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Azzara, Kathy Scholarship

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Kathy Azzara graduated from Ramapo College in 2002 with a degree in Psychology from the School of Social Science and Human Services. She and her husband, Michael, have been active supporters of the College since that time. In 2000 Mr. Azzara, former president and CEO of the Valley Health System, was honored at the Ramapo College Foundation’s Distinguished Citizens Dinner for his leadership in healthcare and volunteer organizations across New Jersey and nationwide.

Mrs. Azzara started this scholarship in 2007 to give students encouragement and let students know that “someone shows an interest in you.” The intent of the Kathy Azzara Scholarship is to recognize young people who are working hard to achieve a BSN degree and the financial independence a bachelor’s degree represents. In addition to the financial assistance the Azzara Scholarship will provide, the award is intended to encourage students who are committed to service and who believe in “giving back.”

  • For BSN students enrolled in the undergraduate Nursing Program
  • Candidates must demonstrate commitment to community service
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Be in good academic standing
  • Selected by the Assistant Dean of Nursing in consultation with Nursing staff and faculty

2022 Recipients


The recipient of this scholarship wishes to remain anonymous.

Kate Weber

Kate Weber of Barnegat, N.J. is a Nursing major, after graduation she plans to work as a pediatric ICU nurse, and attend graduate school to become a CRNA. She has a current GPA of 3.6 and is a part of National Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, and National Society of Leadership and Success. 

At Ramapo Kate Has been active in several organizations and activities, including Peer Facilitators American Cancer Society, and A Moment of Magic, as the magic experience coordinator.

Kate has also been involved in off-campus activities and organizations including, volunteering as an EMT on her local first aid squad, and involved with the children’s ministry at her church. Kate is also a Patient Care Technician at her hospital. She has been an EMT now for 3 years, and is both state and nationally certified!

2021 Recipients

Anisha Jose

Anisha Jose of West Haverstraw, N.Y. is a Nursing major who hopes to work in a NICU and become a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner. She has a 3.65 GPA and has made the Dean’s List. 

Anisha is the current Secretary of Ramapo’s Naach Dance Club. Off campus, she teaches young children catechism and sings in the choir at her church. 

“I will forever be thankful for this scholarship, as it is bringing me one step closer to pursuing my dream of becoming a nurse without worrying too much about the expenses,” says Anisha. 

Amna Khan

“This scholarship encourages me to accomplish my dreams and give back to others,” says Amna Khan, a sophomore Nursing student with a minor in Contemplative Studies. She is a resident of New Milford, N.J. and holds a 3.5 GPA.

Amna is involved in the South Asian Club, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Sophomores Advancing in Leadership, and the Civic and Community Engagement Center (CCEC). Last year, she traveled with the CCEC to Costa Rica and volunteered at the Natuwa Wildlife Sanctuary for a week.

Off campus, she works as an EMT within Bergen and Essex county. She strives to gain experience with all types of people and one day work as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist or Travel Nurse. 

2020 Recipients

Ashshariyf Mahmuwd

Ashshariyf Mahmuwd of Jersey City, N.J. is a Nursing major with a 3.41 GPA. He is the recipient of several academic scholarships and has consecutively achieved Dean’s List status.

Ashshariyf has been active in the Black Student Union and Brothers Making a Different. His involvement includes experience as a Treasurer for a student E-board and the facilitation of on-campus programming.

Off campus he is involved in New City Kids, Inc.

Sinead Flanagan

“I’m proud that I’ve taken on leadership positions and volunteer work alongside being a full-time nursing student” says Sinead Flanagan of Pearl River, N.Y. She has a 3.3 GPA.

Sinead has been active in the Nursing Student Organization and her sorority Alpha Omicron Pi, where she held the position of Secretary and is currently the Risk Chairman. Off campus, she volunteers at Sunrise Daycamp which is a summer camp for children who are fighting cancer. “I also work as a home health aide to a wonderful woman who suffers from aphasia due to a stroke.”

Sinead is an Irish dance teacher and dances competitively at the championship level, through which she placed thirty-sixth at the world championships last year in Glasgow, Scotland. She plans to graduate and receive her BSN as well as her teaching license for Irish dance. Sinead hopes to become a travel nurse and explore the world after graduation.

2019 Recipients

Ronni Wellema

“For me, a scholarship goes beyond the monetary value; it reminds me that there are always going to be people in this world that believe in you, and want to be on your side, and want to see you succeed,” says Ronni Wellema of Little Falls, N.J.

