School/Class News





Alfonso Chang joins the CUNY SPH Foundation Board

 

Alfonso Chang

The CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (CUNY SPH) Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Alfonso Chang to its inaugural Board of Directors.  

Chang is co-founder and Managing Director of the AC3 Group, a boutique strategy consultancy firm, bringing over 20 years of experience providing counsel to leading global companies, guiding them through complex product developments. He also serves as Managing Director of Relativity Healthcare Partners, an investment group providing growth capital to healthcare companies, where he identifies and structures investment opportunities and provides strategic guidance to investment clients. Chang alsoprovides analytical, development, manufacturing, and strategic solutions to pharmaceutical companiesas CEO and President of Purdue GMP Center. 

Chang’s extensive experience in strategy and investments will complement the CUNY SPH Fund’s mission to support scholarships, emergency needs and programmatic activities in line with the school’s educational objectives. 

“Alfonso’s experience as a business strategist will serve our students and faculty well as our foundation expands,” says CUNY SPH Dean Ayman El-Mohandes. “I have no doubt that his presence on the Board of Directors will be invaluable to realizing our foundation’s impact on the school.” 

Welcoming Chang to the Board are fellow members Leah Abraham, Yin Ho, and Michael Meng, along with Interim Chair Lyndon Haviland, Interim Treasurer Emad Zikry, Interim Secretary Susan Klitzman, Dean El-Mohandes and Executive Director of the CUNY SPH Fund Adam Doyno. El-Mohandes and Doyno both serve as ex officio members of the Board. 

About CUNY SPH 

The CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (CUNY SPH) is committed to promoting health and social justice in New York City and across the globe through innovation and leadership. Our mission is to provide a collaborative and accessible environment for excellence in education, research, and service in public health, to promote and sustain healthier populations in New York City and around the world, and to shape policy and practice in public health for all. For more information about the School, please visit www.sph.cuny.edu. 


HOSTOS OFFERING HEALTHY EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

A new free program being offered at Hostos Community College will put young adults into healthcare jobs quickly, thanks to a training partnership with the Department of Small Business Services and the New York Alliance for Careers in Healthcare.

Aimed at young adults between the ages of 18-24, the Medical Assistants for Modern Healthcare Delivery Training Program is being offered by the City at Hostos’ Division for Continuing Education and Workforce Development (CEWD). It will train students for a variety of administrative and clinical tasks in physician offices, hospitals, outpatient clinics, and other healthcare facilities. Qualified participants will earn EKG, phlebotomy, medical assistant and CPR certifications and participate in a paid clinical internship at $15 per hour. The trainings begin Sept. 12 of this year and run until Sept. of 2019.

Carlos Molina, Ed.D., Vice President Division of CEWD at Hostos, said the program will make participants more marketable, employable, and professional.

“For 50 years, Hostos Community College has been committed to providing New York City residents with workforce development and comprehensive healthcare certification programs,” Molina said. “Our mission at Hostos is to build learning communities where people live and work. We teach the skills to provide excellence in the healthcare field allowing students the ability to embark on a career leading to intellectual growth and socio-economic mobility.  This new program is important to our college and city because it will train 20 young adults to become successful Clinical Medical Assistants.  For many, this will be a stepping stone in their career pathway to further their education within the medical field.”

These jobs are in high demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, employment of medical assistants was projected to grow 29 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. The 2017 annual median pay for these jobs in the New York metropolitan area was approximately $36,000. The Bureau also noted that the growth of the aging baby-boom population will continue to increase demand for preventive medical services, which are often provided by physicians. As a result, physicians will hire more assistants to perform routine administrative and clinical duties, allowing the physicians to see more patients.

Interested applicants may register by calling Julissa Perez at 718-664-2542 or by email at julperez@hostos.cuny.edu

To RSVP for an information session, go to: https://www.campusce.net/hostoswdce/course/course.aspx?C=322&pc=79&mc=&sc=

About Hostos Community College

Eugenio María de Hostos Community College is an educational agent for change that has been transforming and improving the quality of life in the South Bronx and neighboring communities for a half-century. Since 1968, Hostos has been a gateway to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility, as well as a point of departure for lifelong learning, success in professional careers, and transfer to advanced higher education programs.

Hostos offers 27 associate degree programs and two certificate programs that facilitate easy transfer to The City University of New York’s (CUNY) four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions. The College has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education & Workforce Development that offers professional development courses and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. Hostos is part of CUNY, the nation’s leading urban public university, which serves more than 500,000 students at 24 colleges.


Queens College Named a Princeton Review “Best College” for the 27th Consecutive Year Since the Guide Was First Published in 1992

— Queens College Also Ranked in the Top 11% Nationwide
of Money’s “Best Colleges for Your Money” —

QUEENS, NY, August 16, 2018—The number of schools in the Princeton Review’s “Best Colleges” roundup changes every year, but Queens College has remained a constant in every edition since the guide was first published in 1992—and this year marks the 27th time that the school has been named one of the country’s best institutions for undergraduate education by The Princeton Review. The renowned education services company features Queens College in the 2019 edition of its annual guide, The Best 384 Colleges, citing its high-quality academics, affordability and diversity. The school has also been recognized as “a great investment” by Money, in its “Best Colleges for Your Money” rankings.

“It comes as no surprise that Queens College has been recognized in every edition of the Princeton Review “Best Colleges” guide for our academic excellence, affordability, and accessibility to students of all backgrounds. We are delighted that Money has recognized us as a ‘Best College for Your Money.’​ For 80 years, we have provided an unparalleled combination of equal access and opportunity for ambitious students–many of modest means–to advance toward successful and rewarding futures,” says Queens College President Félix V. Matos Rodríguez.

Money magazine analyzed graduation rates, tuition charges, family borrowing, and alumni earnings (plus 22 other data points) to identify the nation’s Best Colleges for Your Money 2018, ranking Queens College at number 81, in the top 11% of the 727 schools recognized nationwide.

The results of student surveys from across the country on dozens of topics about their schools conducted by the Princeton Review round out the 2019 Best College profiles. Feedback from one Queens College student sums up the QC experience as, “Queens is about getting a valuable and quality education that does not drain you financially for the future.” Positive feedback on faculty included descriptions of professors who “genuinely care about [students’] grades and well-being”; as one student puts it, “They won’t let me fall behind.”

The Princeton Review is also famous for its annual rankings, including the much-publicized “Best Party Schools.” In contrast, Queens College continues to appear on the following lists: “Got Milk?” (#12) (campuses where beer is scarce) and “Scotch and Soda, Hold the Scotch” (#11) (no hard liquor). The school was also recognized in the categories Best Northeastern College, Green College, and Colleges That Pay You Back.

One of The Princeton Review’s most popular guides, The Best 384 Colleges rankings are based on surveys of 138,000 students at 384 top colleges that includes a wide representation by region, size, selectivity and character. Published annually since 1992, the book has detailed profiles of the colleges with rating scores in eight categories as well as ranking lists of top 20 schools in 62 categories. For more information on the rankings and methodology visit www.princetonreview.com/college-rankings/how-it-works

About Queens College
Queens College enjoys a national reputation for its liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs. With its graduate and undergraduate degrees, honors programs, and research and internship opportunities, Queens College helps its over 19,000 students realize their potential in countless ways, under the guidance of an accessible, award-winning faculty. The college was recently ranked tenth among U.S. public colleges by the Chronicle of Higher Education for upward social and economic mobility. The Center for World University Rankings placed Queens College in the top 3.5% of schools worldwide, based on the quality of its education and faculty, the number of its alumni who find employment, and other factors. Located on a beautiful, 80-acre campus in Flushing, the college is cited each year by the Princeton Review as one of the nation’s 100 “Best Value” colleges, and is routinely ranked a U.S. News & World Report Best College and Forbes Magazine Best Value College, thanks to its outstanding academics, generous financial aid packages, and relatively low costs. Visit qc.cuny.edu to learn more.

About The Princeton Review
The Princeton Review is a leading tutoring, test prep, and college admission services company. Every year, it helps millions of college- and graduate school-bound students achieve their education and career goals through online and in person courses delivered by a network of more than 4,000 teachers and tutors, online resources, and its more than 150 print and digital books published by Penguin Random House. Its Tutor.com brand is the largest online tutoring service in the U.S. It comprises a community of thousands of tutors who have delivered more than 15 million one-to-one tutoring sessions. The Princeton Review is headquartered in New York, NY. The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University. For more information, visit The Princeton Review. Follow the company on Twitter @ThePrincetonRev.

For more about Queens college, visit http://www.qc.cuny.edu/Pages/home.aspx

Contact:
Maria Matteo
Office of Communications
Assistant Director, News Services
718-997-5593
maria.matteo@qc.cuny.edu


Racial and Gender Discrimination among Teens Exposed to Dating Violence

Teen dating violence (TDV) is an urgent public health concern associated with a range of lasting mental, sexual, and behavioral health consequences. Studies have revealed high rates of dating violence and sexual coercion among youth of color, with several studies finding black female teens reporting the highest rates of victimization among all demographic groups.

Dr. Lynn Roberts, Assistant Professor of Community Health and Social Sciences, led a study examining the combined associations of racial and gender discrimination and TDV. The findings were published in the journal Ethnicity and Disease.

Roberts and her colleagues applied the Critical Race Theory framework, which asserts that racism is ubiquitous in the lives of people of color, and intersectionality, which recognizes that social identities are interdependent and mutually constitutive, to better understand the disparate impact of TDV on Black female teens.

The study suggests that adolescents reporting both racial and gender discrimination were 2.5  times more  likely to  experience  dating violence  than  those who  did  not report  racial  and gender  discrimination  (after controlling  for  age and  sex). The researchers recommend that future studies of TDV should examine the relationship between experienced racial and gender discrimination, while controlling for correlates at the individual and family levels, in order to understand and address the impact of TDV.

“I am hoping that our findings will open up more pathways for public health researchers and practitioners to consider and explore intersectionality, a central tenet of Critical Race Theory,  in their research and interventions,” Roberts says.

Roberts, Lynn, Mahader Tamene, and Olivia R. Orta. “The Intersectionality of Racial and Gender Discrimination among Teens Exposed to Dating Violence.” Ethnicity & Disease, 2018. doi:https://doi.org/10.18865/ed.28.S1.253.


Hostos Partners With Building Skills New and New York Building Foundation to Help More City Residents Access Construction Training

Funding provided by the New York Building Foundation will enable participants in Building Skills New York (BSNY) to receive additional construction safety training provided by Hostos Community College. This additional workforce training programming will help BSNY further expand its ongoing efforts to bring much-needed employment opportunities to unemployed and underemployed workers in local communities across the five boroughs.

The $10,000 grant from the Building Foundation – the charitable arm of the New York Building Congress – will fund OSHA-30 safety training for 25 New York City residents in facilities located at Hostos Community College’s Division of Continuing Education and Workforce Development. This new round of training courses will begin on August 18.

BSNY helps New York City residents in underserved neighborhoods connect with jobs in the construction industry. This year, BSNY has placed New York City residents in 115 local construction projects in or near their home neighborhoods. Of these workers, 64 percent are African American and 36 percent are Hispanic or Latino. In addition, 47 percent of placements were made in the Bronx – the most placements than any other borough so far, this year. This additional programming represents an important piece of BSNY’s mission to provide a pipeline of good-paying jobs to local residents of diverse backgrounds and communities to ensure a viable career path.

“Building Skills New York is committed to connecting City residents with construction jobs and helping them find the training and support services to turn such employment into a meaningful, well-paid career. We are honored to collaborate with Building Foundation and Hostos Community College to train and connect workers with good-paying jobs in local construction sites,” said David Meade, Executive Director of Building Skills New York. “This new programming will provide New York City residents with access to expanded career opportunities and equip workers with the necessary tools to practice safe and secure protocol in the workplace.”

“For the past 50 years, Hostos Community College has prided itself on improving the lives of its students through dynamic educational offerings that also answer the community’s call,” said Dr. David Gómez, Hostos Community College President. “Whether their success is achieved by way of credit-bearing courses, job training or other continuing educational programs, our goal is to consistently provide the best services to ensure our students are prepared for whatever field they pursue. We are confident this partnership will accomplish that objective.”

“The Building Foundation is proud to support the efforts of Building Skills New York and Hostos Community College, and we applaud these organizations for their commitment to training New Yorkers for good paying jobs in construction,” said Carlo A. Scissura, Esq., President of The New York Building Foundation. “As the building industry continues to flourish and our city’s infrastructure and development needs grow, it is critical that we invest in the local workforce and help communities thrive.”

“The Bronx’s double digit unemployment rate has been reduced to its current single-digit historically low. We have done what is need to provide our people with opportunities to work,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “This safety training program will help prepare Bronx residents for good construction jobs with a living wage, and I congratulate Hostos Community College and the New York Building Foundation on this important partnership.”

“I applaud Hostos Community College and the New York Building Foundation for funding and implementing this initiative,” said Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr. “Helping New Yorkers get the training they need to stay employed or seek employment while keeping them safe on the job is critical for countless workers in my community.”

The program at Hostos offers fully covered OSHA-30 certification training, which provides extensive safety training on the safety and health hazards on construction sites. BSNY will work closely with the candidates, employers, and Hostos Community College to ensure successful completion of the program.

The new program will bolster the partnership between BSNY and the Division of Continuing Education and Workforce Development at Hostos Community College, a key driver in providing skills training modules with highly qualified instructors. BSNY serves as an entry point into the construction field and real estate industry for unemployed and underemployed workers as well as individuals without pre-existing relationships with contractors.

About Hostos Community College

Eugenio María de Hostos Community College is an educational agent for change that has been transforming and improving the quality of life in the South Bronx and neighboring communities for a half-century. Since 1968, Hostos has been a gateway to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility, as well as a point of departure for lifelong learning, success in professional careers, and transfer to advanced higher education programs.

Hostos offers 27 associate degree programs and two certificate programs that facilitate easy transfer to The City University of New York’s (CUNY) four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions. The College has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education & Workforce Development that offers professional development courses and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. Hostos is part of CUNY, the nation’s leading urban public university, which serves more than 500,000 students at 24 colleges.

About Building Skills New York

Building Skills New York provides an efficient and convenient process for finding a construction job for many City residents who have long been unable to gain access to careers in the construction industry.  The organization achieves its goals through a well-designed and targeted program that places underemployed and underserved New Yorkers in construction industry jobs.  BSNY transforms lives and helps residents revitalize communities by growing a skilled construction workforce that represents the diversity of New York City.  BSNY partners with the city’s leading workforce agencies to recruit and screen eligible NYC residents and provide them with the necessary skills and safety training.

About the New York Building Foundation

The New York Building Foundation, the charitable arm of the New York Building Congress, was founded by a group of dedicated professionals to improve and better coordinate the building community’s approach to promoting the New York City construction industry. Over its 20-year history, the Building Foundation’s activities have included grants and scholarships for educational programs aimed at developing an interest in the industry among K-12 and college students; support for training organizations that assist adults from various backgrounds with joining the trades; programs to encourage clean, safe worksites; and research on issues impacting both the building industry and the city’s economic future. The Foundation strives to maximize talents, relationships, and partnerships to broaden its reach and strengthen its influence to bolster New York City’s built environment, encourage the development of the next generation of the industry’s workforce, and enhance the diverse communities that make up the city.


Fall Exhibition Season Opens with Modes of Mapping

<i>States' Names II</i> by Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, one of 14 artists featured in <i>Modes of Mapping</i> exhibition AUGUST 15, 2018

Modes of Mapping, an exhibition that presents a cross-section of contemporary artist engaged in aspects of mapping, will open at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) with a reception in The Shirley Fiterman Art Center, 81 Barclay Street in lower Manhattan, on September 6 from 5 to 8 p.m. The exhibition will be on display through October 25.

“The work explores a wide range of artistic tendencies that employ cartography as a departure point,” says Lisa Panzera, Director of the Fiterman Art Center, who curated the exhibition. “The exhibition features 14 artists—including one collaborative—all of whom incorporate distinctly varied approaches; from the investigation of intricate networks, to explorations of identity and place, to depictions of entire imagined worlds.”

2 Rivers, by artist Joyce Kozloff

Other issues at play in the works on view include the technological, as well as making manifest the invisible. The artworks engage aspects of global positioning systems and radio wave frequencies, and make experiential interactions and psychological concerns visually tangible.

Also, Panzera explains, by moving away from the utilitarian function of maps, “The artworks make apparent the ways in which maps are inherently subjective and often political, charting arbitrary boundaries that shape our emotional, aesthetic and geographical perceptions of the world.”

The featured artists include Noriko Ambe, Jeffrey Beebe, Beth Campbell, Mary Ellen Carroll, Nathan Carter, Diana Cooper, Lisa Corinne Davis, Nina Katchadourian, Joyce Kozloff, Larson Shindelman, Robert Morris, Dennis Oppenheim, Francesco Simeti and Jaune Quick-to-See Smith.

A venue for diversity and dialogue

The Shirley Fiterman Art Center (SFAC), a spacious gallery and not-for-profit organization, is located on the first floor of BMCC’s Miles and Shirley Fiterman Hall.

Dedicated to organizing exhibitions of contemporary art and cultural programming, the SFAC promotes and enriches the educational mission of BMCC. It presents diverse gallery programs and fosters interdisciplinary dialogue and cultural understanding.

Leading philanthropists and collectors, Miles and Shirley Fiterman amassed a collection based on a deep passion for art and artists, and a profoundly held belief in the transformative power of art and culture. The Fiterman family has demonstrated ongoing commitment to BMCC’s mission to serve students from New York City, across the United States and from countries around the world, who are working to improve their lives through education.

The SFAC also serves as a resource for BMCC and lower Manhattan communities by providing artist talks, tours and exhibitions that are free of charge and open to the public.

For more information, please contact the Shirley Fiterman Art Center at (212) 776-5631, Tuesday through Saturday from 12 noon to 6 p.m. or ShirleyFitermanArtCenter@bmcc.cuny.edu.

 

Top Image: States’ Names II by Jaune Quick-to-See Smith

Bottom Image: Rivers 2, by Joyce Kozloff, 2017


Money Magazine Ranks Six CUNY Colleges In Top Quarter Of Nation’s “Best Colleges For Your Money”

Money magazine’s Best Colleges for Your Money 2018 features six CUNY colleges in the top quarter of 727 schools in the nation, ranking Baruch College eighth overall and fifth among the 50 Best Public Colleges. Also ranked among the top schools in the country were Queens, John Jay, Hunter, Lehman and Brooklyn Colleges.

“Money’s latest college rankings are further confirmation that CUNY is the nation’s premier urban university,” said Interim Chancellor Vita C. Rabinowitz. “We have experienced spectacular growth in enrollment, a remarkable expansion of our physical plant, national acclaim for our colleges and prestigious awards and grants are being earned by our students and faculty. The affordability, diversity and quality at our 25 campuses mark a high standard for public higher education in the United States.”

Money magazine ranks colleges based on 26 measures of educational quality, affordability and alumni success. A key factor in the rankings was the social mobility rate developed by Stanford University professor Raj Chetty. That study’s rankings measured how effective each college was at propelling low-income students into the middle class and beyond over the past 20 years. As Money magazine explains, that critical assessment ends up “pointing to colleges that help students achieve the American dream.”

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in 1847, CUNY counts 13 Nobel Prize and 23 MacArthur (“Genius”) grant winners among its alumni. CUNY students, alumni and faculty have garnered scores of other prestigious honors over the years in recognition of historic contributions to the advancement of the sciences, business, the arts and myriad other fields. The University comprises 25 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, CUNY Graduate Center, Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, CUNY School of Law, CUNY School of Professional Studies and CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. The University serves more than 275,000 degree-seeking students. CUNY offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies.

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Changing neighborhoods and changing health perceptions

A cobblestone street in Madrid, Spain

Madrid, Spain

Cities are dynamic entities continually evolving and transforming. These changes, which may be structural, cultural, or both, often take place at the neighborhood level where the interaction between urban space and social environments are essentially indistinguishable. Environmental changes in an urban setting can not only have an effect on the health of residents, but also on their perceptions about their health in relation to their immediate environment.

A new study drew data from the Heart Healthy Hoods (HHH) project in Madrid, Spain, which studies the association between neighborhood and residents’ health, to qualitatively examine how neighborhood social changes were perceived by residents and how these changes affected residents’ perceptions about their own health. “Neighborhood changes or gentrification could have both negative and positive effects on residents’ health,” explained Dr. Luisa N. Borrell, a co-author of the study and professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy. “These health effects might be the result of the interaction of several neighborhood social features such as the presence (or lack of) social ties, family responsibilities, time availability, economic resources as well as access and awareness to health-promoting programs, and these features are very well captured through qualitative research.”

The findings from the study were published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

The study employed semi-structured interviews with adult residents and professionals living or working within a group of neighborhoods in the district of Ciudad Lineal in Madrid to describe the perceived social and neighborhood changes taking place. The major social changes related to health in the neighborhood were identified as economic changes, changes in demographic composition of the neighborhoods, and new socio-cultural values.

Luisa Borrell

Luisa Borrell

Economic changes, particularly when they are associated with impoverishment and job insecurity, tend to have the most direct impact on the perception of health. Changes in demographic compositions, reflecting the influx of immigrants and younger people into the neighborhoods, were perceived by some residents as the catalysts to changes in the traditional ways of life and social relationships that had been the standard in these neighborhoods for decades. With the changing demographics came changing socio-cultural values such as the breakdown of traditional social structures in favor of individualism, and fragmentation along cultural and generational lines. Loss of more traditional ways of life such as intergenerational coexistence was found to increase the perception of isolation, particularly among elderly residents, and in turn, increase health problems such as depression. The elderly were more affected by perceptions of loneliness and changes in relationships with neighbors, while younger residents were more affected by stress due to employment worries. The study did also identify some positive effects resulting from the neighborhood changes. With the release of more traditional social norms and the rise of individualism, there was value recognized in taking on individual responsibility for maintaining one’s health, engaging in self-care, as well as a respect for the role played by health institutions and health programs in the neighborhoods.

Ultimately, by parsing the features of a rapidly changing urban environment, the reduction of social relationships, increase of stress and labor precariousness were perceived as major health stressors, whereas the assimilation of self-care activities, and implementation of local health programs and institutes were seen by the residents as having a positive effect on health. This qualitative research can help shape community health policies in rapidly changing urban environments. “This type of research could provide important insight into crafting urban health policies to ultimately improve health outcomes in communities undergoing change,” said Borrell.

 

Conde, P., Gutiérrez, M., Sandín, M., Díez, J., Borrell, L., Rivera-Navarro, J., & Franco, M. (2018). Changing Neighborhoods and Residents’ Health Perceptions: The Heart Healthy Hoods Qualitative Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(8), 1617. doi:10.3390/ijerph15081617

Baruch College Earns Top Ten Rankings in “Best Colleges 2018” by MONEY Magazine

#1 in New York State and #1 among public institutions in Northeast

MONEY magazine placed Baruch College among the top ten schools on its most recent “Best Colleges 2018” list—a value ranking of 727 institutions throughout the country based on educational quality, affordability and alumni success. On the 2018 list, Baruch College claims high rankings both regionally and nationally:

According to MONEY, the schools that top its rankings “deliver a superior education at an affordable price, enabling graduates to avoid heavy debt and succeed in the workplace.”

Baruch College places ahead of such institutions as Yale, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, University of Virginia, and Vanderbilt.

Baruch among “The Most Transformative Colleges in the Country”

This year, MONEY added a new sublist to its annual ranking—the “Most Transformative Colleges in the Country.” On this specialty list, Baruch placed #16 as among the impressive colleges that help “students do far better than would be expected from their academic and economic backgrounds.”

To compile this list, MONEY ranked colleges based on graduation rates, earnings, student loan repayment, and included only those schools with graduation rates above 50%.

Highest score” for Socioeconomic Mobility  

Baruch earns the #8 spot in MONEY’s top-ranked colleges for a key reason: the success of its recent graduates. MONEY reports that Baruch alumni earn an average of $54,500 in their early careers, which is about 16% higher than graduates from similar universities.

In its evaluation, MONEY states: “Baruch of course does great on the data we use from The Equality of Opportunity Project. It has the highest score for mobility rate of any of the colleges in our ranking. The mobility rate combines a college’s access rate—the share of students from the bottom income quintile—and its success rate—the share of those students who then advance to the top income quintile by their mid-30s.”

MONEY also calls attention to Baruch’s above-average graduation rates. “Roughly two-thirds of Baruch students graduate within six years — a rate that is nearly 28% higher than at schools with students from similar academic and economic backgrounds.”

Low-Student Debt and Affordability

MONEY’s calculations found that the average student debt for Baruch students is one of lowest in the country—placing #6 out of the 727 colleges. It also says that attending Baruch is affordable and significantly lower than average—ranking the College #3 among all schools in the top 50.

A Year of Accolades

In addition to MONEY’s top rankings, Baruch has received national recognitions for academic excellence and value throughout the year. Most recently, The Princeton Review once again named Baruch College as one of the best in America, according to its annual survey of The Best 384 Colleges – 2019 edition. Forbes and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance also ranked Baruch as one of the top colleges for value in 2018.

MONEY: Reason Behind the Ranking

According to MONEY, college is now the second-largest financial expense. Buying a home comes in first. Therefore, many students and families are “taking a hard look at the costs and payoffs of any college they consider.”

To compile its data, MONEY has “has drawn on the research and advice of dozens of the nation’s top experts on education quality, financing, and value to develop a uniquely practical analysis of more than 700 of the nation’s best-performing colleges.

Methodology

MONEY ranks only U.S. colleges that have sufficient reliable data to analyze and a graduation rate that is at or above the median for its institutional category (public, private or historically black colleges and universities). This filtering resulted into a list of 727 schools, which were then ranked based on 26 factors in three categories: quality of education, affordability, and outcomes. Each category accounts for one-third of the school’s final score.

Calculations were performed by College Measures/American Institutes for Research. Data sources include the Equality of Opportunity Project, Moody’s Analytics, PayScale.com, Peterson’s, Standard & Poor’s, and the U.S. Department of Education.

A detailed explanation of this year’s methodology is available at money.com/bestcolleges.

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CUNY START PROGRAM EXCELS, SURPASSING STANDARD REMEDIATION IN PREPARING STUDENTS FOR COLLEGE-LEVEL COURSES

The City University of New York’s pioneering CUNY Start program is significantly more effective than standard remedial education in preparing students who arrive at CUNY needing to master basic skills before they are ready for college-level courses, according to results from an assessment of the nine-year-old program.

“CUNY Start is a vital part of our broad and ongoing remediation reforms because it targets students with the most significant needs,” said Interim Chancellor Vita C. Rabinowitz. “The program is unique in its approach and a model for the country. The results of this study are very exciting. They confirm that CUNY Start is very effective in raising these students’ chances of staying and succeeding in college.”

The newly published study – a federally funded partnership between CUNY, the MDRC social policy research organization and the Community College Research Center at Columbia University – compared the progress of 3,835 randomly assigned community college freshmen whose scores on CUNY’s math, reading and writing assessment tests weren’t high enough to qualify them to take college-credit courses. Students were assigned either to CUNY Start, a pre-matriculation program that employs intensive instruction, support, and carefully designed curricula, or to the standard associate-degree pathway and traditional developmental courses.

After one semester, higher percentages of the students in CUNY Start were ready to take courses required for associate degrees. The results were especially pronounced in math: About 57 percent of students qualified to take college-credit math courses after completing their CUNY Start semester, compared with 25 percent of those who took traditional developmental education courses. There was a 9 percent difference between the two groups in writing proficiency and 8 percent in reading.

A second report, due out in 2020, will track the students’ long-term progress and achievement. But the interim report, which employed the gold-standard research method of random assignment of participants, validates CUNY’s internal assessments of CUNY Start.

CUNY’s long-term strategy to address the needs of students who enter college underqualified to take college-level courses includes a range of new teaching approaches and interventions. CUNY Start was devised to tackle one of the most fundamental issues: The failure of conventional remedial education to build very underprepared students’ math, reading and writing skills to the levels necessary for them to enroll and succeed in college-level courses. CUNY Start is a one-semester program that targets students with significant remedial needs. It delays enrollment in a degree program and provides, instead, intensive instruction that uses a more student-centered teaching method and carefully designed curricula delivered by trained teachers. It also integrates advising, tutoring and a weekly seminar that teaches students skills they need to succeed in college. Students pay only $75 for the program, which fully preserves financial aid for credit coursework

“Our offer to students is: ‘Give us one semester and let us help you not just pass your skills assessment tests, but also become ready for your college coursework so you’re on more solid ground,” said Donna Linderman, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. “We are the only university in the country implementing a program this comprehensive in the pre-matriculation space. It’s exciting and very important to have good solid data to strongly affirm that our model is highly effective.”

Michael Weiss, one of the MDRC researchers who authored the report, said that CUNY Start is unique in several ways: “The main target is students who have needs in all three subject areas. It’s time intensive: In the full-time program it’s 12 hours a week of math and 12 hours of reading and writing instruction. And it really tries to tackle teaching methods. A lot of remedial education is traditional ‘chalk and talk’ and teacher lectures. CUNY Start is more discussion, student questioning, and getting more actively involved in learning. What makes it work is having the extra time that makes it implementable, and the very robust system CUNY has of hiring teachers who are willing and comfortable enacting the CUNY Start approach.”

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in 1847, CUNY counts 13 Nobel Prize and 23 MacArthur (“Genius”) grant winners among its alumni. CUNY students, alumni and faculty have garnered scores of other prestigious honors over the years in recognition of historic contributions to the advancement of the sciences, business, the arts and myriad other fields.  The University comprises 25 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, CUNY Graduate Center, Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, CUNY School of Law, CUNY School of Professional Studies and CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy.  The University serves more than 275,000 degree-seeking students. CUNY offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies.

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CUNY Hosts Business Opportunities Conference For Companies Owned By Minorities, Women And Service-Disabled Veterans

The City University of New York and the City University Construction Fund, CUNY’s public benefit construction corporation, hosted a conference to afford businesses owned by minorities and women (MWBE) and service-disabled veterans (SDVOB) access to key contract decision makers and procurement professionals representing all 25 CUNY campuses and selected contractors.

“This year’s theme: Opening doors to new opportunities and relationships,  underscores CUNY’s long tradition and commitment to embracing and supporting diversity in all aspects of what we do,” said CUNY Board of Trustees Chairperson William C. Thompson. “Diversity makes us better, stronger and more resilient. When MWBE’s and SDVOB’s do well all of New York does well. And the people that we care so much about, our students, have the opportunity to benefit.”

“CUNY is the proven economic engine of New York, and MWBEs and SDVOBs represent the future vitality of this city,” Interim Chancellor Vita Rabinowitz told attendees. “We want you to inspire our students and help us connect them with the world of work and with exciting careers.”

The conference, held at John Jay College, was designed to assist MWBEs and SDVOBs in connecting with procurement and construction opportunities and in conducting business with the University. More than 1,000 registered to attend the conference. The program kicked off with remarks from Chairperson Thompson, Interim Chancellor Rabinowitz, John Jay College President Karol V. Mason and Alphonso B. David, Counsel to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

The program included five panel sessions, boot-camp intensives and exclusive Open Doors business meet-ups for New York State-certified MWBEs and SDVOBs, which enabled participants to make one-on-one connections with prime contractors and procurement professionals. The event also included a help desk to provide real-time answers from experts and a Marketplace Exhibit Hall with more than 70 public, private and nonprofit organizations providing direct networking and new business opportunities for attendees.

About the City University Construction Fund

The City University Construction Fund (CUCF) is the core of CUNY’s capital construction program and is responsible for more than 300 buildings across 25 colleges and professional schools. The CUCF is a public benefit corporation established by New York State to provide facilities for CUNY and to support its educational purposes. The CUCF advances design, construction and development projects for new facilities and for the ongoing renovation of existing facilities.

 About the City University of New York

 The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in 1847, CUNY counts 13 Nobel Prize and 23 MacArthur (“Genius”) grant winners among its alumni. CUNY students, alumni and faculty have garnered scores of other prestigious honors over the years in recognition of historic contributions to the advancement of the sciences, business, the arts and myriad other fields.  The University comprises 25 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, CUNY Graduate Center, Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, CUNY School of Law, CUNY School of Professional Studies and CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy.  The University serves more than 275,000 degree-seeking students. CUNY offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies.

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KARLA GALIANO HERRERA (’20) VOLUNTEERS AT CUNY CITIZENSHIP NOW!

Karla Galiano Herrera (’20) Volunteers at CUNY Citizenship Now!

 

On June 30th, several John Jay Students volunteered at the CUNY Citizenship Now! Citizenship Application Assistance & Immigration Resource Fair. We spoke to Karla Galiano Herrera, a third-year student majoring in Sociology and Latin American and Latina/o Studies, to learn more about her volunteer experience.

What did you do during the event?
My main role was greeting the guests and guiding them to our application assistance area. I also had the opportunity to shadow Laura, an applicant assistant. While she was helping a woman named Carla—she had come all the way from New Jersey for application assistance—I had a wonderful experience getting to learn more about her.

How did it feel participating in the event?
Being a bit shy, I was nervous at first. But the more guests I spoke to, the more at ease I felt. Talking to applicants and hearing their stories really warmed my heart. I even found myself sharing my own story of coming from a mixed-status family, being a Dream US Scholar, and being a first generation student. This helped me connect with these individuals as we prepared them to be screened.

“Filling out 20-page legal documents can become very confusing, especially when there’s a language barrier. Events like these have trained volunteers who are bilingual and understand how to fill out the application.”—Karla Galiano Herrera, John Jay student volunteer

 

How do events like this benefit immigrant communities?
CUNY Citizenship Now! has been a great help to the immigrant community. Filling out 20-page legal documents can become very confusing, especially when there’s a language barrier. Events like these have trained volunteers who are bilingual and understand how to fill out the application. They also have lawyers who can confirm that everything is done correctly. Naturalization costs $725, and a lot of people can’t afford it. CUNY Citizenship Now! offers waivers to help reduce this cost and make the process easier on immigrants.

Why was it important for you to be involved in this event?
Volunteering is one of the few driving forces for creating change and making a positive impact on one’s community. Many applicants traveled from other states to receive assistance. As a Dream US Scholar, I understand the hardships that come with going through the naturalization process. I wanted to volunteer with CUNY Citizenship Now! because they’ve done so much for the immigrant community. I felt that this experience would be a good way for me to do my share, and give back to my community.

“Volunteering is one of the few driving forces for creating change and making a positive impact on one’s community.” –Karla Galiano Herrera, John Jay student volunteer

 

What advice can you give to future volunteers?
Don’t be afraid to try new things. The people volunteering were so kind and were willing to help me when I needed them. Volunteering is a wonderful experience. Not only can you add it to your resume, but it leaves a warm feeling in your heart. When you see a participant nervously enter the room and leave with a sense of relief, there’s nothing better than that.

To learn more about the CUNY Citizenship Now event, click here.


Guttman Ranked No.1 Community College in New York State

Best Colleges badgeGuttman Community College has been ranked the Best Community College in New York State by BestColleges.com. With ranking based on academic quality and affordability, Guttman led other institutions with a high score of 94.4 out of 100. The runners up, Nassau Community College and Columbia-Greene Community College obtained scores of 78.25 and 69.56, respectively.

The methodology behind the ranking by BestColleges.com is grounded in most recent statistical data sourced from the National Center for Education Statistics. The ranking factors break down as follows:

Academic quality – 60% of total score

  • Full-Time Retention Rate – 20%
  • Part-Time Retention Rate – 20%
  • Graduation + Transfer Rate – 60%

Affordability – 40% of total score

  • In-state Tuition – 50%
  • Percent of Students Taking Loans – 50%

With a high graduation rate and unique program, Guttman has consistently ranked high among community colleges. In 2017, WalletHub ranked Guttman as the no.4 community college in the nation, and in 2016, the college was voted the best community college in New York State by EdSmart.com.


New Queens College-Google Partnership for Entering Freshmen Builds Tech and Career Skills

Computer Science Summer Institute Is Underway on Campus

QUEENS, NY, August 7, 2018 – For some fortunate students with a passion for technology, it’s a golden opportunity at the very start of their life at Queens College.

Thanks to a first-time collaboration between QC and Google, 26 incoming freshmen competitively selected by the college are spending three weeks in Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute Extension program on campus. Students learn not only software and programming fundamentals as a community, but also interact with Google engineers and computer science executives from Bloomberg L.P. and Magistek, Inc., a software training and consulting firm. This exposure is meant to help students gain insights about the field that can carry them through their educational and professional careers.

“I am very pleased to join with Google to offer students this rich opportunity,” says Félix V. Matos Rodriguez, president of Queens College, “and proud to be among the nine colleges nationwide selected to participate.”  Of the current summer cohort, 37 percent are female and 33 percent are from minority groups underrepresented in the computer science profession. That is no accident. “We are strongly committed to increasing the diversity of talent in the field,” says Matos Rodriguez. With more undergraduate computer science majors than any college in New York City, QC is well positioned to meet that goal.

“We’re excited about this program, and look forward to  building  confidence and community among students who have historically been underrepresented in STEM career fields,” says Ray Sawyer, Student Development Specialist at Google.

Says Eva Fernández, assistant provost and AVP for Excellence in Teaching and Experiential Education: “We want students—as early as possible—to get broad but direct exposure to industry leaders, and to see themselves as active participants in the tech community of New York City.”

Every day the students are taught relevant “soft skills” for academic and real world application. The curriculum, which provides students with the knowledge and tools to tackle CS problems, culminates in a team project—the development of an app—and presentation. They also hear from CS faculty researchers and meet recent QC grads working in computer science and current students doing tech-focused internships. One highlight is visiting Google’s office in Manhattan for an insiders’ view.

CSSI-Extension (https://sites.google.com/qc.cuny.edu/cssi) is inspired by Google’s longstanding CSSI program, which takes place at its  offices throughout the U.S. In contrast, the Extension program is independently run by university faculty on their college campuses in partnership with Google. The college adapts the curriculum for its needs. The lead instructor on campus is Edgardo Molina, who recently earned a PhD in computer science from the CUNY Graduate Center. Molina, trained at Google for the summer program, is also lead instructor for CUNY Tech Prep.

“When I received the email from QC saying that they are partnering with Google for the CSSI program, I was head-over-heels happy,” recalls Bibi Hassan, one of the student participants. “I applied because it’s just a really great opportunity to be part of a program offered by one of the big five tech companies in the world.” A native of Guyana and recent graduate of Bayside High School, Bibi says that she will “most definitely major in CS” but is unsure of her career plans at this early stage.

“Going in my first day, I was nervous, picturing the stereotypical Com Sci classroom environment much like in my high school, where the majority of the class are male and practically professional coders,” she says. “I was surprised to find there’s a good ratio between the sexes and over 50 percent of the class are beginners in coding.”

A key CSSI goal is to engage more students in tech and increase interest, enrollment and retention in computer science. Building a foundation in computer science in a friendly, supportive group environment before the start of freshman year can lead to success  later.

Hassan already has her eye on the future. “I found the soft skills workshops very helpful,” she says. “They have definitely given me insight on what aspects of my work in coding I should improve on, such as working within a group and building a portfolio. The CSSI program made me realize that getting good grades is a good thing, but to get a great job after graduating, I will need to do a lot more. Now I can set out the steps I need to follow throughout the next four years, starting as a freshman, to put me ahead of the game.”

“Research on student success in higher education shows that this kind of immersive experience builds confidence and helps students become more self-directed and motivated learners by helping them see that they are part of a larger community of practice,” says Fernández. “This program should directly influence interest in computer science, as well as enrollment and retention in CS, particularly for students underrepresented in this major.”

About Queens College
Queens College enjoys a national reputation for its liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs. With its graduate and undergraduate degrees, honors programs, and research and internship opportunities, Queens College helps its over 19,000 students realize their potential in countless ways, under the guidance of an accessible, award-winning faculty. The college was recently ranked tenth among U.S. public colleges by the Chronicle of Higher Education for upward social and economic mobility. The Center for World University Rankings placed Queens College in the top 3.5% of schools worldwide, based on the quality of its education and faculty, the number of its alumni who find employment, and other factors. Located on a beautiful, 80-acre campus in Flushing, the college is cited each year by the Princeton Review as one of the nation’s 100 “Best Value” colleges, and is routinely ranked a U.S. News & World Report Best College and Forbes Magazine Best Value College, thanks to its outstanding academics, generous financial aid packages, and relatively low costs. Visit qc.cuny.edu to learn more.

A leader in preparing future educators, Queens College graduates the most teachers, counselors, and principals in the New York metropolitan area. It also contributes to New York City’s talent pool as a powerful economic engine and a leader in tech education, with more undergraduate computer science majors than any city college. Students from across the country and around the world come to Queens College’s Aaron Copland School of Music. Its renowned faculty and alumni include nationally recognized composers, conductors, and performers who have received nearly 40 Grammy Awards and nominations over the past forty years.

For more about Queens college, visit http://www.qc.cuny.edu/Pages/home.aspx

Contact:
Maria Matteo
Office of Communications
Assistant Director, News Services
718-997-5593
maria.matteo@qc.cuny.edu


Queens College Students Michelle Fang and Raymond Greene Receive Investors Bank Scholarships

— Fang, a Graduate Student and Widowed Mother, and Greene, an Undergrad, Are Both Flushing Residents Pursuing Careers in Business —

QUEENS, NY, August 1, 2018 – At the Queens College Business Forum in June, Investors Bank Awarded QC students Michelle Fang and Raymond Greene scholarships of $2,500 each.

Fang, who came to the U.S. from Shanghai as an eighth-grader, graduated from QC in 2005 with a degree in Accounting and Information Systems. Currently a student in the MS in Accounting program, she maintains a perfect GPA of 4.0.

After receiving her undergraduate degree, Fang worked in the accounting field until her husband suddenly passed away, leaving her with a one-year-old son. “My whole world was turned upside down,” she says. Yet it was during this difficult time, while balancing her studies with the responsibilities of being a single mother, that she became a Certified Management Accountant; she returned to work soon afterwards. Fang’s ultimate goal is to become a CPA, where she stresses the need to hold the profession to a “high ethical standard.”

“Receiving this scholarship has impacted my career and future studies in a very positive way,” Fang says. “It’s been a bumpy road the past six years, and I want to thank everyone who helped me get the award, especially my parents and Queens College professors.”

Like Fang, Raymond Greene lives in Flushing, where he grew up and attended PS/IS 499 on the QC campus. He is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Business Administration, earning a GPA of 3.8, and expects to graduate in 2019; he has already lined up an internship with J.P. Morgan for next summer. He is currently the director of marketing for the business club ALPFA, as well as vice president of the QC Economics and Business club.

After graduation, he plans to continue his studies at QC, enrolling in the MA in Risk Management program. “I’m very attracted to finance because of the complex nature of the industry and its potential for upward mobility,” Greene says. “This scholarship means a great deal to me, as it will allow me to comfortably attend school and dedicate myself to furthering my career in finance,” says Greene.

“Queens College has been in my life since I first started attending school,” he adds. Revealing a wry sense of humor, Greene adds: “After lagging behind my full potential throughout high school, it was wonderful to be accepted for the award and get a chance at redemption.”

Perseverance and taking advantage of opportunities is common to both students. Along with the expected business-related courses, Fang includes a communication class among “the most interesting and meaningful to her.”

“The class helped me not only in reading and writing but in expressing myself more clearly to others,” says the Chinese native, now an American citizen. “We can never stop learning no matter how much we already know.”

About Investors Bank
Investors Bank, headquartered in Short Hills, New Jersey, is a full-service community bank that has been serving customers since 1926. With over $23 billion in assets and a network of more than 150 retail branches, Investors delivers personalized services and products tailored to the needs of its customers. Investors’ banking services include complete deposit, loan and cash management products for consumers and businesses. Investors Bank. Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender.

About Queens College
Queens College enjoys a national reputation for its liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs. With its graduate and undergraduate degrees, honors programs, and research and internship opportunities, Queens College helps its over 19,000 students realize their potential in countless ways, under the guidance of an accessible, award-winning faculty. The college was recently ranked tenth among U.S. public colleges by the Chronicle of Higher Education for upward social and economic mobility. The Center for World University Rankings placed Queens College in the top 3.5% of schools worldwide, based on the quality of its education and faculty, the number of its alumni who find employment, and other factors. Located on a beautiful, 80-acre campus in Flushing, the college is cited each year by the Princeton Review as one of the nation’s 100 “Best Value” colleges, and is routinely ranked a U.S. News & World Report Best College and Forbes Magazine Best Value College, thanks to its outstanding academics, generous financial aid packages, and relatively low costs. Visit qc.cuny.edu to learn more.

A leader in preparing future educators, Queens College graduates the most teachers, counselors, and principals in the New York metropolitan area. It also contributes to New York City’s talent pool as a powerful economic engine and a leader in tech education, with more undergraduate computer science majors than any city college. Students from across the country and around the world come to Queens College’s Aaron Copland School of Music. Its renowned faculty and alumni include nationally recognized composers, conductors, and performers who have received nearly 40 Grammy Awards and nominations over the past forty years.

For more about Queens college, visit http://www.qc.cuny.edu/Pages/home.aspx

Contact:
Maria Matteo
Office of Communications
Assistant Director, News Services
718-997-5593
maria.matteo@qc.cuny.edu


The role of education in obesity inequalities among immigrant and native populations in Spain

Carrer Ferran, Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Spain

Obesity has been increasing in prevalence world-wide over the last four decades, and according to projections 18% of men and over 21% of women will be affected by the year 2025. Obesity contributes to a host of chronic diseases and premature mortality, and is associated with a high financial burden for health care utilization. In recent years, studies have shown social determinants, such as place of birth and socioeconomic position, and their unequal distribution to have an impact on health status. Prior studies have shown differences in obesity risk of immigrants, as compared to native populations. Other studies have shown educational attainment to be a factor in health outcomes. A newly published study examines the effect of both place of birth and education together on obesity in European men and women. “Place of birth is associated with obesity in men and women,” explains Dr. Luisa N. Borrell, co-author of the study and a professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy. “However, the role of place of birth depends on education and together they affect obesity differently in men and women.”

The findings were published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

The study was based on a cross-sectional analysis of data obtained from the Spanish National Health Survey of 2011-12 and from the 2014 European Health Survey in Spain. The surveys, both of which sampled representative populations of non-institutionalized persons in Spain, yielded data for 27,720 adults aged 18 to 64.

Luisa Borrell

Luisa Borrell

The findings showed the probability of obesity to be greater in immigrant women, and lower in immigrant men relative to their native counterparts, after adjusting for socio-demographic characteristics, self-rated health, and health behaviors. When looking at the effect of education on obesity, immigrant women were more likely to be obese than the native women, regardless of their educational attainment or specific country of birth, with a higher probability observed among women with the highest education. Among the immigrant men, those with lower educational attainment had lower probability of obesity, though the inequalities in obesity between immigrant and native men were inconclusive and dependent on a variety of factors, including the country of origin, the length of stay in the country of destination, and whether the men were first or second generation in the host country.

Despite existing research indicating a protective effect of higher educational attainment on health status, specifically on obesity, this study found a protective effect at lower educational levels in immigrant men relative to their native peers. This finding may be explained by a phenomenon known as healthy migrant effect, where the health status of immigrants tends to be better than that of the rest of the population in their home country, suggesting the migration process is being undertaken by those who are healthy to begin with. In Spain, discrimination in labor markets can direct healthy immigrant men into jobs requiring greater physical effort, such as construction, and agriculture, where obesity is less likely to result in employment, whereas immigrant women are more likely to be funneled into domestic and care jobs, characterized by low-income, long working hours, and high levels of stress, all of which can contribute to obesity.

This study delves into an understudied area, investigating the driving factors for obesity inequalities between immigrant and native populations. Dr. Borrell noted that future studies comparing health outcomes between immigrant populations relative to native populations should consider the interaction of place of birth, education, and gender. “Consideration and understanding of such interaction may help in the designing of strategies for health promotion to reduce health inequalities between immigrant and native populations,” said Dr. Borrell.

