Parent of Elizabeth Kelman ’13, City College, Global Health
Macaulay: Can you share with us some biographical background?
I am Andrew Kelman, the proud father of Elizabeth Kelman, a sophomore in the Macaulay Honors College at CCNY. I trade affordable housing securities for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. My wife, Joan Feder, manages a program for the chronically mentally ill at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Elizabeth is the 3rd generation of CUNY students in our family. I received a Masters degree in Urban Planning from Hunter College. My parents, World War II Army veterans, met at a Veterans Service Committee meeting at Brooklyn College, and later graduated with honors in 1947. They were attracted to CUNY by its reputation for excellence. Both became educators, my father was a medical sociology professor and my mom was a New York City special education school principal. Elizabeth’s brother, Jacob, will also be continuing the CUNY tradition as an incoming Dean’s Scholar freshman at Baruch College.
As CUNY students, we all share a love for New York City, and a sincere desire to help improve our city and world for future generations. Collectively, we are grateful for the significant contribution that Macaulay makes to ensuring that CUNY continues to provide quality educational opportunities. That is why I have chosen to join Friends of Macaulay.
M: What was your hope for your daughter when she started Macaulay Honors College?
AK: Elizabeth was unusual in that she had a pretty good idea of her academic focus prior to beginning college. She has been focused on international public health and Elizabeth also has a strong commitment to service. We were hopeful that Macaulay would enable Elizabeth to pursue her interests in a collegial setting that would nourish her thirst for knowledge. We envisioned a diverse and nurturing experience that would develop leadership skills.
Our expectations have been greatly exceeded. Macaulay has provided the best of both worlds – the resources of the enormous City University system with the personal and professional attention provided by the Macaulay Honors College. We have been amazed by the opportunities uniquely provided through this experience. Elizabeth has just learned that she has been selected to be a Jeanette K. Watson Fellow. This follows her awards as a Kenan Leadership Scholar and a Lisa Goldberg/Revson Scholar. Moreover, Elizabeth recently spent the month of January in rural India studying a world renowned public health program. The trip was financed with less than half of her Macaulay Opportunities Fund. Who knows what lies in store during her next two years? The opportunities for internships and international studies afforded by Macaulay are unparalleled. We have also noted that Elizabeth has been able to maintain her public and community service interests. As a Macaulay student, she has helped organize a community garden near City College and a small garden at Macaulay and she serves on the Macaulay Scholars Council, Macaulay Honors College Council and the Macaulay Student Sustainability Task Force.
M: For parents with students just starting college, what would you say, from your experience, is the most important thing to keep in mind?
AK: This is a difficult question for parents as there are so many factors to consider. We all seek a school that is academically respected and an environment that is challenging while accepting and safe. Many parents like to see our children in an economically and culturally diverse setting and most love to have our kids nearby. Thankfully, Macaulay Honors College offers all of this. I would say that where Macaulay sets itself apart from other colleges is its ability to ensure that your child receives the utmost in guidance, attention and access to resources, enabling him or her to stand out, instead of being merely another student at a prestigious institution. This has been the case with my daughter. In consultation with an array of Macaulay advisors, Elizabeth was able to self-design a major that will simultaneously enable her to address Premed and Global Health requirements.