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Distinguished CUNY Alumnae

In alphabetical order by LAST NAME.

Bella Abzug Hunter College 1942, feminist; political activist; U.S. Representative, 1971-1977.

Arlene Alda Hunter College 1954, photographer and author of children’s literature.

Sandra Abramowitz Feldman Brooklyn College 1960, president, American Federation of Teachers.

Camille T. Allen York College 1990, attorney. [ top ]

Carmen Arroyo Hostos Community College 1978, New York State Assembly member. [ top ]

Maria Del Carmen Arroyo Hostos Community College 1989, Lehman College, City Councilmember, Bronx.

Martina Arroyo Hunter College 1956, internationally renowned opera soprano.

Janet Avery NYC College of Technology 1969, founder and chair,Vehicles, INC.

Jill Barad Queens College 1973, former president and chief operating officer, Mattel. [ top ]

Patricia Bartholomew NYC College of Technology 1977, pioneering chef and educator.

Maryellen Benito City College, honorary Salk scholar, 2005.

Amanda Bernal Graduate Center, educator; founder, Hostos Cultural and Medicinal Plant Garden; co-founder, Hostos Honors Program.

Chakaia Booker City College 1993, sculptor; 2005 Guggenheim fellow.

Mary Boone Hunter College, founder, Mary Boone Gallery.
Barbara Levy Boxer Brooklyn College 1962, U.S. Representative, 1982-1993; U.S. Senator (1992-present).

Jeannette Brown Lehman College circa 1969, chemist; winner of American Chemical Society’s Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences. [ top ]

Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick Hunter College 1963, first Hispanic woman named to the New York Court of Appeals.

Adele Cohen Brooklyn College 1964, New York State Assemblymember.
[ top ]

Shirley St. Hill Chisholm Brooklyn College 1946, first African American U.S. Congresswoman, 1968-1982.

Esther Conwell Brooklyn College 1942, physicist; first woman to receive a major award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.

Daisy Cocco de Filippis, Queens College 1975, City College, Graduate Center, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, Hostos Community College/CUNY.

Helen Kinney Copley Hunter College circa 1945, chair/CEO, Copley Press.

Joyce Coppin City College 1958, superintendent of Brooklyn High Schools; former president of the New York City Association of Superintendents; 1996 Townsend Harris medalist.

Judith Crist Hunter College 1941, educator, reporter, film and theatre critic.

Julie Dash City College 1974, writer, producer, and director, Daughters of the Dust, the first feature length film by a black woman to be a national commercial release. [ top ]

Ruby Dee Hunter College 1945, Emmy-nominated actress and civil rights activist.

Maria Del Toro York College 1972, vice president, public affairs, YMCA of Greater New York.

Christine DeVita Queens College 1977, president, The Wallace Foundation.

Dorothy Doran College of Staten Island 1981, legally blind activist; founder, The Staten Island Center for Independent Living.

Rita DiMartino College of Staten Island 1976, director, Government Affairs, AT&T; member, CUNY Board of Trustees

Yaffa Eliach Graduate Center 1973, Holocaust survivor; founder, Tower of Life Collection, The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. [ top ]

Gertrude Elion Hunter College 1937, winner, Nobel Prize for Medicine, 1977.

Edith Brenner Everett Brooklyn College 1949, vice-president, Gruntal & Co; co-founder, Everett Public Service Internship Program.

Susan Farkas, CUNY B.A., Distinguished career in journalism, winner of six Emmy Awards, Chief of Television and Radio, United Nations. [ top ]

Marjory Fields City College 1964, New York State Family Court Judge; acting Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York; 1991 Townsend Harris medalist.


Michele Forsten, City College 1976,Co-founder, New York City Lesbian Cancer Support Consortium.

Helen Diane Foster CUNY Law Center 1992, City Councilmember, Bronx.

Miriam Francil Medgar Evers College 1975, prominent New York City artist; member, Committee of Descendants of the Afrikan Ancestral Burial Ground that fought to preserve part of the African Burial Ground in Lower Manhattan.