 

Rodriguez-Alvarez E, Lanborena N, Borrell L. Obesity Inequalities According to Place of Birth: The Role of Education. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2018;15(8):1620. doi:10.3390/ijerph15081620


CCNY makes Princeton Review’s Best Colleges list for seventh year

For the seventh consecutive year, The City College of New York is listed among the top institutions in the nation by The Princeton Review®.  CCNY features in the Review’s 2019 “The Best 384 Colleges” guide (Penguin Random House / Princeton Review Books, $24.99, Aug. 7, 2018) available today.

The “Best 384” rankings are based on surveys of 138,000 students at 384 top colleges that includes a wide representation by region, size, selectivity and character. Published annually since 1992, the book has detailed profiles of the colleges with rating scores in eight categories as well as ranking lists of top 20 schools in 62 categories.

“City  College  is  one  of  the  toughest  CUNY  schools  to get  into,  with  an  admissions rate  of  about  33  percent  (some  schools  and  programs  within  can  be  lower),” notes the Princeton Review.

Students surveyed lauded CCNY’s fortes, from its “profound” diversity across the board, its “historic” location and the unique college experience it offers.

“The diversity  in  the  student  body,  as  well  as  the  faculty  and  administration,  ‘is  profound,’  which  helps  many people  interact  with  different  people  from  different  cultures  and  come  together  to  get  through  each  semester,” said one student.

Another student observed that most  CCNY  students are  not  looking  for  the  “typical  college  experience,”  but  rather  are  interested “in  the  intellectual  and  emotional  growth  that  comes  with  higher  education.”

City College annually receives high rankings from the Princeton Review. Last January, the education services company named CCNY among the top schools in the country that pay you back.  It listed CCNY in its 2018 annual guide “Colleges That Pay You Back: The 200 Schools That Give You the Best Bang for Your Tuition Buck.”

About the Princeton Review 
The Princeton Review is a leading tutoring, test prep, and college admission services company. Every year, it helps millions of college- and graduate school-bound students achieve their education and career goals through online and in person courses delivered by a network of more than 4,000 teachers and tutors, online resources, and its more than 150 print and digital books published by Penguin Random House. Its Tutor.com brand is the largest online tutoring service in the U.S. It comprises a community of thousands of tutors who have delivered more than 15 million one-to-one tutoring sessions. The Princeton Review is headquartered in New York, NY. The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University.

About The City College of New York 
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.

 

 

 

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Jay Mwamba
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View CCNY Media Kit


Karrin E. Walks Named BMCC Interim President

Karrin E. Wilks, Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, has been appointed Interim President of BMCC by Interim CUNY Chancellor Vita Rabinowitz. She will assume the role as President Antonio Pérez steps down on August 31.

Wilks has served in public higher education administration for more than 30 years and has extensive experience developing and evaluating policy and programs aimed at improving student success, particularly for underserved populations.

Her leadership includes a focus on strategic planning, program design and implementation, college readiness and developmental education, evidence-based retention and success strategies, leadership development, and improving teaching and learning across disciplines.

Karrin E. Wilks, named BMCC Interim President

Wilks’ emphasis on equity in education, which includes building strategies to move students more quickly through remedial or developmental instruction and into credit-bearing courses, relates to national trends in access to higher education. Her commentary article, “Turning the Dial on Developmental Outcomes,” appeared in Community College Daily in December 2016, and she is featured in the Education Dive column, “Office Hours: Borough of Manhattan Community College Provost Karrin E. Wilks.” Wilks is also quoted on the subject of college readiness and equity in articles including “Solving the Remediation Riddle in Higher Ed,” (University Business, 2016) and others.

In 2016, Wilks was selected as one of 40 community college leaders nationwide for the inaugural class of the Aspen Presidential Fellowship, which is described by Walter G. Bumphus, President and CEO of the American Association of Community College as being “essential to preparing capable and courageous leaders ready to elevate community colleges to greater levels of student success, while maintaining a commitment to access.”

Prior to joining BMCC, Wilks served as the Senior Vice President and Interim Provost for Medgar Evers College, and held the position of University Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the CUNY Central Office of Academic Affairs.

Earlier in her career, she served as Senior Vice President for the Vermont State Colleges, taught writing and humanities courses at the Community College of Vermont and served on the faculty of the Vermont Leadership Institute. Wilks earned an Ed.D. in Policy and Leadership Development, and M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Vermont. She holds a B.A. in History/Creative Writing from Middlebury College.


Alaina Claire Feldman Joins Baruch College as Director of the Sidney Mishkin Gallery

Feldman will work to ensure that the gallery remains a valuable asset to the College, and the wider New York City community, for years to come

 

Dr. Aldermaro Romero, Jr., Dean of the Mildred and George Weissman School of Arts and Sciences, announced the appointment of Alaina Claire Feldman as the new Director of the Sidney Mishkin Gallery.

Located on 135 East 22nd Street and open to the public, the Sidney Mishkin Gallery has offered small, museum-quality shows for more than 25 years. Every year, the gallery mounts five shows, emphasizing scholarly, multicultural, single-artist, and group shows, as well as exhibitions out of the American mainstream. The permanent collection consists of over 300 artworks, featuring paintings, sculpture, prints, and photographs. It also hosts special class sessions, making it a valuable resource for the College’s efforts to encourage interdisciplinary education. Gallery talks and symposia are frequently offered to the college community and to the public.

Mishkin Gallery: A Valuable Asset to Baruch and New York City

As director, Alaina Claire Feldman will establish the artistic policy of the gallery and oversee day-to-day operations for both the permanent collection and visiting shows. Her duties include promoting the gallery to the College as an educational tool, attracting sources of funding, and fostering relationships with artists, critics, and the wider community.

Feldman’s work towards these goals will ensure that the Sidney Mishkin Gallery remains a valuable asset to the College, and as an arts and cultural resource to New York City residents and visitors, for years to come.

“This is an important and exciting time for universities to strengthen their communities and curriculum through diverse cultural platforms in which the art of our time can be exhibited and discussed,” Feldman said. “I’m very much looking forward to developing creative new programs, partnerships, and audiences that will extend Baruch beyond its campus as a unique place for artist-centric and interdisciplinary education.”

Arts Experience from Around the World

Prior to her appointment as Director of the Mishkin Gallery, Feldman served as Director of Exhibitions at the arts non-profit Independent Curators International (ICI). During her time at ICI, she produced and managed 20 traveling exhibitions with guest curators from around the world, and expanded the organization’s international programming three-fold, establishing lasting partnerships with art spaces in Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and the Midwestern United States. Most recently, she curated the exhibition The Ocean After Nature, which traveled to various art institutions in numerous countries. She also co-curated the traveling exhibition Publishing Against the Grain, which continues to tour internationally.

Feldman also served as the editor of the exhibition catalogue for The Ocean After Nature, as well as the managing editor for ICI’s Sourcebook Series, which includes publications edited by world-renowned artists. Her projects have included the long-term support of artists and curators, as well as the promotion of artistic traditions outside of the Western canon.

Beyond her work at ICI, Feldman has curated numerous exhibitions while lecturing and teaching at the University of Porto, The School of Visual Arts, New York University, The Center for Feminist Pedagogy, and museums around the world. In 2017, she was the Annual Beckwith Lecturer at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston/Tufts. She has previously held positions at the French contemporary art journal May Revue and at the gallery Reena Spaulings Fine Art.

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Students’ E-Portoflios Presented at the NYC Department of Education School Technology Summit

Students Thomas Jones, Professors Marla A. Sole and Rodrigo Lobo, Career Strategist Diana Zechowski, and student Angie Cordoba at the NYCDOE School Technology Summit.

Students Thomas Jones, Professors Marla A. Sole and Rodrigo Lobo, Career Strategist Diana Zechowski, and student Angie Cordoba at the NYCDOE School Technology Summit.

Guttman Community College Professors Marla A. Sole and Rodrigo Lobo along with Diana Zechowski, Career Strategist, and students Thomas Jones and Angie Cordoba gave a poster presentation on July 31st at the New York City Department of Education School Technology Summit.  The talk, entitled Electronic Portfolios: A Framework for Archiving and Assessing Students’ Educational Growth, described how students are introduced to and use electronic portfolios from their first semester in college until they graduate to archive their best academic work.

Presenters described how Guttman faculty and staff use this electronic collection of work, which is an indispensable tool to help determine if students are meeting each of the course learning outcomes.  Additionally, electronic portfolios, which highlight the rich, varied skills acquired in school, help students create a professional online presence, which can be beneficial when students enter the job market either part-time or full-time.  This was highlighted by sharing student presenters’ e-portfolios.


PROFESSOR AMY GREEN DIRECTS A POWERFUL PLAY ON CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Professor Amy Green Directs A Powerful Play On Criminal Justice

Mass incarceration, solitary confinement, maximum penalties, domestic violence, and sexual assault—these topics are regularly analyzed, discussed and contemplated at John Jay. But to really feel the impact of the criminal justice system in America, Associate Professor Amy S. Green in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies worked for three years developing and then directing the play whatdoesfreemean?, written by Catherine Filloux, which recently finished showing at The Tank theatre in Manhattan. To learn more about the play, her process and her hopes for change, we sat down and chatted with professor Green.

“One of the reasons why I was so excited to work on this project was that when we think about mass incarceration, broadly in the media, we mainly think about men.” —Amy S. Green

 

The Characters
The play follows two women entangled in the criminal justice system. Mary is an African-American woman convicted of a non-violent drug offense, serving a long sentence. And Ann is an older African-American woman serving a life sentence for killing an abusive husband. Throughout the play the audience sees a special friendship form as they talk about their families and lost dreams. “One of the reasons why I was so excited to work on this project was that when we think about mass incarceration, broadly in the media, we mainly think about men,” says Green. “We know it’s people of color that are disproportionally affected, but we don’t really think about what it does to women, both the women who are themselves incarcerated, and the children and spouses left behind.”

A scene in the play whatdoesfreemean?

Mary hallucinating a talking mouse while she’s in the SHU. Photo: Veronica Bella

“When we asked one of the women what it was like to be in solitary confinement, she said, ‘Lock yourself in your bathroom for an hour and see what that feels like.’” —Amy S. Green

 

The Confinement
To learn more about what it’s like being in solitary confinement—also known as the “Segregated Housing Unit” or the “SHU”—Green and her team spoke with a group of formerly incarcerated women. “When we asked one of the women what it was like to be in solitary confinement, she said, ‘Lock yourself in your bathroom for an hour and see what that feels like.’ That image really worked for us and it became a line in the play,” says Green. The character Mary ends up in the SHU because she was trying to get Ann critical medical attention. While in the SHU, Mary starts feeling the affects of complete isolation. “It’s a sensory deprivation that takes about 15 hours for people to start to decompensate, and then the brain takes over,” says Green. In the middle of the stage, in a simple box of light, Mary counts each of her body parts to stay connected to the real world, knowing that if she escaped reality, it would be hard to come back. Sadly, Ann dies while Mary is in solitary confinement.

The Way Out
One of the takeaways for Mary, and also the audience, is that she has to push past her own values, beliefs and personality to save herself from the system. “Mary’s public defender sees potential in her and counsels Mary to do whatever she needs to get out,” says Green. “And if that means telling the review board how grateful she is for everything she’s received, and how proud she is of making sandwiches in the kitchen, she’s got to do it because she deserves another shot at life.” There’s a mental toll it takes on Mary to debase herself to the board—with a myriad of “yes, sir” and “yes, ma’am” answers—but after Ann’s death, survival and reclaiming her life takes on a whole new meaning.

The Struggle
Green is quite clear that her play is a critique of our country’s current criminal justice system. “When we started writing the play, we had some hope because the Obama administration was working towards prison reform,” says Green. “And in the last eight months, we’ve moved backwards, and it’s really terrifying because it’s not sustainable.” Like many, Green views the current criminal justice system as a derivative of slavery. “It’s like slavery never ended. It just keeps changing form, from Jim Crow to the latest form, mass incarceration.” Understanding the destructive impact mass incarceration has had on families and communities of color, Green was always cognizant of her own race. “The entire cast is black except for one male actor. But I’m white, and the playwright is white. We gave the cast enormous freedom to tell this story from an authentic place, one that was respectful of black people in America,” says Green. “I didn’t want it to feel like all white people are bad and all black people are good, or vise versa. And, at the base level, the officers who run the prisons often look like the people in prison, making the cruelty even that much harder to imagine.”

“Can we be a free society when we are taking away the humanity of 2.2 million people?” —Amy S. Green

 

The Question
The title of the play, and one of Mary’s questions during the play is: What does freedom mean? So we asked Green, after years of preparing the play, what freedom means to her. “For me, instead of one answer, that question brings up more questions. Can I be free in a society in where this kind of mass abuse of fellow citizens is happening? Can we be a free society when we are taking away the humanity of 2.2 million people?” says Green. She ended her thought with an image that she’s viewed many times at the Eastern State Penitentiary, one of the most famous prisons in the world. There, in the prison’s courtyard, stands a 16-foot-tall, three-dimensional bar graph depicting the amount of people incarcerated in the world. “The U.S. just towers over every other country. The next highest level of incarceration is Rwanda after the genocide. It’s out of control, and it’s a blight on Americans,” says Green. “We’re hoping that our play gets people talking and voting on this issue.”


Éxito Del Congreso de Estudiantes de Español de CUNY

Los estudiantes de John Jay convierten el Congreso Estudiantes de Español de CUNY en becas de investigación y creación

 

A veces, salir de su zona de confort puede tener una gran recompensa. Y eso es exactamente lo que los estudiantes de la profesora María Julia Rossi encontraron cuando atendieron y participaron en el Primer Congreso Estudiantes de Español de CUNY el 5 de mayo pasado. “Las presentaciones públicas, como los simposios y las conferencias, son muy importantes para la profesión académica”, dijo Rossi, quien enseña en el Departamento de Lenguas y Literaturas Modernas. “Esto tiene mucho peso cuando estás buscando trabajo y empezando tu carrera en la academia. Yo quiero que mis estudiantes se benefician de esta experiencia”. Después de convencer a sus estudiantes para que usaran sus habilidades para hablar español en el simposio, Rossi se sorprendió gratamente con la profesionalidad de sus presentaciones. Nosotros hablamos con algunos de ellos para obtener más información acerca de su experiencia en el simposio y la posterior beca que algunos de ellos ganaron.

“Nosotros practicamos mucho antes del evento. Y ellos cometieron algunos errores durante los ensayos. Pero en el simposio no hubo ni un solo error, sólo presentaciones muy profesionales que impresionaron todos allí”. —Profesora María Julia Rossi, Departamento de Lenguas y Literaturas Modernas

 

El Congreso de Estudiantes de Español de CUNY

“Al leer mi historia, estaba nervioso al principio. Nunca antes había presentado algo tan personal como mi cuento a nadie más que a mi profesor. Pero después de pasar por la primera página, me sentí muy tranquilo y emocionado de estar en el momento”.  — Byron Sandoval (’20)

 

En el simposio, Melanie Chiluisa, una estudiante en su tercer año, con doble especialización en Criminología y Español: Literatura y Culturas de América Latina, presentó una historia que ella escribió llamada “Christina”. “La historia tenía influencia de mi experiencia con el divorcio de mis padres. Introduje algunos cambios para dramatizarlo, pero lo dejé realista”,  afirmó Chiluisa. “Tenía que traducir la historia de inglés a español y mientras la estaba leyendo, lo único en lo que podía pensar era en no cometer errores, no tartamudear y simplemente pasar cada página”. Byron Sandoval, un estudiante en su tercer año, con especialización en Ciencias de la Computación y Seguridad de Información, también presentó un texto propio en español.  “La historia se llama ‘Ouroboros’ y se trata de una niña que recuerda varios eventos que ha pasado en una cuidad ficticia de América Latina”, comentó Sandoval. “Al leer mi historia, estaba nervioso al principio. Nunca antes había presentado algo tan personal como mi cuento a nadie más que a mi profesora. Pero después de pasar la primera página, me sentí muy tranquilo y emocionado de estar en el momento”. Después de que todos sus estudiantes presentaron en el encuentro académico, Rossi no podía contener su orgullo. “Nosotros practicamos mucho antes del evento. Y ellos cometieron algunos errores durante los ensayos”, confesó Rossi. “Pero en el simposio no hubo ni un solo error, sólo presentaciones muy profesionales que impresionaron todos allí”.

La posibilidad de una beca
Después del éxito del Primer Congreso Estudiantes de Español de CUNY, Rossi sugirió que sus estudiantes se postularan para el Undergraduate Research/Creativity Assistant Scholarship. Al principio, muchos de los estudiantes no pensaban que pudieran solicitar porque su escritura era de ficción. Pero Rossi les explicó que la escritura de ficción era tan académica como cualquier otro trabajo y los provocó para que salieran de los terrenos conocidos donde se sentían cómodos una vez más. Tanto Chiluisa como Sandoval aplicaron y ganaron $ 1,000 cada uno para realizar su trabajo de investigación y producción creativa. “Yo ya estaba trabajando en otros cuentos cortos y la idea de expandir esa compilación a una investigación de la literatura salvadoreña surgió debido a esta beca”, comentó Sandoval.

“Uno de los mayores obstáculos para el logro es tu propia duda— dudar de sí mismo y de su escritura. Pero sin tomar los riesgos, como sabrías si eres bueno?”—Byron Sandoval (’20)

 

El trabajo por delante
Ahora que ganó la beca, Sandoval planea hacer una investigación inspirada por su historia original. “Planeo hacer un doble trabajo. Yo voy a seguir escribiendo cuentos cortos similares a ‘Ouroboros’ y la segunda parte va a ser un estudio de la estética de algunos escritores salvadoreños”, dijo Sandoval. También influenciada por la pieza que presentó en el simposio, Chiluisa planea escribir cuentos cortos de ficción que va a traducir de inglés a español. “Similar al proceso que utilicé para el simposio, quiero traducir mis textos al español.  Los resultados de este trabajo de auto-traducción pueden mostrar los obstáculos que enfrentan los auto-traductores latinoamericanos. Es un campo poco representado y quiero saber por qué”, expresó Chiluisa. Toda la experiencia ayudó a que los estudiantes se dieran cuenta de que a veces es importante superar sus miedos y tener confianza en tu trabajo y en ti mismo. “Uno de los mayores obstáculos para el logro es tu propia duda; dudar de ti mismo y de tu escritura,” añadió Sandoval. “Pero sin tomar los riesgos, ¿cómo sabrías si eres bueno?”


CCNY-based CUNY DSI, Adriano Espaillat, celebrate Tuskegee Airman Esteban Hotesse

Tuskegee Airman Esteban Hotesse.

Coming after the remains of a City College of New York student turned Tuskegee Airman lost in 1944 were finally discovered in Europe, CCNY pays homage to another deceased member of World War II’s famed squadron. On August 23, CCNY’s CUNY Dominican Studies Institute and U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (NY-13) host a ceremony to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Esteban Hotesse posthumously. He will be remembered for his service to the all-Black fighter group.

The event, 6:30 – 8 p.m. in CCNY’s Shepard Hall room 95, is free and open to the public and media. Reservation is required by sending an email to RSVP.Espaillat@mail.house.gov or calling 212.663.3900.

Raised in New York, Hotesse was the only Dominican-born member of the Tuskegee Airmen when he died in a crash during a training mission in July 1945. He was 26 and had landed on Ellis Island with his mother from the Dominican Republic, at age four.

Three months before his death, Second Lieutenant Hotesse and 100 other Tuskegee Airmen had been arrested for resisting segregation at an officers’   club on a U.S. Army Air Corps base in Indiana. Their action is considered by historians as an important milestone in ending segregation in the military, and as a model for civil disobedience decades later during the Civil Rights struggle.

Three years ago, Hotesse was among numerous Dominicans featured in the CUNY DSI exhibit “Fighting for Democracy: Dominican Veterans from World War II,” at City College.

Although Hotesse did not attend City College, one known Tuskegee Airman from CCNY is Lawrence E. Dickson whose plane went down during a mission in December 1944.

An undergraduate between 1940 and 1942, Dickson’s remains were discovered in Austria recently and positively identified on July 27 by the U.S. Department of Defense.

The Harlem resident had been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for meritorious service and was on his 68th mission when he died.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.

 

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Jay Mwamba
p: 212.650.7580
e:jmwamba@ccny.cuny.edu
View CCNY Media Kit


CHANCELLOR RABINOWITZ NAMES COLLEGE PRESIDENTS; NEW PRESIDENT APPOINTED FOR KINGSBOROUGH, INTERIM PRESIDENTS FOR QUEENSBOROUGH AND BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN COMMUNITY COLLEGE

City University of New York Interim Chancellor Vita C. Rabinowitz has appointed Claudia V. Schrader president of Kingsborough Community College and made interim appointments for the top posts at Queensborough and Borough of Manhattan Community Colleges.

The appointments are to be confirmed by the University’s Board of Trustees in the fall.

Schrader’s appointment at Kingsborough follows a highly accomplished 17-year career in the top ranks at two other CUNY community colleges. She is currently Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Success at Bronx Community College and previously served in senior positions at Medgar Evers College. Born and raised in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, Dr. Schrader earned her Doctor of Education degree in international and transcultural studies from Columbia University. She will take office Sept.15.

“This is an exciting time at CUNY, marked by spectacular growth in enrollment, a remarkable expansion of our physical plant, national acclaim for our colleges and prestigious awards and grants earned by our students and faculty,” said Board Chairperson William C. Thompson Jr. “Dr. Schader is a valuable addition to the cohort of energetic new leaders on our campuses embracing the University’s proud history and helping CUNY set the standard for quality and access in public higher education in the United States.”

“I’m proud to recommend Claudia Schrader to the Board to lead Kingsborough Community College,” said Interim Chancellor Rabinowitz. “She has a proven record as an innovative leader, particularly in areas that are vital to student success at community colleges. Dr. Schrader has led initiatives that have resulted in improved graduation rates and the rapid expansion of ASAP, and she helped create a more positive educational experience and campus climate for the students, faculty and staff at Bronx Community College.”

Chancellor Rabinowitz also named Karrin E. Wilks to be interim president of Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) and Timothy G. Lynch as interim president of Queensborough Community College (QCC).  Both will take office Sept. 1.

Dr. Wilks has been Senior Vice President and Provost of BMCC since 2014.  Her eight years at CUNY also include senior positions at Medgar Evers and a tenure as University Dean of Undergraduate Studies.      She was previously senior vice president at Vermont State Colleges. At BMCC, Dr. Wilks led the college’s recent successful Middle States self-study and reaccreditation processes and reorganized academic affairs to better support student and faculty success.

Dr. Lynch is currently Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Queensborough and has been a faculty member, department chairperson and chief academic officer at state maritime colleges in New York and California. A native New Yorker, Dr. Lynch earned history degrees at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate School Center. His research interests focus on immigration and ethnicity and on America’s relationship with the sea.  As provost, he has worked with campus constituencies to advance student success through a data-driven approach to enrollment management, instructional support and degree completion.

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in 1847, CUNY counts 13 Nobel Prize and 23 MacArthur (“Genius”) grant winners among its alumni. CUNY students, alumni and faculty have garnered scores of other prestigious honors over the years in recognition of historic contributions to the advancement of the sciences, business, the arts and myriad other fields. The University comprises 25 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, CUNY Graduate Center, Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, CUNY School of Law, CUNY School of Professional Studies and CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. The University serves more than 275,000 degree-seeking students. CUNY offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies.

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$3.2M NIH grant for Grove School’s Mitchell Schaffler

Professor Mitchell B. Schaffler

Distinguished Professor Mitchell B. Schaffler’s $3.2 million grant will fund his research into determining how changes in osteocytes—the cells that reside inside bones—contribute to the development of osteoporosis and bone fragility.

Distinguished Professor Mitchell B. Schaffler, chair and Wallace H. Coulter Professor of Biomedical Engineering at The City College of New York’s Grove School of Engineering, is awarded a five-year, $3.2 million grant from the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, which is part of the National Institutes of Health.

Schaffler is researching the biomechanical and molecular mechanisms by which skeletal tissue, such as bones, grows strong or decays as people grow older. This new grant will fund his research into determining how changes in osteocytes—the cells that reside inside bones—contribute to the development of osteoporosis and bone fragility.

Osteoporosis and resulting bone fragility are a major public health threat affecting more that 40 million people in the United States. Schaffler’s work will build on recent discoveries by his team of researchers who found that osteocytes possess a specialized complex of proteins and membrane channels that act as mechanical sensors. With age or hormone-level shifts – such as estrogen loss by women during menopause – these sensors deteriorate.

“Bones are like muscles; you either use it or lose it,” said Schaffler. “The cells in your bones act as mechanical sensors and grow strong due to physical activity, exercise, etc. But as you age, the cells eventually grow deaf as it were, so that they no longer respond appropriately and that can lead to bone fragility.”

The Grove School of Engineering, named for alumnus Andrew S. Grove ’60, was established in 1919 as The City College School of Technology and currently houses 115 full-time faculty doing cutting-edge research in fields ranging from energy and sustainability, nanotechnology, materials engineering to transportation and remote sensing. Celebrating its 100-year anniversary, Grove School graduates continue to flourish receiving prestigious awards from the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and the Goldwater Scholars foundation just to name a few. Visit the Grove School website here.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.

 

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Ashley Arocho
p: 212.650.6460
e:aarocho@ccny.cuny.edu
View CCNY Media Kit


Dr. Benito Mendoza Selected to Attend Faculty-in-Residence Program at Google

Dr. Benito Mendoza

City Tech’s Professor of Computer Science Dr. Benito Mendoza was one of 21 Computer Science faculty members selected to attend the second iteration of Google’s Faculty in Residence (FIR) program.

Faculty from 20 different institutions serving underrepresented students were invited to participate in this four-week program at Google’s world headquarters in Mountain View, California. Participants worked together to redevelop curriculum to better align with the latest trends in software engineering.

According to Google, “[t]he cohort explored hands-on, project based learning workshops and resources to augment their curriculum, discussed industry expectations, learned more about the technical interviewing process, and immersed themselves in Google’s engineering culture. The program provided faculty the time, space, and opportunity to collaborate with each other in the creation of learning materials that will be applied in their classrooms when they return to campus this fall. Faculty also provided Google partners with important insights that will help our teams continue to advance their commitment to diversity and inclusion for both Googlers and users.”

Google offers many opportunities for both faculty and students, including grants, scholarships, internships and residency programs. For more information, visit https://edu.google.com/computer-science/?modal_active=none.


Professor’s Research on Aging and Economic Insecurity Featured in The Lily

Mary GattaMary Gatta, Guttman Associate Professor of Sociology, has conducted extensive research on Florida’s elderly women suffering from economic insecurity. Her scholarship was featured in the article “Women are facing economic instability in retirement age. And it shows no signs of improvement” published by The Lily, a Washington Post publication. Professor Gatta’s report shows that women are significantly less financially secure in retirement than men because of how they’re treated in the workplace throughout their careers.

In this article Gatta notes that strengthening the social security drought and developing an economic security agenda that helps women and families across their lifetimes will help change the current landscape and allow women to age comfortably.


City College hosts largest climate conference

City College hosts largest urban climate conference

The City College of New York is host to the 10th International Conference on Urban Climate (ICUC10). This is the premier meeting on the field urban climate and weather, and it marks the first time in its 30-years of history that will be held in U.S. when it comes to CCNY’s campus August 6 through 10.

ICUC10 is a partnership between The American Meteorological Society (AMS), and the International Association for Urban Climate (IAUC).  The conference, sponsored by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the US National Science Foundation (NSF), is organized by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Center for Earth System Sciences & Remote Sensing Technologies Center (NOAA CCNY/NOAA-CREST) and anticipates 600 delegates from around the world with more than 700 presentations.

The theme of the 2018 conference, Sustainable and Resilient Urban Environments, significantly coincides with a time when accelerated urban development is challenged by the risks and consequences of extreme weather and climate events and by global socio-economic disparity. Resiliency and reduced vulnerability to all socio-economic sectors have become critical elements to the achievement of sustainable development.

“New York City is an ideal venue for this conference, the first ever on American soil,” said ICUC 10 lead organizer and CCNY NOAA CREST Professor of Mechanical Engineering Jorge Gonzalez.  “The city is a vibrant coastal environment that provides unique opportunities to its people, and it is constantly facing the biggest challenges of climate induced extremes, from big storms to extreme heat, responding pro-actively to be more resilient with new science, planning and execution.”

The WMO Chief for Climate Applications Dr Rupa Kumar Kolli, will join the meeting at the opening ceremony. The Conference features five plenary speakers including past AMS President, Dr. Marshall Shepherd. Mayor David Collado of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, will be welcomed as well as Daniel A. Zarrilli, PE Senior Director, Climate Policy and Programs Chief Resilience Officer of the City of New York who will speak on Monday morning’s session.

“We hope our City College of New York campus venue is a living learning experience to the many scientists that will join the conference from around the world, inspiring discussions for new urban climate sciences and applications to a range of social value variables in urban planning, public health, energy, and other topics,” said Gonzalez.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.

 

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Contact: Susan Konig

914 525 1867

skonig@ccny.cuny.edu

View CCNY Media Kit.


CCNY Grove School’s Gilda Barabino earns second national award this summer

Gilda Barabino, dean of CCNY’s Grove School of Engineering

The National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers presents its 2018 Dr. Joseph N. Cannon Award for Excellence in Chemical Engineering to Gilda A. Barabino, dean of The City College of New York’s Grove School of Engineering this fall. The award recognizes her excellent achievements in chemical engineering.

Barabino will be honored at NOBCChE’s annual awards ceremony on   September 20 in Orlando, Florida. The prize is named for NOBCChE co-founder Joseph Cannon, a noted chemical engineer and Howard University professor.

This is Barabino’s second national award announced this summer. In June she received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring presented by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science Foundation. It honors excellence in STEM teaching and mentoring and is the nation’s highest honor bestowed upon mentors who work to expand talent in the STEM fields.

Barabino has served as dean of the Grove School since 2013. She is the first African-American woman to serve as dean of engineering at a college that is not an HBCU.

A noted researcher in sickle cell disease, cellular and tissue engineering, she has distinguished herself as a leader and tireless advocate for diversity in science and engineering.

Barabino is esteemed nationally as a mentor and role model for underrepresented minorities and women, and as a mentor to undergraduate researchers.

In addition to this year’s honors, her other top accolades since 2015 have included:

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.

 

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Jay Mwamba
p: 212.650.7580
e:jmwamba@ccny.cuny.edu
View CCNY Media Kit


JOHN JAY OFFERS A NEW AFRICANA STUDIES MINOR: COMMUNITY JUSTICE

John Jay Offers a New Africana Studies Minor: Community Justice

 

This coming fall semester The Department of Africana Studies will be offering a new minor: Community Justice. The courses incorporated into the minor expose students to new ways of thinking about justice and community-based problems, such as economic and racial inequality, as well as the prison system. The Community Justice minor requires students to complete 18 credits, nine of which include three required classes, and the other nine stemming from a wide selection of elective courses.

What You Can Learn
This new minor is focused on teaching students how to use what they learn as a way to better their community. The hope is that by looking at legal, economic, and social policies, students can address the root causes of community-based issues, finding new ways to bring about justice. In taking classes such as, Introduction to Community Justice in Human Systems, Community-Based Approaches to Justice, Culture and Crime, and Latina/os and the City, students can learn several theories and strategies enabling them to solve community problems more efficiently. And these problem-solving skills can then be applied in careers that could transform the criminal justice system.

What You Can Do
After completing this minor, students are going to be better prepared to enter justice-related fields, such as: criminology, criminal justice, sociology, law, forensics, and human services. They would also have a foundation to take the next steps to becoming attorneys, social workers, police officers, and forensic psychologists. These students would have the knowledge to bring about a change within their community—one that is peaceful, fair and most importantly brings community justice to all.


JOHN JAY WELCOMES PROVOST YI LI

John Jay Welcomes Provost Yi Li

 

Recently, after an extensive national search, President Karol V. Mason announced the appointment of Dr. Yi Li as John Jay’s new Provost. To get to know Dr. Li a little better, we sat down with him to learn more about his past experiences and his hopes for the John Jay community.

Q: Why were you passionate about joining John Jay College?

YL: John Jay’s model of educating for justice was really attractive and meaningful to me. I grew up during the Cultural Revolution, where like many families in China, my family suffered. I personally suffered from a lack of education. The graduating class from my high school only had a handful of students who were fortunate enough to get into a four-year college. Because of a lack of a college education, most of my high school classmates are already retired. I consider myself very fortunate to still be working and be able to help students and faculty.

Q: What are you biggest goals as the new Provost?

YL: What I realized during the interview process was how committed the faculty and staff are to their students’ success. My goal is to really support them, improving student retention and graduation rates. I’d like to help the faculty and staff provide a transformative experience for our students.

Q: What do you want students to know about you?

YL: I want students to know that in life, everyone goes through struggles. I want them to know that their Provost failed his first math class as a freshman. And, as a doctorate student in the Ph.D. program at the University of Minnesota, I failed my first qualifying exam. In life we make choices. You can call a fail a failure, or you can stand up and come back. Don’t be afraid to fail and come back. That’s the experience of life.

“In life we make choices. You can call a fail a failure, or you can stand up and come back. Don’t be afraid to fail and come back. That’s the experience of life.” —Provost Li

 

Q: You and President Mason were both Math majors in college. What else do the two of you connect on?

YL: I think we connected in multiple places. President Mason is very strong on social justice, and she wants to support our students, especially those who come from a disadvantaged background. That speaks so well to my own experience. I struggled to come to the U.S. and get my degree. I was under prepared. Fortunately, I was given strong support from my family and other people who were both wise and kind. This is who Karol is—she is strong on justice, and she is kind. This is where our connection is. Of course, we also talked about how we were both Math majors, and we’re both pretty good at numbers.

Q: Your experience during the Cultural Revolution in China significantly shaped your life. Can you tell us more about what that experience taught you?

YL: Throughout that period, my parents continued to be my role models, helping me form my core values and beliefs. My father would tell me to be optimistic, even during the most difficult times. And my mother taught me to stand up to those in power, but to treat those in need with care and kindness. During the Cultural Revolution I also learned about mentoring. I was mentored the entire time, even though I didn’t realize it then. At John Jay we need to be mindful how we engage and mentor our students, junior staff, and faculty. That’s how I got through a difficult time in my life, with support, kindness, and mentoring.

“At John Jay we need to be mindful how we engage and mentor our students, junior staff and faculty. That’s how I got through a difficult time in my life, with support, kindness, and mentoring.” —Provost Li

 

Q: What does justice mean to you?

YL: Fundamentally, it’s about fairness and equality. This is especially relevant in the current environment, where we are going to see—and this in not stoppable—that demographically there is going to be a titanic shift. And with that shift comes tremendous challenges. Currently, we have not been able to manage the gaps of higher education attainment between the “traditionally better served” and the “traditionally under-served.” That gap is widening. However, the population of the “traditionally better served” is getting smaller and the population of the “traditionally under served” is getting bigger. Unless we can actually move them and help them to get a four-year degree, we have a tremendous problem in terms of social mobility and in terms of moving people into the middle class. I believe that middle income is better for democracy. If we can’t help them, it will not only be a social justice issue, but an issue of national security. Justice in this case is how we support our students, making sure students of color get through college.

Q: Can you tell us something surprising about yourself?

YL: I like to play video games. Typically, it’s the kind of video games that have historical backgrounds, or just ones for fun. The last video game I played was “God of War.” In the summer, I’ll try to set aside about a week where I’ll do nothing but play video games. It all started because of my son. When he was in junior high, he played video games and I used to play with him. That’s how I got hooked.


NASA AWARDS $300,000 TO BRONX COMMUNITY COLLEG

 

Grant Will Prepare Middle and High School Students 

To Become the Science-Savvy Workforce of Tomorrow

 

July 31, 2018 – The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has announced an award of more than $300,000 to Bronx Community College (BCC) for a two-year program that will contribute to the training and development of the future workforce of NASA and other high-tech employers. The grant will fund a collaboration with Medgar Evers College to engage middle school and high school students in innovative hands-on science through workshops, field activities and mentoring from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) scholars and professionals. 

 Each summer, Bronx Community College and Medgar Evers College will also train middle school and high school teachers to teach STEM disciplines using NASA Planetary Modeling Platforms and geospatial technology, a fast-growing field that turns data from satellites into information-rich maps useful to government, business and consumers. Geospatial technology is part of our everyday lives: in every automobile with a GPS mapping display, every smartphone, smartwatch or smart television and in every component of the Internet of Things.

The program will be run at Bronx Community College by Dr. Sunil Bhaskaran, director of the College’s innovative Geospatial Center of the CUNY Crest Institute. Since Dr. Bhaskaran introduced the geospatial courses at BCC in 2014, 262 students have enrolled.

Bronx Community College was one of only five community colleges in the nation selected for the award by NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project. The program also will provide related research opportunities for two Bronx Community College students each year.

“Bronx Community College is gratified by NASA’s confidence in our mission to turn today’s STEM students into tomorrow’s science and engineering professionals,” says BCC President Thomas A. Isekenegbe, “And to create a workforce built on the strength of America’s diversity.” 


ZERO-TEXT-COST COURSES EASE FINANCIAL BURDENS

Zero-Text-Cost Courses Ease Financial Burdens

 

John Jay prides itself on giving all students, coming from any financial background, the opportunity to succeed. Understanding that the price of textbooks is a cost barrier for many students, some professors are opting to use the zero-text-cost program.

Through this program, CUNY allocated grant money is used to offer courses that utilize Open Educational Resources (OER) and licensed Alternative Educational Resources (AER) instead of traditional textbooks that students have to purchase. “There are students who can’t engage in the classroom because of textbook costs,” says Karen Argueta, a recent class of 2018 graduate and current student in John Jay’s Human Rights Master’s Program. “I’ve had classmates who took pictures of another student’s textbook, just to have the reading for the following week.” Using OER and AER materials like DVDs, eBooks, and streaming videos, which are all digitally available, boosts student engagement and increases student success. To learn more about the zero-text-cost program and its impact on students and professors, we spoke with Argueta, Dr. Raymond Patton, Director of Educational Partnerships and General Education; and Verlene Herrington, John Jay’s OER Librarian and Adjunct Associate Professor.

“There are students who can’t engage in the classroom because of textbook costs. I’ve had classmates who took pictures of another student’s textbook, just to have the reading for the following week.”—Karen Argueta (’18)

 

Q: The majority of John Jay students work at least one job and many students are coming from low-income families. What impact do you think zero-text-cost classes have on these students?

KA: The cost of textbooks is one of the student expenses that doesn’t get a lot of attention. I’ve had classmates who spend their printing money photocopying a textbook, only to find that they don’t have enough money to print a paper due that day. For many students there’s a genuine sigh of relief when it’s revealed that the course is zero-text-cost.

RP: It’s no secret that our students struggle to afford college. We know from surveys that many students take classes without buying the book, or they buy the book too late, do poorly or drop the course. Anything to ease this financial burden, allowing our students to focus on academics, is extremely helpful.

Q: How do professors teaching zero-text-cost courses feel about the materials they’re using?

RP: John Jay professors know that our students struggle to buy books and care deeply about this as an educational issue. Those who chose to create a zero-text-cost course were eager to have their students afford their education. Of course, this does come with a challenge. Textbooks provide the structure and content of a course, so redesigning it introduces some philosophical questions and practical challenges. This requires a substantial amount of time and effort to address.

VH: The professors are committed to help. The cost of textbooks has increased to three times the rate of inflation. This is much faster than the real estate and healthcare industry. Anything that professors can do to help students with this cost, they are willing to do.

 “It’s no secret that our students struggle to afford college. We know from surveys that many students take classes without buying the book, or they buy the book too late, do poorly or drop the course.” —Dr. Raymond Patton

 

Q: Why do the new materials give professors more flexibility in comparison with regular textbooks?

RP: The typical textbook provides structure and content to a course—some even come with assignments, tests, and quizzes. However, in my experience as a History professor, the standard survey textbooks seemed to be designed with a traditional approach in mind. I was much more interested in cultivating critical reading, thinking, and expression skills, and in engaging how memory of the past is intertwined with our understanding of the present. Textbooks are simply not designed to support what I want to do with my courses.

VH: Learning outcomes for a course should drive the instructions, not a commercial textbook. Sometimes even a free OER textbook does not entirely address the learning outcomes. I tell faculty that they may need chapters from several OER textbooks, supplemented with library resources, like e-books, journal articles and videos to create the new material.

Q: Are there any “downsides” or “pitfalls” students should be aware of when using these new “zero-text-cost” materials?

RP: Most courses redesigned as zero-text-cost use a lot of digital materials, which brings up the challenge of guiding students to become digitally literate. Engaging with and annotating a hard copy written text is an unfamiliar experience for many students, and doing so with a digital text can be even more daunting.

Q: With technology affecting every industry in the world, do you see this type of classroom learning being the future?

RP: Many textbooks are digital already, and the library reports that students use digital materials more frequently than printed copies. We know the professional world demands digital literacy. Our challenge is preparing students to critically engage with the digitalizing world. Textbooks are a “textbook case” of planned obsolescence, with new editions supplanting the previous ones as often as publishers deem possible.


City Tech Civil Engineering Professor Wins 2018 Women of Color in STEM Award

Prof. Melanie Villatoro

Melanie Villatoro, Assistant Professor of Construction Management and Civil Engineering Technology at New York City College of Technology (City Tech), will receive the Educational Leadership Award at the 23rd Women of Color STEM conference in Detroit on October 13, 2018.

According to Career Communications Group Inc. (CCG), which organizes the conference, the Women of Color STEM awards recognize outstanding women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields, focusing on the contributions they have made to address the challenges of gender harassment, gender bias, discouragement and overall lack of support in the STEM workforce. This year’s conference theme, “Press for Progress,” reflects the global push for gender parity.

National Chair of the 23rd Women of Color STEM conference Monica Emerson says, “Melanie Villatoro was selected because she is among an extraordinary group of forward-thinking STEM experts. This year the candidates were the strongest and represented the most diverse collection of professionals we have had the pleasure of evaluating.”

Villatoro enrolled at the Albert Nerken School of Engineering at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, where she was the only Hispanic student in her civil engineering class. In 2002, she graduated with her Bachelor of Engineering degree in Civil Engineering. She worked full time while pursuing her Master of Science degree, which she received from Columbia University in 2005. During her career in consulting with DMJM Harris and Langan Engineering and Environmental Services she provided engineering design services for residential and commercial  developments in the NYC area. She is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of New York.

Despite her many professional achievements, Villatoro longed for the opportunity to make a difference for New York City youth. Inspired by her brother’s dedication to NYC youth as a social worker, she obtained a civil engineering Assistant Professor position at City Tech, making her the first female Hispanic full-time faculty member in the Department of Construction Management and Civil Engineering Technology at the College. During her eight years there, Villatoro has mentored and advised many students; she has, and continues to, make a difference in many lives—inside and outside the university. Not surprisingly, given her professional accomplishments and her outstanding impact on the community, Villatoro received tenure at City Tech in 2017.

Villatoro’s approach to teaching builds on developing rapport with her students. She is highly effective in the classroom and as an advisor and mentor. She is involved in many projects within the College focused on student retention, first year experience and academic success. One of these initiatives is a grant-funded project (about $150,000 per annum) that, via career seminars for women, peer mentoring, faculty development and community outreach, aims to increase retention of female students across six departments in the School of Technology and Design. Prof. Villatoro also coordinates the Peer Led Team Learning (PLTL) program, a pedagogical approach allowing students to participate in workshops facilitated by peer leaders, and has worked with the Faculty Learning Center since 2016 to provide faculty development for her colleagues across the university.

Moreover, Villatoro is passionate about outreach in STEM from the elementary to the high school level. Her outreach events target under-represented groups in STEM, with the goal of increasing the number of diverse qualified students entering the fields of STEM, particularly engineering. For multiple years, Villatoro has secured about $80,000 in funding from the Federal Highway Administration to provide a summer program for high school students to strengthen STEM skills and provide exposure to transportation related careers. She also hosts an annual event for high school girls to provide exposure to STEM majors. In addition, since 2014, she has coordinated STEM outreach at Daniel Hale Elementary School, providing civil engineering lesson plans, afterschool programs, and family workshops to their students.

Throughout her career, Villatoro has filled leadership roles in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Metropolitan Section branch and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), NYC branch. Currently, she is the secretary of the ASCE Committee on Faculty Development, a national committee recognized as a leader in faculty development for ABET accredited civil engineering programs.


The perception of PrEP as an excuse for promiscuity

Truvada pills and bottleIn 2012, the FDA approved the use of the drug emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (‘Truvada’) as an HIV Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) to reduce the risk of HIV infection in the event of exposure. Taking daily PrEP essentially reduces the risk of HIV transmission to near zero. Since its approval, the drug’s uptake among gay and bisexual men has been met with conflict, stemming from the perceptions surrounding the drug and those who take it. Stigma has emerged associating PrEP use with sexual promiscuity. Adding to the negative perceptions, discourse in various media have likened PrEP to a ‘party drug’ with implications that users regularly engage in risky sexual behaviors.

A new study co-authored by Dr. Christian Grov, professor of Community Health and Social Sciences at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy (CUNY SPH), and Mark Pawson, doctoral candidate in Sociology at the Graduate Center of CUNY, sought to deconstruct the moral debate surrounding biomedical HIV prevention and the complex ways in which PrEP and PrEP users are defined within the gay and bisexual communities. The study examined the stereotypes attributed to PrEP users and how these stereotypes contribute to framing the use of PrEP by some as a social problem. The findings were published in Sociology of Health & Illness.

Christian Grov

Christian Grov

The study drew on discussions about PrEP in a series of focus groups with gay and bisexual men in New York City. The groups were intentionally comprised of a mix of races and HIV status in order to generate diverse dialogue. The participants were largely aware of PrEP, but not all had accurate information or were able to knowledgably discuss PrEP.

The study found that the participants who framed PrEP as a social problem tended to view PrEP users as being promiscuous, irresponsible, and naïve. They attributed PrEP to reducing condom usage and believed it was responsible for the spread of STIs among the gay and bisexual communities. Analysis of the discussions also showed some participants distinguishing between acceptable and unacceptable reasons for using the medication. “Acceptable reasons that participants offered included if someone was in a monogamous HIV serodiscordant relationship; whereas, presumed unacceptable reasons were if someone just didn’t want to use a condoms,” said Grov.  “Unfortunately, this creates a narrative implying that some people deserve highly effective protection against HIV, whereas others don’t—and the deciding factor is grounded in a moral debate about sexuality,” continued Grov.

The findings provided important insight into the norms and values that shape the perception of PrEP as being either a useful tool to prevent HIV or a harmful practice encouraging promiscuity and “irresponsible behaviors” among its users. Grov pointed out, “Both perceived and experienced stigma of PrEP users are significant barriers to PrEP uptake. Data show that the number of PrEP users has increased year-over-year since being approved, but uptake is still not commensurate with the need.” The CDC recently estimated that as many as 1-in-4 gay and bisexual men would benefit significantly from the protection PrEP provides.

Historically, HIV has been an illness loaded with social stigma and cultural meanings that have had a negative impact on the ability to diagnose, treat, and prevent its spread. This study highlights that not only is the illness stigmatized, but methods of prevention can take on social meanings affecting their effectiveness at reducing the transmission and spread of the illness. Many HIV prevention efforts depend on the social aspect of the intervention, and so it is crucial to understand the social context in which new treatments and medications are introduced. The researchers note “future studies should focus on the ways advances in pharmaceutical technologies interact and potentially clash with cultural beliefs that construct symbolic boundaries between acceptable and unacceptable sexual health practices.”

 

Pawson M, Grov C. ‘Its just an excuse to slut around’: Gay and Bisexual Mens’ Constructions of HIV Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) as a Social Problem. Sociology of Health & Illness. 2018. doi:10.1111/1467-9566.12765.


Dr. Elizabeth Geltman testifies before the EPA on it’s proposed ‘secret science’ rule

EPA building

The Environmental Protection Agency building in Washington, D.C.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently invited testimony on a new proposed rule entitled ‘Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science.” Dr. Elizabeth Geltman, a professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy (CUNY SPH), appeared before the EPA to give testimony as an expert on environmental health policy on the EPA’s proposal to eliminate all studies based on non-publicly available data from consideration in constructing health affecting environmental policy.

