The Dyckman Institute Scholarship Fund winners for the 2003-2004 academic year are first-year Brenda Cepeda and juniors Alexandra Hernandez and Katherine Paez, all of Dominican heritage. The Dyckman Institute Scholars program provides financial support to outstanding students from the Washington Heights/Inwood area of Manhattan who attend Columbia College .
David Charlow, associate dean of Student Affairs and director of Financial Aid at Columbia College , said, "We are delighted that Brenda, Alexandra and Katherine have chosen to attend Columbia . The Dyckman Institute Scholars program supports our need-based financial aid program and helps make it possible for students from northern Manhattan , who may not otherwise be able to afford the full cost of attending college, to go to Columbia . I strongly encourage all high school seniors who are interested in Columbia to apply regardless of their financial circumstances."
Cepeda is a first-year student from Inwood. She attended high school at the Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics, where she studied mathematics, biology and engineering. She joined the Mt. Sinai Scholars Program, through which she was able to work in a human genetics laboratory at Mt. Sinai Hospital . Cepeda plans to enroll in the 3-2 joint degree program with Columbia College and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. She wants to become a civil engineer.
Hernandez grew up in the Washington Heights area. At Mother Cabrini High School , she was elected president of the National Honor Society and technical sergeant of her marching band, in which she played the snare drum. At Columbia , she is pursuing a major in Latino Studies, as well as a concentration in philosophy. She is involved in several Latino cultural organizations at Columbia , including Grupo Quisqueyano and the Student Organization of Latinos (SOL). Hernandez wants to pursue a career in corporate law and plans to attend law school after graduation.
Paez, also from Washington Heights , majors in political science with a concentration in sociology. She plans to pursue a law degree and wants to be a criminal lawyer. Paez has participated in several student groups, including SOL and her sorority, Sigma Iota Alpha. Paez serves as a tutor for America Reads during the school year.
In the current year, 52 undergraduate students from Washington Heights and Inwood are receiving a total of more than $550,000 in need-based scholarships from Columbia College and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science.
The Dyckman Institute Scholarship fund, one of some 300 individual need-based scholarships available to Columbia students, was established in 1943.
Zead Ramadan, chair of Community Board 12, said, "People in our area grow up in the shadow of Columbia University . Many in fact were born at the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center . It gives me great pleasure to see these young women attend Columbia . We have invited Brenda, Alexandra and Katherine to attend our next board meeting so that we can recognize and congratulate them in person."