Manhattan College Names 18 Recipients of James Patterson Scholarships

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College selects 18 students as the 2013-2014 recipients of scholarships established by best-selling author James Patterson ’69.

James Patterson

I established the scholarship program at my alma mater to recognize hard-working students who give back to the Manhattan College community and their communities in New York City and elsewhere.

Best-selling author and alumnus James Patterson ’69 will award $100,000 in academic scholarships to Manhattan College. This is the second year in a row for the James Patterson Scholarships, and 8 juniors and 10 seniors from the Schools of Arts, Business, Education and Health, Engineering, and Science are recipients of the 2013-2014 scholarships.

“I established the scholarship program at my alma mater to recognize hard-working students who give back to the Manhattan College community and their communities in New York City and elsewhere,” Patterson said. “With this recognition, my hope is these outstanding students will go on to do great things after graduation.”

The scholarship recipients include:


  •     Francisco B. Alvarez, government (Thermal, CA)
  •     Emily Bellas, elementary education/special education (Bellerose, NY)
  •     Alexandra M. Cerrati, physical education (Stony Point, NY)
  •     Joseph V. Cusmano, communication (Rochelle Park, NY)
  •     Claire E. Leaden, communication and French (Cutchogue, NY)
  •     Tina M. Nitis, marketing (Yonkers, NY)
  •     Aldiana Perazic, biology (New York, NY)
  •     Donika Zherka, secondary education (Yorktown Heights, NY)


  •     Meena A. Balady, computer science (Lynbrook, NY)
  •     Giuliana Addesso, secondary education (Yonkers, NY)
  •     Morgan A. Maclearie, special education/elementary education (Toms River, NJ)
  •     Claire C. Miksad, elementary education/special education (Ridgefield, CT)
  •     Maria A. Sanzari, elementary education/special education (North Haven, CT)
  •     Eric Scattaretico, special education/elementary education (Yorktown Heights, NY)
  •     Justin M. Vento, chemical engineering (Lincroft, NJ)
  •     Colleen E. Walsh, secondary education (Baltimore, MD)
  •     Kathleen P. White, history and peace studies (Keansburg, NJ)
  •     Kathryn E. Wojtkiewicz, philosophy and English (Lancaster, NY)

The scholarship program will award $5,000 to each of the 18 recipients, and 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 contributions made during their junior year and their personal vision for plans after graduation.

“We are very grateful for Mr. Patterson’s continuing generosity and commitment to his alma mater,” said Brennan O’Donnell, president of Manhattan College. “His gifts are inspiring and rewarding some very bright young men and women who will make a difference both in their chosen professions and in their communities.”

Patterson also funds the James Patterson Minority Scholarship at Manhattan College, which was started in 2006 and has supported the education of 25 students. In addition, the Patterson Family Foundation awards scholarships to students at 20 different colleges and universities around the country.

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 books and encouraging people of all ages to read. He launched the website as a tool for adults to help find books for kids to read. Patterson also makes regular donations of thousands of books to troops overseas.

About Manhattan College:
Manhattan College is located at West 242nd Street near Broadway in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, one mile from the Westchester County line and accessible by MTA subway line No. 1. For directions to the campus, visit

Founded in 1853, Manhattan College is an independent, Lasallian Catholic, coeducational institution of higher learning offering more than 40 major programs of undergraduate study in the areas of arts, business, education and health, engineering and science, along with continuing and professional studies, and a graduate division. For more information about Manhattan College, visit

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Liz Connolly Bauman
Manhattan College
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