2021 College of Education and Human Services Virtual Awards Ceremony

Awards List

CEHS Dean’s Awards

Allan Morehead Memorial Award

Recipient: Dr. Terri Russo

Allan Morehead was a graduate of Montclair State College, earning his BA in 1934 and his MA in administration and supervision in 1941. After teaching, serving as a school administrator, and serving in the Army Air Corps in World War II, he returned to Montclair and rose from Instructor, to ultimately, the Executive Vice President and Provost. The Allan Morehead Memorial Award is presented to an individual (MSU alumni) committed to education and service, especially in school administration, and who embodies the qualities of integrity and excellence that we associate with Allan Morehead.

Ercell I. Watson Memorial Fund Award

Recipient: Ludmyla Yakubov

Ercell I. Watson was a graduate of Delaware State College and Howard University, with a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. He was Superintendent of Schools of Trenton from 1968-1972, and was the first black superintendent in New Jersey. He became Dean of the School of Education and Community Services at Montclair State College in 1972, and served in that capacity, with the reputation of an outstanding administrator, until 1980. The Ercell I. Watson Memorial Fund Award is presented to an educator who has made a significant contribution through teaching or administration.

William A. Cuff Educator Award

Recipient: Amir B. Billups

William A. Cuff was a graduate of Adelphi University and George Washington University. He also held a doctorate from New York University. In 1966, he joined the faculty of Montclair State College and served as Professor of Educational Leadership until his death in 1982. He is remembered for his intellectual curiosity, his forward thinking, his commitment to excellence and his support and nurturing of younger faculty. The William A. Cuff Educator Award is presented to an outstanding educator or prospective educator. Candidates are individuals who have made a significant contribution to education or graduates of/or students attending MSU.

George G. King Memorial Award

Recipient: Sarah Bonilla

George G. King was a graduate of Montclair State College with a doctorate from Rutgers University. He joined the faculty in 1960, and served over the years as Director of Admissions, Director of the Division of Community Services, and Chair of the Department of Counseling, Human Services and Guidance. Among his accomplishments, he founded a program to prepare teachers to work in prisons, a program to help educate students, primarily minority students, who lacked traditional academic credentials, and a Weekend College primarily for Hispanic students. The George G. King Memorial Award award is presented to community leaders, teachers, and MSU students who have made distinguished contributions in community service, i.e. through community agencies.


Center of Pedagogy Awards

Anne Kirby Memorial Scholarship

Recipients: Marcella Bruno, Hannah Kertesz, Taylor Maxson, Stefany Pucci

Anne Kirby taught special education for more than twenty years in the Montclair public schools. She served as president of the Teachers Club of Montclair in the 1980’s. The Kirby family endowed the Anne Kirby Memorial Scholarship for graduate students preparing to be teachers. According to Cornelious Kirby, Anne’s husband, Montclair State was chosen as a home for the scholarship “due to the excellence of its teaching program and its long-standing local involvement.” This scholarship will assist matriculated graduate students in the M.Ed. or MAT degree program with at least 9 credit hours who teach or are preparing to teach.

Arlene Allen Student Teacher Scholarship

Recipient: Fathia Balgahoom, Katie Cacchio, Stephanie Jones

Arlene Allen is a graduate of Montclair State University and a talented and dedicated English and English Literature teacher who retired several years ago. Arlene has been an extremely active, devoted, and generous Montclair alumna. This award provides three scholarships to assist our education students during their student teaching semester.

Barbara Ferguson Scholarship

Recipient: Robert Onoz

The Barbara Ferguson Scholarship is presented to a qualifying undergraduate student enrolled in the College of Education and Human Services Teacher Education program who plans to teach Chemistry or Physics.

Byron and Myrtis Yake Student Teacher Scholarship

Recipient: Kelly Hollenbeck

Both Byron and Myrtis Yake come from families filled with educators – teachers, principals, superintendents, and college professors. Recognizing the importance and impact of the many educators in their lives, they are honored to give this scholarship to assist a Montclair State education student during their student teaching experience.

