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Fanale, Mary K. and Salvatore J. Memorial Scholarship

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After raising eight children, “I was excited when my husband suggested that I attend college and obtain that long-desired accomplishment of a college degree,” wrote Mary Fanale. So, at age 56, she enrolled at Ramapo, taking courses in the School of American and International Studies. For three years Mrs. Fanale reveled in her studies and was an active college student, serving as secretary of the Center for Returning Students. “I believe the feelings for older students … is so good that we fit in perfectly,” she said. Sadly she died in 1981 before finishing her degree. In memory of her contributions to the Ramapo community and to support other mature students who seek excellence in their studies, Mrs. Fanale’s husband and children established an endowed scholarship fund in her name. At Salvatore Fanale’s death in 2006 the Fanale children directed additional funds to significantly build the endowment. The Mary K. Fanale Memorial Scholarships recognize high-achieving female students who are New Jersey residents and are non-traditional college age.

  • For non-traditional age female students
  • NJ resident
  • Minimum sophomore status
  • G.P.A. 3.5+
  • Recipient chosen by the Office of the Provost

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2020 Recipients

Kaniuska Burgos

“Being a recipient of the Mary K. Fanale Scholarship is deeply touching for me. I can understand the challenges of not only being a matriarch of a family but taking that step to further one’s education. It takes sacrifice, determination, faith, and hard work. I am a mother; I have raised four children, and run a household all while managing a very demanding job,” says Kaniuska Burgos. “I am honored and humbled for this wonderful opportunity. I hope I have made the Fanale family proud.”

Kaniuska is the Executive Director for a continuum care model system in senior community where she is responsible for implementing quality care and advocacy for the senior population. She also is involved in advocacy for reducing mental illness stigma within the public education system and bridging the gap in communication with mental health providers and community physicians to ensure those affected by mental illness have the appropriate resources to complete their education.

She will graduate in May with a degree in Social Science and a concentration in social justice and is applying for graduate programs in public health and health science administration. “I need to be well prepared to continue to advocate for underserved populations.”

Kaniuska has a 3.8 GPA.


Manuela Miccoli

Manuela Miccoli of Englewood, N.J. is a major in Social Science with a concentration in Justice. She has a 3.73 GPA. She returned as an adult to complete her degree at night while working full time and taking care of her family. She has been invited to become a member of the Alpha Sigma Lambda Adult Honor Society and will be inducted in spring 2020.

She has worked full time in the textile industry specializing in high-end linens for the bed, bath and table for many years. She is currently the operations manager for AMD Fine Linens. “I intend to continue my education and earn a Masters Degree in Social Work to begin a new career.”

Noeli Ramos

“I am pleased to say that this is the beginning of a new journey for my son and I, and things will only continue to get better,” says Noeli Ramos, who was born and raised in Teaneck, N.J. “I wanted to show my son the importance of getting a good education, so I enrolled myself into Ramapo full time while also working full time to make ends meet.”

Noeli has made Dean’s List each semester, and will be graduating magna cum laude with a GPA of 3.8. Her degree is in Social Science and a concentration in Justice. She hopes to work in the fraud or compliance department at her current company, Bank of America.

Lara Ghougasian-Bairamian

“Being a part of Ramapo’s Degree Completion Program allows me to continue to work full time  at Shiseido Americas Corporation, pursue my own baking business, and fulfill my dream of obtaining my bachelor’s degree,” says Lara Ghougasian-Bairamian. “I am so grateful for this scholarship because not only does it offer monetary support, but it also has encouraged me to keep working hard and moving forward. I believe that this step will help further my career and allow me to grow in the company.”

She also volunteers with her church as a teacher and member of the worship team. Lara is a Communications Major and has a 3.9 GPA. She is from Bogota, N.J.


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.


Zurine Cadena Jimenez

Zurine Cadena Jimenez, of Mount Arlington, N.J. is an International Studies major with a minor in Human Rights and Genocide Studies.  She has a 3.96 GPA and is a member of Sigma Iota Rho.  Zurine plans to enroll in a Master’s program in Human Rights Studies at Columbia University.  Upon completion, she aspires to obtain a position at UNICEF to work with regional and country offices that are engaged in advancing the early childhood education sector in developing countries.

