Mellon Foundation hails CCNY’s MMUF PhD output

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) Program is celebrating the “monumental milestone” of producing more than 1,000 PhDs, with a pat on the back for The City College of New York for its input.
“Our data shows that in November the MMUF Program reached the monumental milestone of producing over 1,000 PhDs during the program’s 33-year history,” Armando Bengochea, the Mellon Foundation’s senior program officer for Higher Learning and director of the MMUF, said to Isabel Estrada, director of the City College Fellowships Program. “We want to acknowledge The City College of New York’s MMUF Program for contributing to this extraordinary achievement that is advancing the mission of the MMUF Program and congratulate all MMUF PhD recipients for their vision, hard work, and determination. We appreciate your dedication to this effort and wish you continued success in this endeavor.”

According to Renee Philippi, administrative program director at CCNY, 16 Mellon Mays Fellows at the College completed the BA to PhD track between 2001 and 2021, while 21 others are currently enrolled in doctoral programs.

CCNY’s MMUF program has received more than $2 million in funding from the Mellon Foundation. The program’s goal is to help increase diversity in the faculty ranks of higher education by identifying and supporting exceptional undergraduates from traditionally underrepresented groups. The MMUF program is an exclusive nationwide program open to colleges and universities by invitation only.

Isabel Estrada proudly acknowledged the talent and resilience of the fellows, who continue to fulfill the mission of earning doctoral degrees despite the challenges of the covid pandemic. The roster of students accepted to PhD programs in the past two years includes:

  • Sophia Yip, PhD, English (Graduate Center, CUNY);
  • Kiran Baldeo, PhD, History (Rutgers University);
  • Josias Agustin-Mendez, PhD, History (Columbia University); 
  • Naajidah Correll, MA/PhD, English (Michigan State University); and
  • Lance Parker, PhD, History, (University of Hull, UK).

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. 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 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself. View CCNY Media Kit.

Jay Mwamba
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