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Baruch College Student Ilana Gelb Among
2016 William R. Kenan Scholars

Prestigious Scholarship Awarded to Student Leaders Committed to Public Service


NEW YORK, NY - March 4, 2014 -Ilana Gelb, a sophomore in the School of Public Affairs at Baruch College, was recently named as one of four students from the City University of New York to receive the William R. Kenan Scholarship.

In the aftermath of September 11, the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust made a generous pledge and created an endowment to promote a new generation of leadership in New York City. The William R. Kenan Scholars Program was founded to enhance honors education at CUNY by sponsoring a group of outstanding Macaulay Honors College students who have demonstrated an early commitment to service and civic engagement.

Before enrolling at Macaulay Honors College, Ilana took a gap year and traveled to nine regions of the world to study communities and sustainability. Through this experience, Ilana developed a passion for environmental sustainability, human rights, and community development. Ilana’s interest in public service through government led her to take an active role in Student Government as Vice Chair of the Sustainability Committee, and on the University Committee of the CUNY Baccalaureate governing board. At Macaulay, Ilana is an organizer of CUNY FoodFEST, CUNY’s annual food justice festival. She is also President and Founder of the new anti-human trafficking club, Avasara. Ilana is pursuing human rights work through an internship at HIAS, a voluntary refugee assistance agency. She visited South East Asia this past summer to volunteer with various organizations such as Guria, an anti-trafficking organization in India, and the Grameen Bank, the Nobel Prize winning “Bank for the Poor” in Bangladesh. During this trip, Ilana filmed a documentary on women’s rights and international aid. Although her academic focus is not in the arts, Ilana remains fervent about using creativity and art as a catalyst for social change.

In addition to Ilana, the Class of 2016 William R. Kenan scholars includes: Sophia Curran, Macaulay Honors College of Hunter College, Suprita Datta, Macaulay Honors College of City College, and Sharon Richardson, Macaulay Honors College of Brooklyn College.

The goals of the William R. Kenan Scholars Program at Macaulay Honors College are threefold: to incubate and foster social vision and courage; to build identity and intention as agents of change; and to draw meaningful lines of connection between scholarship and the communities in which we live. The program offers unique experiences and opportunities with the aim of fostering each student's individual gifts, as well as encouraging cooperative endeavors, and preparing them to make substantial contributions in their chosen fields after graduation.

“This is a truly remarkable group of students,” said Macaulay’s Scholar-in-Residence Dr. Mike Lamb. “This program is founded upon the principle of creative leadership, whereby students are empowered to generate and direct the course of their studies and community engagement. We can’t wait to see what these new Scholars create.”


About Baruch College:
Baruch College is a senior college in the City University of New York (CUNY) with a total enrollment of more than 17,000 students, who represent 160 countries and speak more than 100 languages. Ranked among the top 15% of U.S. colleges and the No. 5 public regional university, Baruch College is regularly recognized as among the most ethnically diverse colleges in the country. As a public institution with a tradition of academic excellence, Baruch College offers accessibility and opportunity for students from every corner of New York City and from around the world. For more about Baruch College, go to

Manny Romero, (646) 660-6141,
Mercedes Sanchez, (646) 660-6112,
Celene McDermott, (646) 660-6134,


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