In the summer of 2018, Zurine completed an internship with the director’s office of the Office of Innovation at UNICEF.  Through this experience she was able to take part in quarterly progress meetings pertaining to scaling of regional as well as country infrastructure projects such as healthcare and water access through the use of various technologies.  She also represented the School of Humanities and Global Studies at COPLAC’s Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Conference.

Her life goal is to compose a peace education curriculum, emphasizing tolerance and equality that she hopes will be utilized in the process of intra/interstate conflict resolution.  She also hopes to extend her research on the Colombian civil conflict and 2016 peace accord as well as partake in campaigns working towards the elimination of FGM and child marriage.

Additionally, Zurine has an Associate degree in both Studio Art and International Studies.  She is currently a preschool teacher for Kindercare Learning Centers.  In her free time, she engages in working on art pieces and in writing poetry.  Her poems have been published in the literary magazines Driftwood and the Promethean. She has also been featured as Reward Publishing’s Poet of the Month.



2019 Recipients

Zurine Cadena Jimenez

Zurine Cadena Jimenez of Mount Arlington, N.J. is an International Studies major with a minor in Human Rights and Genocide Studies. She has a 3.96 GPA and is a member of Sigma Iota Rho.

Upon completing her Master’s Degree in Human Rights Studies at Columbia University, she aspires to obtain a position at UNICEF, in which she’ll work with regional and country offices to advance the early childhood education sectors in developing countries. “My life goal is to compose a peace education curriculum, emphasizing tolerance and equality.” She also hopes to extend her research on the Colombian civil conflict and 2016 peace accord, as well as partake in campaigns working towards the elimination of FGM and child marriage.

Additionally, Zurine has Associate degrees in both Studio Art and International Studies. She is currently a preschool teacher for Kindercare Learning Centers, and in her free time, she works on art pieces and writes poetry.


Nikole Duch

Nikole Duch of Wyckoff, N.J. is a Contemporary Arts /Professional Communications major in the Adult Degree Completion Program. She has a 4.0 GPA  and plans to graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in 2020. “I am really enjoying the challenge of the Degree Completion Program and am very happy that my college career has been so successful.”

Nikole is currently employed at Lonza Inc. in Morristown, N.J. as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Specialist. She obtained her Associates Degree in Business Administration at Bergen Community College by taking night courses while working full time. After taking some time off to get married and buy a home in Wyckoff, she decided to return to school as a way to advance her career. Nikole has also been involved in animal rescue by volunteering and fundraising for Ramapo Bergen Animal Refuge in Oakland, NJ.


Jessica Lage

Jessica Lage of Franklin Lakes, N.J. is an MBA student. She has a 3.9 GPA. “I’m proud to be the first in my family to graduate from graduate school.”

Jessica has participated in local community service work, teaching tennis and also competing in tennis tournaments in the tri-state area. She also enjoys her creative passions including photography and painting. Jessica is a full-time commuting student while holding a full-time career in marketing analytics. “My hope is to start my own LLC and work with local small businesses in the area of digital and print marketing.”

Jessica Vederso

Jessica Vederso of Oakland, N.J. is a Social Science Major with a concentration in Justice Studies. She has a 4.0 GPA and is enrolled in the college’s Degree Completion Program.

Jessica is married to her high school sweetheart and has a 3-year old son. She is currently employed as an Anti-Corruption Officer in a global financial services company, and is proud to have worked her way up the corporate ladder.

Despite achieving success in her career, returning to school was a decision Jessica always knew she would make. After having her son, she knew the time was right. “As I look towards graduation this spring, I am excited not only to achieve a lifelong dream, but to also show my son that no obstacle is too difficult to overcome. Even when life doesn’t go as planned; the most important thing is to never give up.”


