SUMMER 2019 (1 of 2)

Autumn Herndon, Summer 2019 JH Scholarship, Bogota.jpg

Autumn Herndon, Summer 2019, Bogota, Columbia

Autumn Herndon, an International Studies Major, concentrating in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Manhattan College, is taking advantage of the Major John H Mark Jr Scholarship in conjunction with a Gilman Scholarship to study in Bogota and Panama.

Autumn is staying in Columbia with a homestay family, affiliated with La Universidad Catolica Santa Maria La Antigua, to hone her Spanish language skills. Following her Bogota experience Autumn will participate in an internship, teaching English to Panamanian students.

Autumn plans to devote her services to the Peace Corps after her December graduation.

We are looking forward to reading of Autumn's experiences and meeting her upon her return.

Autumn's summer "Adventure with Service" is a credit to Manhattan College and exemplifies the mission of the Major John H Mark, Jr Study Abroad Scholarship.

summer 2019; Ashley Santana; JH Scholarship; Japan.jpg

Ashley Santana

Summer 2019


The Major John H Mark, Jr. Study Abroad Scholarship is pleased to assist Ashley Santana discover the culture and history of Japan, during her Summer adventure.

Ashley has written that she is using her time in Japan to help understand, through the eyes of local residents and visits to the shrines and temples, how religion has shaped Japan and its people.

JH certainly agreed with Ashley's comment that "...traveling is the antidote to ignorance." We are confident that this Asian experience of making friends, immersing herself in their way of life, and seeing the treasures of Japan will provide valuable new perspective.

Ashley, like John, is eager to expand her horizons. We are looking forward to reading about her adventure in Japan, and meeting with her upon her return home.



Ms. Jessica Judith Solan




Ricardo, Jessica, Angela, John Sr., Kevin

Ricardo, Jessica, Angela, John Sr., Kevin

We are pleased to introduce Jessica Solan, the Spring 2019 semester recipient of the Major John H. Mark, Jr. Study Abroad Scholarship.

Jessica, a Manhattan College Communications (Media Production Major, with a Film Minor) student is using the scholarship to help defray the cost of her Spring 2019 study abroad in Rome, Italy.

2018,12; Jessica;   Manhattan   Scholarship; 040.jpg

Jessica’s proposal, for the scholarship, revealed much about her character and dedication to the Brothers of the Christian Schools values toward “…morality, respect, and God….” She is looking forward to learn “…in-depth about a city I have always dreamt of living in. …it also means a lot to me that we will be learning in the Catholic capital of the world, surrounded by Brothers who dedicate their lives to God, as well as students who respect religion….”

Jessica’s Adventure in Rome will not be all work. Although her course work will include “film” and “Italian Culture” she is looking forward to viewing the film industry from the perspective of another country / culture. Jessica will accomplish this through regular course work and by taking the opportunity “…to visit as many Italian cities as possible,,, to experience the Italian / Sicilian architecture, music, history, local hotspots, tourist hotspots, and normal daily-lives of the people…”

Jessica’s proposal reminds one of JH’s spirit of adventure. He was always looking for new challenges and ways to serve other people (Adventure With Service). In Jessica’s words: “I do not think I can fully grasp the feeling of awe that would flush over me as I stood in the Vatican, Colosseum, Sistine Chapel, or so many other iconic places in Italy; but I sure am looking forward to trying. Just to imagine the excitement, passion, struggle, and happiness that real people felt, walking through those vicinities throughout the centuries and millennia, is a feeling that I cannot wait to experience.”

Jessica also has a very personal reason for immersing herself in the culture. She is looking forward to walking in her Papa’s and Nana’s footsteps…. and knowing that Papa is ”… playing bocce and drinking wine in the sky while watching….”


Ms. Kara Della Vecchia

2018 Summer



Kevin Gschwend; Bro. Robert Berger; Prof. Noni Wanger; Angela Mark; KARA DELLA VECCHIA; John H. Mark, Sr.; Mary Ellen Malone

Kevin Gschwend; Bro. Robert Berger; Prof. Noni Wanger; Angela Mark; KARA DELLA VECCHIA; John H. Mark, Sr.; Mary Ellen Malone

Congratulations to Kara, the winner of the Summer 2018 John H. Mark, Jr. Study Abroad Scholarship.

Kara, an active and dedicated Manhattan College student entering her Senior year, will be taking a Religious Studies program in Lisbon, Portugal during May and June.  A Tri-State native and the daughter of educators, Kara has longed to broaden her experience through a Study Abroad Program.  In her application for the scholarship it was evident that Kara has done her "homework".  She was familiar with JH's experience at Oxford, and hopes to take advantage of Lisbon, as he did Oxford.  Kara's own words explain her focus:  

A person cannot grow and develop without leaving their comfort zone and I am very ready to do that.  I plan on grabbing this exceptional opportunity awaiting me and taking advantage of every moment of it.  I have worked two jobs during the summers and breaks to save money for this journey and I will completely soak it all in.

