Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Names Four Queensborough Students Semifinalists in Highly Competitive, Nationwide Scholarship

Published: March 24, 2023

On March 9, four students from Queensborough Community College/CUNY were selected as semifinalists of the Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The Foundation awards community college students who have demonstrated exceptional academic ability, leadership, service, and a determination to complete their bachelor’s degrees at top four-year institutions.

This year’s 459 semifinalists were chosen from a pool of more than 1,700 applicants who attend 215 community colleges in 38 states.  The Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship recipients will be announced in April.

The students selected from Queensborough are Ms. Aisha Frampton Clark, a Liberal Arts major and a member of Phi Theta Kappa; Mr. Elijah Bernard, also a member of Phi Theta Kappa studying in the Joint Forensic Science Program with John Jay College of Criminal Justice; Mr. Arafat Akon, a Computer Information Systems major; and Mr. Hafiz Tariq, a Biological Sciences and Geology major and Student Government Vice President of Part-Time Students.

 “I congratulate these remarkable students,” said Dr. Christine Mangino, President, Queensborough Community College. “I am incredibly proud of their achievement and thank the selection committee for recognizing their exceptional academic ability, leadership, and service. I am pleased that, like Queensborough, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation places emphasis on academic advising and provides access to a network of peers to ensure student success.”

Queensborough has a distinguished history of nominees—and winners—of the Cooke Transfer Scholarship. Awardees in 2015 were Daisy Proano and Silvia Salamone, Chemistry; and Kyle Chin-How, a Political Science major active in student governance. Chemistry student Biling Chen was a recipient in 2020.

 "We are so very proud of our Lambda Sigma PTK students,” said Dr. Emily Sohmer Tai, Associate Professor, History and long-time advisor of the Lambda Sigma Phi Theta Kappa Chapter. She added, “Both Ms. Frampton-Clark and Mr. Bernard have made critical contributions to Queensborough's initiatives to support the Lucille A. Bova Food Pantry and Undergraduate Research.  I am so happy to see them win this honor!"

The Cooke Transfer Scholarship is designed to create a clear pathway to a four-year degree by offering up to $55,000 per year along with academic advising and access to a network of peers.

“By lifting the financial burden of pursuing a four-year degree off their shoulders, our goal is to help students take full advantage of a four-year college experience without taking on student debt,” said Seppy Basili, Executive Director of the Cooke Foundation. “This year’s selected semifinalists reflect the deep bench of talent across our community colleges today, and we’re looking forward to getting to know them better in our final application review process.”

Queensborough Community College, a campus of The City University of New York (CUNY), is one of the most diverse colleges in the nation and has a national reputation for the upward mobility of its graduates. Students come from 117 countries and speak 63 different languages. Twenty-four percent of them were born outside the U.S. and come from every corner of the globe. The College offers more than 40-degree programs and is highly regarded for its accredited Nursing and Psychology programs; Engineering Science; Art Education; Dance; and Theatre that places it in the same class as Cooper Union, Pratt, and FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology). The three cultural centers on campus include: The Kupferberg Holocaust Center; Queensborough Performing Arts Center (QPAC); and the QCC Art Gallery. Queensborough is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

 The Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship offers unparalleled support to community college students. In addition to the generous financial support, selected Cooke Transfer Scholars will receive educational advising from the Foundation’s Deans of Scholar Support to guide them through the process of transitioning to a four-year school and preparing for their future endeavors. They will also have access to opportunities for internships, study abroad, graduate school funding, and the incomparable connection to a robust network of more than 3,000 fellow Cooke Scholars and Alumni.

Meet Jack Kent Cooke Semifinalist Hafiz Tariq

Meet Jack Kent Cooke Semifinalist Arafat Akon


Contact:  Alice Doyle

Campus Cultural Centers

Kupferberg Holocaust Center exterior lit up at nightOpens in a new window
Kupferberg Holocaust Center Opens in a new window

The KHC uses the lessons of the Holocaust to educate current and future generations about the ramifications of unbridled prejudice, racism and stereotyping.

Russian Ballet performing at the Queensborough Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window
QPAC: Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window

QPAC is an invaluable entertainment company in this region with a growing national reputation. The arts at QPAC continues to play a vital role in transforming lives and building stronger communities.

Queensborough Art Gallery exterior in the afternoonOpens in a new window
QCC Art Gallery

The QCC Art Gallery of the City University of New York is a vital educational and cultural resource for Queensborough Community College, the Borough of Queens and the surrounding communities.