Charles and Dorothy Farinella Scholarship

Recipient: Mayerly Oviedo

The Charles and Dorothy Farinella Scholarship is presented to a qualifying undergraduate or graduate student enrolled in the College of Education and Human Services’ Teacher Education program who will be in their student teaching semester.

Craig and Arlene Crescenzi Allen Endowed Scholarship

Recipient: Begona Plasencia-Guzman

Together Craig and Arlene Crescenzi Allen have endowed the Craig and Arlene Crescenzi Allen Endowed Scholarship. Craig is a retired manager from BASF. He used to drive Arlene to campus when they were dating and recalls that she took her studies very seriously and spent a lot of time in the library. They are wonderful friends to MSU! This scholarship is awarded to assist one full-time rising junior or prospective senior enrolled in the Teacher Education program who plans to teach in the humanities with at least 3.5 GPA.

Edward and Barbara Buhrer Scholarship

Recipient: Diana Sanchez

Barbara Horn Buhrer graduated from Montclair State with an English degree in 1943 and worked as a librarian for many years in Livingston. She met her husband at a Sophomore Dance in the building now known as College Hall, and was married to Ed Buhrer (’48, ’52 MA) for 67 years. Sadly, Ed passed away in 2010 and Barbara passed away last April. We are honored to present the scholarship in her memory. The Edward and Barbara Buhrer Endowed Scholarship funds a scholarship for a full-time undergraduate student or graduate student, majoring in Social Studies or English pursuing Teacher Certification.

Edward and Jean Cooper Scholarship for Teacher Training

Recipient: Nicole Callahan

The Edward and Jean Cooper Scholarship for Teacher Training award is presented to a qualifying undergraduate student enrolled in the College of Education and Human Services Teacher Education program.

Elton Robertson Endowed Technology Award

Recipient: Karen Mendez

The Dr. Elton Robertson Technology Award is given to support an outstanding full-time undergraduate math major in the Teacher Education Program who demonstrates computer proficiency and ability to incorporate technology in their teaching. This award assists the student in purchasing technology hardware or software for classroom use during the student teaching semester.

George and Dorothy Hennings Endowed Scholarship

Recipient: Bethany Olive

George Hennings’ time at MSU had a lasting effect on his life. He deepened his love of science and became a lifelong learner. He was a high school science teacher and later a college professor. The education George received at Montclair State started him down a path of professional successes and personal satisfaction. It’s a path that he wants to make sure is available to young people starting out today. The recipient of this scholarship should be enrolled in a program in science education and have completed 48 credits and achieved a minimum grade point average of at least 3.5.

J. Thomas Flagg Award

Recipient: TBD

The J. Thomas Flagg Award is presented to an outstanding graduating senior completing student teaching in the College of Education and Human Services’ Teacher Education program.

James Patterson Teacher Education Scholarship

Recipient: Denisse Vargas

The James Patterson Teacher Education Scholarship is presented to full-time undergraduate or first-year graduate students who are education majors or enrolled in the teacher preparation program and who have expressed an interest in pursuing a career as an elementary or secondary school teacher, preferably in the English language arts before other teaching areas are considered. Recipients must have at least 3.4 cumulative GPA.

Jessica Munoz Memorial Award

Recipient: Luz Rojas

The Jessica Munoz Memorial Award will be presented annually to a Dual Degree Dual Certification Master’s Program student who exhibits a passion for inclusive education. More specifically, and very much like Jessica herself, the award is intended for someone who has an incredible amount of potential to change the world.

John Greco Memorial Student Teacher

Recipient: Jennifer Aquino

John Greco was part of the Montclair State family beginning in 1997, when he began his academic and athletic careers here. John graduated from MSU with a BA in 2000 and became the Head Men’s Lacrosse Coach for the Red Hawks in 2003 until 2010. This scholarship, in honor of John Greco, represents all that he did for his students and players over the years as well as the special role that MSU played in his life. But more importantly, it is a testament to the amazing person he was and the way he lived his life. This scholarship is given to provide assistance to an education student during his/her student teaching semester.

