2012 Scholarship Winners
We are very proud to announce the 2012 United College Employees of FIT Leadership Scholars Commencement Award Winners. This year the UCE Scholarship Fund received a donation from the Stollar estate. There were enough funds donated to name all three of the awards as Louis Stollar Scholarships, after our late beloved President Emeritus and founder of the UCE of FIT.
Kirby Budz has completed an AAS Degree in Fashion Design and will pursue a Bachelor's Degree in the same major. As the president of the Fashion Design Club, Kirby has been playing an integral role in organizing the Spring exhibition (showcasing students’ designs and giving students the opportunity to be judged by fashion industry critics) and scheduling visits by fashion industry guest speakers.
With a GPA 3.76, this member of Phi Theta Kappa and Student Ambassador is an active volunteer for causes such as Breast Cancer Walk, Make a Wish Foundation. After tragedy struck in Haiti, Kirby custom made fifty bags which were filled with school supplies and toiletries and sent to orphaned children after the earthquake.
Kirby’s goal is “to be happy everyday going to work...(and) to give back to others because I have been blessed with so many opportunities.”
Tyana Soto has earned an AAS in Communication Design and will continue her education toward a Bachelor’s degree in Packaging Design with a double minor in Spanish and Latin American Studies. Tanya keeps busy as a Presidential Scholar, a peer tutor in the Writing Studio, a Student Ambassador, volunteering at the Holy Apostles soup kitchen and the Haverstraw Center in Rockland; she has also contributed a mural painting for the Catholic Community Services in Rockland and volunteers for the Rockland County AmeriCorps. All the while, she maintains a GPA of 3.6. She is a passionate advocate for various causes against social inequality and endeavors to enlighten her peers and community on issues such as sexism, racism, domestic violence, and gender discrimination. Her goals, beyond FIT, include becoming an entrepreneur and also running a not for profit organization with the goal of empowering youth.
One of Tyana’s most memorable experiences was being the only woman volunteer with the AmeriCorps for her local department of Public Works, where she renovated public parks, painted traffic safety lines, plotted storm drains and took children on hikes.
Tyana takes “pride in [her] small community because [she] had a direct hand in its beautification.”
Palwasha Iqbal is an AAS Jewelry Design major who will continue her studies in Accessory Design with double minors in English and Art History, which has been a true source of inspiration for her design.
With a GPA of 3.72, this Presidential Scholar and treasurer for the Jewelry Club is a volunteer for a number of worthy causes such as NY Blood Center, Family Island Clinic, Baby buggy, FIT Thanksgiving Food Drive, Autism Speaks Auction but also cultivates diverse interests as an avid visitor to museums and theaters, an aficionada of instrumental music and as an equestrian.
Palwasha’s impressive professional experience includes being a Team Leader for Sacks Fifth Avenue Wear Department for the Ippolita Trunk Show at the Walt Whitman Mall and as a Sales Associate at Sacks Fifth Avenue where she trains new hires.
Palwasha’s future goals include owning her own design label which will focus on fine jewelry and accessories while keeping a watchful eye on the environmental impact and human cost of her industry, with mining, factory regulations, gemstone and fabric origins as a major concern.
"I want to educate my consumers to understand that accessories can be stylish and safe...I would use metals that...have been mined in safe conditions...in addition I would only use gems that can be traced to their original and humane sources…community service gives me a sense of global and social responsibility...community service also gives me a sense of humility."
2011 Scholarship Winners
We are delighted to announce the very talented 2011 United College Employees of FIT Leadership Scholars Commencement Award Winners.
This year all of the UCE awards are named after Louis Stollar, our much beloved and admired President Emeritus and founder of the UCE of FIT. Lou touched the lives of all who knew him at FIT with his compassion, commitment and advocacy and will be sorely missed.
Marisa Politi is currently earning an Associate Degree in Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design and will continue her studies toward a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Art Management and a double minor in Italian and Art History. Marisa maintains a GPA of 3.38 and a busy extra curricular life.
The community has benefited from her expertise and insights by inviting her to be a recurrent lecturer at the High School of Fashion Industries and a member of Student/Faculty roundtables at FIT. Marisa has raised money for breast cancer research and participated in various initiatives to send greeting cards to troops overseas, hospital patients and FIT incoming students. She is also a Student Ambassador, Hall of Art Manager, Mentor, Peer Leader, VP for the Italian Club and I love NY Club, a marathon runner and small business owner (CrystalCulture).
“Whatever career I end up with, I know that FIT will have helped prepare me for it.”
