After serving in the U.S. Army, Kurt Landsberger began selling aprons, tablecloths and other accessories produced by his wife, Anny. The plastic coating on the fabrics turned out to have other uses, so the Landsbergers transformed their business, Bel-Art Products, into a maker of scientific lab equipment. The Landsbergers also founded a second company, Maddak Inc., which has grown to become the largest maker of aids for injured or permanently disabled individuals in the United States. Anny Landsberger died on March 2, 2010.
Since 2005, the Foundation Mr. and Mrs. Landsberger started has supported the Essex County Environmental Center in Roseland, NJ to provide free educational field trips for 15,000 students in urban public schools in the county. The Landsbergers were also instrumental in the preservation of Verona’s Hilltop Reservation, now a county park.
“My wife and I always advocated for the environment,” said Mr. Landsberger in 2011. “We started our business together, it was successful and we decided to use some of our profits to do what we could to educate children about the environment.
The purpose of the Landsberger Scholarship at Ramapo College is to recognize students who demonstrate a commitment to environmental issues, particularly students who are involved in environmental action or protection groups. The award is selected by the Board of the Landsberger Foundation, and is based on recommendations from the Ramapo College faculty.
- For students who are Environmental Studies or Environmental Science majors
- Preference given to a graduate of an Essex County, N.J. high school
- 3.00 GPA or higher
- Applicant must demonstrate a commitment to the environment
- Recipient selected by the Landsberger Foundation staff based on the recommendation from the faculty
“With the help from this scholarship, I will be able to take classes that will benefit me for the rest of my educational career and future job,” says Jessica Desiderio, who transferred to Ramapo from County College of Morris.
At Ramapo, Jessica is majoring in Environmental Science, and has earned a 3.58 GPA and a spot on the Dean’s List. She had an internship at Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute and likes to volunteer to assist in GIS projects on and off campus.
“I plan to go into the GIS field after graduation, possibly focusing on water quality or wastewater treatment.
Jessica is from Johnsonburg, N.J.
Xaymaraliz Dumeng of Belleville, N.J. is an Environmental Studies major. She has a 3.9 GPA and is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and the Honors Program.
All of her activities both on and off-campus illustrate her dedication to the environment. At Ramapo, Xaymaraliz has been active in 1STEP where she does trash clean-ups and raises environmental awareness. She has volunteered at MEVO, a local sustainable farm, and is a Sales Ambassador at Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics. She recently completed an internship at the Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute, doing research in composting. “I plan to be an environmental advocate to help businesses and communities become more sustainable.
“I hope to become an outdoor educator or work on a sustainable and environmentally conscious agriculture farm,” says Jazmine Garcia of Cliffside Park, N.J. She is an Environmental Studies major with a minor in Plant Studies. She has a GPA of 3.3 and was on the Dean’s List for the 2017 and 2018 academic years.
Jazmine is the Co-President of the Garden Club, where she develops events and activities for students to enjoy along with managing the on-campus garden. She also interns as an environmental educator at The New Weis Center, where she leads field trips for local schools, scout groups, and volunteer groups.
Additionally, she frequently volunteers at the MEVO farm in Mahwah, N.J.
“My late father Thomas instilled in me an undying love for the environment, so I spend a considerable amount of time outdoors or working on environmental issues,” says Eileen McCafferty of Pearl River, N.Y. Eileen is an Environmental Studies Major and has a GPA of 3.2. At Ramapo, she is the SSHS school senator within the Student Government Association, President of 1STEP, and an active member of the Sustainability Committee.
During the Spring semester of 2018, Eileen raised over $1,300 for 1STEPs’ Relay for Life team and has helped host numerous events bringing attention to sustainability and environmental issues.
She is involved with Rockland Interfaith Breakfast Program on Thursday mornings at Spring Valley Church. She also has over a decade’s worth of customer service experience and holds a job at Ramsey Outdoor in Mahwah. Eileen is currently is an intern at The New Jersey Highlands Coalition in Boonton, N.J. where she is learning about non-profit advocacy work within the forest and landscapes of the New Jersey Highlands.
Once she graduates, Eileen plans to spend the summer backpacking through the Catskills, teaching archery at a local day camp, and preparing to earn her Masters in Wildlife Management.
