We typically think of rebels as people who refuse allegiance to, resist or rise up in arms against their governments. But a true rebel stands up for what he or she believes is right, not against what’s right. It’s about being an individual, upholding your principles and refusing to simply follow a crowd or let others force you to think and act the same way they do. Rebels are often trendsetters, innovators, trailblazers, thought leaders, change-agents.

In CUNY Baccalaureate, each student designs his or her own major guided by at least one faculty mentor. This is CUNY’s most innovative and flexible degree where students have access to courses across the entire university and they take on a major share of the responsibility for planning and carrying out their studies.

Because our students are taking “the road less traveled” by designing their own degrees, we’ve come to think of them as rebels, in the very best sense of the word. Accordingly, we’d like to tip our hat to other rebels who match our students’ tenacity and ambition.

This Week’s Rebel is Jenji Kohan

You might not know her name, but you’ve definitely heard of her work. Jenji Kohan is a television writer, producer and director, best known as the creator of the Showtime comedy-drama series Weeds and the Netflix comedy-drama series Orange Is … Continued

Our Last Rebel With a Cause was Will Shortz

This week’s “Rebel With a Cause” is enigmatologist Will Shortz, the world’s only academically accredited puzzle master. He designed his own major at Indiana University, graduating in 1974 with a one-of-a-kind degree in Enigmatology, the study of puzzles. If you … Continued

Last Week’s Rebel was Professor Lee Lorch

Lee Lorch led the campaign to desegregate Stuyvesant Town, the massive Manhattan housing development that runs from 1st Avenue to the FDR and from East 14 to East 23, and helped make housing discrimination illegal nationwide. By helping to organize … Continued

Last Week’s Rebel of the Week was Amar Bose

Amar G. Bose was a visionary engineer, inventor and billionaire entrepreneur whose namesake company, the Bose Corporation, is known world-wide for its high-quality audio systems and speakers. Bose was born in a Bengali Hindu family and raised in Philadelphia, PA. … Continued

Last Week’s Rebel was Mary Fields

“Stagecoach” Mary Fields (1832-1914) was the first African American mail carrier (male or female) in the United States. Mary began her life as a slave in Tennessee in 1832. Her mother was the personal servant to the plantation owner’s wife, … Continued

Last Week’s Featured Rebel: Dr. Candace Pert

Candace Pert was a neuroscientist who, as a graduate student, helped discover a fundamental element of brain chemistry and later became a major proponent of alternative medicine. She was working at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the 1970s … Continued

Our Last Rebel of the Week was Dr. Mark Showalter

Planetary astronomer Mark Showalter is rabid about rings. While everyone knows that Saturn has a spectacular ring system, it’s often forgotten that Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune are also encircled by rings, albeit ones that are fainter and narrower. Each of … Continued