Bypass navigation bar Search Home

Navigate Up
Sign In

Area DCCCD Students Named Muse Scholars

​Contact: Ann Hatch
For immediate release — July 29, 2014
(DALLAS) — Nine area Dallas County Community College District students are role models for others. They succeed; they are leaders in their communities; they have a strong sense of purpose; and they have a deep work ethic and clear educational goals. They have potential. They are determined, and others have recognized their potential because each of those students has been named a 2014-2015 Muse Scholar, beginning this fall.
The new Muse Scholarship recipients are:
  • Marietou Diallo of Dallas, a computer science major at Brookhaven College;
  • Saliou Diallo of Dallas, a biomedical engineering major at Brookhaven College;
  • Vanessa Escalante of Dallas, an accounting major at El Centro College;
  • Diana Farran of Irving, an engineering major at North Lake College;
  • Jessica Gallardo of Farmers Branch, a biology major at Brookhaven College;
  • Lucinda Ipina of Grand Prairie, a biology major at Mountain View College;
  • William Kaseu of Dallas, a mathematics major at El Centro College;
  • Katia Marroquin of Irving, a nursing major at North Lake College; and
  • Robert Marusak of Mansfield, a wildlife management major at Cedar Valley College.
Recipients are selected on the basis of their leadership potential, determination to succeed, focus on educational goals and work ethic, along with proven leadership skills and academic achievement.
Created and funded by longtime DCCCD Foundation supporters Lyn and John Muse of Dallas, the Muse Scholarship Program fully supports each recipient’s costs in college — including tuition, books and additional fees — to meet the requirements of the certification program or degree plan in which the student is enrolled. Students may receive the Muse Scholarship for up to six consecutive semesters.
“Determination and potential are key characteristics we look for in our Muse Scholars,” said Dr. Joe May, DCCCD chancellor. “Lyn and John Muse believe in those traits, as well as a strong work ethic and clear educational goals. Each recipient exhibits those characteristics, and we are excited to have them as students at the colleges in our district. They are our future leaders, and we will help them reach their educational and professional goals.”
Six Muse Scholars who attended a DCCCD college in 2013-2014 are returning this fall:
  • Mussie Abraha Abed of Richardson, a nursing major who attends El Centro College;
  • Mabel Balceros of Richardson, also a nursing major at El Centro College;
  • Hector Martinez of Garland, a business major at Richland College;
  • Carly Mauldin of Roby, a fashion marketing major at El Centro College;
  • Ryan Newman of Dallas, a music major at Richland College; and
  • Rachel Slagle of Little Elm, a health care major at El Centro College.
Students’ biographical sketches are provided below; for more information, contact Kathye Hammontree in the DCCCD Foundation office at (214) 378-1536.
# # #
Dallas County Community College District
2014-2015 Muse Scholarship Recipients
Biographical Sketches
Marietou DialloMarietou Diallo — Marietou Diallo, a native of Senegal, West Africa, migrated to the United States so that she could attend Brookhaven College. Diallo, who lives in Dallas with her brother, Saliou — also a new Muse Scholar — plans to transfer to the University of Texas at Austin to earn her bachelor’s degree once she finishes her associate degree at Brookhaven. Deeply interested in mathematics and computers, Marietou says she loves quantitative reasoning, which led her to computer science and, eventually, to her dream job in software engineering. She wants to create computer programs to help people fulfill their needs around the world, and she also would like to contribute to open source software or to create her own. Marietou joined the Student Leadership Institute at Brookhaven, where she developed her leadership skills and became an All-Star member of the institute. She serves as a member of the executive board for the college's International Club and also is a member of the academic honorary Phi Theta Kappa. Marietou attributes her success to hard work.
Saliou DialloSaliou Diallo — A Dallas resident and native of Senegal, West Africa, Saliou Diallo is a science major at Brookhaven College who has always wanted to improve the world’s health, ever since he was a young child. Deciding that he can achieve that goal by earning a master’s degree in biomedical engineering, Saliou first plans to finish his associate degree in science to begin that journey. He eventually wants to conduct research, design and develop medical products, or modify existing equipment for patients in rehabilitation at clinics and hospitals. He is a member of the academic honor society Phi Theta Kappa, the Student Government Association, the Student Leadership Institute and the International Club at Brookhaven. He has held a variety of offices in those organizations and believes that those leadership skills, plus community service, will help him to achieve his dreams.
Vanessa EscalanteVanessa Escalante — Accounting major Vanessa Escalante lives in Dallas and attends El Centro College. A graduate of Sunset High School, Vanessa takes responsibility for herself and others at home, at work and at school — all ways in which she has built her leadership skills. She is a role model for her younger sister, and she also helps her dad out with the family’s needs. Vanessa says her motto is “Get the job done, without complaining.” She has learned how to work with people as a hostess and a server at the restaurant where she is employed. Her experience in customer service, along with her abilities to help with paperwork and money counts, have added to her skills. Vanessa wants to improve her leadership skills and abilities so that she can handle additional responsibility as she goes to El Centro and explores her career choices.