Aina Yadav of Freehold, N.J. is an Environmental Science major with a minor in Environmental Studies and has a 3.45 GPA. She is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta honor society (recognizes first-year, first semester students as being part of the top 20% of their class) and Omicron Delta Kappa honor society (recognizes students for leadership and service) on campus.
At Ramapo, Aina is the Secretary of Sustainability for the Student Government Association and a member of 1STEP environmental club. As Secretary of Sustainability, Aina is working on bettering Ramapo’s environmental awareness by pushing for more recycling bins outdoors as well as finding a solution to the issue of bird strikes on campus with the help of other students and professors. In addition, she also serves on the President’s Committee on Campus Sustainability where she discusses how to make the campus more sustainable with different departments, professors, and student leaders.
Aina has interned at the NJ Botanical Garden. In addition, she also attended a conference held by the Ecological Society of America to present research with other students and Dr. Wiener on a pollinator study done at the College. She also recently studied abroad in the summer of 2017 in Copenhagen, Denmark where she was able to learn about renewable energy systems.
“After graduation, I would love to find a career that allows me to do field research as well as educate the public on their impact on the environment and the environmental issues we are currently facing,” says Catherine Lane. She is an Environmental Science major with a minor in Environmental Studies. She has a 3.7 GPA. Catherine serves on the sustainability committee for Ramapo’s SGA.
Off campus, Catherine has worked at Island Beach State Park, where she conducted research on the Barnegat Bay and was a tour guide. She was also an environmental educator at Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge.
Pamela Gilligan grew up in Branchburg, NJ and currently resides in Flemington, NJ. She is majoring in Environmental Studies with a 3.8 GPA, and is a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta honor society on campus. She spent the spring 2016 semester abroad in south India studying social movements and sustainability initiatives.
At Ramapo, she is the president for 1STEP environmental club and Co-President of the Yoga Club, where she previously served as secretary. She is also a member of the Sustainable Living Facilities where she volunteers in the college gardens, harvesting and planting organic vegetables. As the co-founder of the new RCNJ water campaign “Rethink Water,” she led efforts to raise awareness about available hydration stations throughout campus and helped educate the college community about the concerns involving plastic water bottles. During the school year she works in the Academic Affairs (Provost) Office as a clerical assistant.
Off campus she is a frequent volunteer for the Mahwah Environmental Volunteers Organization (MEVO) where she held positions as the Farm Crew Leader and Intern. She has also interned at Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve, where she led educational programs and tours about the importance of native species. In summer 2016, she interned at Grow It Green Morristown where she worked on an organic farm and taught children about where their food comes from.
“I am very proud of the water campaign I created for Ramapo and I hope to develop it further this coming school year. Once I graduate I hope to be able to continue educating people about the importance of having a connection to the environment, whether that be through food, stewardship, or clean energy,” said Pamela.
Veronica LaBrie’s interest in the environment touches all of her academic, professional and volunteer endeavors.
Last summer, Veronica volunteered through AmeriCorps at Teton Science Schools in Jackson, WY. There she worked as a field instructor, teaching students about the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. She is excited to return as a full-time instructor this coming summer. During the Spring 2016 semester, she had the opportunity to volunteer at Santuario de Lapas Natuwa, an animal sanctuary in Costa Rica for Alternative Spring Break.
Currently, she is working at the Wayne Outdoor Lab to continue gaining experience in environmental education, a field she would like to pursue post-graduation. She is part of two environmental organizations on campus; 1STEP (Students Together for Environmental Progress) and Ramapo Green.
She has a 3.97 GPA, and will graduate in May with a degree in Environmental Studies. Veronica is from Newton, NJ.
Michael Flood of Pequannock, NJ is an Environmental Science major with a minor in Earth Science. He has a 4.0 GPA.
On campus, Michael is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and 1 Step (Students Together for Environmental Progress). He is also a tutor for Environmental Chemistry.
In addition to volunteering for the Boy Scouts, Michael has worked on an organic farm in Wantage, NJ for the past 14 years, initially as a volunteer, where he has learned about agriculture and farm operations. He recently applied for a Northeastern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education grant from the USDA looking at using birds on farms as a way to curb insect destruction on plants.
