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Miami Dade College Recent Graduates Awarded with Prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship to Continue their Studies


Monique Madan poses with Dr. José A. Vicente (left), North Campus president and Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, college president following the announcement of the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship winners during this year’s commencement ceremonies held on April 28.

Miami, May 4, 2012 - Four Miami Dade College (MDC) recent graduates were awarded the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship to continue their education at a four-year college or university.

The four MDC alumni – all whom received their associate’s degree at commencement ceremonies held this past Saturday, April 28 – will each receive $30,000 per year to cover their educational costs, including tuition, books, required fees, and living expenses, for the final two to three years necessary to attain a bachelor’s degree.

These students received the scholarships based on their scholastic and civic achievements. 

This year’s Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship winners: 

Jessica Alvarez (North Campus) majored in psychology and has earned the regard of peers as well as faculty, given her academic excellence, congeniality and leadership engagement. A Phi Theta Kappa honor student of MDC’s Honors College at the North Campus, Alvarez maintained a 3.9 GPA amid a very active co-curricular and civic engagement schedule that included service as president and founder of Women Moving Forward; vice president of Students Working for Equal Rights; as treasurer of the Psi Beta Honor Society, and in her volunteer capacity as a math peer tutor on and off campus. She has been accepted to the University of Florida, as well as Smith College and the University of Wisconsin at Madison, with excellent scholarship packages. She is awaiting decisions from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Stanford University and Georgetown University. 

Cassandra Bazile (Kendall Campus) is a graduate from MDC’s Honors College at the Kendall Campus, majored in international relations and economics and maintained a 3.83 GPA. She was actively involved in service learning and in numerous student organizations on campus and is fully proficient in English, French and Creole and currently learning Spanish. In addition to her academic achievements, she is an accomplished violin, viola, and piano player, and a published author. Her poem, Daughter of Haiti, was published by the Literary Magazine Paper Clips. In January 2010, she was selected to attend The Washington Center Seminars in Washington, D.C., an experience that changed her life. Bazile hopes to become an attorney in order to assist underprivileged populations in need of legal assistance. She has been accepted to Smith College, Northeastern University, Mount Holyoke and the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. She is waiting to hear from her first choice - Georgetown University. 

Monique Madan’s (North Campus) career has already begun with substantial industry experience, internships and professional engagement in her chosen field of journalism. She maintained a 3.98 GPA amid a sterling record of student involvement that included serving at the helm as editor-in-chief of MDC’s award winning student newspaper, The Reporter; participating among a select few top student journalists nationwide in the 2012 New York Times Student Journalism Institute and working as an early-morning reporter for The Miami Herald. Madan is passionate about crime reporting and covering courts, and she has had numerous articles published bearing her byline. She has applied to Syracuse University Newhouse School of Public Communications, Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism, and thus far has received acceptances to Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts, as well as the University of Miami. 

An Honors College graduate, Esteban Roncancio (Kendall Campus) majored in computer engineering and maintained a 4.0 GPA. He was the only freshman in 2010 to be accepted into the Narrow Ridge Field Experience in Washburn, TN a program sponsored by the Earth Ethics Institute of Miami Dade College.  During the experience at Narrow Ridge, he had the opportunity to live in an environmentally sustainable household and learned about pressing environmental issues affecting the globe - this opportunity had a profound impact on him. Since then, he has participated in many environmental projects to promote green efforts among college students. In the future, he hopes to design computer systems that are more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Roncancio believes in the power of opportunity and education, which is why he is a student activist for equal access to education for undocumented youth. He was recently recognized by the People for American Way Foundation as one of 150 college activists in the nation to participate in the Young People for Fellowship program.

For more information about the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, visit

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino, 305-237-3949,, MDC media relations director
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist

Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
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Contact the Office of Director, Equal Opportunity Programs, ADA and Title IX Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for assistance.