Kathryn E. Stilwell Memorial Award

Recipient: Giana DiLascio

The Kathryn E. Stilwell Memorial Award was established by the Bergen County Retired Educators Association to honor the memory of Kathryn Stilwell. Kay Stilwell was a graduate of Montclair State University, the first full-time president of the NJEA, the NEA and the Bergen County REA, and an outstanding leader in New Jersey education. This scholarship award is presented annually to a junior or senior who plans to enter the teaching field and demonstrates strong academic performance.

Miano Science/Math Teacher Education Scholarship

Recipient: Nina Mammana

Long-time supporters of the University, Ralph and Margaret Miano generously provide the Miano Science/Math Teacher Education Scholarship to assist an outstanding, full-time undergraduate Science/Math major who is entering the senior semester. It provides financial support as the student conducts his/her student teaching experience.

Michael and Marianne Autorino Endowed Scholarship

Recipients: Isabella Definis, Nicole Kozak 

The Michael and Marianne Autorino Endowed Scholarship award is presented to a deserving full-time or part-time undergraduate student who is enrolled in the teacher education program with a grade point average of a 3.0 or higher.

Nancy and Frank Alvarez Scholarship

Recipients: Cassidy Cargan, Noelle Florio

Nancy Myers-Alvarez and Frank Alvarez, both alumni of Montclair State, have had a life-long commitment to public education and to nurturing talented, novice educators who will contribute to enhancing the profession and ensuring that all students achieve at the highest possible levels.

Nel and James Noddings Scholarship

Recipient: Olivia Wilson

Nel Noddings, a renowned educational philosopher, recalls seeing the dome at MSU from her elementary school classroom and knew at a young age that she wanted to attend MSU and become a teacher. She and her late husband Jim established the Nel and James Noddings scholarship, thinking of the many Montclair State students today who—like Nel—are the first in the families to go to school, of modest means, in need of a scholarship. The scholarship is for individuals in their student teaching semester who are preparing to be math teachers.

Nicholas and Susan Michelli Scholarship

Recipient: Anna Schattauer Paille

Susan Hudock Michelli and Nicholas Michelli were children of immigrants from Southern Italy and Slovakia. Both understood the importance of education and encouraged their children to pursue every educational opportunity. Nicholas was a successful businessman in Paterson, NJ and Susan was a registered nurse in School #6 in Paterson. Their son, Nick Michelli, is Dean Emeritus of Montclair State’s College of Education and Human Services, where he served as dean for 20 years. The Susan and Nicholas Michelli award is given to a student who shows a commitment to urban education in keeping with Montclair’s mission.

Paula Haas Dotson Scholarship

Recipient: John Jun

The Paula Haas Dotson Scholarship is presented to a qualifying undergraduate English Major who is enrolled in the College of Education and Human Services Teacher Education program.

Richard A. Bard Endowed Scholarship

Recipient: Andreia Resende

Susan Blount and Rick Bard have been wonderful friends and supporters to MSU and both have shared a sustained interest in championing education in New Jersey. The Richard A. Bard Scholarship in Science Education provides financial assistance to undergraduate students who are preparing to be science teachers and are enrolled in the Teacher Preparation Program.

Robert Pines Scholarship

Recipient: Hannah Balcer

The Robert Pines Scholarship is awarded in honor of Dr. Pines, Professor Emeritus, who was Director of the Teacher Education Program at Montclair State for many years. This scholarship is offered to an outstanding undergraduate student enrolled in both the Montclair State Honors Program and the Teacher Education Program. The recipient must demonstrate creativity in planning, teaching, assessing, and engaging students in authentic learning and critical thinking.

Ruth Lewin Endowment Fund

Recipients: James Beyer, Julia Marra

Ruth Lewin graduated from Montclair State College with her master’s degree in 1951. She devoted her life to teaching and was honored several times during her teaching career. She established this award to give back to the teaching profession by providing assistance to deserving students in the teacher preparation.

