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Burchell, Helen Memorial Scholarship

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Helen Burchell was a member of the founding faculty at Ramapo College, joining the faculty as an associate professor of Education in 1971. She was director of Clinical Experiences for beginning teachers and served as an administrator in the Teacher Education program until 1987 when she focused on academic outreach, special projects, and grants. Her command of the English language and her editorial skills were a tremendous resource for faculty, especially in terms of grant-seeking.

For 25 years Dr. Burchell was the director of The Record Debate Classic at Ramapo College, a tournament for high school debate teams from across the region. She also served on the Donald G. and Flora A. Borg Merit Scholarship Award committee for more than a decade.

Helen Burchell grew up in New England “amongst a large and busy family” according to her brother William. Dr. Burchell earned her undergraduate degree from Cornell University in 1953 and a master and doctoral degree in Education from Columbia University Teacher’s College. She taught at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia from 1962 until 1971.

Dr. Burchell had an avid interest in American antiques. “Never again shall I encounter anyone so prodigiously skilled in acquiring antiquity nor so disarming in negotiations with dealers,” continues her brother William.

Dr. Burchell died suddenly in 2004, just three months after her retirement from Ramapo College. In recognition of her many years of service to Ramapo, the Ramapo College Foundation Board of Governors created this endowed scholarship in her memory.

  • For a Literature major who demonstrates a love of the English language
  • Selected by Literature faculty

2022 Recipient

Genesis Siverio

Genesis Siverio of West New York, N.J. is an English and Literary Studies major with concentration in Creative Writing. She also has a minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She holds a 3.9 GPA.

Gen is a feminist and activist, especially for the Latinx community, and she hopes to go to graduate school and become a published author in the future.

She is in the EOF program, Honors Program, and is a new member of the Sigma Tau Delta, the International Literature Honors Society. Last summer, she worked as Supplemental Instructor for the EOF Critical Reading and Writing 102 class.

2021 Recipient

Sarah Eldib

Sarah Eldib of Ramsey, N.J. is a Literature major pursuing a K-12 English Language Arts Content Area Certification. She has a 3.9 GPA.

Sarah is the Secretary of Sigma Tau Delta International Honor Society and a member of Kappa Pi Delta Honor Society.

She has been involved in the Literacy Volunteers of Pascack Valley program as a tutor, has worked as a student aide on campus, and is a substitute teacher. After graduation, Sarah hopes to continue her studies by earning a TESOL certificate to further pursue her passion for teaching.

2020 Recipient

Genesis Siverio

“With my aptitude for activism, I hope to make an impact in the world and represent the Hispanic community,” says Genesis Siverio of West New York, N.J.  As a Literature major concentrating in Creative Writing, Genesis hopes to become a book editor and published author.

Genesis participated in the EOF Summer Program, where she gave an inspiration speech about diversity, equality, and how Ramapo has become her home. She is also a member of the Honors Program and is involved in the Black Student Union. Genesis holds a 4.0 GPA.

2019 Recipient

Rachel Huddy

Rachel Huddy of Newton, N.J. is a Literature Major with a concentration in Creative Writing.


She has a 3.9 GPA and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, Tau Sigma, and Sigma Tau Delta. At Ramapo, she works as a peer consultant at the Center for Reading and Writing.

2018 Recipient

Max Lasky

Max Lasky of Toms River, N.J. is a Literature major with a concentration in Creative Writing. He has received scholarships to attend the 2016 and the 2017 New York State Summer Writers Institute, and the 2017 Sarah Lawrence Summer Seminar for Writers.

At Ramapo, Max has been active in the Literature Club and the Renegade Zine, a forthcoming underground magazine dedicated to creative writing and artwork. When he is not pursuing scholarly activities, Max works as a bicycle mechanic at Padis Pedal Power, a bike shop in Toms River. He plans to attend graduate school next year and hopes to attain an MFA in poetry.

Max has a 3.6 GPA.

2017 Recipient

Daniel Landers

Daniel Landers is a Literature major with a concentration in Creative Writing.

2016 Recipient

Bryan Potts

Bryan Potts of West Orange, NJ is a Literature major with a concentration in Creative Writing and an International Business minor. He has a GPA of 3.856. Bryan has been inducted into Sigma Tau Delta and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. He was invited to be a presenter at Sigma Tau Delta’s International Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota in March.

