On Monday, May 12th, the Office of Honors and Scholarships held a reception celebrating the achievements of Queens College students who won national awards this year. Winners came from a number of disciplines, and their awards fund a range of activities from teaching, to study and research to internships with businesses and nonprofits. In his remarks to the gathering, President Gizis commended the students’ outstanding achievements and praised their faculty mentors for providing invaluable support and guidance. President Gizis wished the students every success in their future endeavors, and urged those who are graduating to stay connected with Queens College. It was a pleasure to hear from the honorees about their fascinating work and exciting future plans. Many echoed President Gizis’s sentiments by thanking their faculty advisors as well as those from the Honors and Scholarships department and the Macaulay Honors College for advice and guidance on particular applications and throughout their college careers.
Queens College students have won a number of the most prestigious teaching awards this year. Three Macaulay Honors College at Queens College students, Patryk Perkowski, Karla Padawer Solomon and Chloe Weiser all won Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships which allow students to teach English abroad and participate in cultural exchanges for a year. Sandra Lau, also a Macaulay at Queens student will be heading to Japan to teach English there next year through the JET Program sponsored by the Japanese government. Teach For America places students in under-resourced public schools and Macaulay Honors at Queens College students Jill Greenberg and Paramjoat Singh, and Queens College student Nicole Wong all won this prestigious honor. Grace Prestamo (also of Macaulay Honors College and Queens College) has earned a place in New York City’s Teaching Fellows program, which enables students to combine public school teaching with earning a Master’s degree.
A number of Macaulay Honors College at Queens College students have also won major awards recognizing excellence in the sciences. Lauren Blachorsky won the Barry M. Goldwater scholarship, which commends excellence in scientific research and funds students’ junior and/or senior years in college. Daniel Stalbow is one of this year’s Jonas E. Salk Scholarship winners. Named in honor of the inventor of the first anti-polio vaccine and City College graduate, this scholarship provides funding for advanced degrees to students who will make significant contributions to medical research. Marianna Lamnina earned an honorable mention in the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, which recognizes outstanding graduate students, or those entering graduate school, in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.
As well as the teaching awards, Queens College is well-represented among winners of fellowships funding other kinds of international experiences. Rui Yan Ma, of the Macaulay Honors College at Queens College, is a recipient of the Benjamin A. Gilman scholarship, which allows college students to study or intern abroad. The Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship awards students three summer internships, (one of them abroad) designed to further students’ career goals and Queens College’s Anita Torossian will be beginning her Watson fellowship this summer.
Congratulations to all the winners on their excellent work and wonderful achievements! Winning national fellowships helps build your resume and can help you pay for college or graduate school. If you’re considering applying for some of these awards, remember that you have lots of support available from your professors and from me and others here in Honors and Scholarships. Feel free to get in touch to talk about your options, and please check this blog regularly for news of fellowship competitions and for information to help with your applications. I look forward to celebrating with many of you this time next year!