Press Releases

March 28, 2019

Announcing the 2019 Jeannette K. Watson Fellows


Three year program provides unprecedented opportunities to remarkable students

NEW YORK, NEW YORK (March 28, 2019) -- Today the Watson Foundation announced the selection of its 20th Class of Jeannette K. Watson Fellows. The fellowship program provides remarkable 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 funded summer internships at leading organizations in New York City and around the world. Combined with close mentoring, Watson Fellows 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 fields.

“The Watson process is designed to be engaging and growth-filled for all applicants. We were excited that more students initiated the application in 2019 than any previous year, growing the program's reach and impact.”, said Chris Kasabach, Executive Director of the Watson Foundation. “The new class of Jeannette K. Watson Fellows represents the diversity, creativity, openness, and ambition of New York City’s finest students. We look forward to welcoming fellows to the Watson Community and crafting a three-year experience that develops their unique aspirations.”

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. Nearly 300 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 go on to become leaders in their fields including law, medicine, public policy, business and the arts. They are the recipients of numerous Fulbright, Truman, Coro, Urban Fellow and many other national  awards.

About the Watson Foundation

In 1961, the Watson Foundation was created as a charitable trust in the name of Thomas J. Watson Sr, best known for building IBM. Through one-of-a-kind programs, and over 100 global partnerships, the Foundation provides students with personal, professional and cultural opportunities to expand their vision, develop their potential, and build the confidence and perspective do so for others.

2019 Jeannette K. Watson Fellows (Class of 2021)

Nibras Ahmed, Hunter College

Sumana Ali, Lehman College

Jewel Antoine, St. John’s University

Devashish Basnet, Hunter College

Serena Burton, Queens College

Alina Camejo, Baruch College

Jenna Chandu, St. John’s University

Hamida Chumpa, Baruch College

Rene Clever, Lehman College

Clyde Drayton, St. John’s University

Aaron Fernando, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Raquel Merino, Brooklyn College

Marlyn Paulino, Queens College

Anna Shvetsova, Hunter College

Amanda Zhu, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

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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