2023 Scholarship Winner

Nicholas Alexis

We are delighted to announce the 2023 UCE Leadership Scholarship Award Winner, Nicholas Alexis. 


Boasting a GPA of 3.64, Nicholas has successfully completed his AAS in Advertising and Marketing Communications. He is poised to further his education by pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in the same field starting in the Fall.


This academic journey equips Nicholas with a robust skill set in marketing and communication, laying a solid foundation to fulfill his career aspirations. His ambitions are well-defined: to kickstart his career as a social media manager for a burgeoning startup, eventually transitioning to spearhead the social media presence and Web 3.0 advancements of a prominent brand.


Throughout his academic pursuits, Nicholas has maintained an impressive academic record while actively engaging in leadership roles. Notably, he served as one of FIT’s orientation leaders, assumed the role of social manager within the Student Life Department, and founded and led the Boxing Club—a rapidly growing entity within FIT's extracurricular landscape.

During his leisure time, Nicholas dedicates himself to maintaining a healthy lifestyle through exercise, indulges in graphic design and video editing, and enjoys unwinding with video games.


Nicholas eloquently reflects on his journey of growth, embodying the essence of leadership he has cultivated.


As a leader, I have learned that simply being the loudest person in the room does not guarantee success…Patience is one of the essential skills I have learned as a leader…I have also learned the importance of being adaptable…[and] fostering a collaborative and supportive environment.”


Please join us in congratulating Nicholas on his accomplishments. 

 2021 Scholarship Winners

Tina Yap

We are delighted to announce the 2021 UCE Leadership Scholarship Award Winner, Tina Yap. 


With an overall GPA of 3.94 (4.0 in the Liberal Arts) Tina has earned an Associate Degree in Fashion Design and will continue her upper division education in Textile/Surface Design.

Tina is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, of Delta Alpha Pi Honors Society (DAPI), which recognizes students with disabilities who strive to achieve excellence despite their challenges, and a Presidential Scholar. In addition to her academic excellence, Tina is an engaged member of society who gives generously of her time for countless worthy causes and volunteer activities. 

Tina is a tireless advocate for herself and for other students with disabilities who seek support and a safe space for their voices to be heard. She is passionate about challenging negative stereotypes associated with disabilities and about raising awareness of issues related to mental health in Asian-American communities. 

In New York, Tina has volunteered with the NYC Foodbank, an organization that helps to deliver quality excess produce from vendors – she has worked closely with the vendors at the Union Square Market – to churches that provide food for families in need. She has also spearheaded Virtual food drives leveraging her social media presence to help restock the NYC community fridges in neighborhoods that were hard hit by the financial fallout of the COVID crisis. On the West Coast, Tina has collaborated with the Western Service Workers Association, canvassing local RV home settlements to help spread awareness about benefits available through WSWA, which include food, clothes, dental work, legal aid, and transportation to a job. 

"What makes me a leader is the fact that I inspire those around me to see their full potential by leading by example. I’m not the type of leader to give advice that I haven’t personally tried before or have gone through myself. I draw on my challenging life experiences to help me connect with my peers and to support them through their own challenging times."


Please join us in congratulating Tina on her accomplishments. 

                                  Tuyetlien Nguyen

We are delighted to announce the 2021 UCE Joseph Garofalo Leadership Scholars Commencement Award Winner, Tuyetlien Nguyen.


Hailing from Massachusetts, Tuyetlien has earned an Associate Degree in Advertising, Marketing and Communications maintaining a 3.9 GPA. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing at FIT and plans to enter the Beauty industry. Tuyetlien is a member of the FIT Presidential Scholars Program and her leadership positions include Co-Chairing the Committee for Service Activities for the Bakers Scholars and membership in the FIT Asian Student Network; she has been awarded the Student of the Week acknowledgement by the FIT Asian Student Network. Her community contributions extend well beyond the FIT campus. In partnership with the FIT Presidential Scholars, she has served for Volunteers of America and has also participated in programs that send cards to St. Jude’s Hospital patients. 


Community service has taught me to become appreciative of whatever happens to me or comes my way. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a comfortable life, and I learned how to become mindful of what I say and what I do. Some people are silently struggling in the world and sometimes these people are closer than we expect.” 


