Four UCC students are selected as semifinalists for Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship

The four UCC semifinalists for the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship have been announced. They are, from left, George Stephens, Sophia Morales, Mark Farag and Luana Rampelotti.

CRANFORD, NJ — Union County College has announced that four of its students are semifinalists for the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke 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 as much as $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 Union’s semifinalists are members of Phi Theta Kappa, the International Honor Society for two-year colleges, and maintain a 3.8 grade-point average or better.

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 grade-point average. When a student is selected as a JKC transfer scholar, they receive financial support for two to three years to complete their bachelor’s degree.

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

Farag is currently majoring in engineering and has a 3.824 grade-point average. He is also the president of PTK and is an American honors student. Farag is an international student, works full time and is currently serving as an ambassador for NASA. His career goal is to become a project manager engineer in aerospace.
Morales is a visual arts major with a 3.94 grade-point average. She is an active member of PTK and serves as the vice president of fellowship. Morales is also an American honors student, as well as part of the History Club and the Gay Straight Alliance. Morales said she would like to work as a video game or short film animator.

Rampelotti is an engineering student with a 4.0 grade-point average. She is a member of PTK and co-captain of 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.
Stevens is also majoring in engineering, with a 3.824 grade-point average. He serves as PTK’s committee leader of communications and is an American honors student. Stevens 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,” said UCC President Margaret M. McMenamin.

Finalists for the JKC Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship are expected to be announced in May.

For more information about Union, visit and, for more information on the scholarship, go to

Photo Courtesy of Margaret M. Ortuso