The City University of New York has announced its new team of award-winning “All-Star” students.

“We are enormously proud of their significant academic achievements. In recognition of their success, the university has designed a new website,, with virtual baseball cards crafted in their honor,” said CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein.

“Increasing numbers of CUNY students are competing successfully for ‘major league’ awards such as Rhodes and Truman scholarships. They have earned their recognition by winning highly competitive awards and by virtue of the prestigious graduate or professional schools that have accepted them for advanced study,” said Goldstein.

This year’s All-Star students include:

Pitcher: Zujaja Tauqeer

  • Rhodes Scholar
  • Macaulay Honors College at Brooklyn College
  • Tauqeer is one of only two students from New York State to receive a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship for the fall of 2011. The Rhodes Scholarship, first awarded in 1902, is considered the world’s premiere academic award, covering all expenses for two or three years of study at Oxford University in the United Kingdom.
  • At Oxford, Tauqeer will pursue an M. Phil. degree in the history of medicine, concentrating on the relationship between state and science in her native Pakistan. She then intends to resume her studies in Brooklyn Colleges’ combined B.A-M.D. program with the New York State Downstate College of Medicine.

Catcher: Ayodele Oti

  • Harry S. Truman Scholar
  • Macaulay Honors College at City College and CUNY Baccalaureate Program
  • Oti is one of two CUNY students to win the highly competitive, $30,000 Harry S. Truman Scholarship for graduate study leading to careers in government or public service. She is an honors student, Colin Powell Fellow and New York Life Scholar, majoring in international studies and focusing on sustainable development and environmental public health. Her career goal is to advise governments in developing countries about public health programs, particularly to improve maternal and child health.

Second Base: Lina Mercedes Gonzalez

  • National Science Foundation Fellow
  • Hunter College
  • Gonzalez (Hunter 2009) is earning a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. She is one of five CUNY students to win awards this year under the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program, which helps assure the vitality and diversity of America’s scientific and engineering workforce. Her research is part of a broad quest to deliver drugs to the specific sites they are needed.

Left Field: Ryan Jaipaul

  • National Science Foundation Scholarship
  • New York City College of Technology
  • Jaipaul was one of 10 CUNY students chosen for the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates program. As part of a team, he used satellite and remote sensors to study atmospheric aerosols, looking to determine whether New York City was being unfairly blamed for pollution coming from elsewhere. He is now an applications developer in Goldman Sachs’ equities trading division.

Right Field: Miguel Guzman

  • Fulbright Grant
  • Baruch College and Borough of Manhattan Community College

Designated Hitter: Jian Liu

  • Math for America Fellowship
  • City College
  • Liu is one of two CUNY seniors to win a $100,000 Math for America Fellowship to pursue a career teaching math in New York City public schools this year. The fellowship is awarded in addition to full tuition for a master’s degree and the salary he will receive as a teacher. Math for America is a privately funded nonprofit organization.

Designated Hitter: Funlayo Easter Wood

  • Fulbright-Hays Grant
  • City College (B.A. and M.A), CUNY Baccalaureate Degree and Bronx Community College
  • As an undergraduate, Wood explored the African Diaspora. Now she has received a prestigious Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program grant to further her doctoral research at Harvard University. Administered by the U.S. Department of Education, the Fulbright-Hays Program is designed to meet the nation’s needs for expertise and competence in foreign languages and area or international studies. With the grant, she will continue her study of the Yoruba language and culture and its Ifa-rs religion.

Designated Hitter: Ann Marie Alcocer

  • Math for America Fellow
  • Lehman College
  • Alcocer is one of two CUNY seniors to win a $100,000 Math for America Fellowship to pursue a career teaching math in New York City’s public schools this year.

The virtual baseball card program was developed by CUNY’s Office of University Relations in consultation with the Office of Student Academic Awards and Honors.