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Topken, Marina and William Graduate Nursing Scholarship

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Marina Topken graduated from Ramapo College in 1987 with a degree in American and International Studies. She taught and translated German at several language institutions in the area and tutors children in underserved schools in Paterson, NJ. Mrs. Topken has been a steady supporter of the College’s The Fund for Ramapo College since 1997. She and her husband William have been involved with the Friends of Ramapo for many years and were instrumental in raising funds for the Friends. Mrs. Topken served as the Friends’ president and Mr. Topken as the group’s treasurer.

The intent of the Marina and William Topken Graduate Nursing Scholarship is to benefit graduate nursing students at Ramapo College. Members of Marina’s family practiced medicine, including her father, her grandfather and uncle. This scholarship is to recognize the important work nurses do.

  • Must be within one year or two semesters of graduation
  • 2.70 minimum GPA
  • Recipient selected by the Assistant Dean of Nursing based on recommendation of the faculty

2022 Recipient

Jayne Ryan

Jayne Ryan is a Nursing major studying for her Bachelors in Science of Nursing. She has a 3.84 GPA, and is scheduled to graduate with the class of 2023. 

Jayne has wanted to be a nurse since she was eight, and hopes to one day work in a Labor and Delivery, Pediatric, or Neonatal care unit. Jayne has been active on campus as an Anatomy and Physiology Lab tutor, a resident assistant, and Historian for the United Asian Association.

Jayne will be going to graduate school for Family Medicine.

2021 Recipient

Alexander Gaddi

Alexander Gaddi of Dumont, N.J. earned his BSN at Ramapo in 2016. He is completing his master’s degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) in Spring 2021. 

Alexander began his nursing career as a Licensed Practical Nurse at a subacute rehabilitation. He is currently employed by Hackensack Meridian Health in a Medical-Surgical unit, where he holds a board certification by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. He will soon work in the Intensive Care Unit. 

In the future, Alexander plans to earn his Doctor of Nursing Practice degree and eventually teach FNP students at a university. He also hopes to volunteer for a medical mission in the Caribbean or South America once the pandemic ends.

2019 Recipient

Elizabeth Texidor

After graduating in 2005 with a Bachelor’s in Nursing, Elizabeth Texidor is back at Ramapo as a Masters’ of Education in Nursing student. Elizabeth began working as a registered nurse at Montefiore Nyack Hospital on a medical-surgical unit, moved to orthopedics, and eventually transferred to labor and delivery, where she has been the past four years. She also volunteers at their outpatient education program, where she helps educate people with health issues who don’t have health insurance.

As a member and union delegate of the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), Elizabeth shares her knowledge with other colleagues and has even traveled to Albany, N.Y. to support safe staffing and nurse-patient ratios.  Elizabeth is currently training to start instructing Heart-saver and Basic Life Support classes at her place of employment.

She is from Hackensack, N.J. and has a 3.7 GPA.

2018 Recipient

Patrick Dwyer

Patrick Dwyer graduated with his BS in Nursing from Ramapo College in 2013 and is currently back at Ramapo to pursue a Master of Science in Nursing, focusing on Education.  He currently holds a 3.9 GPA.

He is currently part of the Performance Improvement Committee at The Valley Hospital, whose goal is to provide the safest and most evidenced-based nursing care to patients and the community.  He recently transitioned from being a Cardiac Telemetry Nurse to the Emergency Department. “It’s important to me to provide compassionate care and treat each patient as if they were a family member.”

Patrick hopes to obtain a Doctorate in Nursing Education with the goal of teaching nursing at a prestigious four year college.

He currently lives in Mount Olive, N.J.

2017 Recipient

Jennifer Keller

Jennifer H. Keller BSN, RNC-OB, C-EFM, of Union City, New Jersey, is a graduate student in the Masters of Science in Nursing program with a concentration in education. She has a 3.925 GPA and is a registered nurse in New Jersey and New York. She is the clinical educator and nurse manager for a local hospital. She has 7 years of experience in labor and delivery and is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses and the National Association of Hispanic Nurses. Jennifer is board certified in Inpatient Obstetrics and Fetal Monitoring from the National Certification Corporation. She is an instructor and provider for the Neonatal Resuscitation Program through the American Academy of Pediatrics. Other certifications include: Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Basic Life Support from the American Heart Association and Intermediate Fetal Monitoring from AWHONN.