In her testimony, Geltman noted the EPA’s proposed rule aims to “establish a clear policy” concerning the use of dose-response data and models that underlie ‘‘pivotal regulatory science’’ and promises “to change agency culture and practices regarding data access so that the scientific justification for regulatory actions is truly available for validation and analysis.”

Elizabeth Glass Geltman

Elizabeth Geltman

However, Geltman points out, in practice the new rule just creates new regulatory hurdles by discounting and precluding consideration of long-standing, established scientific practice. Geltman warns that rather than promote the transparency of the scientific information used to create environmental regulations, the rule will obscure the democratic process, slow the pace of science and progress and potentially prevent important health data from being considered by the EPA in outlining environmental policy.

Under the proposal, the EPA would eliminate certain types of studies including those drawn from data that has not been made public. This would preclude any study involving certain types of data, for example sensitive health data that cannot be made public for ethical concerns, from consideration when outlining environmental policy. Geltman points out that many studies require people who are study subjects to share very personal information, often on the legal or ethical condition that the private medical information provided will be protected from public view.

Geltman argues that the EPA has presented no scientific reason to prevent the use of human health studies simply because the underlying medical records are not available for public inspection and review. Geltman calls for the EPA to allow consideration of all available scientific data pertinent to a proposed environmental rule or regulation, including randomly controlled human health trials and other epidemiological studies, in order to be able to make informed decisions on environmental policy that affecs health.

Geltman has over 30 years of experience working on EPA regulated matters and has authored 17 books on environmental and natural resources policy.


Food insecurity among the immigrant population of NYC

SNAP EBT sign in store windowFor over 50 years, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, has helped millions of Americans avoid hunger and improve their access to healthy and nutritious food, promoting better health outcomes and helping alleviate some of the consequences of poverty.

Recent federal policy changes and proposals are seeking to restrict the utilization of public benefits such as SNAP by select segments of the population, namely immigrants, through policies that seek to restrict immigration, and impose stringent requirements on those who receive aid through safety net programs.

A new report published by the CUNY Urban Food Policy Institute (CUFPI), an academic and research center at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy (CUNY SPH), examines how the intersection of these two trends – reducing food assistance and restricting immigration – is affecting the immigrants of New York City. According to Emilia Vignola, the lead researcher on the report and a doctoral student at CUNY SPH, the report “focuses on challenges and opportunities for action in New York” and aims to provide evidence to inform New York City and State policy affecting assistance for the food insecure, who in some cases are immigrants.

Using an online survey of 50 staff from nearly 30 immigrant-serving and anti-hunger groups in the New York area, and in-depth interviews with key informants working in those organizations, CUFPI identified factors facilitating immigrant access to food benefits at the individual, organizational, and policy levels. These factors include the availability of social networks that connect immigrants to community services, adequate language skills and cultural competency of the staff of immigrant-serving and anti-hunger organizations, and sanctuary policies. CUFPI also identified barriers at each level including immigrants’ reluctance to provide personal information to service programs, insufficient organizational outreach and education, and exclusionary public policies.

Emma Vignola

Emma Vignola

While some of these barriers and facilitators have been identified in previous research, this report finds an unprecedented level of fear and anxiety among immigrant communities. Intensified immigration enforcement, along with threats to withhold citizenship or impose charges on those who have utilized safety net programs such as SNAP are effectively reducing the protections against food insecurity and hunger for many New York City residents. “Actions and threats from the Trump administration have made many immigrants even more afraid to participate in SNAP and other essential food programs than before, even though they’re eligible for many of those benefits,” said Vignola. “This is likely going to increase hunger and food insecurity in immigrant communities around the country – unless cities and states do something about it.”

With New York City counting more food insecure people and more immigrants than any other U.S. city, federal policies targeting food assistance programs and immigration have a significant effect on the city’s residents.

The report makes several recommendations that city and state policymakers can undertake to alleviate the barriers to food assistance for immigrants. These recommendations include creating and expanding programs that bring food assistance to immigrants without requirements to provide documentation, develop multi-pronged communications and policy initiatives to reduce stigma against immigrants, strengthen the language and cultural capacity of organizations and social service agencies serving immigrant communities, and improving outreach and education initiatives to ensure all immigrants are enrolled in programs for which they are eligible and that they are fully aware of their rights. Reflecting on the opportunities for action in New York set forth in the report, Vignola noted, “Our state has one of the largest immigrant populations in the country, so we have the power to make a big impact.”

 


Baruch College’s Convocation 2018 to Welcome Largest First-Year Class in More Than 10 Years

Convocation on August 23 will kick off the College’s 50th Anniversary Celebration

Opening Ceremony for Transfer Students on August 24

Baruch College continues its tradition of formally welcoming new undergraduates to the campus community with Convocation 2018 on August 23 for first-year students, and will hold an opening ceremony for transfer students on August 24.

Convocation will officially kick off the College’s yearlong 50th anniversary celebration, which will conclude at Baruch’s Commencement ceremony in late spring 2019.

“We are thrilled to welcome more than 1,850 first-year students, along with another 1,340 transfer students, to Baruch College,” said Art King, vice president for student affairs and dean of students. “This year represents our largest class of first-year students in more than a decade.”

According to King, it is fitting that the College’s 50th anniversary coincides with the impressive number of new students choosing to attend Baruch for the 2018-19 academic year. “We want them to feel a connection to our vibrant campus community and a college that is rich in history and true to its mission.”

King added, “Convocation and the opening ceremony mark a new beginning for the students and we are eager to demonstrate Baruch’s commitment to their success in pursuing an education and achieving career goals.”

The New Family and Student Programs (NSFP) office organized Convocation 2018, and developed the new fall opening ceremony for transfer students. The office, recently established as a resource for newly enrolled undergraduates, focuses on creating a smooth transition for both students and their families.

First-Year Students: August 23

Convocation 2018 for first-year students will be held on Thursday, August 23. President Mitchel B. Wallerstein, PhD, will address the students, along with Provost and Senior Vice President for academic affairs David Christy and Dean King.

Acclaimed author and historian Russell Shorto is the guest speaker. His internationally praised book, The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony That Shaped America, has been assigned to the students. They will be discussing the text in seminar classes, which will be led by upper-class students serving as peer leaders.

A Sidney Harman Writer-in-Residence at Baruch, Shorto looks forward to speaking at Convocation.

“As a writer you want to be read; you want your work to matter and be part of the conversation,” Shorto said about The Island at the Center of the World selected to be the first-year book. “As the Sidney Harman Writer-in-Residence in the fall of 2017 I got to know many Baruch students. I found them to be intense, engaged, diverse, striving: true representatives not only of the College, but of New York.”

“Based on what I just said, above, I would love students to read the book and discover the New York roots of those qualities – intensity, engagement, diversity, a striving sensibility,” Shorto added. “They were all there in the Dutch colony of New Netherland, and its capital of New Amsterdam.”

Transfer Student Welcome – August 24

On Friday, August 24, Baruch College will hold an opening ceremony for newly admitted transfer students and their families. Dean King, NSFP staff, current transfer students, and members of the Transfer Student Organization will address the group.

A Student Affairs’ Student Services Panel will provide information about a wide range of resources and programs at Baruch. Parents can attend the question and answer workshop, and will receive information to sign up for a new parent advisory council.

First-year and transfer students can get more information on the New Family and Student Programs office webpage.

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The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery Acquires Professor Patricia Cronin’s Sculpture

Memorial to a Marriage is one of 25 pieces of art selected for an annual show highlighting the gallery’s new acquisitions.

By AUDREY M. PETERSON

<p>Department of Art Professor Patricia Cronin's bronze sculpture, <em>Memorial to a Marriage</em>.  </p>

Department of Art Professor Patricia Cronin’s bronze sculpture, Memorial to a Marriage.

 

This spring, Brooklyn College Art Professor Patricia Cronin‘s sculpture, Memorial to a Marriage (2002), has been chosen to be part of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery‘s 50th Anniversary New Acquisitions exhibition.

Called an “icon of the marriage equality movement” by the Smithsonian, the larger-than-life-size bronze shows Cronin and her partner, artist Deborah Kass, in a loving embrace. The work was created in the style of nineteenth-century mortuary sculpture.

Made at a time when Cronin and Kass could not legally wed, (they have since married), the sculpture was created as a commemoration of their relationship, as well as a critique of the lack of real (as opposed to allegorical) women in public sculpture, and the near total absence of public art by women in American cities.

“I used a ‘nationalist’ form—American Neo-Classical sculpture—to address what I saw as a federal failure,” Cronin told the Smithsonian, “and I made a double portrait funerary sculpture because the only legal protections gay people could have were wills, health care proxies, and power of attorney documents, and those didn’t celebrate our life together but the end of it.”

A two-time recipient of the Brooklyn College Tow Professorship, which provides $25,000 to the awardee in support of exceptional new and ongoing projects, Cronin gained notoriety in 1993 for “Girls” and “Boys,” two mixed-media series of Polaroids and watercolors that showed sexual intimacy from the vantage point of the participants. Since then, she has continued to explore such themes such as gay and lesbian representation, the recovery and writing of women’s history, the relationships between feminism and contemporary art, and social justice and the human condition.

Memorial to a Marriage can be viewed at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. through November 2018.


$450K grant to CCNY’s Robert Messinger to avert Fukushima-style nuclear disaster

Robert Messinger

The likelihood of a Fukushima-type nuclear meltdown in the United States could soon be radically reduced, thanks to a new nuclear safety program in development at The City College of New York by chemical engineer Robert J. Messinger. He’s the recipient of a $449,998 Faculty Development Grant from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for his research.

The grant is one of 11 awarded nationally by the Washington, D.C.-based NRC. Other recipients include noted research institutions such as MITPennsylvania State University and the University of Florida.

Messinger will establish a nuclear safety research program at City College’s Grove School of Engineering aimed at significantly improving the emergency electrical power systems of nuclear power plants. His overarching research objective will be to mitigate core damage frequency and core meltdown risks during station blackout (SBO) and extended-loss-of-alternating-current-power (ELAP) events, during which back-up power is essential to ensure core cooling and operation of critical shutdown procedures and instrumentation.

Such risks were highlighted in Fukushima, Japan, in March 2011, where sequential earthquake and tsunami events resulted in prolonged ELAP and subsequent reactor meltdown.

Messinger and his team will develop novel rechargeable aluminum and zinc batteries as advanced back-up power systems that exhibit significantly improved energy densities, power densities, maintenance testing protocols, and safety compared to the vented lead-acid batteries currently used in nuclear power plants across the United States.

He will also teach safety modules focused on emergency power systems and reactor shutdown within nuclear engineering courses at CCNY. This program will synergistically leverage and expand the scope of existing nuclear engineering and energy programs in the Grove School and the CUNY Energy Institute.

Messinger is an assistant professor of chemical engineering in CCNY’s Grove School and a core faculty member of the CUNY Energy Institute.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.

 

 

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Jay Mwamba
p: 212.650.7580
e:jmwamba@ccny.cuny.edu
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CUNY AND CITY UNIVERSITY CONSTRUCTION FUND TO HOST MWBE, SDVOB OPPORTUNITIES CONFERENCE

The City University of New York and the City University Construction Fund on August 8 will host their 10th annual business opportunities conference for companies owned by minorities, women and service-disabled veterans. This year’s conference theme, “Open Doors to New Opportunities and Relationships,” underscores CUNY’s long-held commitment to develop successful business connections with these enterprises and to encourage them to explore opportunities with the University and the fund.

CUNY and the CUCF have been dedicated to creating business partnerships with New York State-certified minority- and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses (SDVOBs) for more than a decade.  These efforts by CUNY and the CUCF are among the state’s longest-running formal outreach initiatives.

“The University’s diversity is one of our greatest strengths,” said CUNY Board of Trustees Chairperson William C. Thompson Jr. “By connecting minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses to CUNY and CUCF, we build on that strength and broaden the scope of the University’s historic objective to open the doors of opportunity to all.”

“Tapping into the full range of talent and experience that New York has to offer is common business sense,” said Interim Chancellor Vita Rabinowitz. “But more than good business, ensuring that MWBEs and SDVOBs compete for contracts speaks to the University’s foundational commitment to affording access and opportunity to all those willing to work for it.”

The daylong conference will occur from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 524 West 59th St., in Manhattan. The event is designed to assist MWBEs and SDVOBs in connecting with procurement and construction opportunities and in conducting business with the University.

The conference program is designed to help businesses develop a toolbox that will enable them to successfully pursue business with CUNY and the CUCF. Chairperson Thompson, Interim Chancellor Rabinowitz, John Jay College President Karol V. Mason, and Alphonso B. David, Counsel to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, are featured speakers.

Philip A. Berry, Acting Chairperson of the CUCF’s Board of Trustees will moderate a panel discussion of opportunities with CUNY and CUCF. Panel participants include Judith Bergtraum, Vice Chancellor for Facilities, Planning, Construction and Management; Matthew Sapienza, Senior Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer; Sandra Wilkin, CUNY Trustee; Gerald Bushell, President and CEO, Dormitory Authority of the State of New York; and Lourdes Zapata, Chief Diversity Officer, office of Gov. Cuomo.

The program includes five panel sessions, boot-camp intensives and exclusive Open Doors business meet-ups for New York State-certified M/WBEs and SDVOBs, which will enable them to make one-on-one connections with prime contractors and procurement professionals. The event also includes a Help Desk to provide real-time answers from experts and a Marketplace Exhibit Hall with over 70 public, private and nonprofit organizations that provide direct networking and new business opportunities for attendees. The full program is available online at www.cunybiz.com/program.

Registration is currently open and New York State-certified MWBEs and SDVOBs, and those that aspire to be certified, from across New York State and the tristate region, are encouraged to attend. For more information and to register, visit www.cunybiz.com

About the City University Construction Fund

The City University Construction Fund (CUCF) is the core of CUNY’s capital construction program and is responsible for more than 300 buildings across 24 colleges and professional schools. The CUCF is a public benefit corporation established by New York State to provide facilities for CUNY and to support its educational purposes. The CUCF advances design, construction and development projects for new facilities and for the ongoing renovation of existing facilities.

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in 1847, CUNY counts 13 Nobel Prize and 23 MacArthur (“Genius”) grant winners among its alumni. CUNY students, alumni and faculty have garnered scores of other prestigious honors over the years in recognition of historic contributions to the advancement of the sciences, business, the arts and myriad other fields.  The University comprises 25 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, CUNY Graduate Center, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, CUNY School of Law, CUNY School of Professional Studies and CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy.  The University serves more than 275,000 degree-seeking students. CUNY offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies.

 

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CCNY PROFESSOR LANDS $3.2 MILLION GRANT FROM NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH

Mitchell B. Schaffler, a Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering at The City College of New York’s Grove School of Engineering, was awarded a five-year, $3.2 million grant from National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Schaffler is researching the biomechanical and molecular mechanisms by which skeletal tissue, such as bones, grows strong or decays as people grow older. This new grant will fund his research into determining how changes in osteocytes – the cells that reside inside bones – contribute to the development of osteoporosis and bone fragility.

Osteoporosis and resulting bone fragility are a major public health threat affecting more that 40 million people in the United States. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, fractures resulting from osteoporosis are both dangerous to individuals – 25 percent of hip-fracture patients age 50 and over die in the year following the fracture and costly to our health care system ($19 billion annually in the U.S. alone).

“This grant by the National Institutes of Health acknowledges the significance of professor Schaffler’s work and is another example of CUNY’s dedicated faculty actively engaged in impactful scientific research with benefits that extend far beyond New York City,” said CUNY Interim Chancellor Vita C. Rabinowitz.

Schaffler’s work will build on recent discoveries by his team of researchers who found that osteocytes possess a specialized complex of proteins and membrane channels that act as mechanical sensors. With age or hormone-level shifts – such as estrogen loss by women during menopause – these sensors deteriorate.

“Bones are like muscles; you either use it or lose it,” said Schaffler, who is also the Wallace H. Coulter Professor of Biomedical Engineering and the department chair. “The cells in your bones act as mechanical sensors and grow strong due to physical activity, exercise, etc. But as you age, the cells eventually grow deaf as it were, so that they no longer respond appropriately and that can lead to bone fragility.”

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in 1847, CUNY counts 13 Nobel Prize and 23 MacArthur (“Genius”) grant winners among its alumni. CUNY students, alumni and faculty have garnered scores of other prestigious honors over the years in recognition of historic contributions to the advancement of the sciences, business, the arts and myriad other fields. The University comprises 25 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, CUNY Graduate Center, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, CUNY School of Law, CUNY School of Professional Studies and CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. The University serves more than 275,000 degree-seeking students. CUNY offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies.

 

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CCNY students join Governor Cuomo in PR recovery efforts

CCNY student Monica Martinez-Raga is one of the CUNY Service Corps-PR students helping with hurricane recovery efforts.

CCNY student Monica Martinez-Raga is one of the CUNY Service Corps-PR students helping with Hurricane Maria recovery efforts.

Colin Powell School economics major Monica Martinez-Raga, at The City College of New York, knows first hand the devastation Hurricane Maria caused. As a Puerto Rican native, Martinez-Raga was on vacation visiting her boyfriend in New York when the hurricane hit the capital of San Juan. Now, the CUNY Service Corps-PR student joins Governor Andrew M. Cuomo for a NY Stands with Puerto Rico Recovery and Rebuilding Initiative trip to support ongoing recovery efforts.

“In September 2017, I had to move to New York as a refugee from Hurricane Maria and City College was the institution that welcomed me with open arms and helped me get back on my feet,” said Martinez-Raga. “I would want nothing more than to travel back home with a mission to help those who were affected by the hurricane alongside fellow CUNY students, whose dedication to this program humbles me.”

This will be the 22-year-old’s first trip home since the hurricane hit. Two other CCNY students Karen Brito, a history and childhood education double major, and Miledys Guzman, a biomedical science major, accompany Martinez-Raga in rebuilding efforts. The students are part of the sixth cohort and start rebuilding homes on July 29 for two weeks.

“When the opportunity presented to volunteer in Puerto Rico I did not hesitate and applied,” said Brito. “I may have not had immediate family in Puerto Rico that was affected, but in situations like this we are all family, and I felt it was necessary for me to join and do anything to help our people that are still struggling almost a year after Hurricane Maria.”

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.

 

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Ashley Arocho
p: 212.650.6460
e:aarocho@ccny.cuny.edu
View CCNY Media Kit

 


Top CCNY junior Mathiu Perez Rodriguez is ACS Scholar

Mathiu Perez Rodriguez

Mathiu Perez Rodriguez, a biochemistry honors research student at The City College of New York on a summer internship at Harvard Medical School, can count another honor. The Ecuadorian immigrant joins a select number of minority undergraduates named American Chemical Society Scholars.

The national program awards renewable scholarships to outstanding undergraduates from underrepresented minority groups majoring in   chemistry-related disciplines.  Recipients must be intending to pursue careers in chemistry-related fields. Each receives up to $5,000 per academic year.

As an ACS Scholar, Mr. Perez Rodriguez will continue conducting research and maintaining high academic standards. Structural biology and biophysics are the junior’s fields of interest in City College’s Division of Science, where he is minoring in physics.

His career goal is an MD/PhD that will allow him to synergistically link patient care and groundbreaking research.

This is not the first major national honor for Mr. Perez Rodriguez, a Rego Park, Queens, resident, who has earned Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) and MARC(Maximizing Access to Research Careers) awards.

In addition, Rodriquez starts the fall 2018 semester as a City College Fellow. He is mentored by Ruth E. Stark, Distinguished Professor and chair of CCNY’s chemistry and biochemistry department.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.

 

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Jay Mwamba
p: 212.650.7580
e:jmwamba@ccny.cuny.edu
View CCNY Media Kit


Hostos Alumnus Travels to South Africa to Help Launch Prison-to-College Pipeline Program

Devon Simmons, the first graduate of the Prison-to-College Pipeline program in America, traveled to South Africa this month to help launch the program there. Simmons earned his associate degree from Hostos Community College in 2016 and graduated summa cum laude from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in May.

Learn more about Simmons and the P2CP in this NBC News report: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/education-program-inmates-south-africa-honors-nelson-mandela-s-legacy-n893166


ISTOU DIALLO (’17) WINS FULBRIGHT AWARD TO STUDY WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES IN INDIA

Istou Diallo (’17) Wins Fulbright Award to Study Women with Disabilities in India

 

Taking matters into her own hands, Istou Diallo’s (’17) own personal experience as a woman with a physical challenge has inspired her to make society more inclusive for people with disabilities. As a recent winner of a Fulbright Fellowship and graduate of John Jay College of Criminal Justice with a degree in Forensic Psychology and minor in Gender Studies, Diallo is ready to travel to India and study how women with disabilities fight against societal and political marginalization. We chatted with Diallo to learn more about her upcoming research on Indian women with disabilities.

With her Fulbright Fellowship, Diallo is extremely excited about navigating an entirely new space and culture and learning more about herself through this process. Although Diallo is anxious about the experience and the reception of her research topic, Diallo hopes to cultivate a safe and inviting space in which the women will feel comfortable disclosing their stories. To Diallo, everyone deserves to have their voice heard.

“Growing up with a physical challenge, I did not have any role models I could relate to, and so I always knew I wanted a chance to create representation for other women like myself.” —Istou Diallo

 

Diallo’s interest in how women with disabilities deal with societal and political marginalization grew from her own experiences as a woman with physical challenges and the gender studies courses she took at John Jay. “Growing up with a physical challenge, I did not have any role models I could relate to, and so I always knew I wanted a chance to create representation for other women like myself,” says Diallo. She learned of the different facets of gender—ranging from black femininity to perceptions of sexuality—and the intersectionality of psychology and gender. “I observed that there was a pervasive concern to inclusiveness. However, the concept of ‘ableism’ was seldom mentioned, if at all. There my curiosity bloomed and I knew it was important to get the conversation started on disability,” says Diallo.

In terms of social justice, Diallo believes the biggest challenges people with disabilities face both abroad and in the U.S. is the pervasive invisibility and erasure from conversations concerning social justice. “It is these very conversations that commence awareness to the public and if people with disabilities are not able to voice their unique concerns and add to the fruitfulness that makes a person, then they will continue suffering in silence,” says Diallo.

“I observed that there was a pervasive concern to inclusiveness. However, the concept of ‘ableism’ was seldom mentioned, if at all. There my curiosity bloomed and I knew it was important to get the conversation started on disability.”—Istou Diallo

 

Diallo was not alone in her journey to success. She felt that her experience at John Jay had prepared her in a variety of ways through the support she received from professors and faculty, the diverse courses she took, and the experiences she gained through internship programs, such as the CUNY Service Corps. Her study abroad experience to Cape Town, South Africa in January 2017 also contributed greatly to her research preparation, as it took her out of her comfort zones. “I learned different methods used towards dismantling of apartheid, and it really made me look at healing in a different light,” says Diallo. She realized that healing happens in different ways, yet the universal first step always lies in active acknowledgement through open conversation—whether it be healing from an injustice such as apartheid, or in the case of her research, healing the community of Indian women with disabilities.

Of course, starting such a project was not easy. “When I first got to John Jay I wasn’t too sure about how my educational career would pan out, but I was determined to seek out everything that interested me. This happened through the courses I took, the events I attended and the internships I applied for,” said Diallo. “I urge all future and current students to not get too committed to a picture perfect college career, but to explore all around you. It is in those moments that you find your passion and I hope you all do.”

 


SCHOOL SAFETY SUMMIT PROVIDES CRISIS SITUATION INFORMATION

School Safety Summit Provides Crisis Situation Information

Columbine, Virginia Tech, Fort Hood Army Base, Aurora Movie Theater, Sandy Hook Elementary, Emanuel AME Church, Pulse Nightclub, Las Vegas Outdoor Concert, and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida—the ever-growing list of active shooter situations in our country is staggering and sobering. The School Safety Summit held at John Jay on July 16th, co-sponsored by the John Jay College Department of Public Safety and the New York Office of the FBI, brought together some of the country’s leading experts on crisis situations, aiming to empower the John Jay community with information on: behavior indicators, threat assessment, tactical response, first aid, victim assistance, vertical terrorism, crisis management, and media relations.

“It’s not easy for us to imagine that our community might be in harm’s way, but with the mass shootings in schools, theaters, churches and workplaces, it’s responsible and essential for us to talk about these issues head on.” —President Karol V. Mason

 

“It’s not easy for us to imagine that our community might be in harm’s way, but with the mass shootings in schools, theaters, churches and workplaces, it’s responsible and essential for us to talk about these issues head on,” said President Karol V. Mason as she opened the event. “This School Safety Summit isn’t about fear, it’s about knowledge. Today’s speakers from the FBI and the New York City Fire Department are here to empower our community with information on how to avoid, handle and survive active shooter situations.”

Diego Redondo, Director of Public Safety & Risk Management; Angela Jackson, FBI Victim Specialist; Karol V. Mason, President; Barbara Daly, FBI Special Agent

Left to right, Diego Redondo, Director of Public Safety & Risk Management; Angela Jackson, FBI Victim Specialist; Karol V. Mason, President; Barbara Daly, FBI Special Agent 

Manage a Person of Concern
One of John Jay’s own, Special Agent Barbara Daly (’02), who has been involved with active shooter research and education since 2007, started the event off with an assessment presentation. “After the events of February 14th2018 at Parkland, Florida, the FBI is inundated with requests to see these types of presentations,” said Agent Daly. She told the audience that it was the FBI’s responsibility to share threat assessment and behavioral indicator information with the public. “You can’t arrest someone just for thinking about doing something. We have to figure out creative ways to interrupt the ‘pathway to violence.’”

“We don’t have a crystal ball. I cannot tell you who’s going to become violent in any scenario. But based on red flag behaviors and warning signs, maybe we can prevent some of these things from happening.” —Barbara Daly, FBI Special Agent

 

Agent Daly cited the “pathway to violence” in six progressive steps developed by Fein and Fosskuil from the United States Secret Service: 1. Grievance, 2. Ideation, 3. Research & Planning, 4. Preparation, 5. Breach, 6. Attack. “We see that these folks are thinking about a possible attack for years in advance sometimes. So that gives us a lot of opportunities to spot these red-flag behaviors, and report them to the appropriate folks,” she said. In most of the crisis situation cases (81%) people around the active shooter noticed these behaviors, but didn’t report them. “Maybe they didn’t know who to tell. Maybe they didn’t want to seem like a snitch. Maybe they didn’t take it seriously,” Agent Daly said, but she noted that their information can be critically important in preventing a crisis situation.

FBI Special Agent Barbara Daly presenting to the audience

                                       FBI Special Agent Barbara Daly presenting to the audience 

                                                      

Seeing the Signs
Agent Daly showed the audience many statistics on active shooters—for example 94% of the offenders were male—but cautioned against profile thinking. Instead, she shared certain common signs that occurred before most crisis situations. Looking at many active shooters, Daly presented these indicators: prone to outbursts of anger, behavioral issues, mental health history, and a grievance or loss—which can be a triggering behavior.

Agent Daly went on to describe what the FBI call “brittle people.” These are individuals that are: unable to withstand slights or rejections, have feelings of persecution or alienation (real or perceived), and are outsiders. Many active shooters express these feelings long before they commit any acts of violence. “We don’t have a crystal ball. I cannot tell you who’s going to become violent in any scenario. But based on red flag behaviors and warning signs, maybe we can prevent some of these things from happening.”

For more information about Active Shooter Preparedness, click here.

For more information about FBI Behavioral Analysis, click here.


JOHN JAY STUDENTS PARLAY THE CUNY SPANISH STUDENTS’ CONGRESS INTO A SCHOLARSHIP WIN

John Jay Students Parlay the CUNY Spanish Students’ Congress Into A Scholarship Win

Sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone can have a big payoff. And, that’s exactly what Assistant Professor María Julia Rossi’s students found out after attending and speaking at the first CUNY Spanish Students’ Congress on May 5th. “Public presentations, such as symposiums and conferences, are a very important part of our profession as scholars,” says Rossi, who teaches in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. “It matters when you’re seeking a job or starting your career as a scholar. I really wanted my students to benefit from this experience.” After persuading her students to use their Spanish speaking skills at the symposium, Rossi was pleasantly surprised with their extremely professional presentations. We spoke with a few of them to learn more about their symposium experience and subsequent scholarship win.

“We practiced a lot before the event. And, they made a lot of mistakes during practice. But at the symposium, not a single mistake, just professional presentations that impressed everyone there,” —Assistant Professor Maria Julia Rossi, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

 

The CUNY Spanish Students’ Congress
At the symposium Melanie Chiluisa, a junior double majoring in Criminology and Spanish Latin American Literatures and Cultures, presented a story she wrote herself titled “Christina.” “The piece was influenced by my own experiences with my parents’ divorce. I just made a few adjustments to dramatize it more, but I kept it realistic,” says Chiluisa. “I had translated the piece from English to Spanish, and while I was reading the story, all I could think about was not messing up, not stuttering, and just getting through each page.”

Byron Sandoval, a junior majoring in Computer Science and Information Security, also presented his own writing in Spanish at the congress. “The story is called ‘Ouroboros’ and it’s about a girl that recounts various events that happened in a fictional Latin American town,” says Sandoval. “Reading my story, I was nervous at first. I had never presented something as personal as my short stories to anyone other than my professor before. But after I went through the first page, I felt very calm and excited to be in the moment.”

After all of her students presented at the congress, Rossi couldn’t conceal her pride. “We practiced a lot before the event. And they made a lot of mistakes during practice,” says Rossi. “But at the symposium, not a single mistake, just professional presentations that impressed everyone there.”

“Reading my story, I was nervous at first. I had never presented something as personal as my short stories to anyone other than my professor before. But after I went through the first page, I felt very calm and excited to be in the moment.”— Byron Sandoval (’20)

 

The Scholarship Possibilities 
After the success at the CUNY Spanish Students’ Congress, Rossi suggested that her students apply for the Undergraduate Research/ Creativity Assistant Scholarship. Initially, many of them didn’t think they could apply because their work was fiction writing. But Rossi explained that fiction writing was just as scholarly as any other work, and pushed them out of their comfort zones once again. Both Chiluisa and Sandoval applied and won $1,000 for research on their work. “I was already working on other short stories, and the idea to expand the compilation to Salvadoran literature came up because of this scholarship,” says Sandoval.

The Work Ahead
Now that he has won the scholarship, Sandoval plans on doing research inspired by his original short story. “I plan to do two-fold work. I will keep writing short stories similar to ‘Ouroboros,’ and the second part will be a study through an aesthetic of Salvadoran writers,” says Sandoval.

“One of the biggest obstacles to achieving something is your own doubts—doubting yourself and your writing. But without taking the risks, how would you know if you’re any good?”—Byron Sandoval (’20)

 

Also influenced by the piece she presented at the symposium, Chiluisa is planning on writing fictional short stories that she’ll translate from English to Spanish. “Similar to the process I used for the symposium, I want to translate these pieces into Spanish. The results from these auto-translations can show the obstacles faced by Latin American self-translators. It’s an underrepresented field, and I want to know why,” says Chiluisa.

The entire experience helped the students realize that sometimes it’s important to push past your fears and be confident in your work and in yourself. “One of the biggest obstacles to achievement is your own doubts—doubting yourself and your writing,” says Sandoval. “But without taking the risks, how would you know if you’re any good?”


Dean El-Mohandes speaks at Mandela Day celebration

Dr. Ayman El-Mohandes speaking at a Mandela Day event

Honoring the centennial of Nelson Mandela’s birth on July 18, the South African SinomusaNothando Community Development organization, now based in New York city, hosted a dialogue at the Metropolitan College of New York to explore the lessons learned from Mandela’s life and work, and how to apply those lessons today.

As the guest speaker, Dr. Ayman El-Mohandes, dean of the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy (CUNY SPH), recounted his experience introducing a Master’s in Public Health program at Medunsa University in Pretoria, South Africa in 1997. Dr. El-Mohandes noted that in the course of implementing the public health program, he realized there was a remarkable hunger for education in South Africa, and that thirst for knowledge didn’t match the dismal transcripts that he was receiving from applicants to the program. Despite an eagerness to learn, the consistently low academic scores among certain student groups alluded to the widespread, systemic racism in South Africa.

Dr. El-Mohandes emphasized the need to continue investing in education for the benefit of all. “The strongest weapon against injustice is education,” said Dr. El-Mohandes, echoing the social justice mindset of Mandela’s life’s work.

 


Perceptions of Pap screenings in relation to the HPV vaccine

Digital representation of cervical cancer

Cervical cancer, the second most common cancer affecting women worldwide, is caused by infection with the Human papillomavirus (HPV), which is transmitted sexually. Reflecting the wide reach of the HPV virus, it has been estimated that over 80% of sexually active females will be infected with HPV in their lifetimes. While HPV infection is often harmless, clearing up on its own, persistent infection can lead to development of cervical cancer.

A development in the prevention of cervical cancer in women in Australia was the introduction of the HPV vaccine, which was made available to young women as part of a national school-based vaccination program in 2007. Despite this medical advancement, regular Pap screening is still required to provide optimal protection from cervical cancer.

At the time of this study, participation in Pap screenings among Australian women had been declining steadily since 1996. The introduction of the National HPV Vaccination Program in Australia in 2007 raised concerns that the declining rates of Pap screening participation among young women would be exacerbated by the availability and promotion of the vaccine. However, a survey conducted in 2009 showed that 96% of vaccinated women aged 18-28 years knew that Pap screening was still suggested after vaccination. More recent data suggests that knowledge of the need for screening did not translate into corresponding screening-seeking behavior.

Spring Cooper

Spring Cooper

Dr. Spring Cooper, a professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy, led a recent study that explored the extent of knowledge among young women in Australia on HPV, HPV vaccinations, and Pap screening guidelines. The study aimed to identify the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors influencing young women’s participation in Pap screenings. The findings were published in the International Journal of Women’s Health and Reproductive Sciences.

Cooper and her team conducted semi-structured interviews with 12 women who had been in school and offered the HPV vaccination through the Australian National HPV Vaccination Program. The transcripts of the interviews were analyzed and recurring barriers and facilitators to seeking Pap screenings were identified. Psychological barriers, the most frequently cited barrier amongst the participants, refer to self-limiting beliefs such as a mental reluctance to seek the Pap screening, or a reluctance to disrobe in front of a doctor for the examination. The other barriers included concern about the physical discomfort involved, lack of time, lack of information about where to access a Pap screening, and concerns about the potential costs involved. On the other hand, several facilitators were identified that encouraged the participants to seek screenings. These included focusing on the long-term benefit of screening, maternal support, discussions with friends, having an established relationship with a regular doctor with whom they felt comfortable discussing the issue, and previous Pap screening experience.

The study found that all of the participants understood that Pap screening was necessary regardless of vaccination status. Despite this knowledge, the adherence to the guidelines for screening varied due to a range of barriers and facilitators. The participants themselves made several recommendations in the course of the interviews for encouraging young women to adhere to the Pap screening guidelines. The recommendations included increasing knowledge, improving education, reducing stigma, and improving accessibility to screenings.

With cervical cancer being one of the most common forms of cancer affecting young women, an increased understanding of and adherence to the recommended preventive measures to reduce risk is crucial to decreasing rates of morbidity and mortality from cervical cancer. The authors point out that the findings from this study have implications for the development of interventions to ensure adherence to Pap screening guidelines is maintained in both vaccinated and unvaccinated women in Australia.

 

Cooper S, Bezzina L, Fletcher H. Perceptions of Pap screening in a context of HPV vaccination. International Journal of Women’s Health and Reproductive Sciences. 2018;6(3):240-247. doi:10.15296/ijwhr.2018. 41.


Perceptions of Pap screenings in relation to the HPV vaccine

Digital representation of cervical cancer

Cervical cancer, the second most common cancer affecting women worldwide, is caused by infection with the Human papillomavirus (HPV), which is transmitted sexually. Reflecting the wide reach of the HPV virus, it has been estimated that over 80% of sexually active females will be infected with HPV in their lifetimes. While HPV infection is often harmless, clearing up on its own, persistent infection can lead to development of cervical cancer.

A development in the prevention of cervical cancer in women in Australia was the introduction of the HPV vaccine, which was made available to young women as part of a national school-based vaccination program in 2007. Despite this medical advancement, regular Pap screening is still required to provide optimal protection from cervical cancer.

At the time of this study, participation in Pap screenings among Australian women had been declining steadily since 1996. The introduction of the National HPV Vaccination Program in Australia in 2007 raised concerns that the declining rates of Pap screening participation among young women would be exacerbated by the availability and promotion of the vaccine. However, a survey conducted in 2009 showed that 96% of vaccinated women aged 18-28 years knew that Pap screening was still suggested after vaccination. More recent data suggests that knowledge of the need for screening did not translate into corresponding screening-seeking behavior.

Spring Cooper

Spring Cooper

Dr. Spring Cooper, a professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy, led a recent study that explored the extent of knowledge among young women in Australia on HPV, HPV vaccinations, and Pap screening guidelines. The study aimed to identify the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors influencing young women’s participation in Pap screenings. The findings were published in the International Journal of Women’s Health and Reproductive Sciences.

Cooper and her team conducted semi-structured interviews with 12 women who had been in school and offered the HPV vaccination through the Australian National HPV Vaccination Program. The transcripts of the interviews were analyzed and recurring barriers and facilitators to seeking Pap screenings were identified. Psychological barriers, the most frequently cited barrier amongst the participants, refer to self-limiting beliefs such as a mental reluctance to seek the Pap screening, or a reluctance to disrobe in front of a doctor for the examination. The other barriers included concern about the physical discomfort involved, lack of time, lack of information about where to access a Pap screening, and concerns about the potential costs involved. On the other hand, several facilitators were identified that encouraged the participants to seek screenings. These included focusing on the long-term benefit of screening, maternal support, discussions with friends, having an established relationship with a regular doctor with whom they felt comfortable discussing the issue, and previous Pap screening experience.

The study found that all of the participants understood that Pap screening was necessary regardless of vaccination status. Despite this knowledge, the adherence to the guidelines for screening varied due to a range of barriers and facilitators. The participants themselves made several recommendations in the course of the interviews for encouraging young women to adhere to the Pap screening guidelines. The recommendations included increasing knowledge, improving education, reducing stigma, and improving accessibility to screenings.

With cervical cancer being one of the most common forms of cancer affecting young women, an increased understanding of and adherence to the recommended preventive measures to reduce risk is crucial to decreasing rates of morbidity and mortality from cervical cancer. The authors point out that the findings from this study have implications for the development of interventions to ensure adherence to Pap screening guidelines is maintained in both vaccinated and unvaccinated women in Australia.

 

Cooper S, Bezzina L, Fletcher H. Perceptions of Pap screening in a context of HPV vaccination. International Journal of Women’s Health and Reproductive Sciences. 2018;6(3):240-247. doi:10.15296/ijwhr.2018. 41.


Urban food pantries – an unreliable resource for the food insecure

Bronx food pantry

A food pantry in the Bronx

In 2016, over 15.6 million U.S. households experienced food insecurity at some point, meaning at least one member of the household had limited access to adequate food due to lack of money or other resources. For those who are food insecure, food pantries can be a vital resource for accessing food and meeting basic nutritional requirements. Pantries usually receive food and drink from food banks – large non-profit organizations that purchase, collect, and store foods from a variety of sources such as manufacturers, wholesalers, and government agencies, which they then distribute to families in need. While food banks may provide some central organization for pantries, the pantries themselves operate individually. Each pantry can set their own standards about who they serve, how they serve, and what they make available to their food-insecure clients. This variability in operational standards can lead to differences in access to food across pantries.

Andrew Maroko

Dr. Andrew Maroko

A study co-authored by Dr. Andrew Maroko, a professor of Environmental, Occupational, and Geospatial Health Sciences at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy (CUNY SPH) examined the five dimensions of access in a sample of 50 food pantries in the Bronx borough of New York City: food item availability, accessibility of the pantry by clients, accommodation of food preferences and restrictions, affordability, and the acceptability of the quality of the food offered. “We aimed to take a nuanced look at access to food pantries, which is a potentially important source of nutrition for those who are food insecure,” said Maroko. The findings from the study were published in the Journal of Community Health.

Analysis of the data revealed three main findings. The first finding was that the pantries were not reliably open limiting accessibility to them. Only about half of the pantries were open during the hours listed in an online directory, and several had had prolonged or indefinite closures. The second finding showed that even when pantries were open, all five access dimensions showed deficiencies such as limited inventory, few hours during which the pantry was accessible, food handouts were pre-selected without consideration of preferences, opportunity costs, and items being offered were of inferior-quality. The third finding was that open pantries frequently had insufficient food supply to meet client demand. Maroko noted that due to the mismatch between food supply and demand at the pantries, rules and informal “work-arounds” were often developed, leading to increased unpredictability of the access to and quality of food at pantries. Adherence to the rules versus implementation of informal work-arounds was worker- and situation-dependent and added to the unpredictability of food provisions at the pantries observed in the study.

The overarching finding of the study was that pantry food was an unreliable resource for those who were food insecure. Maroko and the investigators note that future research should explore the drivers of mismatched food supply and demand at pantries to create more predictable, reliable, and adequate food provision.

 

Ginsburg, Z. A., Bryan, A. D., Rubinstein, E. B., Frankel, H. J., Maroko, A. R., Schechter, C. B., Cooksey Stowers, K., Lucan, S. C. (2018). Unreliable and Difficult-to-Access Food for Those in Need: A Qualitative and Quantitative Study of Urban Food Pantries. Journal of Community Health. doi:10.1007/s10900-018-0549-2

 


Kupferberg Center’s Live at the Gantries Offers a Line-Up of Local and Diverse Performers

July18, 2018 (Queens, NY) – Experience the wonderful world of Queens in your own backyard at Long Island City’s Live at the Gantries, a summer concert series hosted by Kupferberg Center for the Arts at Queens College. Live at the Gantries highlights local and diverse talents that represent the communities and cultures in Queens.

This summer’s program includes acclaimed performers from a variety of musical backgrounds, including jazz, rock, hip-hop, folk, and pop.

FDR Drive’s extensive repertoire knows no boundaries. On July 24 the group will play a medley of genres that includes current dance hits, Motown, R&B, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, rock, pop hits, and swing.

Founded in 1998 by artistic director Valerie Green, Dance Entropy is a professional not-for-profit modern dance company. On July 31 the eight-member dance troupe will explore themes such as traditions of culture and notions of self. Dance Entropy has engaged with at-risk youth, adolescents, the chronically ill, trauma survivors, immigrants, senior citizens, and aspiring/professional dancers.

Indian musician Maestro Khan is committed to having his music reach broad audiences. On August 7 the multi-instrumentalist will masterfully blend Indian classical and folk music, flamenco, and jazz with the sitar, keyboard, and guitar, among other instruments. Maestro Khan has performed alongside Ray Charles in Germany and with Stevie Wonder at the Bonaroo Music and Arts Festival.

On August 14 the Bartlett Band with the Next Generation Sound will perform “From Bebop to Hip-Hop,” featuring music from Frank Sinatra to Justin Timberlake, from Madonna to Lady Gaga, from Earth, Wind & Fire to Bruno Mars, and more.

On August 21 the dynamic Chuck Braman Quintet will perform. The Quintet draws inspiration from the compositions of trumpeter Kenny Dorham, saxophonist Joe Henderson, and others who were featured on classic Blue Note recordings of the 1960s. Drummer-bandleader Chuck Braman has performed at jazz clubs like Birdland, the Cornelia Street Cafe, the 55 Bar, and for virtually every summer concert organization in New York City, including Heart of Brooklyn (Brooklyn Botanical Gardens), Sunset on the Hudson, and Summer in the Square.

On August 28 Grammy-nominated percussionist Felipe Fournier will pay tribute to the late, great New Yorker Tito Puente, a giant of Latin jazz percussion. Puente, who rose to fame with his early mambo recordings, is best known for his groundbreaking work with the shallow drums known as timbales.

For more information about Live at the Gantries, visit http://kupferbergcenter.org/live-at-the-gantries/ or call the box office at 718-793-8080.

About Kupferberg Center for the Arts
Sponsored by New York Community Bank, the Kupferberg Presents 2018-2019 season features a vibrant lineup of world-class cultural events, concerts, and family programs at Colden Auditorium, LeFrak Concert Hall, Goldstein Theatre, and select off-campus locations for the 2.2 million residents of New York City’s most diverse borough. Since 1961 Kupferberg Center for the Arts has provided accessible and affordable cultural entertainment to the NYC region. From classical and pop performances, to concerts and school residences, to a wide range of family events, over 350,000 individuals attend events at Kupferberg Center for the Arts each year. For tickets and information, visit www.kupferbergcenter.org or call the box office at (718) 793-8080. Box office hours are Tuesday through Friday, noon–6 pm, Saturday, 10 am–2 pm, and up to one hour prior to all performances.

Event Directions
Subway: 7 train to Vernon/Jackson (first stop in Queens). Walk west toward the river on 50th Avenue.
Ferry: East River Ferry to Hunters Point. Walk north on 2nd Street.

For more about Queens college, visit http://www.qc.cuny.edu/Pages/home.aspx

Contact:
Maria Matteo
Office of Communications
Assistant Director, News Services
718-997-5593
maria.matteo@qc.cuny.edu


Professor Matthew Burgess Is PUMPed About His Latest Collaborative Public Art Project

Burgess’s vision, the Poetry Urban Mural Project (PUMP), is bringing communities of students, scholars, and artists together to create public works that transform the aesthetic of the city one wall at a time.

By ROBERT JONES JR.

Led by their English teacher Natalie Nuzzo ’11, ’13 M.A., the eighth-grade students of David A. Boody I.S. 228 gather for the unveiling of the latest Poetry Urban Mural Project (PUMP) based on their collaborative poem, ‘Where We’re From.’ Time-lapse video shows how artist Josh Cochran transformed their words into images. PUMP is the vision of Brooklyn College Assistant Professor Matthew Burgess ’01 M.F.A. Video by Salim Hasbini.

An upside-down rainbow. A caterpillar wearing a hat. An anthropomorphic dog jogging beside an astronaut. These are just some of the elements that make up art of the latest Poetry Urban Mural Project (PUMP), the visionary creation of Brooklyn College Department of English Assistant Professor Matthew Burgess ’01 M.F.A. The vibrant mural takes up an entire wall between two doorways inside David A. Boody Intermediate School 228 in Gravesend, Brooklyn. The artist, Josh Cochran, designed it in response to poems written by eighth-grade English students taught by Natalie Nuzzo ’11, ’13 M.A. It is a precise example of the collaboration and conversation between literature and the visual arts that Burgess envisioned when he dreamed up the idea.

“There is a certain frequency that Josh’s artwork emits when you look at it,” Burgess says of the mural, the second one created through PUMP. The first, at the Elias Howe School-P.S. 51 in Manhattan, was a resounding success and made Burgess eager to continue the work at another location. “It transmits something of the energy that went into its creation.”

PUMP is the culmination of Burgess’s academic and artistic aspirations. It doesn’t yet have a formal, repeatable structure, but Burgess is trying to find both the time and resources to make that happen, and also get the word out about the potential of the project. Merging two passions, art and poetry, he seeks to create and transform public spaces into something that speaks to—and hopefully inspires—the larger community. And what is created is its own kind of beauty, with both a mature seriousness and a clear childlike whimsy (“serious play” is a hallmark of Burgess’ teaching strategy), something that recalls the innocence of childhood even as it speaks to the realities that children in urban spaces have to regularly navigate. The latter, in particular, is a political statement that sometimes inspires criticism of the project.

