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Congratulations to Olga Barskaya ’10 (Baruch) and Daniel T. Allen ’08 (Hunter) on their recent marriage!

Macaulay alumnus Michael L. Young ’10 (Staten Island) has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarship to Spain in English Teaching Assistantship, the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board announced recently.

Young—a native of Staten Island—is an American Studies and Studio Art Major and Jeanette K. Watson fellowship recipient. Young joins previous Macaulay Fulbright recipients: Mikela Chase ’09 (Lehman), Nicole Jean Baptiste ’09 (Lehman), Mary Pennisi ’08 (Brooklyn), Alex Rodriguez ’07 (Hunter), Priya Surya ’05 (Queens), and Lauren Vriens ’10 (Hunter).

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The Program operates in over 155 countries worldwide.

Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given approximately 300,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in government, science, the arts, business, philanthropy, education, and athletics. Forty Fulbright alumni from 11 countries have been awarded the Nobel Prize, and 75 alumni have received Pulitzer Prizes. Prominent Fulbright alumni include: Muhammad Yunus, Managing Director and Founder, Grameen Bank, and 2006 Nobel Peace Prize recipient; John Atta Mills, President of Ghana; Lee Evans, Olympic Gold Medalist; Ruth Simmons, President, Brown University; Riccardo Giacconi, Physicist and 2002 Nobel Laureate; Amar Gopal Bose, Chairman and Founder, Bose Corporation; Renee Fleming, soprano; Gish Jen, Writer; and Daniel Libeskind, Architect.

Fulbright recipients are among over 40,000 individuals participating in U.S. Department of State exchange programs each year. For more than sixty years, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has funded and supported programs that seek to promote mutual understanding and respect between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is administered by the Institute of International Education.

Welcome Class of 2011 to the Macaulay Honors College Alumni Network! We are thrilled to officially welcome our newest Alumni class and look forward to each of you becoming active members of our Macaulay alumni community. Click here to check out highlights from the Class of 2011’s memorable graduation.

Be sure to stay in touch with Macaulay through our website, facebook, twitter, and LinkedIn! (All links on side bar)

Thank you!

Thank you to all alumni who participated in the 2010-2011 Alumni Giving Campaign. The beautiful wall mural will be ready by the start of the 2011 school year. The mural will be completed by artist, Joseph Sopp ’10 (Hunter). Please visit us and check out the new and improved lobby anytime!

Congratulations to Macaulay alumnus Brittany Bochow (’08) Hunter on her marriage that took place Sunday May 15th. Read the NY Times announcement here:

Dear Macaulay Community Member,

Following on last week’s string of successes, I have more news to share about several other Macaulay students and alumni who have gained major recognition.

Arthur Parzygnat ’10 (Queens) has won the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. He was selected in the field of Mathematical Sciences, specifically in Topological Quantum Field Theory, Homotopy Theory, and Higher Category Theory.
The NSF program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees. Arthur was also the recipient of the Arthur Sard Memorial Award in 2010 for excellence in math, and he is currently pursuing graduate studies in Mathematical Sciences at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Stephen Ma ’11 (City), David Liu ’11 (City) and Christopher Hue ’08 (City) all received NSF Honorable Mentions. Stephen is also a Mellon and Goldsmith Scholar; David is a Mellon, Dewitt, and Goldsmith Scholar; Christopher is a Muehlstein and Goldsmith Scholar.

Amal El bakhar ’11 (Hunter) was selected for the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs, a full-time, nine-month, graduate-level, experiential leadership training program that prepares diverse, talented and committed individuals for effective and ethical leadership in the public affairs arena. To satisfy her dual passions for Medicine and Law, she plans to pursue an MD/JD dual degree and work afterward in fields that pertain to both medicine and human rights. Amal is also a Goldsmith Scholar.

Pooja Shah ’11 (Hunter) has won the Merage Foundation American Dream Fellowship. She is one of just 10 students to be selected for the fellowship this year and is the fourth Hunter College student to receive this award. The Foundation seeks to inspire young immigrants to achieve their American Dream with an award of $10,000 per year for two years. Pooja is also a Mellon and Dewitt Scholar, and she has been accepted early admission to the medical school of the University of Rochester.

Last (for now, because I know we will have more in the coming weeks to share!) is Kunchok Dolma ’09 (Lehman), who won the Clarendon Scholarship at the University of Oxford. The scholarship will support her study for a master’s degree in International Relations at the University of Oxford. Only 10% of the applicants are awarded this generous scholarship, which covers tuition and fees and provides a generous living stipend. The Clarendon Scholars are chosen by experts in each student’s field. Kunchok is one of our most highly decorated alumni: a Mellon Scholar, a winner of the Chancellor’s Award for Community Service, a Dewitt Scholar, a Jeannette K. Watson Fellow, a New York City Urban Fellow, Macaulay’s graduation speaker and the valedictorian of her class at Lehman. She is currently the Assistant Director at “We Are New York” in the New York City Mayor’s Office of Adult Education, helping to empower immigrants through volunteer-led, free English classes.

Be on the lookout for announcements with more details in the coming days. If you missed last week’s announcements, there are links below. What a great way to start the weekend!

All best wishes,

Ann Kirschner

We are excited to announce that Rori and Russel Neiss welcomed a healthy baby girl last night, Sunday April 10th.

We are excited to announce that Macaulay alumni Mariya Nerova ’08 (Baruch) and Joe Kharazishvili ’07 (Baruch) were married on August 22, 2010 in Great Neck, New York.

Please tell me a little bit about yourselves. (Where are you from/grew up etc.)?

