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Ngarambe and Velazquez Named 2013-2014 Recipients of Excellus Undergraduate Diversity Scholarship


As part of its Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration on Monday, January 20, St. John Fisher College announced the 2013-2014 recipients of the Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Undergraduate Diversity Scholarship. Ms. Yesenia Garcia-Key, Community Engagement Coordinator, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, presented Loriane Ngarambe ’14 and Tyana Velazquez ’15 $500 scholarships in recognition of their involvement in Fisher clubs and organizations whose programs reflect a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and social justice.

Ngarambe is a Political Science major with double minors in International Studies and English with a concentration in writing. She spent the 2013 spring semester in Washington D.C. completing an internship at Amnesty International, a non-governmental human rights organization. She worked in the Government Relations Program and had an opportunity to participate in an anti-death penalty rally in Maryland. She also took part in the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty campaign, and joined in the celebration of the treaty’s adoption.

As an Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program student, Ngarambe has been aware of the importance of promoting diversity throughout the Fisher campus. During her sophomore year, she helped start Students of Multicultural Affairs (SOMA), a diversity club on campus whose mission is to promote cultural awareness. She was part of the planning of the inaugural “A Day in My Shoes” event, which addressed stereotypes and offered solutions on how people can work together to diminish them.

In addition, she served as a peer advisor for the HEOP five-week summer program, where she helped 20 incoming freshman with their transition into college. She was also a member of the Orientation Team and a Resident Assistant for the College Bound Program.

After graduation, Ngarambe plans to take a year off to complete additional internships before pursuing a Master’s degree in International Relations.

Velazquez is a junior majoring in Childhood and Special Education with a minor in Spanish and Interdisciplinary Studies. She was born and raised in Rochester, and spent her 2013 spring semester abroad in Costa Rica where she studied Latin American culture and education. While abroad, she volunteered at an orphanage where she taught English.

Velazquez has been very involved as a student on campus. She has been a member of the President’s Student Advisory Board, and served as the Diversity Senator of the Student Government Association. Additionally, she worked with the Office of Multicultural Affair & Diversity Programs in 2012 in a leadership role planning a campus-wide event and encouraged her peers to attend the Annual Hunger Banquet during Four Freedoms Week.

She has also served as a student ambassador, a student representative on the Student Conduct Committee, and was the secretary of the Gay Straight Alliance. Through it all, she has maintained a 3.0 average.

After she finishes her undergraduate degree at Fisher, she plans to continue her education and obtain her Master’s degree in Administration and Adolescent Education. Velazquez has her sights set high, with the ultimate goal of becoming the Superintendent of the Rochester City School District.

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield began the scholarship program at Fisher during the 2005-2006 academic year. Each year, the scholarship is awarded to two full-time sophomore, junior, or senior Fisher students. Excellus Diversity Scholars serve as student co-chairs for the College’s Day of Celebration Planning Committee or for another designated campus-wide initiative.

Excellus BCBS Scholarship

Loriane Ngarambe; Yesenia Garcia-Key, Community Engagement Coordinator, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield; and Tyana Velazquez at the Coexistence Dinner.

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