Thomas Brigandi Receives Macaulay’s Inaugural Pioneer Alumni Award

  • On November 11, 2015

Macaulay Honors College Inaugural Pioneer Alumni Award

  • On July 23, 2015

Two Macaulay Alumnae Win Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships

  • On April 21, 2015

The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans, a prestigious graduate school fellowship for immigrants and children of immigrants, has announced their 2015 recipients, including two Macaulay Honors College alumnae. The Fellows were selected for their potential to make significant contributions to US society, culture, or their academic field, and were selected from a pool of 1,200 applicants.

Amal El Bakhar
Award will support Amal as she works toward a JD at Harvard Law School

Amal has had one foot rooted in Arab immigrant culture and the other in the classroom of social justice since her family immigrated to New York City from Morocco when she was nine years old. Overcoming cultural barriers, Amal was the first in her family to graduate from both high school and college. Soon she will be the first to obtain a graduate degree.

As a student at Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College, CUNY, Amal dedicated her free time to the Emergency Department at Bellevue Hospital, challenging her family’s understanding of how she should prioritize her time. Amal also worked at the Center for Reproductive Rights, an organization with incongruous views with those of her own conservative upbringing. Unafraid of the differences, Amal pursued the similarities in her religious beliefs and emerging consciousness of gender equality through her academic schoolwork. She wrote an award-winning honors thesis on Iran’s healthcare laws for women, and a second thesis on the current legal status of reproductive rights in the United States.

Upon graduating from college, Amal was awarded the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs, an experiential leadership-training program that prepares individuals for effective and ethical leadership in the public affairs arena.

As a student and campus leader at Harvard Law School, Amal continues to focus on women’s issues. As a future lawyer-advocate, she hopes to represent individuals facing adversities while promoting the principles of civil rights that underlie our social infrastructure.

Evgeniya Kim
The Soros award will support Evgeniya’s work toward an MBA at Yale School of Management

Evgeniya’s heritage lies in four generations of border crossings. Born in what is now North Korea, Evgeniya’s ancestors moved to Russia’s Far East in search of a better life. Falling victim to Stalin’s repression, they were exiled to Central Asia and settled in Uzbekistan, where they faced marginalization. Evgeniya, fourteen at the time, and her family, fled Uzbekistan for the United States in 2002, where they fell victim to a visa scam and were forced to spend eight months in a family shelter in Leesport, Pennsylvania before receiving asylum.

Evgeniya was determined to succeed academically and convinced a principal of a school an hour and a half away from her home to admit her into their gifted program. Socially, she felt her Korean face and Russian culture questioned by her classmates, but on the tennis court, she saw the pressures of her life dissipate. She had represented Uzbekistan as a member of the national junior tennis team, and was able to use those skills in the United States to earn money for family.

Aware of her unique background, Evgeniya was always interested in the interplay of culture, politics, and social change. As a student at Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College, CUNY in New York City, she pursued international relations and interned at the Open Society Foundations, helping to address the very human rights issues that her family faced in Uzbekistan. She supplemented her studies with real world experiences by volunteering abroad and traveling to more than 30 countries around the world.

Seeing that behind most social issues lie tangible business problems, Evgeniya joined the Soros Economic Development Fund, where she analyzed the social impact of the fund’s investments on 21.4 million people across 20 countries. Evgeniya is currently pursuing her MBA at the Yale School of Management.


Learn more about the program

Macaulay Alum Photographer gets his big break!

  • On April 8, 2015

Macaulay Alumna Wins a Fulbright!

  • On April 7, 2015

Macaulay Alumna Dasi Fruchter ’12 (Queens) in NYT article

  • On October 27, 2014

Olaf Woldan (City ’13)

OlafOlaf Woldan (City ’13) is a graduate of the Macaulay Honors College and CUNY BA Program for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies, where he created his own major studying the depiction of science in media. He’s been featured as a guest blogger for Scientific American and worked as a production assistant and editor on Inconceivable, an upcoming science web series acquired by Disney Interactive Entertainment.

In his spare time, he manages a small production boutique, Zoetrope NYC, with his best friend, business partner, and fellow Macaulay graduate Jensen Rong. He’s currently developing a science fiction web series and assists the Macaulay New Media Lab with production on its ongoing projects.

