also been involved in the Black Student Union and Women’s Volleyball.  During Alternative Spring Break in the Dominican Republic in 2014, Patricia conducted anthropology research with Professor Neriko Doerr.

Patricia has also been involved in several off campus activities, including the Summer Institute for Pre-Legal Studies at Seton Hall University and the 4th Annual Tri-State Best Practices Conference.


Jennifer Ovalles

Jennifer Ovalles of Paterson, NJ is a Music major with a concentration in Music Industry and a Psychology minor. She has a 3.06 grade point average. In the fall of 2015 she was inducted into Chi Alpha Epsilon EOF honor society, and now serves as secretary.

At Ramapo, Jennifer is a Residence Life RA, and works for the Student Leadership Organization for the EOF office, as well as the main office of Residence Life.

Jennifer has also been involved in several off-campus activities, such as managing an upcoming worship band, OneLight, and spends her weekends coordinating and assisting the elders in the Congregation Rock of Salvation of Paterson, New Jersey.

2015 Recipients

Akram Hussain

Akram Hussain of Paterson, N.J. is a biology major with a concentration in physical therapy. Akram was inducted into the Sigma Xi Honor Society.

At Ramapo, Akram Hussain has been active in several organizations and activities, including Upward Bound Math-Science, TAS Honors Research Program, and the Muslim Student Association.  Akram also served as a Resident Assistant for three years.

Akram also has been involved in off –campus activities and organizations, including working as a Physical Therapists Aide and volunteering as an EMT.



Happy Debi

Happy Debi of Paterson, NJ is a Biology major. On campus, she is a resident assistant, peer facilitator and a clerical assistant in the Center for Reading and Writing. This past summer, Happy was a resident assistant for the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) and helped incoming freshmen enrolled through EOF transition to college. Happy plans to attend dental school and to become an orthodontist. “I have a passion for the dental field and I enjoy caring for others. I believe that a smile is the most beautiful quality in a person and I want the whole world to smile with confidence,” she said. Happy is grateful and honored to receive the scholarship. “As a first generation college student, receiving this scholarship provides me with the confidence and determination to continue to pursue my dream of becoming an orthodontist.”

2014 Recipients

Mohammad Bidas

Mohammad Bidas is from Clifton, NJ and is a graduate of John F. Kennedy High School in Paterson, NJ where he played soccer and was a member of the wrestling team. In high school, Mohammad participated in Upward Bound Math Science at Ramapo for two summers where his academic advisor noted, “His understanding of biology was impeccable and he was a vital asset in assisting his peers.” He worked as a counselor for ROOTS, a science enrichment program for children in middle school. At Ramapo, Mohammed is majoring in Chemistry and has a 3.08 grade point average. He also has earned a Business Essentials Certificate.

I feel very fortunate for receiving this award. I am reaching the next phase in my academic journey where I will pursue a graduate degree in Business, and this scholarship is one small step that will assist me in attaining my goals.

Esther Wasserman-Plaza

Esther Wasserman-Plaza of Saddle Brook, NJ is an Environmental Studies major and a Psychology minor. On campus, she works in the Commuter Lounge and Game Room. Esther is a member of Hillel. She works part-time as an assistant at a chiropractic office. Esther is interested in the field of environmental law. “Receiving a scholarship means a great deal to me,” she said. “ It is an honor to be awarded a scholarship after working very hard academically. I am very grateful for all the opportunities a scholarship can provide.” Esther has a 3.24 grade point average.

This scholarship will give me the opportunity to pay off loans, which will allow me to further pursue my goals of working in the Environmental Law field.

