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Ross Family Survivor to Survivor Scholarship

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A survivor of the Holocaust, Josef A. Ross was born in Skarzysko, Poland. In the fourth grade, his primary education in the local public school abruptly came to an end with the Nazi invasion of September, 1939. The rest of his youth coincided with the horrific years of the Second World War and its immediate aftermath. On May 9, 1945, he was liberated from Terezin (Thersienstadt) Concentration Camp. Four years later he came to the United States and eventually settled in New York City. Having already received some vocational training, he was able to obtain a job as a mechanic in a luggage factory, where he rose through the ranks and soon became the plant manager. Seven years later he founded his own luggage manufacturing business.

“In between,” as he describes it, he married his dear wife Roz, had two daughters and contributed his talents and energy to a number of organizations including the Skarzysko Society, the Prime Minister’s Club of Israel Bonds, the Luggage and Leather Goods Association and the National Association of Sporting Goods. He has also been a member of the board of the Gross Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Ramapo College, a member of the President’s Council of the World Jewish Congress and an active supporter of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Mr. and Mrs. Ross founded the American Stage Company based at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

“I had been thinking about doing something to recognize current service men and women,” Mr. Ross recalled in 2004. “The best solution was to set up a scholarship. First, I wanted to pay back the American forces that liberated the concentration camps,” he says. “Second, I was forbidden to attend any schools during the war in Europe, so I know how it feels not to have an education.”

The Ross Family Survivor to Survivor Scholarship is available to students who are former U.S. service personnel or their children. Candidates can be from any state in the country. The scholarship is funded by an endowment established by the Ross family.


  • For a student who is an immediate family member of a service man/ woman who gave his or her life for their country
  • Or
  • For a veteran who was wounded in the war
  • Or
  • For a veteran who served in Iraq or Afghanistan
  • Selected by committee
  • It is to be applied to the students Ramapo College account and can be used for room and board, class supplies commuting and living expenses

Apply Online

2020 Recipient

Daniel Gormley-Rahn

Daniel Gormley-Rahn is from Franklin Lakes, N.J. His major is IT Management and he has a 3.44 GPA.
Daniel served in the United States Army, 82nd Airborne Division from November 2012 – August 2018. Daniel was honorably discharged at the rank of Sergeant after serving one tour of duty in Afghanistan. “During my time in the Army, I became my commander’s ‘go to’ person for radio communication. Although my official job was infantry, my technical skills were recognized and appreciated on many occasions.”

When Daniel returned to civilian life, he knew that he wanted to finish his college education and was very happy to enroll at Ramapo College. In addition to pursuing his education, he formed his own company and works independently on IT solutions for small businesses, and recently branched out to security system installation. In addition, Daniel is an active member of the Franklin Lakes Volunteer Fire Department. Last summer, he completed a 5 week full time training in order to earn his credentials so that he can fully participate in fire calls. He plans to further that education so that he can perform water rescues.
His goals post-graduation are currently uncertain but he is considering joining a NJ Police department or Fire department, or working in an IT capacity for a corporation. Another possibility is to continue to grow his own IT business.

2019 Recipients

Andrew Lu

Andrew Lu from Mahwah, N.J. is an Information Technology Management major. He currently has a 2.7 GPA.
Immediately after his high school graduation, he entered the United States Marine Corps Reserve and served while attending Ramapo College for 4 years before he was activated and sent to Afghanistan. When he returned from Afghanistan in April 2019, he resumed his classes at Ramapo.

He works part time at CME Group as a technology intern and plans to work in the Cybersecurity sector after he earns his degree in Information Technology Management.

Daniel L. Torres

Daniel L.Torres of Emerson, N.J. is a Sociology major. He served as a Staff Sergeant in the Marine Corp.

John Leiby, Jr.

John Leiby Jr. of West Milford, N.J. is a Social Work major with a 3.6 GPA.

John is proud to have reached the rank of Sergeant in the Marines and of serving his country for seven and a half years. He deployed to Afghanistan in 2013 and Spain in 2017. John became his command’s Substance Abuse Control Officer in 2017 after returning from deployment and developed a passion for assisting those in need.

Three of John’s greatest passions are being a father, playing hockey and photography.

Rudolf Hass

Rudolf Hass of Hewitt, N.J. is an Information Technology Management major and a Business Analytics minor. He has a 3.81 GPA, has been on the Dean’s List three times, and inducted in numerous honor societies.

Rudy retired from the United States Army in October 2012 after serving for over 21 years as an Active Duty Soldier. He has deployed numerous times to locations that include Kosovo, the Philippines, Afghanistan and Iraq.

At Ramapo, Rudy has served as the Vice President of the Veterans Student Organization which provide a community where veterans can come together to share their experiences with their peers and help each other succeed in furthering their education. Rudy is also a member of the VFW Post 7198 in West Milford, NJ. He is married and has three children, ages 25, 13, and 12.

