University News

Tabarek Al-Kowami, Jason Shumilla, and Kyle Zemba Named 2022-23 Cohen Scholars

Published: December 06, 2022 | Categories: All News, Business
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Western New England University College of Business Dean Sharianne Walker is pleased to announce the newest members to join the prestigious Cohen Scholar Program: Tabarek Al-Kowami, Jason Shumilla, and Kyle Zemba.

This incoming class of Cohen Scholars comprises the tenth cohort of the Cohen Scholars Program, which was created in part from a $1 million gift from the estate of Frances Cohen, whose husband, Norman Cohen, was a 1934 graduate of Western New England University. Cohen Scholars were named in a special Tenth Anniversary Celebration pinning ceremony. Jeff Sagalyn, Cohen Estate Trustee met with scholars and shared the history of the program's benefactors.

Cohen Scholars serve as College of Business student ambassadors at various events throughout the year, in addition to receiving an annual merit scholarship of $5,000. They participate in a number of activities throughout the year designed to enhance their business skills, entrepreneurial thinking, and leadership.

According to Matt McGinty of IntelyCare ('01/'05), Chair of the College of Business Advisory Board, "The students represent an outstanding group of future Business leaders and we look forward to working with them throughout the year as mentors helping them expand their business network and advance their knowledge of today's rapidly changing business world."

The Cohen Scholars also help to facilitate social and community impact of the College of Business through various programming including the Product Development and Innovation Showcase and the University Veterans' Day Celebration.

Joining a group of 28 other Cohen Scholars which dates back to the program's inception in 2013 Al-Kowami, Shumilla, and Zemba were selected from a finalist pool of highly exceptional students who had undergone a rigorous application and interview process. The finalist pool, made up of high-performing students who had achieved a minimum 3.8 GPA, were chosen to apply based on demonstrated leadership, communication skills, citizenship and community service, and interpersonal skills.

Kyle Zemba, a resident of East Longmeadow, MA, is working toward a BSBA in Marketing. On campus, Zemba is a Resident Advisor, the Secretary for the Entrepreneurship Club, a member of the Marketing Association, the Communication Team Manager for TEDxWNE,and the President of Virtual/Augmented Reality Club. Outside of WNE, Zemba is widely involved in the community by founding Unify Against Bullying a charity which has raised over $100,000 in the last five years to bring an end to bullying.

Jason Shumilla, a resident of Cheshire, CT, is working toward a BSBA in Finance. On campus, Shumilla is part of the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society, is a Quarterback for the WNE Football team, a council member for the WNE Football Leadership Council, and a Group Leader for Athletics in Action. Outside of WNE, Shumilla worked at a Community Health Center as a COVID Vaccine Support Associate where he performed various administrative tasks to support the staff.

Tabarek Al-Kowami, a resident of Springfield, MA, is working toward a BSBA in Business Analytics and Information Management. On campus, Al-Kowami is a Resident Advisor, the Vice President for the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Club, a member of the Emerging Leaders Program, and a Pitch Competition participant for the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. Outside of WNE, Al-Kowami works at Big Y World Class Market where she creates a positive environment for both her coworkers and customers.

"The Cohen Scholars represent some of our most outstanding Business students and who represent a commitment to the business excellence exhibited by the Cohens," said Dean Walker regarding the announcement of the three new scholars.