Internal Scholarship Programs

Among the small working groups mentioned above are the Horace W. Goldsmith and William R. Kenan Scholars programs. These internal scholarship programs offer additional programming, mentorship and opportunities to participating students.

The Kenan Leadership Scholars Program

“I’d never really considered the option of immersive and personalized education. I was raised in very traditional school environments, kindergarten through twelfth grade.  The Kenan Scholars are given opportunities to see the world and truly learn who we are. The program has inspired new ideas, the formation of lasting values, and a foundation for student leaders preparing to make their paths in the world.” –Julia D’Alessio ‘18, College of Staten Island

In the aftermath of September 11, the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust made a generous pledge and created an endowment to promote a new generation of leadership in New York City.  The William R. 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.

The Kenan Leadership Scholars Program names six Macaulay students each year, at the beginning of the sophomore year, after a campus nomination and interview process.

The goals of the William R. Kenan Scholars Program at Macaulay Honors College are to incubate and foster social vision and courage; to build identity and intention as agents of change; and to draw meaningful lines of connection between scholarship and the communities in which we live.

The program offers unique travel opportunities, including annual trips to global sites of post-traumatic growth and reconciliation.  Our Kenan Scholars traveled as a group to South Africa in 2015, Northern Ireland in 2016, and Namibia in 2017.

The program also offers material support to the Kenan Scholars, with the aim of fostering each student’s individual gifts—as well as encouraging cooperative endeavors. Kenan Scholars and have founded or co-founded organizations like Avasara and Speak Up Speak Out.  Kenan Scholars have developed and hosted panel events on topics ranging from global midwifery to eradicating the scourge of sex trafficking.

Additionally, the program hosts the Kenan Lectures in Ethics and Resistance, a lecture series established to connect members of the Macaulay community to world-class artists, theorists and activists who offer creative, productive obstructions to the dominant culture.  Past invitees have included poet and rock frontman David Berman and renowned cultural critics Hilton Als and Jessica Hopper.

The Horace W. Goldsmith Scholars Program

The Horace W. Goldsmith Scholars Program seeks students with a focused sense of their academic trajectory and an innovative approach to their discipline. The specific field of study is less important than the passion and creativity the student demonstrates. Students apply for the program in the fall of either their sophomore or junior year.

The program offers selected students personalized advising, mentorship and internship support. Students take part in workshops focused on personal essay writing, public speaking and interviewing.

Goldsmith Scholars were instrumental in creating the Supporting Excellence initiative at Macaulay—designed to address questions of higher education and underrepresented minorities—which resulted in the Supporting Excellence conference (now in its seventh year) as well as a series of educational events and social gatherings to build community and foster civic engagement.  The initiative has hosted film screenings, panel discussions, and talks by figures such as Cornel West, Reina Gosset, and Max Kenner.

The Goldsmith Scholars Program also offers specialized support for those applying for national scholarships and fellowships, and has been instrumental in helping Goldsmith Scholars win Rhodes, Fulbright, Truman, Marshall, Goldwater, and Mitchell scholarships—as well as National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowships.

The Goldsmith Program has a ripple effect—across Macaulay and across CUNY.  It is an incubator not only of students who go forward and change the world after graduation, but of innovative new ideas in education.  The small-cohort model allows us to prototype and experiment with novel pedagogies and enrichment, which can then be replicated across the campuses.  The success that CUNY students—many of whom are Goldsmith Scholars—have had in garnering prestigious scholarships and fellowships is the backbone of a multi-year public relations campaign by the University, drawing national attention to “the CUNY renaissance” and the twin goals of access and excellence.

To learn more about the Department of Immersive and Personalized Education and the Goldsmith and Kenan programs, please contact:

Cameron Stewart, Student Writing Specialist & Facilitator of Literary Projects: