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Two LIU Brooklyn Students Named Watson Fellows


Communications & Marketing, LIU,

Two students in LIU Brooklyn’s University Honors Program, Arissa Wilson and Aaron Raines, have been selected for the prestigious Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship. The award goes to New York City undergraduates who demonstrate exceptional promise, outstanding leadership skills, and commitment to the common good.

Watson Fellows get their pick of coveted job placements over three consecutive summers in nonprofit groups, business organizations, and government agencies. In the third summer, Watson Fellows can apply for an international assignment through partnerships with the Institute of International Education, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, and many other organizations. In addition, fellows work with mentors, and participate in pre-professional and cultural programming to support them in expanding their definition of self, success, and career choice.

Arissa WilsonWilson, a humanities major, with a concentration in Africana studies, is committed to issues of social justice. From Long Beach, N.Y., she now lives in Brooklyn, and interns at Teach for America, where she contributes as an undergraduate operations coordinator supporting the regional team.  She is looking forward to meeting new people, taking advantage of the cultural events, and starting her first internship as a Watson Fellow at Broadway Housing Communities, where she will work as a public engagement intern.

Aaron RainesRaines, a native of Raleigh, N.C., is an English major and a proud new member of Sigma Tau Delta, the National Honor Society for English majors. She is excited to begin her first Watson Fellow internship at New York Needs You and eager to learn more about nonprofit organizations and how they function. Raines has already partnered with MS 113 in Brooklyn, and created her own nonprofit organization, Think Pink, which focuses on improving adolescent girls’ self-esteem by engaging in goal setting and self-reflection workshops. With the ultimate goal of encouraging them to go to college.

Established by the Thomas J. Watson Foundation in 1999, the fellowship operates on the principle that "talent is broadly distributed but only selectively developed." A dozen colleges in the city compete annually for 15 Watson Fellowships. Each school may nominate up to four candidates to send to the citywide selection panels. Only the most determined candidates complete the rigorous application process. Twenty-six LIU Brooklyn students have received Watson fellowships since 2000.

Posted 05/06/2014

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