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Our Students

Paule Aboite

Paule Aboite is a proud fellow of the Hunter Mellon Arts Fellowship Program. Aboite is currently a music major studying classical voice with mentor and teacher Susan Gonzalez. You could say that Paule is a late-bloomer, only realizing her operatic voice in the last several years. Holding a BFA in theatre from the University of the Arts, Paule works as a speech lecturer at Borough of Manhattan Community College. When she is not diving headfirst in repertoire, Paule can be found coaching actors of color in speech and dialects of the African diaspora. Ms. Aboite hopes to continue her studies in a graduate program and to further her pursuit of a career in opera.

Leah Drayton

Leah Drayton is a 20-year-old Hunter College student majoring in English and Media Studies. She is from Brooklyn and is deeply proud of her West Indian heritage. As a visual artist, she aims to capture the beauty of her culture and experiments with digital and traditional mediums. Botany, performance art, and the Harlem Renaissance strongly influence her work. Her aspiration as a journalist is to tell stories that are rarely heard. She has previously apprenticed as a marketing intern for nonprofits such as community boards and theater companies. Currently, she is creating a comic book and digital magazine as well as freelance press writing.

Milo Falconi

Milo Falconi is a junior year student pursuing a Bachelors of Art in Studio Art with a minor in Cultural Anthropology and Mathematics. Milo has been awarded scholarships by Out for Education, PFLAG, The Brown Foundation and was part of the Scholars Academy at University of Houston-Downtown, in which he held a position as a Scholar Ambassador. His favorite mediums are watercolors and digital art. Growing up in different parts of the world, Milo speaks Spanish, Italian and Canadian French in addition to English. Having a passion for public service, Milo has a broad range of experience in this field. He is usually found drawing or reading about science, and can paint with both hands!

Susan Flores

Susan Flores Melgar is a first generation college student whose parents emigrated from Central America. The support they provide continues to play a pivotal role in her pursuit of a career in the arts. As a Queens native, Susan has always felt strongly about the need for representing the diversity in her neighborhood. She hopes to become more involved in the immigrant communities of New York to help provide opportunities through the arts. Susan is currently enrolled as a studio art major and art history minor, planning to pursue her Bachelor in Fine Arts.

Sabrina Garcia

Sabrina Garcia is an Undergraduate student pursuing her BA with Hunter College majoring in Special Honors curriculum track, classical studies, and studio art, with cultural anthropology as a minor. She is interested in many different forms of art. In addition to many achievements, honors of distinction include: the Deans List with Hunter College-CUNY, awarded the Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation Scholarship, the Solomon Bluhm Scholarship, member of the Thomas Hunter Honors Program, and a current Hunter Mellon Arts Fellow. She has a great love for community and animals, which gave her the opportunity to do volunteer work with an elderly home residence and also with animal rescue organizations. She has also been a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and with the Metro Baptist Church in NYC as a counselor. She is a very hard worker with an eagerness to learn new things. Integral to her development has been her family--she cares for a disabled mom and a very special cat, a rescue.

Nikky Gonzalez

Nikky Gonzalez is nineteen years old, was born and raised in the Bronx, and is very proud of her Dominican heritage. She attended Bard High School Early College and in four years graduated with both an advanced regents diploma as well as an Associate's Degree. Majoring in art history at Hunter College (expected graduation May 2018), she is fascinated by Renaissance art due to the relationship it held with religion and power. Her other area of interest is modern and contemporary art, because of its ability to elicit strong reactions from viewers. As a recipient of the Hunter Arts Mellon Fellowship, Gonzalez aims to learn as much as possible about the profession of curating so that she may pursue a career in an art institution. As a Latina, she is concerned about the lack of diversity in the art world and seeks to be a part of the generation that changes that. Gonzalez would like to be a role model for other Latino students so that they will not fear pursuing a career in the arts.

Joyce Lim

Joyce Lim is currently studying for her Bachelor's in Theatre at CUNY Hunter College. She is also the current president of the Undergraduate Theatre Club, which prides in offering students with practical experience in theatrical production. Joyce has experience in stage management, costume design, and directing. She aspires to apply for graduate school in directing after she completes her undergraduate degree, and then for a doctorate in costume history. She is excited and incredibly humbled to have been selected to be an Andrew Mellon Fellow and hopes to inspire other students of color to pursue a career in the Arts. Visit Joyce's website here:

Dorothy Rojas

Dorothy Rojas is a studio art major that works in painting, sculpture, installation, and performance. Though predominantly a visual artist, she also has a theater background that influences her communication style and process for art making. She has published several poems and has a strong love for philosophy. Dorothy has always been a New Yorker but has frequently traveled to South America. She is interested in organizing a mural project for schools and public places in Ecuador. You can view her work and mission at

Kiefer Ken Rondina

Kiefer Rondina is currently pursuing a degree in dance education K-12, with a minor in cultural anthropology. Originally a native from the Philippines, he came to the United States in 2012 to complete his education and currently resides in Queens, NY. Before coming to Hunter, he received his associate’s degree in liberal arts at Borough of Manhattan Community College. Through the Mellon Arts Grant, he aspires to go to graduate school, establish his own dance studio, and develop his own technique of dance that fuses contemporary/modern and classical Spanish dance forms. Aside from his classes at Hunter, he presently trains in Flamenco dance at 92Y. He enjoys practicing yoga, exploring authentic cuisine, and viewing live dance performances around the city.

Lachanda Williams

Lachanda Williams is an aspiring youth mentor and advocate. She is from New York City, and has had a constant passion of giving back to her community. She attends Hunter College, majoring in psychology and minoring in dance. Her education has given her the ability to proceed with her long-term goal, of opening up an organization for underprivileged children, to provide them with a way to express themselves through performing arts. As a Hunter Mellon Arts Fellow, she has been able to connect with a diverse group of mentors and peers.

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