Monday, May 7, 2012

Verrazano Student Accepted to CUNY Pipeline Program

We are pleased to announce that Christina Terracino, Verrazano Class of 2013, has been named as a CUNY Pipeline Fellow.  Christine will be sharing her experiences in the CUNY Pipeline Program over the next year on the Verrazano Voyager, and below she explains more about the program and her academic interests.

Hi everyone!

My name is Christina Terracino and I’m a fourth year Verrazano School student here at CSI. I’m majoring in English Literature and am looking forward to a long and productive career as a professor. In order to become a full-time professor, a PhD is generally required. I’m excited to move onto graduate school and receive my PhD in English Literature. I’ll be applying for these programs next fall and winter, and I can honestly admit that I’m a bit nervous about the intense application process. However, now that I’ve been accepted into the CUNY Pipeline Program at the CUNY Graduate Center, I’m a bit more confident and infinitely more excited.

The CUNY Pipeline Program is a fellowship which is designed to assist students who wish to pursue careers in research and college teaching. It is specifically for students from underrepresented groups in doctoral studies. I know this seems a bit ambiguous, so I will try to explain. This is not a fellowship simply for minority students. The Office of Educational Opportunity and Diversity Programs at the Graduate Center is looking for students who are diverse, and who are from backgrounds which may or may not be considered a minority in the general sense of the term, but who are underrepresented in the nation’s PhD programs. According to the CUNY website, the following groups are underrepresented: Alaskan Natives, Asians, Blacks/African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Italian Americans, Native Americans, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders, and Women. (For more information on this, I would check out the diversity policies of CUNY, which can be found on the website at this link: As an Italian American and a woman, I fit this bill and was able to apply. I would encourage anyone who feels they would bring diversity to doctoral studies to apply to this program. The only people who are specifically discouraged from applying are those who wish to pursue medicine or law.

The CUNY Pipeline is a program which includes a summer institute at the Graduate Center in Manhattan, and various colloquia throughout the academic year. It is a one-year program for those entering into their final year of undergraduate studies. The Summer Institute includes courses on graduate research as well as GRE preparation. A senior thesis is required, which fellows may present at the annual CUNY Pipeline conference. The program also includes assistance with many of the aspects of graduate school applications, such as the letter of intent. I am looking forward to receiving a level of structure from this program during what I’m sure can be a very stressful process. I’m also thrilled at the chance at attending a graduate seminar to get a first-hand idea of what it is really like to take a graduate course. I’m hoping that this program will give me a better overview of what professional conferences are like, since they are a large part of careers in research. My field is Renaissance literature, which I hope to learn much more about during the time I work on my Pipeline thesis. I’m working on developing a research thesis topic for the start of the Summer Institute.

This program is a great opportunity for anyone who knows they plan to pursue doctoral studies, I hope many other Verrazano students will apply in the future, and I’m looking forward to the great benefits I know I will receive from being a Pipeline fellow.

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