Twenty Manhattan College Students to Receive James Patterson Scholarships

College honors 20 juniors and seniors as the 2014-15 recipients of scholarships established by best-selling author James Patterson ’69.

Best-selling author James Patterson ’69 will award $110,000 in academic scholarships to Manhattan College, marking the third consecutive year that a group of Manhattan students will receive James Patterson Scholarships. Ten juniors and ten seniors from the Schools of Arts, Business, Education and Health, Engineering, and Science are recipients of the 2014-15 scholarships.

Patterson began the scholarship program to recognize and reward the academic achievement and leadership potential of Manhattan College students. The 20 students were awarded the scholarships based on merit, need and involvement in activities related to the College’s mission. Patterson generously funded two additional scholarships, increasing the total from 18 recipients during the 2013-14 academic year.

“This scholarship program at my alma mater recognizes hard-working students who combine academic excellence with the Lasallian values that the College embodies,” Patterson said. “With this recognition, my hope is that these students will continue to excel at Manhattan College and after they graduate.”

The scholarship recipients include:


  • Adele Foster, English (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.)
  • Celena Gonzalez, history (Bronx, N.Y.)
  • Kaitlin Hargaden, special education (Selden, N.Y.)
  • Paige Hughes, urban studies (Ticonderoga, N.Y.)
  • Kaitlin Lang, civil engineering (Breezy Point, N.Y.)
  • Nicole Moore, communication (Bloomingdale, Ill.)
  • Kelly Paulemon, marketing (Bronx, N.Y.)
  • Marissa Piazza, chemical engineering (Fair Lawn, N.J.)
  • Valerie Scarinci, chemical engineering (Staten Island, N.Y.)
  • Nimra Shabbir, English and philosophy (Richmond Hill, N.Y.)


  • Francisco Alvarez, government and international studies (Thermal, Calif.)
  • Emily Bellas, special education (Bellerose, N.Y.)
  • Alexandra Cerrati, exercise science (Stony Point, N.Y.)
  • Joseph Cusmano, communication (Rochelle Park, N.J.)
  • Claire Leaden, communication and French (Cutchogue, N.Y.)
  • Sean McIntyre, marketing (Frederick, Md.)
  • Tina Nitis, marketing (Yonkers, N.Y.)
  • Juanita Pacheco, management and computer information systems (Bronx, N.Y.)
  • Aldiana Perazic, biology (New York, N.Y.)
  • Donika Zherka, secondary education (Yorktown Heights, N.Y)

The scholarship program will award $5,000 to each of the 20 recipients. All of the seniors are eligible to apply to receive one of four additional awards in the amount of $2,500 based on essay submissions. The seniors will submit essays describing their various accomplishments during junior year and their personal vision for plans after graduation.

"The Patterson Scholars are among our brightest rising stars," said Brennan O'Donnell, president of Manhattan College. "Thanks to the continued generosity of James Patterson, we are able to recognize and support them as they strive for excellence inside and outside the classroom." 

Patterson holds the Guinness record for the most consecutive No. 1 novels on The New York Times Best Sellers List, and is most famous for his best-selling Alex Cross, Women's Murder Club and Michael Bennett series. 

As an author, Patterson is passionate about encouraging people of all ages to read. He recently has pledged $1 million to a number of independent bookstores across the country, allowing them to invest in improvements, provide employee bonuses and expand literacy outreach programs in their communities. In addition, the Patterson Family Foundation awards scholarships to students at 21 different colleges and universities around the country.

MC Staff