Dean Kirschner’s tribute to Chancellor Goldstein

Chancellor Matthew Goldstein announced on Friday that he will step down as chancellor this summer. He has been an extraordinary leader for CUNY for 14 years. It was his vision to create Macaulay Honors College and it will be one of his many legacies. The MaGoldstein.phpcaulay community has benefited immensely from his stewardship.  It has been a personal privilege and honor to have worked so closely with one of the most talented, inspiring, and courageous leaders in higher education today.

The Chancellor took a literal “hands-on” approach at Macaulay – shaking every graduating senior’s hand as he or she crossed the stage at Commencement.  We took this as a reflection of his pride in their achievements and his interest in their next steps.

In the months to come, we will be celebrating his achievements, and planning for the transition to an interim chancellor who will serve while the University undertakes a national search for a new leader.

Read more about how Chancellor Goldstein has transformed CUNY during his tenure:

Ann Kirschner
University Dean

Macaulay Honors College Appoints Dr. David Petraeus as Visiting Professor

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. David Petraeus to the Macaulay Honors College faculty, as Visiting Professor, effective August 1, 2013.  This appointment represents a major forward step in our mission to educate global citizens by connecting Macaulay students to the top leaders of NYC and the world.

Dr Petraeus is the highly decorated four-star general who commanded coalition forces during the “surge” in Iraq and later in Afghanistan, and who subsequently served as Director of the CentrPETRAEUS-articleInlineal Intelligence Agency.  He holds a B.S. with honors from the United States Military Academy and M.P.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.   He has extensive teaching experience as an Assistant Professor of International Relations at the U.S. Military Academy and a fellowship at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Dr. Petraeus will be teaching one honors seminar each semester, in line with his research interests in energy, manufacturing, life sciences and information technology and their implications for the United States. His first seminar this fall will be a course in American Studies entitled: “Are We on the Threshold of the North American Decade?”  In this interdisciplinary seminar, students will examine in depth and then synthesize the history and trends in diverse public policy topics with a view towards recommendations for America’s leadership role in the emerging global economy.

He will also offer public lectures at Macaulay during the academic year. We are honored that he chose to continue his commitment to public service with this appointment at Macaulay.

Ann Kirschner
University Dean

The Bruno Salazar Alumni Network Award given to deserving senior

On Feb. 5th, 200 graduating students and their families gathered for the first ever “Senior Night.” During this special night of celebration, deserving students received awards. Muhammad Javad ’13 (Baruch) received the first ever Bruno Salazar Alumni Network award.

The “Salazar Award” is awarded to a senior who has demonstrated exceptional achievement and personal character above and beyond all expectations. Muhammad has a passion for eye care. Living in a rural village in Pakistan, he was diagnosed with retinoblastoma and cataracts at a very young age. The year before entering Macaulay he had his eye sight restored.

During his undergraduate career, Muhammad has worked to support organizations that service the blind such as New York Eye And Ear the Computer Center For Visually Impaired People at Baruch, American Cancer Society, and Orbis, an organization that helps people in need of
medical Infirmary care.

Special thanks to the Macaulay Alumni Board for their leadership in creating this award and to Dan Blondell ’10 (Hunter) for hosting the evening like a pro!

Alumni Mentoring In Action

This fall, the Student-Alumni Mentoring program was re-launched and over 30 student-alumni pairs were formed. Check out some photos from the Spring Semester Student-Alumni Mentoring event.



Macaulay Alumnus on Broadway

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We want to stay connected with all of our alumni and let you know what is going on at Macaulay Honors College.


Fellowship Assistance

The The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship is open to students who are beginning their first year of graduate school in NSF supported fields in the sciences, engineering , mathematics and some social sciences.

The Fellowship provides three years of funding – a $30,00 stipend a $12,00 cost of education allowance to the fellow’s institution. Beginning graduate students must have no more than 20 hours of graduate work completed at the time of application.  In the last academic year, 16 CUNY students, many of them beginning graduate students, were recipients of this award.

Jim Airozo, the CUNY Director of Students awards is available to assist students through the application process.  He can be reached at

For more information on the Fellowship go to  To read bios of recent CUNY scholarship and fellowship winners, including NSF winners from Macaulay go to  The application deadlines vary by discipline but are usually in early November.

Congrats Yusuf Anwar ’12 (Brooklyn)!

