On the Town: College organization awards student scholarships

On the Town: College organization awards student scholarships
Glendale Community College "Black Scholar" scholarship winners are, from left, Katrina Brown and Tiaira Hill. Their presenter is Dr. Ramona Barrio-Sotillo, center. (Ruth Sowby Rands / Glendale News-Press)

The Glendale College Foundation distributed close to $350,000 for student scholarships last year.

This year’s total may be surpassed with the help of generous donors, many of whom were present at the college’s annual honors and awards banquet on June 18.


More than 360 college supporters, including scholarship donors and recipients gathered at the Glenoaks Ballroom to meet, greet and mark the conclusion of another semester.

Colleen Gabrimassihi, associated students president, welcomed her audience and introduced David Viar, college superintendent/president, who, in turn, introduced the college board of trustees made up of president Ann Ransford, who was not present, vice president Vahe Peroomian, clerk Tony Tartaglia, Armine Hacopian, and newest member Yvette Vartanian Davis.


Paul Schlossman, student services vice president, began the distribution of 74 scholarships by introducing groups of donors and recipients. He began with the inaugural scholarships, representing first-time awards.

Among those highlighted were scholarships to “Black Scholars” by the Black Student Union. Ramona Barrio-Sotillo presented $500 each to Katrina Brown and Tiaira Hill.

At 51 years old, Brown works in the college’s upstairs café and is on her way to an associate’s degree in dietary service.

She plans to become a dietary services supervisor, working with gerontology patients. Her inspiration is her elderly mother, who Brown cares for.

Hill’s goal is to establish a nonprofit organization to help girls without fathers. She will transfer to Spelman College in Atlanta in the fall, majoring in business administration and psychology.

Hasmik Zakarian won the Geraldine Manus Anson Memorial Scholarship. She received $300.

Zakarian is a working mother, with her supportive husband, Rouben Zakarian, present at the banquet. They have a son, Aren, 8.

“My goal is to become a medical-coding assistant and someday help and inspire other students the way this award has inspired me,” the scholarship recipient said.

The evening ended with the announcement of Maria Vardapetyan as winner of the Dr. Paul Schlossman Scholar Award.

The Associated Students Leadership Awards went to Gabrimassihi and Shant Eulmessekian.

The banquet was sponsored by the college’s Associated Students, Scholarship Office and the Glendale College Foundation.

During 2017 and into 2018, the busy gals of the Glendale Soroptimists gave away $41,000 in grants and awards and donated over 4,000 working hours.

Those stats were proudly announced by Jacqueline Hawley, the organization’s outgoing president, during the annual Installation luncheon on June 21.

Glendale Soroptimists incoming officers include, from left, 2nd Vice President Carol Ann Burton, M.D., President Kathryn Van Houten, and 1st Vice President Diane Lambillotte.
Glendale Soroptimists incoming officers include, from left, 2nd Vice President Carol Ann Burton, M.D., President Kathryn Van Houten, and 1st Vice President Diane Lambillotte. (Ruth Sowby Rands / Glendale News-Press)

The Oakmont Country Club was the setting for some 75 members and their guests.

Also announced was the Fund the Need Award for $2,000 given to Ascencia and accepted by Natalie Profant Komuro, Ascencia’s executive director.

Ascencia, which provides homeless services in the area, was just recognized by state Assemblywoman Laura Friedman as the 2018 Nonprofit of the Year for her district.

Susan Hunt, Soroptimist past president, was honored as the newest member of the Laurel Society. Soroptimist members Gayle Craig and Debbie Mallon presented the award.

The award is considered the highest honor bestowed to an exemplary member. Since 1994, more than 6,000 Laurel Society members have contributed nearly $10 million to help women through Soroptimist International programs.

Paula Devine, Glendale City councilwoman and past president of the Glendale Soroptimists, installed the 2018-2019 officers. Among them were President Kathryn Van Houten, President-Elect Martha Wilson, First Vice President (Programs) Diane Lambillotte and Second Vice President for Fundraising Dr. Carol Ann Burton, M.D.

“[Soroptimist International of Glendale] is helping so many women and girls in our community and abroad,” Devine said.

The program ended with a flourish as the President’s Pin was passed on by Hawley to Van Houten.