Nicole Lorden is an FMM major with a GPA of 3.93. She is the treasurer of FITSA Executive Board, an intern at Style Made Simple, an Ed Skills Peer Mentor, a Student Note-Taker, a Student Ambassador, member of Phi Theta Kappa and Merchandising Society Member of the Week. Among her activities, outside of FIT, she has been a participant in AIDS Walk, Avon Walk for Breast Cancer and Walk for Hospice. She also assists special needs individuals in the Special Olympics and volunteers at various Senior Centers.
While Nicole plans one day to own her own internationally successful fashion styling company, her tireless work as a mentor for special needs children has helped keep her grounded and shape her worldview:
“I respect them for their willingness not to let odious words affect them, and to grow from them…I admire their willingness to grow, learn and educate about the disability that affects their lives…They have special talents…and they can succeed in the same ways that any other person can.”
Luisa Fernanda Lezcano is an FMM major with a minor in psychology. A Presidential Scholar and member of Phi Theta Kappa, Luisa maintains a GPA of 3.88. In addition to her excellent academic achievements, Luisa volunteers for Urban Samaritan, Daughters of Miriam Senior Home, Eva’s Village Shelter and March of Dimes.
Luisa envisions a successful future as a product developer and hopes, some day, to give back to the industry that she loves by becoming a teacher.
“Volunteer service…[has] taught me another vision of love, the type of love that is not romantic or friendly, but one that is selfless and shared by every person in this world if they would just open their eyes to it.”
Julia Sinelnikova is Fine Arts major and Art History Minor, a Presidential Scholar and a member of Phi Theta Kappa. In addition to her outstanding academic achievements (Julia maintains a GPA of 4.0!), she is a volunteer with the non-profit organizations Urban Samaritan, Baby Buggy and with the Texas Campaign for the Environment.
Julia is an officer of FIT’s Fine Arts club Urban Studio where she participates in public works projects; she is a fundraiser and active member of Brooklyn’s Arts in Bushwick, where she has been the curator of an Open Studio Festival.
Julia is also a connoisseur of electronic music and a DJ.
When it comes to future goals Julia is clear about her passion for art and her social engagement:
“I believe people can fuse creative events and artwork with humanitarian causes…I plan to use my experience in galleries, museums and art festival planning to start new projects that can bring alternative art forms to the public, while nurturing collaboration and innovation in a variety of media.”
Chelsea Nicole Cooper is a FMM major with a GPA of 3.9. At FIT she has excelled as a Presidential Scholar, a Student Ambassador and member of BRAG. In her free time, Chelsea volunteers as an art therapist and works with autistic children, she is a member Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault, a tutor and mentor both at FIT and at the 92Y and a volunteer for the Riverside Park clean up Project.
Chelsea is also en enthusiast of Jazz and its history.
In the fall she will continue her studies for her Bachelor’s Degree pursuing a major in International Trade and Marketing and a minor in Psychology.
Chelsea is keenly interested in the ethical issues that surround mass production in a global economy:
“I am greatly concerned about the environment and the global community…I have realized that there is a great amount of work that can be done toward changing the ways garments are produced...by educating consumers about the cost of the garments—beyond the price tag…[the] human costs—I would hope there could be a change in the way we consume.”
2010 Scholarship Winners
Yecca Yexin Zeng, Emily Tsen, Kristina Marie HamsleyWe are very proud to
announce the 2010 UCE Leadership Scholars
Commencement Award Winners.
Three UCE Leadership Commencement Award of $3,000 went to Yecca Zeng, Emily Tsen and Kristina Hamsley.
Yecca has completes her AAS degree in Fashion Design and will pursue a BFA in the fall. This Presidential Scholar, Student Ambassador, Peer Writing Consultant at the FIT Writing Studio Maintains a GPA of 3.7. Yecca ha volunteered for the FIT Museum, planted ground-cover for the Riverside Park, mended clothing for Baby Buggy, cut ans sewed old museum banners for Urban Samaritan. In her free time Yecca likes to visits museums, shops at thrift stores, go to the theater and ballroom dancing. Her garments was chosen to be featured in the FIT Parent’s Day Fashion Show in 2009 and to be displayed at the FIT Alumni Scholarship Fundraiser.
“My talents were used in productive ways and I was able to become a part of a larger community.”
Emily spent her first two years at FIT studying FMM and will continue her studies in upper division towards a degree in International Trade and Marketing. This will provide Emily with a solid understanding of business and of the global market and a considerable knowledge in marketing and communication. Emily’s professional passion is for event planning and public relations and will pursue a career in these areas. A Phi Theta Kappa member, Emily is able to maintain an impressive GPA of 3.77 while serving in a leadership position as the FITSA Programming Board as Secretary/Treasurer. She is also and active tennis and volleyball player and a food lover.
