Wide Spectrum Of Winners Reflects Talent And Diversity Of Undergraduate, Graduate Students

Students of The City University of New York are winners of a long list of other prestigious awards, including:
Critical Language Fellowship (U.S. State Department for undergraduates and graduates so more Americans master foreign languages needed for national security and economic prosperity): Fatoumata Bah (Arabic) and Eliot Hetterly (Hindi) of Hunter College; Shovan Bala (Arabic) of John Jay; Libby Ho (Chinese) and Atsuko Sakurai (Arabic) of Macaulay Honors College at City College; Ma Veronica Pacheco (Korean) of John Jay College of Criminal Justice; Telijah Patterson (Chinese) of LaGuardia Community College; and Saim Siddiqui of Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College.

They also include these awards for graduate study:
Austrian Federal Ministry of Education Foreign Language Teaching Assistantship (similar to a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship): Michael Lomtevas of Baruch College.

Boren Fellowship (National Security Education Program for graduate students; up to $24,000 for critical language study abroad): Rita Valkovskaya of Baruch College.

Humanity in Action (international groups of university students and recent graduates explore national histories discrimination and resistance): Marharyta Labkovich, Dariann Rickerson and Kevin Tang of Hunter College.

Immigrant Justice Corps (two-year fellowship to provide legal services for low-income people and immigrants): Victor Cheng of CUNY Law.
NYC Urban Fellowship (introduces U.S. students and graduates to local government and public service): Nicole Krishtul of Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College; Kadeem Robinson of John Jay College of Criminal Justice; and Erika Smithson of Baruch College.
Venture for America Fellowship (places recent graduates at startups in cities with emerging entrepreneurial ecosystems to build “companies that matter”): Simbiat Akanni of Baruch College.

External dissertation grants received by CUNY Graduate Center students:
Sumru Atuk received an American Association of University Women American Fellowship;
Brian Bond
 and Douaa Sheet received Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships;
and Fabio Battista, Zoltan Gluck, Elizabeth Newton and Helen Panagiotopoulos received Mellon/American Council of Learned Societies Dissertation Completion Awards.

They also include these awards for undergraduate study:
Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship (up to $40,000 per year for baccalaureate study by graduating community college students): Eleni Roman of LaGuardia Community College is the only New York City student and one of only two in New York State to receive one of the 47 scholarships awarded this year.

Public Policy and International Affairs Junior Summer Institute (the nonprofit PPIA supports increased diversity in public service): Mariama Badjie and Jessica Sun of Hunter College to University of California, Berkeley; Hayley Channer of Lehman College to Princeton University; and Christopher Sperrazza of Hunter College to University of Michigan.

Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship (three year program for promising undergraduates from 12 NYC colleges, including eight at CUNY): Fatu Amara of the College of Staten Island; Nina Daro and Salma Mohamad of Brooklyn College; Shakila Kahn and Jacob Sellman of Hunter College; Musarrat Lamia of John Jay College of Criminal Justice; Mohamad Magassa of Lehman College; Karishma Malhotra of Macaulay Honors College at Baruch College; Isabel Gouse and Melissa Lent of Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College; Amelia Smyth of City College; and Renuka Surujnarain of Queens College.

Off to China to Master Mandarin With a Critical Language Scholarship

Telijah Patterson (LaGuardia Community College, 2018) brackets her final semester this fall with two scholarships to study Mandarin. She travels to China for eight weeks this summer with a U.S. State Department Critical Language Scholarship, which Washington funds to increase the number of speakers of strategically important and rare languages. And next winter, she will spend three months in Taiwan under a scholarship from that government.

“I’ve been learning Mandarin off and on in different classes for 10 years, and it makes sense to keep going until I master it,” she says. “It will serve me well in whatever career I choose.”

She is happy to have been assigned to Xi’an, a bustling city of 9 million in central China, “because of its historical significance and its small number of English speakers, compared to cities like Beijing and Shanghai. That will make it less tempting for me to speak English.” Indeed, Critical Languages requires participants to speak nothing but Mandarin, even with classmates. It also provides mentoring by Chinese homework partners and cultural excursions. “I wanted to dive into the culture.” In Xi’an, she doubtless will visit the famed army of terra cotta warriors that was buried with China’s first emperor about 210 B.C.

Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Patterson came to New York at 18 to be with her mother, who always wanted to live here. She sees a future in teaching or being an administrator in a bilingual school. After her return from Taiwan, she intends to pursue a baccalaureate degree.

Telijah Patterson, Critical Language Scholar from LaGuardia Community College

Telijah Patterson
LaGuardia Community College
Critical Language Fellowship