<p>Brooklyn College Assistant Professor of English Matthew Burgess '01 M.F.A. stands in front of the work of artist and collaborator Josh Cochran, a mural that is a part of Burgess' Poetry Urban Mural Project (PUMP). Photo by Craig Stokle.</p>

Brooklyn College Assistant Professor of English Matthew Burgess ’01 M.F.A. stands in front of the work of artist and collaborator Josh Cochran, a mural that is a part of Burgess’ Poetry Urban Mural Project (PUMP). Photo by Craig Stokle.“These murals do not please everyone,” Burgess says. “Transforming a blank wall into a work of art can be a political act. They make a statement about what we value. So it’s not simple. Some people like walls. Our current administration likes walls. When you paint on a wall, and you paint something vibrant, colorful, exuberant, joyful, and unifying—that will irk some people. Some are interested in dividing and separating and keeping things uniform. These murals challenge that desire. They are celebrations of imagination and aliveness.”

Burgess, a Southern California native deeply inspired by the works of artist Keith Haring and poet E. E. Cummings, began exploring the relationship between poetry and the visual arts while taking word and image courses at Naropa University. Burgess previously published a children’s book on the life of Cummings titled, Enormous Smallness: A Story of E. E. Cummings and is currently collaborating with Josh Cochran on a picture book about the life of Haring to be released in fall 2019. Burgess says he further developed interest in teaching poetry to young people, which he says “electrified” him, when he came to Brooklyn College and participated in programs which exposed high school students to poetry.

“I’ve always had these parallel interests—an ongoing question about ‘Do I want to be an artist or a writer?’ And so that duality, and how the elements of this project intersect, has been in me for a long time.”

<p>At P.S. 51, students sit and contemplate PUMP's first mural project based on their collaborative poem. Photo by Matthew Burgess.</p>

At P.S. 51, students sit and contemplate PUMP’s first mural project based on their collaborative poem. Photo by Matthew Burgess.Reading the works of poet Frank O’Hara, who wrote extensively about his observations of life in New York, along with uncovering that famed poet Allen Ginsberg taught at Brooklyn College, inspired Burgess to move to the city and enroll in the college’s M.F.A. program in creative writing, focusing on poetry.

“The city was calling out to me and I had friends here. So I drove across the country in my mint-green Jetta that my sister gave me and I came to New York.”

In the program, Burgess got to work with some of the greatest poetic minds in the field, including Ron Padgett, Louis S. Asekoff, and Julie Agoos, while also teaching undergraduate English composition as an adjunct. He also began teaching poetry in public elementary schools through Teachers & Writers Collaborative. “I felt a sense of recognition,” Burgess says about walking into his composition classroom at Brooklyn College to teach for the first time. “I was terrified, but I was also struck by how at home I felt. And I thought to myself: ‘This is my purpose.'”

In 2009, Burgess received his appointment as full-time lecturer, and he completed his doctorate in literature at the CUNY Graduate Center. He went on to teach a wide range of courses in the Department of English, including poetry writing, modern British poetry and fiction, advanced exposition, and postmodern American poetry.

The dynamic of going back and forth between teaching elementary school students and college students raised several questions for Burgess. For younger children, he discovered, writing is oftentimes an adventure, while for young adults, it can feel like a chore. Burgess sought ways in which to reignite the former’s spirit of adventure in the latter.

“PUMP creates this encounter and exchange between artists and young people. The artists are individuals who have survived those challenges and obstacles to our creative development—and they’ve succeeded in making creativity central to their daily lives. So the kids get to meet a ‘grown up’ who places enormous value on the imagination, and the artist, by meeting the kids and reading their poetry, reconnects vicariously to their own experiences as a child. They might remember where they came from, and some of that energy might find its way into the mural.”

<p>An award-winning educator, Nuzzo took what she learned from Burgess and, with the help of Burgess, Cochran, and her students, transformed the ordinary into the complex. Photo by Craig Stokle.</p>

An award-winning educator, Nuzzo took what she learned from Burgess and, with the help of Burgess, Cochran, and her students, transformed the ordinary into the complex. Photo by Craig Stokle.This approach to pedagogy had a profound effect on Natalie Nuzzo, a former student of Burgess’s. Nuzzo, author of Color Is Dangerous: Equity Through Arts Based Literacy, which will be published with Peter Lang in 2019, started her academic career as a health and nutrition major, but slowly began to reconnect with her childhood desire to teach, which led her to change her area of study to English secondary education.

“I became reinterested in teaching because I had a number of great professors in the English Department,” Nuzzo says. “The subject matter simply became more relevant to my goals and what I wanted to achieve to make an impact on society and to help shape young people, empower them, and help them become critical thinkers.”

She says that her course with Burgess, an introduction to poetry class, was another pivotal moment in her education, reintroducing her to her love of the subject. “He exposed me to the fact that there’s this conversation between art and literature—which was something I think, in my subconscious or cellular memory, I knew, but he was just so explicit and direct in saying, ‘Okay, pair a picture with this poem that you wrote. Go look for a photograph or a painting that best brings to life the ideas you are expressing in your work.”

Even after Nuzzo graduated with both undergraduate and graduate degrees from the college, she and Burgess kept in touch and continued to share ideas and have conversations about these interdisciplinary notions. Out of these discussions came the idea of creating PUMP’s second mural, this time at the school Nuzzo had been teaching at since graduating: I.S. 228.

Nuzzo is a featured academic in PBS’s ‘Understanding LGBTQ+ Identity: A Toolkit for Educators,’ which ‘offers a series of digital media resources to help administrators, guidance counselors, and educators understand and effectively address the complex and difficult issues faced by LGBTQ students.’

Nuzzo is also an adjunct lecturer in Brooklyn College’s English secondary education program. Part of the City University of New York Counseling Assistantship Program (CUNYCAP), Nuzzo worked at the college’s Women’s Center while enrolled as a graduate student. At the center, Nuzzo helped bring activist and poet Staceyann Chin to campus.

“To create a mural like the one we’ve created takes a lot of planning, coordination, and other skills that I had a bit of, but really sharpened when I worked for the Women’s Center. That was where I learned the project management skills that aided me in helping to pull this together.”

Nuzzo, an award-winning educator and a PBS LearningMedia Master Teacher, who recently helped the network promote its “Understanding LGBTQ+ Identity: A Toolkit for Educators,” gathered over 20 of her students, eighth graders who essentially gave up their lunch period, to participate in the poetry exercises that would result in the collaborative poem, “Where We’re From.” This poem served as the starting point and inspiration for Cochran’s mural design. One of the students who participated was thirteen-year-old Mahmoud Ali.

<p>Burgess, Mamoud Ali, and Nuzzo are all smiles in front of the mural that exemplifies joint effort. Photo by Craig Stokle.</p>

Burgess, Mamoud Ali, and Nuzzo are all smiles in front of the mural that exemplifies joint effort. Photo by Craig Stokle.

Bright-eyed, sure-footed, and hefting the weight of his backpack, Ali is a ball of infectious energy. He introduces himself with a firm handshake and some small talk about the World Cup games. He says he was rooting for the underdog Egyptian team as they represented his homeland—which he left with his family when he was five years old, but visits regularly. Mid-conversation, he darts off down the hall, and enters a classroom just across from the mural.  He emerges from the classroom with a look of relief and excitement on his face.

“I got a 97!” he exclaims, pumping his fist and generously giving a pound to any extended, congratulatory fist. He had just received his score on the Math Regents Exam. He is pleased because he is interested in the STEM fields and wants to become a surgeon—or perhaps a politician; he has not yet decided for certain. It is curious, then, how a left-brained thinker might come to be interested in such a right-brained activity as PUMP.

“I kind of really like poetry because it allows you to express yourself with words that rhyme and have deep meaning to them,” says Ali.

Ali’s poem, “Life in Egypt,” sought to articulate the aspects of his life as a Muslim Egyptian that are often overlooked, unheard, and unseen in the larger cultural narratives.

<p>Ali looks at the PUMP mural on the wall at his school, admiring how it interpreted the poetry he and his classmates wrote. Photo by Craig Stokle.</p>

Ali looks at the PUMP mural on the wall at his school, admiring how it interpreted the poetry he and his classmates wrote. Photo by Craig Stokle.

“Like anywhere else, there is a class system in Egypt, where the less money and resources you have, the more you suffer. Life can get really hard. But for a kid, it’s relatively easy because all you have to do is go to school. Although, a school day begins at seven in the morning and ends at seven at night. So you only have time to come home eat, do homework, go to bed, and then start the whole process over again.”

Ali does see a bit of his poem represented in the mural itself just in the way that it interprets the everyday as well as the aspirations of those who reside in particular urban landscapes.

“The fact that one mural can take over 20 people’s different ideas and ways of seeing things, and bring it together so neatly is helpful and hopeful—helpful because it illustrates visually each of our experiences for anyone who looks at it and hopeful because it shows that even though there are so many diverse points of view, we can still find common ground.”

 

 

Contact: Ernesto Mora | 212.662.9939 | emora@brooklyn.cuny.edu


CCNY MFA students win film awards

Four of the MFA Film Program student award winners. From left: Vivian Rivas, Jiage Tong, Emmanuel Adu Poku and Rituparna Das Datta.

 

Nine current and recent students from the MFA Film Program at The City College of New York are recipients of awards and scholarships for their short documentary and fiction films.

CCNY’s film program was founded in 1941 by Dada artist and filmmaker Hans Richter as the Institute for Film Techniques. Notable names in the film industry past and present to emerge from the program include Woody Allen, Judd Hirsch, Stanley Kubrick, Jackie Mason, Richard Schiff, Eli Wallach and Ben Gazzara.

The students and their awards are:

Rituparna Das Datta and Sarah Wemy each received a New York Women in Film & Television NYWIFT Ha Phuong Scholarship. Ritu, Class of 2018, received the scholarship in recognition of her short fiction thesis film “Canvas,” and Sarah (‘19) will use the scholarship toward the production of her thesis documentary, “Once in a Lifetime.”

Cyprien Kodjo (’18) won the Bronze Award for Best Documentary Short at the Independent Short Awards – Los Angeles, with his thesis “Not Rich Yet.”

Fatima Matousse (’18) received an Honorable Mention for Best Documentary Short at the Independent Shorts Awards – Los Angeles, for her thesis “Family in Exile.”

Emmanuel Adu Poku (’19) and Rafael Samanez (’19) are the recipients of this year’s British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) New York Media Studies Scholarship program.

Emmanuel Adu Poku received a BBC America Scholarship; Rafael Samanez received a BAFTA New York Documentary Scholarship in Honor of John Grist.

The scholarship fosters a strong relationship with the scholars offering them networking occasions presented by BAFTA New York.

Vivian Rivas (‘18) won Best Short Film in The Americas Film Festival – New York for “Ebb Tide,” her thesis documentary.

Rafael Samanez (‘19) received a Princess Grace Scholarship.

The Princess Grace Foundation-USA is dedicated to identifying and assisting emerging talent in theater, dance and film. Scholarships give artists, who are at early stages of professional development, the financial assistance and encouragement to focus on artistic excellence.

Jiage Tong (‘18) received a National Board of Review (NBR) Student Grant for her fiction thesis film “Seventy,” set in a remote Chinese village. Through the Student Grant Program, the National Board of Review promotes the cinematic future by helping young filmmakers finish their projects.

 About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.

 

 

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Ashley Arocho
p: 212.650.6460
e:aarocho@ccny.cuny.edu
View CCNY Media Kit


Hunter’s 217th Commencement: A Blockbuster Moment

The weather cleared, and thousands cheered, for Hunter’s glorious Class of 2018.Hunter’s 217th Commencement: A Blockbuster Moment

On May 30, a day of welcome sunny skies, opera singer Joanna Malaszyck, MA ’18, opened Commencement with a stirring rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner.” Malaszyck’s voice filled Radio City, and in its power and beauty, the performance was a fitting start to an inspirational ceremony.

In her welcoming remarks, President Jennifer J. Raab noted that people always come to Radio City with great expectations. On this particular afternoon, as Commencement Speaker Vin Diesel made his entrance, the excitement in the hall ran especially high. A former Hunter student, the blockbuster star was about to receive an honorary doctorate.

“This is a blockbuster moment for you all,” President Raab told the graduates. Like T’Challa in Black Panther, she said, members of the Class of 2018 had overcome daunting obstacles by rallying their forces. Some had completed their studies while raising families and many had supported themselves by holding one, two, even three outside jobs.

Together, she said, these students represent more than 150 countries. Congratulating the family members who had crossed oceans to attend Commencement, she took a moment to directly greet one mother and cousin visiting from Kenya. She also welcomed students’ relatives from Jordan, Ethiopia, Albania, Israel and Morocco in their own languages.

Throughout the ceremony, President Raab shared the stories of students who’d overcome extraordinary challenges. Those students, she said, are fully equipped to adopt Hunter’s motto, Mihi Cura Futuri (The Care of the Future Is Mine), and use it as a moral compass throughout their lives.

These real-life stories had a profound effect on the man who’s made a career of powerful storytelling. When Vin Diesel rose to speak, he appeared deeply moved and was ebullient in his praise for Hunter students and the college he’d attended.

“How incredibly proud I am to be graduating with all of you,” he said, describing Hunter as “beautiful melting pot of talent and culture.” In Hollywood, he recalled, “I would tell everybody that I had learned and taken so much away from my experience at Hunter.”

He also recalled being a young Hollywood actor “at a time when people who looked like me couldn’t get roles, and no one was hiring a multicultural kid.” But because he’d been in Hunter classrooms, part of “the most diverse student body on the planet,” he said, he carried with him “the idea that people didn’t have to check off boxes anymore.” He used the creative writing skills he learned at Hunter to craft his own characters and stories.

Diesel called the members of the Class of 2018 “superheroes who have been armed with the knowledge they’ll need to combat whatever comes in the future.” He added, “I’m looking at the people my children’s future will depend on.”

He also gave the graduates one piece of advice: “If you don’t see it out there, create it. Create your own opportunity if need be.” Characterizing Hunter students as “fighters,” he continued, “Any obstacle that comes at you, or our planet – be willing to hit it head on.”

The graduates’ willingness to do just that was expressed by some in the sequined messages displayed on their caps.

“I am a goddess, a glorious female warrior,” one declared.

Predicted another: “There is nothing on my horizon except for everything.”

Click here to view pictures from Hunter’s 217th Commencement.


Mayor Bill de Blasio Marks Student Voter Registration Day at Manhattan Hunter Science High School

On May 21, Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab welcomed New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, and State Senator Brad Hoylman to Manhattan Hunter Science High School (MHSHS), where they met with students who were registering to vote on what was the first ever citywide Student Voter Registration Day.

The visit was covered extensively, appearing on ABC 7’s Eyewitness News FirstWNBC’s News 4 NY, Fox 5’s News at 6Fox 5’s Good Day Wake Up, NY1’s News All Day, and NPR’s All Things Considered.


Students Dylan Antigua and Sean Riddles, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Senator Brad Hoylman, President Jennifer J. Raab, NYC Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, and MHSHS Principal Kevin Froner


Hispanic Federation President Jose Calderón Inducted Into The Hunter College Hall of Fame by Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab

Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab has announced the induction of eight new members into the Hunter College Hall of Fame including Hispanic Federation President Jose Calderón, Hispanic Federation President Jose Calderón Inducted Into The Hunter College Hall of Fame by Hunter College President Jennifer J. RaabClass of 1997, and Dr. Patricia Bath, Class of 1964, a pioneer for African-American women in the medical field.  The Hunter Hall of Fame inductions took place at a ceremony on May 4th.

“All our honorees today truly fulfill Hunter College’s motto, mihi cura future – the care of the future is mine,” said President Raab.

“Under Jose Calderón’s leadership, the Hispanic Federation has emerged as a powerful national voice for social justice, accessible health care, and high quality education. Through his efforts and commitment to public service, his organization has helped to register hundreds of thousands of new voters.  After Hurricane Maria, he was there supplying emergency provisions and joining the rebuilding effort. And he has always fought for immigrant rights, especially for Dreamers – a cause we here at Hunter equally embrace. I’m proud to induct him into Hunter’s Hall of Fame,” said President Raab.”

Also inducted this year is Patricia Bath, MD, who graduated with a degree in chemistry in 1964 and then went on to break many barriers as a female African-American physician.  She was the first African American to complete a residency in Ophthalmology and the first female faculty member at the UCLA Jules Stein Eye Institute’s Department of Ophthalmology.

“She’s also an inventor holding four patents related to the laser treatment of cataracts, and was the first African-American woman to receive a patent for a medical purpose.  Hunter has a long record of promoting women in the sciences as well as opening doors for African-American women.  We are proud to celebrate Dr. Bath as a trail blazer in both categories,” said President Raab.

Another alumnus inducted this year is Robert T. Barry, BFA, ’57, MA ’63, a renowned conceptual artist whose works have been exhibited at the Guggenheim and Whitney in New York and the D’Orsay and Pompidou Center in Paris.  He also taught at Hunter for 15 years after receiving his graduate degree.

Hunter has a long tradition of producing teachers and several were recognized including Etta May Ladson, BA ‘51, MA ’61, who in addition to a long, distinguished career in public education, founded and directs the African Christian Teachers Association, which provides financial aid to gifted children in southeast Queens; and Vivian Iris Glasberg Milefsky, BA ‘59 , MSEd ’61, who graduated from Hunter at age 19, received her Master’s in Education at age 21 and spent several Saturdays for years taking dozens of students to concerts at Carnegie Hall and other venues who then became performers themselves because of the string orchestra she helped launch; and Geraldine A. Redden Swanson, BA  ’71, who served as an educator in New York City’s public and private schools for 25 years before earning her a second master’s from the General Seminary, in theology and church history.

Hunter College is also proud of its tradition as one of the finest nursing schools in the country. Joanna F. Hofmann, BSN ’69, MSN ’81, ANP ’00, is not only a graduate but also taught nursing at Hunter for 25 years and was instrumental in forming the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing Alumni Association.
President Raab also inducted Rhonda O’Reilly Bovell, BA ’96, who joined the New York City Police Department immediately after graduating from Hunter, rising steadily through the ranks to sergeant in 2002, lieutenant in 2010, captain in 2014, and deputy inspector in 2017.  She is also a co-founder and the current president of the Guyanese American Law Enforcement Association – a nonprofit established in 2016 following the death of Detective Randolph Holder, the first Guyanese American NYPD officer killed in the line of duty.

The Hunter College Hall of Fame was established in 1972 to recognize the achievements of outstanding alumni.  Today’s inductees join an esteemed group of previous honorees including Nobel Prize winners Rosalyn Sussman Yalow and Gertrude Elion, Grammy, Emmy and National Medal of Arts winner Ruby Dee, opera stars Martina Arroyo and Regina Resnik, New York City Parks Commission Mitchell Silver, National Book Award winner Phil Klay and the late Congresswoman Bella Abzug.


Riders in New York City Skateboard Parks are “Skating on Thin Ice” — Few Wear Helmets or Protective Gear, a New Hunter College Study Finds

With the growing popularity of skateboarding, injury rates due to falls are climbing dramatically.  Yet few riders in New York City skateboard parks are taking precautions. Only 10 percent wear a Riders in New York City Skateboard Parks are “Skating on Thin Ice” -- Few Wear Helmets or Protective Gear, a New Hunter College Study Finds helmet and an even lower number (8%) wear an elbow/knee pad or wrist guard.  Even in skateboard parks where helmets are required, more than 80 percent still don’t wear a helmet.

Falling is a frequent occurrence in skateboards.  More than one quarter (25.9) percent fell while being observed.  The use of an electronic device, such as headphones or earbuds substantially increased the likelihood of falling (31.3% vs. 23.7%).

These results are found in a Hunter College study directed by Sociology Professor Peter Tuckel and Urban Planning Professor William Milczarski.  Professors Tuckel and Milczarski collaborated with Hunter students in the Introduction to Research Methods course and the Honors Seminar in the Department of Sociology and the Urban Data Analysis and Quantitative Approaches to Urban Analysis courses in the Department of Urban Policy and Planning.

The findings are based on 2,400 rides of skateboards in 31 parks in all five boroughs.
All observations were conducted between April 1 and May 2, 2018 and were staggered across all days of the week.

Other findings that emerged from the study:

  • Of the roughly quarter of skateboarders who fell, about 10 percent sustained a minor injury and 1.4 percent incurred a more serious injury.
  • Females were far more likely to wear a helmet than males (28.8% vs. 8.4%) or to use protective gear (22% vs. 6.6%).
  • Teenagers and young adults (ages 15 to 24) are the least likely to wear helmets or protective gear compared to those who are either younger or older.
  • Rarely are attendants on duty to monitor the behavior of recreational skateboarders.

“In contrast to skating on the city’s streets, parks were meant to be safe havens for skateboarders.  By not taking precautionary measures such as wearing protective gear, skateboarders in parks are putting themselves at great risk of injury,” said Professor Tuckel. “And the dangers are increased for those who wear headphones and earbuds.”

“The high incidence of falling by skateboarders and the proportion who sustain an injury when they fall points to the gravity of this problem,” said Professor Milczarski.  “A campaign needs to be launched, especially among teenagers, to raise awareness of the risks involved in skateboarding in parks.”

Here is a link to the full study:  http://silo.hunter.cuny.edu/wvlkNlTc


Hunter College Graduate Matthew Locastro ’17 Wins The Prestigious Luce Scholarship

Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab announced that Matthew Locastro, a Hunter Macaulay Honors College graduate (’17), has won the Luce Scholarship for 2019. The Luce is awarded Hunter College Graduate Matthew Locastro '17 Wins The Prestigious Luce Scholarshipannually to between 15 and 20 candidates across the United States. Hunter College is one of only two public colleges in New York State and the only public college in New York City to have students considered for this distinction. Locastro is the only recipient from a New York State public college this year.

“Hunter is incredibly proud of Matthew Locastro’s recognition as a 2018 Luce Scholar,” said President Raab, who noted that “he is just the second Hunter graduate to receive this honor.” In 2014, Audrey Stienon became Hunter’s first Luce Scholar and after a year in Indonesia, entered the public policy program at The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced and International Studies. Both she and Locastro majored in economics and political science with minors in public policy as undergraduates.

“It is inspiring to see our students being rewarded with opportunities that take them all over the world to expand their intellectual and professional horizons,” continued President Raab.

Sponsored by the Henry Luce Foundation, the Scholarship pays for a year of language study and professional work in an Asian country with the purpose of fostering a greater understanding of Asian society. Chosen from a select group of institutions across the U.S., the Luce identifies outstanding college graduates of unusual promise as future leaders, but with limited experience in Asia at the time of their selection.

After graduating from Hunter last June, Locastro spent the summer working with refugees from the Middle East in Greece, before returning home in the fall as a New York City Urban Fellow, a program designed to introduce America’s finest college graduates to local government and public service in the City of New York. He will leave for Asia in June and hopes to attend law school upon his return.


Hunter Professor’s New Research Demonstrates the Potential for Life-Like Nanotechnology

“When you look around a room, it’s easy to tell the difference between things that are living and things that aren’t,” says Dr. Rein Ulijn, Albert Einstein Professor of Chemistry, and Director of the Hunter Professor's New Research Demonstrates the Potential for Life-Like NanotechnologyNanoscience Initiative at CUNY. “Living things move, they use energy, they metabolize, they change over time. Non-living things usually don’t do very much – they just sit there.” But what if scientists were able to infuse some of the defining qualities of living organisms into manmade, non-living materials? A new study published in Nature Chemistry, detailing an ambitious project spearheaded by Professor Ulijn and his team of researchers at the Advanced Science Research Center (ASRC) at the Graduate Center, has demonstrated significant progress in the attempt to bridge the gap between the living and the electronic. Their paper, Amino-acid-encoded biocatalytic self-assembly enables the formation of transient conducting nanostructures, presents the strides their lab has made to create nanomaterials that show the dynamic behavior of biological materials, but also conduct electricity.

“We are working on the challenge of interfacing living biology – like nerve cells and neurons – with electronics,” says Professor Ulijn. It sounds radical – the notion of connecting electronics and biology – but with his team’s newest discoveries, the line between hard, manmade materials, and complex, flexible biological ones, is starting to blur. “The brain’s neurons communicate through electronic signals, and we’re interested in making materials that can deliver those same kinds of electronic signals to tissue. Electronic devices like iphones and computer chips are hard and static, and the brain is soft and malleable. So, if you want to make technology that connects the hard engineering world and the soft dynamic world of biology, you have to think of ways to apply biological properties to manmade materials.”

These new materials are startlingly flexible; they can change their properties in response to chemical signals and metabolites. The researchers have used amino acids as chemical triggers for the materials to  reconfigure; these nanomaterials can remodel their own electrical connections, and can exist in wet, dynamic environments, growing and degrading on command. And, with the creation of synthetic materials that behave with biological properties, science is getting closer to a seamless interaction between living materials and nonliving materials. This presents huge opportunities for medical treatments; if disease is biology gone wrong, these new copacetic manmade materials may be able to step in and, using biological properties, right the problems that disease created. “If you want to influence something, you have to speak its language,” Professor Ulijn says. These new nano materials increasingly use the same chemical language as biological neurons, creating more possibility for behavioral conversation — and biological repair.

This recently published paper, in the works for 2.5 years, draws on the ongoing research of Professor Ulijn’s expert team at the ASRC, and includes a collaboration with Professor Allon  Hochbaum at the University of California, Irvine, who developed the devices to demonstrate the dynamic conductance.  The team also included Hunter Ph.D. candidate Nadeesha Wijerathne. Their project on amino acid chemical technology, while still in nascent stages, holds radical potential: “We’ve demonstrated a new exciting concept, and very much look forward to working with colleagues in the applied sciences and clinical fields to develop real technologies,” says Professor Ulijn. “Being in New York City, we’re incredibly well placed to find collaborators, and to see if these materials can be developed in new ways to treat disease.”

Congratulations to Professor Ulijn and his team on this exciting development.


CUNY SPS Graduate wins 2017-18 CUNY Photo Challenge

CUNY Photo Challenge WinnerNew York, NY – July 16, 2018 – The CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) is proud to announce that Yerelyn Nuñez, a 2018 graduate of the BA in Communication and Media program, is the 2017-18 CUNY Photo Challenge winner.

Nuñez’s self-portrait image, “Two Worlds Collide”, was chosen by students from among the monthly winners of CUNY’s 2017-2018 photo competition

Nuñez’s photo, which is part of a larger outdoor photo series, provides a rare glimpse into the daily life of an online student with a moment that depicts the accessibility and convenience of distance learning. The juxtaposition of the vibrantly colored graffiti with the black and white mural in “Two Worlds Collide” serves as a visual metaphor for the way that student life and the surrounding world come together for online learners.

“I lived in Astoria for four years, but this artwork really spoke to me,” says Nuñez. “It showcases the flexibility of being an online student; the fact that you can make the sidewalk your classroom if you’d like.”

Shot with an iPhone and the assistance of her brother, Nuñez’s main goal was to share the concept of online learning with the rest of the CUNY community in a relatable way. Nuñez graduated from CUNY SPS in June with her BA. To catch a glimpse of Nuñez’s social media work, visit the CUNY SPS Instagram page where she currently serves as its main contributor through the summer of 2018.

Press Contact:
Andrea Fagon
Director of Marketing and Communications
andrea.fagon@cuny.edu
646-664-8690


Are HIV self-tests an economically feasible method of testing?

HIV testing is a first step and key to stemming the rate of HIV infections around the world. In sub-Saharan African countries, HIV testing rates continue to be suboptimal, creating an urgent need to explore strategic and cost-effective approaches to increase the uptake of HIV testing, particularly among high-risk populations.

A cost analysis of a text message-based program to promote HIV self-testing, a relatively new technology, was conducted among Kenyan male truckers and female sex workers (FSW), both considered populations at high risk. Dr. Matthew Romo, one of the researchers conducting the analysis and a doctoral student at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy (CUNY SPH), points out that HIV self-testing is being implemented in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, but being a relatively new technology, it is more costly than standard provider administered HIV testing. The results from the analysis were published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Dr. Matthew Romo

Dr. Matthew Romo

The analysis was conducted on a sample selected from the electronic health record system of North Star Alliance, which provides health services to hard-to-reach populations across Africa, including truckers and sex workers, by setting up clinics at major transit hubs. The sample selected comprised truckers and FSWs who, according to their records, were irregular HIV testers. The truckers and FSWs were randomly assigned to either receive the intervention, text messages promoting the availability of HIV self-testing kits in Kenyan clinics, or were assigned to a standard care group, receiving a general text message reminding the clients to get tested for HIV. Researchers evaluated the effect of the text message-based promotion of self-testing kits on HIV testing rates and determined the value of the resources utilized in both the intervention and standard programs, in order to determine a cost per client tested.

Researchers calculated the cost of offering the HIV self-testing kits to be double that of the standard clinic-based testing (USD 10.13 versus 5.01 per client tested), primarily due to the high price of the self-test kits. The rates of testing during the study period were higher for those receiving the intervention than those receiving standard care, with approximately 4% of truckers and 11% of FSWs in the intervention group opting to be tested, compared to 1% of truckers, and 6% of FSWs in the standard care group. However, these testing rates were well below expectation and resulted in relatively high cost per client estimates, as well as higher cost per additional client estimates, which are usually driven down by higher response rates.

“Increasing the demand and uptake of HIV self-testing would make it a more cost-effective option,” says Dr. Romo. He points out that this will be an important focus for future research.

Dr. Elizabeth Kelvin, faculty member at CUNY SPH, was a co-author on this study.

 

George G, Chetty T, Strauss M, Inoti S, Kinyanjui S, Mwai E, et al. (2018) Costing analysis of an SMS-based intervention to promote HIV self-testing amongst truckers and sex workers in Kenya. PLoS ONE 13(7): e0197305. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.


Exhibit at Hostos Featuring Work of Female Bronx Photographers Featured on News 12

“Through A Feminine Lens” is a Bronx-based photography and mixed media exhibit that explores motherhood, immigrant perspectives, equity and race. It is co-curated by Juanita Lanzo and Kimberly Rose and will be on display at the Longwood Art Gallery at Hostos through Aug. 8.

Watch News 12 Bronx’s coverage of the exhibit here: http://bronx.news12.com/story/38627824/exhibit-features-work-of-female-bronx-photographers


Japanese Official leads pilgrimage honoring CCNY founder

Portrait of Townsend Harris by James Bogle

Seiji Takeuchi, Chair of the Shimoda City Assembly, joins the long list of Japanese pilgrims that have traveled to The City College of New York to pay homage to its founder Townsend Harris when he visits the institution for the second time on July 17. Since 1986, top civic officials from Shimoda have made annual pilgrimages to City College to honor Harris.

After establishing what was then known as The Free Academy in 1847, Harris, a prominent New York merchant, went on to forge U.S.-Japan relations. He arrived in Shimoda on August 21, 1856 to open the first American consulate in Japan.

“As the first consul general there, he negotiated the treaty that is credited for opening the Japanese Empire to foreign trade and culture,” said CCNY archivist Sydney Van Nort. “Owing to his goodwill, openness and honesty, Harris quickly gained the respect and affection of the Japanese people, and is revered there to this day.”

Takeuchi’s return following his first visit in 2016 reaffirms the close ties between City College and Shimoda City that were established thirty-two years ago, said Van Nort.  The delegation, joined by representatives of the Consulate-General of Japan in New York, the Japan Foundation, and the great-great grandniece of Townsend Harris, will attend a presentation by Van Nort on the life and career of Harris and view documents from the Townsend Harris Papers Collection in CCNY’s Morris Raphael Cohen Library.

For more information on the Shimoda Delegation’s visit to The City College of New York, please call the CCNY Archives at (212) 650-7609.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.

 

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Queens College to Host First-Ever Cornerstone Theater Company Institute Summer Residency to be Held Outside of it’s Home State of California

— Program to Write, Develop, and Produce New Play with Queens Residents Culminates with Performances on August 10 and 11; Auditions to be held from July 14–17 —

July 9, 2018 (Queens, NY) – The California-based Cornerstone Theater Company will host its Institute Summer Residency at Queens College from July 12 to August 12, 2018. Through a series of classes, assignments, rehearsals, and community activities, artists, educators, and activists from across the country, including QC students, will have the opportunity to learn about all aspects of professional community-engaged theater while also building social bridges in Queens neighborhoods. This is the first time that the immersive program—offered every other year—will be hosted outside California.

Cornerstone’s Institute Summer Residency begins with a playwright researching a local community, visiting the area, speaking with residents, and attending community events. Those experiences inform the script of a new play. During the 32-day-long program, Cornerstone artists, staff, and students who participate in the Residency program audition, cast, and rehearse the play; they also build the sets and create costumes. Auditions will be held from July 15 to 17; see the full schedule here. The program concludes with three public performances of the new play, which will be held on August 10 and 11 at the Kupferberg Center for the Arts’ Goldstein Theatre at Queens College. Read more about Cornerstone Theater and this year’s Institute Summer Residency here.

“For 80 years, Queens College has thrived because of its commitment to, and support from, the surrounding community,” said Queens College President Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “We are so excited to welcome Cornerstone Theater Company to the Queens College campus this summer and to be a part of this incredible project that will enrich students and locals alike. We invite our neighbors to participate in the development of this new work and attend a performance, which we know will reflect the richness and diversity of our borough.”

The 2018 Institute Summer Residency play will be written by New York-based guest artist Cusi Cram. Michael John Garcés will serve as artistic director, and the production will be directed by Juliette Carrillo, both Cornerstone ensemble members.

“We could not be more pleased and honored to be in residence at Queens College,” said Michael John Garcés, Cornerstone Theater Company’s longtime artistic director. “The college represents the borough in all of its beautiful diversity, and is deeply committed to equity and social justice, which makes it a perfect partner for us. On a personal note, I lived in Queens for almost a decade, and am really excited to be coming back to the place where I started my career in the theater.”

Three Queens College students were selected to participate in the Cornerstone Theater Institute this summer, receiving scholarships covering the entire cost of tuition. They will be joined by theater makers and artists who come from around the world to engage with this methodology at residencies that the institute holds every other year.

Kayla Rivera is a senior and a theater major. She is a member of the musical theater club and recently co-founded Knights of Improv, a comedy troupe that will begin performing on campus this fall. A top student as well as an outspoken LGBTQI activist, Kayla is passionate about social justice issues, and social justice representation in the theater. She is just returning from a study abroad year at Cornerstone’s international partner school, Regent’s University in London, UK.

Paul Defilippo is a super-senior and a drama major. He has played Feste in Twelfth Night, Briar Rabbit in An Octoroon on the Main Stage, and the title role in Last Days of Judas Icariot for Theater Guild. He recently directed a student production of Chekhov’s Three Sisters in the Little Theater. A leading member of Theater Guild and an excellent student, Paul has worked on staged readings off campus and has a deep interest in community-based theater work.

Claire Kostova is an accomplished actress and designer. She has appeared in multiple drama productions, most notably as a principal in Cloud Nine and as the understudy for the lead role in An Octoroon. She has designed lighting for numerous student productions, including the student dance concert and Three Sisters. She also stage-managed this year’s showcase, Amalgami. Claire has her own professional company outside of school. Her project for the institute focuses on the Haitian diaspora, reflecting her experiences as an immigrant and theater artist.

Queens residents are invited to help shape the content of the play by participating in Story Circles and to audition for the play. Story Circles take place on July 14 to 16; see the full schedule here.

To date, Queens organizations and community groups that are participating in the Institute Summer Residency production include Queens College’s Department of Drama, Theatre & Dance, the Center for Ethnic, Racial & Religious Understanding, and Pomonok Community Center. Conversations continue with the Chamber of Commerce, Flushing Town Hall, Queens Theatre, Central Queens Y, and others.

About Queens College
Queens College enjoys a national reputation for its liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs. With its graduate and undergraduate degrees, honors programs, and research and internship opportunities, Queens College helps its over 19,000 students realize their potential in countless ways, under the guidance of an accessible, award-winning faculty. The college was recently ranked tenth among U.S. public colleges by the Chronicle of Higher Education for upward social and economic mobility. The Center for World University Rankings placed Queens College in the top 3.5% of schools worldwide, based on the quality of its education and faculty, the number of its alumni who find employment, and other factors. Located on a beautiful, 80-acre campus in Flushing, the college is cited each year by the Princeton Review as one of the nation’s 100 “Best Value” colleges, and is routinely ranked a U.S. News & World Report Best College and Forbes Magazine Best Value College, thanks to its outstanding academics, generous financial aid packages, and relatively low costs. Visit qc.cuny.edu to learn more.

For more about Queens college, visit http://www.qc.cuny.edu/Pages/home.aspx

Contact:
Maria Matteo
Office of Communications
Assistant Director, News Services
718-997-5593
maria.matteo@qc.cuny.edu


MECA High School Holds First Graduation Ceremony

The Manhattan Early College for Advertising (MECA) held its first commencement ceremony on June 22 in Theater 2 of the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) at 199 Chambers Street.

MECA is a high school that operates through a partnership between BMCC, the New York City Department of Education and industry partners from the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s).

First-year MECA students take all their classes at MECA, located within the Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers at 411 Pearl Street in lower Manhattan. They begin taking college courses on the BMCC campus as early as 10th grade.

Just five years earlier, MECA was essentially in the planning stages. Now, the school is holding its first graduation, celebrating the class of 2018 with more than 83 students.

Of those graduates, almost 60 earned 15 or more BMCC college credits. And, thirty-three of those students are graduating with 30 or more credits under their belt, according to Gregory Bryant, BMCC Academic Affairs Manager for MECA.

He called members of MECA’s first graduating class “trailblazers.” Bryant says when the students started their journey at the new school as ninth graders, they weren’t sure what to expect.  Despite challenges along the way, they completed this chapter successfully.

“The students not only met the program’s missions and goals, they have exceeded them,” said Bryant.

Ninety percent of MECA’s class of 2018 will attend colleges across the country starting in Fall 2018, including 23 students who will work toward their Associate degree at BMCC and build on the credits they have already earned there.

As he looked out over the audience of graduates and their families, MECA Principal Matthew Tossman said he was filled with happiness and pride.

“You’re first day of school was my first day as principal and I’m proud of every single one of you,” said Tossman.

Later during the ceremony, the students presented Tossman with a special leadership award. The student presenter said of Tossman, “We have a principal who has a close connection with every student.”

When Tossman introduced keynote speaker, Antonio Pérez, President of BMCC, he recalled their first meeting to discuss the new high school, and how the President told him, “MECA students are BMCC students.”

“President Pérez provided our MECA students with exceptional access and the relationship between BMCC and MECA grew into a kind of synergy,” Tossman said.

During his speech, Pérez told the graduates to always be willing to take risks. He shared his experience of facing difficulty getting into The City College of New York, CUNY, and finding himself on a bus to a college in Iowa. After a year there, he said, he came back to New York and finished his undergraduate work at SUNY Oneonta, the place where he met his wife, 50 years ago. By age 27 Pérez had earned a doctorate and by 39, he was a college president.

“Always be strategic,” Peréz told the graduates. “Always have a plan—but if you’re ever on the bus and don’t know what to expect, embrace it.”

Congratulations to the class of 2018

Esneri Acosta, Marina Adon, Akeitah Arthur, Shelton August, Sonnah Barry, Shawn Booker, Rojae Brown, Tyana Bryan, Trevon Bryant, Khali Burton, Arturo Carbente, Deemani Cardona, Matthew Carrera, Devin Castillo Genao, Jadyn Charles, Priscilla Chen, Sarah Chin, Shaniya Clarke, Aioni Cobia, Patricia Coles, Yariset Cuevas, Patrycja Danowska, Crismely Diaz, Anida Djokovic, Tara-Uwaoma Elbinum, Rafael Escotto, Veronica Feliz Garcia, Paul Flores Clavel, Kayla Foster, Jonathan Garcia, Kiyah Gibbs, Danila Grey, Terrell Guerra, Jordan Haskell, Keyauna Hopkins, Johnnie Hughes, Ithiopia Jarvis, Nathan John, Emely Kelly, Thaismarie Kelly, Kevin Kiryk, Dillon Li, Franco Lopez, Elizanel Martinez, Xavier McGirt, Sebastian Miezgiel, Hasam Mohamed, Tataynna Monroe, Davaughn Moorer, Brandon Morales, Tamara Nunez, Mike Ochoa, Moses Parente, Anabel Pere, Jadyn Peterson, Dante Pichardo, Jordan Pierce, Josiah Ponce, Lucas Przbyszewski, Michael Ramirez, Vanessa Rendon, James Robinson, Angelina Rodriguez, Gabriela Rojo, Analley Romero, Dominique Rosario, Justin Santana, Jaelene Santiago, Cameron Santiago, Sofia Serroukh, KM Shaon, Mileena Sumier, Sammy Touati, Christopher Trueblood, Wiktoria Trzeciak, Ocean Valentine, Dmari Williams, Jagoda Wronska and Anna Zamanberdiyeva.

RELATED STORIES: MECA Students Create Blueprints for Their DreamsMECA Students Have Great Adventure Creating Advertising CampaignsA Day in the Life of MECA


CCNY-based CUNY DSI fights gentrification in NYC

Ramona Hernández (left) and Yana Kucheva, two of the co-authors of the CUNY DSI/Colin Powell School study on fighting gentrification in New York City.

The latest study by the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute at The City College of New York on the effects of gentrification proposes new public policies to stop the displacement of Dominicans and other working class groups in Washington Heights and Inwood.

Establishing a Tax-Increment Financing (TIF) area in the two communities   and using the revenue to fund a Community Land Trust (CLT) is one recommendation in the study entitled: “Restoring Housing Security and Stability in New York Neighborhoods.”

Closing loopholes in New York State laws governing rent stabilized apartments and establishing protections for tenants with preferential rent riders in their lease agreements is another CUNY DSI proposal.

“Our TIF proposal could serve as a model to other neighborhoods in New York to restore housing security and stability,” said Ramona Hernández, CUNY DSI director and professor of Sociology in the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership.

Hernández and her co-authors, Yana Kucheva, assistant sociology professor in the Colin Powell School; Sarah Marrara and Utku Sezgin, both associate researchers at CUNY DSI, suggest that:

“The idea of CLTs at the most basic level involves dedicating a revenue stream for the purchase of land for the benefit of the local community. The land is held in a trust in perpetuity by a local non-profit organization, which makes sure to represent the interests of the beneficiaries of the trust.”

In terms of closing loopholes in current rent stabilization laws, one proposal is the elimination of vacancy decontrol, colloquially known as the “eviction bonus.” It allows landlords to increase rents by 20% plus 1/60th of the cost of any improvements done to a rent-stabilized unit when a renter moves out.

The study is a follow up to the policy brief “When a Neighborhood Becomes a Revolving Door for Dominicans,” published by CUNY DSI in January.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.

 

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Jay Mwamba
p: 212.650.7580
e:jmwamba@ccny.cuny.edu
View CCNY Media Kit


BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center Gets Ready for 2018-2019 Family Season

Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) Tribeca Performing Arts Center (BMCC TPAC), the longest-operating performance venue in lower Manhattan, proudly presents a new slate of family and school programming for the 2018-2019 Season.

Shows include Charlotte’s Web on Saturday, October 6; Pete The Cat on Saturday, November 24 and Sunday, November 25; Dragons Love Tacos on Saturday, December 15; The Magic School Bus on March 23, and more. All Family shows begin at 11 a.m..

Tickets for the Family Series are $30 or $13 with a 10Club membership. Schooltime tickets are $5 for students, with chaperones/teachers free. Purchase tickets online or call (212) 220-1460.

For 2019 Family Series programming, visit online.

Arm of the Sea Theater Presents City That Drinks The Mountain Sky

Thursday, October 18 at 10:15 a.m. and 12 p.m.

With poetry, puppetry and evocative music, City that Drinks the Mountain Sky brings alive the lyrical landscape of the Catskills and portrays the ongoing story of the watershed and those who protect its  flowing treasure. Expect visual punch and timely wit as the Hudson Valley’s premier eco-logic theater traces life’s quintessential liquid from mountaintop to city tap.

Theaterworks USA Presents Charlotte’s Web

Saturday, October 6 at 11 a.m.

Charlotte’s Web is based on E.B. White’s loving story of the friendship between a pig named Wilbur and a little gray spider named Charlotte. Wilbur has a problem: how to avoid winding up as pork chops! Charlotte, a fine writer and true friend, hits on a plan to fool Farmer Zuckerman. She will create a “miracle.” Spinning the words “Some Pig” in her web, Charlotte weaves a solution which not only makes Wilbur a prize pig but also ensures his place on the farm forever. This treasured tale, featuring mad-cap and endearing farm animals, explores bravery, selfless love and the true meaning of friendship.

Pushcart Players of New Jersey Presents A Cinderella Tale … Happily Ever After

Saturday, November 3 at 11 a.m.

Friday, November 2 at 10:15 a.m. and 12 p.m.

Providing a significant and timeless learning opportunity for today’s kids and adults. It is no wonder that this tale has been told and re-told around the globe over many centuries (its earliest known telling dates back to Ninth Century China). More than a thousand years later this beloved story continues to tell us about ourselves, our yearnings for transformation and a happily ever after conclusion. A Cinderella Tale … Happily Ever After will take young and family audiences on that sometimes happy, sometimes sad—but always compelling journey fueled by inner beauty, courage and kindness as they triumph over greed, arrogance and bully behavior.

Theaterworks USA Presents Pete The Cat

Saturday and Sunday, November 24 and 25, at 11 a.m.

When Pete the Cat gets caught rocking out after bedtime, the cat-catcher sends him to live with the Biddle family to learn his manners—and boy are they square!  But for the groovy blue cat, life is an adventure no matter where you wind up, so the minute Pete walks in the door, he gets the whole family rocking. The whole family that is, except for young Jimmy Biddle, the most organized second grader on planet earth. As the end of second grade approaches, Jimmy has a lot of tests, and the last thing he needs is some groovy cat in his life, changing his family and turning everything upside down.  But when Jimmy draws a blank in art class during the last week of school, it turns out Pete is the perfect friend to help him out. Together, they set out on a mission to help Jimmy conquer second grade art, and along the way, they both learn a little something new about inspiration.  Join Jimmy and Pete on an adventure of friendship, all the way to Paris and back in a VW Bus!  Based on the Pete the Cat Series of Books by Kimberly and James Dean.

ArtsPower Presents Nugget & Fang

Sunday, December 2 at 11 a.m.

Monday, December 3 at 10:15 a.m. and 12 p.m.

ArtsPower’s under-the-sea musical tells the story of Nugget, a minnow, and Fang, a shark, who get along swimmingly — until Nugget’s first day of minnow school. There, Nugget learns that minnows are supposed to be afraid of sharks! To regain Nugget’s trust, Fang takes desperate and hilarious measures. Nothing goes as planned. Fang is moping in deep waters when he notices that Nugget and his minnow schoolmates are caught up in some big trouble (and one very big net). Holy mackerel! Can Fang save the day and prove he’s a true friend?

Theaterworks USA Presents Dragons Love Tacos

Saturday, December 15 at 11 a.m.

A musical revue of beloved contemporary children’s books!  Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin, illustrated by Daniel Salmieri.  Dragons love all sorts of tacos — except spicy ones!  When a boy throws his new dragon friends a spicy salsa taco party, red-hot trouble ensues.  Other stories include Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein, The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds, Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride by Kate DiCamillo and Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa School Days by Erica Silverman.

 

BMCC Tribeca PAC is Downtown Manhattan’s premier presenter of the arts, reaching audiences from the college community, downtown residential and business communities, local schools, families, and audiences of all ages.   BMCC Tribeca PAC strives to present a broad global perspective through the presentation of high-quality artistic work in music, theatre, dance, film and visual arts. BMCC Tribeca PAC is located on the Borough of Manhattan Community College campus, 199 Chambers Street (between Greenwich Avenue & West Street) and is convenient to the 2/3, A/C/E and R/W subway lines and the New Jersey Path Train.  For more information please visit our website, www.tribecapac.org.


Nursing Department Pinning Ceremony Honors 57 Graduates

The Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY), Nursing Department held its annual Pinning Ceremony in Theatre One at 199 Chambers Street on May 30. Dressed in crisp white uniforms, the 57 graduates for Spring 2018 marched into the auditorium to “Pomp and Circumstance” as proud family, friends and others cheered them on.

BMCC President Antonio Pérez welcomed the audience and Erwin Wong, Dean for Academic Programs and Instruction as well as Jim Berg, Associate Dean of Faculty offered further remarks. Karrin Wilks, Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs, told the graduates that choosing to be a nurse is a special calling.