Please join us in congratulating Tuyetlien on her accomplishments. 

  2020 Scholarship Winner

                                  Nicole Gehan

We are delighted to announce the 2020 UCE Leadership Scholars Commencement Award Winner.



Nicole Gehan maintains a GPA of 3.98. She has been awarded the Associates Degree in Advertising, Marketing and Communications and will be pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing at FIT beginning Fall 2020.


As President of Phi Theta Kappa, she has led such projects as Honors In Action, which focuses on the research of food waste and food insecurity. As a member, she has received the Five Star Chapter Award, the highest honor given. In her capacity as President she also volunteers with the organization Rescue Leftover Cuisine and is in the process of implementing a similar program on the FIT campus while working with the Information Technology Department, the Department of Student Life and the Health Department on campus.


In addition to her generous community work with Phi Theta Kappa and her many contributions to the FIT community, Nicole volunteers for the Diabetes Research Foundation, a cause close to her heart, she is a Tour Guide for the Admissions Office and is in the Presidential Scholar’s program (on the Dean’s List every semester at FIT).  She is currently a member of the Cosmetics and Fragrance Association and is interning at Estee Lauder. Nicole. In her hometown, she is a Project Coordinator for Haiti Hope and Promise and has raised $10,000.


“I think some of the most applicable skills are learned through community service, but for me, the most important one is to always have an unwavering sense of motivation. It is experiences like these that humble me and make me realize how important it is to give back to the community that you are a part of. It is people like the ones I meet through my service projects that show me what real motivation is as they do not let their situation hinder them. Seeing their determination makes me want to extend my reach even further and give my all at everything I do.”


Please join us in congratulating Nicole.

  2019 Scholarship Winners

                                  Brooke Leitner

                                    Emily Omesi

                                   Sabrina Jenney

We are delighted to announce the 2019 UCE Leadership Scholars Commencement Award Winners.



Brooke Leitner has earned an AAS Degree in Communication Design and will continue her upper division studies as an Advertising and Digital Design major.


Brooke maintains a GPA of 3.59, is a Phi Theta Kappa member, a student ambassador and outreach director of social media. Brooke is a committed volunteer for the Ronald McDonald House and for “Run for the Homeless.”


“Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved giving. Whether it was reheating day-old coffee on the counter to give to my mom or baking treats for families at the Ronald McDonald House, making others feel special, cared for, and loved has always been in my heart. I’ve always given to others without expecting anything in return, so to be honored with the 2019 UCE Leadership Scholarship and recognized for something I’ve always practiced fills my heart with complete joy and puts me in an extremely grateful position. This scholarship will help me reach my goals this fall, when I start my education in the Advertising and Digital Design BFA program and continue to take on larger roles in the community service club on campus (FIT Outreach), in my job off-campus, in my future career field, and on my unique journey as a young adult in NYC. I am honored, grateful, and overjoyed to represent the UCE of FIT, sharing the time-honored values of community, character, and commitment through this scholarship and I thank them deeply for this opportunity.”



Sabrina Jenney


Sabrina Jenney has earned an AAS in Advertising and Marketing Communications and will continue her education toward a Bachelor’s degree in the same major. Sabrina maintains a GPA of 3.66 while keeping busy as a Presidential Scholar and Vice President of Membership for the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. On behalf of  PTK she volunteers for a variety of activities including raising money for Breast Cancer Research with Flag Football events in Central Part and assisting with the Annual Animal Therapy event at the FIT Library.


“Winning this scholarship means the world to me. Over the last two years during my tenure at FIT, I have been determined to work to the best of my ability and be open to new learning experiences. I have financially struggled due to my economic background as a full-time student working part-time in retail sales, so having scholarship funds to help me in fulfilling my studies at FIT would be very beneficial for me. I will use the leadership abilities and mindset that I acquired in class projects, in volunteering, and as Vice President of Membership in extracurricular activities like Phi Theta Kappa to obtain my Bachelor's degree with a strong focus in public relations and marketing. My ultimate goal in life is to work somewhere where I will develop a passion for the work I do, such as working at innovative media, network, entertainment, and fashion companies like Marvel, Tumblr, NBC Studios, Warner Bros., Netflix, Warby Parker, Gucci, or Amazon. With this scholarship and the need-based grants I have been awarded, I can complete my education and continue to build strong brands from the ground up."



