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Hughes, Marion Endowed Scholarship

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Areturning adult student, Marion Hughes gave as much to the intellectual and social life she found at Ramapo as she received. She excelled in her studies and enjoyed participating in campus activities and clubs. She graduated from Ramapo in 1980, then went on to earn a master’s degree in family and community education from Columbia University Teachers College and a second master’s degree in Social Work from Fordham University. “She proved that academic excellence is not bound by age,” wrote her friend and Ramapo classmate Mary Ippolito ’82.

At Mrs. Hughes’ death in 1997, Mrs. Ippolito worked with Marion’s friends and family to raise enough funds to establish an endowed scholarship in Marion’s memory. Each year the Marion Hughes Scholarship benefits a female returning-adult student who seeks excellence in her studies. Recipients “display a desire to learn and a love for the academic environment similar to that of Marion Hughes.”

  • For female students returning to college who are 30 years of age or older
  • Demonstrate financial need as determined by the Foundation policy
  • Applicant must complete an essay describing why you have decided to return to college and why you would be a good candidate for this scholarship

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2020 Recipients

Anita Horn

Anita Horn of Hamburg, N.J. is a Social Science student with a concentration in Social Justice. She has a 3.6 GPA. Anita is also a member of the Golden Key Society.

Anita has also been involved in off-campus activities and organizations including Hamburg Fire and EMS as a 2nd Lieutenant EMT as well as fire police. She works full time as a Home Care Coordinator for a multi-level senior care facility as well as tending to the health care needs of the senior community surrounding it. Anita also volunteers as a recreation assistant at a nursing home in her community by providing activities for the residents.

As an older adult entering the college world, Anita is most proud of her Bachelor’s Degree. She is the first in her family to receive such. “I hope that my hard work and drive to reach my goal will provide inspiration to other older adults who find themselves faced with a situation where they need excel during tough times.” Anita plans to seek certification in the field of Alzheimer’s and also receive her CALA (Certified Assisted Living Administrator) so she can continue to help the senior population.

Patrice Lenowitz

As Ramapo College’s first Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship recipient and the first Degree Completion Program (DCP) student to study abroad, Patrice Lenowitz received college credits to travel to Cusco, Peru, over the winter 2020 term. There, she studied climate change and the significance of protecting indigenous women farmers. Immersed in Peruvian history, culture and food, she explored the 15th century Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, learned salsa in Cusco, and trekked 17,000 feet above sea level to reach the top of Rainbow Mountain.

Outside of school, Patrice has been involved in activities and organizations serving the greater community for over a decade, including founding The Nurtured Parent, a free weekly support group for survivors of domestic abuse. Her passion and leadership have led to new child protection laws and victim’s rights legislation amendments. Her two most recent accomplishments signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy include Erin’s Law, K-12th grade safe touch education that will go into effect for the 2020/2021 academic year, and a landmark victim compensation bill (S498/A3391) that will increase the legal assistance benefit for crime victims from $3,000 to $10,000, paid through the New Jersey Victims of Crime Compensation Office beginning August 2020.

As a first-generation graduate of Ramapo College, Patrice is considering law school, for she is determined to create a trauma informed, trauma responsive, and trauma preventative New Jersey.

She is from Woodcliff Lake, N.J. and a Professional Communications major. She has a 3.8 GPA.



2019 Recipient

Karen Mastriano

“My greatest accomplishment will always be my five successful children,” says Karen Mastriano of Saddle River, N.J.  After raising a family for the past 25 years, Karen is now a returning student in the degree completion program.  She is a Professional Business Communication major with a 4.0 GPA.  “The classes offered at Ramapo have offered the professional competence required to make me a successful executive.”

Karen works for UHPC Solutions as a business development agent, where she is currently introducing a European bridge rehabilitation product to help solve the infrastructure crisis in our country.

Formerly, she was the Clerk to the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Elected to the Saddle River Borough Council, she served two consecutive terms and has held leadership positions on various committees over her six-year tenure.

Karen also used to teach CCD at her church, and her other interests outside of work include biking, yoga, and a good book.



2018 Recipient

Kelly Rickley

Kelly Rickley of Waldwick, N.J. is a Social Science major with a concentration in Justice. She has a 4.0 GPA and is in the Adult Degree Completion Program, and a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society. She is also a 2000 graduate of the college with a Bachelor Degree in Literature.

Kelly is married and has an 11 year-old son. She has been a volunteer EMT with the Hawthorne Volunteer Ambulance Corps for the past 17 years and was part of the New Jersey Response to Liberty State Park on September 11, 2001. She is proud to have achieved Life Member status in 2015. She is also a CPR Instructor for the American Heart Association and teaches at Valley Hospital.

“I’m looking forward to obtaining my teaching certificate and Masters Degree in Special Education. I hope to become a co-teacher or a one-on-one aide to a child at the elementary level.”



2017 Recipients

Betina Lewin

Betina Lewin spent over twenty years working in the advertising sales field but always dreamed of becoming an educator. Graduating from Ramapo with a Bachelor’s Degree is a vital step in achieving this lifetime goal. She plans to pursue a graduate degree in Education and become certified to teach English-as-Second-Language for grades K-12.

“I believe that learning is a never-ending process and regardless of age or life circumstances, we should always try to expand our knowledge,” says Betina.

The native of Sao Paulo, Brazil is a Professional Communication major in the Contemporary Arts Department. She has a 3.9 GPA.


