Featured Fellow -Svetlana Markova
The evening of April 18th, 2019 was a special night to remember on campus for S Jay Levy fellows and alumni. During the S Jay Levy Fellowship Annual Alumni Reception in the Great Hall, a celebration that marked four cohorts of S Jay Levy Fellows, participants heard from City College President Vincent Boudreau, David Levy, Chairman of the S Jay Levy Fellowship Board and the fellowship’s Executive Director, Carlo Invernizzi Accetti. Over dinner, attendees mingled with fellows past and present, members of the Levy family, board members and internship site partners. For a co-recipient of this year’s Alumni Achievement Award, Svetlana Markova ‘18, a 2016-2017 S Jay Levy fellow, the evening marked a special opportunity for her: a chance to reflect on where she has come from and to consider her clearer future.
The S Jay Levy Fellowship for Future Leaders program was made possible through the generosity of the late S Jay Levy ’42 through the Jerome Levy Foundation. Mr. Levy was a noted economist and advocate of policies to increase employment opportunities. In this selective program, fellows participate in a year-long professional development process that culminates in a 280-hour summer internship. Fellows receive professional development training and a $4,200 stipend towards unpaid summer internships.
Svetlana Markova grew up in a small Russian town next to the Ukrainian border. Beginning at 7 years old, she helped her mother after school by working in the family’s business, selling goods in a makeshift kiosk. It was in school that Svetlana found her love of science. At 17, she began medical school in the Ukraine, working as a night janitor in the hospital to earn tuition money. Although she loved the study of medicine, she was frustrated by the discrimination and inequities for disadvantaged populations that she observed. After Svetlana completed two-thirds of medical school in Ukraine, she was given an opportunity that she could not turn down: the chance to move to the United States. Svetlana arrived in New York at 21 years old with no family and no resources, and had to begin her life from scratch, including learning English. For three years, she worked at a variety of jobs to save enough money to be able to re-enter college as an undergraduate student in the United States.
Svetlana chose City College because of its reputation in providing high-quality affordable education to a diverse student body. City College quickly became her first American family and made her feel at home. When her strong grades and class standing warranted an invitation to the S Jay Levy Fellowship, she did not hesitate to apply. Svetlana hoped to develop her professional skills with the help of the fellowship. Her expectations were not only met but greatly exceeded by the end of the program.
Through numerous mock interviews, meetings with successful CCNY alumni, and attending the annual S Jay Levy Fellowship Internship Fair, Svetlana was repeatedly challenged to apply her newly acquired professional skills. Svetlana credits the training received as an S Jay Levy Fellows with the strong interviewing abilities that helped her to present confidently over the course of multi-day interviews that accompany an application to an Md-PhD program. For Svetlana, she received the acceptance she was hoping for and she can return to the field of study that she has always desired. Svetlana has been accepted to the MD-PhD Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Rochester School of Medicine this fall.