Tag Archives: scholarships

Macaulay Students Ace Prestigious Scholarships and Fellowships in 2017

Ellianna Schwab, John Wetmore (top, r) and Patryk Perkowski (bottom, l)

Macaulay Honors College congratulates its 33 students and alumni who have claimed highly competitive and merit-based awards and scholarships in 2017. Four students have won Fulbright awards; five Macaulay students and alumni will receive funds from the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships for graduate studies; and one has received the competitive Harry S. Truman Scholarship.  Macaulay students’ achievements underscore their ambition, focus and achievement in areas ranging from public policy, to academic research to community service.

The Boren Awards for International Study

Boren Scholarships, an initiative of the National Security Education Program, provide unique funding opportunities for U.S. undergraduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S.

Jacob Kessler ’17 (Hunter College) majors are Political Science and Chinese with minors in Arabic and Public Policy and he will be a student at Beijing Union University beginning in September 2017 studying Chinese, and then have a part-time internship in the city.

David O’Conner ’17 (Hunter College) has a double major in Economics and Chinese and will do course work at Nanking University and also complete an internship while in China.

Frances Raybaud ’19 (Queens College), who is majoring in Political Science and has minors in French, Arabic and Environmental Studies, will be using her scholarship to fund her Arabic language study, as well as to study the politics of environmental action in Morocco.

Yelena Suponya ’17 (Hunter College) who has a double major in Chinese and Environmental Studies with a minor is Psychology, will study at Nanking University and also complete an internship while in China.

Critical Language Scholarships

The Critical Language Scholarship Program (CLS) is an intensive overseas language study program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and is part of a U.S. government effort to dramatically expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages.

Nicole Rojas ’18 (Hunter College) has a double major in Chinese and Political Science with a minor in Human Rights. He will be studying Chinese at Changchun over the summer 2017.

Olivia Sztanga ’17 (Baruch College) has a double major in Political Science and Economics and will be studying Arabic to be able to communicate and work with refugees and other types of migrants from Arabic-speaking countries.

Kevin Tang ’16 (Hunter College), who has a dual major in Chemistry and Urban Studies, will spend 8 weeks in Tangiers studying at the Arab American Language Institute in Morocco.

The Fulbright Program

Regarded as one of the most prestigious awards programs in the world, the Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international exchange program. The Fulbright has helped to nurture 43 Nobel laureates since its founding in 1946.

Maneesha Bhugwansing ’14 (Baruch College) has won a Fulbright Scholarship to study at Maastricht University in the Netherlands.

Norine Chan ’17 (Hunter College) has won a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant award to teach English in Taiwan to elementary and secondary school students.

Alexandra (Sasha) Whittaker ’17 (City College) is the recipient of a Fulbright Study/Research Grant research post-World War II Polish photography at Adam Mickiewicz University (UAM) in Poznań.

John Wetmore ’17 (Hunter College) has won a Fulbright Secondary Teaching Assistantship Fellowship to teach English working at Colegio Decroly, a secondary school in Spain.

Benjamin Gilman International Scholarship

The Gilman Scholarship Program aims to diversify the kinds of students who study and intern abroad and the countries and regions where they go by offering awards to U.S. undergraduates who might otherwise not participate due to financial constraints.

Nabil Ahmed Khatri ’17 (City College) is a Computer Science major at the Grove School of Engineering at City College. He attended the VU Amsterdam (Vrije Universiteit) in the Netherlands in the Spring 2017 semester.

David Lee ’17 (Queens College) has a double major in Computer Science and Graphic Design. She used her Gilman Scholarship to study at Kobe University in Japan.

Winnie Shen ’18 (Hunter College) used her Gilman Scholarship to study in China.

Michelle Sheu ’17 (Baruch College, CUNY BA) is pursuing her self-directed CUNY BA in Design and Storytelling to explore the intersections of tech and visual communication as a medium to address social issues. Michelle studied abroad in Costa Rica at the Universidad Veritas for the Spring 2017 semester.

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program

The NSF program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics who are pursuing research based graduate degrees.

Munazza Khalida Alam ’16 (Hunter College) currently studies at Harvard University and received her NSF fellowship for her work in Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Joseph Derosa ’15 (City College) is currently at the Scripps Research Institute. He received his NSF fellowship for his study in chemistry and chemical catalysis.

