Eric Gelb

by Eric Gelb, parent of Ilana Gelb ’16 (Baruch College)


Ilana selected Macaulay for a number of reasons. Her life’s mission is to be a leader in global community service and make a substantial, positive impact on the world.

Sharon Richardson, Sophia Ebanks, Ilana Gelb and Ryan Schulte in Ireland.

Macaulay’s emphasis on community service was very appealing. The opportunity to have a “home school” at Macaulay and take classes at other colleges in the CUNY system, for example Baruch and Hunter, was very important. This provided a broad perspective and interaction with a healthy number of students and professors. The opportunity to connect with peers from a variety of places, backgrounds, views and perspectives was very intriguing to Ilana.

She benefited greatly from two advisors: an academic advisor and an intern advisor. Ultimately, Ilana completed the CUNY Baccalaureate and designed her major: Violence, Sustainability and Conflict.

The opportunity to design her own education and the supportive environment to pursue her goals–to become a world class leader in community service–were very important to her.

Macaulay is a “flat” organization:  small enough to make a difference and provide personalized attention yet strong enough to have clout and offer a high quality education. Despite pursuing a career in not-for-profit and community service, Ilana is entrepreneurial; Macaulay provided the foundation and framework to help Ilana grow to the next level and leverage her potential.

Ilana’s advisors helped her apply for a number of fellowships. She was awarded a Kenan Fellowship where she gained invaluable experience in leading a community service initiative and program. Ilana was also a Truman Fellowship finalist.

I do not believe that Ilana would have attained these achievements anywhere else; most likely she would have been a “number.”

Eric Gelb shows his Macaulay spirit.
Eric Gelb shows his Macaulay spirit.

Some advice: to the extent you have a collaborative relationship with your child, support their plan and encourage them to chart a very detailed course and grab Macaulay’s full range of opportunities. Inspire and urge them to take full advantage of the Macaulay Opportunities Fund, which was designed to fund your child’s travel abroad and community service efforts. Ilana spent one semester in India and another in Costa Rica where she enjoyed truly enriching cultural and educational experiences and built close friendships.

The ideal Macaulay student is a self-starter who can juggle a multitude of tasks, places, themes and a rigorous academic load. The Macaulay experience will help set your child apart from the typical college graduate, which is ever more important in today’s crowded, achievement-oriented world.

At Macaulay, all the resources a student needs to be a world-class performer are at her fingertips. Encourage your child to grab them with confidence and a desire to succeed!