Class of 2014
Samantha Elkaim entered the Muse Scholar Program in 2011 and received a BA in English Language Arts a year ahead of schedule. After graduation, she entered the prestigious NYC Teaching Fellows program. An alternative certification route for NYC teachers, the fellowship will train and place Elkaim in a position teaching at a high-needs NYC school. Simultaneously, Elkaim will work toward her MA teaching degree at St. John's University supported by the Fellows program.
A graduate of Curtis High School on Staten Island, Elkaim entered the Muse Scholar Program as a visual and stage artist. Her involvement with the Department of English, however, helped her develop a passion and talent for creative writing. She shared her writing during both the 2013 and 2014 Muse Arts Showcase, reading from original works to the audience of fellow scholars and Hunter faculty, staff, friends and family.
In addition to participating in the annual showcase, Elkaim has been active in the New York cultural world, holding an internship with the Museum of Tolerance in Manhattan. Elkaim's experience in the Muse Scholar Program has taught her the power of the arts in the classroom, and she says she hopes to integrate the arts into future teaching jobs.
Kelly Wang entered the Muse Scholar Program in 2011 and graduated a year ahead of schedule, summa cum laude. One of Hunter's 2014 valedictorians, she earned a BA in Art History. After graduation, she will enter Columbia University for an MA in Art History, concentrating in classical Chinese painting.
A graduate of Riverdale Country School in the Bronx, Wang has been studying Chinese ink painting and creating works independently since 2009. She exhibited at both the 2013 and 2014 Muse Arts Showcase; you can see one of her paintings by viewing this pdf.
Wang also has experience in the curatorial and business sides of the art world thanks to a series of internships at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, China Institute and the Chinese Porcelain Company. She currently apprentices with the master gilder, artist and restorer R. Wayne Reynolds. She plans to intern with Christie's this summer.
"I thought I was going to be a journalist before I worked at the Met, but that internship changed everything for me, making me realize that my love of Chinese paintings could translate into a solid and rewarding profession in which I could continue to do my own painting," Wang said. "I believe it is possible to find a balance between doing what you love and doing something that involves what you love."