...I am confident it (study abroad) will provide me with a fantastic experience.  We will be tracing the history of Religion in Portugal, which is primarily Roman Catholic.  My family is a devoutly Roman Catholic and it will be inspirational to absorb the background of our faith.

In addition to working two jobs and carrying a full class schedule, Kara is part of the Division I college Cheer team.  Let's all cheer Kara on to a rewarding experience in Lisbon, and much success as a Senior at Manhattan. 








Antonio Paone Angela Mark John H. Mark, Sr.

Antonio Paone Angela Mark John H. Mark, Sr.


Congratulations to ANTONIO PAONE, the Spring 2018 recipient of the Major John H. Mark, Jr., Study Abroad Scholarship.  

Antonio (International Studies, 2019) will be spending the Spring 2018 semester studying and working in Rome, Italy.   His enthusiasm has no bounds.  Antonio is planning, in addition to taking his International Studies courses,  to complete an internship with an international development company in Rome, and to work in the Archives of the de la Salle Christian Brothers main house in Rome.


In Antonio's Words:

I have always pursued that which sparks my interests. Since my freshman year I’ve worked in the archive office at Manhattan College, documenting, organizing and shifting through the records of our institution's history. This tangible, physical connection with the past I’ve found both fascinating and stimulating. ....The prospect of going to Rome is closely tied in with my passion for helping others and the preservation of materials I gained from archival work. Italian was my first language thanks to my father and the maternal grandparents who helped raise me. Italian language and culture have always been a part of my life and it has always been an aspiration to take full advantage of this insight and knowledge I was fortunate enough to have from a young age. .... . The archivist here at Manhattan told me of her past collaboration with the extensive archives housed there. I immediately saw an incredible opportunity for further experience in archival work, and I am enthusiastic to offer my time there.


2018 Spring; Manhattan M; Paone group.jpg

Manhattan "M" Quarterly Magazine, Spring 2018:


The Manhattan College Quarterly contains a nice "mention" of Antonio Paone, the Spring 2018 recipient of the Major John H Mark Study Abroad Scholarship. Please read the article on page 8, to learn of Antonio's work supporting the Christian Brothers' initiatives providing higher quality learning environments for children and families in approximately 80 countries. Congrats to Antonio Paone for an important job, well done.




Ms. Kiera O'Connor

FALL 2017

Kiera O'Connor John H. Mark, Sr. Angela P. Mark

Kiera O'Connor John H. Mark, Sr. Angela P. Mark

Ms. Kiera O'Connor

Manhattan College class of 2019

fall 2017 study abroad

nui university, Galway, Ireland


We are pleased to announce that Ms. Kiera O'Connor, an Elementary/Special Education major, concentrating in English and Psychology at Manhattan College, has been awarded the Major John H. Mark, Jr., Manhattan College Study Abroad Scholarship for the Fall 2017 semester.  Kiera will be studying at NUI University, Galway, Ireland.  NUI is internationally recognized for excellence in teaching and research.  It has also been dubbed, by the NY Times as being located in the "Most Charming City."   Kiera has promised to enjoy the local culture during her time in Galway.

Kiera is a native New Yorker who graduated from Maria Regina HS in Westchester and St. Barnabas Elementary School in The Bronx.   

Kiera seems a perfect fit for the "Adventure with Service" theme of the scholarship.  At Manhattan College Kiera is a member of Kappa Delta Pi, an International Honor Society in Education.  She helped found and run "Irish American Young Leaders" which provides young people the opportunity to develop personal and leadership skills through local community service and organizational involvement.  Kiera has been playing Gaelic Football since the age of seven.  She currently plays for St. Brigid's Ladies Gaelic Football Club and Na Fianna Ladies Football Club.  Having been captain of two teams and awarded the Pauline Boylan Coll Award for leadership qualities, Kiera also finds time to coach the underage program for the NY Gaelic Football Association.  

Kiera has promised to keep us updated on her work and adventures in Ireland and on the Continent through the Jaspers Abroad blog:  Please read her blogs and post comments.

In Kiera's own words:

Studying abroad has always been a dream of mine. Study abroad will introduce me to new cultures, ideas, and traditions.

