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Hunter Students Gather 2010 Awards & Honors

It is scholastic honors season, and Hunter students are winning some of the nation's top awards.

David Bonilla and Sabrina Ibarrola, both of the class of 2012, have been awarded Jeannette K. Watson Fellowships that will provide them with three years of paid summer internships, mentoring and enhanced educational opportunities. The fellowships are given to New York City undergraduates "who demonstrate exceptional promise, outstanding leadership skills and commitment to the common good."

Bonilla, a native of Colombia, is a political science major who tutors adult language learners in Spanish grammar and conversation and volunteers at a recreation center in Queens. As a high school student in Bogotá, he excelled in student government and was on the winning team of the national high school "Philosophy Olympics."

Ibarrola, who came from Florida to study at Hunter, is majoring in performance and gender and social change. Her activities range from instructing children in dance and creative movement to four summers lifeguarding and teaching swimming and water fitness. In high school, she organized demonstrations to raise student awareness of human rights injustices around the world.

Students from 12 New York colleges compete annually for 15 Watson Fellowships. Bonilla and Ibarrola are the latest in an unbroken succession of Hunter undergraduates dating back to 2000 to win.

Joyce Kim, a senior, has been awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. The prestigious award will support her graduate work at Columbia University where she will study computer information systems/engineering, focusing on information security and assurance. Kim is one of only four CUNY undergraduates to receive a 2010 national science fellowship.

Seven CUNY students received honorable mentions from the foundation, and four of them were Hunter seniors:

Sharif Corinaldi, who will attend the University of California Berkeley to pursue advanced study in theoretical physics,

Mei Hua Guan who will attend the University of Michigan Ann Arbor to study psychology, specifically personality and social contexts,

Shari Levine who will attend the University of Oxford to study mathematical sciences, specifically topology,

Mia Tarley, a Macaulay Honors College student, who will attend John Hopkins University to study neuropsychology.

Lauren Vriens, a senior, has been awarded a Critical Language Scholarship by the U.S. State Department to study Arabic this summer. She is one of just 575 winners out of 5,300 applicants to win one of the 2010 CLS scholarships, which promote the study of languages considered essential to America's international relations.

Kathleen Rivera, a sophomore, was awarded an honorable mention in the 2009-2010 Cannon Essay Competition at the Japan Center of Stony Brook University. Rivera, who is a Hunter Neighborhood Scholar and a senior preceptor, is majoring in anthropology and minoring in archaeology.

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