Ronni is a Nursing major and has a 3.8 GPA, and has been a Dean’s List Honoree for 4 semesters. At Ramapo, she played on the women’s field hockey team for three consecutive seasons, has been a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars from the Spring 2016 to present, and she was recently inducted into the Chi Alpha Sigma Athletic Honor Society.

Ronni has also been involved in off-campus activities including working part-time at St. Mary’s General Hospital in Passaic, New Jersey as a Patient Care Assistant, and babysitting a 5 year-old boy who is attending kindergarten. Ronni is proud to have been able to juggle academics, athletics, and work simultaneously throughout her college career. After graduation, Ronni hopes to work as a full-time operating room Registered Nurse.

Nicole Valenzuela

Nicole Valenzuela of Elmwood Park, N.J. is a student in the Nursing program, and previously earned a BS degree in Biology from Ramapo. She has a 3.4 GPA.

Nicole volunteers at the Elmwood Park Volunteer Ambulance Corps, and has worked with Life Opportunities Unlimited as a direct care counselor with geriatric developmentally-disabled clients. After graduation, she plans to use her accumulated knowledge to pursue her dream as an oncology nurse.

“I will be forever grateful for this scholarship, as it is helping me get one step closer to my dream.”

2018 Recipients

Kristen Sautner

“I’m passionate about helping others, and am excited to be the first person in my family to enter the healthcare profession,” says Nursing and Biology double major Kristen Sautner.  “I’m hoping that I can one day use the research skills that I have gained from my biology classes to help make advancements in the field of nursing.”  Kristen, who has a 3.7 GPA and has been on Dean’s List for the past six consecutive semesters, also has a minor in Psychology.

She is a member of the Biology Club, the Outdoors Club, and Commuter Affairs Club on campus.

Kristen works as a head counselor at the Riverdale Summer Recreation Program and a ski instructor at Campgaw Mountain.  Kristen also regularly volunteers at her church.

She is from Riverdale, N.J.

Katherine Bush

“The scholarship you and Mr. Azzara set up will help me complete my studies without having to worry so much about the finances, and I cannot express my gratitude enough,” says Katherine Bush of Washington Township, N.J.  Katherine is a Nursing major and has a 3.8 GPA.

At Ramapo, Katherine has been involved in starting up a tabling display with free Bible literature for the student body.  She also has been involved in full-time volunteer work as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses since September of 2015.  After graduation, Katherine wants to use the skills she has gained to focus on volunteer work and giving back to the community.

2017 Recipients

Joan Zanotti

Joan Zanotti of Glen Rock, NJ is currently in the Masters of Nursing program. She has a 3.93 GPA.

Joan has been a member of the Glen Rock Volunteer Ambulance for the past 35 years and a member of Ridgewood Choral, an organization dedicated to service and song.

Joan is an Emergency Department nurse at The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood NJ where she serves on the Incident Management Assist Team (IMAT), and Patient Experience Improvement Team.  She presented a poster at the 7th International Conference on Patient and Family-Centered Care in NYC.   After receiving her Masters she plans to enter the world of nursing education. “I plan to move forward with additional studies at the Doctoral level, and pursue additional research in the area of Autism in Healthcare,” says Joan.

Katerina Korunovski

“My future looks like this: give every single patient my undivided attention and smile as often as possible,” says nursing major Katerina Korunovski. This mantra has fueled Katarina’s commitment to her education as well as her work outside of Ramapo.

On campus, Katerina has been active in the Nursing Student Organization and Commuter Affairs. She has also been inducted into the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

In addition to her volunteer work at the Garfield YMCA and Rochelle Park Medical Center, she recently started working as a nursing assistant at Valley Hospital.

She is most proud of her completion of the Student Nurse Externship Program this summer at Hackensack University Medical Center. She hopes to work there as a critical care nurse after graduation.  “My hope is to bring change to the healthcare system by redirecting focus back to bedside and patient care,” she says.

Katerina, from Garfield, NJ, has a 3.68 GPA.

2016 Recipients

Sarah Misrahi

Sarah Misrahi of Metuchen, NJ is a Nursing Major. She has a 3.6 grade point average. She has been a Dean’s List recipient for five semesters.

At Ramapo, Sarah has been active in several organizations and activities, including the Nursing Student Organization and Hillel.

