Neal Shapiro, President and CEO of WNET, Dorothy Pacella, Executive Director of the Friends of THIRTEEN, and members of the Friends of THIRTEEN board joined the Macaulay Honors College in celebration of its 10th anniversary. Macaulay is the flagship honors program of the City University of New York, established in 2001 to attract top college applicants to CUNY with diverse academic and professional opportunities, extraordinary advisors, and a full academic scholarship. Since 2007, WNET has partnered with Macaulay to bring on exceptional students and alumni as volunteers, interns, production assistants, and staffers.
The anniversary event featured students and alumni telling stories of how Macaulay helped them achieve personal “firsts.” “Tonight you are seeing an institution that puts students at the center of everything we do,” said Dean Ann Kirschner. “Macaulay students are an incredibly talented, hard-working, and inspirational group.”
One of the featured student/alumni stories covered a recent highlight of the Macaulay-WNET partnership: a segment for SundayArts called “My First Opera.” Macaulay alumnus Daniel T. Allen, Production Coordinator for MetroFocus, WNET’s local news and culture magazine, presented alongside current student George Kruchinina about the project. During their winter break, six Macaulay freshmen spent weeks backstage as The Metropolitan Opera prepared Nixon in China for its Met debut. The SundayArts segment followed the students as they interacted with and interviewed composer John Adams, director Peter Sellars, Met general manager Peter Gelb and the many other professionals who make opera possible.
Daniel began at WNET as an intern and went on to serve as the first Director of Community Engagement for Friends of THIRTEEN. He helped to develop several local documentaries including local supplements to Ken Burns’ The National Parks: America’s Best Idea and The Tenth Inning. Since joining WNET, Dan has been instrumental in establishing and cementing Macaulay’s partnership with the station. Since Dan came on in 2007, Macaulay has provided WNET with dozens of interns and volunteers, contributing hundreds of hours of volunteer service. Five Macaulay Honors College alumni are full-time employees at WNET.
The partnership has been beneficial for both parties, giving Macaulay students real world experience at one of New York’s premiere media, arts, and educational organizations, and offering the station access to a talented pool of passionate young pre-professionals with diverse interests. WNET looks forward to continuing this fruitful partnership for many years to come!