“As nurses, you will be doing something significant for society, both patients and their families, and for that I want to thank you,” said Wilks.

In the weeks to come, the BMCC graduates will take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (RNs).

Nationwide, demand for Registered Nurses is expected to increase 16 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all other occupations, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (USBLS).

The need for nurses will likely be driven by an increased emphasis on preventive care; growing rates of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity; and the need for healthcare services for the aging Baby-Boomer population, according to the USBLS.

BMCC offers both a full-time and a part-time, evening and weekend nursing programs for students who wish to become Registered Nurses.

BMCC nursing graduate Sandra Shamburger is a former member of the East German swim team and had been teaching swimming over the past few years. “In five years, I plan to either be a mid-wife or a nurse practitioner,” said Shamburger, who was ready to make a career change.

Graduate Carl Shimkin, said he felt both relieved and accomplished after completing the challenging program.

“This is a second career for me, and I was attracted to nursing because it is so meaningful and important, and that I get to help people,” said Shimkin, a former filmmaker and producer.

A native of New York City, Shimkin plans to look for opportunities outside of tri-state area and explore other parts of the country.

BMCC Nursing Department Chairperson Judy Eng said the pinning ceremony is a celebration for all the “stress and tears” students experience as they earn their degree.

“We didn’t ‘give’ this Associate Degree in Nursing to graduates — they earned it,” she said. “They don’t realize how hard they’ve worked, until this moment.”

Keynote speaker for the event was Yasmin Henry, Head Nurse, Educator, Clinical Affiliations Coordinator at Metropolitan Medical Center, NYC Health and Hospitals.  And the farewell address was delivered by BMCC Professor Sophia Clarke.

The Nursing Department also presented several special awards for the morning, afternoon and evening class sections including:

Nursing Award for Academic Excellence; Eter Bardanashvili, Dshania Lettsome and Carl Shimkin.

The Professional Development Award: Larisa Ochikova, Evelyn Paulino and Monica Rivera.

The Nursing Humanitarian Award: Sara Acosta, Nabina Khanal and Stephen Otteng.

The Best All Around Student: Kristen Buckley, Melissa Farmer, Stephen Otteng.

The Aubrey T. Robinson Award for Leadership, Intelligence, Compassion and Humor: Carl Shimkin.

The Sylvia Vincent Corliss Award for Intelligence, Caring and Humor: Monica Rivera.

The class of 2018 includes; Sara Acosta, Mayra Arcentales, Anika Arismendez, Ensa Badjie, Eter Bardanashvili, Yanique Black, Dmitry Bloomberg, Kristen Buckley, Mary Burgos, Qiling Chen, Zhong Chen, Arnaldo Cruz, Kinga Debowski, Charneil Donegan, Brittney Douce, Michelle Douglas, Melissa Farmer, Dyhia Fedoul, Alina Grinberg, Laurel Hom, Stephen Hughes, Nabina Khanal, Dina Kifayeh, Doma Lama, Raquel Lessey, D’shania Lettsome, D’shania Lettsome, Yuan Yuan Liu, Luis Madrid, Tzipora Montaine, Malda Muho, Nadezda Nevinskaya, Jenny Ng, Larisa Ochikova, Jasmine Olivo, Stephen Otteng, Foster Owusu, Evelyn Paulino, Sonia Piekarczyk, Cashima Pondt, Monical Rivera, Lisa Rodriguez, Yaquelyn Rodriguez, Maryia Rud, Habiba Salisu, Sandra Shamburger, Carl Shimkin, Olha Skyba, Maria Fernanda Soto, Brittney Taylor, Paldon Tenzin, Lianee Torres, Lilet Tubiak, Yanisda Vasquez, Lyudmyla Vitenko-Reynolds, Marion Williams and Melania Wozniak.

 


Nursing Department Pinning Ceremony Honors 57 Graduates

The Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY), Nursing Department held its annual Pinning Ceremony in Theatre One at 199 Chambers Street on May 30. Dressed in crisp white uniforms, the 57 graduates for Spring 2018 marched into the auditorium to “Pomp and Circumstance” as proud family, friends and others cheered them on.

BMCC President Antonio Pérez welcomed the audience and Erwin Wong, Dean for Academic Programs and Instruction as well as Jim Berg, Associate Dean of Faculty offered further remarks. Karrin Wilks, Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs, told the graduates that choosing to be a nurse is a special calling.

“As nurses, you will be doing something significant for society, both patients and their families, and for that I want to thank you,” said Wilks.

In the weeks to come, the BMCC graduates will take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (RNs).

Nationwide, demand for Registered Nurses is expected to increase 16 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all other occupations, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (USBLS).

The need for nurses will likely be driven by an increased emphasis on preventive care; growing rates of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity; and the need for healthcare services for the aging Baby-Boomer population, according to the USBLS.

BMCC offers both a full-time and a part-time, evening and weekend nursing programs for students who wish to become Registered Nurses.

BMCC nursing graduate Sandra Shamburger is a former member of the East German swim team and had been teaching swimming over the past few years. “In five years, I plan to either be a mid-wife or a nurse practitioner,” said Shamburger, who was ready to make a career change.

Graduate Carl Shimkin, said he felt both relieved and accomplished after completing the challenging program.

“This is a second career for me, and I was attracted to nursing because it is so meaningful and important, and that I get to help people,” said Shimkin, a former filmmaker and producer.

A native of New York City, Shimkin plans to look for opportunities outside of tri-state area and explore other parts of the country.

BMCC Nursing Department Chairperson Judy Eng said the pinning ceremony is a celebration for all the “stress and tears” students experience as they earn their degree.

“We didn’t ‘give’ this Associate Degree in Nursing to graduates — they earned it,” she said. “They don’t realize how hard they’ve worked, until this moment.”

Keynote speaker for the event was Yasmin Henry, Head Nurse, Educator, Clinical Affiliations Coordinator at Metropolitan Medical Center, NYC Health and Hospitals.  And the farewell address was delivered by BMCC Professor Sophia Clarke.

The Nursing Department also presented several special awards for the morning, afternoon and evening class sections including:

Nursing Award for Academic Excellence; Eter Bardanashvili, Dshania Lettsome and Carl Shimkin.

The Professional Development Award: Larisa Ochikova, Evelyn Paulino and Monica Rivera.

The Nursing Humanitarian Award: Sara Acosta, Nabina Khanal and Stephen Otteng.

The Best All Around Student: Kristen Buckley, Melissa Farmer, Stephen Otteng.

The Aubrey T. Robinson Award for Leadership, Intelligence, Compassion and Humor: Carl Shimkin.

The Sylvia Vincent Corliss Award for Intelligence, Caring and Humor: Monica Rivera.

The class of 2018 includes; Sara Acosta, Mayra Arcentales, Anika Arismendez, Ensa Badjie, Eter Bardanashvili, Yanique Black, Dmitry Bloomberg, Kristen Buckley, Mary Burgos, Qiling Chen, Zhong Chen, Arnaldo Cruz, Kinga Debowski, Charneil Donegan, Brittney Douce, Michelle Douglas, Melissa Farmer, Dyhia Fedoul, Alina Grinberg, Laurel Hom, Stephen Hughes, Nabina Khanal, Dina Kifayeh, Doma Lama, Raquel Lessey, D’shania Lettsome, D’shania Lettsome, Yuan Yuan Liu, Luis Madrid, Tzipora Montaine, Malda Muho, Nadezda Nevinskaya, Jenny Ng, Larisa Ochikova, Jasmine Olivo, Stephen Otteng, Foster Owusu, Evelyn Paulino, Sonia Piekarczyk, Cashima Pondt, Monical Rivera, Lisa Rodriguez, Yaquelyn Rodriguez, Maryia Rud, Habiba Salisu, Sandra Shamburger, Carl Shimkin, Olha Skyba, Maria Fernanda Soto, Brittney Taylor, Paldon Tenzin, Lianee Torres, Lilet Tubiak, Yanisda Vasquez, Lyudmyla Vitenko-Reynolds, Marion Williams and Melania Wozniak.

 


BMCC Symposium Highlights and Awards Faculty-Mentored Student Researchers

L-R: Antonio Perez, Jim Berg, Jose Fernandez Romero, Brenda Lagares, Daniel Torres, Marawan Elzoeiry, Christine Farias, Alexandra Artyfikiewicz, Victor Cruz, Claudia Melo, Adolfina Koroch, Karrin Wilks, Helene Bach

L-R: Antonio Perez, Jim Berg, Jose Fernandez Romero, Brenda Lagares, Daniel Torres, Marawan Elzoeiry, Christine Farias, Alexandra Artyfikiewicz, Victor Cruz, Claudia Melo, Adolfina Koroch, Karrin Wilks, Helene Bach

On May 9, the 2018 Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) Annual Research Symposium (BARS) presented a poster session that highlighted the research projects of 92 students working with 39 faculty mentors in a wide variety of fields.

Guided by their professors, the students have been examining kinetic recycling, robotic navigation, virtual reality, graph theory, the bioactivity of medicinal plants, solar panels, human memory and a number of other topics.

“The 2018 poster presentations showcase the unique undergraduate research opportunities at BMCC, made possible by the dedication and academic excellence of our faculty, as well as the talent and commitment of our students,” said Karrin E. Wilks, Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs.

She said she is not only impressed with the caliber and significant outcomes of the projects, “They expand and develop the students’ education and career preparation, and contribute to a rich and thriving research community at BMCC.”

Poster winners

As is the tradition with poster sessions, a competition determined which ones met the highest standards. They were judged by 44 volunteers; staff and faculty members who followed a rubric focused on the quality of communication and other elements.

“The poster event and competition is an illustration of students connecting to academics, faculty and the BMCC campus, which are the most promising ways to keep students engaged and on track to graduation,” said Sara Crosby, Director of the BMCC Learning Academy and a volunteer poster judge.

“I left the event feeling very proud of BMCC students, faculty, and staff,” she says, “and with my brain full of magnetic catalysts, wobble bots, protein distance maps and reiki’s effect on C. elegans!”

The winning students, along with the names of their projects and faculty mentors are:

Claudia Melo and Victor Cruz, “Antioxidant capacity of guava: A traditional medicinal plant used in the Dominican Republic (psidium guajava),” Professor Adolfina Koroch, Science;

Alexandra Artyfikiewicz, “Composting: A benefit or a cost for BMCC,” Professor Christine Farias, Social Sciences, Human Services and Criminal Justice;

Brenda Lagares and Reese Long, “Combination of griffithsin and broadly neutralizing antibodies results in antiviral synergy against HIV-1,” Professor José Fernández Romero, Science;

Amanda McKenzie, “How does attention affect the richness of our visual experience?” Professor Marjan Persuh, Social Sciences, Human Services and Criminal Justice;

Marawan Elzoeiry, “Adsorbate induced-segregation effects in three different mixed oxides: A computer-based study,” Professor Daniel Torres, Science.

Publically relevant, high-impact work

On May 23 in a conference room at 199 Chambers Street, a ceremony was held to honor the research poster winners.

The students and their faculty mentors came together, along with BMCC President Antonio Pérez, Dean Jim Berg, Provost Karrin Wilks and Director of Research Helene Bach.

Each student winner received a certificate of recognition and an award of $500 from the BMCC Office of Academic Affairs toward travel expenses to present their posters at a national research conference in the coming academic year.

Research projects at BMCC afford students with a unique opportunity to gain hands-on understanding of some of the most compelling research questions and issues under consideration today.

For example, said Professor Romero, in the project he leads with students Brenda Lagares and Reese Longare, “The TZM-bl or HeLa cells we used in our experiments are part of the legacy of Henrietta Lacks,” an African-American woman whose cancer cells were harvested without her knowledge when she died in 1951, and are the source of one of the most important cell lines in medical research today.

The HeLa cells in his project, which are provided free of charge through the National Institutes of Health AIDS Reagent Program, have been genetically engineered to become susceptible to HIV infection. “They are used to evaluate the potential antiviral synergy of a protein isolated from red seaweed, in combination with broadly neutralizing anti-HIV antibodies,” Romero says.

In other words, they are being used to contribute to the knowledge base that is enabling possible HIV treatments.

“You are all doing high caliber, graduate-level work here at BMCC,” Director Bach told the student researchers.

They are able to describe their work to PhDs and other researchers in their field, she said, as well as bring publically relevant, high-impact issues to the attention of the general public.

“Your research is not only technically difficult,” Bach said, “it warrants having a presence outside the laboratory, so that people are aware of its influence on the economy, public health, the environment and other vital areas.”

Research opportunities at BMCC

At BMCC, students benefit from multiple research opportunities housed in departments as varied as the Center for Ethnic studies, Health Education, Modern Languages, Science and Business.

These opportunities often provide stipends for student researchers who work closely with their professors who are principal investigators on state- and federally funded grants provided through the BMCC Foundation Fund for Undergraduate Research, the Louis Stokes Allied Minority Participation (LSAMP), the CUNY Research Scholars Program (CRSP) and others.

Resources for faculty researchers include the BMCC Office of Research and Scholarly Inquiry, which provides training and support for faculty and student researchers. For more information, call (212) 220-8320, Ext. 7980.

Another resource is the BMCC Office of Sponsored Programs, which offers a wide range of resources to faculty and staff as they search for external funding, develop proposals and manage funded projects. For more information, call (212) 220-8010.


BMCC Symposium Highlights and Awards Faculty-Mentored Student Researchers

L-R: Antonio Perez, Jim Berg, Jose Fernandez Romero, Brenda Lagares, Daniel Torres, Marawan Elzoeiry, Christine Farias, Alexandra Artyfikiewicz, Victor Cruz, Claudia Melo, Adolfina Koroch, Karrin Wilks, Helene Bach

L-R: Antonio Perez, Jim Berg, Jose Fernandez Romero, Brenda Lagares, Daniel Torres, Marawan Elzoeiry, Christine Farias, Alexandra Artyfikiewicz, Victor Cruz, Claudia Melo, Adolfina Koroch, Karrin Wilks, Helene Bach

On May 9, the 2018 Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) Annual Research Symposium (BARS) presented a poster session that highlighted the research projects of 92 students working with 39 faculty mentors in a wide variety of fields.

Guided by their professors, the students have been examining kinetic recycling, robotic navigation, virtual reality, graph theory, the bioactivity of medicinal plants, solar panels, human memory and a number of other topics.

“The 2018 poster presentations showcase the unique undergraduate research opportunities at BMCC, made possible by the dedication and academic excellence of our faculty, as well as the talent and commitment of our students,” said Karrin E. Wilks, Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs.

She said she is not only impressed with the caliber and significant outcomes of the projects, “They expand and develop the students’ education and career preparation, and contribute to a rich and thriving research community at BMCC.”

Poster winners

As is the tradition with poster sessions, a competition determined which ones met the highest standards. They were judged by 44 volunteers; staff and faculty members who followed a rubric focused on the quality of communication and other elements.

“The poster event and competition is an illustration of students connecting to academics, faculty and the BMCC campus, which are the most promising ways to keep students engaged and on track to graduation,” said Sara Crosby, Director of the BMCC Learning Academy and a volunteer poster judge.

“I left the event feeling very proud of BMCC students, faculty, and staff,” she says, “and with my brain full of magnetic catalysts, wobble bots, protein distance maps and reiki’s effect on C. elegans!”

The winning students, along with the names of their projects and faculty mentors are:

Claudia Melo and Victor Cruz, “Antioxidant capacity of guava: A traditional medicinal plant used in the Dominican Republic (psidium guajava),” Professor Adolfina Koroch, Science;

Alexandra Artyfikiewicz, “Composting: A benefit or a cost for BMCC,” Professor Christine Farias, Social Sciences, Human Services and Criminal Justice;

Brenda Lagares and Reese Long, “Combination of griffithsin and broadly neutralizing antibodies results in antiviral synergy against HIV-1,” Professor José Fernández Romero, Science;

Amanda McKenzie, “How does attention affect the richness of our visual experience?” Professor Marjan Persuh, Social Sciences, Human Services and Criminal Justice;

Marawan Elzoeiry, “Adsorbate induced-segregation effects in three different mixed oxides: A computer-based study,” Professor Daniel Torres, Science.

Publically relevant, high-impact work

On May 23 in a conference room at 199 Chambers Street, a ceremony was held to honor the research poster winners.

The students and their faculty mentors came together, along with BMCC President Antonio Pérez, Dean Jim Berg, Provost Karrin Wilks and Director of Research Helene Bach.

Each student winner received a certificate of recognition and an award of $500 from the BMCC Office of Academic Affairs toward travel expenses to present their posters at a national research conference in the coming academic year.

Research projects at BMCC afford students with a unique opportunity to gain hands-on understanding of some of the most compelling research questions and issues under consideration today.

For example, said Professor Romero, in the project he leads with students Brenda Lagares and Reese Longare, “The TZM-bl or HeLa cells we used in our experiments are part of the legacy of Henrietta Lacks,” an African-American woman whose cancer cells were harvested without her knowledge when she died in 1951, and are the source of one of the most important cell lines in medical research today.

The HeLa cells in his project, which are provided free of charge through the National Institutes of Health AIDS Reagent Program, have been genetically engineered to become susceptible to HIV infection. “They are used to evaluate the potential antiviral synergy of a protein isolated from red seaweed, in combination with broadly neutralizing anti-HIV antibodies,” Romero says.

In other words, they are being used to contribute to the knowledge base that is enabling possible HIV treatments.

“You are all doing high caliber, graduate-level work here at BMCC,” Director Bach told the student researchers.

They are able to describe their work to PhDs and other researchers in their field, she said, as well as bring publically relevant, high-impact issues to the attention of the general public.

“Your research is not only technically difficult,” Bach said, “it warrants having a presence outside the laboratory, so that people are aware of its influence on the economy, public health, the environment and other vital areas.”

Research opportunities at BMCC

At BMCC, students benefit from multiple research opportunities housed in departments as varied as the Center for Ethnic studies, Health Education, Modern Languages, Science and Business.

These opportunities often provide stipends for student researchers who work closely with their professors who are principal investigators on state- and federally funded grants provided through the BMCC Foundation Fund for Undergraduate Research, the Louis Stokes Allied Minority Participation (LSAMP), the CUNY Research Scholars Program (CRSP) and others.

Resources for faculty researchers include the BMCC Office of Research and Scholarly Inquiry, which provides training and support for faculty and student researchers. For more information, call (212) 220-8320, Ext. 7980.

Another resource is the BMCC Office of Sponsored Programs, which offers a wide range of resources to faculty and staff as they search for external funding, develop proposals and manage funded projects. For more information, call (212) 220-8010.


Hostos Mourns the Loss of First President, Dr. Nasry Michelen

Dr. Nasry Michelen, the first President of Eugenio María de Hostos Community College, passed away on July 3, 2018. He served as College President from 1969-1971. His passing is a great loss to the Hostos community.

A man of incredible integrity, vision and compassion, Dr. Michelen named the College after the great Eugenio María de Hostos and instilled the values Hostos proudly follows to this day. Among his long list of academic and humanitarian achievements was his involvement in leading the movement of community activism that fought for better educational pathways and healthcare services in the South Bronx. Hostos proudly joined the Nasry Michelen Foundation to celebrate his legacy on February 22, 2018, when he visited the College during its 50thAnniversary. His visit left a lasting impression on those who attended.

His legendary story, stated in his own words, is available to all and will live on through the Hostos 50thAnniversary Oral History Collective: https://soundcloud.com/user-659383919/nasry-michelen-first-hostos-community-college-president?in=user-659383919/sets/dignitaries#t=0:01


Noelle Fries awarded inaugural Joan Malin Reproductive Justice Fellowship

Noelle Fries

Noelle Fries

The Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC), in partnership with the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy (CUNY SPH), unveiled the Joan Malin Reproductive Justice Fellowship in Public Health earlier this year. Noelle Fries, an MPH student in Community Health and Social Sciences, has been selected as the inaugural fellow for the 2018-2019 academic year.

The fellowship, named in honor of Joan Malin who served as PPNYC’s President and CEO from 2000 to 2017, was created to support a graduate student in developing their theoretical knowledge and practical skills in applying a sexual and reproductive justice lens to address disparities in sexual and reproductive health in New York City.

With over 13 years of experience in anti-violence prevention, birth justice, and advocacy for race, gender, queer, and human rights, Fries has invoked sexual and reproductive justice in many of the projects she has engaged in in her academic, professional, and artistic pursuits. As the Joan Malin Fellow, Fries will be offered the opportunity to learn from leading public health practitioners and sexual and reproductive justice scholars and activists best practices for utilizing a sexual and reproductive justice focus to produce better sexual and reproductive health outcomes for all.

“Organizing for Planned Parenthood in California at 17 years old was what first propelled me into to activism,” said Fries. “I am beyond grateful for this opportunity to come full circle and further advance sexual and reproductive justice in NYC with such an impactful organization, while simultaneously pursuing my master’s degree at CUNY SPH with incredible faculty.”


FIVE U.S. MEMBERS OF 100 RESILIENT CITIES NETWORK LAUNCH TOOL TO MEASURE AND TRACK EQUALITY; DALLAS, OAKLAND, PITTSBURGH, ST. LOUIS, AND TULSA ANNOUNCE 2018 EQUALITY/EQUITY SCORES

Working with the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance (ISLG) and 100 Resilient Cities (100RC), in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation, the cities of Dallas; Oakland, Calif.; Pittsburgh; St. Louis and Tulsa, Okla. have taken significant steps toward addressing inequality in their cities. Each city, working closely with community partners and with input from a wide range of stakeholders, has developed a robust, tailored tool to measure and track its progress toward greater equality or equity, using localized indicators across specific sectors (e.g., economic opportunity, public health). Based on their Equality/Equity Indicators tools, these five cities have now released or are in the process of finalizing their first annual reports. In September, all five cities will present their tools and scores, along with a presentation of three years of data from New York City, at ISLG’s conference on equality.

The Equality/Equity Indicators tools and reports developed by these five cities are based on local data and provide key metrics that leaders and decision makers can use to craft more effective policy for their communities. As each city revisits its metrics annually, local residents and leaders will be able to clearly track its progress toward equality or equity over time citywide and in multiple domains.

The Equality/Equity Indicators framework is a natural extension of the work undertaken by 100RC member cities as they create and implement holistic strategies to build urban resilience. In Tulsa, the inaugural 2018 Equality Indicators Report served as an influential contribution to the city’s recently released Resilient Tulsa Strategy, whose principal focus is on building cohesive communities that are able to overcome deeply rooted racial disparities. In the same vein, in its Resilience Strategy the city of Dallas has integrated strong values of equity and inclusiveness as they relate to the economy, public health, infrastructure, and transportation. For Pittsburgh, the Equity Indicators will serve as an important baseline and evaluation tool for its OnePGH Resilience Strategy, enabling civic leaders to measure and monitor equity and reinforce the city’s commitment to P4 (People, Planet, Place and Performance). The Resilient Oakland playbook will similarly utilize the city’s Equality Indicators framework to evaluate its progress in tackling systemic and structural challenges. Finally, in its Preliminary Resilience Assessment, the city of St. Louis identified equity as the key principle that will underlie its Resilience Strategy, and its Equity Indicators work has ensured a special focus on racial and economic disparities.

“These tools will enable each of these cities to be more transparent about the progress that has been made toward equality and where work remains to be done,” said Michael Jacobson, Executive Director of the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance. “The tools and scores will also help decision makers and community stakeholders alike develop more data-driven policies and programs to address systemic inequities in their cities.”

“Disparity along economic and racial lines is a recurrent theme elevated by a number of North American cities in the 100RC Network,” said Otis Rolley, Managing Director for North America at 100 Resilient Cities. “Dallas, Oakland, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Tulsa have shown great leadership in prioritizing equality as a prerequisite to achieving urban resilience, and we continue working with them to uphold such rigorous standards in their resilience work.”

“Dallas is a prosperous community, and we are blessed with the continued prospect of sustained economic growth,” said Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax. “But despite an optimistic outlook, large segments of our community are not thriving. Too many of our residents are confronted every day by challenges to simply exist – homelessness, poverty, social and racial inequity, gun violence, access to quality education. This is Dallas’ true resilience challenge: overcoming the social and economic challenges that deny many of our residents’ social justice and economic well-being for themselves and their families.”

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said, “The study quantifies what our community already knows: That race matters. Almost every indicator of well-being we looked at shows troubling disparities by race. The Equity Indicators Report is a sobering but important foundation we will use to tackle racial disparities in Oakland – a community that celebrates diversity and inclusion, and can now measure our progress.”

“Ensuring equity for all is one of the city’s greatest priorities, and we are taking a data-driven approach to identify where the inequality is most pronounced and then invest in eliminating it,” said Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto. “We’ll be working with the Forbes Funds to use the Equity Indicators report and do independent third-party evaluations to ensure that we and our partners are delivering services effectively and equitably citywide.”

“I think we are now in a strong position to do the work necessary to improve our equity score,” said St. Louis Chief Resilience Officer Patrick Brown. “In City Hall, this report has already changed the conversations we’re having about how to better serve our residents. It’s changed the questions we’re asking. The goal of Equity Indicators is to align the work happening throughout the city and across the region as departments and organizations look at what they can do to contribute toward our goal of racial equity. Together we can start to ask different questions and have different conversations about how to move the needle. Honest and accurate data about equity has to be our backbone if we are to improve the resilience of St. Louis.”

“The Equality Indicators set a baseline for the work we face as a community,” Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said. “The issues we aim to address do not have easy solutions, but we are working together as a community, using the data from the Equality Indicators Report and our Resilient Tulsa Strategy to improve the lives of Tulsans and future generations.”

These five cities were selected to participate in this work last year with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation. The tools they developed build on the model developed by ISLG to measure equality among diverse groups (e.g., racial and ethnic minorities, immigrants, individuals with disabilities) in New York City. Launched in 2015, the New York City tool has now tracked progress on 96 indicators over the past three years.

Dallas

The City of Dallas examined 72 Equity Indicators for its tool within the areas of economic opportunity, education, housing and neighborhoods, justice and government, public health, and transportation and infrastructure. Transportation and infrastructure was Dallas’ best performing theme with a score of 59 out of 100, while economic opportunity received a score of 28, the lowest of the six themes. Indicators that received the lowest score of 1 include job opportunities, low educational attainment, and overcrowding. The highest scoring of the 72 indicators was the trust in government indicator, which received a score of 93. Other high-scoring indicators include graduation rates (90), city service satisfaction (89), and hospital quality (85).

Oakland

The Equity Indicators were identified as a strategy within the Resilient Oakland playbook and the Oakland Equity Indicators tool includes 72 indicators across six themes: economy, education, public health, housing, public safety, and neighborhood and civic life. Public safety was the lowest scoring theme with a score of 17.3 out of 100, while neighborhood and civic life was the highest scoring theme with a score of 50.6 out of 100. Several indicators received the lowest possible score of 1, including suspension rates, childhood asthma, and prison incarceration. One indicator, equal access accommodations, received the highest possible score of 100, indicating that the city complies with the minimum requirements for bilingual, public contact position employees.

Pittsburgh

Following the 2017 release of its OnePGH Resilience Strategy,  Pittsburgh’s Equity Indicators analyzed 80 indicators across four domains: health, food and safety; education, workforce development, and entrepreneurship –  housing, transportation, infrastructure, and environment; and civic engagement and communications. The lowest-scoring domain was health, food, and safety, which received 45 out of 100; the highest-scoring domain was civic engagement and communications (65 out of 100). Some of the highest-scoring indicators included access to a high-frequency transit network, access to green space, registered voters, and volunteering, each of which received the highest score of 100. Some of the lowest scoring indicators included homicides (1), homelessness (2), and asthma hospitalization rates (16).

St. Louis

The St. Louis Equity Indicators tool is a direct response to one of the calls to action in the Ferguson Commission Report for a racial equity benchmarking process. The tool measures 72 indicators across three themes that reflect the priorities of the Forward Through Ferguson report: Youth at the Center, Opportunity to Thrive, and Justice for All. The Child Wellbeing topic in the Youth at the Center theme received the lowest topic score, meaning that racial disparities are largest in this topic area. The Civic Engagement topic in the Justice for All theme had the highest topic score, meaning that racial disparities are relatively small in this topic area. The lowest scoring indicators were child asthma (1) and vacancy (2), while some of the highest-scoring indicators included high school graduation rates (100) and access to parks (95). It is important to note that while high school graduation rates are equitable for black and white students in St. Louis, rates for all students are very low.

Tulsa

Tulsa’s report focuses on six priority areas: economic opportunity, education, housing, justice, public health, and services. The city worked closely with its community partner, the Community Service Council, to collect and analyze the data across 54 indicators. Of the six areas, public health had the highest score (47) and housing had the lowest (34.33). The lowest-scoring indicators, with a score of 1, included homelessness, overcrowding, and bikeability. Indicators that received a score of 100 were housing choice vouchers and access to public city parks with playgrounds.

About the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance

The Equality Indicators is a project of the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance (ISLG). ISLG is a nonpartisan research and policy institute within The City University of New York (CUNY). The institute’s mission is to work with government and nongovernment organizations to improve systems to produce better results worthy of public investment and trust. We aim to advance data-driven approaches that influence policy and operations and that support work in diverse communities. In short, we help government – and organizations connected to it – do better. We focus on working with cities and states because they are ideal laboratories for developing new approaches to longstanding social problems, and are ripe with opportunities and momentum for real, sustainable change. For more information, please visit equalityindicators.org and islg.cuny.edu.

About 100 Resilient Cities—Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation

100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) helps cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. 100RC provides this assistance through funding for a Chief Resilience Officer in each member city who will lead the resilience efforts; resources for drafting a resilience strategy; access to private sector, public sector, academic, and NGO resilience tools; and membership in a global network of peer cities to share best practices and challenges. For more information, visit: www.100ResilientCities.org.

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in 1847, CUNY counts 13 Nobel Prize and 23 MacArthur (“Genius”) grant winners among its alumni. CUNY students, alumni and faculty have garnered scores of other prestigious honors over the years in recognition of historic contributions to the advancement of the sciences, business, the arts and myriad other fields. The University comprises 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, CUNY Graduate Center, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, CUNY School of Law, CUNY School of Professional Studies and CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. The University serves more than 275,000 degree-seeking students. CUNY offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies.

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More accolades for CCNY authors, Irina Silber & Hidetaka Hirota

Anthropologist Irina Carlota (Lotti) Silber of CCNY’s Colin Powell School UCA Editores’ “Author of the Month.”

“Expelling the Poor,” CCNY historian Hidetaka Hirota’s seminal maiden book on immigration, is the recipient of the Donald Murphy Prize for Distinguished First Books — its third award.

Anthropologist Irina Carlota (Lotti) Silber of The City College of New York’s Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership is the El Salvador-based UCA Editores’ “Author of the Month.” The accolade is for the recent publication of the Spanish-language edition of her award-winning book “Everyday Revolutionaries: Gender, Violence, and Disillusionment in Postwar El Salvador” (Rutgers University Press). UCA Editores, based at the Universidad Centroamericana “José Simeón Cañas (Central American University) in San Salvador, El Salvador is one of the region’s leading university presses.

There’s also a third award for historian Hidetaka Hirota’sExpelling the Poor: Atlantic Seaboard States and the Nineteenth-Century Origins of American Immigration Policy” (Oxford University Press).

In “Everyday Revolutionaries,” Silber provides a longitudinal and rigorous analysis of the legacies of war in a community racked by political violence. By exploring political processes in one of El Salvador’s former war zones — a region known for its peasant revolutionary participation — she offers a searing portrait of the entangled aftermaths of confrontation and displacement, aftermaths that have produced continued deception and marginalization.

“Everyday Revolutionaries” won the 2013 International Latino Book Awards in the Best First Book, Nonfiction category.

Silber is associate professor and chair of the department of anthropology, gender studies and international studies in the Colin Powell School.

A first time author, Hirota is celebrating an impressive hat trick with “Expelling the Poor” after receiving the Donald Murphy Prize for Distinguished First Books from the American Conference for Irish Studies.

The award comes on the heels of the 2018 Lois P. Rudnick Book Prize bestowed on “Expelling the Poor.”

In the spring, the tome received the Immigration and Ethnic History Society’s Best First Book Award.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.

 

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Jay Mwamba
p: 212.650.7580
e:jmwamba@ccny.cuny.edu
View CCNY Media Kit


The CUNY SPH Fund appoints three community leaders to its inaugural board

The CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy Foundation (CUNY SPH Fund) announces the appointment of three business and community leaders to its inaugural board of directors. The new members are Leah Abraham, Yin Ho, and Michael Meng.

CUNY SPH Fund board members from left to right: Adam Doyno, Susan Klitzman, Emad Zikry, Leah Abraham, Ayman El-Mohandes, Lyndon Haviland, Yin Ho, Michael Meng

CUNY SPH Fund board members from left to right: Adam Doyno, Susan Klitzman, Emad Zikry, Leah Abraham, Ayman El-Mohandes, Lyndon Haviland, Yin Ho, Michael Meng

Welcoming Abraham, Ho, and Meng to the board are interim chair Lyndon Haviland, interim treasurer Emad Zikry, interim secretary Susan Klitzman, dean of CUNY SPH Ayman El-Mohandes and executive director of the CUNY SPH Fund Adam Doyno. El-Mohandes and Doyno both serve as ex officio members of the board.

“We are honored to assemble a group of remarkable leaders to steer our school’s new foundation forward,” said Dean El-Mohandes. “Bringing this inaugural board together is an important milestone in the history of our school. Their collective strength in innovation and entrepreneurship will enrich our mission to nurture the next generation of public health practitioners and researchers.”

Leah Abraham, president and co-owner of Settepani, a café and restaurant in Harlem, has established deep roots in the Harlem community. Abraham is a founding board member of Harlem Park to Park, a social enterprise committed to cultural preservation, small business, and economic development in Central Harlem, and has formerly served as vice-chair of the 125th Street Business Improvement District. She has also held a seat on the White House Panel for Workforce Management. Abraham’s connection to the Harlem community aligns with the School’s mission of promoting and sustaining healthier populations, starting with the local Harlem community.

Yin Ho, a licensed physician trained in emergency medicine, has applied her background and knowledge in medicine and technology to found Context Matters Inc., a healthcare information and data analytics technology platform based in New York City. Ho also co-founded the NYC Health Business Leaders network and serves on the Advisory Board of NYC Economic Development Corporation’s Bio and Health Tech NYC Entrepreneurship Lab Program. Ho’s expertise in the health and economic environment of NYC will be invaluable to the Board.

Michael Meng is the chairman, president and chief financial officer of Stellar Health, a technology company that improves population health outcomes for providers and insurers around the country. Michael brings to the board extensive experience investing in and working with healthcare companies to offer technology solutions and other ancillary services in the health sphere.

“Our dynamic students deserve an equally dynamic board committed to the health of all. We are looking forward to working with this new team to grow the school’s fundraising efforts and honor its commitment to providing high quality education and fostering innovation in public health,” said Doyno.


The CUNY SPH Fund appoints three community leaders to its inaugural board

The CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy Foundation (CUNY SPH Fund) announces the appointment of three business and community leaders to its inaugural board of directors. The new members are Leah Abraham, Yin Ho, and Michael Meng.

CUNY SPH Fund board members from left to right: Adam Doyno, Susan Klitzman, Emad Zikry, Leah Abraham, Ayman El-Mohandes, Lyndon Haviland, Yin Ho, Michael Meng

CUNY SPH Fund board members from left to right: Adam Doyno, Susan Klitzman, Emad Zikry, Leah Abraham, Ayman El-Mohandes, Lyndon Haviland, Yin Ho, Michael Meng

Welcoming Abraham, Ho, and Meng to the board are interim chair Lyndon Haviland, interim treasurer Emad Zikry, interim secretary Susan Klitzman, dean of CUNY SPH Ayman El-Mohandes and executive director of the CUNY SPH Fund Adam Doyno. El-Mohandes and Doyno both serve as ex officio members of the board.

“We are honored to assemble a group of remarkable leaders to steer our school’s new foundation forward,” said Dean El-Mohandes. “Bringing this inaugural board together is an important milestone in the history of our school. Their collective strength in innovation and entrepreneurship will enrich our mission to nurture the next generation of public health practitioners and researchers.”

Leah Abraham, president and co-owner of Settepani, a café and restaurant in Harlem, has established deep roots in the Harlem community. Abraham is a founding board member of Harlem Park to Park, a social enterprise committed to cultural preservation, small business, and economic development in Central Harlem, and has formerly served as vice-chair of the 125th Street Business Improvement District. She has also held a seat on the White House Panel for Workforce Management. Abraham’s connection to the Harlem community aligns with the School’s mission of promoting and sustaining healthier populations, starting with the local Harlem community.

Yin Ho, a licensed physician trained in emergency medicine, has applied her background and knowledge in medicine and technology to found Context Matters Inc., a healthcare information and data analytics technology platform based in New York City. Ho also co-founded the NYC Health Business Leaders network and serves on the Advisory Board of NYC Economic Development Corporation’s Bio and Health Tech NYC Entrepreneurship Lab Program. Ho’s expertise in the health and economic environment of NYC will be invaluable to the Board.

Michael Meng is the chairman, president and chief financial officer of Stellar Health, a technology company that improves population health outcomes for providers and insurers around the country. Michael brings to the board extensive experience investing in and working with healthcare companies to offer technology solutions and other ancillary services in the health sphere.

“Our dynamic students deserve an equally dynamic board committed to the health of all. We are looking forward to working with this new team to grow the school’s fundraising efforts and honor its commitment to providing high quality education and fostering innovation in public health,” said Doyno.

 

About CUNY SPH

The CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (CUNY SPH) is committed to promoting health and social justice in New York City and across the globe through innovation and leadership. Our mission is to provide a collaborative and accessible environment for excellence in education, research, and service in public health, to promote and sustain healthier populations in New York City and around the world, and to shape policy and practice in public health for all. For more information about the School, please visit www.sph.cuny.edu.

Contact:
Barbara Aaron, Director of Communications
barbara.aaron@sph.cuny.edu
www.sph.cuny.edu

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SPECIAL ISSUE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE POLICY REVIEW DEDICATED TO JJC’S MISDEMEANOR JUSTICE PROJECT

SPECIAL ISSUE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE POLICY REVIEW DEDICATED TO JJC’S MISDEMEANOR JUSTICE PROJECT

                                                                                       Professor Preeti Chauhan

Criminal Justice Policy Review released an online special issue in May dedicated to the Misdemeanor Justice Project (MJP) of John Jay College of Criminal Justice. A printed version of the special issue will be released later this year.

The Criminal Justice Policy Review journal is a project of the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). It is edited by Professor Daniel Lee and published by Sage Publishing.

“The MJP is thrilled to work in collaboration with Criminal Justice Policy Review to release this special issue focused on criminal justice system responses to lower-level offenses,” Preeti Chauhan

The MJP seeks to understand the criminal Justice responses to lower-level offenses, from arrest to disposition. It is a research initiative, led by Professor Preeti Chauhan and a research team of faculty, graduate students and staff at John Jay College. Researchers affiliated with the MJP are located at universities and criminal justice agencies throughout the United States. “The MJP is thrilled to work in collaboration with Criminal Justice Policy Review to release this special issue focused on criminal justice system responses to lower-level offenses,” Dr. Chauhan said.

The introduction to the special issue, authored by Chauhan and Jeremy Travis, founder and former co-director of the Misdemeanor Project and executive vice president of Criminal Justice at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, notes: “Until recently, the majority of scholarly work and policy focus in criminal justice has been on serious crimes and felony arrests. However, for a variety of reasons, the enforcement of lower-level offenses such as a misdemeanor arrests, citations or summonses, and pedestrian or vehicle stops as well as the criminal justice system’s response to these enforcement actions warrant greater empirical inquiry. We hope that, over time, these inaugural volumes will spark a robust scholarly examination of these questions surrounding enforcement of lower-level offenses and pretrial detention.”

“IUP is extremely proud of the longstanding publication of Criminal Justice Policy Review, and we are very pleased to publish and promote the research that has been produced as part of the Misdemeanor Justice Project,” Lee said.

Criminal Justice Policy Review has a long history of publishing respected evaluation research and critical commentary related to many aspects of criminal justice policy and administration. The publication of this special issue shows how the history of excellence in scholarship at IUP has laid a foundation for the continued dedication to the discovery of knowledge and establishing partnerships with regional and national leaders.”

A total of nine articles are included in this special issue, including topics related to police officer discretion, pretrial diversion, the effects of retaining legal representation, and other aspects of enforcing and processing criminal cases that involve lower-level offenses. The special issue includes an article by John Jay Professor Eric Piza entitled “The Effect of Various Police Enforcement Actions on Violent Crime: 611 Evidence from a Saturation Foot-Patrol Intervention.”


PRESIDENT MASON’S APPEAL FOR BLACK AND BROWN CHILDREN

President Mason’s Appeal for Black and Brown Children

On Thursday, June 28th, President Karol V. Mason spoke at The Aspen Ideas Festival discussing “Criminal Justice Reform, Politics, and Forging a Way Forward.” Since The Aspen Ideas Festival gathered global leaders to examine challenging topical issues, President Mason wanted to share this essay with both the John Jay and Aspen community.

Give Black and Brown Children the Room to Make Mistakes
By Karol V. Mason, President of John Jay College of Criminal Justice

When a parent looks down at their newborn child, they’re filled with hope. A hope that if this child works hard in life, he’ll be successful. It doesn’t matter where he was born, how much his parents make, or his ethnicity. That hope is there. It’s a hope we pride ourselves on as a nation—we’re the “Land of Opportunity.” But in today’s America—where many black and brown children are often looked at with more suspicion and less empathy—we have to start asking ourselves a tough question: Do we give every child the same opportunities?

“Here’s a simple truth: We all have our biases. And many of us don’t understand our biases until we see the data.”—President Karol V. Mason

The Reality
Here’s a simple truth: We all have our biases. And many of us don’t understand our biases until we see the data. Today we have multiple studies and reports, proving that people of color are disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system. The United States Sentencing Commission issued an update on its report, checking if the racial disparity in sentencing was because one group had more violent crime than another. But, when they normalized the data for that factor, they concluded that sentencing was still unjustifiably disproportionate. Black and brown people are just being treated more harshly. It’s why black parents tell their children, “You can’t afford to make mistakes that other people can, because you won’t get a second chance.” We’ve all made mistakes as kids. It’s part of adolescent development. The problem is that we’ll give some young people the room to make mistakes, but we don’t give black and brown children that same room.

“We need to see the humanity in people that may not look like us, may not sound like us, but in every sense that matters are a part of us.”—President Karol V. Mason

The “Otherness”
What we need to do is see people as people. We need to see the humanity in people that may not look like us, may not sound like us, but in every sense that matters are a part of us. In many cases, without consciously knowing it, we create an “otherness” that demonizes the unfamiliar. What we should be doing is recognizing our similarities. We have to start seeing black and brown children as our children. I know that for some people it’s disconcerting seeing the demographic of our country changing. But the reality is, in the not so distant future, Caucasians will be the minority. That means that black and brown children are a part of our future, and we should be investing in them.

“You’d be surprised what something as simple as a MetroCard or a regular meal can do for a student.”—President Karol V. Mason

The Investment
When it comes to social and economic mobility, education is the key. You can’t succeed in this society anymore without an education. A high school education used to be the minimum, now a college degree is the minimum for most jobs. Right now more black and brown children are attending college, but the number of them graduating is not increasing. That’s why student success is my biggest focus as President of John Jay College. We have to change that paradigm and get those numbers up. It’s all about where we focus our attention and our investment. Many of these students come from families where there’s poverty, homelessness, food insecurity and undocumented status. They’re fighting all these odds, and it’s in everyone’s best interest to help give them the resources they need to graduate. You’d be surprised what something as simple as a MetroCard or a regular meal can do for a student. These students need support and education, as well as structure and boundaries. But those boundaries should support their success, instead of making their lives even harder.

“It’s all about creating a supportive environment instead of a punitive one, because it’s our job to keep children in school, not to push them out.”—President Karol V. Mason

The Cycle
I believe that as a society we’ve become less forgiving. And this less forgiving nature impacts black and brown children deeply in two specific areas: the classroom and the criminal justice system. In many cases, if a child doesn’t follow the teacher’s instructions in the classroom, it quickly becomes a behavioral issue with someone being called in to remove the child. But it doesn’t have to always be this way. I know a police officer who changed this dynamic simply by stooping down and whispering to a student, “What’s wrong?” Instead of telling this young, black high school student, “Your teacher told you to lift your head off your desk. Lift up your head.” He had the sensitivity to understand there could be a bigger issue at hand. As it turns out, the child had witnessed a friend being shot and killed the day before. He was still processing that trauma. This police officer broke the cycle. He didn’t make a scene. He just asked the student to come with him to get some help. It’s all about creating a supportive environment instead of a punitive one, because it’s our job to keep children in school, not to push them out. And when young people get tied up in our criminal justice system, we need to acknowledge their humanity and provide the resources for them to succeed afterwards. The research is clear, you keep people from coming back into the system if they have jobs, education and a connection to family. And isn’t that what we want? Successful reentry lessens the cost on the taxpayer, and strengthens families and communities because they become productive members of society.

“Black and brown children deserve the opportunity to succeed. And as a society, we can’t afford not to give it to them.”—President Karol V. Mason

The Future
At John Jay my ultimate motivation is helping students find the resources they need to thrive. And that’s what our society should be doing, providing systems that help all children, regardless of race, ethnicity, income or status. Even when you look at it from a cost perspective, in the long run, it’s cheaper to educate children, and it’s cheaper to keep them out of the criminal justice system. We have to look at black and brown children as our hope and our future. The next great novelist could be that child that was kicked out of class. The scientist that finds a cure for cancer could be that child that was locked up. Black and brown children deserve the opportunity to succeed. And as a society, we can’t afford not to give it to them.

See President Mason’s “Conversations with Great Leaders” at The Aspen Institute
http://www.jjay.cuny.edu/news/president-mason-talks-criminal-justice-reform-aspen-institute


AKI ASHE (’09) TALKS ABOUT THE POWER OF PERCEPTION

                                                                         Aki Ashe

Since graduating from John Jay, alumnus Aki Ashe has become a successful business owner through his fashion company Brooklyn United Ties. We sat down with Ashe to learn more about his journey and the pivotal lessons he learned along the way.

 

Motherly Advice
As a young African-American boy, Ashe learned that his appearance had the power to catapult his success. Ashe’s mother always told him, “When you’re a minority, perception is more important. You have to wear the appropriate clothes, so you’re not judged negatively.” His mother taught him how to dress smartly with complementary shirt, tie and jacket combinations. And, after absorbing his mother’s fashion advice, Ashe became an entrepreneur at 15, buying jeans and reselling them with his own handcrafted designs.

When you’re a minority, perception is more important. You have to wear the appropriate clothes, so you’re not judged negatively.” —Advice from Aki Ashe’s Mother

 

Lessons Learned

Ashe attended John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where he majored in Public Administration and minored in Economics. “My education at John Jay helped me learn to be more disciplined. I had to get to my classes, do my homework and acquire enough credits to graduate,” says Ashe. After graduating from John Jay, Ashe attended Manhattan’s Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and took courses in: fashion design, importation, exportation, manufacturing, and international business.                                                                                                                                            

Business Attire

After FIT, Ashe became hyper aware of his clothing choices and personal style. That’s why he sprung into action when he opened his tie drawer one morning and noticed that every tie was either overused, wrinkly or falling apart. He went to a retired seamstress and asked her if she could make him some ties. She agreed and Ashe picked the fabric and suggested his own design. When he wore his custom-made ties around family, friends and colleagues, Ashe received so many compliments that he decided to start his own business.

“I see the mistakes that new grads make, dressing too casual for an interview. I want to teach them how to make a strong, impressive first impression.”Aki Ashe

 

In Fashion

Ashe’s company Brooklyn United Ties customizes scarves and ties, and holds “Dress For Success Workshops” to help students look more polished and professional. “A tie is a symbol that captures a story, making it an experience within itself, like wearing a work of art or a piece of history,” says Ashe. The company also teaches college students how to write resumes and find appropriate hairstyles for interviews and work. “I see the mistakes that new grads make, dressing too casual for an interview. I want to teach them how to make a strong, impressive first impression.” Ashe aims to do a “Dress For Success” workshop at least once a month for college students.