The Scrofani Scholarship Fund

Recipient: Brianna Bentivegna, Jonathan Carlile

Dr. Emanuel “Manny” Scrofani received his BA in Business Education at Montclair State, where he was a member of one of four undefeated football teams in the University’s history. He was named NJ State College Alumni Association Distinguished Athlete and was the All State Northern New Jersey Selection Football Team Captain at Seton Hall Prep, where he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. In 2007, Dr. Scrofani led the effort, along with his MSU football teammates, to establish the Coach Jerry Edwards Athletic Endowment Fund to honor their coach and to create a special fund to assist men’s sports at MSU. Additionally, Dr. Scrofani and his wife Meg, who spent many years as a school principal, established the Scrofani Scholarship Fund, which provides need-based support for exemplary and passionate teacher candidates in their clinical year, with a preference for those who aspire to serve in high-need communities.

Teachers Club of Montclair Scholarship

Recipients: Marta Crimi, Jennifer Delpino, Cristina Gerace, Steffi Grant, Omar Lisojo, Maliah Mckenzie, Veronica Monetti, Mariella Pueblo, Emma Schiavello, and Taylor Waddleton

The Teachers Club of Montclair has a tradition of honoring students in their junior year, with the hope of encouraging and supporting students in the year before they embark upon their teaching careers.The Teachers Club is mostly composed of retired teachers who meet regularly and often invite award recipients to share their experiences. They are involved in supporting many educational activities. The Teachers Club of Montclair has been extremely supportive over the past several years, donating over $200,000 for scholarships to Montclair State students.


Nutrition and Food Studies Awards

Waichungo Food Science Scholarship

Recipient: Amy Sheridan

Wamwari Waichungo came to Montclair State from Kenya to study quantitative methods. While waiting to register for classes she saw a food science sign and wondered what it involved. She spoke to the advisor (Dr. John Specchio) and changed her major to home economics with a concentration in food and nutrition. She has served on her 25th reunion committee, participated in an alumni panel for Women in Entrepreneurship week and hosted a reception for Montclair State alumni in Atlanta. She has established the Waichungo Food Science Scholarships for students who are pursuing a degree in Nutrition and Food Science with a Food Science Concentration. The Waichungo Food Science Scholarship is presented to a student who demonstrates outstanding leadership in nutrition and food science.

Ruslink-Health and Nutrition Sciences

Recipient: Heather Lorraine Nordyk

The Ruslink-Health and Nutrition Sciences award is presented to a student in Nutrition and Food Studies who demonstrates academic excellence, leadership skills, and research potential.

Peins Health and Nutrition Sciences Scholarship

Recipient: Kristinea Samantha Jackson

The Peins Health and Nutrition Sciences Scholarship award goes to an outstanding female undergraduate who is a full-time junior or senior Nutrition and Food Science major.

Katharine Hall-Health and Nutrition Sciences Scholarship

Recipient: Anna Louise Ciercierski

Katharine Hall was founder of the Home Economics Department at Montclair State University. She was chair of the department for many years and was active in the associated professional organization – Family and Consumer Sciences.The Katharine B. Hall Scholarship recognizes the professional and academic accomplishments of a full-time undergraduate prospective senior student majoring in Nutrition and Food Science at MSU with a minimum 3.5 GPA. Preference is given to students who are active participants in the activities of the department or members of a professional organization affiliated with their course of study.

Nutrition and Food Science Undergraduate Leadership Award

Recipient: Heather Lynn Adamcewicz

The Nutrition and Food Science Undergraduate Leadership Award is presented to a student who by academic performance, leadership skills, and professional disposition are poised to make significant contributions in the field of Nutrition and Food Science.

Nutrition and Food Science Graduate Leadership Award

Recipient: Jennifer Leigh Kuscin

The Nutrition and Food Science Graduate Leadership Award is presented to a Graduate student who by academic performance, leadership skills, and professional disposition is poised to make significant contributions in the field of Nutrition and Food Science.