I am excited applying for the Major John H. Mark '00 because I am interested in making the most of my study abroad experience by participating in service projects, clubs, or other university activities. ...I plan to work as a volunteer with the local students either tutoring or coaching Irish Football. This will help me learn the culture and enrich my ability of teaching globally. Being able to return to Manhattan College and share my experience with my peers and encourage them is something I am looking forward to. This is a major step academically, professionally, and personally. Having the opportunity to study somewhere else and see how their academic community is, will be very interesting. ...I look forward to this experience at NUI Galway and studying abroad.

Click on Kiera's photo for Jaspers Abroad Blog


John H. Mark, Sr. Melissa Gallardo Angela P. Mark  CLICK ON PHOTO TO READ MELISSA'S BLOG

John H. Mark, Sr. Melissa Gallardo Angela P. Mark



Manhattan College Class of 2019

Spring 2017 "Discover the World, Europe"

Italy, France, Spain


Melissa Gallardo, Manhattan College, Riverdale, NY  Major John H. Mark, Jr. Study Abroad Scholarship Spring 2017

Melissa Gallardo, Manhattan College, Riverdale, NY

Major John H. Mark, Jr. Study Abroad Scholarship Spring 2017


Melissa has been awarded the Manhattan College, Major John H. Mark, Jr, Study Abroad Scholarship for the 2017 Spring Semester.   Upon her arrival  in Italy, to begin her Adventure with Service, Melissa expressed her plan and her gratitude for this opportunity:

"Hi everyone, my name is Melissa and I am a Sophomore Communications Major at Manhattan College. I am so honored and grateful to be this year’s recipient of the John Mark Scholarship. I will be studying abroad this Spring through St. John's University's Discover The World Europe Program. I want to make a difference in the lives of the poor. After connecting with the children of Guatemala on my L.O.V.E. trip, I decided that my journey of service would continue in Italy, Spain and France for the next 16 weeks. I will engage in service-learning activities in local schools, soup kitchens and more. My heart tells me to help people, to give back and SJU provides me with the opportunity to do service-learning. In addition to my passion of service, I am Editor-in-Chief of an upcoming student-run women’s empowerment magazine called Lotus Magazine, a staff writer for Manhattan College’s newspaper, The Quadrangle, a sacristan for Campus Ministry, a member for the Manhattan College chapters of PRSSA and AAF. If you’d like to know more about my journey throughout Europe, please read my blog on"



Best Regards, 


Melissa Gallardo

Jan. 21, 2017

L.O.V.E.                                 (LaSallian Outreach Volunteer Experience

The Quadrangle:     





We are pleased to announce Ms. Melissa Gallardo, a sophomore majoring in Communications in Broadcasting, with minors in Religious Studies and Digital Media Art, as the Spring 2017 recipient of the Major John H. Mark, Jr. Study Abroad Scholarship. 

Melissa, a New York resident, was introduced to the world of SERVICE WITH ADVENTURE as a Manhattan College freshman. 

After connecting with the children of a small rural community (Tecpan, Guatemala) during last year's  LaSallian Outreach Volunteer Experience (L.O.V,.E.) program and working to make sure their elementary school was an exciting place to learn, Melissa realized she wanted that short experience to expand to months, years, and possibly a lifetime.  Melissa is one to roll up her sleeves and get to work on any project.  As she explained; a part of making sure the elementary school was an effective place to learn, involved preparing concrete for the floors.  

During the Spring 2017 semester, Melissa will build upon her laSallian experience.  This ADVENTURE WITH SERVICE is a Vincentian Educational Program (Discover the World, Europe) conducted in cooperation with St. John's University.  Melissa plans to enhance her time abroad by doing service work in local schools, soup kitchens, and local communities.   All this work will be in addition to completing course work, in five courses, spanning three countries, to fulfill her Religious Studies minor.

We are proud to welcome Melissa as the Spring 2017, Major John H. Mark, Jr. Study Abroad Scholarship winner.  As a Communications Major, Melissa is eager to report on her adventure through the Jaspers Abroad blog; photos to be included.

 Melissa will begin her program in mid-January.

Melissa's positive LaSallian attitude was evident when she wrote, "As the character Ellie Fredricksen, in the 2009 Disney film, Up, once said 'Adventure is out there.'"  


Kevin Gschwind (Study Abroad Coordinator); John H. Mark, Sr.; Melissa Gallardo; Angela P. Mark; Mary Ellen Malone, (Director of Planned Giving)

Kevin Gschwind (Study Abroad Coordinator); John H. Mark, Sr.; Melissa Gallardo; Angela P. Mark; Mary Ellen Malone, (Director of Planned Giving)




Mr. Mahamoud Diop

Manhattan College class of 2017

Fall 2016,  Paris, France

Major John H. Mark, Jr. Manhattan College Study abroad scholarship

Intern Mahamoud Diop, Permanent Observer Mission of the African Union to the UN;  Major John H. Mark, Jr. Scholarship, Manhattan College

Intern Mahamoud Diop, Permanent Observer Mission of the African Union to the UN;

Major John H. Mark, Jr. Scholarship, Manhattan College

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Mr. Mahamoud Diop, a Junior at Manhattan College, the current recipient of the Major John H. Mark, Jr., Manhattan College, Study Abroad Scholarship.