Emily Omesi


Emily Omesi has completed an AAS in Fashion Design with a double certification in Haute Couture and Patternmaking while maintaining a GPA of 3.69. She will continue her studies towards a BFA in Fashion Design with a study abroad semester at Central Saint Martins in London.  Emily is a member of Phi Theta Kappa and a recipient of a Gruss Scholarship and AAS Critic Award. She volunteers for a variety of organizations including NY Cares, PS 1 M (assisting young children develop literacy skills) and the Special Olympics Bowling Team.


"Being awarded the UCE Scholarship of FIT is a prestigious honor, which I am wholly grateful for. The UCE Scholarship awards students who exemplify strong leadership skills and volunteer in their school and community, and I am obliged to be able to represent FIT as a leader along with my fellow peers. I will continue to give-back to my community, and hope to inspire others on the importance of volunteering. "


  2018 Scholarship Winners

Rachel Brosman
Megan Good

The UCE Scholarship Committee is very proud to announce the two outstanding 2018 UCE Leadership Scholars Commencement Award Winners: Rachel Brosman and Megan Good.



Rachel is an Advertising and Marketing Communications major who will continue her studies toward a Bachelor’s Degree in AMC. With a GPA of 3.83 Rachel, a Baker Scholar, is a focused student who gives back to her community as a volunteer for many causes, including the NY Public Library and Fox House in Harlem as well as to our environment, giving of her time for cleaning and weeding efforts at Leif Ericson Park.


Rachel considers herself a feminist and a social activist, she makes YouTube career videos in order to share her experiences and insights with other budding professionals.


She loves exploring NYC and availing herself of all the city has to offer, including “eating at vegan restaurants, browsing thrift stores and exploring the city’s nightlife.” At the same time she has an interest in the world beyond NYC, and she is mastering the Spanish language in preparation for her travels to Europe.


Megan is completing an AAS Degree in Fashion Merchandising Management and will pursue a Bachelor's Degree in the same major. During her Associate’s degree Megan was part of an impressive team that drafted a new business model and and marketing strategy for Goodwill. This plan was chosen for implementation.


While maintaining a GPA of 3.88, Megan volunteers for numerous worthy causes, including New York Cares, Riverside Park Clean Up, Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, Bidawee Animal Shelter. Megan’s hobbies include reading, writing sewing.


There is international travel in Megan’s immediate future: she is minoring in Italian and planning to study overseas.


Leadership has taught Megan “to be patient and kind to everyone because…it is important to harbor kind relations and impressions with everybody…it is important to hear everyone’s ideas and keep an open mind.”




  2017 Scholarship Winner

Maria Parvenov


We are delighted to announce the talented and accomplished winner of the 2017 United College Employees Scholarship Commencement Award. 


The UCE Leadership Award of $ 3,000 is awarded to 

Maria Parvenov.


Maria has completed her AAS degree in Textile/Surface Design and will continue her education toward a Bachelor’s Degree in the same field this fall. She is a Presidential Scholar and an active member of her community. She volunteers for a variety of organizations including West Side Against Hunger, Clean Up at Cunningham Park (Queens), Fox House Shelter for Women and Children, Holiday Caroling at Masonicare Hospital. 


Maria’s interests are diverse and impressive, ranging from rock climbing and hiking to ballet, gymnastics, tattoo design and hula hoop dance (she is the President of the Hoop Troop Club at FIT). 


A native of Russia, she was already an accomplished violinist and dancer when she relocated, at a young age, to Connecticut where she joined the New Haven Ballet Company and assisted a former Olympic coach to train Connecticut’s rhythmic gymnastic team.


At FIT Maria maintains an impressive 3.96 GPA.


“Volunteer service has helped me grow closer to my community here in this big unknown city,”  Maria writes; volunteering has been “an amazing opportunity to meet and learn from others….I have learned not to take what I have in life for granted, to appreciate all that is given to me and I am lucky enough to have in my life.”



  2016 Scholarship Winners

With a  GPA 3.77 Alexandra (Allie) Carter will complete her Associate Degree in Fashion Business Management in May 2016 and pursue a BA in International Fashion Business Management starting in the fall (studying at Polimoda –Florence during her junior year).