Jennifer has a great passion for educating others and hopes to empower other nursing professionals, through her work, to constantly strive for what they believe in and achieve it. She was once told she would never become a nurse because of her undergraduate GPA.  That conversation would be the driving force to motivate her to work tirelessly to find a nursing program that would accept her, motivate her through nursing school at its most stressful times, and lastly, realize that she would dedicate the rest of her career to empowering and educating others to make their dreams a reality.

2016 Recipient

Dave Oladoja

Dave Oladoja of Waldwick, NJ is a graduate Nursing major with concentration in Education. He has a 3.7 grade point average.

Dave has been involved in off campus activities, including serving as a member of the New Milford Borough Rent Leveling Board from March 2014 – October 2015.

2015 Recipient

Jennifer Keller

Jennifer H. Keller, R.N. of Emerson, N.J., is a graduate nursing student. She has a 4.0 grade point average.

Jennifer is a labor and delivery nurse at NY Presbyterian Hospital-Cornell and Hackensack UMC at Pascack Valley Hospital in N.J.

Jennifer is pursuing a master’s degree to become a nurse educator in the area of maternal-child health.

2014 Recipient

Alexandra Brady

Alexandra Brady RN, of Tinton Falls, NJ is enrolled in the College’s Master of Science in Nursing program. She received an undergraduate degree in Nursing from Ramapo and carried a minor in Gerontology. Alexandra was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society. She is employed by Meridian Health. After she finishes the master’s program, she plans to teach health and wellness to members of the community. Her ultimate goal is to become a professor of Nursing at a college. “Receiving this scholarship has been vital in allowing me to further my education to achieve my dream,” she said. Alexandra has a 3.60 grade point average.

2013 Recipients

Bassaijor Bailor

Bassaijor Bailor is also from Sierra Leone, Africa. In his first year of the MSN program, he has earned a 3.20 grade point average. “Bassaijor is a high achiever who has dedicated his career to working with nursing students,” says Dr. Patterson. “He has accomplished much in a very short period of time.”

Cornelia Macauley

“Cornelia Macauley is preparing herself to be a qualified nursing educator in our MSN program,” says Professor G. Elaine Patterson. “She is hard working, focused and dedicated to being the best educator she can be.” Cornelia is originally from Sierra Leone, Africa and has earned a 3.33 grade point average.

2012 Recipient

Gail Robertson

Gail Robertson is in her first year of the master’s program in Nursing Education. She has earned a 3.70 grade point average. Gail is a member of the nursing honor societies Sigma Theta Tau and Phi Sigma. The mother of two teenage girls works as a nurse full time while pursuing her degree. “I volunteer as an EMT on my first aid squad,” says Gail, who is from Newfoundland, NJ.

This scholarship has helped me further my education at Ramapo.

2011 Recipient

Alexandra Finch

Alexandra Finch received a bachelor of science in Nursing degree from Ramapo College in May. As an undergraduate, Alexandra was a member of a number of student clubs including the Nursing Student Organization and the Educational Opportunity Fund Service Corps. She volunteered in Ramapo’s alternative spring break program in Oaxaca, Mexico and worked as a nurse assistant with Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. In the summer of 2010 Alexandra was a student nurse intern at the UCLA Medical Center. She is in her first year of the master’s program in Nursing Education and has earned a 3.85 grade point average. Alexandra is from North Brunswick, NJ.

2010 Recipient

Roa Dorcelly

Roa Dorcelly is in his first year of the master’s program in Nursing Education and has earned a 3.70 grade point average. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Ramapo College in 2002. “I work for the Veterans Administration in Westchester, NY and I am also a nurse in the Army Reserve,” Roa says. He lives in Spring Valley, New York.

It has been a tremendous help. I have used the money for books and other scholastic materials, which in turn alleviates some of the financial pressures that I would have otherwise faced.

2009 Recipient

Anita Pazcoguin

Anita Pazcoguin is from New Milford, New Jersey. She is pursuing both the master’s in nursing education and the master’s in educational technology at Ramapo. She has earned a 3.97 grade point average. “If there was the perfect candidate to gain the most from both programs and be successful, it is Anita,” says Dr. Angela Cristini, director of master’s programs.

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