The Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) has named Gabriela D. M. “Gaby” Ruiz-Colón ’16 of Quincy House and Jordan Weiers ’16 of Winthrop House this year’s David and Mimi Aloian Memorial Scholars.
Each May since 1988, the HAA has selected two undergraduates to receive the Aloian Memorial Scholarships. Recipients each receive a $2,000 grant toward their senior year at Harvard College. The criteria for the award reflect the traits valued and embodied by the late David and Mimi Aloian: thoughtful leadership that makes the College an exciting place in which to live and study, and special contributions to the quality of life in the Houses. David Aloian ’49 was the HAA’s executive director from 1978 to 1986, and he and his wife, Mary “Mimi” Aloian, served as masters of Quincy House from 1981to 1986.
This year’s scholarship recipients will be honored at the fall meeting of the HAA’s Board of Directors on Thursday, Oct. 1.
Ruiz-Colón, of Woodbury, Minnesota, sees the house system as the place within the College where students are truly able to engage with the diverse student body. Currently serving as co-chair of the Quincy House Committee, she previously held the position of operations chair and was responsible for the institution of the annual Winter Feast and the Cinema Josiah series. Most recently, she worked with the Office of Undergraduate Education to create the Transitions Program. Launched this spring, the program aims to ease the transition out of a highly structured freshman year to best support the sophomore reorientation experience.
Weiers, of Savage, Minnesota, served as the Resource Efficiency Program (REP) representative for Winthrop, leading the House to second place in the Recycling Quiz Challenge. In addition, he founded the Worms of Winthrop composting project, which included both a blog and a music video (“Talk Wormy to Me”), using creativity and humor to raise awareness and educate his fellow housemates. Weiers was a co-organizer of the gender-neutral housing campaign that occurred during his tenure as Winthrop’s representative on the Harvard Undergraduate Council. The successful referendum ensures subsequent availability of inclusive housing across all the Houses.
Nominations for the 2016 Aloian Memorial Scholarship will be available in March 2016. Any member of the House community—student, faculty, or staff—may submit nominations.