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Honors Alumni Scholarship

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This award was created by the Honors Alumni Advisory Board. The scholarship is one of the ways the Board members support current Honors students and give back to the Honors Program, which enriched their own college experience and helped prepare them for continued studies in graduate school or in their careers.

  • Student enrolled in College Honors program
  • GPA 3.5+
  • Financial need considered but not required
  • Selection committee includes the Director of the Honors program, an alumna who serves on the Alumni Advisory Board, and a representative from the Ramapo College Foundation

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2023 Recipient

Paolo Miyashiro Bedoya

Paolo Miyashiro Bedoya of Pompton Lakes, N.J. is a Management major with a Marketing minor. He has a 3.94 GPA, is on the Dean’s List, and is an active member of the College Honors Program, serving on the Student Executive Board.

At Ramapo, Paolo has been heavily involved, holding positions as the President of the Student Government Association and a Ramapo Admissions Student Ambassador. He is also a Peer Facilitator and works in the Office of Marketing & Communications as a Marketing & Social Media Student Assistant. 

Paolo is dedicated to student leadership, having been recognized with three Outstanding Leadership Awards throughout his time at Ramapo. He is committed to helping students however he can, and plans to use his remaining time as a Roadrunner to continue making an impact on his fellow students. 

Off-campus, Paolo has worked for the past five summers at Happiness is Camping, a summer camp for children with cancer and their siblings. This past summer, he was the Director of Teen Programming, where he facilitated STEM, Life Skills, Work Experience, Mentorship, and College Prep sessions for teenagers with cancer. He has also led fundraising efforts for Happiness is Camping since high school.

Post-graduation, Paolo is to pursue a career in Social Media Marketing or Higher Education/Student Affairs.



2022 Recipients

Miriam Sokolska

Miriam Sokolska of Hawthorne, N.J. is a Visual Arts major concentrating in Art History and minoring in Museum and Exhibition Studies. She is a member of the Honors Program and her 3.86 GPA has placed her on the Dean’s List for the past three years.

At Ramapo, Miriam has been active in several organizations and activities including Ramapo Green, WRPR, and the Jane Addams Papers Project. Miriam is a proud library worker off-campus and has presented art history research at the national level. In her free time, she enjoys drawing, painting, and making zines with her friends.

Miriam hopes to pursue a Masters in Library Science or Archival Studies, along with other research opportunities in the future.

McKenna Byrne

McKenna Byrne of Edison, N.J. is a Business Administration major with a concentration in Finance. She has a 3.7 GPA and has been on the Dean’s List since 2019. She is a recipient of the Dean’s Scholarship and is a member of two honor societies: Beta Alpha Psi and Omicron Delta Kappa for Finance and Leadership respectively.

McKenna is the President and Treasurer of Ramapo Chorale, the President of Membership for Alpha Phi Omega, and is an Honors Development Group Leader for the Honors Program. 

Off campus, she is involved in Girl Scouts.  As a Lifetime Member and Camp Counselor Aide, she organizes events focused on developing leadership, business, and communication skills for other Girl Scouts. She earned her Silver Award through restoring and rehabilitating public parks in Middlesex County. 

After graduation, McKenna plans to find a career that combines her passion for music and affinity for numeracy. She hopes to continue volunteering and giving back to her community wherever her life may lead.


Hannah Velarde

Hannah Velarde of Oakland, N.J. is an Elementary Education major with an additional certification in Middle School Math. She has a 3.6 GPA, is part of the Honors Program, and is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. 

Hannah is involved on campus with Ramapo Student Ambassadors, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Commuter Affairs. She has also volunteered at A Step Ahead Preschool and North Hudson Community Affairs. 

Hannah is enrolled in Ramapo’s 4+1 Masters in Special Education and hopes to eventually pursue a Ph. D. in the field of education. 


Grace Velarde

Grace Velarde of Oakland, N.J. is a Contemporary Arts Contract major with a Computer Science minor. She has a 3.97 GPA. She is a member of the Ramapo College Honors Program, Golden Key International Honour Society, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and Alpha Lambda Delta.

Grace has been active in several other organizations and activities, at Ramapo including the Student Government Association as the Contemporary Arts School Senator, the Ramapo Admissions Student Ambassadors Program, and the Ramapo College Concert Band as an alto saxophone player.

Grace has also been involved in off–campus activities and organizations, including doing freelance work for Warner Music Group and working as a Web Design/Digital Marketing Intern with Career Transition Resources, LLC. 

An accomplishment she is proud of is starting her own small business and art brand under the name Graceful Graphics in March 2020.



2021 Recipients

Anxhela Kalia

“I am proud to be the first in my family to obtain a bachelor’s degree,” says Anxhela Kalia of Fair Lawn, N.J. Anxhela is a junior Honors Program student majoring in Psychology with a minor in Neuroscience. She plans to pursue a career as a Neuropsychologist.

Anxhela is the Founder and President of the Psychology Affiliation and the Secretary of Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority. In the Honors Program, she has served as a Developmental Leader and a member of the Admissions Team. She was also a Resident Assistant in Bischoff Hall.

Off campus, Anxhela is a Pharmacy Technician at CVS Pharmacy. She also volunteers for blood drives, the Special Olympics, her church’s youth group, and campus clean ups.

She has a 3.85 GPA, has made the Dean’s List every semester, and is in the Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Society.


Melanie E. Cardoso-Lozano

Melanie E. Cardoso-Lozano of Sparta, N.J. is a Nursing major with a Spanish minor, and she earned a Certificate of Spanish for Health Care and Human Services Professionals. She has a 3.7 GPA and has made the Dean’s List every semester.

Melanie is in the Honors Program, the Nursing Student Organization, and is a member of several honor societies. She is also the Co-Vice President for the Association of Latinos Moving Ahead (ALMA) and the Vice President of the Spanish Club. 

Off campus, Melanie has volunteered with First Friends non profit organization, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Teaneck Tutoring. After graduation, she hopes to become a Registered ICU Nurse and obtain a master’s degree to become a Nurse Practitioner.



2020 Recipient

Sanskar Raj Marahata

Sanskar Raj Marahata of Kathmandu, Nepal is a Computer Science major and Information Technology Management minor. He is a member of the Honors Program and his 4.0 GPA has placed him on the Dean’s List.
At Ramapo, Sanskar is involved in the Physics Club and Alpha Lambda Delta as their secretary, and the Honors Program as a member of its Admissions Team.

In his free time, he thoroughly enjoys Fyodor Dostoyevsky, O. Henry, Beyond the Fringe, and Yes, Minister.
Sanskar intends to pursue a graduate degree in software engineering.


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