Thomas Davis Peek Hart ’15 (Hunter College) who is currently studying at Rockefeller University, has received an NSF fellowship for his study in life sciences and organismal biology.

Patryk Perkowski ’14 (Queens College) currently works at Innovations for Poverty Action on projects related to poverty and violence.  He plans to pursue a Ph. D. in Economics.

Elianna Schwab ’17 (City College) is a Physics and Math major and intends to use her NSF grant to study gravitational waves in close binary stars. She is also the valedictorian for City’s commencement this year.

The Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship

The Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship Program provides undergraduate and graduate students with financial support, mentoring and professional development to prepare them academically and professionally for a career in the U.S. Department of State Foreign Service.

Rausan Borujerdi, ’16 (City College) will attend Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs to study international security with a specialization in the Middle East.

The CUNY Jonas E. Salk Scholarship

CUNY created the Salk program in 1955 to honor Dr. Jonas E. Salk, the1934 graduate of City College who discovered the polio vaccine. The Salk Scholarship identifies students entering the fields of medicine and the Biological sciences who are most likely to make an impact on medicine and research.

Ma Su Su Aung ’17 (City College) will study to be a physician at Creighton University School of Medicine.

Anika Nabila ’17 (Baruch College) will pursue a Ph.D. in neuroscience at the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences.

Harry S. Truman Scholarship

The Truman Scholarship Foundation was created by Congress in 1975 to be the nation’s living memorial to President Harry S. Truman. The Foundation has a mission to select and support the next generation of public service leaders.

Claire Lynch ’17 (City College) is double-majoring in Political Science and Jewish Studies. Her interests include migration, immigration, and refugee work.

NYC Urban Fellows Program

The NYC Urban Fellows Program is a highly selective, nine-month fellowship designed to introduce America’s finest college students and graduates to local government and public service. The program combines work in Mayoral offices and City agencies with an intensive seminar series that explores current urban issues impacting public policy.

Thomas Hutton ’17 (Hunter College) has a double major in Environmental Studies and Political Science, as well as a Public Policy Certificate. He has coached high school students on civic action projects to promote the democratic process.

Matthew LoCastro ’17 (Hunter College) majored in Political Science. He had an internship at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), where he conducted research with General David Petraeus and Neil Brown, the Director of Policy and Research for KKR’s Global Institute.

Jeannette K. Watson Award

The Watson Fellowship is a three-year program that provides summer internships, mentoring, and enriched educational opportunities to promising students from partner institutions in New York City and abroad.

Marco Costanza ’19 (College of Staten Island) is pursuing a dual degree in Psychology and Spanish. He will be interning at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.

Maisha Kamal ’19 (Brooklyn College) is a Business Economics and English major with a strong interest in public policy and human rights. She will be interning at Open Society Foundations.

Kaitlin McDermott ’19 (Queens College) is triple-majoring in English, History, and American Studies, with a minor in the Social Sciences. She will be interning at Broadway Housing Communities.

Alexandra Shoneyin ’20 (John Jay College) is currently undecided in her major, but leaning towards philosophy and English, with an interest in social justice, art, and music. She will be interning at the the Studio Museum in Harlem.

Victoria Smith ’20 (Lehman College) is undeclared, but interested in psychology, Africana studies, and music. She will be interning at the THANC Foundation.

Saif Zihiri ’19 (Hunter College) is a Political Science major with a certificate in Public Policy and Human Rights. He will be interning at America Needs You.

Other Outstanding Achievement:

Chelsea Batista ’17 (Brooklyn College), who was accepted to 11 medical schools, will attend Columbia University’s College of Surgeon and Physicians with scholarships and grants that will cover full tuition, plus room and board.

Lucinda Zawadzki ’15 (CSI) was accepted to the Ph.D. program in Zoology at Oxford University on a full tuition scholarship.