Congratulations to Yusuf Anwar ’12 (Brooklyn) for winning an award at a Global Debate and Public Policy Challenge in Budapest!

Read article on competition

Eugene Krel ’08 (Baruch) leads MFE team to victory

Eugene Krel ’08 (Baruch) (Baruch MFE’09) led a Baruch MFE team to winning the 2012 Rotman International Trading Competition (RITC) that took place at University of Toronto, where 50 teams representing 44 academic institutions from four continents competed.

Click here for complete CUNY ARTICLE

Russel Neiss ’05 (Queens)

Michael Grohman and Duane Morris

Michael Grohman, Managing Partner at Duane Morris, New York Office

In 2008 Michael Grohman was introduced to Macaulay Honors College and it was an instant connection. As a high-achieving graduate of Brooklyn Law School (1983), he identified with Macaulay’s mission to provide unique opportunities beyond the traditional college experience. Under Michael’s direction, Duane Morris LLP, has been hiring and mentoring Macaulay students and alumni ever since.

Michael has organized three annual “Careers in Law” breakfast events at Duane Morris, introducing over 60 Macaulay students to the field of law. Panelists from various areas of the firm shared insights into their careers and then made themselves available for one-on-one informational interviews.

Since 2009 he has filled seven paid internship positions with Macaulay students who had the rare opportunity to conduct research, create documents, and shadow lawyers. Interns have called the experience “priceless.” One even noted “I learned so much at Duane Morris; now I am sure that I want law school to be in my future and I would highly recommend this internship opportunity to another Macaulay student.”

Michael also filled four graduate internships with Macaulay alumni and two—Reshma Shah ’08 (City), Mary Pennisi ’08 (Brooklyn), —were hired upon graduating from law school. Anna Lukashova ’08 (Hunter) also joined Duane Morris as a paralegal while she attends law school full-time.

On March 1, 2012, Mr. Grohman will facilitate a “mock law school class” for the Macaulay Pre-Law Club. During this workshop, Macaulay students and alumni will get a preview of what a real law school class is like. This experience will enlighten students who are contemplating applying for law school and better prepare the ones who will begin this fall.

Michael has been serving on Macaulay’s advisory council since 2009 and in 2011 Dean Kirschner appointed him as co-chair of this influential and highly invested group. When he isn’t doing everything in his power to help Macaulay students and alumni succeed, he devotes time to his other passion, photography (check out his link below).

We are grateful for Michael Grohman’s leadership and to everyone at Duane Morris LLP for welcoming, mentoring and preparing Macaulay students and alumni to rank among the best lawyers in New York City.


Michael Grohman:


Law career




Duane Morris LLP:

Alumni make permanent mark on W67!

Over 50 Macaulay alumni gathered on October 5 to welcome the Class of 2011 and dedicate the new word cloud mural.

The word cloud, a gift from the Classes 2005-2010, was dedicated by Macaulay’s 10th anniversary alumni giving chairs, Mila Matveeva ’10 (Hunter) and Dan Blondell ’10 (Hunter). Thanks to all who participated!

Artist, Joseph Sopp '10 (Hunter), with fellow alumni at the dedication

Following Mila and Dan’s dedication, Miriam Samstein ’07 (Brooklyn), Macaulay’s first alumnus Director for the Macaulay Honors College Foundation Board, kicked off the 2011/2012 fund raising efforts!

Miriam strongly emphasized that participation and “giving back” is what matters most – not the amount of the gift.

We invite you to join the tradition of giving back by making a gift today!* Press the “Give” button to contribute now.



*Gifts will go to Macaulay’s Foundation that supports current students, academic programs, faculty and the “Opportunities Fund” that supports study abroad, independent research, internships, and community service projects.

Alumni activities are supported by the generous support from the Laura Schor Fund for Alumni Relations

Xi Stacy Chen ’06 (Baruch) Launches ‘Coalition for Queens’

Xi Stacy Chen ’06 (Baruch) recently co-founded Coalition for Queens: Silicon Valley 2.0. The organization focuses on shaping the long-term future of Queens by building support for an applied science & engineering research campus in Willets Point, Queens. The organization received immediate media attention, being featured on NY1 and by the NY Daily News.

Stacy created the petition “Willets Points, Queens: future site for NYC’s Applied Science & Engineering Campus”.

You can read more about the City’s initiative, Queens SV2 and sign Stacy’s petition here.