Mindi Yeger

Mindi Yeger of Brooklyn, N.Y. is a Social Science major. She has a 4.0 GPA. She is a proud member of The Golden Key International Honor Society and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. After graduation she plans to pursue a master’s in social work at Ramapo.

Mindi is a proud single mother to 3 adult children living abroad.

Committed to empowering people to live a life of their choosing, Mindi has been involved as a volunteer and mentor for Footsteps, an organization that supports individuals who are looking to leave their ultra-orthodox Jewish communities.  She has also worked for Volunteer Counseling Service of Rockland as a volunteer counselor for 2 years.  Mindi works full time as a legal research/analyst for a large software publishing company and attends Ramapo part-time as part of the Degree Completion Program cohort.


Cinnamon Ballard

Cinnamon Ballard of Hackensack, N.J. is a Social Science major in the Adult Degree Completion Program.  She has a current GPA of 3.85. “As a single mother to a wonderful 7-year-old daughter, this scholarship will help me tremendously from a financial standpoint and enable me to continue with my full class schedule.”

She recently passed the real estate exam for licensure. After graduation, she plans on allocating more time to learning the real estate business.

Gina Biondo

Gina Biondo of Closter, N.J.  is a Social Science major with a concentration in Social Justice.  She has a 3.5 GPA.

After a friend’s son was diagnosed with cancer, she helped create a non-profit organization called Rally for Ryu that helps raise money for research and resources for families. Their first event raised $9.000.

“Besides bringing the most wonderful little girl into this world, my greatest accomplishment will be in May of 2019 when after 19 years, I will graduate from Ramapo.”  Gina credits her success to the support of her family as well as her advisors at Ramapo. “One of the most important things to me is teaching my daughter determination and perseverance through example, and showing her what my parents taught me – that hard work pays off.”


2018 Recipients

Aimee Lokitz

Aimee Lokitz  is a Communication Arts major in the Degree Completion Program. She has a 3.875 GPA and is a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society.

She is active in the Packanack Lake Mother’s Club and the Packanack Elementary School PTO, serving as a Class Parent. She also works as a Talent Acquisition Manager at ToysRUs Inc. in Wayne and looks forward to growing her career with the company. Aimee resides in Wayne, N.J. with her husband Jason and twins Emily and Ryan.


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.”


Jane McGurty

Jane McGurty of Ramsey, N.J. is a Social Science major with a minor in Gerontology. She has a 3.981 GPA. She has been inducted into the Alpha Sigma Lambda Adult Honor Society.

Jane is a member of the steering committee for New Jersey Villages (NJV), whose mission is to develop an inter-generational virtual village that supports aging-in-place for seniors in Bergen and Passaic counties. She also helps maintain hiking trails at the Ramapo Reservation for the NY/NJ Trail Conference and works as a Property and Liability Claims Representative.


Nadia Balsamo

Nadia Balsamo is a returning adult student, and with the support and encouragement of her husband and daughters, has taken it one day at a time. “I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to do it; I was afraid to fail.” She is most proud of the example she is setting for her young daughters.

She is a Social Science major with an elementary education teaching certification. She has a 3.982 GPA and in the fall 2017 semester, she took an ambitious 20 credits and was proud to have earned all A’s in her classes.

Nadia plans to continue with her education and earn a Master’s degree. She is from Ramsey, N.J.


2017 Recipients

Candace Beboe

“I am proud of the growth that I have undergone during my time at Ramapo and hope to have a career as an attorney and help fund the education of students like myself in the future,” said Candace Beboe of Jersey City, NJ.  She’s active in the Student Government Association, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority on campus. “In the positions I’ve held with these groups I’ve become a better leader and friend to my peers,” she added.

Candace has also been involved in off-campus organizations, including New City Kids, actively participating through their alumni base.

She has a 3.82 GPA and has been on the Dean’s list since her freshman year.