2018 Recipients

Rudolf Hass

Rudolf Hass of Hewitt, N.J. is an Information Technology Management major. He has a 3.96 GPA.

Rudy retired from the United States Army in October 2012 after serving for over 21 years as an Active Duty Soldier. He has been deployed to numerous locations (including Kosovo, the Philippines, Afghanistan and Iraq.)

Rudy is a member of the West Milford VFW Post 7198.

Kyle Cowing

Kyle Cowing of Hopatcong, N.J. is an Engineering Physics major. He has a 3.88 GPA.

After graduating high school, Kyle enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 2012. He served for four years, deploying twice, to Afghanistan in 2013 and Eastern Europe in 2015. Kyle exited the USMC in 2016 with the rank of Corporal, and began studying at Ramapo in the fall of the same year.


Joseph Levine

When Joseph Levine was 19, he followed in his grandfather’s footsteps and enlisted in the Marines. “It remains the smartest decision of my life, and I credit the Marine Corps with giving me the drive and discipline to succeed as a student.”  Joe is part of the Veterans Student Organization on campus.

Joe is proud to have earned a 3.8 GPA, and has been on the Dean’s List twice. The Political Science major plans to pursue a career in law enforcement with the FBI or DEA.

He is from River Vale, N.J.

2017 Recipients

Kyle McAlister

Kyle McAlister is a Business Administration major in the Anisfield School of Business.

Alexander Everhart

Alexander Everhart is a Psychology major in the School of Social Science and Human Service.

Matthew Alan Kampff

Matthew Alan Kampff of Ringwood, NJ is a Social Science major with a GPA of 3.49.  Matthew is married to his wonderful wife Anne, who works with the oncology team at Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care.

Matthew is a retired/disabled Army Ranger who comes to Ramapo College as an adult student.  Matthew attempted to return to college after separation from service but was not eligible because he is disabled and funding wasn’t available. With great pride, Matthew is currently working on a major item on his bucket list of life, which is graduating from college.

As a 50-year-old man with two adult children, Matthew, 27 and Elana, 30, he has achieved many things in life.  Coming from a broken family, Matthew spent most of his childhood living on the streets without adequate formal or parental education. Because of this, he is driven to accomplish many of the goals that have eluded him for years. With no support, Matthew decided to take control of his own life and join the military, where he went on to receive numerous awards and decorations as a dedicated leader. He is a graduate of challenging leadership courses including the Army Ranger school and Jump Master school, of which he is most proud. From his years of dedicated service, which includes combat, Matthew suffers from many injuries, some of which are disabling. Although many obstacles have been put in front of him, he remains determined to lead the way and push on, making no excuses.

Emily Ellison

Environmental Studies major Emily Ellison is currently studying abroad in Costa Rica with the tropical ecology and conservation program. She is learning a lot about the natural ecology, but also the effects of people on the tropics. She is also working on an independent research project. Emily grew up near the shore, in Ocean Township, NJ, and hopes to make a difference there in her future career.

Emily has been active in several clubs on campus, including One Step, Yoga Club, and the National Artists Society. She attends meetings and events, and always brings new ideas to the table.

She has also volunteered off campus with the Mahwah Environmental Volunteers Organization, taking part in environmental cleanups.

Emily has a 3.1 GPA.

Seung Won Kim

While on his 13-month tour of duty in Afghanistan, Seung Won Kim became a US citizen.  “I was the only one out of my entire battalion, which had over 900 soldiers, to become naturalized,” says Seung. He transferred to Ramapo after completing his Associates degree at Bergen Community College.

With hopes for a career in law enforcement, Seung is interning at the Mahwah Police Department.  He also volunteers at Meals on Wheels and takes part in monthly drills for the US Army Reserves.

Seung is a Communication Arts major with a concentration in Global Communication and Media and has a 3.0 GPA.  He is from Pequannock, NJ.

2016 Recipients

Emily Ellison

Emily Ellison of Ocean Township, NJ is an Environmental Studies major. She has a 3.2 GPA.

At Ramapo, Emily has been active in several organizations and activities, including the College Programming Board, Yoga Club, and Mindfulness Club.

She has also taught underserved kids bible study and volunteered to drive elderly neighbors to appointments in her community.

Frank Panek

Frank Panek of Washington Township, NJ is a Political Science major. He has a 3.01 GPA.

At Ramapo, Frank has been active in several organizations, including the Ramapo College Republicans, where he works to promote the principles of the Republican Party among the community.

Frank has interned with the Field Directors Office for the re-election campaigns of both Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi and Assemblyman Robert Auth.

Stephen Debuc

Stephen Debuc is a senior from Bloomfield, NJ majoring in Economics.