Allie feels that she was destined to study at FIT: she fell in love with the school and with fashion from the moment she walked on 7th Avenue, stepped into the Museum at FIT and marveled at its dazzling collection at the age of 12.  Now an FIT student, she is thrilled to be surrounded by peers who are as motivated, driven and hard working as she is.


Allie masterfully juggles her academic responsibilities and an internship at Diane von Furstenberg while also working as a Fashion Correspondent for WFIT,  contributing as a member of FIT Merchandising Society and running the  Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society as the President. 


In spite of her demanding schedule Allie also finds time to volunteer for organizations such as Making Strides Breast Cancer Walk, NY Best Fiends Pop Up Adoption and Animal Therapy.  Giving back to her community comes natural to Allie; in fact, this is a model set and constantly reinforced by Allie’s family, especially her mother, with her unwavering involvement with her church and community.


A Liberal Art course “Ecology and Environmental Problems” has sparked Allie’s passion for the environment and challenged Allie to rethink her life and her daily choices.


“I truly love the environment that FIT has created for me…I have learned how important it is to be able to work with people and collaborate for the better of an organization”

In May 2016 Grace McCarty will earn an Associate Degree in International Fashion Design with a GPA of 3.73 and in the fall she will continue in the Bachelor’s program in Fashion Design.


This member of Phi Theta Kappa, while studying for her Associate Degree in Florence at Polimoda, volunteered for various initiatives such as the National Food Collection and Corri la vita (a cancer walk). Participating in this kind of work overseas, in a context very different from that of home, opened up a whole new dimension and depth about caring for others.  


Grace shared with the Scholarship committee a very personal story  about the training she received in a teaching methodology called RPM (Rapid Prompting Method) to help her brother, who is autistic and non verbal, communicate and learn with age appropriate materials. This technique involves constant, fast-paced questioning, prodding, and engaging, combined with the use of a low-tech alphabet board for spelled communication. This experience, Grace explained, taught her patience, perseverance and helped her learn from her brother love and forgiveness.


Grace is an avid runner (both cross country and track) but also a visual artist and a jewelry designer. Her career goals include becoming a successful designer and to showcase her work during New York Fashion Week while focussing on sustainable, echo friendly and ethical fashion.


“I believe that every human being should be treated with respect…a human life should not be less important than an five-dollar shirt. We have a moral responsibility to end exploitation in garment factories around the world.”

 2015 Scholarship Winner

The UCE Scholarship Committee is delighted to announce the outstanding 2015 UCE Leadership Scholars Commencement Award Winner.

Nathalie Albertsmayer

This spring semester, Nathalie Albertsmeyer is completing her Associate Degree with a Major in Textile Development and Marketing, and an impressive cumulative GPA of 3.84. Nathalie has been on the Dean’s List her entire academic career at the Fashion Institute of Technology. In the fall Nathalie will return to campus to continue her studies towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Textile Development and Marketing.

Nathalie is planning on pursuing a career in industrial textiles which will give her the opportunity to “travel, lead a team, do research and make decisions that affect my surroundings positively.”

The selection committee was deeply impressed by Nathalie’s academic talent as well as by the social engagement and the inspiring level of commitment she brings to all of her extra curricular activities.

“Regardless of the company’s industry, business decisions should not only depend on profit, but also on whether or not actions are sustainable and socially correct,” said Nathalie of one of her guiding principles.

Nathalie has a remarkable track record of leveraging her academic work at FIT into opportunities found in the business world. She eloquently discusses how a course on “Forensics and Fiber Analysis” has shaped her future and evolved into an internship with Apple on the soft goods development team, a prestigious position for which she successfully competed against material science and textile engineering students.

In addition to being the AVP for Activities for the American Association Of Textile Chemists & Colorists (A.A.T.C.C.) Student Club, Nathalie is the Founder, VP and campus ambassador of Half the Sky Club, a global movement established to empower women. Determined to get her peers informed and engaged in crises such as sex trafficking, violence against women and genital mutilation, Nathalie organized the screening of a documentary about the Half the Sky organization. The screening stimulated lively conversations, ultimately galvanizing students to morph these discussions into an official club carrying out different initiatives including community outreach with women’s shelters.