Marisol De La Paz

Marisol De La Paz of Emerson, NJ is a Social Science major. She has a 4.0 GPA.  This is her first semester at Ramapo upon graduating from Bergen Community College with a 3.975 GPA, where she was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

Marisol has enjoyed volunteering for the American Cancer Society, several non-profit organizations, but mostly her fundraising and volunteer work at Autism Speaks. She is married, works full time and takes care of her parents and her kids.  “My primary focus is my family; I enjoy spending time with them,” said Marisol. “What started out as a journey for me to complete my Associates Degree has escalated and I am very proud to continue my educational journey and continue to succeed as an adult learner at Ramapo,” added Marisol.


Anupama Upadhyay

“This scholarship shows support and motivates me to be determined and work hard to achieve my goals,” said Anupama Upadhyay from Kathmandu, Nepal. Anupama is majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and an Economics minor. She has a 4.0 GPA and has been on the Dean’s list since freshman year. She was also inducted into Order of Omega.

At Ramapo, she has been active in several organizations and activities, including Theta Nu Xi, the Yoga Club and SHRM. As a part of Theta Nu Xi, she plans and organizes events that aim to make a positive impact on campus through promotion of scholarship, leadership, service, sisterhood and multiculturalism. Anupama also works on campus as a student aide for Student Activities Revenue Management. She has also worked at a co-op internship at Cases By Source.  After Ramapo, she plans to attend graduate school.


Erin McKenna

Erin McKenna is President of the Student Government Association, where she also served as Vice President.  “During my time as Vice President, I got to work with students who were interested in improving the college through creating new clubs,” said Erin.  Last year, she helped form 15 new campus organizations.  She is also a Peer Facilitator on campus, where she helps freshmen students transition to college life both within and outside the classroom. In addition to her leadership activities, Erin works as a student aide for the Ramapo College Foundation, where she helps with the College’s Annual Fund.

Erin is from Midland Park, NJ and is a Business Administration major with a concentration in Marketing.  She has a 3.92 GPA and has been on the Dean’s List for four consecutive semesters.

Off campus, she has volunteered for community service projects such as Billy’s Buddies with the Wyckoff YMCA teen leaders program.


Janine McCaffrey

Janine McCaffrey is a senior from Cresskill, NJ and is majoring in Communication Arts/Digital Filmmaking. She has been working as an intern in New York City as a film editor at Stonestreet Studios and recently interned at Viacom with Nickelodeon. At Ramapo, she will continue to serve as President of the Technological Studies Club as well as the Sci-Fi Club. She enjoys assisting her peers in the role of director/producer and editor.


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

Amanda Goritski

Amanda Goritski of Newton, NJ is a Social Work major with a minor in Psychology.

She has a 3.9 GPA. She is an active member of Phi Alpha Honor Society and a Golden Key member.

Amanda has also been involved in community education with Ginnie’s House Child Advocacy Center, a non-profit center that assists victims of child abuse. She also volunteers for her children’s sports teams.

“As a social worker I hope to change the lives of many children and help guide them away from the mistakes I made. I hope to run a group home for lost, unwanted and orphaned children. I want the group home to be their home until they get their lives together. I want to change the ways of aging out of the foster care system because it is truly awful and sad what some of the children go through after being left and neglected by their own families. I have so many hopes and goals for my future that I never had before I was accepted at Ramapo. I may not be able to save the world but I know I am going to try.”


Dana Malluk

Dana Malluk is a Biology Major with a 3.7 GPA. She previously earned a BA in Environmental Studies from Ramapo in 2008 (recognized at the Honors Convocation for having the highest GPA in her major), but has decided to return to school to pursue a career as a pharmacist.

During her career as an AmeriCorps Watershed Ambassador, Dana’s work included stewardship and restoration projects, facilitating Stream Monitoring Training to volunteers participating in the program, and delivering environmental presentations to community organizations. She has also worked as a manager and fitness coach at KokoFitClub.

“I am sincerely appreciative that I have the opportunity to pursue a second degree and ultimately my doctorate.   I am at a much different point in my life than the majority of my peers, and from when I first went to college, but I think it gives me a more enhanced outlook on my education.”


