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Dugan, Marion C. Scholarship

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Marion Dugan and her husband Pat are former long-time residents of Mahwah. When her children were older, Marion enrolled at Ramapo College to take the final courses required to earn her bachelor’s degree. She graduated in 1980 with a degree in Metropolitan Studies/Public Administration.

Mr. and Mrs. Dugan are the co-founders of Charity Navigator, which they founded in 2001. Charity Navigator provides free, unbiased ratings on more than 7,000 American charities. Marion also was a member of the Mahwah Board of Education for 13 years and served as president for two years. She served on the Ramapo College Foundation Board of Governors and chaired the Allocations Committee.

“When I was a student at Ramapo I saw the financial need among students, especially in their junior and senior years,” says Marion. She was particularly struck by the dedication some students gave toward earning a degree, especially returning adult students with children.

To recognize such dedicated students, Mrs. Dugan established this endowed scholarship fund in 2005. The award benefits seniors of any major who demonstrate financial need.


  • For seniors
  • Financial need considered based on Foundation policy
  • Good academic standing
  • Applicants must submit a one-page essay describing their background, accomplishments and goals. Include any circumstances relevant to your financial situation.

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2020 Recipients

Diana Tieluszecki

“I strive to live life with a positive mindset and would like to help others do the same,” says Diana Tieluszecki of Haskell, N.J.  Diana is a Psychology major and a Dean’s List student. She is currently a research assistant at Ramapo and a member of the Psychology Affiliation.

“I love psychology because it helps me gain a better understanding of myself and others,” she says. Diana would like to become an Occupational Therapist and maybe even a Professor one day. She hopes to better the lives of others through compassion and empathy.

Janay Davidson

Janay Davidson of East Orange, N.J. is a Law and Society major with a 3.1 GPA. She has been an active member of the Student Leaders Council, is one of two students to ever be hired as a freshman Peer Adviser at the Center for Student Success, and vice president of the Black Student Union.

Janay has volunteered at the East Orange Family Success Center since high school and was invited to give the youth of East Orange a voice by becoming a member of their Youth Board. She has also has interned directly under the East Orange Corporate Council for two summers. Upon degree completion, she plans to attend Law School in order to become a Family Law attorney.

2019 Recipients

Hannah Pathan

Hannah Pathan of Swedesboro, N.J. is a Nursing major with a minor in Psychology. She currently has a 3.9 GPA, has made the Dean’s list every semester, and was inducted into the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society.

At Ramapo, Hannah works as a fitness center supervisor in the Bradley Center and teaching assistant for the Anatomy and Physiology lab. She also participates in the Nursing Student Organization, Psychology Coalition, United Asian Association, French Club and the Rock Climbing Club. Off campus, she works at Hackensack University Medical Center and volunteers at food pantries, nursing homes, and tutoring centers.

Additionally, she traveled abroad to Ghana, West Africa with the Ramapo study abroad program. “I hope to continue my international travels to learn more about the varying health indices worldwide.”

Brianna Burkert

“Ramapo has transformed me,” says Brianna Burkert of Bridgewater, NJ. “I have met so many great people, joined a professional fraternity, volunteered, studied abroad in Peru, and found myself.”

Brianna is a Communication Arts major with a concentration in Global Communication and Media. She has a minor in Sociology and is pursuing a Business Essentials Certificate. Briana has a 3.7 GPA, is part of several honor societies and has achieved Dean’s List status every semester.

She has served as Public Relations chair for the community service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega and has been involved in Relay for Life on campus. She has completed several internships in her field and worked part-time jobs.

2018 Recipients

Jacqueline Basile

Jacqueline Basile of Fair Lawn, N.J. is a Political Science and International Studies double major. She is one of the student ambassadors for International Studies and active in Global Roadrunners, where she helps with classroom presentations, information tables, and other events to promote the study abroad program throughout the year. Jacqueline studied in Dublin, Ireland during the Spring 2017 semester.

She has also worked as a summer intern in State Senator Robert Gordon’s office. “I plan to get my master’s in International Relations and work at a non-profit organization relating to education or human rights.”

Jacqueline has a 3.7 GPA.

Angela Edson

Angela Edson of Kinnelon, N.J. is an MSW student. She has a 3.8 GPA.

