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FIVE(!) Computer Science Majors win new VERIZON Scholars Award

Jorge Davila, Joseph Fong, Steven Han, Vitaliy Maritash and Carlos Villalba are among the Hunter College winners of new Verizon Foundation STEM Scholarship.

The Verizon Foundation has awarded $250,000 to The City University of New York to create a scholarship program for students majoring in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) discipline.

The Verizon STEM Scholars, selected from City College and Hunter College, will receive scholarships, paid internships and mentorship opportunities. The three-year program, the first between Verizon and CUNY, will focus on populations like women and minorities that are underrepresented in the STEM professions.

“This grant is key to creating opportunities for a diverse pipeline of students interested in science, technology, engineering and math education,” said Rose Stuckey Kirk, president of the Verizon Foundation. “These disciplines are critical to fields such as research, technology and infrastructure design that will lay the foundation for a successful future for innovative companies like Verizon and for society in general.”

The grants, which will be awarded to juniors and seniors at the two CUNY colleges, are designed to prepare the Verizon STEM Scholars for rewarding careers and continue CUNY’s commitment to advancing underrepresented populations in the STEM disciplines.

“Verizon’s generous grant puts a CUNY STEM education within the reach of many qualified students who might not otherwise be able to complete their studies,” said Chancellor Matthew Goldstein. “The Verizon STEM Scholars program will help ensure that we continue to produce an educated and much-needed workforce with the skills in science, technology, engineering and math needed to compete in the coming decades.”

City College of New York President Lisa S. Coico stated: “Increasing participation of women and minorities in the STEM disciplines is a national priority that these scholarships from the Verizon Foundation help address. On behalf of everyone at City College I want to thank Verizon for their support and congratulate the deserving and talented students who will benefit from this new scholarship program.”

“Verizon’s award is not only a testament to the outstanding science programs at Hunter, but also a recognition of the urgent need to support young scientists,” said Hunter College President Jennifer Raab. “It is an investment in the future of America, which is falling behind in STEM education and which needs our best and brightest to succeed and keep us competitive in the 21st-century global marketplace.”

The Verizon Foundation made the grant to CUNY, whose Decade of Science initiative builds on the University’s historic role in research and applied science, to help it continue increasing the number of STEM students. City College, which will be the home of CUNY’s Advanced Science Research Center, and Hunter College, whose alumni include two Nobel Prize winners, were chosen for their longstanding commitment to the STEM disciplines.

The first 25 Verizon Scholars were officially introduced Nov. 18 at a reception at the Roosevelt House at 47-49 E. 65th St. in Manhattan.

From Hunter College, the 2011 Verizon STEM Scholars are:

Hunter College

Jorge Davila, Joseph Fong, Steve Han, Francisco Hernandez, Karolina Krauze, Tommy Leung, Alex Lo, Vitaliy Matiyash, Rosemery Membreno, Eugenia Sarian, Carlos Villalba and Amy Wang.