2013 Recipients

Kelsey Kozak

Kelsey Kozak of Rutherford, NJ is a Social Science major with a concentration in Mental Health. She describes her immigrant father who died in 2008 as “an inspiration, a role model, a best friend, and most importantly, my one and only irreplaceable dad.” Kelsey wondered if she would be able to attend college because her family lived a sparse life. At Ramapo College, she decided to seek out every opportunity to make her life better. Kelsey is proud that she will be the first member of her family to graduate from college. “My past endeavors have inspired me to go into the helping and educational counseling profession,” she said. “Higher Education Administration is a field that I am determined to pursue in graduate school.” Kelsey has a 3.31 grade point average.

This scholarship is giving me the opportunity to fund my future aspiration of attending graduate school.

Jack Nesmith

Jack Nesmith of Jersey City, NJ is a Psychology major. He is a resident assistant for Laurel Hall, a peer facilitator and involved with Real Men of Ramapo Calendar. Jack serves as secretary of Rho Alpha Sigma Honor Society for Resident Assistants and was included into the Chi Alpha Epsilon Honor Society and Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society for Student Leaders. He plans to pursue a master’s degree and would like to be a counselor in a Student Affairs division of a college. In graduate school, he plans to explore goals toward improving society and becoming a mentor. “My goal is to help students find their passions in life and, as a professional, influence the next generation of student leaders,” he said. He said this scholarship helps him, “focus on getting my degree and joining the environmental movement to protect our planet.” Jack has a 3.09 grade point average.

This scholarship, for which I am eternally grateful, has been a tremendous honor to have as a Ramapo College student. I plan to attend graduate school and move on towards a career in higher education.

2012 Recipients

Majeda Sultana

Senior Majeda Sultana is majoring in Psychology. Her minor is in Gerontology. Majeda is a member of the EOF Chi Alpha Epsilon Honor Society as well as the Psi Chi Psychology Honor Society. She works as a resident assistant in Mackin Hall, and is an intern this semester at a preschool Math and English program for impoverished children. “After graduating, I will be attending graduate school to get my Master’s and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology,” she says. Majeda is from Paterson, NJ.

It is an honor to receive the Geltman Scholarship! I am pleased to know that Ramapo recognizes my hard work and accomplishments.This award is a lifesaver because it is offering me the opportunity to continue my education.

Lazaro Hernandez

Lazaro Hernandez is a senior from Cliffside Park, NJ. He is an Accounting major and plans to stay at Ramapo College to earn an MBA. Lazaro, after becoming a CPA, will apply to law school and study Tax Law. He plans to work with his brother a CPA and attorney.

Clifton Shambry

Clifton Shambry is a senior majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Management. He has earned a 3.29 grade point average. Cliff studied abroad in China last year. On campus, Cliff is a member of the Student Government Association, serving as a Senator-At-Large. He served on the organizing committee for Celebration at Sunset last year, and was one of 20 students who volunteered to help with clean up efforts in Mahwah after Hurricane Irene. In 2010 he received the Omicron Delta Kappa New Student Service Award. Cliff is from Millville, NJ.

Runa Khanom

Runa Khanom is a senior majoring in Psychology with a minor in Gerontology, and she has earned a 3.58 grade point average. Runa is a member of the Muslim Student Association, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and Chi Alpha Epsilon honor society. She works on campus as a peer facilitator, in The Lodge fitness center, and as a research assistant. “One of my rewarding moments was having an opportunity to study abroad in Sierra Leone, Africa,” Runa says. “This experience helped me understand different lifestyles people live from the beliefs they follow to the food they consume.” Runa is from Paterson, NJ.

I would love to thank the donor for the scholarship because it helped me financially.

2011 Recipient

Anthony Jabra

Anthony Jabra of Maywood, NJ is a Biology major and an Anthropology minor. The senior has been named to the Chi Alpha Epsilon Honor Society and the Dean’s List. He is a licensed real estate agent in New Jersey who is eager to help those buying or selling a home. Anthony plans to become a podiatrist. “This scholarship is going to help pay for my books, the cost of the MCAT exam and my expenses for graduate school.”