Zoya: I grew up in Bensonhurst via Almaty, Kazakhstan, and now live in Park Slope.
Anthony: My family moved to Brooklyn from Moscow, Russia when I was 12.

For those who may not know about it, please tell us about the Hype Machine and the success you have reached.

Zoya: The Hype Machine tracks conversations on music blogs around the world. These music bloggers are largely unpaid, they have no agenda, but they truly, really love music. They spend their time writing about the stuff they genuinely find interesting, just so other people can fall in love with it, too. We display a selection of their posts, as well as the audio tracks, so other people can easily sample what’s being discussed by these hardcore fans.

Anthony: In the last 5 years, we’ve grown into a top 5000 site that reaches 1.5 million monthly visitors. Our Popular chart, which measures approval from our registered users, is widely used as a barometer for up-and-coming artists, and publications in the UK and Australia have begun reporting on our data every week.

How did The Hype Machine begin? What was the inspiration? How did the two of you connect and join forces on this website?

Anthony: I built the site my sophomore year at Hunter because I was reading music blogs and finding out about all of this fantastic music, but there was no quick way to bring it all together. I wanted to make it easier for myself, so I put together a simple site, and then I asked Zoya for design advice.

Zoya: The Hype Machine was immediately useful to me, too—I was spending about an hour just checking blogs every morning, so I was really excited to have an easier way to monitor them. We were both passionate about music and internet culture, and working together just came naturally.

What has building such a successful website meant to you?

Zoya: It’s a challenge, more than anything, to keep improving. How do we help more people find awesome music from artists who aren’t on Top 40 radio, or aren’t even signed?

Anthony: Working on this project has been a constant discovery of things I do not know. In addition to learning the technical skills needed to start and run a complex website, I’ve been learning tons about business, management, and many other things seemingly unrelated to writing software on the web. This diverse set of challenges has been both exciting and frequently overwhelming.

What opportunities and experiences have you had as a result of the success of the site?

Zoya: Because we can do our work anywhere there is an Internet connection, we’ve been able to travel extensively.

Anthony: We relocated our team to Berlin one summer for a working vacation, which was great. Members of our team and I have had a chance to speak at numerous conferences that focus on the web or on music, or even both. We also still have yet to get an office, and maintain a casual environment made possible by the unique properties of an Internet company.

Please tell me about, besides the Hype Machine, other projects that you have done or are currently working on? What is the best thing you have designed?

Zoya: I continue to do freelance work on music packaging and brand identities for other companies, and I have fun with letterpressing and other personal projects. I make fonts, which I put up for download at The most satisfying designs for me, though, are the Hype Machine t-shirts—it’s always nice to run into someone you don’t know wearing something you’ve made.

Anthony: The Hype Machine takes up nearly all of my time, so when I can, I occasionally escape New York, go to see music, and think about other cool stuff we can make.

Zoya, you were part of the second-ever class of Macaulay Honors College (then, known as CUNY Honors College); Anthony- you were in the third-ever class. Would you please share how your experiences at the Honors College have contributed to your career? How did Macaulay help give you the tools and skills that you use today?

Zoya: The Honors seminars were some of my most fascinating classes; as an art major, I may have never volunteered to take an urban planning course, but these concepts have educated my sense of graphic design.

Anthony: The seminars, as well as the study abroad program of the Honors College, were a great demonstration of the value of learning a diverse set of disciplines. Even though I majored in Computer Science, I was able to take courses on Political Science, Literature and even Urban Planning – an important step to appreciating a variety of things other than technology.

Zoya: The ability to subsidize our study abroad really encouraged me to travel. I love NYC, which is why I stayed here for college, but it’s important to see what’s happening elsewhere in the world, too.

Do you have any professional advice or best practices to share with your peers?

Anthony: Your time matters. Find a way to spend a lot of yours working on what you want to see in the world.

Zoya: Re-read everything you write before posting.

Dear Friend,

Approaching its tenth anniversary, the Macaulay Honors College at CUNY has grown from a bold experiment in higher education to a full-fledged degree granting institution with its own landmark building.

I feel proud each time I learn of the great successes that Honors College alumni have achieved in a variety of fields, from medicine to law, launching new business ventures to engaging in intense graduate research at the world’s top institutions.

However, many alumni have achieved success in other creative ways. Launching a groundbreaking website, landing a staff photography position for a weekly magazine, headlining live music shows at top New York City nightclubs or operating an independent video production company is the type of success that can be difficult to quantify and share with others.

For this reason, I have proposed the creation of a Creative Professional Alumni Network for Macaulay Alumni working in the arts, entertainment and media. This network aims to bring inventive minds together in a way that strengthens social and professional connections. It will be a place for like-minded individuals to share ideas, best practices and discover new opportunities.

I realize that it may be a challenge to convince our peers that this specific type of alumni network has a place in their lives. Although the number of Macaulay graduates working in arts, media and entertainment is modest, I think that this presents an advantage. We have the opportunity to begin with an intimate group and grow our numbers, reaching out to previously unconnected alumni and even tapping into our own social networks outside of the Honors College for support.

I am currently finalizing a rollout plan that includes a podcast and website to showcase alumni accomplishments, a kickoff event, and later, a speaker series and a mentoring program. I hope that you will share in this vision for the Creative Professionals Network. I have taken the initiative by drafting the proposal but I cannot make it a reality without your support.

Please contact me at if you are interested in helping to make this group a reality.


Daniel T. Allen
Community Engagement Coordinator
Friends of Thirteen, Inc.

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