Nathalie generously gives of her time to other worthy causes. An athlete and recipient of the Volleyball Regional Championship All Tournament Player Award, she volunteers for K.E.E.N. (Kids Enjoy Exercise Now), a national non-profit volunteer organization providing recreational opportunities for children with developmental and physical disabilities. Nathalie also volunteers as an assistant teacher with elementary school children for a course on “Needles, Felt and Wool.”

In addition to her academic life and positions of leadership, Nathalie enjoys cooking, sports, music and reading.

The UCE Scholarship Committee would like to thank the UCE of FIT Executive Committee for its generous support of these important scholarships. Leadership Scholarships are awarded annually by the UCE Scholarship Fund to outstanding FIT students completing a two-year FIT AAS program, and who have been accepted into an FIT upper division program in the fall semester. Student candidates must both demonstrate academic excellence and have contributed as leaders to FIT and / or their home community during their two years at FIT.

2014 Scholarship Winners

The UCE Scholarship Committee is very proud to announce the three outstanding 2014 UCE Leadership Scholars Commencement Award Winners.

Priyanka Anand is an Advertising and Marketing Communications major who will continue her studies toward a Bachelor’s degree in AMC. With a GPA of 3.88, Priyanka is a focused, organized person who brings the same competence, enthusiasm and steadfast level of commitment to her academic endeavors and to her volunteer activities. Priyanka is a Student Ambassador, PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America) National Conference Delegate, PRSSA Treasurer, Student Ambassador and Orientation Leader.
Priyanka’s long term career plans include gaining experience in Marketing, Public Relations, Advertising and Event Planning and eventually leveraging these diverse skills to secure a managing position in Human Resources. She is also planning to relocate to California and, eventually, to settle down in Vancouver.

“A great recruiter or talent acquisition manager is someone who fully understands the needs of particular teams based on their own work in that field.”

There is a lot of international travel in Priyanka’s immediate future: a summer internship in the UK will be followed, in the fall, by a semester of study in Spain which will also include extensive travels throughout Italy to admire the works of art Priyanka has learned to love in her Art History courses.

Eleonora Kukuy is completing an AAS Degree in Fashion Merchandising and Management and will pursue a Bachelor's Degree in the same major. Eleonora maintains an overall GPA of 3.58. She is a Phi Theta Kappa member and a volunteer for numerous worthy causes, including the Prospect Park Alliance, which is devoted to keeping the park clean and preserving its wildlife. Eleonora’s hobbies include tennis, the environment, art and museum visits, history, exploring flea markets and travel and exploration. Next academic year Eleonora is heading to Florence to study at Polimoda.
Inspired by companies such as Stella McCartney and Origins Cosmetics, Eleonora’s long-term goal is “to start a fashion company that produces environmentally friendly clothing…[which is] fashionable and environmentally conscious while eliminating waste and harmful toxins throughout its productions.”

With a GPA of 3.82 Krista Pershinsky is completing an AAS in Advertising and Marketing Communications and will continue her education toward a Bachelor’s degree in AMC. In addition to her academic excellence, Krista gives of her time selflessly to deserving causes such as the Breast Cancer Walk, Relay for Life and various homeless organizations. This Phi Theta Kappa member is an avid reader, with a particular fondness for first person narratives; she is also passionate about the theatre, music and a capella music. In addition to being an accomplished musician (Krista plays the piano, the guitar and ukulele), she performs in a Gospel Choir and is the founder and president of the FIT Skyliners’ club, the secretary of the FIT Theatre ensemble and an RA alternate.
Krista’s future goals include founding and running her own event planning company and giving back to the FIT community by offering internships to future students and she plans “not to get too wrapped up in the financial aspect of my job, but to focus on the happiness of my clients.”

The UCE Scholarship committee would like to thank the UCE of FIT Executive Committee for its generous support of these important scholarships.

Leadership Scholarships are awarded by the UCE Scholarship Fund annually to outstanding FIT students completing a two-year FIT AAS program who have been accepted into an FIT upper division program in the fall semester. Student candidates must both demonstrate academic excellence and have contributed as leaders to FIT and / or their home community during their two years at FIT.

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 Hamsley

We 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

Kristyn Corino

“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.”

Sara Cortese

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.”

Meisha Hill

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.”

Andrea Livengood

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.
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UCE of FIT Scholarship Fund