Sarah has also been involved in off-campus activities and organizations including the North Jersey Jewish Federation.

Hope Jans

Hope Jans of Waldwick, New Jersey is a sophomore Nursing major. On campus, Hope is a member of the Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority, as well as the Nursing Student Organization.

Off campus Hope has volunteered with the Girl Scouts of Bergen Country as well as her church. Her future plans include being a pediatric nurse in a hospital setting.

2015 Recipients

Erica Morel


Erica Morel of Mahwah, N.J. is a nursing major.  She has a 3.47 grade point average.

On campus, Erica is a member of the Ramapo Chorale, CantaNOVA and Skylark choirs.  She is a student aide in the Human Services department.  Off campus, Erica is a patient care associate at Valley Hospital.

Erica wants to become a nurse in a cardiac unit at a hospital.  She plans to pursue a master’s degree.

Emily LeBeau

Emily LeBeau of Bethlehem, P.A., is a nursing major. She has been inducted into two honor societies. Emily has a 3.64 grade point average.

At Ramapo, Emily is a member of the Nursing Student Organization.

Emily would like to work as a nurse in a hospital setting.

2014 Recipients

Quiling Zakaroff

Quiling Zakaroff graduated from the Academy for Visual and Performing Arts, a part of the Bergen County Academies. In 2007 Quiling received top honors in the Adobe School Innovation Awards and a poster competition sponsored by Dow Agro Sciences – Lilly. She has worked as an intern at Hackensack Pediatrics and as a camp counselor at The Gifted Child Society. She was a volunteer for four years at Van Dyk Park Place, an assisted living facility, and is an active member of China Care, the Fyke Nature Association and Jei-Jei Mei-Mei, which she describes as “a Chinese version of Big Brothers Big Sisters.” Quiling is a freshman from Waldwick, NJ and is majoring in Nursing. She has a 3.85 grade point average.

This scholarship allows me to advance my nursing education without having to worry about financial burdens.

Haven Krynicky

Haven Krynicky of Sussex, NJ is a Nursing major with a Spanish minor. She is a founder and vice president of the College’s chapter of Building Tomorrow and is a member of Ramapo First Responders Club and the Nursing Student Organization. Haven was inducted into the Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Society. She works as a resident assistant in Mackin Hall and is also a volunteer EMT. “This scholarship is extremely important to me,” she said. “Nursing books are expensive, and all help is appreciated.” Haven would like to be a nurse in a hospital and plans to pursue a Ph.D. in neuroscience research. Haven has a 3.48 grade point average.

2013 Recipient

Cassandra Morgan

Cassandra Morgan is a Nursing major in her junior year. Cassandra is from Sussex, NJ and has earned a 3.32 grade point average.

2012 Recipient

Jenna Trott

Jenna Trott of Marlton, NJ is a Nursing major with a minor in Psychology. She is a member of the Phi Delta Epsilon Medical Fraternity, the Dance Marathon Club and the International Golden Key Honour Society. When she becomes a registered nurse, Jenna plans to work in a general medical surgical ward in a hospital for several years. Then she’d like to become a travel nurse and visit different parts of the United States. Jenna says, “Receiving this scholarship was an honor. I am grateful for the establishment of this scholarship to recognize hard working nursing students. Having this support helped me through the nursing program.”  Jenna maintains a 3.81 grade point average.

2011 Recipient

Stephanie Olaso

Stephanie Olaso is a Nursing major in her junior year. She is planning to join members of the nursing faculty to travel toWest Africa this summer on a service trip to Sierra Leone to address maternal and infant mortality and morbidity. Stephanie is from Mine Hill, NJ.

2010 Recipient

Domenico Esposito

Domenico Esposito is a resident of Westwood, NJ and is in his third year of the undergraduate Nursing program. His minor is in Psychology. Domenico has earned a 3.12 grade point average. He works in administrative services at Hackensack Hospital.

2009 Recipient

Dottie David-Wilson

Dottie David-Wilson is a sophomore from Piscataway, New Jersey majoring in nursing with a 3.82 grade point average. Dottie was accepted into the Alpha Delta Lambda honor society and is a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority. Dottie plans to work in the field of pediatric oncology while studying for a master’s degree to become a nurse practitioner. Currently, Dottie works as a patient care tech at Somerset Medical Center, and volunteers for several health-related community projects.

With the financial help of the scholarships I have received, I am able to focus more fully on my education, which will help me to become the best nurse I can be.

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