Welcome CUNY Undergraduate Leadership Fellows 2017-2018!


The Futures Initiative is excited to build upon our success in our first two years of offering the Liberal Arts for the New Majority Peer Mentoring program in July 2015 and Fall 2016-Spring 2017.We are pleased to offer a third iteration of this program, generously funded by a grant from the Teagle Foundation: “The F.I. CUNY Leadership program.”

This year, the program welcomes twenty-five Undergraduate Leadership fellows across twelve different CUNY campuses to develop and strengthen leadership and mentoring skills. The Leadership fellows will be integrated into all elements of core Futures Initiative programming, thereby providing them with opportunities to build meaningful relationships with graduate students and faculty members at the Graduate Center.

We kicked off the program earlier this summer with The Futures Initiative Undergraduate Leadership Institute here at the Graduate Center on August 9th.  This one-day institute featured activities and collaborative exercises designed by CUNY graduate students, faculty, and staff. Our main goal is for the Leadership fellows to relate their experiences to the broader CUNY community and use the skills they acquired here to, in turn, seize new opportunities in their academic paths, professional careers, and  life endeavors.

This year the Leadership fellows will participate in and bring their talents and contributions to our monthly meet-ups, upcoming Futures Initiative events, Conferences, and Research Discussion groups. You can read more about their experiences on the CUNY Leadership Fellows blog. It has been a privilege and honor to direct this program for the past two years and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead the program again this year alongside my colleagues Michael Rifino and Kashema Hutchinson, a new member of our team. I look forward to yet another amazing year leading this program and I am eager to see what new heights we sore to together over the course of this year.


Lauren Melendez

Director, Undergraduate Leadership Program and Administrative Specialist







The Futures Initiative
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016-4309