“I am so thankful for all the accomplishments that I made thus far in my career and will continue to be a positive role for my fellow classmates.”
With a GPA of 3.14, Kristina has earned her AAS and will continue her studies toward a Bachelor’s degree in FMM in the Fall. Kristina is actively involved in numerous volunteer community activities: she works with children who suffer from juvenile diabetes at the Clara Barton Day Camp, raises funds for Toys for Tots and Wounded Warriors, she is a secretary of the FIT Culinary Club which donates food to local soup kitchens and is involved withe the The Knights of Columbus. Kristina is planning on becoming a CEO or owning her business .
“While teaching Juvenile Diabetic children the importance of healthy living, and taking care of your body, I am able to teach lessons that I’ve learned as well as learn new experiences from the children.”
2009 Scholarship Winners
Kathleen Groetz, Davita Louie, Princy Thomas, Lily Chen, Kayleigh Martin We are very proud to announce the recipients of the 2009 UCE Leadership Scholarship Commencement Awards.
The UCE Judith Parkas award of $3,000 went to Princy Thomas. Princy is a Fashion Merchandising Management major with a GPA of 3.6. Princy has volunteered for fashion events, raised money for the Merchandising Society, has written holiday cards for the troops at war and she has also been a Student Ambassador. Princy is extremely involved in the Mar Gregorious Orthodox Christian Student Movement and is a Sunday School Song Teacher and 4th Grade Teacher. In her capacity as a youth group leader, Princy has learned to be “extremely organized, dedicated and responsible.” Princy is planning one day to be the head of an internationally famous corporation.
Davita Louie received the UCE George Levinson award of $3,000. Davita is a Fashion Merchandising Management major with a GPA of 3.42. She has volunteered for innumerable charities which include Meals on Wheels, Housing Works, Diabetes Walk, Breast Cancer Walk, Down Syndrome Walk, Free Arts Day and Portraits of Hope. She has an impressive record in leadership positions as a Resident Assistant, Student Ambassador, Educational Skill Mentor, Merchandising Society Events Manager and Assistant Buyer, Computer Lab Monitor and Dynamic Diversity Organizer. “Volunteering has taught me to appreciate the things I have in my life, and what I have to be thankful for. I have also learned that I find great joy in knowing that I am helping others.” Davita enjoys hip hop, running, reading fiction and nonfiction, traveling, Italian Studies, art. She is a member of the Snow Club, I Love New York club and Merchandising Society club. Davita is planning a career in fashion journalism. She has embraced the cause of going green: “I now live a more sustainable life that I will carry on to live in the future.”
Kayleigh Martin was the recipient of The UCE Louis Stollar award of $3,000. Kayleigh is a Textile/Surface Design major with a GPA of 3.85. She is the president of the Textile Design club. Among her volunteer activities she has made holiday cards for children in the hospital and organized a collection of scarves, hats and gloves for a homeless shelter. She enjoys ballet, yoga, weaving, painting, running, reading and traveling. Kayleigh wants to lend the expertise she will gain from her FIT education to develop and design “sustainable and organic home textiles” and to establish “a holistic therapy program… to create an encouraging and rehabilitative program for children and young adults… based in art therapy.”
Kathleen Groetz was the recipient of the UCE Leadership Scholar award of $3,000. Kathleen sees herself as “a leader, a hard worker, and an innovator.” A future buyer, Kathleen is a Fashion Merchandising Management major with a GPA of 3.82, a Presidential Scholar and recipient of the FIT Foundation scholarship. Kathleen also finds time to volunteer at fashion industry events and be a leader in her role as Resident Assistant and Student Ambassador and Treasurer of the FIT Student Association.
While she holds strong opinions and convictions, her experience in a leadership capacity has taught her to listen to the opinions of others, “especially the quiet ones who do not always allow their opinions to be heard.” Kathleen relaxes reading, painting, sewing, gardening, playing guitar, volleyball, tennis and snowboarding.
Lily Chen was the recipient of The UCE Joseph Garofalo award of $3,000. She will pursue her Bachelor’s degree in Production Management. Lily is the Treasurer of the Production Management Club, a member of Phi Theta Kappa and was recently elected to the FIT Programming Board. She volunteers as an Arts & Crafts teacher at the Huntington Chinese Association and teaches inner city children how to dance. Lily plans to build her career in trend forecasting and / or product development.