2010 Recipient

Alisa Smith

Alisa Smith is currently majoring in Music Industry and Performance and is from Englewood, NJ. The senior has a 3.56 grade point average. Alisa is applying to NYU’s Music Business program and the New School’s Media Studies program for her master’s degree. In addition to working as a student aide in the Educational Opportunity Fund office, Alisa is involved in many student organizations: Beta Kappa Sigma Black and Latino Sorority, the Organization of African Unity, Skylark Choir, CantaNOVA Choir, Ramapo Chorale, Chi Alpha Epsilon National Honor Society,MEiSA and Ramapo Pride.

This scholarship will help me pay for books and further my education on the graduate level.

2009 Recipients

Crystel Maldonado

Crystel Maldonado is a psychology major in her senior year. She is from West New York, New Jersey. Crystel is president of the United Cultural Greek Council on campus, and is treasurer of her sorority. She was a Peer in the First-Year Seminar for EOF students. She is also a resident assistant in Laurel Hall. Crystel has earned a 2.92 grade point average. She has applied to graduate programs at the University of Connecticut, New York University, Rider University, and Seton Hall University.

The scholarship that I have received will help me prepare for the future because it will financially help me reach one of my goals, going to graduate school and obtain a master’s in higher education.

Spencer St. Clair

Spencer St. Clair is involved in a number of student clubs including the Haitian Organization for Progress and Empowerment, the Black Student Union, Ebony Women for Social Change, Brothers Making a Difference, Organization for African Unity, and Alpha Phi Omega. She is a member of the Cahill Center Student Advisory Board. Spencer volunteers at the Shiloh Rainbow Academy Children’s Day Care and the Solid Rock Baptist Church in the praise dance ministry. She participated in the alternative spring break program in New Orleans in 2007, rebuilding houses for victims of Hurricane Katrina. She is a senior majoring in law and society with a psychology minor, and has earned a 3.11 grade point average. She plans on earning a master’s in criminal justice. “My hope is for a career as a detective or DEA agent,” she says. Spencer is from Irvington, New Jersey.

The scholarship that I have gratefully received will prepare me to strive for scholarly excellence and allow me to pursue my education after undergraduate school. I am honored to receive such a scholarship. I would like to thank my benefactors for providing me with this opportunity.Their generosity means that I will be able to continue beyond my undergraduate education, and continue to strive for scholastic excellence.

Randy Astaiza

Randy Astaiza is a senior majoring in biology. He is a member of the TAS Journal Club, the Biology Club, and Ramapo Pride. “I am currently doing research with Dr. Owen on osteoporosis,” Randy says. “We have presented our work at the Metropolitan Association of College and University Biologists conference.” Randy plans on earning a Ph.D. in anatomy and cell biology, and continuing to conduct research. He is from Garfield, New Jersey.

Alpha Jalloh

Alpha Jalloh is from New Brunswick, New Jersey. He is a senior majoring in nursing who has earned a 3.49 grade point average. He is a member of Chi Alpha Epsilon and the Nursing Club. “My plan after college is to go to grad school so I can become a nurse practitioner,” he says.

This scholarship provides me with the motivation to work hard which will help prepare me for my future.

Jean Semelfort

Jean Semelfort is a senior majoring in psychology. He is from Newark, New Jersey and has earned a 2.88 grade point average. Jean is president of Men of Strength, is a member of the Judicial Review Board, the Psychology Coalition, the Haitian Organization for Progress and Empowerment, and is a senior advisor for Brothers Making a Difference. He is a member of the track and field team. Jean has participated in a study abroad program to China, as well as alternative spring break trips to New Orleans and Mexico. “I plan on studying forensic psychology,” he says, “and will apply to John Jay College, Fairleigh Dickinson University, and the College of St. Elizabeth.”

This scholarship gives me some of the funds I need to secure my future and pursue a graduate school education.

Year Recipient

John Carlo Rivera

John Carlo Rivera is a senior from Paterson, NJ majoring in Law & Society.

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