At Ramapo, Angela has sat on Alumni panels for students admitted into the School of Social Science and Human Services. She has also participated in improv classes at the NJ School of Dramatic Arts and fundraised for Lung Force.

Angela works as an office manager for The Life Raft Group, a non-profit organization for a rare cancer called GIST (Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor). She hopes to work as an oncology social worker.

2017 Recipients

Frank Albergo

Frank Albergo of Metuchen NJ is a Psychology major with a minor in Substance Abuse. Frank is a brother of Phi Alpha Delta (pre-law) and Pi Kappa Alpha fraternities.

At Ramapo, Frank has been active in several organization and activities, including the Student Government (SGA), Wrestling Club and Interfraternity Council. Frank has served as Senate President for the SGA and President of Phi Alpha Delta.

Frank plans to continue to his education after Ramapo and is planning on pursuing a master’s degree in higher education. He aspires to work at an institution and hopes to be a mentor to students throughout their years at college.

Kaitlyn Garrison

Kaitlyn Garrison of Kearny, NJ is a Psychology major and Sociology minor.

At Ramapo, Kaitlyn is part of the Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority and Educational Opportunity Fund Student Leaders.

She recently completed an internship with Green Mountain Energy, whose main mission is to change the way power is made and help save the earth by using renewable energy.

2016 Recipients

Esther Kim

Esther Kim of Cherry Hill, NJ is a Nursing major. She has a 3.532 GPA. Esther is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International, the Honor Society of Nursing.

At Ramapo, Esther has been active in several organizations and activities, including United Asian Association, where she served as public relations officer. She has also been involved in the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, where she serves on the publicity committee.

Cheryle Nunez

Cheryle Nunez of Westwood, NJ is a Social Science Major in the adult degree completion program.

Cheryle has been involved the Diabetes Foundation and the St. Jude’s Foundation, and is a leader in the youth group at her church.

2015 Recipients

Nicolle Milstein

Nicolle Milstein of Fair Lawn, N.J. is a biology major.  She has a 3.34 grade point average.  She is a member of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Honors Society.

At Ramapo, Nicolle has been active in several organizations and activities, including Relay for Life as a Co-chair for the Luminaria committee, Hillel and is a member of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Off campus, Nicolle also has been involved in the Northern New Jersey Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Affiliation.

Tamar Montilus

Tamar Montilus of Hillsborough, N.J., is a nursing major. A returning adult student, Tamar believes that helping those in need leads to a satisfying life. She said education has the power to transform lives and allows her the ability to change the lives of the patients she serves. Tamar has volunteered in the hospice unit at the Veteran’s Hospital in Lyons, N.J. She also helped organize a clothing drive for children in a Haitian village.

2014 Recipients

Jerry Ramos

Jerry Ramos of Ramsey, NJ enjoys playing intramural and recreational sports. He is a member of the Association of Latinos Moving Ahead Club. Jerry envisions a career in accounting or as an IT specialist. He says, “The scholarship is an opportunity to succeed in school and in my future. I am grateful and appreciative for the opportunity.”

Heidi Nani

Heidi Nani of Garnerville, NY is a Social Work major. Heidi thinks it is wonderful that there are many roles a social worker can fulfill. “As an individual who is compelled by social justice, I know I could take on multiple roles to better help individuals who are in need,” she said. Heidi has completed field work in an elementary school working with children to build their self-esteem, in a family service agency with children who have been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and as a co-facilitator in a creative arts program for those with Alzheimer’s. Heidi is certified in CPR and as a home health aide. On campus, she is a member of Ramapo Readers and the Social Work Club. She was inducted into the Golden Key Honor Society and Phi Alpha Honor Society. Heidi has a 3.77 grade point average.

Chase Burns

Chase Burns of Sussex, NJ is a Social Work major with a minor in Psychology. Her goal is to work with and advocate for adolescents in the foster care system. “They face the most adversity in terms of being adopted into permanent, healthy homes,” she said. She would also like to increase the societal support these youths receive. Chase’s experiences are preparing her to reach her goal. She earned an associate degree in Human Services and Liberal Arts from the County College of Morris. She then took a semester off to build houses in Thailand with Habitat for Humanity. At Ramapo College, she was an intern with the Division of Child Protection and Permanency through a program called the Baccalaureate Child Welfare Education Program. Completing the internship enabled Chase to begin a career with the division this past January. “Attending college is not just a choice for me,” she said. “It is a critical necessity to establish the professional capabilities to pursue my dreams of helping to change the atmosphere of the child welfare services in our society.” Chase graduated with a 3.98 grade point average.

