The Fordham Graduate School of Education (GSE) is proud to announce that two remarkable students have been awarded Joseph C. Zoller Memorial Scholarships. They were presented with the awards at a reception following the 17th Annual Joseph C. Zoller Memorial Fund Golf Classic. Scholarship recipients were nominated by GSE faculty from a highly competitive pool of applicants.
Leslie Ann Abreu and Isabel Logios are both enrolled in the Division of Curriculum and Teaching pursuing their initial teacher certification.
Ms. Abreu, born in the Dominican Republic, immigrated to the United States in 2013, becoming a resident of the Bronx. She is a first-generation college student and is pursuing certification as a bilingual educator, one of only two students in her cohort to do so. Since her first year as a Fordham undergraduate, she has been a tutor and instructor for the Fordham Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP). As a sophomore, she became involved in Club Amigas as a mentor to local adolescent Latinas. Then as a senior, she became a founding e-board member for Fordham’s First-Generation Student Network. She continues to be involved in these clubs and organizations, as she genuinely believes in the importance of helping others in her community through education.
She is extremely grateful to receive the Zoller Scholarship, as it will not only assist her in being able to continue serving NYC students, but it will also help her become the first teacher in her family.
Ms. Logios also received her undergraduate degree from Fordham. However, at that time, she did not aspire to become a teacher. Her love for teaching was a beautiful surprise on her own journey through loss, after her uncle passed away unexpectedly when she was 17 years old. This tragic event forced her to contemplate life for the first time; she asked herself where she could find joy in the darkest seasons of life, and what she wanted to make of her own precious life. This reflection led her to the field of teaching.
As a freshman, Logios joined the Peer Health Exchange and volunteered at Bronx Collaborative High School. She further developed her interest in teaching at Fordham through several other organizations such as the Manresa Scholars Program, working as a teaching assistant at the Gabelli School of Business, and her favorite, the History Makers Program. These experiences showed her that the answer to her once complex question was simple; she wanted to spend her one, precious life as a teacher who instills a love for learning and community in children.
Ms. Logios thanked everyone for the faith they have in her as a future teacher and promised to honor the memories of Dick, Judy, and Joseph Zoller by creating classroom communities that aim to make the world a more thoughtful and compassionate place.
Dean Alvarado noted, “The Graduate School of Education is grateful for all who support the Joseph C. Zoller Memorial Scholarship Fund as it beautifully reflects the ongoing commitment the Zoller family has in supporting new teachers who will contribute to making this world a better place, one student at a time.”
The endowed Zoller scholarship fund was set up by Richard and Judith Zoller in memory of their son, Joseph C. Zoller, CBA ’87, who died prematurely and tragically in 2004 at the age of thirty-nine. The fund’s purpose is to ensure that continued financial assistance is provided to deserving students pursuing a Fordham graduate degree in education. Sadly, Judith and Richard passed away in 2019 and 2020, respectively.
The golf classic and reception, organized by Joseph’s brother Rich Zoller, Jr., FCRH ‘85 and Board Chair, supports the Zoller Memorial Fund and honors the life and legacy of Joseph C. Zoller. The Zoller family’s devotion to the foundation and its commitment to furthering education will live on through this enduring scholarship for students at Fordham’s GSE, continuing to inspire teachers of tomorrow.
For those who might be interested in setting up a scholarship, please contact Molly Sullivan, Director of Development, Fordham University Professional Schools, at (212) 636-7575; or email email@example.com.