Ten UB students chosen for HSBC Scholars program

Release Date: October 30, 2015 This content is archived.

“This year’s cohort of students is amazing. They are involved on and off campus, and have particularly high GPAs.”
Elizabeth Colucci, coordinator of fellowships and scholarships
University at Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Ten outstanding University at Buffalo students make up the current class of UB’s HSBC Scholars, a program designed to help juniors and seniors pursuing a STEM education or business-related field with financial scholarships, mentoring, paid internships, networking and other professional development.

The ongoing program includes a wide-range of support, ranging from the $5,000 annual scholarship to one-on-one mentoring by ranking bank leaders.

“UB deeply appreciates the investment of HSBC in our students,” says Elizabeth Colucci, coordinator of fellowships and scholarships at UB.

HSBC’s investment in UB students through the HSBC Scholars Program — which includes financial literacy training, access to internship and networking opportunities — is invaluable, Colucci says. UB HSBC Scholars also receive mentoring from UB alumni working at HSBC.  

“This year’s cohort of students is amazing,” Colucci says. “They are involved on and off campus, and have particularly high GPAs.”

HSBC scholar Ledeebari Banuna, a junior pursuing degrees in business and political science, says she was looking for a program that included personal interaction with successful professionals in her field. The HSBC Scholars Program provided that extra dimension to her undergraduate education.

“I’m very interested in where I can get experience and explore opportunities in my field, which is business and political science,” Banuna says. “I was also looking for something with a mentorship complement, and HSBC offers that.

“So far, already, we have had a financial-literacy training workshop,” she says. “At that workshop we were able to meet some alumni from UB who work at HSBC. And we had the opportunity to network with all of them and to be able to discuss my future career goals.

“That was excellent for me,” she says, “especially because it led me to thinking about options I hadn’t thought about before.”

The program, which will continue in 2016, targets outstanding students studying in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math, or business-related academic programs. HSBC puts particular emphasis on technology and math, as well as on business-related academics.

Applications will be available in the spring semester. Contact Colucci at colucci3@buffalo.edu in January.

“HSBC provides financial support to students majoring in business, as well as science, technology, engineering and math, because all of these areas are important to success at HSBC and to the competitiveness of Western New York’s workforce,” says Paul Stanley, program manager in corporate sustainability at HSBC.

“My colleagues and I also make it a priority to visit campus and invite HSBC Scholars to our offices multiple times throughout the year because there’s so much that we can learn from them.”

Kyle Clarey, a junior majoring in accounting, calls the HSBC Scholars Program “a great source of financial-literacy training and networking skills.”

“HSBC’s engagement effort here is truly impressive for such a large, multinational bank,” Clarey says. “I have an HSBC mentor that I communicate with periodically who provides me with advice and guidance on anything from school to career choices. I was very excited and honored to gain entrance into the program, especially because of my desire to obtain a position in investment banking.

“The experience and training that this program offers me will be a great asset as I embark in the world.”

All HSBC Scholars participate in Web-based professional development training, group telephone meetings with Scholars Programs leadership and in-person meetings with HSBC mentors. All have demonstrated a financial need.

The 10 HSBC Scholars are:

  • Ledeebari Banuna of Buffalo is a junior pursing a bachelor’s of science degree in business administration and a bachelor of arts in political science. Banuna serves on the Alison Des Forges Memorial Committee in an honorary capacity as the first Alison Des Forges Scholar.
  • Kyle Clarey of Orchard Park is a junior majoring in accounting who intends to pursue an MBA in finance. On campus, Kyle works for the University at Buffalo IT department and is an active member of the University at Buffalo Accounting Association.
  • Danitza Cruz of Rochester is a first-generation UB college student studying medical technology. She has just entered her senior year and has been tutoring chemistry, English and Spanish for the past two years. Last fall, she participated in the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership and served as a mentor at the Native American Magnet School in Buffalo.
  • Wendy Jansson of Williamsville is a senior pursuing a bachelor’s of science degree in computer engineering. She previously received a degree in Chinese, Spanish and history at the University of Delaware, and lived in China and Taiwan. Outside of school, she is a volunteer for Girl Develop It Buffalo -- an organization that teaches programming to women -- and conducts summer work in her field.
  • Sean Kaczmarek of West Seneca is pursuing a double major in economics and political science with a minor in Chinese. As an elected trustee of the Cheektowaga-Sloan Board of Education, he is passionate about education policy. He volunteers in the Buffalo Public Schools as a member of the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership, which seeks to improve STEM education in city middle schools and high schools.
  • Cecilia Lee of Brooklyn is a junior pursuing a degree in finance and marketing. She has great interest and passion for human resources after starting an internship at a young age. She hopes to combine all the experience she has gained and apply it to her future endeavors.
  • Antara Majumdar of Astoria is a rising junior, majoring in biological sciences and minoring in Spanish. Although she grew up in New York City, she has adopted Buffalo as her new home. Majumbar plans to become a neurosurgeon and neuroscientist, and intends to conduct research on neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Sonya Tareke of Mount Vernon is a business administration major with a minor in Latin language and literature minor. As a Daniel Acker Scholar, she has focused on community involvement — on-campus as a resident advisor, and off-campus as a volunteer for minority students in Buffalo.
  • Garfield Walker of Mount Vernon is a rising junior majoring in the biomedical sciences. A proud Jamaican who lives in Mount Vernon, Garfield is a member of UB’s Honors College and intends to pursue medicine. Incorporating strong enthusiasm and values, Garfield aims to integrate the principles of narrative medicine in his field of interest — a medical approach that recognizes the value of people’s narratives in clinical practice and research.
  • Racheal Whiteside of Cuba, New York, is pursuing a major in environmental geosciences with minors in geology and geography. She is interested in renewable resources, but also devotes her time to volcano research. An avid helper of kids, Whiteside has spent time tutoring and mentoring in after-school programs, and currently volunteers in the Buffalo Public Schools to help boost student interest in STEM fields. She also hopes to study the effects of peer mediation on conflict resolution within these schools.

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