Cynthia Blake

Cynthia Blake of Ridgewood, NJ is a Social Work major with a 3.9 GPA.  She hopes to pursue an MSW after earning her degree.

As part of her fieldwork, Cynthia has worked at the Bergen County Board of Social Services, Spring House for Women and the Christian Health Care Center, where she attended to the bio psychosocial needs of two women in their 90’s living with Alzheimer’s disease.

The mother of an adolescent autistic son, Cynthia has been a tireless advocate for not only her son, but for the rights of others. “Advocating on Patrick’s behalf had a positive impact on his life and the lives of so many autistic children like him in our state.”

A returning student, Cynthia is an enthusiastic learner and always looking to apply newly found knowledge to the populations she is working with.  “I’ve learned to channel the energy I draw from the grief and injustice of our past into a desire to help people change their future.”

Sumiyo Dohi

Sumiyo Dohi of Tenafly, NJ is a senior majoring in Accounting.  She has a 3.65 GPA.

Sumiyo works as a bookkeeper in Hillburn, NY.  She also volunteers at the Tenafly Japanese Community Association.

“Going to school while taking care of children and having a job is very challenging but I enjoy learning at Ramapo College. This scholarship encouraged me to overcome my circumstances.”


Tammy Smith

Tammy Smith of Fair Lawn, NJ is a Social Work major.  She has a 3.96 GPA.  She was awarded the 2015 NASW Harriet Bloomfield Memorial Scholarship and the 2015 CSWE BSW Student Travel Scholarship Award for her academic achievements in social work. She was awarded the 2014 and 2015 Fair Lawn Sunrise Rotary Continuing Education Scholarship.

At Ramapo, Tammy has been active in several organizations and activities, including the Social Work Club, where she recently served as vice-president.

Tammy has also been involved in off-campus activities and organizations, including serving on the Board of Directors for NAMI Bergen County and on the town of Fair Lawn’s Stigma-Free Task Force.


Ruby Karki

Ruby Karki of Kathmandu, Nepal is a Business Administration major with a concentration in Finance and a minor in French. She has a 3.5 grade point average and is on the Dean’s List. She is a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta honor society.

Ruby is active in Sigma Sigma Sigma and the International Student Organization.   She is also involved in Volunteer Service Overseas-International Citizenship Services and the Nepal Red Cross Society.



2015 Recipients

Jennifer Schoemer

Dana Malluk

Dana Malluk (nee Haig) of Franklin Lakes, N.J. is pursuing a second bachelor’s in biology. She plans to attend pharmacy school. She earned a BA in environmental studies in 2008, graduating summa cum laude.  She was recognized at the Honors Convocation for Outstanding Academic Achievement.

Dana has worked for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and completed a year-long term of service with the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Dana and her husband are co-founders of the renewable children’s retailer Kindermint.com.  Kindermint has provided clothing for more than 5,000 families in need through its partnership with Habitat for Humanity.


Valerie D'Ambrosio

Valerie D’Ambrosio of Totowa, N.J. is a literature major.  She has a 3.7 grade point average. Valerie was inducted into the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society and The National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

At Ramapo, Valerie has been active in several organizations and activities, including the Literature Club and the Italian Club.

Valerie has also been involved in off campus activities and organizations, including serving as a volunteer with Borough of Totowa Public Library.

Janine McCaffrey

 

Janine McCaffrey, of Cresskill, N.J. is a student in the School of Contemporary Arts with a concentration in digital film making. She has a 3.8 grade point average.

At Ramapo, Janine serves as treasurer of the Anime Pokemon Club. Off campus, she has been involved in Habitat for Humanity.

 

 

 


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.


Tammy Smith

Tammy Smith of Fair Lawn, N.J. is a social work major. She has a 3.92 grade point average.

At Ramapo, Tammy is a member of Active Minds and the Social Work Club. Off campus, she is a board member of the Bergen County National Alliance for Mental Illness and a volunteer at Bergen Regional Medical Center.

Tammy sees herself as an advocate for the rights of the mentally ill. Her career goal is to work in community mental health and to implement policy changes in the field.



