Student Nicolas Montano Wins the British Marshall Scholarship!

Nicolas Montano, a John Jay College student in CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies (CUNY BA), has been awarded the prestigious British Marshall Scholarship to study in the United Kingdom. He is one of only six CUNY students to have ever received a Marshall Scholarship since the program’s inception in 1954.

Marshall Scholarships provide high achieving students from the United States the opportunity to pursue studies at the graduate level in the United Kingdom.  Only forty students are selected annually for this highly competitive award.  Recipients for this year’s cohort came from, among other schools, Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Duke, Wesleyan, Brandeis, Northwestern, and the U.S. Naval Academy. The Scholarships are named in honor of U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall. The Marshall Scholarships mission is to: “commemorate the humane ideals of the Marshall Plan [America’s post-World War II European Recovery Program, or ERP] and express the continuing gratitude of the British people to their American counterparts.”

Upon completion of his undergraduate degree in Psychology of Juvenile Justice and International Criminology next spring, Montano, 20, will head to England to begin not just one, but two graduate programs – a master’s degree in Research Methods in Social Policy and Sociology at the University of Liverpool, followed by a master’s degree in Criminal Justice Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. The Marshall Scholarship will cover tuition costs and all living expenses for his two years abroad.

Montano’s research and volunteer interests focus on youth and community justice. “The innovative work that he has already done toward exploring novel, community-based solutions for at risk-youth who live in high-crime neighborhoods places him among the future leaders in this field,” said Professor Ric Curtis, chair of John Jay’s Department of Anthropology, for whom Mr. Montano served as a research assistant on a project on youth and crime in the South Bronx.

Montano’s CUNY BA Faculty Mentors are Prof. Mucahit Bilici, Sociology and Prof. Maureen Allwood, Psychology, both from John Jay College. They have worked closely with him in the design of his two individualized areas of concentration, through which he has so taken courses in Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology and Criminal Justice. (Professor Curtis, mentioned above mentors CUNY BA students as well).

Nicolas Montano (l) with Thomas W. Smith. Photo by Kris Graves.

Winning the Marshall Scholarship is another accomplishment in a life filled with many milestones. Montano received CUNY BA’s Thomas W. Smith Academic Fellowship in recognition of his academic excellence and was selected as a scholar in the Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program. He is a John Jay-Vera Fellow and a New York Needs You (NYNY) Fellow. This year, he also participated in the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government Latino Leadership Initiative Program. In addition to CUNY BA, he is in the John Jay College Honors Program and is a member of the Psi Chi International Honor Society.

Looking even further ahead, Montano plans to earn a Ph.D. to continue his passion for research and academia. At the same time, he plans to remain active in the world of practice and youth-oriented community service.

CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies (CUNY BA) is CUNY’s university-wide individualized bachelor’s degree where students work one-on-one with faculty.

PRESS CONTACT: Beth Kneller,