Bryan is involved in several activities on campus, including serving as a consultant at the Center for Reading and Writing, serving as a student representative on the General Education Planning Task Force II, and serving as treasurer for Sigma Tau Delta.

Off campus, Bryan helps local Boy Scouts with their Eagle Scout service projects.

2015 Recipient

Marina Bisha

Marina Bisha of Neptune N.J. is a literature major with a concentration in creative writing and a minor in French language. She has a 3.8 grade point average. 

At Ramapo, Marina has been active in several organizations and activities, including being a student consultant in the Center for Reading and Writing and being a member of the Literature Club. 

Marina has also been involved in off campus activities and organizations, including serving as a volunteer with the Monmouth County SPCA.


2014 Recipient

Claire Kelly

Claire Kelly of Avenel, NJ is a Literature major and a Philosophy minor. She is pursuing certification in Secondary Education. On campus, she is a peer facilitator. Claire has been inducted into Kappa Delta Pi Education Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta Literature Honor Society and Phi Sigma Tau Philosophy Honor Society. She works with toddlers as a daycare teacher and is student teaching in a high school English class. Claire looks forward to having a class of her own. She says, “Receiving a scholarship means that all of my hard work hasn’t been for nothing,” she said. “It means that I can focus on producing good work rather than stressing out over money.” Claire has a 3.84 grade point average.

2013 Recipient

Jacqueline Thomas

Jacqueline Thomas is a junior majoring in Literature. She has earned a 3.90 grade point average. “More than any student I’ve taught, Jacqueline seems attuned to the subtlety and power of the English language,” says one literature professor. “In her research and her writing, she also seems aware of how language connects, separates and constructs us within history and culture.” Jacqueline is from Emerson, NJ.

2012 Recipients

Kim Eskin

“Kim Eskin worked as a Literature professor’s research assistant,” says Dean Hassan Nejad. “She gathered a large number of secondary sources on the history of theatre as a feminized art form, and annotated them. She then wrote summaries for each of the articles, most of which analyzed understandings of theatre beyond the contemporary West, and her work was impressive.” Kim is a senior majoring in Literature with a concentration in Teacher Certification in English. To date Kim has earned a 3.97 grade point average. She plans to continue her education with a master’s degree. Kim is from Bergenfield, NJ.

I would like to thank the Burchell family for providing this scholarship to me. It means a lot to know that my hard work and dedication to scholarship is being recognized.

Amanda Lentino

Amanda Lentino is a Literature major in her senior year. Amanda is pursuing a minor in Psychology, and teacher education certification in English. “Amanda’s behind-the-scenes efforts to help our students are unparalleled,” says a member of the Literature faculty. She also compiled a “massive and impressive” number of documents to help with a faculty member’s research, and presented a paper at a Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges conference in the fall.

2011 Recipient

Logan Brown

“Logan Brown is an exceptional student,” reports Literature Professor Edward Shannon. “He exhibits a strong, committed interest and aptitude for literature; he defines the concept of ‘intellectual curiosity.’ An excellent writer, what is most compelling about this fine student is the breadth of his interests. He understands that what is learned in class is merely a guide or a signpost that leads the way to greater ideas, greater intellectual pursuits and a lifetime of learning.” Logan is a Literature major from Ramsey, NJ who has a 4.00 grade point average.

2010 Recipient

Sarah Hildebrand

“Sarah Hildebrand is a student with rare gifts including a facility with language,” reports Literature Professor Patricia Ard. Sarah is a senior majoring in Spanish Language Studies. She is also pursuing a minor in Latino/a and Latin American Studies and a certificate in Business Essentials. She has earned a 4.00 grade point average. “Her great powers of insight into literary texts stem from an expansive curiosity that has led her to study a variety of literary genres and periods,” says Professor Ard. Sarah is from Wantage, NJ.

2009 Recipient

Katherine Levering

Katherine Levering is a senior from Sayreville, New Jersey. “Katherine has a natural aptitude for analytical thinking, human empathy, and understanding of language that literary analysis demands,” says literature professor Ed Shannon. “Her writing is powerful, her insights mature and well-considered, and her presence in class is a signal to her classmates and professors that all involved need to bring their A-games.” Katherine is majoring in literature and is also pursuing teacher certification in English. She has earned a 3.86 grade point average.

I think it is admirable that Dr. Helen Burchell’s family continues to support higher education through their generosity, especially the education of people they don’t know.

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