Mahamoud, a native of Bamako, Mali, West Africa, studying International Relations at Manhattan is using the Major John H. Mark, Jr. scholarship to help finance his Study Abroad experience at The Sorbonne, Paris, France. 

The list of Mahamoud’s accomplishments during his Manhattan College career is formidable.  In addition to the Study Abroad experience, Mahamoud had, during his Sophomore year at Manhattan, participated in two Model UN conferences which prepared him for an internship with the Ford Foundation, during which he had the opportunity to work with the Permanent Observer Mission of the African Union to the UN.

It is difficult to imagine how Mahamoud was also able to be Freshman Class Representative to Manhattan’s student government; a Resident Assistant at Manhattan; a Student Ambassador with Catholic Relief Services; while finding time to work as a Peer Money Mentor and a student employee with Manhattan’s Financial Aid Office.

Mahamoud even made time to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity International, during 2012.

Mahamoud stated, in his proposal, for the Major John H. Mark, Jr. scholarship, “I am firmly aware of what this means to the legacy of John Mark…. I will…represent the Manhattan College and the Mark family with honor, pride, and service to others.”

We are quite pleased to have this award presented to a Jasper who embodies the principles of “service” as did John Mark.

We encourage visitors to view more of Mr. Mahamoud Diop’s accomplishments as outlined in his Linkedin and a Manhattan Colege article:





SPRING 2016 Madrid, Spain



Angela, Ele, Paulina, Mary Ellen, John Sr.

Angela, Ele, Paulina, Mary Ellen, John Sr.


Paulina Ochoa-Figueroa

It is our pleasure to introduce Paulina Ochoa-Figueroa as the premier recipient of the Major John H. Mark, Jr. Manhattan College Study Abroad Scholarship.  Paulina has been selected to receive this prestigious scholarship during her Spring 2016 semester in Madrid, Spain.


Continuing Major John Mark’s focus on Service with Adventure, Paulina is making arrangements to work as a volunteer with Caritas Madrid, a Catholic organization which is dedicated to assisting the Madrid community by coordinating charitable and social action in Madrid.  Paulina has chosen to commit a substantial portion of her time, talent  and energy to working with children in after school programs which Caritas Madrid provides for low income families.  Her duties will be to assist with homework assignments working as a bi-lingual volunteer, providing English language instruction to the children of Madrid. 


Paulina’s Manhattan College course work in Psychology and Modern Languages will be enhanced by this real world interaction with the children and parents of Madrid.


We congratulate Paulina for her sense of adventure by jumping into another new culture with the intention of providing needed and valuable service to the community.  This exemplifies Major John Mark’s philosophy of life;  Adventure  with  Service. 




Paulina Ochoa-Figueroa

Paulina Ochoa-Figueroa, a Manhattan College Junior and the first recipient  (Spring 2016) of the Major John H. Mark, Jr. Manhattan College Scholarship is a native of Jiquilpan, Mexico, who came to the United States during 2011 to attend New Rochelle High School.  Her time in NY has been a whirlwind of activity.

Paulina’s passion for reading anything she can get her hands on; her love of  Spanish Literature and Culture; her interest in Peace Studies courses;  and her immersion in language and culture courses to prepare for her Spring 2016 Study Abroad experience, combined with her goal to become a writer, have kept Paulina quite busy during her College days. 

While attending Manhattan College, Paulina has consistently maintained an excellent academic record, having been on the Manhattan College Dean’s List each semester; winning the Modern Foreign Language Scholarship award in 2013; and being inducted into the National Hispanic Honors Society (Sigma Delta Pi) which honors outstanding students of Hispanic Literature and Culture.  Not being content with her Manhattan College academic honors, Paulina may be found exploring NYC museums or attending concerts in The City;  that is, when she is not volunteering her time with local organizations.

Paulina Ochoa-Figueroa’s study abroad semester will not be radically different from, but a complement to, her current college experience.  She promises that her blog readers will be kept up to date on the variousadventures with service opportunities to which she is contributing her time and energy, while truly immersing herself in the Spanish culture of Madrid.

Paulina notes, on a personal basis, that she is fulfilling a promise to her late grandmother to research her Spanish family heritage.