2008 Scholarship Winners
The UCE Joseph Garofalo Award winner ($ 3000): Ashly Juskus, Fashion Merchandise Management
The UCE Judith M. Parkas award ($3,000) winner: Abigail Kong, Fashion Merchandise Management
The UCE George Levinson award ($3,000) winner: Thachapatt Hirunyapapong, Illustration
The UCE Lou Stollar award ($3,000) winner: Joseph Mirisola, Photography
It's that time of year when we happily announce the 2008 United College Employees Leadership Scholarship and Commencement Award Winners.
We're awarding $3,000 scholarships to four outstanding young students and extending our most heartfelt congratulations to them and to their families.
Ashly Juskus,The UCE Joseph Garofalo Award, Fashion Merchandise Management
Ashly is a Presidential Scholar with a GPA of 3.87. She has been a Merchandising Society Member of the Week and is the designer of the Baker’s Scholars Newsletter. Next Spring, Ashly is hoping to attend the Westminster University of London Exchange Program, while her long term career goals include participating in a corporate executive training program after completing her Bachelor’s Degree and working for a large corporation that caters to the mass market. Ashly enjoys a wide range of activities, which include singing, running, decoupage and reading the New York Times, but she also finds the time to think about those who are less fortunate than she is, those who “need my time more than me.” She selflessly volunteers for Meals on Wheels, Toys for Tots, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, Walk to Cure Diabetes and finds her charitable activities rewarding and enriching.
Agigail Kong, THE UCE Judith M. Parkas Award, Fashion Merchandise Management
Abigail is a Presidential Scholar and member of Phi Theta Kappa with a GPA of 3.84. She has gained important leadership skills as a Student Ambassador and valuable experience in understanding human nature and addressing and navigating delicate personal and interpersonal situations as a member of the Conduct Judicial Board. Abigail is headed to Florence to study at Polimoda next year and to gain “international experience that will make me better suited and more valuable when entering the job market.” Abigail’s many talents include painting, jewelry design, writing (she has published her work in Icon Magazine and Words Anthology) and fencing. Her professional goals include seeking a General Merchandise Manager Position and returning to FIT for a Master of Professional Studies degree in Global Fashion Management.
“My grades reflect my consistent dedication to academic excellence, while the excess courses I have taken indicate that I am a student who has an unquenchable thirst for learning.”
Thachapatt Hirunyapapong, The UCE George Levinson Award, Illustration
When Thachapatt immigrated to the United States by himself to live with his aunt, he had to adjust to an entirely new language, culture and way of life. Thachapatt embraced the challenges of his new life and turned them into a way of gaining strength, character and integrity. At FIT this Presidential Scholar and gifted illustrator maintains a GPA of 3.92. In his spare time he tutors young students (ranging from 1st to 12th grade) in an impressive range of subjects, from Math to English, Specialized High School Exams and SATs. He volunteers at the Thai Temple of Wat Bhuddathaithavorn washing dishes and maintaining the backyard. He also enjoys reading Japanese comics and trains in martial arts.
Thachapatt lives by the motto he once heard from an Illustrator:
“Never see art as a subject or a job. It is a lifestyle we choose to live for.”
Joseph Mirisola, The UCE Louis Stollar Award, PhotographyAt FIT, this talented photographer follows the distinguished footsteps of his grandmother, Marie Mirisola (who was in the first Graduating Class of 1946) of his cousin Charlie Mirisola (Class of 2007). Joseph juggles an impressive range of professional engagements, his volunteer work at Mary Manning Walsh Nursing Home helping with physical and occupational therapy for the elderly, he is an active member of the Photography Club and a hard-working student, maintaining a GPA of 3.3. Joseph’s hobbies include cooking and Al Pacino’s films.
Joseph aspires one day to be a “well-known and respected fashion photographer” and publish his “work on the cover of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.” After a successful career, Joseph hopes to return to the university to teach photography and become a mentor to motivated and talented students.
2007 Scholarship Winners
The UCE Joseph Garofalo award ($3,000) winner: Sara Cortese, Fashion Merchandise Management
The UCE Lou Stollar award ($3,000) winner: Kristyn Corino, Fashion Merchandise Management
The UCE Judith M. Parkas award ($3,000) winner: Meisha Hill, Advertising Marketing Communications
The UCE George Levinson award ($3,000) winner: Andrea Livengood, Fashion Merchandise Management
“When you get the chance to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance” was the advice of Kristyn’s mother when she moved to New York City from her native Oklahoma to attend F.I.T. And Kristyn, who considers “family the biggest blessing and inspiration” in life was listening. A Fashion Merchandising Management Major with a 3.55 GPA, Kristyn is a Student Ambassador Coordinator, Industry Liaison for the Merchandising Society, Women’s Wear Daily Intern and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Member. When she is not exploring NYC and its cultural resources you can find Kristyn enjoying a NY Yankees game. Kristyn admires Anna Wintour and aspires to become a successful fashion editor and ultimately start her own fashion magazine.