LaGuardia Community College Graduates Win Investment From 2018 CUNY Startup Accelerator

Luis Medina Triana and Christian Robinson selected for their platform, Perfectus.io, designed to connect startup ventures with students seeking professional experience

Luis Medina Triana and Christian Robinson Christian Robinson to the left & Luis Medina Triana to the right

CUNY Startups assists students in launching their own ventures, through a four-month program that helps teams go from idea to pilot to launch. After successfully taking an early stage idea to a well-defined launch plan, LaGuardia Community College/CUNY graduates, Luis Medina Triana and Christian Robinson, were recently selected for a $4,500 grant towards their startup, a platform called Perfectus.io, which enables startups to find talent to staff-up their ventures. They describe it on their website as, “A unique platform that matches startups with the right level of experience, interest, and compensation.”

“As an entrepreneur myself, I know firsthand how important CUNY Startups is to young entrepreneurs,” said CUNY Startups Manager of Marketing & Partnerships Faith Fraser. “Many founders come to us with just an idea and over the course of four months are able to accomplish so much. Luis and Christian are a great example of that.”

“The initiative that Luis and Christian showed in bringing their idea to CUNY Startups is commendable. Being a part of the CUNY system affords our students with many meaningful opportunities, like those at CUNY Startups. We encourage all our students to take advantage of these opportunities to expand their learning, connect with experts in their fields of interest, and find support for future ventures,” said LaGuardia Community College President Gail O. Mellow. “With the grant Luis and Christian are receiving towards their platform, combined with their education, and commitment to innovation, they’re primed to make a significant mark on NYC’s tech ecosystem.”

Robinson describes how they drew from their own experience working on startups as inspiration: “I was on several startup teams that fell apart when we weren’t able to find people with the right skillsets to fill much-needed roles; it was especially hard to find people outside my major area to work with us — we just didn’t know enough people.”

They decided to address this gap with a new platform.

“Startups don’t often have the resources to pay a recruiter $10,000; they may only have just enough money to post a position on a job board or to ask around. As a result, they end up getting a small pool of applicants,” said Medina Triana. “Startups also need a process that is streamlined and easy to use – because they need workers NOW, yet lack the time to go through hundreds of resumes.”

“The platform also works for students because it helps them find good positions quickly – and many are eager to start working asap,” said Robinson.

Medina Triana and Robinson plan to put their CUNY Startups winnings towards building the platform. They also recently won the Capital One Innovation Challenge for their customer research work on their project. Currently, they’re working with two clients on a trial basis.

Medina Triana (class of 2013) and Robinson (class of 2018), both age 26, met at a reception celebrating the opening of Cornell Tech — quickly bonding over a shared desire to start their own businesses. They decided to form a partnership and seek opportunities together.

“Our original startup idea was a peer to peer matching system — helping students connect with other students to work together,” said Medina Triana. “However, we pivoted our idea to create a sustainable business model helping startups find the right fit for their team and helping students gain experience in roles that fit their passions.”

“As entrepreneurs, we decided to focus on startups as they’re such an exciting area,” said Robinson. “We know how eager many students are for any experience they can add to their resume and build their professional experience.”

Medina Triana, who was born and raised in Colombia, earned a bachelor’s in digital marketing from Baruch College. He recently earned a professional certificate from TechHire, LaGuardia’s coding boot camp program, and currently works as a member of LaGuardia’s webmaster team.

Robinson, age 26, is a graduate of LaGuardia’s President’s Society — Tech, a professional development program for students interested in working in tech, and is currently working towards a bachelor’s in business administration at Medgar Evers College. He currently works as a client engagement specialist at iTell.io, a tech startup working out of NYDesigns, a startup incubator space located on the LaGuardia campus.

For more information about LaGuardia’s suite of tech education and training programs, please contact Seema Shah, Director of Tech and Innovation at TechPartnerships@lagcc.cuny.edu

• • • •

LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, educates more than 50,000 New Yorkers annually through degree, certificate, and continuing education programs. Our guiding principle Dare To Do More reflects our belief in the transformative power of education—not just for individuals, but for our community and our country—creating pathways for achievement and safeguarding the middle class. LaGuardia is a national voice on behalf of community colleges, where half of all US college students study. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), the College reflects the legacy of our namesake, Fiorello H. LaGuardia, the former NYC mayor beloved for his championing the underserved. Since our doors opened in 1971, our programs regularly become national models for pushing boundaries to give people of all backgrounds access to a high quality, affordable college education. We invite you to join us in imagining what our students, our community, and our country can become. Visit www.LaGuardia.edu to learn more.

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CUNY SPH announces Christian Grov as new chair for the Department of Community Health and Social Sciences

Christian Grov

Christian Grov

CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy (CUNY SPH) announces that Christian Grov has taken over the position of chair for the department of Community Health and Social Sciences (CHASS), while outgoing chair Diana Romero and outgoing deputy chair Sandra Echeverria step down. The departmental changes took effect on July 1, 2018.

Drs. Romero and Echeverria have served in their chair and deputy chair roles since the department’s inception in 2016 within the newly consolidated school of public health. CUNY SPH gratefully acknowledge their thoughtful leadership of and advocacy for the faculty, students, and staff of CHASS, particularly during the challenging initial days of the school’s transition.

Dr. Grov has been on faculty with CUNY since 2008, spending his first eight years at Brooklyn College before SPH consolidated to its new Harlem campus in 2015. He is also an investigator with the CUNY Institute for Implementation Science in Population Health and will remain so in his new role as chair. Dr. Grov’s research focuses on the sexual health and well-being of sexual minority individuals, particularly gay and bisexual men. He has co-authored more than 130 publications and is presently principal investigator of the Together 5,000 (T5K) cohort study. T5K has enrolled and is longitudinally following nearly nine thousand individuals from across the US who are at risk for acquiring HIV.

“I am thrilled to undertake this new journey as chair. I see this as an opportunity to grow the research portfolio of the department while simultaneously maintaining our outstanding record of teaching and mentorship for our graduate students,” said Grov.

As Dr. Grov assumes his new responsibilities, Drs. Romero and Echeverria will rededicate themselves to their scholarly and teaching endeavors.


House Built by City Tech Architectural Technology Students Rebuilt for Berthoud Habitat for Humanity

Professor Aptekar (back row, second from left) with his Architectural Technology and Construction Management students. Credit: Ric Haskins

In 2015, a team of City Tech Architectural Technology students participated in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon competition in California. This competition challenged them to design and build a full-size solar powered house. Now, the net energy house will provide a home for a family in need.

A group of nine current and former City Tech Architectural Technology and Construction Management students, including members of the College’s Sustainable Technology Association (STA), recently returned from a trip to Berthoud, Colorado, where they helped reassemble the house originally built for the Solar Decathlon competition.

The student builders, led by Architectural Technology Professor Alexander Aptekar, spent over two weeks training and working alongside Berthoud Habitat for Humanity volunteers, teaching them techniques they learned in school. One such technique, the passive house methodology, reduces energy waste by sealing a house from outside temperatures while maintaining a stable inside temperature and air quality. Professor Aptekar hopes that Habitat for Humanity will continue using this method in future construction to ensure higher performing homes.

According to Aptekar, “The students really enjoyed this novel experience, not only learning while they worked, but also feeling welcomed into the neighborhood by staying in a local church and having home-cooked meals prepared by members of the community. The view of the Rocky Mountains didn’t hurt, either.”

Now that they have returned to New York City, the students will monitor real-time data on the house’s air quality and power consumption thanks to meters donated by a local utility company.

“Having this house rebuilt as part of a Berthoud Habitat for Humanity project was a great fit for the College. Not only will this allow us to continue doing research, but it is also a project that supports both organizations’ missions,” said Aptekar.

More information about the Berthoud, Colorado rebuilding project can be found at the following links:

9News – Solar Powered Smart Home Rebuilt for Berthoud Habitat for Humanity

Berthoud Surveyor – Near Zero-Energy DURA House Developed by Students in New York Finds a Home with Berthoud Habitat for Humanity


Hostos Sending Students to Help Rebuild Puerto Rico

With Puerto Rico close to their hearts, five Hostos students have joined the CUNY Service Corps. Their mission: To volunteer for two weeks on the island as part of the NY Stands with Puerto Rico Recovery and Rebuilding Initiative.

The students include Gabriela Castillo, Alex Gutiérrez, Mya Hiraldo, Karla Ignacio, and Teresa Rivera. While some have personal connections to Puerto Rico, all have a strong sense of duty and commitment to public service. Throughout the months of July and August, they will join hundreds of other CUNY and SUNY students, who will work with non-profit organizations already on the ground. The students will also receive college credits and partake in a truly transformative experience, for themselves and others.

Applying to the CUNY service corps Puerto Rico initiative was an easy decision for Teresa Rivera. She has a history of volunteering at donation drives and was especially motivated to give back to the island from which her grandparents hail.

“I enrolled in the Puerto Rico program because I am passionate about community development and mi isla(my island),” she explained. “Volunteering at donation drives was not enough, and I have been trying to get on the ground since Maria hit. I have a lot of experience in organizing community members and service work, so I did not hesitate to apply.”

Gabriela Castillo, who is studying dental hygiene at Hostos, said she applied for the CUNY Service Corp trip to Puerto Rico out of a sense of civic responsibility.

“Reading about the devastation left in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria made me realize how fortunate I have been to never experience the aftermath of a natural disaster. I felt privileged in a sense. It was these feelings that really pushed me to be part of a real, physical effort to rebuild Puerto Rico this summer.”

Liberal Arts major Alex Gutiérrez learned about the program from Hostos professor Ana Lopez. He developed a strong interest in the region while taking her Latin American and Caribbean Studies course.

The Bronx native visited Puerto Rico a year before Hurricane Maria struck the island and said the experience was transformative. Gutiérrez, who is of Puerto Rican descent and Vice President the Puerto Rican Student Organization at Hostos, is humbled by the opportunity to give back to the island that has left such a lasting impact on him.

“The history there is important, and I don’t want it to be washed away and forgotten,” he said.

Gutiérrez will be part of a team assigned to roof repair on the island. He looks forward to being on the ground to lend a helping hand.

Governor Andrew Cuomo extended a personal invitation to the students to attend the National Puerto Rican Day Parade and breakfast as his guest on June 10.

About Hostos Community College
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College is an educational agent for change that has been transforming and improving the quality of life in the South Bronx and neighboring communities for a half-century. Since 1968, Hostos has been a gateway to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility, as well as a point of departure for lifelong learning, success in professional careers, and transfer to advanced higher education programs.

Hostos offers 27 associate degree programs and two certificate programs that facilitate easy transfer to The City University of New York’s (CUNY) four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions. The College has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education & Workforce Development that offers professional development courses and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. Hostos is part of CUNY, the nation’s leading urban public university, which serves more than 500,000 students at 24 colleges.


LaGuardia Partner Energy Tech High School Celebrates Graduation

Energy Tech High School, which trains graduates for in-demand jobs in the STEM field here in New York City, recently marked its second-ever graduating class. The school opened five years ago through a partnership between LaGuardia Community College, The City University of New York, National Grid, and Con Edison.

Energy Tech High School is part of a growing movement of grades 9-14 programs, where students can take college courses starting as early as the 10th grade, and can pursue an engineering-related associate degree free of charge.

Over half the members of Energy Tech’s Class of 2018 plan to continue their education at LaGuardia Community College to earn an associate degree in engineering or other majors.

“Congratulations to Energy Tech High School’s Class of 2018! The partnership between our college, CUNY, National Grid and Con Edison is clearly working,” said LaGuardia Community College President Gail O. Mellow. “Our collaboration with Energy Tech and other high schools lets students get a head start on going to college, while also demystifying the whole process of applying to and attending college. This model has shown success and we are proud to have been a pioneer in integrating high school and college education. Graduates of Energy Tech have a bright future as we grapple with creating more sustainable and reliable energy sources.”

“Energy Tech has excelled within the Early College Initiative using two core tenets of the strategic framework guiding CUNY: supported transitions from high school to college, and the full partnership with National Grid and other employer partners providing formative work-based learning and mentoring experiences towards successful career options in the energy industry,” said Brian Donnelly, director of the CUNY Early College Initiative.

“Upon high school graduation, students of the Class of 2018 have already made great strides toward their college and career goals. We look forward to continuing to develop our students and alumni as leaders in the energy industry, STEM fields more broadly, and beyond,” said Hope Barter, founding principal of Energy Tech High School.

Ken Daly, chief operating officer of US Electric, National Grid, delivered the keynote address at the graduation, in which he encouraged the Class of 2018 to continue to accept the challenge as they pursue a unique pathway to careers in the energy industry and beyond. “Your individual successes will benefit society as a whole, when you succeed you are helping someone else,” he said.

As an Energy Tech industry partner, National Grid provides technical support to help shape curriculum, field trips to company learning centers and power plants, along with mentoring and internship opportunities.

This summer, Energy Tech will participate in National Grid’s “Engineering Our Future Pipeline Program,” a six-year preparatory experience for high school students pursuing four-year engineering degrees and careers at National Grid.

“We are thankful to National Grid for their continued partnership—preparing students to be competitive candidates for engineering pathways is complex and challenging — we could not provide this level of support without the unwavering dedication of our industry partners,” said Principal Barter.

“Energy Tech provides a unique opportunity for local New York City high school students to gain the specific STEM skills we need in our industry to meet the energy challenges ahead,” said Daly. “Our partnership with Energy Tech High School supports National Grid’s ‘Engineering Our Future’ initiative to build a highly skilled and diverse workforce. Congratulations to the class of 2018 — National Grid is delighted to help you prepare for productive technical careers in our local communities and support your development as future leaders in the energy industry.”

Energy Tech will celebrate its inaugural cohort of associate degree graduates in June 2019, while a small group of accelerated students is on track to earn their associate degrees in December 2018.

Ken Daly, COO, U.S. Electric, National GridKen Daly, COO, U.S. Electric, National Grid delivers the keynote address for Energy Tech High School’s Commencement Ceremony on June 22, 2018.

Moza Maryam walks across the stage as her name is being called.Moza Maryam walks across the stage as her name is being called.

About National Grid
National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE: NGG) is an electricity, natural gas, and clean energy delivery company that supplies the energy for more than 20 million people through its networks in New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the Northeast. National Grid also operates the systems that deliver gas and electricity across Great Britain.

National Grid is transforming its electricity and natural gas networks to support the 21st-century digital economy with smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions. Read more about the innovative projects happening across our footprint in The Democratization of Energy, an eBook written by National Grid’s US president, Dean Seavers.

About Energy Tech
Energy Tech is an Early College Initiative (ECI) and Career and Technical Education (CTE) school serving grades 9-14, and focusing on building a skilled workforce for the fast-growing energy industry. The school opened in the fall of 2013 in Long Island City, Queens, and is being developed in partnership with The City University of New York, LaGuardia Community College, National Grid, and Con Edison. Energy Tech is preparing students for the demands of college and work, and for a range of competitive careers in engineering and technology in our local utility industry. In collaboration with local university and industry partners, Energy Tech provides students with the skills and understandings to earn a high school diploma, an associate’s degree, and to participate in a range of career readiness experiences over the course of a six-year program. Ultimately, students will leave Energy Tech as skilled candidates for jobs on a ladder of career growth in the field of energy, or competitive applicants for four-year colleges.

• • • •

LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, educates more than 50,000 New Yorkers annually through degree, certificate, and continuing education programs. Our guiding principle Dare To Do More reflects our belief in the transformative power of education—not just for individuals, but for our community and our country—creating pathways for achievement and safeguarding the middle class. LaGuardia is a national voice on behalf of community colleges, where half of all US college students study. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), the College reflects the legacy of our namesake, Fiorello H. LaGuardia, the former NYC mayor beloved for his championing the underserved. Since our doors opened in 1971, our programs regularly become national models for pushing boundaries to give people of all backgrounds access to a high quality, affordable college education. We invite you to join us in imagining what our students, our community, and our country can become. Visit http://www.LaGuardia.edu to learn more

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CUNY CITIZENSHIP NOW! APPLICATION ASSISTANCE AND IMMIGRATION FAIR SETS RECORD, AIDING 534 IMMIGRANTS

A record-setting 534 immigrants received free, personal assistance with their U.S. citizenship applications from more than 320 volunteers at the CUNY Citizenship Now! 2018 Application Assistance and Immigration Fair on June 30 at John Jay College.

It was the largest number of aspiring citizens the fair has aided since CUNY has conducted the event in partnership with the Daily News. In addition, scores of other immigrants connected with health, financial and education officials for help with services they could be eligible to receive.

“CUNY takes great pride in hosting the nation’s most extensive university-based legal assistance program for immigrants,” said Interim Chancellor Vita C. Rabinowitz. “CUNY Citizenship Now! is a shining example of the University’s unwavering commitment to its historic mission of serving the underserved. In the face of current federal policy, the program has never been more valuable and necessary in its 20-year history than it is today.”

Founded in 1998, CUNY Citizenship Now! provides free, high-quality, and confidential citizenship and immigration law services to all New Yorkers. It is the largest and oldest university-based immigration law program in the country. CUNY Citizenship Now’s attorneys and paralegals assist more than 10,000 individuals each year throughout the five boroughs.

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in 1847, CUNY counts 13 Nobel Prize and 23 MacArthur (“Genius”) grant winners among its alumni. CUNY students, alumni and faculty have garnered scores of other prestigious honors over the years in recognition of historic contributions to the advancement of the sciences, business, the arts and myriad other fields. The University comprises 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, CUNY Graduate Center, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, CUNY School of Law, CUNY School of Professional Studies and CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. The University serves more than 275,000 degree-seeking students. CUNY offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies.

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Our Letter to AG Sessions: Grant Asylum for Domestic Violence Survivors

 

On June 11, 2018, Attorney General Sessions issued a decision in Matter of A.B., which overturned a lower court decision and prior caselaw recognizing domestic violence survivors’ claims for asylum.

 

The decision disregards longstanding law, reports and studies on the dynamics and impact of intimate partner violence, and aims to make it harder for survivors’ asylum claims to succeed.  Professor Julie Goldscheid, with invaluable input from Professors Janet Calvo, Nermeen Arastu and Talia Peleg, drafted a sign on letter for law professors who teach family law, domestic violence law, international human rights law, and who teach in and direct law school clinics representing survivors, that similarly calls on Attorney General Sessions to revoke the decision.

 

Over 220 (221) law professors signed onto the letter, which was sent to the Attorney General on June 26, 2018.   It complements ongoing advocacy by the law school’s Immigrant and Non-Citizen Rights clinic on behalf of survivors of gender based violence who are seeking asylum in the United States, and local and national advocacy in support of humane, fair and non-discriminatory policies.

 

Read our letter to AG Sessions here

 


Summer Reading & Supply Lists

Please visit this page of our website to see the Summer Reading assignments for Grades 6-8:

https://nestmk12.net/our-grade-levels/middle-grades/summer-reading-2018/

Please visit this page to see the summer reading assignment for Grades 9-12:

https://nestmk12.net/announcements/grades-9-12-summer-reading-2018/

Please visit this page on the PTA website to contribute to the Classroom Supplies fund:

http://www.nestmpta.org/classroom-supplies.html


Grove School’s Dean Barabino receives presidential award for STEM mentors

Grove School’s Dean Barabino is STEM award recipient.

The City College of New York’s Gilda Barabino, dean and Berg professor at the Grove School of Engineering, is a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. The award, presented by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy with the National Science Foundation, recognizes excellence in STEM teaching and mentoring.

PAESMEM also recognizes the critical roles mentors play outside the traditional classroom in the academic and professional development of the future STEM workforce. Colleagues, administrators, and students nominate individuals and organizations for exemplary mentoring sustained over a minimum of five years.

Mentors support learners from the kindergarten through collegiate levels, as well as those who recently have started their careers in STEM. They share their expertise and guidance with learners from traditionally underrepresented groups in STEM.

In addition, Barabino received the 2017 Pierre Galletti Award from the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering where she was the president from 2016-18. As AIMBE’s highest individual honor, it recognizes a member’s contributions to public awareness of medical and biological engineering, and to the promotion of the national interest in science, engineering and education.

She was also awarded AIChE’s 2016 William W. Grimes Award for Excellence in Chemical Engineering in recognition of her outstanding achievements as a distinguished role model for underrepresented minorities in chemical engineering. It applauded her mentoring, contributions to the community and her excellent scientific contributions to the advancement of chemical engineering.

 

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.

 

 

 

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Ashley Arocho
p: 212.650.6460
e:aarocho@ccny.cuny.edu
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CUNY BOARD APPROVES EXTENSION OF TUITION BREAK FOR STUDENTS FROM PUERTO RICO AND THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that The City University of New York Board of Trustees has extended the authorization of in-state tuition for the 2018-19 academic year to students from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands displaced by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. In-state tuition is $6,730 a year. For students from outside the state, it is $14,400.

“Providing quality, affordable education will make an incredible impact for those whose lives were devastated by last year’s hurricane season,” Gov. Cuomo said. “While the federal government continues to neglect and ignore the hardships that our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are facing, New York will always stand in solidarity and take action.”

The CUNY Board of Trustees had previously provided in-state tuition to displaced students for the 2017-18 academic year, following a call by Gov. Cuomo for CUNY and SUNY to offer the aid. Approximately 200 hurricane-affected students took advantage of the in-state tuition rate at CUNY colleges in the Spring 2018 semester.

CUNY Board Chairperson William C. Thompson Jr. said, “CUNY is fully committed to supporting the governor’s efforts to help the people of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands rebuild their homes and their lives. Whether through tuition relief or selfless on-site volunteer work, the entire CUNY community stands with its fellow Americans in a time of need.”

CUNY Interim Chancellor Vita C. Rabinowitz said, “I applaud the Board of Trustees and Gov. Cuomo for supporting tuition relief for the upcoming academic year. This support will help displaced students continue their education at an especially difficult and trying time in their lives.”

Since Hurricane Maria’s landfall in September 2017, Gov. Cuomo has traveled to Puerto Rico four times and has continuously directed critical resources to communities in need. In the immediate aftermath, New York established the Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort, ultimately distributing at least 4,400 pallets of supplies collected from 13 donations sites across the state. New York State also deployed more than 1,000 personnel, including hundreds of utility workers and power experts to help with power restoration and grid stabilization.

Earlier this month, the governor announced the first deployment of volunteers for the summer-long NY Stands with Puerto Rico Recovery and Rebuilding Initiative would depart on June 17. The volunteers are working with the nonprofit rebuilding organizations All Hands and Hearts, Heart 9/11, and NECHAMA to clean, restore and rebuild homes. More than 2,700 CUNY students applied to volunteer for the NY Stands with Puerto Rico Recovery and Rebuilding Initiative. In the past two weeks, 45 students from throughout the University departed for Puerto Rico to help with rebuilding efforts.

The deployment follows the first phase of the initiative launched on April 29, in which the governor deployed a Tactical Assessment Team to develop a comprehensive rebuilding plan for the island. The Assessment Team’s findings will guide deployment of approximately 500 SUNY and CUNY students, as well as skilled workers from the building and construction trades, throughout the summer.

In response to the recently released Harvard School of Public Health’s analysis estimating that the death toll of Hurricane Maria could be 70 times higher than the current official estimate, Gov. Cuomo joined Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez’s demand for a commission to immediately investigate the federal response, death toll and any negligence or failure to appropriately respond, as well as disaster preparedness, response and recovery. Congresswoman Velázquez is preparing legislation to establish the commission.

Gov. Cuomo and the New York congressional delegation continue to advocate for the federal aid the people of Puerto Rico need and deserve. In December, Gov. Cuomo,  and Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, and members of the New York Congressional Delegation released a Build Back Better Assessment Report that called for a $94.4 billion federal aid package to help Puerto Rico build back stronger. The plan identified specific sectors needing investments, including housing, power grid and resiliency, agriculture and others. Together with $487 million for public safety and first response and $9 billion for long-term recovery management, the total funding need is $94.4 billion.

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in 1847, CUNY counts 13 Nobel Prize and 23 MacArthur (“Genius”) grant winners among its alumni. CUNY students, alumni and faculty have garnered scores of other prestigious honors over the years in recognition of historic contributions to the advancement of the sciences, business, the arts and myriad other fields.  The University comprises 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, CUNY Graduate Center, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, CUNY School of Law, CUNY School of Professional Studies and CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy.  The University serves more than 275,000 degree-seeking students.  CUNY offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies.

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GETTING PART-TIME STUDENTS TO THE FINISH LINE: BRONX AND LAGUARDIA COMMUNITY COLLEGES LAUNCH PROGRAMS TO BOOST GRADUATION RATES

In an effort to increase degree completion rates for part-time students, two community colleges in The City University of New York (CUNY) are launching new initiatives to provide intensive advisement, priority course registration, career development and counseling to those who commit to earning 18 credits per year.

Two new programs focusing on part-time students will be implemented at Bronx Community College and LaGuardia Community College with $3.9 million in support, over five years, from the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity (NYC Opportunity). Reflecting the University’s ongoing commitment to increasing academic momentum toward college degrees, the new effort targets the nearly 40 percent of community college students who attend CUNY part-time and face significant barriers to completion.

The LaGuardia Community College Part-Time Completion Initiative and the Bronx Community College Advancing Part-Time Excellence (APEX) Program will launch in Fall 2018 and over five years will support 400-500 students who have been enrolled part-time and plan to continue to do so. The programs feature practices adapted from Guttman Community College and CUNY ASAP — two of the nation’s most successful community college completion initiatives, which were created at CUNY.

“CUNY knows the significant benefits of encouraging students to enroll full-time, but we understand as well the need to find ways to increase degree attainment for part-time students. It is exciting to find a partner in NYC Opportunity for this important work,” said Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Donna Linderman.

Dr. Claudia V. Schrader, provost and senior vice president for Academic and Student Success at Bronx Community College, is excited that the “Advancing Part-time Excellence Program will bring needed attention and resources to a segment of the student population that fills our classrooms. APEX will be an effective pathway to timely completion for part-time students.”

The programs will be rigorously evaluated so that CUNY and NYC Opportunity can measure their impact and build a knowledge base for ongoing efforts to support the needs of part-time students seeking college degrees.

“Supporting students in continuing their educations and achieving college degrees is a key way we can help them overcome or avoid poverty,” said Matthew Klein, executive director of the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity. “NYC Opportunity is proud to partner with CUNY to get this important and innovative program off the ground, and we are excited to help more community college students complete their degrees.”

“Part-time college students often face multiple barriers to timely degree completion,” said Carson Hicks, deputy executive director of the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity. “With this new program, students will receive additional supports to help them earn the necessary credits to graduate. NYC Opportunity looks forward to studying the results of the program and using this evidence to improve how we address the needs of part-time students.”

Students participating in the new programs will be asked to commit to earning 18 credits/year and, in turn, the colleges will provide program participants with a dedicated adviser, priority course registration, career development, and counseling to encourage full-time enrollment. With an eye toward academic momentum, students will be encouraged to enroll in intersession courses as a way to earn additional college credits between fall and spring semesters.

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in 1847, CUNY counts 13 Nobel Prize and 23 MacArthur (“Genius”) grant winners among its alumni. CUNY students, alumni and faculty have garnered scores of other prestigious honors over the years in recognition of historic contributions to the advancement of the sciences, business, the arts and myriad other fields. The University comprises 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, CUNY Graduate Center, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, CUNY School of Law, CUNY School of Professional Studies and CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. The University serves more than 275,000 degree-seeking students. CUNY offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies

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Exoskeleton designed by CCNY & partners vies for $4M mobility challenge prize

Photo of the soft knee exoskeleton.

Buoyed by a $50,000 prize victory in the first round, a City College of New York-led team is forging ahead in its development of an Iron Man-like smart exoskeleton to overcome lower-limb paralysis in the $4 million Mobility Unlimited Challenge.

Hao Su, an assistant professor in the department of mechanical engineering and director of the Grove School of Engineering’s Biomechatronics and Intelligent Robotics Lab, leads the interdisciplinary team that includes researchers from the University of Texas Medical School and TIRR Memorial Hermann, a top rehabilitation center in America.

Their entry in the challenge, “Physiology-Adaptive and Computer Vision-Assisted Soft Exoskeletons to Support Independent Living across the Continuum of Rehabilitation,” placed in the top 10 among 96 entries globally in the first round.

Su and his collaborators, who include several City College students from undergraduate to PhD level, are now perfecting their device for the second round which offers a $500,000 prize. The deadline for submission is August 15, 2018.

Strapped around the disabled limb, the exoskeleton is described as “lightweight, comfortable, and intelligent and able to support independent living across the continuum of rehabilitation.” It can be used for both gait rehabilitation and personal mobility assistance.

“We are also exploring ways to design softer, smarter, and safer assistive devices by leveraging our innovation of high-torque density motors, which significantly reduce the weight of exoskeletons, and enable soft-sensor-based physiologically-adaptive control,” said Su.

In addition to Su, other team members include:

  • Gerard E. Francisco, chair and professor, department of physical medicine and rehabilitation, University of Texas Medical School at Houston; and a member of the National Academy of Medicine;
  • Tzu-Hao Huang, a research scientist, department of mechanical engineering, City College
  • Shuo-Hsiu (James) Chang, assistant professor, department of physical medicine and rehabilitation, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston McGovern Medical School; and
  • Ying-Li Tian, professor, department of electrical engineering, City College.

PhD students Shuangyue Yu and Ran Duan are also involved in the project, as well as several undergraduates from Su’s advanced mechatronics course including: Brian Lynn and Ben Bokser (both mechanical engineering) and Hadia Perez (biomedical engineering).

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.

 

 

 

 

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Jay Mwamba
p: 212.650.7580
e:jmwamba@ccny.cuny.edu
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CITY COLLEGE PROFESSOR WINS PRESTIGIOUS DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY EARLY CAREER AWARD

Elizabeth J. Biddinger, a chemical engineer at The City College of New York, has won a U.S. Department of Energy Early Career Award that will support her research investigating innovative methods of converting chemicals obtained from plant and food matter into renewable fuels and chemicals.

Biddinger, an assistant professor in CCNY’s Grove School of Engineering, is one of just 84 recipients nationwide to receive the honor, worth $750,000 over five years. Her research focuses on the emerging field of biomass electroreduction — processes that use electricity to transform organic substances into fuels and chemicals. The findings Biddinger will obtain from her Department of Energy project will contribute to the development of small scale, on-site equipment, known as biomass upgrading depots (BUDs).

“By electrochemically converting biomass, modular units that do not require significant infrastructure as traditional chemical-processing facilities do, can be utilized in these BUDs,” said professor Biddinger. “When paired with excess renewable electricity—either from solar or wind energy—this process has potential to be both economical and sustainable.”

“The U.S. Department of Energy’s recognition of professor Biddinger’s work is another demonstration of the impact that cutting-edge, scientific research at The City University of New York is having on important fields,” said CUNY Interim Chancellor Vita C. Rabinowitz.

Biddinger hopes that her research could ultimately help reduce the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels such as petroleum and natural gas. “Biomass electroreduction is a relatively new field of research and there are so many exciting contributions we can make including creating better fuel,” she said. “For example we could make fuel that was more ‘energy-dense’ and thus could get more mileage per gallon than other biomass-derived fuels like ethanol. This, of course, has long-range national security and environmental implications.”

The DOE Early Career Award is the latest honor for Biddinger, whose research interests encompass green chemistry and energy applications that use electrochemistry, catalysis, chemical catalysts, alternative solvents and sustainable engineering methods. Her other accolades include the 2016-2017 Electrochemical Society-Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship Award to work on battery safety switches using reversible ionic liquids, and the 2014 CUNY Junior Faculty Award for Science and Engineering from the Sloan Foundation to investigate CO2 electroreduction.

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in 1847, CUNY counts 13 Nobel Prize and 23 MacArthur (“Genius”) grant winners among its alumni. CUNY students, alumni and faculty have garnered scores of other prestigious honors over the years in recognition of historic contributions to the advancement of the sciences, business, the arts and myriad other fields. The University comprises 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, CUNY Graduate Center, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, CUNY School of Law, CUNY School of Professional Studies and CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. The University serves more than 275,000 degree-seeking students. CUNY offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies.

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City Tech Physics Professor Among Recipients of Presidential Award for Mentoring

Dr. Reginald Blake, a Professor of Physics at City Tech, is among the 41 individuals receiving a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) at a White House ceremony today.

According to the National Science Foundation (NSF), which administers the PAESMEM program on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, this award is the highest honor bestowed upon mentors who work to expand talent in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. The PAESMEM recipients are nominated by colleagues, administrators and students for their tireless dedication to mentoring students from kindergarten to collegiate levels, often from underrepresented groups.

City Tech President Russell K. Hotzler says, “For the past thirteen years, Dr. Blake has directed City Tech’s STEM-designated Black Male Initiative program. Due to the national success of the program, City Tech has become an IHEP Model Replication Institution. We are gratified by the recognition that the program has received and grateful to Professor Blake for his service to this college and its students.”

For the past ten years, Blake has also been the Principal Investigator (PI) or co-PI for numerous major STEM initiatives for the NSF, NASA, NOAA, and DoD. Dr. Blake has personally mentored and advised well over 1,000 high school, undergraduate, and graduate students, earning him citations from the NYC Committee on Higher Education for his outstanding contribution to STEM education in 2009 and 2015.

Dr. Blake earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from City College-CUNY, as well as a PhD from the CUNY Graduate Center, having done his dissertation research at Columbia University’s NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (NASA GISS).

Dr. Blake’s professional and academic affiliations are broad and impressive: He is an active member of the Center for Climate Systems Research of the Earth Institute at Columbia University/NASA GISS and a member of the Earth Institute’s Urban Climate Change Research Network. He is a scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Cooperative Remote Sensing Science and Technology Center (NOAA–CREST) and its associated CUNY CREST Institute. His research there involves urban climate, the application of satellite and ground-based remote sensing to the study of hydro-climate, hydrology, hurricanes, and air pollution.

As a noted climate scientist, in 2008, Dr. Blake was asked to serve on Mayor Bloomberg’s New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC), the primary scientific body that advises and guides New York City’s mayor on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and resilience building initiatives. Dr. Blake continues to serve on this critical and elite panel of climate change experts under the leadership of Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Internationally, Dr. Blake serves as the lead climate scientist for the U.S. Agency for International Development and the International City/Council Management Association’s CityLinks climate program for Jamaica in his hometown of Portmore. He is also a lead climate scientist for the international arm of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and its Urban Climate Change Research Network.

Nationally, Dr. Blake serves as co-chair of the American Meteorological Society’s (AMS) committee for the Symposium on Education, and by virtue of his scholarship and expertise, he has served the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP), Project Kaleidoscope, and the Climate and Urban Systems Partnership.

At City Tech, Dr. Blake is a faculty member in the Physics Department, serving as chair of the Undergraduate Research Committee and as a member of the Interdisciplinary, the Sustainability, and the Study Abroad committees. In addition, Dr. Blake serves on the advisory board of City Tech’s Brooklyn Waterfront Research Center, and is the director of City Tech’s Center for Remote Sensing and Earth System Sciences. In March 2016, he was named City Tech’s 2016-2017 Scholar on Campus for reconceptualizing scholarship and seamlessly integrating intellectual merit with broader impacts for City Tech, for the City of New York, and for the global climate science community.


Google Brings ”IT Support Professional Certificate” to Over 25 Community Colleges, Including LaGuardia Community College

Grow with Google, Google’s initiative to create economic opportunities for Americans, supporting JFF, a workforce development leader, to integrate program into community colleges
14 additional employers sign on to consider program graduates for jobs

Today, Grow with Google announced that it will bring the IT Support Professional Certificate to over 25 community colleges, including LaGuardia Community College, part of The City University of New York (CUNY).

“As one of the first community colleges nationwide selected as a training site for Google’s IT Support Professional Certificate, we’re pleased to provide this new avenue to a rewarding career for New Yorkers with a personal interest in technology,” said LaGuardia Community College President Gail O. Mellow. “Through our robust tech education program, which trains 3,500 students each year in numerous tech-related programs, LaGuardia is training tomorrow’s workforce for NYC’s flourishing tech ecosystem.”

Google.org is funding JFF, the workforce development nonprofit, to provide support for learners in seven states (CA, IL, MI, NY, OH, TX, and WI). In addition, 14 more companies signed on to consider those who complete the program for their IT support jobs. The program will be available in the 2018-2019 school year.

“Google is committed to training the workforce of today and tomorrow, and we are thrilled to team up with community colleges to help graduates jump start a new career in IT Support,” said Jesse Haines, director of Grow with Google. “Community colleges play an important role in helping Americans get ahead, and they will be strong partners in Grow with Google’s mission to create more economic opportunities for Americans.”

Launched in January on the Coursera learning platform, Google’s IT Support Professional Certificate aims to train learners with no prior experience to be IT support professionals in about eight months. In the five months since its inception, almost 40,000 learners have enrolled in the online program.

With over 150,000 open positions, IT support is one of the fastest growing fields in the US. While there is demand for specialists, employers are often challenged to find trained talent, as the majority of IT support positions do not require a college degree but do require prior experience. Through hands-on assessments that allow learners to troubleshoot as if they were on the job, this certificate is designed to give learners the training and experience they need to get a job in tech support. The median annual wage for computer-user support specialists is $52,160

As part of today’s announcement, learners who complete the certificate program can now share their information directly with up to 22 top employers who are looking to hire IT Support talent. The first group of employers includes Bank of AmericaWalmartSprintGE DigitalPNC BankInfosysTEKSystemsUPMC, and Google itself. The 14 new companies include HuluMCPcCognizantRICOH USA, and 10 members of the Walmart family: Sam’s ClubShoes.comJetAllswellBonobosHayneedleModclothMoosejawStore No 8, and Vudu.

“JFF is excited to join forces with Google to lead the implementation of the Google IT Support Professional Certificate in over 25 leading community colleges across the country,” said  Maria Flynn, president and CEO, JFF. “This collaboration is an opportunity for JFF to leverage its extensive expertise in working with community colleges to support Google’s innovative new IT credential that offers a pathway for students into self-sustaining IT jobs.”

The IT Support Professional Certificate is a key program in Grow with Google, our initiative to create more economic opportunities for Americans. Like other Grow with Google programs, such as Get Your Business Online and Applied Digital Skills, the certificate is intended to give more Americans access to the digital skills, and to find success in today’s digital economy.

Already, Google has given 10,000 learners free access to the program through financial aid and Google.org scholarships to nonprofits focusing on low-income learners through Year Up, Per Scholas, and Goodwill®; veterans through Student Veterans of America; and refugees through Upwardly Global.

• • • •

LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, educates more than 50,000 New Yorkers annually through degree, certificate, and continuing education programs. Our guiding principle Dare To Do More reflects our belief in the transformative power of education—not just for individuals, but for our community and our country—creating pathways for achievement and safeguarding the middle class. LaGuardia is a national voice on behalf of community colleges, where half of all US college students study. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), the College reflects the legacy of our namesake, Fiorello H. LaGuardia, the former NYC mayor beloved for his championing the underserved. Since our doors opened in 1971, our programs regularly become national models for pushing boundaries to give people of all backgrounds access to a high quality, affordable college education. We invite you to join us in imagining what our students, our community, and our country can become. Visit www.LaGuardia.edu to learn more.


Letter to NEST+m Students & Families Mark Berkowitz, Week of June 25, 2018

Dear NEST+m Students & Families,

We are fast approaching the end of the school year, with only one and a half days left!

Please note that Tuesday, June 26 will be a half day with dismissal at 11:30am. No after school programs will be in session on Monday or Tuesday. Public and private buses will leave school promptly after dismissal at 11:30 am on Tuesday.

Please join me in congratulating our 5th grade and 8th grade students who celebrated their Moving Up ceremonies last week. See the photos of 5th Grade and 8th Grade Moving Up.
Also, let’s congratulate 12th grade students who became high school graduates on Thursday! See the 12th grade graduation photos.

Our young Eagles have soared – we are so proud of you!

I would like to extend a warm welcome to all of the new families who are joining our NEST+m community in September. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact our Parent Coordinator, Lisa Seale Cruz, at lisasealecruz@nestmk12.net. We look forward to meeting you all on September 5th!
Our Common Summer Reading text is The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. Summer assignments for Grades 6-12 will be posted to our website and have already been introduced in English class.

Thank you for your ongoing support and communication,

Warmly,

Mark Berkowitz
Principal

Our Week Ahead

Tuesday June 26:

  • Last day of school, dismissal at 11:30am
  • Have a wonderful summer!

FROM THE ASHES SHINES A LIGHT THE COAL INDUSTRY’S IMPACT

From the Ashes Shines a Light the Coal Industry’s Impact

(from left to right) Distinguished Professor of History Gerald Markowitz, President Karol V. Mason, Producer of From the Ashes Sidney Beaumont, and Executive Producer of From the Ashes and Trustee of the John Jay College Foundation Katherine Oliver

On April 26, John Jay College of Criminal Justice hosted a screening and panel discussion on From the Ashes, a documentary about the devastating impact of the coal industry on communities across the country. The documentary, which premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival and on the National Geographic Channel, and was produced with the support of Bloomberg Philanthropies, has toured over a dozen cities around the world and has added a significant contribution to the global conversation on environmental justice. The screening at John Jay was followed by a discussion with Sidney Beaumont, Producer of From the Ashes, and Dr. Gerald Markowitz, Distinguished Professor Department of History at John Jay College, who has done extensive research on the impact of lead on communities of color. “It was great to see so many students in the audience for this important discussion on environmental justice,” says President Karol V.


Another Year of Miracles Concludes at Future Now

Entering to the celebratory syncopation of a drum ensemble instead of the traditional Pomp and Circumstance, graduates of Bronx Community College’s celebrated Future Now program took their places beneath the golden dome of the Gould Memorial Library auditorium on Thursday, June 14.

 

The mission of Future Now is to provide educational empowerment for out-of-school and/or formerly incarcerated youths by assisting them with attaining high school credentials, transitioning into post-secondary education and ultimately graduating in a timely manner with a college degree. The Class of 2018 is that mission in action: of the 222 graduates, 170 of them are already attending classes at BCC or will begin to do so in the fall.

“The day was great — we had the opportunity to recognize how the students persevered and overcame obstacles,” says Elizabeth Payamps, the founder and director of Future Now. “That high school diploma is the beginning of a lot of good things for a lot of people,” she added, recalling an earlier Future Now grad who told her that when he received his GED, “It was the first evidence that he was smart.” Today he has a master’s degree.

Along with their diplomas, the Class of 2018 enjoyed a special bonus — free tickets to a Yankees baseball game, courtesy of the Bronx Bombers.

 


Bronx EOC Graduates Seize the Opportunity

Thirteen was a lucky number for the 137 students of the Bronx Educational Opportunity Center, who converged on Gould Memorial Library for their graduation ceremonies on Wednesday, June 13. They leave with the education and skills for jobs as varied as Master Barber, Emergency Medical Technician and Microsoft Office specialist.  


President Isekenegbe was on hand to encourage the graduates to seek higher education at Bronx Community College. New York City Council Member Vanessa Gibson urged them to never forget their Bronx roots. She was joined by Rachel Ferrari, Director of Strategic Planning and Special Projects from New York State Senator Gustavo Rivera’s office and presented Proclamations to the Bronx EOC for outstanding service to the local community. Also singled out were two EOC staff members for their exemplary community leadership: Dr. Thomas Jordan, Executive Director, and Frank Munoz, Marketing and Employment Services Manager.


“Every graduate here and everyone who has achieved credentials at this Center also learned what it feels like to have people invest in you,” observed Ms. Ferrari in her keynote address, “So I am asking that you do the same for someone else as you begin the next chapter — tell someone to get that education or go for that job, help your friend enroll in a course at the EOC, support your coworker when they need someone to believe in them.”


CCNY CUNY Service Corp students travel to Puerto Rico for relief effort

Students in the CUNY Service Corps-Puerto Rico and their majors: [clockwise] Kenny Rodriguez (Civil Engineering), Emily Ernau (English), Abena Baah-Fordjour (Biomedical Science), Tamara Johnson (Ad/PR), Ngawang Tenzin (Architecture) and Myra Rosa (Interdisciplinary Studies).

Twenty-seven students from The City College of New York are journeying to Puerto Rico this summer as part of the CUNY Service Corps-Puerto Rico initiative. The initiative is in partnership with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s the NY Stands with Puerto Rico Recovery and Rebuilding Effort.

Students from both CUNY and SUNY are traveling to Puerto Rico to work with non-profit organizations— NECHAMA and Heart 9/11—already rebuilding on the ground. While in Puerto Rico, students will earn a stipend and academic credit as well as build workplace and community service skills.

I want to dedicate my life to doing Humanitarian work; this service trip to Puerto Rico is deeply personal to me,” said Myra Rosa, interdisciplinary studies major with a concentration in social welfare at the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Center for Worker Education. “I lost my maternal grandmother as a result of Hurricane Maria, and I am also of Puerto Rican descent—so giving back to my country is how I will honor my grandmother.”

First cohort of CUNY Service Corp volunteers to receive training and left for Puerto Rico on June 17. Second from left: Jeffrey Gyemibi (Architecture), Isabelle Cotte (Art Education), Jacob Grajales (Political Science).

The program will operate from mid-June to August 18, and each cohort of students will be spending two weeks in Puerto Rico to repair and replace roofs, windows and doors as well as sanitize and remove mold in homes in the towns of Barranquitas, Loíza, Toa Baja, Orocovis, Santurce and Río Grande.

The CUNY Service Corps-PR students are:

Omar Addasi

Abena Baah-Fordjour

Karen Brito

Kereen Brown

Joseline Carlson

Juan Pablo Celis Garcia

Isabelle Cotte

Kevin Davis

Yacine Diouf

Jenine Erdaide

Emily Ernau

Andrea Gomez

Jacob Grajales

Miledys Guzman

Jeffrey Gyemibi

Benjamin Jacquez

Mohsin Jafri

Tamara Johnson

In Sub Kim

Monica Martinez-Raga

Ivie Odiase

Ryan Olsen

Oneika Pryce

Kenny Rodriguez

Myra Rosa

Pristine Anne Sermeno

Ngawang Tenzin

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.

 

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THE 2018 STUDENT COUNCIL LOOKS AHEAD

The 2018 Student Council Looks Ahead

 

On June 1st, John Jay’s 2018 student council members were officially sworn in by President Karol V. Mason. Everyone on the team is excited for the coming academic year, and each of them has specific goals for the College, the faculty, and their fellow students. We chatted with a few of them to learn more about their backgrounds and aspirations.

 

Student Council

The 2018 Student Council with President Mason, Vice President Lynette Cook-Francis and Assistant Vice President Michael Martinez-Sachs

 

Steven Pacheco, 2018 Student Council President

Steven Pacheco, 2018 Student Council President

 

 

How would you describe your leadership style?

Unorthodox. Ever since my childhood days, I’ve had a tendency to critically analyze situations before deciding how to move forward. I take great pride in my identity, and I plan to critically analyze the identity of our students and our institution to inform the way I carry myself throughout this term. Steven Pacheco, President, Major: Social Thought and Marketing Management (CUNY BA)

My style of leading is through serving. The best leader is one who is able to talk with their feet and work with their peers.—Elijah Font, Graduate Representative, Concentrations: Criminal Law & Procedure, Criminology & Deviance

I am a listener, an observer and a hands on leader.—Jacqueline Aguilar, Undergraduate Student Senate John Jay Delegate, Major: Public Administration

My style of leading is through serving. The best leader is one who is able to talk with their feet and work with their peers.—Elijah Font, Graduate Representative

What are some of your main goals for the coming year?