“Post-graduation, I would like to go into the field of forest management or work in an agricultural extension department doing soil/plant analyses and educating people on various sustainable agricultural practices. “
Cassandra Spano of Marlboro, NJ, is an Environmental Studies major and Public Policy Minor. She has a 3.2 grade point average.
At Ramapo, Cassandra has been active in the Ramapo Outdoors Club, where she serves as president, The Student Leadership Coalition, and the Allocations Committee. She is spending the spring semester 2016 in Southern India studying sustainability and development.
Off campus, Cassandra volunteers at Celtic Charms Therapeutic Horsemanship in Howell, New Jersey.
“I hope to find a career that allows me to educate the public of their impact on nature and the environment. I hope to help people see that they are connected to the environment, rather than continue to think of it as a separate entity outside of their daily lives.”
Brian Wlodawski of West Caldwell, N.J. is an Environmental Science Major He has a 2.394 grade point average.
At Ramapo, Brian has been active in several organizations and activities, including TAS Research Honors, Independent Study research initiatives, and Relay For Life.
Brian has also been involved in off –campus activities and organizations, including firefighting with the North Caldwell Volunteer Fire Department.
Jeffrey Bendett of Glen Rock, N.J., is an environmental studies major with two minors, philosophy and international studies. He has a 3.92 grade point average.
On campus, Jeffrey works as a peer advisor in the Center for Student Success. He interned at Ringwood State Park Botanical Gardens and the Meadowlands Environmental Center. Jeffrey participated in a development and sustainability study abroad program in Bangalore, India. Off campus, he has volunteered on conservation trips to Costa Rica and the Galapagos Islands.
Jeffrey would like to pursue a career in environmental and international education.
Heather Darley of Montvale, NJ is an Environmental Studies major with minors in Music and Food Science. Heather works as a circulation supervisor at the George T. Potter Library. She serves as president of Plant Strong Ramapo, is a member of Sustainable Living Facilities and the Ramapo College Roadrunner Jazz Band. She enjoys gardening. She wants to become an animal rights activist. “It’s an incredibly humbling experience to have your passion recognized by our esteemed faculty. The scholarship will serve as encouragement to continue my work for the environment,” she said. Heather has a 3.63 grade point average.
Kristen Andrada of Parsippany, NJ is an Environmental Studies major. Her passion is beekeeping. She helped to establish The Ramapo College Beekeeping Club and serves as its president. The club was created to tend to the honeybee hive located behind the Sharp Sustainability Center and to teach the Ramapo community about the honeybee is its importance to the food chain. Kristen is a member of 1STEP, and she practices reducing her carbon footprint in the Sustainable Living Facilities Program. After graduation, Kristen plans to apply for the AmeriCorps New Jersey Watershed Ambassadors Program. “I know that giving my time to work with AmeriCorps will help me apply what I’ve learned at Ramapo and develop professional skills that I can use in my future career,” she said. Kristen added: “I want to do something great. Receiving this scholarship supports my efforts in doing so.” Kristen has a 2.96 grade point average.
Alexa Marques of Kearny, NJ is an Environmental Studies major. She began her college career at a large out-of-state university. When she decided to transfer, a friend gave her a tour of Ramapo. She knew it was the place she wanted to be. “Once I started at Ramapo, I was inspired and I was given support,” she said. These aspects gave me the confidence to make a difference with my time spent in college.” Alexa is the student coordinator for Sustainable Living Facilities. To complete the required community service component, she volunteers on the campus organic garden, sorts boxes of food at a local food pantry and participates in campus clean-ups. She also volunteers for Relay for Life, worked on banning bottled water on campus and volunteered at the International Women’s Earth and Climate Summit. Alexa has been inducted into the Golden Key International Honor Society and is vice president of 1Step. Alexa also is an Environmental Education Assistant at the Meadowlands Environment Center. She has a 3.86 grade point average.
This scholarship will help prepare me for my future because it allows me to continue to study in a field I am completely in love with.This award also gives me the opportunity to keep exploring and I feel I will have a better future because of it.
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