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"Made in NY" Scholarship Winners Welcomed at Brooklyn Borough Hall

October 1, 2008 - Commissioner Katherine Oliver and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz welcomed this year’s recipients of the “Made in NY” Scholarship at a breakfast at Brooklyn Borough Hall. The scholarship is awarded to students attending New York City College of Technology who are pursuing a baccalaureate degree in the Entertainment Technology field. Also on hand to greet the City Tech students were Dr. Russell Hotzler, President of NYC College of Technology, and Tommy O’Donnell, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 817, the union which provided the funds that made the scholarship possible.

Announced by Mayor Bloomberg at the “Made in NY” Awards this past May, the “Made in NY” Scholarship Fund awards students each year with a $5,000 scholarship, covering their full tuition and fees. The Entertainment Technology program, the only one of its kind in the Eastern half of the U.S., promotes the mastery of the technology that drives film, television, and theatre performance productions.

The scholarship fund was made possible by a generous donation from Teamsters Local 817 to the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City in support of the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting. The Mayor’s Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to aiding City programs throughout the five boroughs.

“We could think of no better way to use this donation than to promote the education of CUNY students looking to advance in the entertainment industry,” said Commissioner Oliver. “When you graduate, you will become invaluable additions to our local entertainment community.”

Brooklyn Borough President Markowitz praised the achievements of the students, who are all in their junior and senior years at City Tech.

O’Donnell, representing the production drivers of Local 817 addressed the students: “My door is always open if you need career direction, or just driving directions.”

City Tech President Russell Hotzler said, “This is an extraordinary scholarship initiative. It will help City Tech support deserving students who will become the highly-skilled diverse workforce needed to keep NYC at the forefront of the entertainment industry.  We are most grateful for the commitment of our partners to this effort.”

The “Made in NY” Scholarship Winners:

Marcella Downer, a junior at NYC College of Technology and the mother of two, was born in Jamaica. Her current interests are focused on video and film; she plans to one day work in a television studio.

After enlisting in the US Army National Guard in 2003, Michael McLean served his country in Iraq and now anticipates graduating in the spring of 2009; at the same time he is scheduled to graduate from the Officer Candidate School in the National Guard with the rank of second lieutenant.

Angelo Newsome, married with a young son, is in his junior year at City Tech. In addition to his studies, he works as a Special Education Paraprofessional at the David Ruggles Middle School in Brooklyn, teaching eighth grade students.

Currently in his third year, Andrew Puccio hopes to use his experience at City Tech to get a “foot in the door” of the entertainment industry. During his previous studies, he gained experience in technical theatre positions working as a sound board operator and production stage manager.

Matthew Barbara, a junior, has worked as part of the carpentry crew for Off Broadway productions. He plans to pursue his interest in construction and design with a goal of entering the workplace as a member of Local 1 Stagehand Union.

Toija Riggins is excited to study in the Entertainment Technology Department as a recent transfer student. Her aspiration is to gain a position as a production manager of live corporate events, themed entertainment/retail, tradeshows, concerts, or arena events in New York City.

The largest public college of technology in New York State, New York City College of Technology (City Tech) enrolls almost 14,300 students in 60 baccalaureate, associate and specialized certificate programs in 21st century technologies and related fields. Located at 300 Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn, City Tech is at the MetroTech Center academic and commercial complex, convenient to public transportation.

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