SUNY New Paltz graduate awarded one of America's largest art scholarships
NEW PALTZ -- Recipient chosen from nationwide competition after expert review
Rebecca Zilinski, a 2004 graduate of the State University of New York at New Paltz majoring in biological anthropology and painting, has received a scholarship from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, a private, independent foundation established in 2000 by the estate of Jack Kent Cooke to help young people of exceptional promise reach their full potential through education.
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation offers full scholarships for art students attending graduate and professional schools, scholarships for students from community colleges who want to earn four-year degrees, and scholarships to help high-achieving youth develop their talents and abilities throughout high school. Zilinski's award will cover her tuition and living expenses up to $50,000 per year.
Zilinski, who is currently pursuing her master's at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, was chosen following a national competition that attracted candidates from across the country. Selection criteria included artistic talent, overall academic excellence, a will to succeed and financial need.
Zilinski has taught calculus, statistics, painting, crafts, pottery, ecology, water chemistry and navigation - but none has remained as fascinating to her as art. In art, she says, "There always seems to be a problem to solve or a new thing to learn. Creative energy seems limitless - the more you use, the more you have."
Zilinski has been an on-board educator and development director for the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater environmental education program in Poughkeepsie, NY, worked in graphic design and magazine production and has assisted traumatically brain-injured people with paintings and other art projects.
With a master of arts in teaching in art education, Zilinski believes she can be an effective mentor and role model for young people.
"By teaching creativity," she said, "one can give the tools necessary to shape the future, regardless of whether that future relates directly to the arts, science, government or more."
Located in the heart of a dynamic college town, 90 minutes from metropolitan New York City, the State University of New York at New Paltz is a highly selective college of about 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
One of the most well-regarded public colleges in the nation, New Paltz delivers an extraordinary number of majors in Business, Liberal Arts, Sciences, Engineering, Fine and Performing Arts and Education.
New Paltz embraces its culture as a community where talented and independent minded people from around the world create close personal links with real scholars and artists who love to teach.