Daniel Marino

Daniel Mark Marino of Mahwah, NJ is a Contemporary Arts major with a concentration in Photography.

Prior to Ramapo, Dan served four years in the United States Marine Corp and fought two combat tours overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Dan brought a journal and camera with him to Afghanistan so he could record and reflect upon his experiences there.

At Ramapo, Daniel has taught meditation in the Mindfulness Club and theater department. Daniel has also obtained his Yoga instruction certification, completed a self-sustained cross country bike trip from NY-CA (2014) “March on Monsanto,” and actively promotes the NJ Trails Conference.

He hopes one day to explore the world with his camera and take photos for National Geographic.

Thomas Maxwell

Thomas Maxwell is a sophomore from Dumont, NJ majoring in Business Administration.

2015 Recipients

Michael Williams

Briana Pfeilmeier

Briana Pfeilmeier of Brevard, North Carolina is a psychology major and a criminology minor.  She has a 2.64 grade point average.

She is proud of her father, a military veteran, who served in the Coast Guard for 20 years.  Briana said his service and example have allowed him to transfer his educational benefits to her.

Briana plans to use a degree in psychology to work with people.

Dean Hansen

Carlos Corredor

Jay Coleman

Christopher Della Fave

Christopher Della Fave of Hoboken, N.J., is enrolled in the sustainability studies master’s degree program.

Christopher is the gifted and talented coordinator for the Hoboken Board of Education. Prior to becoming a teacher, he served in the United States Coast Guard. Christopher earned an undergraduate degree from Elon University.

He describes himself as an avid surfer, hiker, paddle boarder and reader. Christopher hopes to apply his teaching experience and the knowledge gained from the master’s program to launch a career in sustainable city development and planning.

2014 Recipients

Stephen DeBuc

A sophomore, Stephen DeBuc is planning to major in Economics. He served in Iraq and Afghanistan and was awarded the Iraq Campaign Medal with two campaign stars, among many other awards. Stephen is a member of the Veterans Stduent Organization and was a member of the color guard at commencement in May 2013. He is from Montville, NJ and has earned a 2.73 grade point average.

Richard Sensbach

Richard Sensbach served in the U.S. Air Force security forces for over four years. Now at Ramapo, Richard is a sophomore majoring in Political Science who has a 3.12 grade point average. His minor is International Business. Richard plans to pursue a career in law enforcement. While in the service, Richard was awarded the Air Force Achievement Medal and the NATO Medal among others. He is president of the Veterans Student Organization and was a member of the color guard for Commencement in May 2013. He is from Stockholm, NJ.

Kyle Mack

Kyle Mack of Middletown, NJ is a Social Work major and a Substance Abuse minor. He was inducted into the Phi Alpha Honor Society. He serves as an International Justice Mission educator and on the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship Leadership Team. Kyle is also the Hurricane Sandy Relief coordinator at Ramapo College. He also runs a junior and senior high school youth group at a local church. Kyle plans to attend New York University’s satellite Master’s of Social Work program in Rockland County, NY. “Receiving this scholarship allows me to allocate more of my time and resources toward completing an advanced degree in my profession,” he said. Kyle has a 3.88 grade point average.

Parker Goins

Serving his country and the State of New Jersey in the U.S. Army Reserve, Parker Goins helped families in New Jersey during Super Storm Sandy. At Ramapo, Parker is majoring in Integrated Science Studies with a concentration in Science Technology & Society. His minor is Chemistry. A junior, Parker plans to continue his education in pharmacology. He is the secretary of the Veterans Student Organization and was a member of the color guard for Commencement in May 2013. He is from Teaneck, NJ.

Melissa Love

Melissa Love of Colts Neck, NJ is a Literature major. She is a member of the staff of Ramapo’s radio station and a member of GEAR and Dumbledore’s Army. “I love to write. It helps me get rid of stress and get ideas out of my head,” she said. She enjoys sewing, knitting and playing video games. Melissa is not sure what she plans to do post-graduation, but wants to do something involving writing.

Harrison Bruining

Harrison Bruining spent three and one-half years as a rifleman in the Marine Corps. He received numerous commendations for his service including the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, among others. Harrison is a member of the Veterans Student Organization and was a member of the color guard for commencement in May 2013. Harrison is in his Sophomore year at Ramapo, majoring in Law and Society. He is from Midland Park, NJ

Jeremiah Havill

Jeremiah Havill served over four years in the Army with deployments to Iraq. He received numerous awards for his service including the Army Commendation Medal and was presented with the U.S. flag. Jeremiah is majoring in Sociology with a concentration in Criminology who has a 2.75 grade point average. He lives in Elmwood Park, NJ.

Dana Tinney

Dana Tinney is a Nursing student whose mother is also a nurse. Dana is passionate about following her in the same career. Dana has earned a GPA of 3.76, and is a junior. Dana’s father is a military veteran who because of his long service was able to transfer his educational benefits to Dana to study at Ramapo.