I’m hoping to implement a senior week where students can celebrate their accomplishments with many different engaging activities—a carnival, a barbecue, an exciting service activity, a senior class trip, and some throwback days.Jasmine Awad, Senior Representative, Major: Criminal Justice 

I’d like to encourage students to get involved with committees, as well as getting involved on campus. That, and just having lots of events with good food.—John Ilawan, Junior Representative, Majors: Criminal Justice, Humanities and Justice

I want to ensure that John Jay students feel like their elected representatives have their backs.—Elisa Crespo, University Student Senate Delegate, College Council-at-Large, Major: Political Science

What are you most exited about being on student council?

I am really excited about our new team. I loved working in council last year, but I also really appreciate a change of pace. I think we have a very dynamic and diverse set of representatives this year.—Andrew Bandini, Secretary, Major: Law & Society

I’m most excited to work with the awesome John Jay faculty and staff. At our swearing-in ceremony, I became aware of the various staff support, from Dara Bryne in Student Affairs, to Allison Pease in the English Department.— Deandra Simon, Senior Representative, Major: English

I want to become more familiarized with the intersection of John Jay’s mission and the diversity at John Jay—whether it’s in our curriculum, scholarships, extra-curricular clubs, or within the faculty, administration, and staff.Musarrat “Mus” Lamia, Junior Representative, Major: Political Science

This is my first time in student council. I am excited and blessed to be given the opportunity to represent my fellow students. If you see me, view me as your fellow peer and friend first.Erik Perez, Sophomore Representative

Tell us something interesting about yourself.

I am grateful for the upcoming Immigrant Student Success Center that will open at John Jay College. As an immigrant who came from Russia nine years ago, I know that it is crucial to support our students and provide a safe environment.Elza Kochueva, Vice President, Major: Law and Society 

I am Bangladeshi and a first-generation college student. I am currently President of the UNICEF Club here at Club Row. UNICEF is an acronym for United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund. We are working to help support and bring attention to worldly issues facing children.Mahtab Khan, Senior Representative, Major: Political Science, Criminal Justice

This is my first time in student council. I am excited and blessed to be given the opportunity to represent my fellow students. If you see me, view me as your fellow peer and friend first.Erik Perez, Sophomore Representative, Major: Political Science 


DOE Early Career Award for Elizabeth Biddinger’s CCNY biomass research

 

CCNY chemical engineer Elizabeth Biddinger is the recipient of a DOE Early Career Award.

Elizabeth J. Biddinger, assistant professor of chemical engineering in The City College of New York’s Grove School of Engineering, is one of 84 recipients nationwide of U.S. Department of Energy Early Career Awards announced today. She’ll receive $750,000 over five years for her research in the emerging field of biomass electroreduction.

“Supporting talented researchers early in their career is key to building and maintaining a skilled and effective scientific workforce for the nation. By investing in the next generation of scientific researchers, we are supporting lifelong discovery science to fuel the nation’s innovation system,” said Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. “We are proud of the accomplishments these young scientists have already made, and look forward to following their achievements in years to come.”

Biddinger’s successful proposal was titled: “Reaction Mechanism and Kinetics for Electrochemical Hydrogenation and Hydrogenolysis of Biomass-Derived Species.”

“This is a great opportunity to focus on biomass electroreduction. The field is relatively new and there are so many exciting contributions we can make,” she said.

Biomass is from natural renewable resources such as plant or food matter and can be converted into renewable fuels and chemicals. This can replace the need to use fossil fuels such as petroleum and natural gas. Biddinger’s research at the Grove School will seek to advance efforts to develop proposed smaller scale, on-site upgrading of products from biomass conversion, known as Biomass Upgrading Depots (BUDs).

“By electrochemically converting biomass, modular units that do not require significant infrastructure or the same scale as traditional chemical processing facilities, can be utilized in these BUDs,” said Biddinger.

“When paired with excess renewable electricity (from sunny or windy days), the process has promise to be economical and sustainable, all while addressing the energy storage problem associated with renewable electricity generation,” she added.

The DOE Early Career Award is the latest honor received by Biddinger, whose research interests encompass green chemistry and energy applications utilizing electrochemistry, catalysis, alternative solvents and sustainable engineering methods.

Recent accolades include the 2016-2017 Electrochemical Society–Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship Award to work on battery safety switches using reversible ionic liquids, and the 2014 CUNY Junior Faculty Award for Science and Engineering from the Sloan Foundation to investigate CO2 electroreduction.

In addition to her appointment with CCNY, she also is part of the Graduate Center, CUNY, PhD chemistry program.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jay Mwamba
p: 212.650.7580
e:jmwamba@ccny.cuny.edu
View CCNY Media Kit


Hidetaka Hirota’s “Expelling the Poor” wins Rudnick Book Prize

CCNY faculty rolls out more titles

Expelling the Poor: Atlantic Seaboard States and the Nineteenth-Century Origins of American Immigration Policy,” by City College of New York historian Hidetaka Hirota is the co-winner of the 2018 Lois P. Rudnick Book Prize. The prize is awarded by the New England American Studies Association to the best academic book in American studies by a scholar from the region or about the region over a two-year period.

Latino City: Immigration and Urban Crisis in Lawrence, Massachusetts, 1945-2000,” by Llana Barber (SUNY Old Westbury) was the other Rudnick winner.

“Both books re-examined commonly held thoughts about immigration in New England in ways that will shape our notions around immigration, laws associated with it, and what happens after immigration,” said Jonathan Silverman, president, New England American Studies Association.

It is the second major honor garnered by Hirota’s seminal maiden book. In the spring, “Expelling the Poor” received the Immigration and Ethnic History Society’s Best First Book Award.

Following are other new titles from CCNY faculty:

In addition, a short story by Matthew G. Nagler, professor of economics and business in the Colin Powell School, appears in “Economic Inquiry,” a rarity for the highly regarded journal.

Titled “Eigenstaller’s Market,” it’s the tale of an American economics professor, an aging experimental economist he interviews in Switzerland, intrigue and dark secrets.

“To my knowledge, this is the first time that “Economic Inquiry” has chosen to publish a work of short fiction,” remarked Nagler.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.

 

 

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Jay Mwamba
p: 212.650.7580
e:jmwamba@ccny.cuny.edu
View CCNY Media Kit


Letter to NEST+m Students & Families Mark Berkowitz, Week of June 18, 2018

Dear NEST+m Students & Families,

I hope you had a wonderful Fathers Day today!

As we enter our final full-week of the 2017-18 school year, please join me in congratulating our 5th Grade and 8th grade students who will be Moving Up to  6thgrade and 9th grade respectively.

Please join me in congratulating our 12th grade students who will become high school graduates on Thursday!

Thank you for your ongoing support and communication,

Warmly,

Mark Berkowitz
Principal
This week’s Moving Up/Graduation Ceremonies for our students in Grades 5, 8 and 12.

  • 5th Grade Moving Up Ceremony, Wednesday June 20th, in the NEST+m Auditorium. Family entry: 8:45am.
  • 8th Grade Moving Up Ceremony, Thursday June 21st, 12:30pm, The Great Hall of the Cooper Union
  • 12th Grade Graduation, Thursday June 21st, 9:00am, The Great Hall of the Cooper Union.

Our Week Ahead

Monday June 18:

  • 1st Grade End of Year Concert

Tuesday June 19:

  • 2nd Grade End of Year Concert

Wednesday June 20:

  • 5th Grade Moving Up Ceremony, 8:45am

Thursday June 21:

  • 12th Grade Graduation, 9:00am
  • 8th Grade Moving Up Ceremony, 12:30pm​

Friday June 22:

  • 4th Grade Concert

Looking Ahead:

  • June 26: Last Day of School. Procedures to be sent separately.

Take Advantage of a New and Innovative Healthcare Training Program at Bronx Community College

The Bronx is in desperate need of healing and recovery. Reports by government agencies and private organizations make it clear that there is a crisis in public health conditions and drug addiction in the borough. Such serious problems can only be resolved when they are challenged head-on by caring, dedicated and qualified professionals — perhaps someone like you.

If you are seeking a chance to truly help others to change their lives by reaching and maintaining their recovery goals for substance use disorders, and by providing healthcare to those in need, the Bronx Community College Behavioral Health Opportunity Program (BHOP) could be just right for you. BHOP is a new and innovative healthcare training program at Bronx Community College (BCC). The program trains students to become New York State Certified Recovery Peer Advocates (CRPAs) and prepares them for entry-level support positions in Community Health.

BHOP, provided by the BCC Division of Workforce Development and Continuing Education and the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, is a unique program, sponsored by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration. BHOP is a stackable credential that enables qualified students to be trained to become CRPAs. In addition, BHOP provides additional college-level coursework through which students can earn up to nine credits toward an Associate in Science degree in Public Health at BCC. The training, coursework and college credits are free for program participants.

If you are interested in making a difference in your community, consider training to assist people with behavioral health issues. Get free vocational training and earn college credit at the same time. For more information, please call 718.289.5170 or 718.220.6202. Classes begin soon, so start your mission to help the Bronx heal and recover today.

 


Rare in-vivo study by CCNY-led team shows weak brain nodes have strong influence on memory network

Andrea Moreno

Gino Del Ferraro

Our ability to learn, remember, problem solve, and speak are all cognitive functions related to different parts of our brain. If researchers can identify how those brain parts communicate and exchange information with each other, clinicians and surgeons can better understand how diseases like Alzheimer’s and brain cancer affect those cognitive functions.

The majority of existing simulation studies show that the parts of the brain with high connectivity, the so-called “hubs”, are most important when it comes to several different cognitive tasks.  But the results of a recent and rare in-vivo study just published in Nature demonstrate that the nucleus accumbens (NAc) – a part of the brain with weak connections – plays an unexpectedly influential role in enhancing the memory network.

The study was led by Gino Del Ferraro, Research Associate in the Levich Institute at the City College of New York in collaboration with a team of CCNY researchers and a group of researchers at Instituto de Neurosciencia in Spain, led by Andrea Moreno. Del Ferraro and team provided the theoretical analysis, modeling and predictions, while the Spanish team performed the in-vivo validations of the predictions.

The study’s goal was to identify which areas of the brain could be stimulated to enhance memory by identifying which are the influential nodes in the memory brain network within the three different areas for brain integration: hippocampus, prefontal cortex and nucleus accumbens (NAc).

Previous studies of cognitive tasks showed the NAc was downstream of the hippocampus and the prefontal cortex and thus not influential for brain integration. In fact Del Ferraro and team proved that, for memory formation, the NAc  is upstream and influential.

The results of the CCNY-led research are worth noting, as is the methodology used to achieve them. Del Ferraro observes: “The effects of removing a node from a network has been studied with simulations, both for human and animal brain networks, but direct in-vivo validations are rare. Thus, up to this point, there was no well-grounded approach to predict which nodes are essential for brain integration.”

Del Ferraro and team are currently collaborating with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC, trying to apply similar techniques on people who have brain cancer in the language parts of the brain. They are attempting to identify which are the essential nodes for language production so that if patients  undergo neural surgery, the surgeon knows which parts of the brain need to be preserved.

Read the Nature study here.

About The City College of New York

Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and

divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself. View CCNY Media Kit.

 

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Contact: Rebecca Rivera rrivera1@ccny.cuny.edu (212) 650-7028

CUNY STUDENTS PRESENT PROPOSALS TO CITY TO INCREASE PARTICIPATION IN CENSUS

Two teams of CUNY students showcased their hi-tech solutions for increasing participation in the 2020 U.S. Census to New York City officials looking for ways to ensure that all New Yorkers are counted.  The Census determines the number of the city’s representatives in Congress and the amount of federal funding the city receives.

The CUNY teams recently competed at Baruch College in the annual CUNY-IBM Watson Case Competition, which challenges students to think about how they would apply cognitive computing to improving how institutions of higher education and local governments  serve the public.  The city officials were with the Department of City Planning and the Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer.

“The CUNY-IBM Watson competition affords students a unique opportunity to apply what they have learned in class to solving challenging public policy issues,” said CUNY Interim Chancellor Vita C. Rabinowitz.  “The creative solutions that our students proposed to city officials are a reflection of the University’s commitment to educating the next generation of socially-engaged and forward-thinking New Yorkers.”

One of the teams that presented was the third-place winner of the 2018 CUNY-IBM Watson competition and included Vincent Vitiello, Egor Semeniak, Anthony Astarita—all three are enrolled in the Macaulay Honors College at the College of Staten Island—and Yuri Yurchenko, who attends the College of Staten Island.

“This was a great opportunity for city officials to see what students from The City University of New York can do,” said Stan Altman, professor at the Baruch College Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, who is the lead organizer of the competition. “Like all the teams involved in this competition, this team was able to bring its expertise and knowledge to propose an approach to solving a problem that affects all of New York City, demonstrating, once again, that CUNY is New York City’s University.”

Their project proposed using Watson’s artificial intelligence capabilities to create a chat bot function they called Synthia: The SMS Census Assistant, which could speak multiple languages and answer any question an individual might have with respect to completing the census questionnaire.

Other winning teams in the 2018 CUNY-IBM Watson Case Competition sought to work on additional issues facing the city, including climate change and lowering recidivism rates. The competition’s first-place winner sought to leverage IBM Watson capabilities to increase the city’s ability to identify areas at risk of flood as climate change increases the frequency and severity of storms, while the second-place team proposed using technology to help inmates prepare for returning to society months before being released from prison.

Baruch College’s Marxe School of Public and International Affairs administered the competition, along with support from IBM and The Lawrence Field Center for Entrepreneurship at Baruch College. The Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer, the NYC Department of Health & Mental Health and the NYC Administration for Children’s Services also participated.  This year, 177 students from 17 campuses competed.

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in 1847, CUNY counts 13 Nobel Prize and 23 MacArthur (“Genius”) grant winners among its alumni. CUNY students, alumni and faculty have garnered scores of other prestigious honors over the years in recognition of historic contributions to the advancement of the sciences, business, the arts and myriad other fields. The University comprises 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, CUNY Graduate Center, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, CUNY School of Law, CUNY School of Professional Studies and CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. The University serves more than 275,000 degree-seeking students. CUNY offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies.

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Baruch College Leads National Dialogue on Social Mobility

Baruch College’s Start-to-Finish Philosophy Enables Students to Excel in Professional World, Highlighted in CollegeNET’s Digital Publication and Bestselling Author Steven Brill’s Latest Book

Baruch College, and its acclaimed success as an engine of economic mobility for students, received top billing in CollegeNET’s just-published e-book, “Social Mobility through Higher Education – Best Practices for Student Success,” and is prominently highlighted in bestselling author Steven Brill’s latest book Tailspin: The People and Forces Behind America’s Fifty-Year Fall–and Those Fighting to Reverse It.

Both publications position Baruch College as among those exemplary higher-education institutions leading the national dialogue on social mobility, and successfully propelling low-income students up the economic ladder.

CollegeNET’s e-book was nationally distributed to the media on June 5. Brill’s book Tailspin, published on May 29 and available in bookstores and libraries nationwide, is reaping high praise from both reviewers and notable individuals, including Jill Abramson, former executive editor at The New York Times, former U.S. senator Bill Bradley, and legendary journalist Bob Woodward.

The two publications feature the opinions and insights of Baruch College President Mitchel B. Wallerstein, PhD. They also point to Baruch’s “Startto-Finish Philosophy” for students that has helped establish the College’s nationally recognized social-mobility track record.

 

CollegeNET: “Social Mobility through Higher Education”

For its first e-book dedicated to social mobility, CollegeNET selected Baruch College and only three other higher education institutions across the country to contribute opinion pieces. According to CollegeNET, the digital publication “offers best practices from student success professionals who are investing in cutting-edge programs that support under-served and under-represented students’ academic, personal and financial needs.” See press release here.

President Wallerstein kicks off the collection of first-person essays with his article “College as a Catalyst for Social Mobility.” He begins, “In this age of entrenched income inequality, higher education is perhaps the key path out of poverty in the United States.” A rigorous education, he contends, benefits “everyone, rich and poor, and better educated citizens drive our economy and enrich our culture.”

President Wallerstein concludes, “Higher education and social mobility are an essential part of the American success story. Baruch and other public institutions of higher learning are the gateway to get there.”

Academic leaders from the University of California, Irvine; University of California, Santa Cruz; and Winston-Salem State University also contributed to the e-book.

 

Tailspin: The People and Forces Behind America’s Fifty-Year Fall–and Those Fighting to Reverse It

In his latest book, award-winning journalist Brill turns a critical eye towards America’s last half century to understand the country’s current challenging times. He argues “The celebrated American economic mobility engine is sputtering” and “income inequality has snowballed.”

Yet, Brill expresses hopefulness and points to Baruch as an example of a higher education institution that is “laying the foundation for real, lasting change.” In the section about the College, “A Non-Elite Mobility Engine,” Brill writes that Baruch “has developed a menu of programs that leaves little to chance and that offers a road map for how more higher education institutions can create new kind of meritocracy that is not nearly as generationally entrenched.”

In his research, Brill spent a day at Baruch interviewing students, administrators, and President Wallerstein to learn first-hand how the College is moving so many low-to-middle class students into successful, financially lucrative careers. He cites a dozen Baruch programs as examples of the College-wide efforts to help students obtain jobs and internships, such as soft-skills workshops, a real-time trading center, and the Starr Career Development Center.

Brill writes, “Although as Wallerstein pointed out, Baruch has a history of being a gateway into the middle class, in recent years, it has done much more to get its students ready to ride the escalator.  Many public colleges and universities enroll large numbers of poor and lower-middle class families, but few succeed the way Baruch does in propelling so many so far.”

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CCNY students get a lesson in love and journalism from the New York Times

CCNY student reporters (left to right) Greta Mantilla, Radhamely De Leon, Philip Laudo, Katie Herchenroeder, Michael Ailes, Maty Drame, Tajae Hinds, Sonyi lopez, Austin Steele (Not pictured: Anthony Viola)

One of 24 New York Times Magazine covers

On a rainy Saturday in May, ten journalism students from the City College of New York fanned out across the five boroughs – from Clinton Hill to Riker’s Island, Bronx Center to the Flatiron – and beyond. Their mission: to help create Love City, a special issue of The New York Times Magazine dedicated to love in New York City.

The student reporters worked with some of the best photographers in the country during this 24-hour odyssey of romance, lust, and heartache to photograph 24 couples kissing between 12 am and 11:59 pm on May 19. Their task: to quickly identify the couples in each photo – their names, where they were from, and most importantly, what their story was.

Student reporters included:

  • Michael Ailes
  • Radhamely De Leon
  • Maty Drame
  • Katie Herchenroeder
  • Tajae Hinds
  • Philip Laudo
  • Sonyi Lopez
  • Greta Mantilla
  • Austin Steele
  • Anthony Viola

Student Austin Steele hustled to keep up with photographer Ruddy Roye in Brooklyn. “I had to chase and interview the couples on the spot. Then transcribe the interviews and pull out the most interesting quotes – in as short a time as possible.”

Student Mely De Leon refined her interviewing skills on the fly while working with Hannah La Follette Ryan, the photographer behind @subwayhands. “I learned how to get as much information as possible within the few minutes we had…and about a lot of really beautiful love stories of normal everyday couples living their lives in New York City.”

In addition to the 24 different covers of the special issue, which were distributed to subscribers and newsstands at random, the New York Times Magazine also posted photo essays and videos online.

The collaboration – the first of its kind between The New York Times and CCNY – was facilitated by New York Times Magazine contributing writer Linda Villarosa, who also directs the journalism program at City College and Jeannie Choi, the Associate Editor of the New York Times Magazine.

Linda Villarosa: “The New York Times believes in our mission; it was an honor to have the vote of confidence in our students. I’m extremely proud to teach here at City College and to have this group of students who can shine at a high level.”

Jeannie Choi, Associate Editor of the New York Times Magazine, responded: “Everyone on our staff who worked with the students from the City College of New York’s journalism program was impressed by their skill and willingness to work hard to get accurate and interesting information from their subjects. We could not have accomplished such an ambitious New York issue without the students’ contributions.”

About The City College of New York

Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself. View CCNY Media Kit.

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Contact: Rebecca Rivera rrivera@ccny.cuny.edu (212) 650-7028

Alumnus Harold Scheraga receives honorary degree from City College

Alumnus Harold Scheraga (right) shaking hands with President Vince Boudreau (left) with CCNY Professor David Jeruzalmi (middle) in the Physical Sciences Building at Cornell University.

Alumnus Harold Scheraga ’41 receives an honorary degree from The City College of New York for seven decades of research at Cornell University. City College President Vince Boudreau presented Sheraga with his degree Doctor of Science honoris causa at the university in Ithaca, New York.

“It’s a real a real joy to be able to do this,” said President Vince Boudreau, who received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1991. “Harold Scheraga’s story—as someone from humble socioeconomic beginnings who came to City College when it was free—embodies CCNY’s commitment to promoting social mobility for its students.”

Scheraga received his Ph.D. from Duke University in 1946. He joined the faculty at Cornell as an instructor in 1947 and became a full professor in 1958. He was named a Todd Professor in 1965 and served as chair of the chemistry department from 1960-1967.

Through his research, funded by the National Institute of Health for sixty years, Scheraga has over 1,300 scientific papers to his name with five published in 2018. He has received many awards for his work and is a fellow of the American Chemical Society, the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The citation presented to Scheraga by City College named him a true pioneer; it also mentioned that in the course of more than six decades he’s played a major role in elucidating the physical principles underlying the behavior of proteins. His work laid the foundation for understanding forces responsible for protein structure and stability, the prediction of the native structure of proteins and the folding of proteins into three-dimensional objects, as well as for current efforts in precision medicine to treat human diseases by specifically targeting damaged proteins.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.

 

 

 

 

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Ashley Arocho
p: 212.650.6460
e:aarocho@ccny.cuny.edu
View CCNY Media Kit


Queens College Freshman Renuka Surujnarain Awarded Prestigious Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship

— One of 15 Recipients City-Wide of Prestigious Honor That Provides Local College Students With Paid Summer Internships to Prepare the Next Generation of Leaders —

June 15, 2018 2018 (Queens, NY) – Queens College freshman Renuka Surujnarain, a Jamaica, Queens, native, has been awarded a prestigious Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship.

Established in 1999, the Watson Fellowship provides New York City college students with three years of paid summer internships, in New York City or abroad, with leading nonprofit, for-profit, and governmental organizations. The program is designed to develop students’ leadership skills, introduce them to intercultural experiences, and enhance their personal and professional growth. Watson Fellows participate in seminars that build their confidence and expand their understanding of their place in the world, attend cultural events that immerse them in the diversity of New York City, and receive mentorship from industry leaders. Queens College has produced over 20 Watson Fellows to date.

One of 15 area students to receive the award in 2018, Surujnarain begins her fellowship this year by interning with the Generation Study Abroad Initiative at the Institute of International Education in Manhattan. Generation Study Abroad seeks to double the number of U.S. students studying overseas by the end of the decade through study abroad programs, service learning trips, internships, and non-credit academic experiences. Surujnarain’s responsibilities involve digital communications strategy and implementation; her tasks range from managing the initiative’s website and producing e-newsletters to working on social media content, research, and event planning.

“We congratulate Renuka on this impressive accomplishment.  We thank the Watson Foundation for giving our students opportunities that enable them to make the most of their undergraduate years at Queens College. These experiences will prepare them to enter the workforce ready to contribute on day one,” said Queens College President Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “We know Renuka’s time as a Jeannette K. Watson Fellow will serve her well in her own development and enrich the Queens College community.”

“The second I heard about this opportunity through an information session at school, I knew it was a program meant for me. After multiple application drafts and mock interviews, I won a fellowship that would brighten the next three years of my college life,” said Surujnarain. “I am excited to work alongside different organizations, which will help me determine where I have the greatest potential. I am also grateful to have the chance to travel beyond New York City and experience what other cultural spaces have to offer.”

At Queens College, Surujnarain is exploring the subjects of education, anthropology, neuroscience, and public administration. As a member of Project Start, she visits elementary school classrooms to teach young students about science.

About Queens College
Queens College enjoys a national reputation for its liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs. With its graduate and undergraduate degrees, honors programs, and research and internship opportunities, Queens College helps its over 19,000 students realize their potential in countless ways, under the guidance of an accessible, award-winning faculty. The college was recently ranked tenth among U.S. public colleges by the Chronicle of Higher Education for upward social and economic mobility. The Center for World University Rankings placed Queens College in the top 3.5% of schools worldwide, based on the quality of its education and faculty, the number of its alumni who find employment, and other factors. Located on a beautiful, 80-acre campus in Flushing, the college is cited each year by the Princeton Review as one of the nation’s 100 “Best Value” colleges, and is routinely ranked a U.S. News & World Report Best College and Forbes Magazine Best Value College, thanks to its outstanding academics, generous financial aid packages, and relatively low costs. Visit qc.cuny.edu to learn more.

A leader in preparing future educators, Queens College graduates the most teachers, counselors, and principals in the New York metropolitan area. It also contributes to New York City’s talent pool as a powerful economic engine and a leader in tech education, with more undergraduate computer science majors than any city college. Students from across the country and around the world come to Queens College’s Aaron Copland School of Music. Its renowned faculty and alumni include nationally recognized composers, conductors, and performers who have received nearly 40 Grammy Awards and nominations over the past forty years.

For more about Queens college, visit http://www.qc.cuny.edu/Pages/home.aspx

Contact:
Maria Matteo
Office of Communications
Assistant Director, News Services
718-997-5593
maria.matteo@qc.cuny.edu


CCNY Professor Awarded $558K Office of Naval Research Grant

Xi Chen, an assistant professor of chemical engineering at The City College of New York’s Grove School of Engineering and a researcher in the Nanoscience Initiative at the Graduate Center’s Advanced Science Research Center, was awarded a three-year, $558,000 grant from the U.S. Office of Naval Research.

Chen’s research project will focus on gaining a fundamental understanding of how water-responsive materials react through studies on nanoscale levels. Understanding the scientific reasons for how these materials respond to water or humidity levels will lay the foundation for developing new hybrid and synthetic materials with potentially broad applications for underwater robotics, artificial muscles and their evaporation energy harvesting techniques.

“This innovative research by Professor Chen is another example of outside recognition of CUNY’s talented and dedicated faculty,” said CUNY Interim Chancellor Vita C. Rabinowitz.

“We’re excited that the U.S. Navy sees promise in our work,” said Chen. “This research will provide critical insight into how water in nanoscale structures could contribute to the development of bioinspired materials and devices.”

Though his research is cutting-edge and could lead to pioneering applications, Chen is quick to point out that he and his research team of Ph.D. students are fundamentally  trying to understand the world around them. “We’re learning from nature,” he said. “Nature has already developed amazing materials. All we are doing is studying and imitating what nature does.”

Earlier this year, Chen was awarded a Feliks Gross Award from the CUNY Academy for the Humanities and Sciences and Graduate Research Technology Initiative (GRTI) Equipment Funding from CCNY.

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in 1847, CUNY counts 13 Nobel Prize and 23 MacArthur (“Genius”) grant winners among its alumni. CUNY students, alumni and faculty have garnered scores of other prestigious honors over the years in recognition of historic contributions to the advancement of the sciences, business, the arts and myriad other fields. The University comprises 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, CUNY Graduate Center, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, CUNY School of Law, CUNY School of Professional Studies and CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. The University serves more than 275,000 degree-seeking students. CUNY offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies.

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Séamus Scanlon’s “The McGowan Trilogy” goes to Japan

Seamus Scanlon, CCNY librarian, author and playwright.

What started as a 300-word award winning flash fiction piece by City College of New York librarian Séamus Scanlon debuts as a theatrical performance in Japan on June 29 to a sellout audience at the Toyohashi Arts Theatre PLAT in Aichi. “The McGowan Trilogy,” three interrelated one-act plays set against the backdrop of “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland, has also sold out venues in Hyogo [July 4-8] and Tokyo [July 13-29].

Scanlon’s work is set around the 30-year conflict in Northern Ireland (1969-1999) and examines issues such as fanaticism, “The Disappeared,” trauma, love and Irish style honor. “Trilogy” consists of the plays, “Dancing at Lunacy,” “The Long Wet Grass,” and “Boys Swam Before me.”

“The Long Wet Grass” was originally a 300-word story that won Scanlon, a native of Galway, in the Republic of Ireland, first prize in Fish Publishing’s Flash Fiction Prize international competition in 2011.  Nancy Manocherian of The Cell Theater then asked him to write a play based on the piece and two other one-act plays to complement it. It was directed by Kira Simring and won three awards in the annual Origin’s 1st Irish Theatre Festival.

A film version of “The Long Wet Grass” (Ireland, 14 minutes, 2017) is on the film festival circuit.

Scanlon, who in addition to being a Carnegie Corporation prize-winning librarian is also an associate professor at CCNY’s Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Center for Worker Education, will be in Tokyo for the “Trilogy” performances.

Tori Matsuzaka, one of Japan’s most accomplished actors with almost a million followers on Twitter, will play the lead. Eriko Ogawa, Japan’s premier director, will direct.

“The producer is Takeshi Eguchi who saw my book in the Drama Bookshop in New York while on a visit to find new plays! The play was published by Arlen House in 2014 to coincide with the New York City production,” said Scanlon.

Other highlights of Scanlon’s Japanese trip include a talk entitled “The McGowan Trilogy – From Flash Fiction to Stage and Screen” at Tokyo’s 50,000-student Waseda University.

He’ll also be feted at an Irish Embassy luncheon. Guests will include cast and crew of “Trilogy,” local theater professionals and Tokyo-based academics who research and teach drama, colonial history, peace studies and Irish studies.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.

 

 

 

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Jay Mwamba
p: 212.650.7580
e:jmwamba@ccny.cuny.edu
View CCNY Media Kit


Chemical engineering professor Chen awarded Office of Naval Research grant

Xi Chen, an assistant professor of chemical engineering at the Grove School and with the Nanoscience Initiative at The Graduate Center’s Advanced Science Research Center (ASRC), is the recipient of a $558,000 grant from the Office of Naval Research to explore and develop better actuators using water-responsive materials. Chen’s proposed work will focus on gaining a fundamental understanding of the nanoscale water-responsive mechanisms that will lay the foundation for developing new hybrid and synthetic water-responsive materials for broad applications including evaporation-energy harvesting techniques pioneered by his team at the ASRC and CCNY.

“We’re excited that the U.S. Navy sees promise in our work,” said Chen. “This research will provide critical insight into how water in nanoscale structures could contribute to the development of bioinspired materials and devices. It’s a great start.”

Earlier this year, Chen received The Feliks Gross Award from the CUNY Academy for the Humanities and Sciences and Graduate Research Technology Initiative (GRTI) Equipment Funding from CCNY.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.

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Contact: Susan Konig

914 525 1867

skonig@ccny.cuny.edu

View CCNY Media Kit.


Letter to NEST+m Students and Families from Mark Berkowitz, Week of June 11, 2018

Dear NEST+m Students & Families,

Here we are, in the final 11 days of our school year!
Tomorrow Monday June 11th is a K-8 clerical day; no Lower or Middle Grade students attend school. 
It is also the final day of instruction prior to Regents Week for Upper Grades students.

  • Thank you Custodian Engineer Stephen Marinaro for leading NEST+m’s 5th grade scientists for a tour of our school’s rooftop Solar Panels.
  • Thank you to 6th grade teacher Jillian Fletcher  and our 6th grade actors for creating and performing last week’s original plays!
  • Congratulations to Pieter Voorhees and Craig McGorry for leading our Middle Grades and Upper Grades Musicians to Silver and Gold Awards at this past week’s NYSSMA: in specific, NEST+m’s Upper Grades Jazz Band received a Gold Rating, Leve IV. Our Middle Grades Advanced Band and Jazz Band scored a silver Medal.
  • Last Tuesday was NEST+m’s 12th grade Prom; this past weekend our 12th graders and dedicated teacher chaperones took to the Catskills for a celebratory trip to the Frost Valley YMCA.
  • In alignment with DOE policy, each month our administrative team conducts a monthly safety meeting which is attended by our administrative team, School Safety Agents, Custodian Engineer and PTA Co-President(s). Parents are welcome to attend tomorrow’s June safety meeting, 8:45am in the Cafeteria.

Thank you for your ongoing support and communication,

Warmly,

Mark Berkowitz
Principal


Our Week Ahead

Monday June 11

June Monthly Safety Meeting open to parents, 8:45am in the Cafeteria

  • K-8 Clerical Day – no LG or MG students in attendance
  • 9-12 Final Day of Instruction: Students should return all school-issued books and supplies except those still being used for Regents Prep.
  • PSAL End of Year BBQ

Tuesday June 12

  • Upper Grades Regents Week Formally Begins

Wednesday June 13

  • Regents Testing
  • Orientation for incoming K-2 families.

Thursday June 14

  • Regents Testing
  • Kindergarten Concert
  • 5th Grade Concert and Art Show
  • College Financial Aid Presentation
  • 4pm: SLT Meeting in Library

Friday June 15:

  • Schools Closed Eid al-Fitr

FIRST GROUP OF CUNY VOLUNTEERS BEGINS PREPARING TO HELP PUERTO RICO REBUILD

The first cohort of students from throughout The City University of New York system began training today to help rebuild Puerto Rico, which is still suffering a humanitarian crisis nearly nine months after Hurricane Maria devastated the island. More than 2,700 CUNY students applied to volunteer for the NY Stands with Puerto Rico Recovery and Rebuilding Initiative launched by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. The first 40 of 200 selected students that CUNY is sending to Puerto Rico leave for the island on Sunday.

“We take great pride in the CUNY students who have volunteered to make an impact on the lives of our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico,” said CUNY Board of Trustees Chairperson William C. Thompson Jr. “Our students are letting everyone in Puerto Rico know they are not forgotten.”

“These students, through the work they have volunteered to do this summer, are setting a high standard for all of us as caring global citizens,” said CUNY Interim Chancellor Vita Rabinowitz. “This program is a perfect example of the University’s commitment to service and social engagement.”

Every week for the next eight weeks a group of CUNY Service Corps students will receive two days of training before departing for the island, where they will stay for two weeks, volunteering with different nonprofits as they work five days a week rebuilding homes, including repairing doors, windows and roofs, and removing mold.

Students have the option to receive credit for their volunteer work. Most have opted for a hybrid course entitled Global Citizenship, Community Engagement, and Service in Latin America and the Caribbean, created at Lehman College but open to all CUNY students. Other colleges are offering courses specific to their own academic programs, such as a Construction Management course for New York City College of Technology students.  CUNY has waived all tuition and fees associated with these courses.

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in 1847, CUNY counts 13 Nobel Prize and 23 MacArthur (“Genius”) grant winners among its alumni. CUNY students, alumni and faculty have garnered scores of other prestigious honors over the years in recognition of historic contributions to the advancement of the sciences, business, the arts and myriad other fields. The University comprises 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, CUNY Graduate Center, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, CUNY School of Law, CUNY School of Professional Studies and CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. The University serves more than 275,000 degree-seeking students. CUNY offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies.

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PROFESSOR DAVID BROTHERTON EXAMINES AMERICA’S “DEPORTATION REGIME”

Professor David Brotherton Examines America’s "Deportation Regime"

 

A couple of years after David Brotherton first arrived to John Jay in 1994, he received a curious invitation from Professor Luis Barrios to visit the church where Barrios preached uptown. It was at Barrios’ Episcopalian church that Brotherton, who had done research on gangs in California, first met Latin King leader Antonio Fernandez, a.k.a. King Tone.

“We want to change the world,” King Tone told Brotherton. “What do you want?” Brotherton responded: “I want to write your story.”

That was the beginning of a years-long relationship between Brotherton and the Latin Kings that would eventually culminate in the book Gangs and Society: Alternative Perspectives, edited by Louis Kontos, David C. Brotherton, and Luis Barrios. During that time, Brotherton hosted the first major gang conference since the 60s, here at John Jay, to help further understanding of what street gangs actually did.

“These guys produced music, spoken word, dances,” says Brotherton. “You couldn’t call them a gang, so we had another term, ‘street organization.’ If you look at it from a different angle, it’s not just violence and guns. It’s a culture. These guys were fighting back against their marginalization and the only way they knew how is through this culture.”

 

Brotherton with Professor Luis Barrios and leaders of the Latin Kings, 1997
Brotherton with Professor Luis Barrios and leaders of the Latin Kings, 1997

 

Brotherton continued to work with the Latin Kings and even traveled to Ecuador to document the effects of Ecuador’s legalization of gangs—an effort that contributed to an astonishing drop in homicide rates. But by the early 2000s, Brotherton became interested in another problem: thousands of people in New York, many in the Washington Heights area, were being deported. From 2002 to 2003, Brotherton moved to the Dominican Republic to find out what was happening, and held the first conference on deportees in the Caribbean with an attendance of 1,200 people from several countries. It was an eye-opening experience.

“Most of these deportees were completely assimilated, total New Yorkers,” says Brotherton. “But they were raised during the crack era and got into the mix somewhere along the line, and then the laws became harsher and harsher. It wasn’t that they were so horrible. It was that we became more and more punitive.”

Now, Brotherton’s newest book, Immigration Policy in the Age of Punishmentexamines the different aspects of deportation, which he says make up a larger deportation regime. “ICE, detention camps, the court system—it’s all interconnected,” he says. “But from a sociological standpoint, how does it fit together? We still don’t know.”

To answer that question, Brotherton created a group at John Jay and the CUNY Graduate Center called the Social Anatomy of a Deportation Regime, made of up several workgroups that look at the different aspects of deportation. At John Jay, this work is particularly relevant. “Deportation in America is totally involved in criminal justice,” Brotherton says. “Many cases that should be purely administrative are now completely mixed up in the criminal justice process.”

 

“Deportation in America is totally involved in criminal justice. Many cases that should be purely administrative are now completely mixed up in the criminal justice process.” –David Brotherton

 

For a college with a diverse student population, some of whom are targeted by punitive deportation laws, investigating immigration policy and deportation is especially important. “Students or their family members are personally under threat,” Brotherton says. “If you look at deportation laws, they draw from a racially exclusionary history and use language from the Indian Removal Act and the Runaway Slaves Act. Our detention laws are similar to the Japanese detention laws of the 1930s. As a Hispanic Serving Institute, we need to know those histories and how the continuities of those histories are now playing out in a different era.”


ALUMNA TAMYKAH ANTHONY-MARSTON SETS A POWERFUL EXAMPLE FOR YOUNG SUPERHEROES

Alumna Tamykah Anthony-Marston Sets a Powerful Example for Young Superheroes

 

Alumna Tamykah Anthony-Marston has become a successful scientist since graduating from John Jay in 2015. She’s also a testament to the fact that you don’t need to be a superhero to achieve your wildest dreams.

Anthony-Marston, who was born on the small island of Saint Vincent, has known what she’s wanted to do with her life ever since she first learned the term “scientist” after arriving to the states in fourth grade. But her path to success wasn’t without its challenges. She was admitted to foster care and became pregnant in her teenage years, which put her dream of becoming a scientist on hold. Eventually, she enrolled in John Jay’s Forensic Science program, but during her third year of the program, she became pregnant again.

By then, Anthony-Marston was on the Dean’s List and was one of the first John Jay students to receive a research prize at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) conference. Nothing could stop her from completing her degree. “I knew I needed to graduate on time because I already made it this far,” she said. “I was at St. Luke’s hospital and I was supposed to be on bedrest, but I would sneak out to class with my IV bags.”

That fierce determination paid off. Using the knowledge she learned through her concentration in toxicology, Anthony-Marston soon developed a line of natural products called Xanthines, which she created as an alternative to harmful cancer-causing products. “I started going back to my John Jay textbooks to learn about pHs, and I created my first natural deodorant,” she says. Xanthines has been so successful that it now carries 24 products in its line.

But while Tamykah enjoys making natural products, her passion has always been working with children. On weekends, she hosts science workshops at the Seneca Village Montessori School in Brooklyn for children and their family members. When she saw how popular the Black Panther film was this February, she decided to launch Camp Wakanda over spring break, where she taught students that they could be superheroes by using science. “I’d tell the students they could make things move without touching them. It’s called the superpower of static electricity,” says Anthony-Marston.

 

“The goal was to teach these kids that they’re already super powerful, and to also help them redefine what it means to be a superhero.” –Tamykah Anthony-Marston

 

With its STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) curriculum, the weeklong camp covered not only science, but a variety of subjects. From culinary demonstrations to hip-hop classes taught by a member of the Bronx-based group Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Camp Wakanda taught students new skills and nourished existing passions. “The goal was to teach these kids that they’re already super powerful, and to also help them redefine what it means to be a superhero,” says Anthony-Marston. “Being a superhero isn’t about what you can do, but something that’s inside of you.”

Students learn forensic science, including how to dust for fingerprints using cocoa powder

Students learn forensic science, including how to dust for fingerprints using cocoa powder

 

Camp Wakanda was so successful that Anthony-Marston is now hosting a summer long version of the camp at sites in both Brooklyn and Queens. Her goal is to impact 10,000 children by the end of the year.

For Anthony-Marston, who grew up in Brownsville and has experienced the challenge of being a black scientist in a predominantly white field, it’s important to provide these educational opportunities to students who otherwise might not have them. To her, all that any child needs to succeed is for someone to show them that they, like Black Panther, can be superheroes, too.

“In Black Panther, Killmonger wasn’t really a villain,” says Anthony-Marston. “It was just that he was unloved. Similarly, in real life, someone will only do bad because they don’t yet know their value. But once they know their value, they’ll cherish it. All you have to do is show them how dope they are.”


PRESIDENT MASON TALKS CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM AT THE ASPEN INSTITUTE

President Mason Talks Criminal Justice Reform at The Aspen Institute

 

John Jay’s President Karol V. Mason was a featured speaker for the The Aspen Institute’s Conversations with Great Leaders Series, which was created in memory of esteemed businessman and philanthropist Preston Robert Tisch. The Aspen Institute, an education and policy studies organization, smartly chose Mason based on the talk’s theme, “To Form a More Perfect Union: Reforming the Criminal Justice System.”

 

Linda Lehrer
Linda Lehrer

 

Sitting in New York’s historic Roosevelt House, with an audience filled with John Jay students, faculty and staff, along with community leaders and local residents, Linda Lehrer, The Aspen Institute’s Director of New York Public Programs, kicked off the event. “The criminal justice system is not just about prisons, laws and those who break laws. It’s about race and opportunity—or lack there of,” said Lehrer. “It’s about injustice imbedded in the social structure. And, it’s about the kind of future we want for our community and democracy.” Then she invited Mason and Lauren-Brooke Eisen, a Brennan Center for Justice Senior Fellow, to dive deep into the problems and solutions surrounding our criminal justice system.

Reality on Race
Straightforward and compassionate, Mason didn’t pull any punches. “We can’t talk about these issues without talking about race. We’ve got to have real dialog, real conversations, and really listen to each other, and understand how our history has placed us in the situation where we are today,” said Mason. “I don’t believe in people being criminalized for being young people. We’ve all made mistakes, it’s part of adolescent development. The problem is, we give some young people the room to make mistakes, but we don’t give black and brown children the room to make mistakes.”

 

President Mason and Lauren-Brooke Eisen
Lauren-Brooke Eisen and President Mason 

 

“The problem is, we give some young people the room to make mistakes, but we don’t give black and brown children the room to make mistakes.”  President Karol V. Mason

 

Staying Hopeful
When Eisen marveled at her unjaded perspective—even after years of working on criminal justice reform—Mason asked the John Jay students in the audience to stand up. “They’re the reason why I’m hopeful,” said Mason. “It is John Jay College of Criminal Justice, but it’s a liberal arts institution. We’ve got lots of different majors in the house with us today. But they’re all going to go out into the world with that understanding [of justice] and foundation of community.”

 

President Mason’s “hope” stands up
President Mason’s “hope” stands up

 

Effecting Change
When Eisen asked her, “What steps can we take to make the world a better place in the justice system?” Mason focused on where real change can occur. “What we all need to recognize is that most criminal justice issues are at the state and local level, not federal,” she said. “I used to say in the Obama administration, the bad news is, there’s a limit to what the federal government can do. Today, I say the good news is, there’s a limit to what the federal government can do.” Mason also encouraged people to avoid the rhetoric, noting that criminal justice reform was a bipartisan issue. “The Koch brothers are just as committed to this work as all of us in this room,” she said. “It’s the notion that this country is built on fairness and opportunity, and people committed to that are across the political spectrum.”

 

President Karol Mason with students
President Mason with John Jay students attending the event

 

“What we all need to recognize is that most criminal justice issues are at the state and local level, not federal.” President Karol V. Mason

 

Money Talks
Both Eisen and Mason talked about the staggering amounts of money going into the criminal justice system—80 billion dollars a year incarcerating people in the United States. And Mason asked the audience a question, “Do you know what we could do with 80 billion dollars? We could send every child to pre-K. There are so many things we could do with that money better than incarcerating people.” Mason continued saying she didn’t really care why people came to the issue of criminal justice reform—be it the expense, moral or religious concerns—as long as they acknowledge that there’s a problem and they want to help correct it. “We need to invest in our young people so they don’t get caught in the criminal justice system. We need to be investing in education. We need to be investing in opportunity,” said Mason. “And when I say investing, I mean investing in our most challenged young people, who are our hope and our future.”

Click here to see the full conversation.


CCNY Senior Ana Guerrero, 53, and four others win Gilman scholarships

CCNY Undergraduate Ana Guerrero will spend part of the summer in Spain as a Benjamin A. Gilman Scholar.

DeAndre Eccles, another one of CCNY’s five Gilman summer Scholars, is headed to Amsterdam’s Vrije Universiteit.

Ana Guerrero, an Ecuadorian immigrant who at age 53 proudly proclaims herself a role model for her three children, is one of five City College of New York students headed to Africa and Europe on Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships.  The competitive national award provides support for overseas travel and research.

Guerrero and two other City College undergraduates, Doris Monsac and Lamia Khan, travel to Spain this month for four weeks.  DeAndre Eccles and Zoltan Lucas Zoltan, CCNY’s other Gilman Scholars this summer, will do their research in the Netherlands and South Africa, respectively.

Guerrero is a romance language senior with a 3.95 GPA and a full time employee at The CUNY School of Medicine as a course/clinical coordinator.

Her concentration is Spanish and she will spend a month at Universidad de La Rioja in Logroño immersed in the literature. “It will help me acquire a general knowledge of the Spanish literary panorama as well as history,” said Guerrero, who will earn college credits for her work.

The Gilman further burnishes the role model status Guerrero’s embraced for her three-school sons. Her first born, Matthew, 21, is a member of CCNY’s Class of 2018. He graduated with a degree in computer engineering, with a 3.96 GPA. Her other sons are in high school and middle school.

“I am glad to be a role model for them, a 53-year-old woman who follows her dreams and continues to pursue education thanks to the Gilman Scholarship,” proclaimed the Bronx resident.

Dutch-bound DeAndre Eccles is a senior Pre-PA student majoring in biology senior who will take two courses at Amsterdam’s Vrije Universiteit.

“Both are on the topic of mental health and global health which are passions of mine and fields that I am hoping to pursue in medicine,” said Eccles. “This is one step that I am taking on my goal to be a part of the movement to destigmatize mental illness and the need for mental health care across the globe.”

She will receive credits for the courses that will help fulfill requirements for physician assistant school and a required psychology course at CCNY.

Eccles is a Jamaican immigrant and has lived in the Bronx since arriving in the United States 11 years ago.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.

 

 

 

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Jay Mwamba
p: 212.650.7580
e:jmwamba@ccny.cuny.edu
View CCNY Media Kit


The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism receives $20 million gift from Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies

Transformational gift will sustain the School in perpetuity and advance its
mission to serve the public interest

School to be renamed as the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism
at the City University of New York

New York, NY – June 11, 2018 – A new $20 million gift to The City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism from craigslist founder Craig Newmark will enhance its mission of graduating skilled journalists, diversifying the voices in the media and encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship.

In honor of this truly historic gift, the CUNY Board of Trustees has approved the renaming of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism as the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York.

“Craig Newmark’s extraordinary generosity ensures that our still-young school will have the resources and flexibility it needs to remain at the forefront of journalism education,” said Sarah Bartlett, dean of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

This transformational gift, made through Newmark’s foundation, Craig Newmark Philanthropies, will enable the School to recruit additional faculty, continue to develop innovative programs, and pursue activities that support greater trust in journalism, among other vital functions.