Counseling Awards

Addiction Workforce Promotion Scholarship
The Addiction Workforce Promotion Scholarship is presented to one full-time student accepted into the Master’s level Addiction Counseling Program in CEHS and majoring in Addiction Counseling.
Outstanding Professional Achievement in Counseling

Outstanding Professional Achievement in Addictions Counseling Award Recipient: Patrick Tansey

Outstanding Professional Achievement in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Award Recipient: Darlene Lowry

Outstanding Professional Achievement Counseling/Student Affairs Award Recipient: Ebony Jackson

Outstanding Professional Achievement in School Counseling Award Recipient: Kelly Venezia

Counseling award honors graduates who serve the community and are role models to all who know them.


Public Health Awards

Academic Excellence in Public Health (UG)

Recipient: Beatrice Sosa

Academic Excellence in Public Health – Community Health Recipient: Michelle Bove

Academic Excellence in Public Health – Health Systems Administration and Policy Recipient: Bourama Diakite

This award is presented to a B.S. in Public Health student who has demonstrated a commitment to academic excellence through course work. This individual has been a leader both in classroom settings and during practical work experiences, promoting professional values and exhibiting leadership in the field of public health.

Public Health Award (UG)

Recipient: Ridwana Siddika

The Public Health Award recognizes a graduating B.S. in Public Health major who has already made contributions toward promoting good health in the community. This award is presented to an individual who is in good academic standing and who has demonstrated a commitment to improving public health at the community level via the implementation of sound public health theories, principles, and practices.

Academic Excellence Award in Public Health (GR)
The Academic Excellence Award in Public Health (GR) is presented to an MPH student who has demonstrated a commitment to academic excellence through coursework.
Public Health Leadership Award (GR)

Recipient: Kat DeMarco

The Public Health Leadership Award (GR) is awarded to an MPH student who, by academic performance, leadership skill, and professional disposition, is poised to make significant contributions in the field of public health.


Educational Foundations Award

George D. Heiss Memorial Research Award

Recipients: Taylor Birnbaum, Natalie Kohan 

The George D. Heiss Memorial Research Award, offered in recognition of outstanding student research.


Teaching and Learning Awards

Maria Schantz Graduate Scholarship

Recipients: Anthony Manzoni, Crystal Nzegwu 

Dr. Maria Schantz, Professor Emerita, has been an active member of our community since 1960, when she completed her Master’s Degree in English at Montclair State. As a faculty member, she founded the Reading and Study Skills Center and also created our MA in Reading. After retiring in 2002, she has continued to dedicate time and energy to enhancing the educational opportunities for all of our students at Montclair State. This award goes to a Graduate student who has excelled in our master’s program in Reading and has the potential for continued accomplishments in the field of literacy.

Lucille Weistuch Memorial Award

Recipient: Alexa Pizzuta

The Lucille Weistuch Memorial Award was created in 2003 in memory of our treasured colleague, Dr. Lucille Weistuch. Dr. Weistuch was a tireless champion for young children with special needs, and always discovered each child’s strengths. The award goes to an outstanding graduate student who will carry on Dr. Weistuch’s legacy in the field of Early Childhood Inclusive Education.

Rose L. Dakss Early Childhood Education Fund

Recipient: Amelia Talarico

The Rose L. Dakss Memorial Award is presented to students who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in early childhood and elementary education. Rose Dakss, grandmother of Professor Monica Taylor, was a lifelong learner who was forward thinking and far exceeded the expectations of women of her day. Her passion for and commitment to urban children was apparent throughout her 25-year career. She was a progressive teacher who believed in her students unconditionally. She recognized the possibility of democracy through public education.

Fran Greb Memorial Award

Recipient: Ray Marin

Dr. Fran M. Greb was a faculty member in the Department of Early Childhood, Elementary, and Literacy Education for sixteen years. She was beloved by her students and colleagues for her extensive contributions to the department and our partner schools, incredible skills as a teacher educator, and wonderful sense of humor. The department recognizes outstanding clinical faculty and cooperating teachers in honor of Fran’s legacy.