Kerry Conklin

Kerry Conklin of Ramsey, NJ is a Social Sciences Major with a concentration in Justice.  She has a 3.667 GPA.  She is in the Adult Degree Completion Program.

Kerry is a wife and mother of three children and has also been involved in many activities and organizations for several years, including the Ramsey Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter and the Ramsey Boy Scouts as an Assistant Scout Leader.  Kerry is especially proud to have been named Volunteer of the Year for the Ramsey Fire Department in 2012.  She was the first woman of the Ramsey Fire Department to be named Firefighter of the Year in 2013.

Kerry hopes that her later-in-life return to school to complete her Bachelor’s Degree will inspire her children to always do their best and to stay positive to achieve their goals.


Betina Lewin

Betina Lewin spent over twenty years working in the advertising sales field but always dreamed of becoming an educator. Graduating from Ramapo with a Bachelor’s Degree is a vital step in achieving this lifetime goal. She plans to pursue a graduate degree in Education and become certified to teach English-as-Second-Language for grades K-12.

“I believe that learning is a never-ending process and regardless of age or life circumstances, we should always try to expand our knowledge,” said Betina.

The native of Sao Paulo, Brazil is a Professional Communication major in the Contemporary Arts Department.  She has a 3.9 GPA.


2016 Recipient

Kendra Eaglin

Kendra Eaglin of Mahwah, NJ is a Social Science major with a concentration in Justice. She has a 3.8 GPA.

Off campus, Kendra is a volunteer with People To People Food Bank and the Spring Valley Nursing Home.



2015 Recipient

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 Recipient

Diane Madsen

Diane Madsen of Sparta, N.J., is a social sciences major in the College’s degree completion program. She has a 3.87 grade point average. Diane was inducted into the Golden Key Honour Society.
Off campus, Diane is a group home manager with Sussex County Arc of N. J. She is proud of having facilitated the county’s first Overdose Awareness Day in 2013.
Diane plans to pursue a master’s in social work.



2013 Recipient

Kimberly Rogalsky

Kimberly Rogalsky of Sparta, NJ is a Social Science major. Her motivation for returning to college? She lost the job that she had held for 23 years. She suspected that at some point not having a college degree would impede advancement. Kimberly describes her family as the center of her life and focus. She appreciates the time she was able to spend at home with her children. And, through volunteer work at a non-profit youth service organization, Kimberly discovered that her true passion is to help others. She enrolled in Ramapo’s Adult Degree Completion program — she had completed three years of college when she was younger. She is discovering her own untapped potential and purpose. “Having a degree in a field I am truly interested in will give me the confidence and credibility I need to succeed,” she says. Kimberly has a 3.97 grade point average.

Like Marion Hughes, I enjoy attending classes and being a part of the Ramapo community and receiving this award helps me realize all the great opportunities at RCNJ.


2012 Recipient

Aloha Wilkins

Aloha Wilkins of Boonton, NJ is a Social Work major with a concentration in Substance Abuse. A returning adult student, Aloha is a board member of Family Promise Homeless Shelter and a committee member for United Way of Northern NJ. On campus, she is active with Ramapo Readers and the Social Work Club. Aloha says, “It has been individuals in the helping professions who have helped me restore my sanity by providing me with their time, encouragement, counseling, and at times, shelter.” She now wishes to pursue a career in which she can enable others to reach their goals. Aloha has gained invaluable experience working as a direct care counselor with developmentally disabled persons. She describes herself as someone who knows what she wants and who is willing to work hard to achieve her academic and career goals. With a grade point average of 3.04, Aloha has proven herself as a conscientious and dedicated student, while providing an excellent role model for her two children.



2011 Recipient

Mary Fermin

Mary Fermin is a Social Work major from theTownship of Washington, NJ. A returning adult student, Mary went through a reflective period during which she questioned what to do with her life. She choose Social Work as a major because she “felt attracted to the idea of helping individuals, groups, families and communities in their search for the well-being of members of our society.” Mary, who has a 2.91 grade point average, has volunteered at Bergenfield Head Start and the Armenian Nursing and Rehabilitation Center where she “learned a great deal about the importance of bringing hope, compassion and recognition to those who may be the victims of circumstances.”

I am a social work major and I believe the scholarship I received helped me prepare for the future by raising an awareness in me of the importance of giving to others.


2010 Recipient

Shaima Khinjani

Shaima Khinjani graduated from Ramapo in December, 2010 with a degree in International Studies. Her cumulative grade point average was 3.40. During the fall semester she delivered a paper with Professor Rebecca Root at a political science conference in Boston on the role of women and elections in Afghanistan. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Political Science at the University of Montana and is teaching courses in Afghan language and culture.



2009 Recipient

Robin Ivey

“A common thread that runs through my life is a strong desire to serve in the fields of health and well-being,” says Robin Ivey. Robin is a psychology major from Vernon, New Jersey. Since 1975 she has worked as a dental assistant, massage therapist, and yoga instructor. She has volunteered as a tai chi instructor and massage therapist, as well as with the Sussex County Beautification Committee. Robin is a member of the American Massage Therapy Association, the Registered Yoga Association, and the Integral Yoga Teachers Association, and is certified in stress management by the Integral Yoga Institute. Robin started at Ramapo in the early 1970s and says “returning to college at this point in my life is more of a joy than I had ever anticipated. My plan is to become a psychotherapist who combines the mind/body approach, particularly in the areas of gerontology and hospice, including stress management for caregivers.”

This opportunity helps me through a difficult time, so that I may pursue my path to helping others.

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