Tonya Gonnella Frichner CUNY Law Center 1986, organizer, First Annual American Indian Law Symposium; founder, American Indian Law Alliance.

Charlotte Friend Hunter College, microbiologist, discovered the Friend leukemia virus (FLV).

Mildred Garcia NYC College of Technology 1971, president, Berkeley College. [ top ]

Deborah Glick Queens College 1978, New York State Assemblymember.

Sara Gonzalez College of Staten Island, City Councilmember, Brooklyn.

Diane Gordon NYC College of Technology, New York State Assemblymember.

Barbara Kydd Graves Brooklyn College 1957, educator; vice-president and general manager, Earl G. Graves, Ltd.

Adjoa Gzifa York College 1988, educator.

Beverly L. Hall Brooklyn College 1970, superintendent of public schools, Atlanta Georgia. [ top ]

Evelyn Handler Hunter College 1954, former president, Brandeis University.

Joan Helpern Hunter College 1947, entrepreneur; president/CEO, Joan and David Helpern, Inc

Ramona Hernandez Lehman College and Graduate Center, director, Institute for Dominican Studies, City College of New York.

Carol Hochman Queens College 1971, president/CEO, Danskin.

Muriel Howard NYC College of Technology 1969, president, Buffalo State College.

Ada Louise Huxtable Hunter College 1941, architectural critic; Pulitzer Prize winner, 1970.

Susan Isaacs, Queens College 1965, novelist, essayist, screenwriter.

Rhoda Jacobs Brooklyn College 1962, New York State Assemblymember.
[ top ]

Letitia James Lehman College 1981, City Councilmember, Brooklyn.

Patricia Johanson City College 1977, internationally acclaimed artist and architect; 1994 Townsend Harris medalist.

Judith Lockley Johnson Brooklyn College 1961, deputy assistant secretary, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education.

Carole Berotte Joseph York College 1971, President, MassBay Community College.

Marsha E. Jones Lehman College 1972, first African-American woman to become managing director of Merrill Lynch’s private client office.

Hyesan Joy Kang City College 2005, 2005 Salk Scholar.

Augusta Kappner Hunter College, former U.S. assistant secretary of education; president, Bank Street College. [ top ]

Rhoda Hendrick Karpatkin Brooklyn College 1951, president, Consumers Union of the United States, Inc.

Jane Katz City College 1963, athlete; Townsend Harris medalist.

Vera Pistrak Katz Brooklyn College 1955, mayor, Portland, Oregon.

Benita Schulman Katzenellenbogen Brooklyn College 1965, award-winning endocrinologist specializing in breast cancer research.

Bel Kaufman Hunter College 1934, award winning novelist.

Sylvia Fine Kaye Brooklyn College 1933, composer and lyricist for husband, comedian Danny Kaye.

Myrna Lake York College 1995, music educator; jazz vocalist. [ top ]

Gertrude Landau Hunter College 1931, founder of the first senior citizens’ center in the world, Bronx, New York, 1943.

Evelyn Lauder Hunter College 1958, executive vice-president Estée Lauder; philanthropist; founder, Breast Cancer Research Fund.

Constance Emmer Lieber Brooklyn College 1945, president, National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression.

Janet Lieberman, City College, founder, The Middle College High School; co-founder, The Early College High School at LaGuardia Community College.

Audre Lorde Hunter College 1959, African American lesbian poet, essayist, educator, and activist.

Leila Macey City College 1990, physician assistant, SUNY Health Science Center/Brooklyn; AIDS educator for women and children; former chair of the Women’s and Children’s Caucus, part of the National Institutes of Health-funded AIDS research program. [ top ]

Marjorie Magner Brooklyn College 1969, senior executive vice-president, Consumer Group, Citigroup

Gail Marquis Queens College 1980, professional basketball player, member of U.S. women’s basketball team; sports broadcaster.

Helen Marshall Queens College 1972, former New York Assemblymember and Councilmember; Queens Borough President.

Nettie Mayersohn Queens College1978, New York State Assemblymember.

Delia McQuade-Emmons Brooklyn College 1973, vice-president, American Stock Exchange.

