Four UCNJ Students Selected as Semifinalists for Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship

CRANFORD – UCNJ is proud to announce that four of its students are semifinalists for the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundation (JKCF) Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The semifinalists are Mark Farag, of Elizabeth; Sophia Morales, of Linden; Luana Rampelotti, of Hillside; and George Stevens, of Kenilworth. This scholarship provides up to $55,000 per year for community college students to continue their education at a four-year accredited undergraduate school in any area of study. All four of UCNJ’s semifinalists are members of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the International Honor Society for two-year colleges, and maintain a 3.8 GPA or higher.

The four semifinalists from left to right: George Stephens, Sophia Morales, Mark Farag, and Luana Rampelotti.

Students that are considered for this scholarship are hard workers, leaders in their community, and demonstrate a need for further support to continue their education. To qualify for this highly competitive award, students must have at least a 3.5 GPA.  When a student is selected as a JKCF Transfer Scholar, they receive financial support for two to three years to complete their bachelor’s degree.

UCNJ’s four semifinalists are all heavily involved on campus with high aspirations for their careers and are using the solid foundation UCNJ has provided them as they continue to further their education.

Mark Farag, from Elizabeth, is currently majoring in Engineering and has a 3.924 GPA. He is also the President of PTK and is an American Honors Student. Mark works full time and is currently serving as an ambassador for NASA. His career goal is to become a project manager engineer in the aerospace.

Sophia Morales is from Linden and is a Visual Arts major with a 3.94 GPA. She is an active member of PTK and serves as the Vice President of Fellowship. Sophia is also an American Honors Student, part of the History Club, and the Gay Straight Alliance. Sophia would like to work as a video game or short film animator.

Luana Rampelotti is an Engineering student from Hillside with a 4.0 GPA. She is a member of PTK and co-captain for the College’s Track and Field Team. She was selected to be part of the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars and hopes to continue her education in creation and design of autonomous robots.

George Stevens, from Kenilworth, is also majoring in Engineering with a 3.824 GPA. He serves as PTK’s Committee Leader of Communications and is an American Honors Student. George hopes to major in Electrical Engineering when he continues his education at a four-year school. With this education, he strives to create something new and innovative that everyone can use.

”We are proud of these bright, hardworking students and are thrilled that the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation has recognized their potential. The opportunity of not having to worry about the cost of continuing your education is priceless, and I hope that all four of these fantastic students receive the Scholarship,” stated UCNJ’s President Dr. Margaret M. McMenamin.

Finalists for the JKCF Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship is expected to be announced in May.

For more information about UCNJ, please visit and for more information on the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, please go to