Press Releases

March 29, 2017

2017 Jeannette K. Watson Fellows


Three year program provides unprecedented experiences to outstanding students

NEW YORK, NEW YORK (March 29, 2017) -- Today the Watson Foundation announced the selection of its 18th Class of Jeannette K. Watson Fellows. The Watson provides outstanding undergraduates from 12 New York City colleges with three years of personal, professional and cultural immersions in the United States and abroad. 

At the center of the program are summer internships at leading organizations in New York City and around the world. Combined with close mentoring, Watson Fellows are encouraged to expand their vision, develop their potential and build the confidence and perspective to do so for others. Fellows go on to attend leading graduate programs, receive national and international scholarships, and become leaders in their organizations and fields.

“We are thrilled to announce the new class," said Chris Kasabach, Executive Director of the Watson Foundation. "The fellows' diverse backgrounds and accomplishments are inspirational. We look forward to welcoming them to the greater Watson Community and crafting a three year experience that grows each of their unique potential."

About the Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship

Jeannette K. Watson Fellows are chosen through a nomination process from freshman and sophomore students at 12 New York City partner institutions. The fellowship's comprehensive programming includes three summers of internships at leading organizations around the world, a cohort of supportive peers and ongoing mentorship. Over 250 Jeannette K. Watson Fellows have been named since the fellowship’s start in 1999. 

Watson Fellows are represented in America’s top graduate programs and leaders in law, medicine, public policy, business and the arts. They are the recipients of numerous Fulbright and Truman Awards, as well as Coro, Peace Corps and PD Soros awards among others.

About the Watson Foundation

In 1961, Jeannette K. Watson created the Thomas J. Watson Foundation in the name of her husband, Thomas J. Watson Sr, best known for building IBM. Through one-of-a-kind programs, the Foundation provides fellows with cultural, professional and personal opportunities that challenge them to expand their vision, test and develop their potential, and build the confidence and perspective to do so for others. In 2015, the Foundation organized as a public-facing organization, unifying its programs under the Watson Foundation.

2017 Jeannette K. Watson Fellows (Class of 2019)

Jennifer Acevedo, Marymount Manhattan College

Amanda Anzovino, Marymount Manhattan College

Jasmine Awad, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Marco Costanza, College of Staten Island

David Dam, The City College of New York

Junior Duplessis, The City College of New York

Maisha Kamal, Brooklyn College

Stephanie Luna, Baruch College

Kaitlin McDermott, Queens College

Lisa Nishimura, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Alexandra Shoneyin, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Victoria Smith, Lehman College

Amanda Tukaj, College of Staten Island

Johnny Wiley, St. John’s University

Saif Zihiri, Hunter College

Participating Institutions

Baruch College

Brooklyn College

College of Staten Island

Hunter College

John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Lehman College

LIU Brooklyn

Marymount Manhattan College

Pace University (Manhattan)

Queens College

St. John’s University

The City College of New York

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