Soia Mentschikoff Hunter College circa 1930s, first woman partner of a major American law firm; first woman elected president of the American Association of Law Schools (1974)

Joan Millman Brooklyn College 1962, New York State Assemblymember.

Pauli Murray Hunter College 1933, first African American woman named as an Episcopal priest; human rights activist; lawyer.

Gloria Naylor Brooklyn College 1981, novelist; winner of the American Book Award; author, Linden Hills, Mama Day, Bailey’s Café, and The Women of Brewster Place.

Donna Lyn Orende Queens College 1978, president, W.N.B.A.

Annabel Palma Hostos Community College, City Councilmember, Bronx.
[ top ]

Dina Perry Queens College 1967, portfolio counselor and director, Capital Research and Management Company; president, Fundamental Investors.

Kathleen Pesile Baruch College, founder, Pesile Financial Group.

Audrey Pheffer Queens College 1982, New York State Assemblymember.

Deborah Tobias Poritz Brooklyn College 1958, first female Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court; first female New Jersey Attorney General, 1994-1996.

Sylvia Porter Hunter College 1932, syndicated financial columnist.

Pearl Primus Hunter College 1940, Trinidadian-American dancer, choreographer, and anthropologist

Madeline Provenzano Hunter College, City Councilmember, Bronx.

Barbara A. Res City College 1972, engineer; founder and president, Res Construction services; Townsend Harris medalist, 1991. [ top ]

Regina Resnik Hunter College 1942, opera singer, actress.

Gillian Reynolds Hunter College 1988, third African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in Physics from M.I.T.

Faith Ringgold City College 1955, feminist, writer, and author.

Myrna Rivera Lehman College 1974, founder of National Hispanic Employment Program, one of the first Hispanic investment consulting firms in the U.S.

Nilda Soto Ruiz City College, professor of education; director, Graduate Programs in School Administration and Supervision, Touro College.

Ursula Schwerin NYC College of Technology 1958, former president, NYC College of Technology. [ top ]

Helen Sears Queens College, City Councilmember, Queens.

Ada Smith Baruch College 1973, New York State Senator.

Fiona Smith York College 2005, 2005 Salk scholar.

Marion Caryl Somers Lehman College, 1980, gerontologist; author of The Home: A Brief Moment in Time.

Maritza Tavarez Hunter College 1996, winner, National Science Foundation pre-doctoral fellowship in astrophysics. [ top ]

Lydia Kaplan Thaler City College 1972, co-founder, CEO, and chief creative officer, The Kaplan Thaler Group.

Eileen Treacy Lehman College 1974, psychologist; founder of Bronx Women Against Rape; expert witness on sex crimes.

Rochelle Ratchick Udell Brooklyn College 1966, president, internet division, Fairchild Publications; former senior vice-president, The Limited, Inc. [ top ]

Iyanla Vanzant Medgar Evers College 1983, lawyer, writer, talk show host, public speaker. [ top ]

Miriam T. Vincent, M.D. York College 1973, professor and chair, Department of Family Practice, SUNY Downstate.

Judith P. Vladeck, Hunter College 1945, labor and women's rights attorney.

Michelle Wallace City College 1975, scholar of African American studies, feminist studies, and cultural studies. [ top ]

Iris Weinshall Brooklyn College 1975, commissioner, New York City Department of Transportation.

Shirley Lubowitz Wershba Brooklyn College 1943, co-founder, Wershba Productions; producer, CBS News, 1981-1987.

Lottie Wilkins City College, 1972, judge on the New York State Supreme Court, New York County

Deborah Willis City College 1986, coordinator of collections at the National African-American Museum Project of the Smithsonian Institute; 2000 MacArthur fellow; 2005 Guggenheim fellow.

Rosalyn Yalow Hunter College 1941, Nobel Prize co-winner for Medicine, 1988. [ top ]

Sherry Yard NYC College of Technology 1989, executive pastry chef at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago, Beverly Hills.

Laurie Younger Queens College 1973, president, Buena Vista Worldwide Television.




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