Joseph Brunner Memorial Award

Recipient: Deana Hagel

Dr. Joseph Brunner was a beloved faculty member in the literacy program for many years. Joe always insisted on excellence from his students. His early passing at the very young age of 53 was an incredible loss to our department, and through this award we keep his legacy alive. This award goes to students in recognition of outstanding research in the field of literacy education.

Susan Wray Endowed Graduate Scholarship

Recipient: Kimya Jackson

Dr. Susan Wray was a faculty member in the Department of Early Childhood, Elementary, and Literacy Education for sixteen years. She was a dedicated teacher throughout her adult life and leaves a significant legacy for the Montclair State University community through her many contributions and through the example she set for all of us. The recipient of this award is one with a strong commitment in teaching equity and social justice in urban schools that is truly outstanding and worthy of this recognition.

Undergraduate Student Award of Excellence

Recipient: Haley Pollison

The Undergraduate Student Award of Excellence is presented to an undergraduate student for excellence in either student teaching, a project related to teaching, or research.

Graduate Student Award of Excellence

Recipient: Anna Schattauer Paille

The Graduate Student Award of Excellence is presented to a graduate student for excellence in either student teaching, a project related to teaching, or research.

Doctoral Student Award of Excellence

Recipient: Karen Woodruff

The Doctoral Student Award of Excellence honors a doctoral student who best exemplifies commitment to the values and mission of the department.


Family Science and Human Development Awards

Family Science and Human Development

Recipient: Michelle Hirs

The Family Science and Human Development scholarship recognizes outstanding full-time or part-time undergraduate junior or senior students majoring in Family Science and Human Development with a 3.3 GPA or higher who have demonstrated significant contributions in the area of academic and community leadership as they prepare to work with families and children.

Guthrie Scholarship

Recipient: Ariana Molina Sanchez

The Guthrie Scholarship is awarded to a full-time undergraduate junior student majoring in Family Science and Human Development with a minimum 3.0 GPA. The awardee provides evidence of involvement in community service with families and/or children.

Doris Ruslink Scholarship

Recipient: Arlin Hernandez

The Ruslink-Family and Child Studies scholarship is awarded to an outstanding full-time or part-time undergraduate student majoring in Family Science and Human Development with a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Katharine Hall-Family and Child Studies Scholarship

Recipients: Denisse Vargas

Katharine Hall was the founder of the Home Economics Department at Montclair State University. She was a beloved chair of the department for many years and was very active in the national professional organization of Family and Consumer Sciences. This scholarship recognizes the professional and academic accomplishments of a full-time undergraduate prospective senior majoring in Family Science and Human Development with a minimum 3.5 GPA. Preference is given to students who are active participants in the activities of the department or members of a professional organization.

Family Science and Human Development Doctoral Scholarship

Recipient: Paula Perrone

The Family Science and Human Development Doctoral Scholarship is awarded to a full-time or part-time student in the Family Science and Human Development PhD program with a minimum 3.5 GPA. The awardee demonstrates great potential regarding her contribution to the field of Family Science and Human Development through practice, research, and/or policy.


Educational Leadership Awards

Outstanding Potential in Higher Education

Recipients: Traci Cummings-McGreal, Daniel Waffenfeld

The faculty in our Master of Arts in Higher Education recognizes outstanding graduate students for their academic accomplishments, commitment to professional development, and potential contribution to Higher Education.

Outstanding Potential in Educational Leadership

Recipients: Lauren Aiello, Krysten Nikole Paone-Hurd, Kathryn Picardo, Nil Sendul

The Outstanding Potential in Educational Leadership awards recognize outstanding students for their dedication and potential contribution to the field of Educational Leadership.


Teacher Education and Teacher Development Award

Ana Maria Villegas Doctoral Scholarship

Recipient: M. Andrea Vanderstarre

Dr. Ana Maria Villegas, a teacher educator and highly-regarded scholar of teacher education throughout her career, was the Director of the PhD program in Teacher Education and Teacher Development from its inception until she retired in 2018. The Ana Maria Villegas Doctoral Scholarship was created to provide support to promising part-time students who are in the 3rd or 4th year of the program and who have completed at least 12 credits per year.