Macaulay Honors College proudly announces that seven students have been selected to be Jeannette K. Watson Class of 2025 Fellows. Stefanie Brijmohan ’26 (Lehman College), Rafi Chowdhury ’25 (John Jay College), Ricky Costas-Hernandez ’26 (Brooklyn College), Billie Estrine ’25 (City College), Frances Macalimbon Hamed ’25 (Hunter College), and Emily Madray ’25 (John Jay College), and Kilhah St. Fort ’25 (Lehman College) will each receive annual funding to develop their personal, professional, and cultural potential.
The fellowship program provides student leaders from New York City colleges with three years of unprecedented personal, professional and cultural immersions in the United States and abroad.
The winners reflect the diverse academic and personal pursuits of Macaulay students.
Frances Macalimbon Hamed has experience working in the New York City Council and New York State Assembly as well as volunteering in local mutual aid organizations in her community. She is incredibly excited to travel for the first time – out of the country – and explore her many interests in urban studies, law, and public policy.
Emily Madray is pursuing a BA in Sociology, specializing in Inequality and Social Justice, double-minoring in Human Rights and English, and is a Co-Organizer for TEDxCUNY. She is excited about exploring her diverse interests through a variety of sectors and eager to grow professionally and personally in the fellowship.
Pre-Nursing major Stefanie Brijmohan is excited to dive deeper into learning about sexual and reproductive health. A member of Macaulay’s Feminist Society, she is passionate about making a change within her community and being an advocate for women. She’s also excited to learn what the other fellows are pursuing, and immersing herself in another culture (during study abroad).
As a Watson fellow, Billy Estrine plans to continue pursuing social justice work and expand her creative interest in music as a social statement at different organizations focused on using the arts, media, and history to drive social change. She is excited to join the Watson community making lifelong connections and networks.
Ricky Costas-Hernandez tells us “I feel incredibly privileged to be selected as a 2025 Jeanette K. Watson fellow, and I am most excited to travel to another country for one of my internships.” During his time as a Watson Fellow, he will broaden his horizons, develop professional relationships, and establish a career path.
“I’m excited to participate in the cohort seminars, deepen my understanding of various cultures, and contribute to a life-long support network,” says Kilhah St. Fort. They are currently focusing on applying to the CUNY BA program, with the goal of combining their interests in technology, writing, community organizing, and liberation into an interdisciplinary major.
At the center of the program are fully-funded summer experiences with leading organizations in New York City and around the world. Combined with close mentoring, Watson Fellows expand their vision, develop their potential and build the confidence and perspective to do so for others. Fellows go on to attend leading graduate programs, receive national and international scholarships, and become leaders in their fields. More about the program.
About Macaulay Honors College
Ranked as one of the top ten honors colleges in the nation, Macaulay provides exceptional students with a rigorous education drawing on the vast academic resources of the nation’s largest urban university and the rich cultural diversity of New York City. Our students represent the top 4% of the 13,000+ incoming freshmen on eight CUNY campuses, including Baruch, Brooklyn, City, Hunter, John Jay, Lehman, and Queens Colleges, and the College of Staten Island.