Diana FarranDiana Farran — North Lake College engineering major Diana Farran is a resident of Irving and a graduate of the Jack E. Singley Academy, where she was a student in the STEM program. She describes herself as a positive, motivated person with curiosity that prompts her to ask questions, learn and work hard. As a student-athlete at her school, Diana was a member of the swim and water polo teams. She is a swim instructor, too. At her high school, she was an AP/Honors scholar, a Journeys Scholar, a member and officer of the Girls of Technology Club, a Pathfinder youth club member, a Student Council member and a Sabbath Youth Board member at her church, among many organizations. She also has participated in community service activities, doing work at Vacation Bible School, the Dallas Food Bank and as a volunteer who helped feed the homeless, work at the library and help with youth camps. An award-winning student and violinist, Diana wants to pursue a career in engineering.
Jessica GallardoJessica Gallardo — Jessica Gallardo, a resident of Farmers Branch, is majoring in biology at Brookhaven College, where she brings a record of leadership, self-discipline and responsibility. A graduate of R.L. Turner High School, Gallardo was a member of the National Honor Society, Key Club and Mu Alpha Theta national mathematics honor society as well as a volunteer for the Red Balloon Run and Ride, the Hot Chocolate Run, Toys for Tots, Mary Immaculate Carnival and others. She also served as a Manske Library tutor and an R.L. Turner Saturday school tutor. Jessica plans to earn her associate degree in biology so that she can eventually attend optometry school and become a certified optometrist. “Being a leader is not something to take lightly,” she says, but adds, “I will continue working toward good grades because I have only just begun my journey.”
Lucinda IpinaLucinda Ipina — Grand Prairie resident and Mountain View College student Lucinda Ipina plans to graduate with her associate degree next spring. She wants to transfer, earn her bachelor’s degree in biology and then enroll in medical school, eventually to become a pediatrician. A member of the national academic honor society Phi Theta Kappa, the Aviation Club, the First Year Experience Club and a community volunteer, Lucinda came to the United States at a young age, learned English in school and served as a translator for her parents, too. Currently, she ranks in the top 10 percent of her class at Mountain View, and she also serves as vice president of fellowship for PTK. She enjoys reading, taking nature walks, baking, scrapbooking, gardening and volunteering her time in the community at the Genesis Women’s Shelter as a PAL, who works with children and helps them with their homework. She says that being the first of her generation to go to college is a great accomplishment, but she won’t stop there.
William KaseuWilliam Kaseu — William Kaseu, a mathematics major at El Centro College, wants to finish his associate degree and eventually earn a doctorate in mathematics so that he can become an actuary and help his people in South Africa. He says, “In Africa, many people are uninsured. Insurance companies are unscrupulous because they don’t have qualified actuaries. Insurance companies in Africa are not protected at all from risk, making it impossible for them to offer affordable and convenient insurance policies.” William decided 10 years ago that he wanted to come to the United States for an education; he arrived a few years ago and now is pursuing his degree at El Centro, where he is executive vice president of the Black Student Union Club, a member of the legislation committee for the Student Government Association and a member of the International Club. He has been a mathematics tutor and a member of Reading Partners at L. Susie Elementary as part of his community service activities. Although his parents send what they can from South Africa to help, William says that the Muse Scholarship will enable him to finish college at El Centro.
Katia MarroquinKatia Marroquin — Irving resident Katia Marroquin attends North Lake College and plans to pursue a career in nursing — a nurse practitioner, specializing in the field of nephrology. A spring 2014 graduate of Jack E. Singley Academy in Irving, Katia was involved in the National Honor Society, the Girls of Technology Club, Jesa’s Volunteers Club and the Jack E. Singley Academy Ambassadors. In addition to participating in school- and church-related activities, she learned “the art of serving my peers with the best and nothing less.” She adds that a leader must be humble and ready to learn. Her activities also taught her social competency skills, leadership skills and service in the spirit of excellence.
Robert MarusakRobert Marusak — Robert Marusak, a resident of Mansfield, attends Cedar Valley College; he plans to earn an associate degree in biology and eventually to major in wildlife management. A 2008 graduate of Martin High School, Marusak has worked for a number of businesses in Arlington and surrounding areas; he currently is a flame spray operator for Steeltex in Venus, Texas. A former violinist and golfer in high school, Robert wants to pursue a career in wildlife biology, wildlife management or the state game warden service. After several years of personal struggles, he returned to the area with memories of his love for the outdoors (which began as a child) and his interest in preservation as his inspiration for pursuing his educational goals.