The Women's College Club of Princeton NJ


2020 Scholarship Committee Report and Scholarship Winners


The Scholarship Committee, Elaine Rafferty, Alyce Conlon, Marilyn Shtier and Sandy Stein, met via a Zoom meeting on Thursday, May 14th, to select the finalists from the 19 applicants. At that time, additional funds from the Operating account were found that brought the total funding available to $26,000. After much discussion, the Committee completed the selection process which awarded scholarships to 11 recipients. The award checks were mailed to the recipients. There was no in-person Scholarship Tea award ceremony this year due to the COVID pandemic.

The Committee then discussed how we would honor the winners. Nora Ananos, the Club’s official photographer, offered to create a collage of the pictures of winners and the donors in a way to capture the excitement and importance of what we do. Kathy Hutchins, Club President, invited the scholarship recipients to the June board meeting, via Zoom, to introduce them and to say a few words. And lastly, we invited the young ladies to have their pictures taken in front of their school sign with the donors.

Attached below are the bios of the winners, prepared by Alyce Colon and Marilyn Shteir.


Hillier Prize awarded to Jacqueline Rose Drozd from The Hun School

Sometimes life influences us in surprising ways. Artistic skills can develop from either fantasy or reality. How we live also leads us to different outcomes. Jacqueline’s summers with an extended family in Nebraska showed her a rural life in America, teaching her the value of their company and also humor. She also learned to understand the needy in our society. That contrasted with her experienced in Philadelphia and Princeton, places rich with museums and artistic city life. These experiences gave her the basis to express herself in art in various media as shown in the photographs of her work. She is interested in a future in the arts and demonstrates artistic talent. We feel she is a wonderful candidate for the Hillier Prize. Jacqueline plans on attending RIT.

Peterson Book Award presented to Raisa Rubin- Stankiewicz from Princeton High School 

For some students high school is a time of difficulty, making adjustments in living and learning. For others like Raisa, it is a time of impressive accomplishment. Aside from her love of reading and writing for school, she has found time to become an activist for change. Raisa writes for informing the public about what is happening in society. One teacher wrote that as a writer “you have a reader’s grace and you keep your focus tight and clear”. She was also an editor of The Tower, the school newspaper, and Raisa said “that it was a helpful way for me to figure out what information to report to other students.” Raisa plans on attending Rutgers.

Ramona Segrest Peyton Award presented to Makayla Gayden from Princeton High School

Ramona Segrest Peyton was an outstanding former member of the Women’s College Club of Princeton. A scholarship in her honor is being given to Makayla Gayden who is graduating from Princeton Day School. Makayla’s teachers and college counselor noted that she is a diligent worker. She displayed curiosity and contributed to class discussions. She put forth great effort when completing her assignments, especially her work on South Africa. In her personal essay, Makayla spoke about how she learned from the challenges she faced. Makayla not only excelled academically, she also had an outstanding list of activities both at Princeton Day School and in the community. She was a DuBois Scholar which involved a five-week residential program at Princeton University, focusing on race relations and leadership. She delivered workshops on diversity, hosted exchange students from Taiwan and China, helping them with English. Makayla has been a student ambassador, counselor-in-training during summer months, and she won two awards in a scholastic competition. She participated in Varsity Fencing, filmed a dance concert and helped the tech crew with school plays. Makayla plans on attending Colgate University.

The Marjory White Memorial Scholarship presented to Kathleen McCoy from The Hun School 

Marjory White was an outstanding member of the Women’s College Club of Princeton. A scholarship in her name is intended for a young woman who plans to study the sciences or pre-med and who demonstrates a positive attitude and a generous spirit. We are proud that this year’s recipient is Kathleen McCoy. Kathleen’s teachers and counselor remarked about her effective effort with her assignments. During class discussions it was evident that she was confident in her abilities. She chose to study anatomy and physiology to prepare for her goal of becoming a doctor. Kathleen took many Advanced Placement Classes and succeeded in all of them. She achieved high honors every semester at The Hun School of Princeton. In addition to her strong academic record, she had an impressive list of activities, taking on projects which benefit others. She has put time into the Ashley Lauren Foundation where she was the volunteer coordinator with the purpose of raising money for children with cancer, and was a member of the Medical Club. In addition, she has been an Altar Server and a Catholic Education Teacher. She participated in Step Dancing and the Varsity Rowing team. She was co-editor of the Hun School Literary Magazine, tour guide at the school and an open house panelist. She also worked at Jenkinson’s Aquarium during the summer. Kathleen plans to attend the University of Michigan.

Molly Updike Award presented to Emma Bryan from Princeton High School

It is rare to encounter a high school student who aspires to be a “comfort to people”. Emma Bryan is one. She wants to help other people. Her interest in medicine led her to study at the Rutgers Cancer Institute and also take college level introduction to Biology while a student in high school. Her Biology teacher states “she has a natural curiosity and showed an interest in dissection of animals. Emma also deeply cares about animal rights and their well- being. She “never wants to stop learning”. Emma plans on attending the University of Washington.

