By, Lauren Raziano & Angelina Persaud, Social Media Editor & Staff Writer
Famed author and philanthropist James Patterson has further enhanced the experiences of several Manhattan College students through his generous scholarship donations.
Scholarship recipients are each awarded $5,000 based on various factors including merit, need and involvement in the Lasallian tradition. Scholars were invited to a meeting facilitated by the Office of the President and were then selected from a pool of candidates.
Rosalia Cefalu, a junior business analytics major, was elated to receive the scholarship.
“I felt proud of myself and extremely grateful,” Cefalu said.
Cefalu emphasized the benefits of the scholarship program, stating that it gives the school and alumni a chance to acknowledge students for their efforts. Cefalu also stated that alumni giving back to their alma mater and investing in student success is a prime characteristic of Manhattan College’s history.
Over the course of her college career, Cefalu has served as an officer for the Sigma Delta Tau sorority and even earned an additional scholarship for her active membership. She also works as a tour guide with the Admissions Office and has participated in a research opportunity via the William Thieke student research fellowship. Cefalu finds that all her experiences at the college contributed to her success.
“I’m incredibly grateful to Manhattan for helping me with my public speaking skills and connecting me with professors that value my success,” Cefalu said.
Fellow scholarship recipient Ayanna Horsford ‘23, a biology major and chemistry minor with a concentration in pre-health, was honored to have received the accolade and described her thoughts on the importance of alumni involvement in the lives of current students.
“Alumni of Manhattan College [have] an idea of the financial struggles that may arise as a student,” Horsford said. “Manhattan College is an institution that provides several opportunities for students to succeed and prepare for life after graduation. I believe that once one graduates, it is important to be able to give back to the community that has given so much to you. It is extremely helpful to have someone [like James Patterson] that has taken the tools of Manhattan College to the next level support current students that are trying to do the same.”
As a member of the college community, Horsford has been involved in numerous activities. She is an admissions tour guide and is the Scalpel Reporter for the pre-health honor society, Alpha Epsilon Delta. Horsford also serves as the vice president of the Black Student Union and the social media coordinator for the American Chemical Society.
Rachel Mojica ‘23, a biochemistry major, was originally born in the Dominican Republic and moved to the United States when she was 16. Ever since her high school days, she has been volunteering in local hospitals and health centers. She credits her volunteer experience as her motivation to become a doctor in the future.
Additionally, Mojica has participated in the Her Honor Mentoring program and currently serves as the vice president for the American Chemical Society. She has also conducted research with faculty on bacterial infections to enhance her experience in medicine.
Mojica also finds that alumni are very thankful for their time at MC, describing how it reflects a positive image on the college community.
“It shows they are grateful for the education they received at Manhattan,” Mojica said. “It decreases the financial burden for students which also decreases the academic strain they may face since they don’t have to worry as much about finances.”
President Brennan O’Donnell also commented on the Patterson Scholars program and its significance to the student body and school community.
“Jim and Susan Patterson have been among the strongest supporters of the College for many years and in many ways,” O’Donnell wrote in an email to The Quadrangle. “The Patterson Scholars program grew from a question that Mr. Patterson had about what the College does to recognize and support students whose performance in their first two years really stands out.”
The program was designed around rewarding high-achieving students who excelled academically and were dedicated to pursuing their careers in the future. As O’Donnell describes, the program has awarded more than $1 million to 186 in its 10 years of existence.
According to O’Donnell, the Pattersons plan to maintain this program for the foreseeable future. He is extremely grateful to the alumni of MC stating that they are a vital part of the college community.
“Manhattan and all similar colleges depend on the generosity of alumni and friends,” O’Donnell said. “We are blessed to have so many people who, having received an excellent education and great support from the College, want to give back.”