Skip to main content

Macaulay Honors student Catherine Hernandez is CCNY’s 2023 Valedictorian; Kimberly Pereyra Monero is Salutatorian

Catherine Hernandez, an anthropology major in the William E. Macaulay Honors College, is The City College of New York’s Class of 2023 Valedictorian. The daughter of a 1993 CCNY alumnus, Hernandez is graduating summa cum laude with a 3.98 GPA. She’ll receive a BA degree in anthropology with a minor in art history and Jewish studies. 

Kimberly Pereyra Monero from the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership is the Salutatorian. A political science major and community change studies minor, she’s graduating with a BA degree and 3.90 GPA.  

About Catherine Hernandez
Hernandez proudly considers herself “a product of City College from the moment I was born,” because of her alumnus father, Francisco Hernandez. The Cuban immigrant came to CCNY in 1991 with only enough tuition money to take one class per semester. However, financial aid, scholarships, and a quality education would see him earn a bachelor’s degree, enter law school after graduation, and begin a career as an immigration lawyer. 

“For both me and my father, CCNY has been a place that allows immigrants and first-generation Americans to not only succeed but have the agency and power to aid in tearing down the systems that oppress their communities,” said Hernandez. “It’s my honor to represent this legacy of social mobility and social justice.”

A participant in two overseas archaeological projects in Ecuador and Barbados as an undergraduate, Hernandez has developed a focused, activist-oriented research interest in Indigeneity, cultural patrimony, and repatriation. In her research and career, she hopes to implement community-based archaeological practices and to liaison with descendent communities to ensure that they have agency over the ownership of their patrimony and the portrayal of their heritage in the museum setting. 

At CCNY, Hernandez has participated in a number of fellowships, including the Colin Powell Fellowship in Leadership and Public Service, the Racial Justice Fellowship, and the Rockefeller Fellowship. She has also dedicated herself to the promotion of intersectional Feminist ideology as Co-President of the Macaulay Feminist Society NYC Collegiate Sexual Violence Prevention Changemaker. 

Hernandez’ other accolades include the Lloyd Blankfein Scholarship, the Macaulay Opportunities Fund’s highest honor. The scholarship provides $5,000 in funding for a Macaulay Honors College student research conducted abroad. She also received the Rose and Herbert Rudin Award -- which offers a $2,000 research grant -- twice. She used the two grants to fund independent archival research and participate in the Walkers Estate Field School in Barbados.

Currently, Hernandez is a Curatorial Intern at the MoMA PS1, an Education Intern at the Morgan Library and Museum, and a Program Facilitator for Art and Resistance through Education (ARTE). Next year, the Manhattan resident plans on taking a gap year to apply for PhD programs in archaeology.

About Kimberly Pereyra Monero
CCNY’s Class of 2023 Salutatorian is a Brooklyn resident who emigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic at age 15. Mentors hail her academic excellence, civic-minded leadership and community involvement that make her truly representative of the best of CCNY. 
“For me, CCNY became a place of diversity, a place that teaches you how to be resilient, authentic, and how not to give up,” said Pereyra Monero.

A dynamo at CCNY, she dedicated three of her four years as an undergrad volunteering for Youth Over Guns, a community organization that  advocates against gun violence. There were also other internships, with the US Water Alliance, the Leadership Justice Center, and the New York City Public Advocate’s Office.

Pereyra Monero was a Jeannette K. Watson Fellow (a three-year, citywide fellowship centered on public service), a Colin Powell Fellow, and a Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, & Flom LLP and affiliates Legal Honors Scholar. She is the 2022-2023 recipient of The Daphne and Stuart Wells Public Service Scholarship and was a finalist this spring for a Harry S. Truman Scholarship.

Pereyra Monero has been working as a project assistant at The Leadership Justice Center for Democracy and Social Justice, an institute devoted to fostering the next generation of social justice leaders. She is also interning at Vocal NY as a legislative intern and is planning to attend law school next. 

About the City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high-quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. CCNY embraces its position at the forefront of social change. It is ranked #1 by the Harvard-based Opportunity Insights out of 369 selective public colleges in the United States on the overall mobility index. This measure reflects both access and outcomes, representing the likelihood that a student at CCNY can move up two or more income quintiles. Education research organization Degree Choices ranks CCNY #1 nationally among universities for economic return on investment. In addition, the Center for World University Rankings places CCNY in the top 1.8% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. Labor analytics firm Emsi puts at $1.9 billion CCNY’s annual economic impact on the regional economy (5 boroughs and 5 adjacent counties) and quantifies the “for dollar” return on investment to students, taxpayers and society. At City College, more than 15,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. This year, CCNY launched its most expansive fundraising campaign, ever. The campaign, titled “Doing Remarkable Things Together” seeks to bring the College’s Foundation to more than $1 billion in total assets in support of the College mission. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself. View CCNY Media Kit.