Eight BMCC Graduates Earn NYU Scholarships Through BMCC Pipeline Programs

June 15, 2022

Eight Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) students have been accepted into New York University (NYU) with full scholarships after completing the BMCC, NYU Pipeline Opportunity for Inter-Collegiate STEM Education (POISE) program or the Gallatin Undergraduate Initiative for Discovery in Education (GUIDE) program.

Both the POISE and GUIDE programs offer a select group of BMCC students the chance to utilize the NYU academic support system including mentors, familiarize themselves with the NYU campus and connect with other students. Students from both POISE and GUIDE can then apply for NYU scholarships during their final semester at BMCC.

The 2022 POISE scholarship recipients are Caroline Jakubiak (Science), Dinorah Garcia Vasquez (Computer Science) and  Jonathan Toruno Altamirano (Science).  The 2022 GUIDE scholarship recipients are Jade Brown-Godfrey (Science), Hollie Fitzhenry (Sociology), Mayan Hein (Science),  Alexis Jacquet (Digital Marketing) and Davina Stewart (Psychology).

BMCC has partnered with the NYU College of Arts and Science to offer STEM students the opportunity to be part of the POISE program since the 2013-2014 academic year. Meanwhile, the partnership with NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Studies which offers the GUIDE program, began in the 2017-2018 academic year. In the years since both programs began, 67 students have received full scholarships from NYU.

Provost and Senior Vice President Erwin Wong said the college was proud of all the student’s accomplishments.

“Many of them exceed academically, while engaging in extracurricular activities outside of the classroom,” said Provost Wong. “This is certainly true of our students who have participated in the NYU sponsored POISE and GUIDE programs.”

The provost explained that as part of both programs, BMCC students spend time at the NYU campus and experience what it feels like to be an NYU student. This allows them to make a smooth transition to the university, should they apply and be accepted there.

Dean of Student Affairs Michael Hutmaker applauded the GUIDE and POISE program NYU scholarship recipients.

“As we hear more and more about the challenges students face with paying for college, it is great that some of our students can earn financial support to continue their education through our partnerships,” said Dean Hutmaker. “Over the years, many of these  students continued the path excellence they started at BMCC and succeeded at NYU both outside and inside the classroom.”

To that point, members of the 2019-2020 BMCC/NYU GUIDE cohort Susan Guerrero, Isa Mendez, Diya Qazelli Moushahwar, Wesley Sanders, Chandani Smith all graduated graduated NYU Gallatin with various honors in 2022.

Chandani was the school’s banner bearer and has been accepted into NYU’s American Studies Ph.D. program, for the Fall 2022 semester with a full scholarship, according to Dean Hutmaker.

Aiming for a career in cybersecurity

Dinorah Garcia Vasquez
Dinorah Garcia Vasquez

Computer Science major Dinorah Garcia Vasquez graduated BMCC and will transfer to NYU with the same major.

“The POISE program made this possible for me. It provided me with an amazing opportunity and resources to continue my studies at NYU,” said Vasquez.  “I am grateful for all the professors and mentors that I received knowledge and guidance from at BMCC, not only professors but staff too.”

She said CIS Professors Mohammad Azhar and Rhea Jara were supportive and that activities such as the programming club were invaluable.

“In five years, I see myself working towards a degree in the cybersecurity field,” said Vasquez. “In ten years, I see myself working towards providing girls like me with guidance and support.

An interest in developing new drugs

Caroline Jakubiak
Caroline Jakubiak

Science major Caroline Jakubiak was born and raised in a relatively small and conservative city called Curitiba in the south of Brazil, she says.

“I grew up spending my summers on the farm with my family without access to Internet or TV, which allowed me to fall in love with science in ways a science textbook could have never done,” said Jakubiak.  “When I moved to America to study English a few years ago, I could never have imagined that my path would lead me to the position I am in today. I am immensely grateful to my family, friends, my professors and BMCC staff that constantly helped and encouraged me throughout my academic journey.”

She said she was especially grateful to BMCC for giving her the opportunity to be part of the POISE program, which connected her to the NYU advisors that have been guiding her transfer to the university.

“My interest is developing new drugs. My goal is to take advantage of all the research opportunities NYU has to offer such as the Summer Undergraduate Research Program, NYU College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Undergraduate Research Fund, and work with professors from the NYU Grossman School of Medicine,” said Jakubiak.

Examining visual culture’s influence on our perception of reality

Alexis Jacquet
Alexis Jacquet

Originally from New Orleans, Digital Marketing major Alexis Jacquet graduated BMCC and is looking forward to combining her interests in visual arts, mass media and storytelling.  She said the GUIDE program helped her discover a route to integrate personal, academic, and professional interests as an artist and researcher.

“With the help of Ethnic and Race Studies Professor Judith Anderson and Communications Studies Professor Scott Tulloch, I was able to find a personal connection with my academic interests,” said Jacquet. “My academic and research concentration has examined visual culture’s influence on our perception of reality by analyzing the power of narratives in constructing our sense of belonging.”

Upon completing her undergraduate studies at NYU, Jacquet plans to join the Peace Corps’ Community Economic Development program where she hopes to be stationed in a country in either Latin America or Africa.

“My dreams for the next 10 years are undetermined, though I hope to be actively engaging in assisting communities through arts education, community development, and research in sustainable alternative economic models,” said Jacquet.

Developed strong interest in biology in 12th grade

Jonathan Toruno
Jonathan Toruno Altamirano

Science major Jonathan Toruno, who just turned 20, grew interested in biology during his senior year in high school. But, he says, his lack of effort during his freshmen and sophomore years in high school, limited his college options.

“My uncle, a former BMCC student who is now at Columbia, told me BMCC was a great option to save money, start anew and transfer to a more competitive school,” said Toruno, who cites Professor Alan Weinman as one of his standout BMCC teachers.

“I now know that I want to dedicate my studies at NYU to biology,” said Toruno, who supported himself as an electrician while taking classes at BMCC.  “I plan to graduate with a bachelor’s, and after that, I plan to take some time to compete in a powerlifting competition.”

  • BMCC/NYU partnership programs POISE and GUIDE enable participants to utilize NYU campus
  • GUIDE involves partnership with NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Studies
  • POISE is partnership with NYU College of Arts and Sciences

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