Luna Kaiser Memorial Scholarship presented to Erica Oake from Princeton High School

The Women’s College Club of Princeton is pleased to award the Luna Kayser Memorial Scholarship to Erica Oake, a graduating student from Princeton High School. Erica’s teachers stated that Erica is inquisitive and attentive in class. She demonstrated intellectual promise and has a strong work ethic. She displayed leadership qualities and is always willing to assist others. In her personal essay, Erica mentioned that she persevered and gained a positive attitude when challenged academically or athletically. Erica chose a rigorous academic program, taking Advanced Placement classes and achieved excellent grades. She was accomplished in many activities at school. She was one of a small group to be selected as a Peer Leader, was a member of the Modern Pentathlon Youth, Junior and Senior National Teachers. She was on Varsity teams Cross Country, Swimming, Winter Track, Spring Track and Fencing, and also belonged to the Equestrian Pony Club. She volunteered at Pettoranello Gardens. She worked on Princeton High School’s 101 Fund which raises money for scholarships for Princeton High School graduates. Erica plans to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The Women’s College Club of Princeton Scholarship presented to Nora Flamer from Stuart Country Day School.

The Women’s College Club of Princeton Scholarships are awarded to young women with high academic standing, qualities of leadership and character and who are accomplished in extracurricular activities. Each of us comes from different backgrounds and have to learn how to adapt and relate to people who are not the same as us. Nora has used her extraordinary singing talents to do this. It seems she has sung all of her life, at school, church and professionally, to perform and reach other people’s lives. One of her teachers stated that “I know she will be famous one day.” She is also academically excellent. “Bright, insightful and courageous, Nora is a pleasure to have in class.” Nora plans to attend Fordham.

The Women’s College Club of Princeton Scholarship presented to Kathryn Lytkowski from Princeton Day School.

Kathryn’s teachers and counselor stated that she is an excellent student who is focused and open- minded. She is intellectually curious and expresses her ideas well. Her performances in dance and school plays were remarkable, and she demonstrated her talents in photography. She boosted the morale of those around her and brought energy and humor to class discussions. She is highly creative and described herself as an activist. Kathryn has taken a rigorous academic course, achieving excellent grades. She initiated a project involving 2020 presidential candidates’ views on mass incarceration and published the information on a website. Kathryn worked as a camp counselor fifty-five hours a week during summer vacations. She was the Editor of the Arts Section of the school magazine. She acted in school plays and also was assistant director for the play “Little House of Horrors”. Kathryn has taken dance for fourteen years and was a PDS dance team leader, organizing extracurricular performances and fundraising. She was co-head of the Gay, Lesbian or Whatever group and supported LGBTQ+ students through difficult times. She was a writing center mentor, assisting under-achieving classmates with writing assignments. Kathryn plans to attend American University.

The Women’s College Club of Princeton Scholarship presented to Valerie Cerna from Princeton Day School

Valerie’s teachers and counselor stated that Valerie exhibits leadership skills, and a strong work ethic. She is always willing to help younger students. She is involved in community activities and gives back to the school. She has a wonderful personality and a great sense of humor. Valerie has taken a rigorous academic program and has excelled in her classes. She facilitated valuable small discussions, and displayed strong writing skills while taking on challenging topics. Valerie’s participation in school and community activities was outstanding. She was co-head of Spanish Club’s planned fundraising activities for Puerto Rico hurricane relief. She was staff writer and associate editor for the school newspaper. In the community she volunteered for the Study Buddy program, and was a mentor at the admissions office. Valerie also worked twenty hours a week at Futta Bowls. Valerie plans to attend Dickinson College.

The Women’s College Club of Princeton Scholarship presented to Ahzaria Silas from Princeton Day School

Ahzaria has not relaxed in high school. One counselor states that she is passionate about learning and has a wonderful sense of collaboration with her peers both academically and socially. Through her own experiences, she has learned to respect each person’s racial diversity. Her experiences have been many and have followed her interests. She has danced at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, worked on climate control for the state of New Jersey, led a Diversity Conference, participated in the Rider University Stem Program, worked with the Mercer County Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, as well as the Black Latino Student Union. There have been other groups she worked with. She is a young activist and a very strong student. Ahzaria plans to attend Rutgers.

The Women’s College Club of Princeton Scholarship presented to Isabella Potocny from Princeton High School

Isabella is one of those determined high school graduates who knows what she plans to do in the future. She took a class in Forensics at Princeton High School and decided she wanted to become a Crime Behavioral Analyst in law enforcement. She will be attending the University of Tampa. In her letter of recommendation, her teachers where impressed with her passion and achievement. She sets high goals for herself and wants to know more about what she is studying. Isabella has also participated in a church program for the underprivileged in Maine, assisting them in home improvement. In addition, she managed the boys’ soccer team and participated in the girls’ soccer team.


This entry was posted on February 2, 2021 by in Uncategorized.