2014 Recipients

Brittany Rocco

Brittany Rocco of Emerson, NJ has a 3.94 grade point average.

Mary-Jeanne Newell

Mary-Jeanne Newell of Haskell, NJ has a 3.85 grade point average.

Marie Claudio

Marie Claudio of Oakland, NJ has a 3.85 grade point average.

Megan Morgan

Megan Morgan of Bloomfield, NJ is a Social Work major. Megan says she wanted to be the girl who became something out of nothing. She is steadfastly working toward that goal. At 21, she became the kinship guardian of her three younger siblings after no one else in the family was deemed qualified to do so. Megan tried to balance classes at another state college, her job at a Starbucks and parenthood. She remained a guardian for seven months. The siblings were then placed with Megan’s and their grandmother, where they continue to live. Megan said that as difficult as the seven months were, it was extremely fulfilling and led her to want to become a social worker. “I want to be the voice that tells people, ‘Yes, you do have hope.’ If I can help one person, it will be worth it,” she said. “I want to help and be a social worker.” Megan would like to work in a school setting, listening to children and helping them battle the feeling of isolation that often affects those from dysfunctional homes. Megan has a 3.55 grade point average.

The scholarship I received not only gave me a head start with my student loan payments but it gave me extra confidence in my skill set and motivation to continue to excel in all my academic endeavors.

Abigail Ameri

Abigail Ameri of New City, NY is a Bioinformatics major. Her education has been disrupted more than once due to Lyme disease, which has caused Abigail to endure grueling medical treatments and take off time from her course work. “I think I am a good candidate for a scholarship because I have a proven record of commitment and incredible staying power,” she said. She is historian of the Bioinformatics Club, a member of the Chemistry Club, Phi Theta Kappa, the Golden Key Honor Society and the National Society for Collegiate Scholars. She is also in the TAS Research Honors Program and active in the Women’s Center. Abigail is proud to have completed a highly competitive summer research internship, Research in Science and Engineering, at Rutgers University. Abstracts for the research she conducted there and research she is engaged in at Ramapo College were accepted for poster presentations at two conferences. Abigail has a 3.94 grade point average.


Carrie Matthews

A graduate of Sussex County Community College, Carrie Matthews is enrolled in Ramapo’s Degree Completion Program. To date her grade point average is 4.00. She is from Branchville, NJ. “Carrie is looking to develop her career and work with autistic adults upon graduation,” says student advisor John Yao.



2013 Recipients

Carrie Matthews

A graduate of Sussex County Community College, Carrie Matthews is enrolled in Ramapo’s Degree Completion Program. To date her grade point average is 4.00. She is from Branchville, NJ. “Carrie is looking to develop her career and work with autistic adults upon graduation,” says student advisor John Yao.

This scholarship has given me the means to further my career, working with adults with developmental disabilities.

Maribel Tapia

Maribel Tapia of Fairview, NJ is a Social Science major enrolled in the Degree Completion Program. The program is designed for adults 25 and older who have earned at least 64 credits from previous institutions. Students in the program complete their bachelor’s degree in an adult-friendly environment with guaranteed evening courses, a clearly outlined academic path and a learning environment comprised entirely of adult students. She will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science. Maribel has a 3.74 grade point average.

By awarding me the Fanale Scholarship, you have lightened my financial burden which allows me to focus more on the most important aspect of school…learning. Your generosity has inspired me to help others and give back to the community. Thank you.

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.


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.



2012 Recipient

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.



2011 Recipients

Valesca Araripe

A graduate of Bergen Community College, Valesca Araripe is originally from Brazil. “Being accepted into Ramapo’s BSN program is a huge accomplishment forValesca,” says Mr. Gomez. “She originally studied biology, but her lifelong dream was to study nursing.” Valesca attends school full time and holds a job on the weekends. She lives in Oakland, NJ and has a 4.00 grade point average.