2013 Recipients

Keith Wendrychowicz

An Environmental Studies major, Keith Wendrychowicz in in his junior year and has earned a 2.67 grade point average. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years, doing a tour in Iraq and earning several badges, letters of commendation, and medals. “Keith is quite a character and always ready to assist his peers,” says Dorothy Gillman. He plans to enroll in the College’sYoga Teacher Certification program in order to become an instructor.

Dana Tinney

Dana Tinney is a Nursing student whose mother is also a nurse. Dana is passionate about following her in the same career. Dana has earned a GPA of 3.76, and is a junior. Dana’s father is a military veteran who because of his long service was able to transfer his educational benefits to Dana to study at Ramapo.

Melissa Schrieks

Melissa Schrieks is a junior majoring in Environmental Science. She has received partial veteran’s benefits from her father’s service in the military. Melissa has earned a 2.91 grade point average.

James Riepe

James Riepe was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps for more than four years, which included a tour in Iraq. He was a military policeman and patrol dog handler, and was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service. James is Sociology major and a junior with a 3.45 grade point average.

Billie Lee

Billie Lee is a senior majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Management. “Billie, his wife and children were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy,” says Dorothy Gillman. “But he was able to stay in school, earn senior status, and maintain a 2.73 grade point average.” Billie is a veteran of the U.S. Army, and spent four years serving with the Military Police during tours in Korea and Germany.

Robert Lascar

Robert Lascar received a bachelor’s degree in Information systems from Ramapo in the spring of 2009. He is currently enrolled in the College’s MBA program with a 3.97 grade point average. He works full time. Rob served in the U.S. Army for four years, earning numerous honors, and also did a tour with Operation Enduring Freedom in Iraq.

Anjali Joshi

Anjali Joshi is a Psychology major and is completing a minor in Substance Abuse Studies. She is a senior, and has earned a GPA of 2.79. Anjali receives educational benefits through her father’s service in the military.

Michael Bacs

Michael Bacs served in the U.S. Marine Corps and received several medals, badges and commendations. A Psychology major at Ramapo, Michael is in his senior year and has earned a 3.90 grade point average. “Michael has been taking overloads in order to graduate this semester and continue his career,” says Dorothy Gillman, Veterans Administrator in the Office of Financial Aid. He is from Paramus, NJ.


2012 Recipients

Andrew Kara

Andrew Kara of Montvale, NJ served as a sergeant in the U.S. Marines and completed two tours of duty. Now a student at Ramapo, he’s not decided on a major, but has chosen Italian as a minor. Andrew enjoys attending events on campus, particularly Ted Kennedy Jr.’s presentation, “Facing the Challenge: Advocating for the Civil Rights of People with Disabilities.” Andrew’s financial need is funding to pay for his books, an out-of-pocket expense that he has trouble meeting. The veteran, who has a 2.80 grade point average, plans to graduate in May, 2015.

The Ross Scholarship will help me meet and exceed my goals at Ramapo and will lead me to pursue my career as a Law Enforcement Officer.

Rebecca Solomita

Rebecca Solomita of Hawthorne, NJ is a member of the New Jersey Air National Guard who devotes all her time to finishing her degree. She is a Literature major and Spanish Language Studies minor. The senior has earned a 3.50 grade point average. Rebecca worked as a teacher’s assistant before enrolling at Ramapo College.

2010 Recipients

Heather Freeman

Heather Freeman served her country in a designated imminent danger area as a member of the Army National Guard. The Washington, NJ resident was called to active duty and served in Operation Iraqi Freedom from May 2004 through November 2005. She enrolled in Ramapo College for the Spring 2007 term, but her studies were interrupted when she was called up again in June 2008. She wasn’t deployed, but couldn’t take classes because the training program overlapped with the start of the semester. Heather received an Honorable Discharge in March 2009 and could still be recalled as a member of the Inactive Reserve. Heather, who has a 3.04 grade point average, eagerly returned to Ramapo College to continue studying Biology with a minor in Psychology.

The scholarship helped me afford the classes I need to complete my Biology degree so I can continue to work with animals and hopefully turn my passion into a career.

Timothy Cairns

Timothy Cairns spent the better part of three years on active duty in Iraq, Korea and Kuwait. He learned about Ramapo College and its veteran-friendly campus from other soldiers and contacted the campus veterans administrator while in Iraq. Now,Timothy is a Law and Society major who plans to pursue a career in law enforcement. The Barnegat, NJ resident has a 3.42 grade point average, and continues to serve the country as a member of the New Jersey National Guard.

This scholarship has allowed me to focus more on my studies and worry less about financial obligations. It will help me attain a degree in Law and Society and secure a career in the field of law enforcement.

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