The 2008 Diego Hidalgo Scholarships

2008 Hidalgo Luncheon
Pictured, starting bottom left: Linda Jandejskova, Heather McCown, Caroline Urvater (member of the Graduate Center Foundation), Lidija Markes (coordinator of CUNY BA Scholarships), Anika Altmann, Hernan Eschavarria Sanchez, Kim J. Hartswick (Director, CUNY BA), and Beth Kneller (Deputy Director, CUNY BA).

The Diego Hidalgo Scholarships are funded by international diplomat, author, and philanthropist Mr. Diego Hidalgo.  Two different scholarships, ranging from $2000 to $4000 each per semester, are available, one for students in International Affairs/Political Science and the other for students in the Arts.  Recipients must be students in CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies. 

This year’s recipients for the Hidalgo Scholarship in International Affairs/Political Science are Anika Altmann, “NYC Politics, Policy and People” and Heather McCown, “Partnerships for Social Justice.”  Altmann, a former interior designer, first became politically active with Howard Dean’s Presidential campaign, then worked for Democracy for New York City, Democracy for Long Island, and the political satire group Billionaires for Bush.  Having also volunteered for several City Council races throughout New York and caring passionately about affordable housing, traffic congestion and funding for public education, her latest goal is to become an elected City Councilwoman.  Her CUNY BA faculty mentor is Prof. Janet Poppendieck, Sociology, Hunter College.  McCown was a professional dancer performing all over the country and parts of Europe before she hung up her pointe shoes and decided to return to college.  In 2007, she became deeply involved in the campaign to restore ferry service from Brooklyn and established a nonprofit organization called Sunset-Ridge Waterfront Alliance.  She is also involved in organizing CUNY events to support the people of Darfur.  She is mentored by Prof. Amy Green, Interdisciplinary Studies, John Jay.

Recipients of the Hidalgo Scholarship for the Arts are Hernan Echavarria Sanchez, “Screenwriting / Creative Writing,” and Linda Jandejskova, “Multimedia Arts and Cultural Studies.”  Echavarria Sanchez, originally from Colombia, left his career as a biostatistician to get formal education to become a writer, choosing CUNY because of “all that New York can offer to an artist.”  He hopes to become a novelist, screenwriter and playwright.  He is mentored by Prof. Carey Harrison, English, Brooklyn and Prof. Daniel Gurskis, Film, Brooklyn.  Jandejskova is from the Czech Republic where she studied Museum and Gallery Services.  She is a highly talented, versatile artist who works in the media of video, photography, painting, print, animation, and digital art, and is using CUNY BA to meld these media with her study of literature, philosophy, sociology, history, anthropology and religion.  She is mentored by Prof. Hajoe Moderegger, Art, City College.