Catherine Fitzgerald

“Catherine Fitzgerald has come back to school to explore the field of social work and possibly become certified to teach,” says Julian Gomez, the associate director in charge of adult learners and graduate students. Catherine transferred to Ramapo in the fall of 2010 and is majoring in Social Work. She earned an associate’s degree from County College of Morris in 2005 and attended William Paterson University in the 1970s. Catherine is a talented musician who taught music and theater at various private schools. She lives in Rockaway, NJ.


2010 Recipients

Jacqueline Auriemma

Jacqueline Auriemma, of Emerson, NJ is a Social Work major. She volunteered at a halfway house for women struggling with addiction. After obtaining certification as an alcohol and drug counselor she was offered a counselor position there. Jacqueline continued her education at Ramapo College to improve her skills as a clinician. Now, as a senior with a 3.75 grade point average, Jacqueline is intent on enrolling in graduate school. “I got here because many people believed in my abilities when I was uncertain,” she says. Jacqueline believes there is great value in supporting other’s abilities.

The generosity of the Fanale and Liessem families allows me to further my education and inspires me to touch the lives of others. For this I am truly grateful.

Karen Jans

Karen Jans lives in Waldwick, NJ with her husband and three children. She works full time and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Ramapo full time. She is a junior majoring in Psychology and has earned a 3.90 grade point average. Karen is also pursuing teacher certification in elementary education. She is a Girl Scout leader for both of her daughters’ troops, and teaches Sunday School at her church. “I have been blessed to receive this scholarship,” she says, “and I am so thankful to the wonderful people involved with them.”

This scholarship was a wonderful and unexpected element that will help me achieve my goal of becoming an elementary school teacher. I am truly thankful for this scholarship, which helped me make that leap of faith to start pursuing my dreams.


2009 Recipients

Lorraine Santangelo

“As a nurse I am helping people with their psychological, emotional, physical, and yes, spiritual pain,” says Lorraine Santangelo. Lorraine is in her senior year majoring in nursing and has earned a 3.80 grade point average. “This summer I worked as a student extern at Hackensack University Hospital on the stem cell transplant unit. I believe this experience has made me a better person and definitely a better nurse,” she says. Lorraine has been a class representative since fall 2007, and is a member of the Nursing Student Organization. She is the mother of four children ranging in ages between nine and 19.

The Fanale Scholarship is special to me because my benefactor had passed away before she could graduate. I, myself, am older and came back to college to finish my degree in Nursing after surviving cancer. I am doing what my benefactor had dreamed of doing and the scholarship has helped me payfor my education. It is most appreciated and I feel I somehow carry the torch of my benefactor. Thank you to the Fanale Family.

Lovely Joy

Senior Lovely Joy is from New Milford, New Jersey. She already holds a degree in physics with minors in chemistry and mathematics, and worked in her native India as a teacher in Bombay. “My dream was to become a nurse,” she says.

When she was laid off from her job in a bank she got a job in a hospital working as an emergency room secretary during the night shift.  She attended Bergen Community College during the day studying nursing, then enrolled at Ramapo. To date she has earned a 3.46 grade point average. “My goal is to work with people who can’t help themselves,” she says. “When I come back from my clinical experiences it gives me such satisfaction to see smiles on my patients’ faces; I think this is one of the most satisfying jobs I have ever had.”

The Fanale Scholarship will help me financially as a adult student to attend school. It also gives me the feeling that somebody cares about me. The Fanales encourage students by helping people who are really in need. I will use this scholarship to learn what I need to know so I can help people in need.

Elizabeth Dolan-Cancian

Elizabeth Dolan-Cancian is a senior majoring in literature, and also pursuing teacher certification in English. She is from Dumont, New Jersey and has earned a 3.75 grade point average. After raising four children, Elizabeth attended Bergen Community College where her poetry and one-act play were published in the literary magazine. “I am currently shopping to publishers a children’s book about a little boy learning to tie his shoes,” she says. “I look forward to sharing my love and passion for literature, and in particular writing, with my students and hope my experiences and enthusiasm will inspire them.”

I am extremely grateful to receive the Mary K. and Salvatore Fanale Scholarship.

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