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CCNY Grad Students Ilan McKenna And Sara Roffino Win Fulbright Teaching Assistantships

NEW YORK, May 18, 2009 – Ilan McKenna and Sara Roffino, graduate students in The City College of New York's (CCNY) School of Education, have received 2009-2010 Fulbright Program English Teaching Assistantships (ETA).

ETAs are grants whose recipients are placed in schools or universities out of the host country's capital city. Grant recipients are assigned various activities designed to improve their students' language abilities and knowledge of the United States.

Ms. McKenna, who is pursuing a Master's in Special Education (M.S.E.D.) is headed for New Delhi, India, in July to teach English in a secondary school there.Ms. Roffino, who will receive a M.S. in Education with honors at CCNY's 163rd Commencement Exercises May 28, will begin her ETA in Coimbra, Portugal, in October.

Both are New York City Teaching Fellows and currently work in classrooms in Manhattan.

"It's a huge honor and I'm extremely excited at being awarded the assistantship," said Ms. McKenna, a resident of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. "This is an opportunity for me to make a difference in a place where education is often limited and is urgently needed."

A graduate of Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., where she received a B.A. in Political Science, she teaches students with emotional disturbances at P.S. 94 on the Lower East Side.

"I wanted a challenge and to work with children who needed the most help, children with severe emotional disturbance," Ms McKenna added.

Ms. Roffino was equally ecstatic at being awarded the Fulbright."The best and most inspiring teachers I have had are the ones who were able to bring their life's adventures back into the classroom -- this is what I hope to do," she said.

The Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, resident is a learning specialist and 9th grade English teacher at the UrbanAssembly Media High School on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

Ms. Roffino earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

About the Fulbright Scholar Program

Established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the program's purpose is to build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries.Fulbright Scholars are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement and demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.Among the thousands of prominent Fulbright Scholars are Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Rita Dove and Craig Barrett, Chairman of the Board of Intel Corp.

About The City College of New York 

Since 1847 The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Over 15,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture; The School of Education; The Grove School of Engineering, and The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education. For additional information, visit



Jay Mwamba
p: 212.650.7580