At the 2011 Distinguished Citizens Dinner the Ramapo College Foundation honored Ralph Izzo, the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG). As part of his remarks, Mr. Izzo noted the commitment to sustainability and public service that Ramapo College and PSEG share. He recognized the longstanding leadership of Brian Smith, a member of the Board of Governors, who was retiring from both the Board and PSEG that year.
“I am particularly pleased that PSEG’s support for Ramapo College tonight includes a contribution for the purpose of establishing a new permanent endowment,” he wrote. “Each year we can award a scholarship to a student who is pursuing a degree in the College’s Environmental Studies program.”
- For Environmental Studies majors
- Must have 24 Full time Ramapo College credits
- GPA 3.5+
- Recipient chosen by the Office of the Provost
Lucia Demchenko of Midland Park, N.J. is a transfer student from Bergen Community College where she became a member of Phi Theta Kappa and the JKW School of Honors. The Environmental Studies major became passionate about the environment after taking an Environmental Science course.
“Ramapo has given me many unique opportunities to get in touch with environmental activism and hands-on experience in various field work such as soil/water monitoring.” Lucia has designed a prototype sustainable edible landscape for the Ramapo Sustainability Center, and is helping to create an Environmental Impact Statement to provide research for the Turtle Clan of the Ramapough-Lenape Tribe, who are victims of environmental injustice.
She is committed to encouraging healthy communities and has done volunteer agricultural work for the not-for profit MEVO sustainable Fresh Roots Farm. She has also worked as a teaching assistant and counsellor and would like to encourage environmental and sustainability teachings for children. Her educational interests include sustainable planning/green initiatives, resource protection, and water management.
The senior has earned a GPA of 3.62.
Jacqueline Scheid currently resides in Ramsey, N.J. She is an Environmental Studies major with a 3.8 GPA.
This past summer, Jacqueline was the recipient of the Making a Difference Award Scholarship, which granted her the opportunity to intern at a non-profit, urban farming organization, entitled City Green. She was able to gain experience in sustainable farming as well as teaching young students about local, healthy food.
Jacqueline also works part-time at the pet food store Natural Tail Treats, where she helps customers create personalized healthy diets for their animals.
Jacqueline looks forward to pursuing a career in sustainability. “I’ve had the opportunity to learn from several distinguished faculty members, and I’m thrilled to graduate this semester with the knowledge to make a positive difference in the environmental world.”
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.
Brianne Bishop of Branchburg, NJ is an Environmental Studies major with a minor in Visual Arts. She has a 3.8 grade point average. Brianne has made the Dean’s List each semester at Ramapo, and is on the college Honor Roll.
Brianne has been active on campus, as a RA at the College Sustainable Living Facilities Housing, a Community Garden volunteer, and alternative spring break leader in Costa Rica. She has also served as a Peer Advisor and Orientation Coordinator. She spent a semester abroad in Costa Rica in a program that focuses on sustainable development.
An active volunteer, Brianne has helped restore trails for the NY/NJ Trail Conference and recently biked over 4,000 miles across the country with 4K for Cancer to raise awareness and funds for young adults with cancer.
Brianne hopes to one day work for the National Park Service, and says “My main goal is to complete work that I love, has meaning, and can contribute to making the world a better place.”
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.
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.
Brittany Ryan is a senior majoring in Environmental Studies. Her minor is Public Policy, and she has earned a 3.86 grade point average. She participated in a student exchange at the University of Hilo last semester, and last year assisted in constructing the Saltbox Environmental Research Center in Torne Valley, NJ as part of her Environmental Seminar class. Brittany plans to continue her education and ultimately earn a Ph.D. in Environmental Policy. “Through the advancement of my education I feel I can impact society,” she says. “I long for environmental and social justice, the kind of justice that is brought about when the Earth and its people are treated fairly.”
Making decisions to continue my education has been hindered by financial hardships; now this scholarship makes pursuing graduate studies that much more attainable.
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