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2009 Reynolds Graduate Selection Event



Gabriel Brodbar, Director of the NYU Reynolds Program

April 4, 2009 marked the 4th Annual NYU Reynolds Graduate Fellowship Selection Process. Each of the 55 finalists assembled had already survived a rigorous initial selection process. The schools collectively nominated a cohort of 165 semifinalists from a pool of nearly 1,000 applicants. The finalists were then chosen through a university-wide Internal Selection Committee consisting of senior NYU faculty and administrators. Each of the finalists demonstrated promise in regards to seven core competencies important to changemaking efforts: intellectual achievement, commitment to issues of social importance, ethical integrity, creativity in goal setting and method, persistence and flexibility in reaching goals, self assessment, and leadership. Even more, each finalist demonstrated the promise of future achievement as one or more of three types of changemakers: creating pattern-breaking social change in ways that are sustainable and scalable; building and sustaining the social entrepreneurial infrastructure required for such visionary efforts to take root; or spurring others to action through the media and the arts.


Mary Brabeck, Dean of NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development

At the Graduate Fellowship Selection Event, candidates participated in individual 45-minute interviews with a panel of three or four judges. Then separate, five-judge panels led groups of candidates through two 50-minute group exercises, one focusing on a specific social issue, the other a pattern-recognition and pattern-breaking activity. The candidates also participated in 45-minute discussion groups with a current cohort member or alumni. The candidates took lunch with Dean Mary Brabeck of NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development and had an opportunity to talk with current Reynolds Fellows, Scholars and Alumni.

The 2009 Graduate Reynolds judges have broad-based backgrounds in the social entrepreneurial community and have maintained an active engagement with the program over time; the majority of this year's judges have served on these panels before.


They include leaders of social service programs, authors, lawyers, financiers, social entrepreneurs and socially entrepreneurial thought leaders. A Judge Bio Book profiling all the participating judges can be found by clicking here.


David Bornstein

The day concluded with a cocktail reception, where the 55 fellowship candidates from across the country and around the world, our cohort of 40 Selection Event judges (distinguished leaders from across the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors), the Reynolds Fellows, Scholars and Alumni and other distinguished guests and friends of the Reynolds Program were provided with an opportunity to meet and network. David Bornstein, notable author of How to Change the World and The Price of a Dream, concluded the evening with a keynote speech to the gathering.


On April 14, eight 2009 NYU Reynolds Graduate Fellows were selected on the basis of their performance in these interviews and exercises, according to the judges' assessment of how well they met the program's core competencies and future aspirations. (View complete profiles of the 2008 and 2009 Reynolds Fellows, as well as Alumni by clicking here.) Each of the successful candidates will receive a $50,000 grant over two years of study, as well as intensive curricular and supplementary opportunities to enhance his or her chosen course of study. This includes dedicated academic programming, a special required class, the NYU Reynolds Speaker Series and many other activities.

A separate selection process is utilized for the undergraduate Reynolds Scholar program. Seventy-five rising juniors were nominated as semi-finalists from across the entire university. From these nominations, 33 finalists were identified through a university-wide Internal Selection Committee. During the period of April 15-28, each finalist will participate in a 45-minute interview with a panel of 3 judges. Panels varied on a daily basis and consisted of current Reynolds Fellows, the Reynolds Program Director, Gabriel Brodbar and leaders in the social entrepreneurial world, including Laura Fernandez, Director of the Edwin Gould Services for Children and Families Incarcerated Mother's Program. Following, each candidate participated in a discussion with two current Reynolds Scholars, affording an opportunity to learn about the experiences of the current scholars and ask questions about the program.

Up to ten scholarship winners will be named by May 1, 2009, each of whom will receive $40,000 over two years of study, plus a paid summer internship and an intensive curricular and co-curricular component. (View complete profiles of the 2008 and 2009 Reynolds Scholars, as well as Alumni by clicking here.)