Weissman Students Win Jeannette K. Watson Fellowships
Left to right: Alina Camejo and Hamida Chumpa, students at the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences
Baruch College students Alina Camejo (’21) and Hamida Chumpa (’21), both of the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences, were awarded Jeannette K. Watson fellowships.
These awards mark the first time two Baruch students have won the fellowships in a single competition season. Camejo and Chumpa will join the Class of 2021 Fellows with students from Hunter College, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and Queens College, among other schools.
“It’s an amazing feat to have two winners within the same cohort. This is a first-time accomplishment for the College and both Alina and Hamida are shining examples to the caliber of fellows the Watson Foundation selects,” said Valeria Hymas, director of the Office of National and Prestigious Fellowships Advising.
The Watson Fellowship is an innovative three-year program that provides outstanding undergraduates from 12 New York City colleges with personal, professional, and cultural immersions in the U.S. and abroad. At the center of the program are paid summer internships at leading nonprofit, government and private enterprise organizations in New York City and around the world. According to the foundation, Watson Fellows go on to attend America’s top graduate programs and also become leaders in their fields, such as law, medicine, public policy, business and the arts.
Alina Camejo (’21) is studying communications and is most excited for the opportunity to develop her potential.
“I applied to the J.K Watson Fellowship because I wanted to change the trajectory of my life,” said Camejo. “The only way for me to grow and be the person I always dreamed of would be to step out of my comfort zone. It was one of the best decisions I have made in my life thus far.”
As a volunteer health educator for Peer Health Exchange, Camejo hopes to combine her education with her interests in marketing and women’s health and wellness.
“Being a Watson Fellow will help me achieve my goals by providing me with the resources to further explore my interests. I want to expand my perspectives and connections within these fields and being chosen for this opportunity is outstanding.”
Hamida Chumpa (’21) is a Macaulay Honors student majoring in biological sciences and journalism. The Fellowship’s plethora of opportunities motivated her to apply for the fellowship.
“Their values of cultural awareness and personal development resonate with my own values of being open to diverse people and mindsets,” she explained. “I’m looking forward to meeting fellow ambitious leaders, working with non-profits across the globe, helping marginalized communities, and getting a true understanding of different cultures.”
Although Chumpa isn’t certain of her career goals, she does want to pursue a career that involves writing, traveling, and civic engagement.
“Being a Watson Fellow will expose me to the abundant places one passion can take you which will give me a better sense of what career path I would want to pursue in the future. I hope to learn more about others and myself during this fellowship.”
About the Watson Foundation
In 1961, Jeannette K. Watson created the Thomas J. Watson Foundation in the name of her husband, Thomas J. Watson Sr., best known for building IBM. Through one-of-a-kind programs, the Foundation provides fellows with cultural, professional and personal opportunities that challenge them to expand their vision, test and develop their potential, and build the confidence and perspective to do so for others. In 2015, the Foundation organized as a public-facing organization, unifying its programs under the Watson Foundation.
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(Story published on 4/18/19)