York Alum Awarded $90,000 Soros Fellowship

Robert Fernandez, a member of York College's Class of 2013 is among the 2014 Soros Fellowship for New Americans recipients. Fernandez, a York College Biology alumnus, will receive $90,000 in Tuition Support and Assistance. He is the sole CUNY graduate among the more than 30 graduate students from a cross-section of Ivy League institutions.

Fernandez, who is now working toward the PhD in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University, enrolled at York in 2010 with an associate's degree in Business from Union Community College in New Jersey, where he graduated with honors. He also graduated at the top of his class from York in May 2013, with a bachelor's of science in Biotechnology.

Soros Fellowships are awarded to students who are immigrants or the children of immigrants who have the potential to make significant contributions to American society. This year a diverse group of more than 1,200 applicants vied for the 30 available Soros Fellowships.

It is no surprise that Fernandez was among the recipients. During his time at York, Robert, who was born in Peru and immigrated to the United States as a small child, did not qualify for scholarships while an undergraduate. He was an undocumented immigrant whose stellar academic performance could not be rewarded with scholarships.

He worked hard to support himself, earning his way as a tutor, research associate, and college laboratory technician. Fernandez also completed rigorous summer internships at Princeton and Columbia universities.