RVCC Graduates Receive “Christopher John Stupak Scholarship” at Centenary University for Advancing Elementary Science Education


RVCC Graduates Receive “Christopher John Stupak Scholarship” at Centenary University for Advancing Elementary Science Education

Wednesday, June 14, 2023
3 females against brick wall

New Jersey's Main Engine Start, a nonprofit focused on igniting student interest and aptitude in science and engineering, has awarded its inaugural “Christopher John Stupak Scholarship for the Next Generation of Elementary School Science Teachers” to three remarkable graduates from the Raritan Valley Community College Elementary Education program.

Christina Bubniak of Watchung, Isabel Dutta of Hillsborough, and Sarah Sconda of Bridgewater, now in their final two years at Centenary University, have each been honored with a $5000 scholarship to aid their upcoming full-time, unpaid student-teaching experiences during the 2023-2024 academic year.

The Christopher John Stupak Scholarship, named in memory of an outstanding 5th and 6th-grade teacher, is designed for passionate student-teachers devoted to making science an engaging, accessible, and fear-free subject in the classroom.

Peter Stupak, founder and president of Main Engine Start and brother of the late Christopher, celebrated the achievements of the scholars, saying, “These exceptional young educators, proud graduates of the Raritan Valley Community College Elementary Education program, embody the mission of Main Engine Start and the spirit of Christopher Stupak. They've demonstrated an understanding of science and a commitment to dispelling the fear that often surrounds it."

Christina Bubniak is set to begin her student-teaching journey in the fall of 2023, while Isabel Dutta and Sarah Sconda will commence their student-teaching in spring 2024. All three have shown outstanding academic performance, a unique approach to hands-on science teaching, and a devotion to kindling a love for science early in students' educational journeys.

Dr. Kathryn Suk, Professor of Education and Education Program Coordinator at Raritan Valley Community College, expressed confidence in the scholarship recipients. “These students have set themselves apart with their commitment and innovative teaching methods. I have no doubt that they will excel in their student-teaching assignments and go on to become impactful professional teachers, successfully instilling a love of science in their future students,” she said.

Peter Stupak further added, "As we award these scholarships, we celebrate the start of these future educators' journey towards influencing the next generation of scientists and engineers. They've already shown aptitude in their field, and we look forward to their inspiring a new wave of students to embrace science and removing the ‘fear’ of science from the classroom.”

To learn more about Main Engine Start and the Christopher John Stupak Scholarship, visit www.mainenginestart.org.

About Main Engine Start

Founded by Peter Stupak, Main Engine Start is a New Jersey-based nonprofit dedicated to helping students of all ages discover their aptitude and passion for science and engineering through hands-on projects. The organization provides financial support to aspiring educators through the Christopher John Stupak Scholarship, ensuring that more science-capable teachers can inspire future generations in the classroom.

About RVCC

Ranked by WalletHub.com and Intelligent.com as the #1 community college in New Jersey, Raritan Valley Community College has been serving as an academic and cultural center for Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for over 50 years. The College has been nationally recognized for its service to the community, environmental stewardship, and commitment to diversity. It is home to  a Planetarium, Science Education Institute and 3M Observatory; a Theatre offering professional performances for all ages; and an Honors College for high achieving students.

The College offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates, as well as career training and professional development courses. RVCC is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu.



June 14, 2023

Media contact: Donna Stolzer, 908-526-1200, ext. 8383

PR #148