Spitzer Undergraduate Named CCNY 2020 Salutatorian

The City College of New York announces the selection of Isabella Joseph as its salutatorian, the first CCNY salutatorian from the Spitzer School. An architecture major, anthropology minor, and member of CUNY’s Macaulay Honors College, Joseph is graduating summa cum laude with a 3.94 GPA.


Other accolades include recognition as a WX Women in Real Estate Scholar of Merit this April, receiving CUNY Chancellor’s Global Scholarship in summer 2018 and the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) Greenbuild Scholarship in fall 2016, and serving as the sole student juror for a spring 2020 Van Alen Institute Brooklyn Bridge competition.


Born of Indian immigrant parents in upstate New York, Joseph is a Macaulay Honors standout. She’s lauded in the Spitzer School of Architecture as “a model of the future student who pursues diverse skill sets to more effectively perform and address society’s myriad of issues.” She’s made the Dean’s list every year at City College.


Joseph helped revive the J. Max Bond Center for Urban Futures, the Spitzer School’s applied research center, and was recently part of a team that developed mapping resources for community boards 9 and 10 in response to COVID-19. She gained valuable experience as an architectural intern at the global firm Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) Associates collaborating with its design team on the Changi Airport Terminal 5 project in Singapore.


Crossing disciplines, Joseph received a Climate Policy Fellowship from the Colin Powell School. Her work included co-writing a policy brief with teammates from economics and mechanical engineering on innovative financing strategy for resilience projects at NYCHA public housing developments. She is currently working on concurrent NYCHA-focused architectural and written thesis projects in the architecture school and the Macaulay Honors College.


She aspires to become “a civically-engaged architect who not only designs and plans infrastructure projects, but also contributes my abilities, voice, and perspective to the most pressing issues of my time.”