View 2018 Awards

View 2019 Awards

Claire Lynch Wins Macaulay’s 7th Truman Scholarship


photo of student Claire Lynch
Claire Lynch

Claire Lynch, ’18, a Macaulay Honors College student at City College, has been named a 2017 Harry S. Truman Scholar. Lynch’s award includes a grant of $30,000 towards tuition for her graduate studies and a number of professional development opportunities in public service leadership. The Bayview, Long Island junior, who has a double-major in Political Science and Jewish Studies, is one of 62 students selected for the prestigious Truman Scholarship this year.

“We are very proud of Claire Lynch for becoming a Truman Scholar,” said Mary C. Pearl, Ph.D., Dean of Macaulay. “In the 40-year history of Truman Scholars, CUNY has had 13 students who have won this distinguished honor, and more than half of them—7— have come from Macaulay. This is an exceptional achievement for an institution whose first class only graduated in 2005.”

“I’m just incredibly grateful for the resources and support I received from the Truman alumni community and the Macaulay/CCNY honors department,” said Lynch. “I felt that I was incredibly prepared for what was a very intensive interview and I’m so thankful for all the help I had.”

Lynch interests include migration, immigration, and refugee work, but she is currently deciding whether she wants to pursue these issues from a policy or legal perspective. The Locust Valley High School graduate is also considering pursuing a Master’s degree in either Public Policy, or Middle Eastern Studies, or going law school. Lynch will also be the first person in her immediate family to complete college.

Besides the grant and professional opportunities, Truman Scholars also gain the prestige that comes with belonging to an elite group of students tapped for their potential to become leaders.

Macaulay Alumna Wins a Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship

Photo of Rausan Borujerdi who won the Pickering Fellowship
Rausan Borujerdi

Macaulay Honors College alumna Rausan Borujerdi, ‘16 (City College) is the recipient of a Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship. The political science major is one of 20 stellar graduates nationwide selected for the program, which prepares candidates to become members of the U.S. Foreign Service. Hundreds of applicants from over 270 colleges and universities competed for the fellowship managed and funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by The Washington Center.

Born in New York to Iranian-American parents, Borujerdi will attend Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs this fall. She will study international security with a specialization in the Middle East.

At City College, Borujerdi traveled to the Dominican Republic as a Colin Powell School Partner for Change Fellow at CCNY. She also participated in the   U.S. Foreign Service Internship Program. She interned in the Office of Iranian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State in summer 2014 and at the U.S. Embassy in Bahrain in summer 2015.

Pickering Fellows receive up to $37,500 in annual financial support toward a full-time Master’s degree program in a field related to international affairs and diplomacy. They also participate in one domestic and one international internship. Employment in the Foreign Service follows upon completion of the program and meeting Foreign Service entry requirements.




A Full Ride to Oxford for Macaulay’s Lucinda Zawadzki

photo of Lucinda Zawadzki
Lucinda Zawadzki

Macaulay Honors College alumna, Lucinda Zawadzki ’15 (College of Staten Island), has received a full scholarship to the University of Oxford to pursue a PhD in Zoology.

Through the Oxford-Christ Church-Natural Motion Graduate Scholarship, Zawadzki will study full time at the University from October 2017 to September 2020 with all tuition, college fees, and living costs covered.

“I am extremely excited to attend the University of Oxford for my graduate studies. After finding my passion studying birds, I knew that I wanted to continue my studies in graduate school, but I never imagined being able to do so at such an amazing institution. This opportunity is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I cannot wait to begin my studies in the fall,” said Zawadzki, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science with honors in Biology, minoring in Biochemistry and Chemistry, and was the Class of 2015 Salutatorian and recipient of multiple scholarships while at CSI.

At the University of Oxford, Zawadzki plans to study vagrancy in birds as an indicator of climate change by conducting research with the Oxford Navigation Group.

 “Through use of existing databases and fieldwork, I will be studying how vagrancy drives movement in bird populations, and whether vagrancy is due to misorientation or an adaptation. To date, no such analysis has been performed. This work is important in terms of climate change, as many organisms will need to adapt to changing conditions through dispersal,” Zawadzki said.

She was also selected as a finalist in the very prestigious British Marshall Scholarship, a first for CSI in this particular scholarship competition. She has also received an honorable mention from the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and two honorable mentions from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program.