“I plan on staying in New York City for a long time; however I will never forget my roots. My final dream is to bring the fashion industry down South.”
A Fashion Merchandising Management Major with a GPA of 3.65, Sara is a Student Ambassador and the VP for Membership for the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. While planning to become a buyer for a successful catalogue, Sara values being involved in initiatives that benefit both her community and the environment. She volunteered at Camp Hope in New Orleans for Habitat for Humanity. Her studies at F.I.T. have contributed to broaden Sara’s horizons and to open her mind to new experiences, new languages, new types of music and cultures. Sara, who has a passion for travel, spent the summer in London, Paris and Milan and plans to return to Florence to study for a semester.
“In my future career, I would also like to be part of a company that gets involved in their community, may it be volunteer services or creating an echo-friendly environment.”
A Major in Advertising and Marketing Communication, Meisha is a Presidential Scholar who maintains a GPA of 3.97. She is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society, a Student Ambassador and a volunteer for worthy initiatives, such as Books for Africa, the Great American Smoke Out, Girl Scout Workshop and Breast Cancer Walk. Meisha, who grew up in Australia, is planning on spending a semester in Florence to study first hand the art she has greatly admired in her art history courses. Meisha wants one day to own her own advertising and marketing firm and is prepared to face the challenges that her goal entails.
“Despite growing up in a society where the glass ceiling for females is rapidly evaporating, a successful business run solely by a young woman is still something to be admired, and a goal to which I aspire. A goal I am prepared to work extremely hard to achieve.”
A Fashion Merchandising Management major with a GPA of 3.6 Andrea will pursue her Bachelor’s studies as an Advertising and Marketing Communication major.
When she is not volunteering for the Lower East Side Soup Kitchen or the Food Network Iron Skillet Cook-Off this Student Ambassador enjoys church choir, ballet, music and exercising. Andrea is an advocate and practitioner of teamwork and collaboration. Her studies at F.I.T. have encouraged and supported Andrea’s love for pursuing a broad knowledge and global perspective in an increasingly shrinking world.
“Teamwork and group work are things that I like…I hope that I will always have enthusiasm for my career and the turns it may take. Enthusiasm can make or break any project.”
2006 Scholarship Awards Dinner
Juliette J. Romano (President, UCE of FIT)On Wednesday, May 10, 2006, members of the UCE gathered in the David Dubinsky Student Center to honor three outstanding FIT graduates of the Class of 2006 and their families at the Seventh Annual Louis Stollar / UCE Scholarship Awards Ceremony.
Juliette J. Romano (President, UCE of FIT) opened the festivities and welcomed everybody to this lovely ceremony, which was made possible by the dedicated efforts of the UCE Scholarship Awards Committee (Roberta Elins, Carol Poll, Spencer Schein, Rena Sussman-Silverman, Sally White, Philip Milio –Chairperson) and of the UCE Scholarship Fund Raiser Committee (Eric Ramirez, Mary Ellen Rhatigan, Ellen Shanley, Ellen Litzas).
Representing his father, retired Professor and former UCE President Louis Stollar, Mark Stollar presented Irina Sarnetskaya “The Louis Stollar Scholarship ($ 3,000.00).” Irina is a Photography major with a keen eye on the importance of “concise, clear instruction” when aspiring to be a good leader.
Professor Judith Parkas, retired UCE Executive Vice President, presented the Scholarship in her name ($ 3,000.00) to Samantha Li, a Packaging Design major who is planning to move on to a Communication Design Baccalaureate. Samantha strives to strike a balance between career and family and to contribute to society with the positive values of her family tradition.
Professor Joseph A. Garofalo, retired UCE Treasurer, presented the Scholarship in his name ($ 3,000.00) to Claire LaRoche, an Advertising and Marketing Communications Baccalaureate student. Claire values business acumen and creativity; she is also passionate about civil and animal rights and plans to lend hers skills to not-forprofit organizations.
In her impassioned remarks, Judith Parkas addressed the numerous students attending the ceremony, reminding them of the importance and contributions of organized Labor to our society and educational organization, and lamenting its systematic erosion in recent past years.
Judy Wood with the three scholarship winners: Claire LaRoche, Irina Sarnetskaya & Samantha Li.
A highlight of the evening was a surprise lifetime achievement award presented to one of the most dedicated and distinguished UCE retired members and officers, Professor Judy Wood for her lifelong commitment to the Union and passion and dedication to political activism.