Macaulay Baruch student dies in sudden accident


Baruch College Newsroom

Emanuela Gallo, Editor-in-Chief

Otabek Zainiev, a Baruch College student, who was a part of the Macaulay Honors program, died on March 28 due to an accident.

“He will be dearly missed throughout the Baruch College and Macaulay Honors College communities,” Vice President and Dean of Students Art King said in an email blast to students on April 13.

The 22-year-old pursued majors in operations management, economics and finance. He also had an honors minor in New York City studies.

Zainiev, originally a member of the class of 2020, was supposed to graduate this year.

He lived in Staten Island, but was born in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. He is survived by his parents, two sisters and extended family living in the United States and abroad.

“As I wrote to his family, Otabek’s life was far too brief,” Macaulay Honors College Dean Mary Pearl wrote in an email blast. “Yet length is only one way to measure a life and another is the depth of the love and impact someone brings to a life. By that measure, Otabek’s life was significant and important. I know from experiencing loss in my own family that the anguish one feels in the early days is eventually softened by the happy memories of a full life.”

Zainiev frequently gave back to others, volunteering at NYU Langone Hospital, serving as a teacher’s assistant and tutoring New York City adolescents.

During a trip to Uzbekistan, he provided support for elementary students at a school. He also traveled to Aruba and Israel.

He was fluent in Russian and active in student life.

The Baruch and Macaulay Counseling Centers co-hosted a healing circle event on April 19 to honor Zainiev’s life.

Community members were able to grieve together and share stories about Zainiev. They also received bereavement resources.

“The Baruch College and Macaulay Honors communities extend deepest condolences and sympathies to Otabek’s family, peers, faculty, staff and all those affected by his passing,” King said.

Pearl echoed these sentiments.

“On behalf of the Macaulay Honors College students, faculty and staff, I extend my heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathy to Otabek’s parents, sisters, relatives, friends, staff and all in our community who knew him,” she said.

In their emails, both King and Pearl highlighted the services offered by CUNY for those seeking support.

Students have access to the Baruch and Macaulay Counseling and Wellness Centers.

Faculty and staff can receive support from the employee assistance program, by contacting 1-800-833-8707 or visiting and using company code CUNY.