2013 Recipients

Susan Vanino

“This award has changed my life, and allowed me to pursue my dreams,” said Susan Vanino who graduated with a degree in Social Work in 2013. “While it was challenging to return to college as a non-traditional student, as a person with a significant disability, I was motivated during my undergraduate studies by my goal to eventually earn a MSW. Last spring, as graduationneared, my plans for graduate school became overshadowed by looming worries of mounting student debt. Being selected for this award not only provided financial support towards graduate studies, it gave me the confidence to move forward,” she said. Susan began the Advanced Standing Program at New York University’s Silver School of Social Work last fall and will graduate in May. She is completing a year-long internship at Comprehensive Behavioral Health Care in Hackensack. She plans to work in an agency setting, where I can assist people with disabilities in realizing their full potential. “I will be forever grateful to Carol Schaefer for making the Carol Schaefer Human Services/Shepherd Foundation Award possible, and to those at Ramapo College who encouraged me to apply for this remarkable award,” Susan said.

Marisabel Rios

Marisabel Rios of Ellenville, NY is a Spanish major who is pursuing certification in elementary education. She is determined to become an educator because as a teaching assistant, she has dealt with the issues children face: hunger, poverty and fear of acceptance from peers and teachers. Marisabel is committed to encouraging each child so they believe they can become the best they can. Marisabel graduated from a community college and now at Ramapo, she is a member of the Spanish Club and Sigma Delta Pi, the Spanish National Honor Society. A wife, mother and student, she is grateful for the support of her husband and the scholarship so that she can pursue her aspirations. Marisabel has a 3.11 grade point average.

2012 Recipient

Aleksandar Mojsoski

Aleksandar Mojsoski of Garfield, NJ is a Finance major and an Accounting minor. Aleksandar came to the United States at the age of 21 from the Republic of Macedonia. At his first job he barely had enough to cover the cost of rent and food. There were days he drank as much of the free soda he was allowed at work to fill his stomach. He used the last of his money to move to northern New Jersey and put his dreams to obtain a college degree on hold and worked two jobs to support himself. He enrolled at a community college so he would be able to take night classes and maintain his two jobs. The adult learner transferred to Ramapo and plans to graduate in January 2013. Aleksandar says, “Being relatively new in this country has not only offered financial and academic challenges, but has made me appreciate the value of a college education.” Aleksandar, who has a 3.88 grade point average, plans to sit for the CPA. He would also like to attend graduate school.

Having to work two jobs in order to pay for my education, and being an adult learner and not having English as a native language, have made me sincerely appreciative of this tremendous help towards achieving my goals.

2011 Recipient

Maria Molina

Maria Molina is enrolled in a graduate program at New York University.

2010 Recipient

Yekaterina Lapko

Yekaterina Lapko of Mahwah, NJ is a Social Science major with minors in Psychology and Substance Abuse. She is dedicated to giving her time, energy and talents to those who suffer from mental illness. “It has become impossible to ignore how many individual lives and families have been, or are close to being, ruined by mental health problems,” she says. Yekaterina is already assisting others by volunteering as a counselor atVantage Health and with Strengthen Our Sisters. On campus, Yekaterina, who has a 4.00 grade point average, is active in the Psychology Coalition and Active Minds and has been named to the Psychology Honor Society.

The scholarship helped me to make a transition into a career where I help others. It also allowed me to realize that when I make the right choice, the support would always be there, and I am grateful for that support.

2009 Recipient

Mary Charest

Senior Mary Charest is a literature major with a theater minor from Ramsey, New Jersey. In 2005, she was inducted into Sigma Tau Delta Literature Honor Society. Mary has participated in the Ramapo College of New Jersey Mentoring Program and is encouraging congressional support for the Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence. In addition, Mary has several short stories and plays being considered for publication/production. A staged reading of her one-act play, “Body Shop,” will be performed by the Catherine Lindsey Actors/Playwrights Workshop of Darien, Connecticut this summer.

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