Zawadzki reflects that, “I have learned that if you have a dream, never give up. I knew this already from college, when I faced the dilemma of switching majors and changing research directions after I discovered my love of biology… challenges do not end in school; they continue after you graduate. However, no matter what roadblock may stand in your way, if you have a goal, and you work really hard, you will achieve it. From senior year of college I knew that I wanted to study birds for a living, and now I have a real path to that dream. I worked hard to get here, and now, day by day, I am slowly making my dream a reality. And I could not be happier.

Macaulay Students Awarded Kenan Scholarships

(L-R) Stephanie Geier, Shahrin Azim, Marco Costanza, Julia D’Alessio, Arianna Injeian, Alexander Legg

Six Macaulay Honors College students from all different backgrounds and with varying interests are the 2017 William R. Kenan Scholars at Macaulay Honors College. The Kenan Scholars program was founded to enhance honors education at CUNY by sponsoring a group of outstanding Macaulay students who have demonstrated an early commitment to service and civic engagement. Students are selected in their sophomore year. The winners this year from the Class of 2019 are Stephanie Geier (Queens College), Alexander Legg (City College), Julia Marie D’Alessio (College of Staten Island), Shahrin Azim (Queens College), Marco Costanza (College of Staten Island), and Arianna Injeian (City College).

Stephanie Geier was raised in one of the most diverse areas of Queens and has lived in New York City her entire life. Stephanie is interested in a range of social justice issues, and hopes to use her journalism and communications background to advocate for them. She is pursuing a double major in Political Science and Media Studies, as well as a certificate in Public Policy. Stephanie is specifically interested in criminal justice policy, due to her time interning at a reentry organization called The Fortune Society. She is currently a Social Media intern at The New American Leaders Project, and hopes to pursue a career in communications, public policy, or a combination of both.

Alexander Legg grew up in a small town called Delhi, New York which was named after the capital territory of India, though 92 percent of its residents are white. When it was time for him to apply to college, New York City was the escape he had on his mind. New York City offered Alexander a chance to be surrounded by a large number of eclectic peoples, and was a place that was tolerant and offered a chance at growth. At City College, Alexander is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Women’s Studies on the pre-med track. When Alexander isn’t studying organic chemistry or cognitive psychology, you can find him running along the West Side Highway. He hopes to attend medical school in New York City, and one day provide health care to marginalized and underserved communities.

Julia Marie D’Alessio describes herself as an innovative, strong, confident, compassionate, and enthusiastic woman with a strong drive and determination. Julia has been involved in community service since a young age, dedicating between 100-200 hours a year in service throughout her high school career. She is also a Nursing major with American Sign Language Minor with a goal of becoming a Nurse Practitioner, assisting those who are hearing impaired. She strives to be able to use her American Sign Language skills with the deaf community to ensure they have proper health services without a language barrier. Julia is also passionate about the importance of mental health in college age students and works effortlessly to bring awareness to the vital importance of maintaining good mental health, and plans to pursue this passion during her time as a Kenan Scholar.

Shahrin Azim is a Bangladeshi immigrant who came to New York at the age of 3. Living in Queens has helped foster her appreciation and curiosity for different cultures. Not only is she interested in medicine, but she also calls herself a lurking activist who speaks up for women’s rights with the non-profit organization International Muslim Women’s Initiative for Self-Empowerment (I’M WISE). At Queens College, Shahrin is pursuing a B.A. in Neuroscience/Biology with a minor in Environmental Studies. She also volunteers with Habitat for Humanity, aiding the housing crisis in New York. Shahrin wants to become a doctor and travel the world with Doctors Without Borders, but for now, she is just trying to make New York a safer place, and to empower young Muslim women.

Born and raised in New York to two immigrant parents from opposite sides of the world, Marco Costanza developed an interest for learning about the intersection of race and cultural ethnicity in healthcare. At the College of Staten Island, Marco is pursuing a dual degree in Psychology and Spanish on the pre-med track. In doing so, he aspires to integrate knowledge of human behavior, cognition, cross cultural perspective, and language in medicine. Over the past three years, Marco has held roles as a researcher and medical assistant at a local pediatric practice. Leveraging his clinical experience and public service with scholarship, he is currently researching the effects of income inequality in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods on cardiovascular health, mental health, and hospital re-admission. Marco is also currently a 2016 America Needs You Fellow.

