Twenty Students Receive James Patterson ’69 Scholarships

The best-selling novelist and Manhattan College alum continues to give back.

James Patterson at June 2018 book signingJames Patterson ’69 has committed to awarding academic scholarships to 20 Manhattan College students for the seventh consecutive year. The best-selling author and philanthropist’s scholarship is given to 10 juniors and 10 seniors from the Schools of Liberal Arts, Education and Health, Engineering, Science and the O’Malley School of Business.

Patterson started the scholarship program to recognize and reward Manhattan College students who have achieved excellent academic standing and have shown leadership potential, especially those interested in the field of education. All 20 students received the scholarships based on merit, need and involvement in activities that are tied to the College’s Lasallian mission.

“I’m proud to support this group of students in their academic and cocurricular activities,” Patterson said. “Manhattan College is a very special place to me, and I hope these awards help support these extraordinary Jaspers during their college careers.”

The scholarship recipients include:


Taylor Aloisio, childhood education (East Rockaway, N.Y.)
Shannon Colford, communication (Epping, N.H.)
Miguel Diaz, mechanical engineering (Bronx, N.Y.)
Patricia Egan, philosophy (Shrewsbury, Mass.)
Sonia Ethakkan, chemical engineering (Nanuet, N.Y.)
Hasan Hamid, mechanical engineering (Astoria, N.Y.)
Kelly Kret, mechanical engineering (Tuckahoe, N.Y.)
Amanda Lazkani, chemical engineering (Staten Island, N.Y.)
Kevin Reyes, electrical engineering (Port Chester, N.Y.)
Melissa Samanoglu, psychology (Upper Saddle River, N.J.)


Rinor Ahmetaj, civil engineering (Bronx, N.Y.)
Diana Balaj, international studies (Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.)
Muhammad Buttar, civil engineering (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Kaiyun Chen, secondary education (Woodhaven, N.Y.)
Alessandra Palmisano, mechanical engineering (Bronx, N.Y.)
Jaycie Cooper, communication (Monroe, Conn.)
Claudia Ramirez, biology (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico)
Karla Ortiz, secondary education (Bronx, N.Y.)
Melissa Gallardo, communication (Islip Terrace, N.Y.)
Meghan Polhemus, chemical engineering (Pine Beach, N.J.)

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

“James Patterson’s extraordinary generosity has allowed us to recognize, encourage, and support a remarkable group of students for each of the past seven years,” said Brennan O’Donnell, president of Manhattan College. “We continue to be grateful for his steadfast devotion to the College and its next generation of rising stars.”

As of January 2016, Patterson has sold more than 375 million books worldwide and currently holds the Guinness World Record for the most No. 1 New York Times best sellers. In addition to writing the thriller novels for which he is best known, Patterson writes fiction for young readers of all ages, including the Max Einstein series, produced in partnership with the Albert Einstein archives. He is also the first author to have No. 1 new titles simultaneously on the New York Times adult and children’s best-seller lists.