For Progress in College and in Life

Student speaker Marvin Castellon and President Joel S. Bloom

“I have been inspired by donors such as you who make it possible for students like me to make progress in college and in life.” Johanna Cepeda ’12, a management major, shared these thoughtful words with those gathered for the university’s 2012 Scholarship Brunch in the spring.

Cepeda was one of two student speakers introduced by NJIT President Joel S. Bloom. Also speaking was Marvin Castellon, a biomedical engineering major who hopes to one day become a physician or tissue engineer. “Scholarships motivate me to continue moving forward so that I may one day give back to schools that have helped me,” Castellon said in appreciation of the assistance he has received. Scholarship donors, students who benefit from their generosity, and university administration and staff gathered in the Campus Center for the annual event, which offers an opportunity for students to greet their benefactors in person and to discuss their academic and professional goals.

For the 2011-2012 academic year, 930 students received nearly $2.7 million in assistance from annual, endowed and alumni scholarships. Alumnus Darryl P. Riley, vice president of Kellogg North America Research, Quality and Technology, shared his inspiration for establishing the Janet McIntosh Riley Scholarship in memory of his mother, a longtime NJIT employee. After graduating with a BS in chemical engineering in 1983, Riley continued to keep in touch with NJIT faculty and staff members.

NJIT Vice President for Human Resources Ted Johnson, who had worked with Riley’s mother earlier in his career, suggested establishing a scholarship to honor her legacy. “I had contributed to NJIT through the Annual Fund, but thought that establishing the scholarship in the name and memory of my mom would be meaningful and rewarding,”

Riley said. “It would continue to provide for young people who come to NJIT in pursuit of an educational dream and also provide me with an opportunity to tell them about my mom, the woman after whom the scholarship is named.” A new memorial scholarship announced at the event bears the name of Congressman Donald M. Payne. It will support talented minority students who are the first in their families to attend college.

In a quarter century as a government leader and even more years as teacher, community activist and humanitarian, Congressman Payne dedicated his professional life to breaking down economic, educational and social barriers. He had long been a special friend to NJIT, and had aided the university through his tireless efforts to make higher education more affordable.

Members of Donald M. Payne’s family (pictured left) were on hand for the announcement of the new scholarship honoring the legacy of the late congressman and friend of NJIT. Roberta Renard, President and CEO of Renard Communications, has also established a new memorial scholarship. It is a $100,000 commitment for her second endowed scholarship at NJIT, the Jeannine and Monroe Camarata Memorial Scholarship, dedicated to the memory of her parents. Like the Renard Communications Endowed Scholarship, the new one will support minority students enrolled in Albert Dorman Honors College.

Renard is the founder and publisher of Diversity/Careers in Engineering & Information Technology, and through her publication and scholarship support provides needed resources for groups traditionally underrepresented in technology – women and minorities.

Another highlight of this year’s gathering was the opportunity it gave the first recipients of the Dr. Timothy N. Chang Memorial Scholarship to meet with Mrs. Daphne Chang, wife of the late NJIT faculty member honored by this gift. Funded by the Chang family and an outpouring of contributions made in memory of Dr. Chang, the scholarship assists students enrolled in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering who demonstrate a commitment to innovation, research and community service.

Dr. Chang, who passed away in February 2011, was a professor and associate chair for graduate studies in his department, and was repeatedly recognized for excellence in teaching.

For more information about establishing and supporting scholarships at NJIT, contact: Colleen Vandervort, Scholarship Coordinator 973-596-8505 or