Arianna Injeian is from Nyack, NY, a river town in Rockland County. Before attending the City College of New York, Arianna pursued her interest in mental health by participating in her high school’s Science Research course. During the summer of 2014, Arianna worked in an HIV/AIDS children’s clinic in Nepal, assisting with tasks such as nutrition and medication administration, as well as leading outreach programs to promote awareness of HIV and provide resources and information about the disease. A medical anthropology major on the pre-medicine track, she is primarily interested in infectious disease, women’s health, and mental health. Her goal is to obtain an MD/PhD and work for Doctors Without Borders, ideally in Latin America. She believes that in addition to having a strong foundation in science, it is important to learn about the cultures and backgrounds of the patients that a doctor is treating.

Macaulay’s Chelsea Batista Accepted to 11 Medical Schools

Chelsea Batista Photo ourtesy of Brooklyn College/David Rozenblyum
Chelsea Batista
Photo courtesy of Brooklyn College/David Rozenblyum

For Chelsea Batista, ’17 (Brooklyn College) the goal was to get accepted to at least one medical school. She had applied to quite a few, aiming high, but with modest expectations. In the past few weeks, the Brooklyn College senior so far has received acceptance letters from 11 medical schools, and she’s still reeling.

“When the first acceptance came in from SUNY Downstate, I thought, ‘Thank goodness, at least now I know I’m going to medical school no matter what.’ But then a few weeks later, more started coming in and I didn’t expect it to be so great. With all that hard work I put in, studying all night—it was all worth it.” 

Chelsea has received acceptances from Albert Einstein, Columbia, Weill Cornell, Drexel, Hofstra, Howard, Mount Sinai, New York University, SUNYs Downstate and Stony Brook, and Tufts.  She has been awarded full tuition scholarships at four of the schools that have accepted her–including Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, which she has decided to attend. The school is also paying her room and board.

“I am most proud of achieving my goal I’ve been working towards for so long and becoming a role model for my younger siblings and my little cousins. My accomplishments have opened them up to the many careers they could pursue, no matter their background. Because of what I’ve done, they no longer look at being a doctor or lawyer or engineer as a pipedream, but a possibility.”

Chelsea’s roots are humble. She is the daughter of parents who immigrated from the Dominican Republic. Academically, her parents had set the achievement bar quite high.

“Both of my parents immigrated to New York from different parts of the DR: my mom from La Villa Alta Gracia and my dad from La Vega. They grew up in large, low income families and yet both managed to become the first in their families to get college degrees. My mom is one of the directors of the College NOW program at Kingsborough Community College and my dad was an NYPD detective.”

As a result, Chelsea says that she and her four siblings all dream big—with goals of becoming either a doctor, an engineer, a video game designer or president of the United States. While at Macaulay, the Brooklyn Tech HS graduate also broadened her interests beyond the classroom (including being on the Dean’s List). Through her work as head of the Philanthropy Committee in her sorority, Chelsea has hosted Breast Cancer Awareness workshops. She also was a SPARK Mentor, where she worked to raise awareness in the young adult community by promoting anti-drug, anti-alcohol and substance abuse practices and prevention measures.

“I believe that if you want to invest in something, you should invest in people. I have invested a lot in the people around me and what I have gained from[that] is part of the reason I have accomplished as much as I have today.”

Chelsea majored in Biology but still has found time for lighter fare. In her spare time, she says she always has been an avid reader and is actually working on writing a fantasy fiction novel. “I’ve decided time was never going to find me, so I found the time. It’s probably my favorite way to pass the time, besides reading.”

A significant part of her achievement at Macaulay is a result of the community of high achievers who have inspired her.

“The friends I’ve made and the people I’ve met through Macaulay are kind and supportive and ambitious—exactly the kind of people I love to have around me because we all motivate each other. No matter the major or the accomplishment, we all encourage each other to continue to be as amazing as we strive to be. It was by far the best part of the experience for me, because it made my college experience worthwhile.”

Chelsea is next looking forward to beginning her first year of medical school at Columbia, and meeting “other brilliant and wonderful people, like the other students I’ve met at Macaulay and at Brooklyn College.”