“At a time of rapid, digital innovation, eroding public trust in news, and increased governmental oversight, it is imperative that we build a sustainable future for journalism,” said Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies. “The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism is committed to producing skilled, ethically minded, and diverse journalists.”

As the only publicly supported graduate journalism school in the Northeast, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism provides one of the best values in advanced journalism education in the U.S. With affordable tuition and extensive scholarship support, the School attracts talented students from a vast array of backgrounds and experiences, ensuring that the next generation of journalists is inclusive and diverse.

“We are thrilled and honored by this extraordinary gift to the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism,” said CUNY Board of Trustees Chairperson William C. Thompson, Jr. “It is an important and timely investment, not only in the university, our city and the nation, but in the future of our democracy. At a time of profound challenges to the vital role of a vigorous free press, it has never been more important to support reliable, high-quality reporting – and to ensure that the next generation of journalists has the skills and values to earn the public’s trust and reflects the communities it serves.”

In receiving this gift, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism is joining a pantheon of other journalism organizations that have been the recipients of Craig Newmark’s philanthropy, including the Columbia Journalism Review, Data & Society Research Institute, First Draft, the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, ProPublica, Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, and the Sunlight Foundation. Newmark’s goal is to strengthen trust in high-quality journalism by supporting institutions and initiatives that are tackling the wide range of issues that affect the news industry, including strengthening transparency and media ethics, supporting real-time fact-checking efforts, championing a diverse and inclusive journalism pipeline, and disarming harmful technologies that spread disinformation.

# # #

About the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, founded in 2006, is the only public graduate journalism school in the northeastern U.S. With affordable tuition and extensive scholarship support, it prepares students from diverse economic, racial and cultural backgrounds to produce high-quality journalism. The school offers three master’s degree programs: a Master of Arts in Journalism, an M.A. in Entrepreneurial Journalism and an M.A. in Social Journalism. In Fall 2016, it launched a unique Spanish-language program to train bilingual students interested in covering Latino and Hispanic communities in the U.S. and abroad.

About the Craig Newmark Philanthropies
Craig Newmark Philanthropies was created by craigslist founder Craig Newmark to support, connect, and drive powerful civic engagement. The organization works to advance people and grassroots organizations that are getting stuff done in areas that include trustworthy journalism, voter protection, gender diversity in technology, and veterans and military families.

Press Contacts
Amy Dunkin, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism,
Amy.dunkin@journalism.cuny.edu, (646) 758-7826

Carner Round, Craig Newmark Philanthropies,
craignewmarkfoundation@webershandwick.com, (212) 445-8062


CCNY study shows plastic waste can be converted into energy and fuels

Marco J. Castaldi

Demetra Tsiamis

Enerkem

Plastic waste is flooding our landfills and leaking into the oceans, with potentially disastrous effects. In fact, the World Economic Forum predicts that if current production and waste management trends continue, by 2050 there could be more plastic than fishes in the ocean.

Why is this happening when there are processes and technologies that can effectively recycle, convert to valuable products and extract the imbedded energy from these waste plastics? According to Science Advances, as of 2015, of the 6,300 million tons of plastic waste generated in the United States, only 9 percent has been recycled, 12 percent has been incinerated, with the vast majority – 79 percent – accumulating in landfills or the natural environment.

The Earth Engineering Center (EEC|CCNY) at the Grove School of Engineering of the City College of New York is on a mission to transform plastic waste to energy and fuels.

A recent EEC study titled “The Effects of Non-recycled Plastic (NRP) on Gasification: A Quantitative Assessment,” shows that what we’re disposing of is actually a resource we can use. The study, by Marco J. Castaldi, Professor of chemical engineering Director of Earth System Science and Environmental Engineering and Director of the EEC|CCNY and Demetra Tsiamis Associate Director of the EEC|CCNY, explores how adding NRPs to a chemical recycling technology called gasification – which transforms waste materials into fuels – adds value.

Adding NRPs to the gasification process helps reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while significantly reducing the amount of waste byproduct to landfill – by up to 76 percent.

In the study, published by the American Chemistry Council, the effects of increasing the percentage of non-recycled plastics (NRPs) are measured at Enerkem, a Montreal-based energy company, in collaboration with the City of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada.

“This study demonstrates that because carbon and hydrogen rich plastics have high energy content, there is tremendous potential to use technologies like gasification to convert these materials into fuels, chemicals, and other products. We were fortunate to engage a couple of students and engineers from our team enabling them to learn about this novel process,” said Castaldi.

Tsiamis added: “Plastics have an end of life use that will be turning waste into energy, which is something we all need and use.”

Learn more by reading the full study and viewing the CUNY TV Study With the Best spotlight.

About The City College of New York

Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself. View CCNY Media Kit.

 

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Media contact: Rebecca Rivera rrivera1@ccny.cuny.edu

Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of NYC Department of Small Business Services, to Discuss Growing a Small Business in New York

Business Forum Breakfast
Friday, June 15, 2018
8:00 – 10:00 am

WHAT:
A presentation by Commissioner of NYC Department of Small Business Services Gregg Bishop, Small Business is Big Business in Queens, addresses economic sustainability and mobility for small businesses in Queens and New York City and State.

Email Business.Forum@qc.cuny.edu, call (718) 997-5210, or register online here.     Members of the media will be provided with complimentary parking and reserved  seating.

WHERE:
Queens College, 65-30 Kissena Boulevard, Queens, New York
Student Union, Fourth Floor Ballroom
Click here for directions to the college, and here for campus map.

Background
As Commissioner of the New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS), Gregg Bishop is charged with running a dynamic city agency focused on equity of opportunity that fosters economic self-sufficiency and mobility for New York City’s diverse communities. SBS connects New Yorkers to good jobs, creates stronger businesses, and builds a thriving economy in neighborhoods across the five boroughs.

Born in Grenada and raised in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, Bishop began his career at the agency in 2008. He was initially responsible for a suite of programs designed to make it easier for businesses to start, operate, grow, and recover from emergencies. He has been successively promoted into higher positions at SBS, including Deputy Commissioner of the Business Development Division and Assistant Commissioner of the Division of Economic and Financial Opportunity, where he oversaw parts of the Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) program.

Prior to his career in government, Bishop was the Senior Manager of Workforce Development at NPower, and the Director of Web Operations at Oxygen Media. He was Vice President of Technology Operations at TheStreet.com, and began his career at VIBE magazine during the pioneering days of the web.

Bishop received a master’s degree in Integrated Marketing and Management Communication from Florida State University, and a BS in Business Administration from Florida A&M University. He is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Senior Executives in State and Local Government program.

Launched in 2005, the QC Business Forum brings together the business community, local government, academia, and students to provide an opportunity for town and gown to interact. Influential leaders in a number of fields serve as keynote speakers at its breakfast and lunchtime lectures, touching on issues vital to the local business community.

For more about Queens college, visit http://www.qc.cuny.edu/Pages/home.aspx

Contact:
Maria Matteo
Office of Communications
Assistant Director, News Services
718-997-5593
maria.matteo@qc.cuny.edu


CUNY BA Student Libby Ho Wins US Department of State Critical Language Scholarship to Study Chinese

CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies student Libby Ho will study Chinese language in Changchun, China with a  US Department of State Critical Language Scholarship during Summer 2018. Ho, a Macaulay Honors College student based at the City College of New York, is pursuing her studies in Human Physiology through CUNY BA.
The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) program is part of a U.S. government effort to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages. CLS scholars gain critical language and cultural skills that enable them to contribute to U.S. economic competitiveness and national security. These students join approximately 550 competitively -selected American students at U.S. colleges and universities who received a CLS award in 2018. CLS provides scholarships to U.S. undergraduate and graduate students to spend eight to ten weeks overseas studying one of 14 critical languages: Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, or Urdu. The program includes intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains. CLS scholars are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship and apply their critical language skills in their future careers.
“Critical” languages are those that are less commonly taught in U.S. schools, but are essential for America’s engagement with the world. CLS plays an important role in preparing U.S. students for the 21st century’s globalized workforce, increasing American competitiveness, and contributing to national security. CLS scholars serve as citizen ambassadors, representing the diversity of the United States abroad and building lasting relationships with people in their host countries. CLS participants represent a broad diversity of backgrounds and perspectives. CLS actively recruits in states and regions of the United States that have been historically under-represented in international education.
Recipients of the 2018 CLS awards include students from over 230 institutions of higher education across the United States,including public and private universities, liberal arts colleges, minority-serving institutions, and community colleges. Since 2006, CLS has awarded scholarships to more than 5,700 American students to learn critical languages around the world. CLS scholars are among the more than 50,000 academic and professional exchange program participants supported annually by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. These exchange programs build respect and positive relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The CLS program is administered by American Councils for International Education.

CUNY BA is the University-wide, individualized degree. It is an exciting, versatile, rewarding degree route for highly motivated, self-directed students whose academic goals transcend traditional majors. Students create their own degree plans working directly with faculty mentors and academic advisors.


What Will We Tell Our Son?

Two queer members of the CUNY Law community on the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruling.

By Professor Allie Robbins (’09) and Lisa Zayas (’11)

Whenever anything big happens, we ask each other, what will we tell our son?

Our goal is to raise a kind, compassionate, person. We want him to be happy and to see the good in the world. But it’s also important to us that he knows that some people might treat him differently just because of who he is, and who his mommies are. (For some context, our son is not yet three years old. His main concerns are Paw Patrol and the metamorphosis of the caterpillars in his daycare classroom.)

On Monday, the Supreme Court sided with the baker in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. We have had to process our feelings, and figure out what we might want to tell him. Since Monday, a lot has been written about how narrow the decision is, and how queer folks have nothing to be afraid of. It’s not open season on discrimination.

Yes, thankfully the decision is narrow. But many are. Narrow decisions can be expanded over time. That’s part of what we were trained to do at CUNY Law School, to take a narrow decision, and argue the need to apply it to a new set of facts and slowly expand it. We are prepared to tell our son that people who say they can now discriminate against queer people because of their religious beliefs are not right. That is not what the Supreme Court said. But they may still try. People don’t always read full Supreme Court opinions, especially long ones with multiple concurrences. So, it is our duty as his parents to tell him that he has to be vigilant, know his rights, and know how to get help if something happens. While our son is still too young to comprehend what is happening in the world, we always tell him to find the helpers, the people who are helping when times are bad.

We have to tell him that it’s ok if this decision makes him feel bad. The Supreme Court looked at a man who denied a wedding cake to a couple because they were having a same sex wedding, and decided that he was the one who was discriminated against. The inarticulate comments of a couple of commissioners at the first stage of due process were given more weight than layers of subsequent adjudication. That hurts. It’s ok to feel sad and angry about that. It’s ok to feel like the justices engaged in legal gymnastics to reach their decision, and that they were wrong.

What do we tell him about what comes next? What do we say when he is afraid that someone might not want to sell him cookies anymore because of who his mommies are, or that his daycare might decide that he can’t go to school there anymore because someone’s sincerely held religious beliefs are counter to the use of assisted reproductive technology? We tell him that we don’t know exactly what comes next. We don’t know where the next case will come from, and we can’t control what the people around us do, or how they might skew this opinion for their own false righteousness. But we also tell him that our job is to be proud of who we are and to be authentic. We must celebrate life and celebrate who we are. We must also continue to fight.

We know how quickly change can happen (though we also know that progress actually takes long time, a lot of hard work, and movement building). We have witnessed and benefited from an enormous amount of change, even over the short course of our relationship. That change has allowed us to get legally married and have a son whose birth certificate bears both of our names. But the rapid nature of change also means that progress can be also rolled back quickly. We need to make sure that doesn’t happen. We need stronger anti-discrimination laws. We need to keep fighting in courtrooms, legislatures, in the streets, and in our communities. We need to remain vigilant and visible. We will continue to remind him that it’s Pride month, and that Pride and visibility matter. In fact, they change the course of history.

Of course, we will also tell him that we will read him “that dinosaur book” one more time before bed.

 


“Handia/Giant” opens CCNY’s fifth annual TAFFNY Film Festival

The fifth annual The Americas Film Festival of New York (TAFFNY) opens from June 7-15.

Week-long festival, June 7-15, led by CCNY’s Division of Interdisciplinary Studies, brings documentaries, panels and lectures to film audiences interested in the Americas

“Giant” (“Handia”) is the opening film for the fifth annual The Americas Film Festival of New York (TAFFNY). The event, a cultural project of The City College of New York’s Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Center for Worker Education(CWE), runs from June 7-15.

“TAFFNY is in its fifth edition and through the years it has been growing,” said Dr. Juan Carlos Mercado, dean of the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies. “This year, we wanted to honor the students and faculty of City College’s MFA program in film, one of the oldest film schools in the U.S. and the only public institution in New York City to offer a BFA in film.

The film school was founded in 1941 by Dada artist and filmmaker Hans Richter and was originally the Institute for Film Techniques. Among the list of people who studied or took classes at CCNY’s film program are Woody Allen, Judd Hirsch, Stanley Kubrick, Jackie Mason, Richard Schiff, Eli Wallach and Ben Gazzara.

TAFFNY aims to create a new culture of cinematography appreciation by providing a dynamic space for the public and artists to meet, reflect on multiculturalism and diversity in our society, while promoting the work of new and emerging filmmakers. TAFFNY presents feature-length films, documentaries and shorts and animations that represent the rich diversity of cultures, languages and stories of the Americas.

The festival will also offer workshops, debates and lectures. It will host The Americas Short Film Competition, exclusively dedicated to the promotion and exhibition of short-length audiovisual works by emerging filmmakers.

TAFFNY closes on Friday, June 15 at 6 p.m. with the Awards Ceremony of The Americas Short Films Competition at the National Museum of the American Indian, which is followed by the New York premiere of “Out of State” by Native Hawaiian filmmaker Ciara Lacy. “Out of State” is a character-driven documentary that chronicles the experience of two men who find their cultural identity while housed in a private prison, thousands of miles from their island home of Hawaii.

The Americas Short Film Competition is exclusively dedicated to the promotion and exhibition of short-length audiovisual works by emerging filmmakers. The festival’s competition will showcase films with a maximum length of 20 minutes that portray contemporary concerns of filmmakers living in the region. This year, TAFFNY screens 40 short films in competition for The Americas Award in the categories of animation, documentary, experimental and fiction.

The Americas Panorama is an exciting program that will bring the richness of the cultures of The Americas through eight award winning, feature-length films in fiction and documentary.  The films reflect the multiplicity of stories and identities that form the “American” experience, ranging from documentaries that explore the complexities of community in a globalized world to stories, both personal and social, of perseverance, memory and love.

TAFFNY is a cultural project of the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Center for Worker Education of The City College of New York, in collaboration with the National Museum of the American Indian and Instituto Cervantes. TAFFNY is made possible with the generous support of its partners and sponsors: the CCNY President’s Office, the CCNY Division of Humanities and the Arts, the CCNY Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership, CUNY Bildner Center for Western Hemisphere Studies, Telemundo 47, Ron Barceló,  Goya Foods, Consulate General of Argentina, NYU’s King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, Ines Rosales, Aceites Castillo de Canena, Begonia Sangria, Ole Imports, and Event Model Agency.

For more information and the schedule, please visit www.taffny.com or email Professor Carlos Aguasaco at caguasaco@ccny.cuny.edu .

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.

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Ashley Arocho
p: 212.650.6460
e:aarocho@ccny.cuny.edu
View CCNY Media Kit


Alumni service honors for Issa Salame and Tara Nachtigall

 

Alumni service award winners at CCNY Issa Salame and Tara Nachtigall

Issa Salame, assistant professor in the Division of Science, is the recipient of the Alumni Association of The City College of New York’s 2018 Faculty Service Award. Tara Nachtigall, department administrator in the Division of Humanities and the Arts will receive the Administrative Staff Service Award. Both awards will be presented at the alumni association’s 166th annual meeting at City College on June 14.

A 1997 CCNY alumnus who later earned a PhD in analytical chemistry from the Graduate School, CUNY, Salame is hailed by his students in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry as an energetic and passionate teacher.

“His great skills of teaching students by various methods inspire them to participate and ask questions in class,” said Nermin Mostafa, one of Salame’s protégés.

Nachtigall is recognized as a “treasured resource” by the students she serves in the Department of Theatre and Speech, according to chair Rob Barron.

She’s been a catalyst there in the five years since she was originally hired as an administrative coordinator. Under her, the department “has blossomed, expanded and exploded with activity,” added Barron.

The program in CCNY’s Great Hall at 7 p.m. includes Alumni Service Awards presentations to the following:

  • Quincy A. Allen ’00,  Black Alumni Group;
  • Lawrence S. Greengrass ’73, Alumni Association treasurer;
  • Wai (Helen) Mui ’91BS, ’93MSB, Asian Alumni Group;
  • Paul Schwartz ’69, Washington DC Alumni Chapter; and
  • Jessica Wang ’12CE, Engineering School Alumni Group.

Guest speakers include CCNY President Vince Boudreau.

A buffet dinner at 6 p.m. precedes the meeting. Tickets are $40 per person and can be ordered through the Alumni Association at 212-234-3000. The meeting is free and open to the public.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.

 

 

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Jay Mwamba
p: 212.650.7580
e:jmwamba@ccny.cuny.edu
View CCNY Media Kit


Alumni service honors for Issa Salame and Tara Nachtigall

 

Alumni service award winners at CCNY Issa Salame and Tara Nachtigall

Issa Salame, assistant professor in the Division of Science, is the recipient of the Alumni Association of The City College of New York’s 2018 Faculty Service Award. Tara Nachtigall, department administrator in the Division of Humanities and the Arts will receive the Administrative Staff Service Award. Both awards will be presented at the alumni association’s 166th annual meeting at City College on June 14.

A 1997 CCNY alumnus who later earned a PhD in analytical chemistry from the Graduate School, CUNY, Salame is hailed by his students in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry as an energetic and passionate teacher.

“His great skills of teaching students by various methods inspire them to participate and ask questions in class,” said Nermin Mostafa, one of Salame’s protégés.

Nachtigall is recognized as a “treasured resource” by the students she serves in the Department of Theatre and Speech, according to chair Rob Barron.

She’s been a catalyst there in the five years since she was originally hired as an administrative coordinator. Under her, the department “has blossomed, expanded and exploded with activity,” added Barron.

The program in CCNY’s Great Hall at 7 p.m. includes Alumni Service Awards presentations to the following:

  • Quincy A. Allen ’00,  Black Alumni Group;
  • Lawrence S. Greengrass ’73, Alumni Association treasurer;
  • Wai (Helen) Mui ’91BS, ’93MSB, Asian Alumni Group;
  • Paul Schwartz ’69, Washington DC Alumni Chapter; and
  • Jessica Wang ’12CE, Engineering School Alumni Group.

Guest speakers include CCNY President Vince Boudreau.

A buffet dinner at 6 p.m. precedes the meeting. Tickets are $40 per person and can be ordered through the Alumni Association at 212-234-3000. The meeting is free and open to the public.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.

 

 

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Jay Mwamba
p: 212.650.7580
e:jmwamba@ccny.cuny.edu
View CCNY Media Kit


CITIZENSHIP NOW! 2018 Citizenship Application Assistance and Immigration Fair WILL BE SATURDAY, JUNE 30, AT JOHN JAY COLLEGE

The City University of New York and the New York Daily News will hold a Citizenship Application Assistance and Immigration Fair on Saturday, June 30, at John Jay College. At the event, lawful permanent residents will receive personal, hands-on assistance with their U.S. citizen applications while immigrants, regardless of their status, can connect with health, financial and educational officials regarding services they may be eligible to receive.

At this year’s event, which continues the 16-year partnership between CUNY and the Daily News, staff and volunteers will be available for one-on-one consultations to confirm if green card holders are eligible for citizenship or if they qualify for a fee waiver. Permanent residents, who want to become citizens in time to vote in the 2020 election, will be encouraged to process naturalization applications now.

Last year, Rosa Campos, a Nicaraguan-born immigrant, came to the event and walked out with her application complete and ready to send to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services (USCIS). This year, the event aims to help 600 participants, such as Rosa, who is to be sworn in as a U.S. citizen this spring. “I am going to have the right to vote, and above all, to choose our leaders and to give my opinion on politics and immigration issues,” she said.

“CUNY has been educating New York’s immigrants since its founding in 1847. As part of the University’s historic mission to open the doors of opportunity to all, we are proud to provide valuable legal services to help New Yorkers on the path to U.S. citizenship,” said William C. Thompson Jr., chairperson of the CUNY Board of Trustees.

“CUNY has established itself as a national leader in providing legal assistance and other support and services to immigrants, and the University takes great pride in those efforts,” said CUNY Interim Chancellor Vita Rabinowitz.” CUNY Citizenship Now! is the largest university-based legal assistance service in the nation, and through our initiatives – co-sponsored with the Daily News – we have provided assistance to many thousands of immigrants pursuing educational, economic and other opportunities in this country.”

Jim Rich, editor-in-chief of the Daily News, said: “We are pleased to partner again with CUNY to ensure that those seeking U.S. citizenship have the legal help they need. Immigrants remain the lifeblood of New York, and New York’s hometown paper remains their advocate.”

Rafael Toro, director of public relations of Goya Foods, said: “We are always proud to support the positive contributions of immigrants and all those who have come to the United States for a better life, just like Goya’s founder did more than 80 years ago. We take great pride in our history and will continue to support programs like CUNY Citizenship Now, that help our immigrant communities thrive and achieve the American Dream.”

“Green card holders are seeking U.S. citizenship at an increasing rate.  CUNY and the Daily News are here to help with free, high-quality legal assistance,” said Allan Wernick, the director or CUNY Citizenship Now! and a Daily News immigration law columnist.

To register for the citizenship application portion of the event, permanent residents should call 646-664-9400 to find out about the documents to bring. Registration is not needed to participate in the immigration resource fair.

The Citizenship Application Assistance and Immigration Fair on Saturday, June 30 at John Jay College from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Green card holders can register, beginning June 7. Registration is not required to attend the immigration resource fair.

WXTV Univision 41, our Spanish-language media partner, will provide extensive outreach to the Hispanic community. Univision 41 has been a partner of the program since its inception. WABC-TV will once again serve as our English-language media partner. Both stations’ coverage will include live coverage, on-air promotional announcements and special news segments.

This year’s generous sponsors include: the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), N.Y. Chapter; Bloomberg Philanthropies; Capalino+Company;  Casa Puebla, Consulate General of Mexico in N.Y.; CUNY Service Corps; the CUNY School of Professional Studies; CUNY TV, Dominicanos USA; Fragomen Worldwide; Goya Foods; I Am An Immigrant; Immigrant Heritage Month; Immigrant Justice Corps; John Jay College for Criminal Justice; MIRA USA; NALEO Educational Fund; NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA); the New York State Office for New Americans (ONA);  New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), The Legal Aid Society; The New Americans Campaign; The YMCA; Qué Buena 92.7 FM; Unimás Nueva York; WADO 1280 AM and X96.3.

English/Spanish: 646-664-9400

 About the Partners:

The City University of New York:

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in 1847, CUNY counts 13 Nobel Prize and 23 MacArthur (“Genius”) grant winners among its alumni. CUNY students, alumni and faculty have garnered scores of other prestigious honors over the years in recognition of historic contributions to the advancement of the sciences, business, the arts and myriad other fields. The University comprises 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, CUNY Graduate Center, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, CUNY School of Law, CUNY School of Professional Studies and CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. The University serves more than 275,000 degree-seeking students. CUNY offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies. For more information, visit www.cuny.edu.

The New York Daily News:

With 2 million readers in New York, and 42 million national unique visitors online each month, the Daily News is the most widely read tabloid in the city and one of America’s fastest-growing web sites. Covering breaking news, politics, sports, entertainment, celebrity, lifestyle, opinion, business and health, the Daily News delivers up-to-the-minute reporting, rich photography and compelling video to readers of its print newspaper, industry-leading website, tablet apps, and iPhone, Blackberry and Android editions.

The Daily News has won 10 Pulitzer Prize Awards for excellence in journalism. In 2015, it was awarded seven New York State Associated Press Association awards and took the Associated Press Sports Editors awards’ “Triple Crown,” as well as first place in the Investigative category across all circulation categories. In addition to its news operations, the Daily News runs Daily News Digital Solutions and the Innovation Lab.

About the Media Partners:

Univision Communications Inc.

Univision Communications Inc. (UCI) is the leading media company serving Hispanic America. The Company, a chief content creator in the U.S., includes Univision Network, one of the top networks in the U.S. regardless of language and the most-watched Spanish-language broadcast television network in the country, available in approximately 88% of U.S. Hispanic television households; UniMás, a leading Spanish-language broadcast television network available in approximately 82% of U.S. Hispanic television households; Univision Cable Networks, including Galavisión, the most-watched U.S. Spanish-language entertainment cable network, as well as UDN (Univision Deportes Network), the most-watched U.S. Spanish-language sports cable network, Univision tlnovelas, a 24-hour Spanish-language cable network dedicated to telenovelas, ForoTV, a 24-hour Spanish-language cable network dedicated to international news, and an additional suite of cable offerings – De Película, De Película Clásico, Bandamax, Ritmoson and Telehit; an investment in El Rey Network, a general entertainment English-language cable network; Univision Local Media, which owns and/or operates 63 television stations and 58 radio stations in major U.S. Hispanic markets and Puerto Rico; Univision Now, a direct-to-consumer, on demand and live streaming subscription service; Univision.com, the most-visited Spanish-language website among U.S. Hispanics; and Uforia, a music application featuring multimedia music content. The Company also includes assets that serve young, diverse audiences. This includes news and lifestyle English-language cable network FUSION TV and a collection of leading digital brands that span a range of categories: technology (Gizmodo), sports (Deadspin), lifestyle (Lifehacker), modern women’s interests (Jezebel), news and politics (Splinter), African American news and culture (The Root), gaming (Kotaku), Environment (Earther), and car culture (Jalopnik). Additionally, UCI has ownership in comedy and news satire brands The Onion, Clickhole, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Headquartered in New York City, UCI has content creation facilities and sales offices in major cities throughout the United States. For more information, please visit corporate.univision.com.

WABC-TV:

WABC-TV, Channel 7, is the Disney owned ABC television station in New York City and the most watched television station in the United States. The station has always valued the strength of New York’s diversity, especially the importance of its various ethnic communities. The station’s staff reflects that diversity and their mission is to keep viewers informed. That’s why the station produces more than 45 hours of local, community focused content under the Eyewitness News umbrella, including Tiempo – the city’s most watched English language program focused solely on issues important to the Hispanic communities.  The station also co-hosts several annual campaigns including immigration information forums and voter registration drives.

El Diario:

Founded in 1913, El Diario/La Prensa is the longest publishing Spanish-language daily newspaper in the United States. Since its inception as a small publication in Lower Manhattan named La Prensa, the newspaper has grown into one of the largest and most influential Latino media outlets in the nation. In 1963, it merged with El Diario de Nueva York, forming El Diario/La Prensa, as it is known now. Keeping up with the new century, the newspaper is now a state-of-the-art multimedia operation that includes print, digital, and other platforms.

Media Contacts:

Frank Sobrino, CUNY
(646) 664-9300
Frank.Sobrino@cuny.edu

Griselda Garcia, Daily News
(347)-486-1049
ggarcia@nydailynews.com

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LaGuardia Community College Confers More than 1,600 Associate’s Degrees at 46th Commencement Ceremony

Activist Shaun King delivered keynote;
Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr. delivered alumni address;
Student address delivered by Karina Ramos-Caraballo, a 25-year-old secondary education major & mom of a 2-year-old daughter

June 5, 2018

More than 1,600 [1] New Yorkers celebrated earning their associate’s degrees at LaGuardia Community College’s 46th Commencement Ceremony, held this morning at Barclays Center ( View class profile).

“A brighter future lies ahead for today’s graduates,” said LaGuardia Community College President Gail O. Mellow. “Many have dealt with significant obstacles along the way. For some, earning a college degree may have seemed impossible. Their graduation is a testament to their resilience and fortitude. Our ceremony today aimed to help them see that their achievement marks how far they’ve come, and that they’re ready for the next step in their education or professional career.”

Lifetime earnings increase more than $400,000 for students with an associate’s degree. Ninety-three percent of LaGuardia graduates have no student loan debt. And a Stanford University study of economic mobility of US colleges—that is, the ability of a college to move low-income people to the middle class and beyond—ranked LaGuardia #5 among all two-year colleges nationwide. LaGuardia students are 35 percent more likely to transfer to a four-year college than community college students nationally.

Commencement News

Today’s LaGuardia graduates earned an associate’s degree in one of the 60 majors offered at the college, ranging from AccountingCommercial PhotographyComputer ScienceCriminal JusticeDeaf StudiesEngineeringNursing, and New Media Technology.

A majority (71 percent) of LaGuardia Community College’s approx. 50,000 students have family incomes of less than $30,000/year. They come from 150 countries and speak 96 native languages. Forty-two percent are age 23 or older. Some are parents (who can often be seen dropping off young children at our on-campus daycare). Thirty-six percent came in as transfer students, meaning that they had some college credits—some started their college journey at a four-year college, but dropped out due to financial pressures or family set-backs—while others came to LaGuardia to pursue an associate’s degree in a different field than their bachelor’s. Many relied on LaGuardia’s extensive support services—from advisors that keep them on track academically, staff ready to help them navigate the maze of financial aid and apply to scholarships, and counselors that help them sign up for public benefits and access our on-campus food pantry.

Shaun King, a prominent voice within the Black Lives Matter movement, gave the keynote address to the audience of 10,000 comprised of graduates’ family and friends, LaGuardia leadership, faculty, staff, and representatives from the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York

“LaGuardia Community College’s Class of 2018 graduates have reached an important finish line, but are also at an important starting point,” said Shaun King. “I encouraged them to seek out opportunities to talk about their community college experience and to tell their stories of overcoming obstacles—in order to remind others of the importance of broad access to higher education to achieve social justice, and to motivate other young people, particularly low-income and underserved communities, thinking about making the leap to enrolling in college. With their accessibility and affordability, community colleges like LaGuardia help support the real empowerment and liberation of historically disadvantaged groups.”

Shaun King

Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr. and a member of LaGuardia’s Class of 1998 gave the alumni speech. A lifelong resident of the Bronx, Borough President Díaz is serving his third term in this role, during which time he’s credited with bringing thousands of new jobs, improving infrastructure, housing, education, health, wellness, and public safety, to the Bronx.

“LaGuardia Community College set me on the greater path to success, and I would not be where I am today without the lessons I learned as a student there,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “LaGuardia is a place that provides opportunity for New Yorkers who need it the most, and my own experience shows that graduates of this great institution can go on to do amazing things—they can ‘dare to do more.’ I am proud to be a part of this year’s commencement celebration at LaGuardia, as we send more than 1,600 proud men and women on the path to continue their education and start their careers.”

The 2018 Class Speaker, Karina Ramos-Caraballo, who received her Associate in Arts degree in Secondary Education, reminded her fellow graduates of their journey to graduation—encouraging them to use their journey as motivation to pursue future goals in their lives.

“LaGuardia Community College helps people see their potential by providing a welcoming, diverse atmosphere,” said Ms. Ramos-Caraballo. “I’m grateful to LaGuardia for opening the door of opportunity and for placing our education in the hands of extraordinary professors. I’m proud to be part of LaGuardia Community College—thanks to LaGuardia, I know that my family is on a better track. My husband, Marcos Ramos, also graduated today. We’re setting a great example for our daughter about the value of education.”

Karina, age 25, is the first member of her family to graduate college. She was born and raised in a low-income immigrant family in Brooklyn, where they struggled to make ends meet.

Like many students, Karina came to LaGuardia for a second chance. A few years ago, she’d been dismissed from a different community college for poor grades. Around the same time, she met LaGuardia student Marcos Ramos who became her boyfriend and encouraged her to enroll at the college. Just after she enrolled, they learned Karina was pregnant with their first child, so Karina delayed her start at LaGuardia to have their daughter, Keilani. They got married, and once Keilani, was 12-months-old, making her eligible for LaGuardia’s on-campus daycare, Karina jumped back in to pursuing her dream of earning a college degree.

Karina is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in secondary education at Brooklyn College, and her husband Marcos, a criminal justice major, is transferring to John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Marcos’s brother Brian Ramos, a 2017 graduate of LaGuardia, is currently pursuing his bachelor’s at Baruch.

Karina Ramos

LaGuardia’s Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Paul Arcario, EdD, gave the welcome remarks and introductions. Mathematics professor Reem Jaafar, Ph.D., served as Grand Marshal.

The City University of New York was represented by The Honorable Henry T. Berger, JD, a member of the Board of Trustees, and Matthew Sapienza, MBA, Senior Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer of CUNY, who both addressed the graduates.

The LaGuardia Vocal Ensemble performed the Star Spangled Banner, arranged and conducted by LaGuardia music professor Marianne Solivan, MMus.

Please click here for more information about LaGuardia’s 46th Annual Commencement, or click here to view/download commencement photos.

• • • •

LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, educates more than 50,000 New Yorkers annually through degree, certificate, and continuing education programs. Our guiding principle Dare To Do More reflects our belief in the transformative power of education—not just for individuals, but for our community and our country—creating pathways for achievement and safeguarding the middle class. LaGuardia is a national voice on behalf of community colleges, where half of all US college students study. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), the College reflects the legacy of our namesake, Fiorello H. LaGuardia, the former NYC mayor beloved for his championing the underserved. Since our doors opened in 1971, our programs regularly become national models for pushing boundaries to give people of all backgrounds access to a high quality, affordable college education. We invite you to join us in imagining what our students, our community, and our country can become. Visit www.LaGuardia.edu to learn more.

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[1] 1,250 have completed their graduation requirements; 350+ expected to finish class requirements by August 2018


NEWEST EDITION OF CUNYMATTERS FEATURES SOME OF CUNY’S MOST INSPIRING STUDENTS

The City University of New York this week published a special issue of its news publication, CUNYMatters, celebrating the more than three dozen CUNY students who won some of the nation’s most prestigious awards this academic year.

In her first CUNYMatters column, newly named Interim Chancellor Vita C. Rabinowitz writes that CUNY’s winners of Rhodes, Fulbright and many other fiercely competitive awards reflect the drive of CUNY’s students across the city.“There’s no question that these students are stars, but if you read through their stories, you’ll find they typify our general student body,” she writes. “Hardworking. Smart. Altruistic. Idealistic. Inspired and inspiring.”

One of the most compelling of these stories leads the special CUNYMatters issue: Joel Sati came to the U.S. from Kenya when he was 9, became a DACA recipient at 19, graduated from City College and was recently named a winner of one of the nation’s most hard-earned academic honors, the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans. Among the other award recipients profiled in CUNYMatters are Thamara Jean, a 2018 graduate of Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College who won a Rhodes Scholarship to continue her research of Black Lives Matter; Safia Mahjebin, a key voice in changing New York’s marriage law who won a Truman Scholarship as a senior at Hunter; and Istou Diallo, from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, who won a Fulbright to travel to India and study how women with disabilities deal with their political marginalization.

The new issue of CUNYMatters also features an interview with Brooklyn College professor Alex Vitale, a leading advocate of police reform whose new book, The End of Policing, comes at a crucial moment in the national debate about deadly force and other police issues.

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in 1847, CUNY counts 13 Nobel Prize and 23 MacArthur (“Genius”) grant winners among its alumni. CUNY students, alumni and faculty have garnered scores of other prestigious honors over the years in recognition of historic contributions to the advancement of the sciences, business, the arts and myriad other fields. The University comprises 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, CUNY Graduate Center, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, CUNY School of Law, CUNY School of Professional Studies and CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. The University serves more than 275,000 degree-seeking students. CUNY offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies. For more information, visit www.cuny.edu.

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CCNY students CREATE new ways to eliminate workplace barriers for people with disabilities

NYSID President & CEO Ron Romano Prof. Zhigang Zhu, Ms. Celina Cavalluzzi (Goodwill), two AVR4ASD team members (Rafael Li Chen and Xinyu Xiong), and NYSID Market Manager Brian Bateman

ASSIST team: Manjekar Budhai with Vishnu Nair (on laptop screen)

New York’s current unemployment rate continues to hover below 5 percent. But for New York residents with disabilities the rate is a staggering 70 percent –  partly due to the challenges they face in the average workplace.

Students of the Grove School of Engineering at the City College of New York are trying to change that by taking part in the CREATE Competition, which challenges them to develop innovative technologies that remove workplace barriers.

CREATE, a New York State Industries for the Disabled (NYSID) program, offers student engineers the opportunity to put their knowledge to use in the context of a real-life experience during their capstone projects. Students representing 14 teams from eight colleges are provided $1,000 per team to prototype an invention and compete for CREATE prizes of $15,000, $10,000 and $5,000. Nine NYSID member agency not-for-profits are the recipients of the new technologies.

This April, two City College teams attracted attention from professionals and NYS policymakers for their innovative solutions during the 2018 NYSID CREATE Symposium held in the Legislative Office Building in Albany. Both projects were rated high by a panel of eight judges of field engineers and rehabilitation professionals during the half-day exhibition, listed No 2 and No 5 respectively.

Rafael Li Chen, Xinyu Xiong, and Yuxuan Huang, all computer science majors, won the second-place prize of $10,000 for creating AVR4ASD (Augmented and Virtual Reality for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder) which trains and guides individuals with ASD to independently travel between home and their workplace.

Manjekar Budhai and Vishnu Nair, both computer engineering majors, received significant media coverage for their ASSIST (Assistive Sensor Solution for Independent and Safe Travel) cell phone app. The app guides those who are autistic or visually impaired, helping them safely navigate an indoor location using voice commands. The app has been supported by National Science Foundation, Department of Homeland Security, Lighthouse Guild and Bentley Industries, Inc.

Both of these CREATE projects were developed in partnership with Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey.

The faculty advisor for both teams was Dr. Zhigang Zhu, Herbert G. Kayser Professor of Computer Science in the Grove School of Engineering. For the last seven years, Zhu has run a joint senior design program with Dr. Jizhong Xiao, Professor of Electrical Engineering (EE) of the Grove School on Assistive Technology for CS, CpE and EE seniors. The program is supported by the National Science Foundation, VentureWell and NYSID.

About The City College of New York

Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself. View CCNY Media Kit.

 

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Media contact: Rebecca Rivera rrivera1@ccny.cuny.edu


CUNY School of Professional Studies Establishes Nursing Scholarship with $150,000 Petrie Foundation Grant

New York, NY – June 5, 2016 – A generous grant from the Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation is helping the CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) establish and sustain the Petrie Nurse Scholarship program for nursing students.

Starting in Fall 2018, Petrie Nurse Scholarship awards will provide tuition assistance for students enrolled in the CUNY SPS online bachelor’s degree in nursing (RN to BSN) who previously earned an applied science (AAS) degree with a major in nursing from a CUNY Community College. Awards will underwrite 100% of tuition, and will follow recipients through degree completion.

“This much needed support from the Petrie Foundation has enabled the School to create the Petrie Nurse Scholars program,” noted Marge Reilly, academic director of nursing programs at CUNY SPS. “We are thrilled to be able to provide critical tuition support to high-achieving students in the online RN to BS in nursing degree program. More than 60% of students in the CUNY SPS nursing program are self-payers, and fewer than 30% receive state or federal financial aid. The award provides essential support that directly addresses these issues.”

John Mogulescu, dean of the School, echoed Dr. Reilly, and said, “I am delighted that the Petrie Foundation has provided CUNY SPS with the opportunity to help our nursing students finish their degrees and go on to positively influence New York City’s healthcare provider system, impacting countless patients’ lives throughout their careers.”

The CCNE-accredited bachelor’s degree in nursing at CUNY SPS is specifically designed to increase the number of diverse, BS-prepared nurses in New York City. With a current enrollment of more than 450 students, undergraduate nursing has rapidly become the School’s largest degree program.

Home to the first fully online degree programs at the City University of New York, the CUNY School of Professional Studies provides online and on campus programs that meet the needs of adults who are looking for a seamless way to finish or transition into a bachelor’s degree, earn a master’s degree or certificate in a specialized field, advance in the workplace, or change careers.

Press Contact:
Andrea Fagon
Director of Marketing and Communications
andrea.fagon@cuny.edu
646-664-8690


SEVEN CUNY GRADUATES WIN BIG APPLE AWARDS HONORING EXCEPTIONAL TEACHING IN NYC PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Seven alumni of The City University of New York have won 2018 Big Apple Awards, a recognition of their exceptional skills as New York City public-school educators. The winners, announced by the New York City Department of Education, represent four colleges – Brooklyn College, City College, Hunter College and Queens College – and the CUNY Graduate Center. CUNY is well represented among the winners, with nearly half of the 17 awards coming from the University.

The seven teachers who won were selected from a pool of more than 6,500 nominations, representing schools in all five boroughs. All will serve as Big Apple Fellows during the 2018-19 school year.

“This impressive showing by CUNY alumni among the Big Apple Award winners highlights the University’s critical role in educating teachers for New York City’s public schools,” Interim Chancellor Vita C. Rabinowitz said. “With 16,000 students enrolled in our teacher-education programs, CUNY is the largest pipeline of educators for the largest public-school system in the nation, and our innovative programs reflect the University’s commitment to New Yorkers.

“We are honored and delighted to have played a role in these exceptional teachers’ education and career accomplishments, which enrich young New Yorkers’ lives year after year,” Ashleigh Thompson, University Dean for Education, said. “Congratulations to all of this year’s Big Apple Award winners.”

As Big Apple Fellows for the coming academic year, the award-winning teachers will serve on the NYC Schools Chancellor’s Teacher Advisory Group and meet monthly for career development sessions, giving them the opportunity to broaden their expertise in the classroom.

This year’s CUNY alumni Big Apple Award winners are:

Nina Berman is an Early Childhood Education teacher at the LYFE Program at Pathways to Graduation Downtown Brooklyn, and earned two degrees at Brooklyn College, a  B.A. and a Graduate School Counseling Program MSED.

Damen Davis is a sixth-grade English Language Arts teacher and lead ESL teacher for the sixth grade at I.S. X303 Leadership & Community Service in the Bronx. He earned his Master’s of Education at Hunter College.

Sandra Fajgier is a Pre-Kindergarten teacher at Magnet School of Math, Science and Design Technology in Brooklyn and graduated from Brooklyn College.

Stephanie Flete is a teacher of fourth-grade Mathematics at Urban Scholars Community School in the Bronx and earned her B.S. at City College.

Jae Lee is a High School Foreign Language-Korean teacher at Bayside High School, in Queens and earned an M.Phil in Linguistics at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Ryuma Tanaka is an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher at I.S. 145 Joseph Pulitzer in Queens and earned his M.A. in TESOL at Hunter College.

Alberto Toro is a Middle School Instrumental Music teacher at I.S. 007 Elias Bernstein in Staten Island and earned his M.A. in Jazz Performance and Composition at Queens College.

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in 1847, CUNY counts 13 Nobel Prize and 23 MacArthur (“Genius”) grant winners among its alumni. CUNY students, alumni and faculty have garnered scores of other prestigious honors over the years in recognition of historic contributions to the advancement of the sciences, business, the arts and myriad other fields. The University comprises 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, CUNY Graduate Center, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, CUNY School of Law, CUNY School of Professional Studies and CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. The University serves more than 275,000 degree-seeking students. CUNY offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies. For more information, visit www.cuny.edu.

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Daring LaGuardians—Stories of Four Members of the LaGuardia Community College 2018 Graduating Class

More than 1,600 New Yorkers are expected to celebrate earning their associate’s degree at tomorrow’s  2018 Commencement for LaGuardia Community College.

Since it’s a large number, we want to share the stories of four members of the Class of 2018. Stories that are emblematic of LaGuardia Community College, where a typical student might be considered “non-traditional” at a four-year college. Approx. 46 percent are age 25 or older, with 20 percent over age 30. They’re often poor—71 percent have family incomes of $30,000 or less—are recent immigrants or have otherwise disadvantaged backgrounds. And a good number are the first in their family to pursue a college degree.

“A LaGuardia education gives students the knowledge and tools they need to excel in their careers and in their lives,” said LaGuardia Community College  President Gail O. Mellow. “Our graduates, having overcome obstacles that often include balancing multiple demands of work, family and academics, have incredible grit and determination to excel. Graduation is a time to celebrate their accomplishments and to join them in imagining how they will improve the lives of their families, our city and our nation.”

Many came to LaGuardia seeking a second chance after a bad start at a four-year college. Or they chose LaGuardia after a negative high school experience—and as a result, came in with poor study habits, or needing to take remedial classes in math, reading, or writing. Or despite having the academics for a four-year college, they needed an affordable route to begin their college journey.

They’ll graduate in one of more than 60 majors. For the Class of 2018, Business AdministrationCriminal Justice, and Liberal Arts: Social Science & Humanities are the three most common majors. If not entering the workforce, many are transferring to a public four-year college, a private college, or one of the most selective colleges and universities this country has to offer, to pursue their bachelor’s.

The stories below include: a mother-daughter duo, where the mother always dreamed of going to LaGuardia, but dropped out after one semester nearly three decades ago when she became pregnant with her first child; a woman with a bachelor’s from Boston University who enrolled at LaGuardia to pursue her passion for theatre and ended up earning a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship where she’ll study in India; and a young man from The Bronx who came to LaGuardia to get his college journey back on track after getting expelled for poor grades from a four-year college—at LaGuardia, he ended up finding a passion for journalism and has been selected as a 2018 Pulitzer Center Campus Consortium Fellow.

Their stories are below. Congratulations to the LaGuardia Class of 2018, who are all embodiments of our school motto, ‘Dare To Do More’!

 

Mother-Daughter Duo: Lakima Lewis and Tamecca ReidMother-Daughter Duo: Lakima Lewis and Tamecca Reid

Lakima Lewis, age 45 (pictured at right below), is a paralegal studies major, who is transferring to Queens College to pursue her bachelor’s in political science.

Lakima first studied at LaGuardia in 1990, but dropped out after one semester when she became pregnant with her first child, a son (now 26 and a graduate of Brooklyn College).

After she got injured on the job in 2011, she decided to re-enroll at LaGuardia, where her daughter, Tamecca Reid (pictured at left), was studying. Ms. Lewis, who relies on a wheelchair and a cane to get around, found support and resources from LaGuardia’s Office for Students with Disabilities.

At LaGuardia, the two, who live together in Brooklyn, often met for breakfast together before classes.

Now they’re really excited to be celebrating earning their associate’s degrees on the same day. Tamecca, age 21, is a deaf studies major.

“I cried when I found out that we’d be graduating together because I thought it was really special,” said Ms. Lewis, who is a member of Delta Alpha Pi, the international honors society for students with disabilities. “Especially for me to come back to a school I always wanted to go to when I was 18.”

 

Fulbright Scholar: Ambar CastilloFulbright Scholar: Ambar Castillo

Ambar Castillo (pictured at right), is a theater major who was recently awarded a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to study performance-based initiatives to combat social problems in rural villages in India, continuing the work she pursued as a Pulitzer Center Reporting Fellow in Gujarat last summer.

The Fulbright Program aims to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Fulbright alumni include 59 Nobel Laureates, 82 Pulitzer Prize winners, 71 MacArthur Fellows, 16 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, and thousands of leaders across the private, public and non-profit sectors.

Ambar holds a B.A. in Latin American Studies & Journalism from Boston University. She was working a secure job with benefits when she decided to pursue her passion for theatre and enrolled at LaGuardia.

Ambar’s acting roles have ranged from cross-gender ones in Boston-based William Suspension Productions to a role in “Vagina Monologues” with Athena Players and that of a mayfly at LaGuardia, for which she earned a 2017 Irene Ryan acting nomination.

Her goal is to earn a master’s in public health, and then a Ph.D. in performance studies.

 

Pulitzer Center Reporting Fellow: Jonathan CustodioPulitzer Center Reporting Fellow: Jonathan Custodio
Jonathan Custodio, age 23 (pictured at right), is a journalism major who plans to begin pursuing a bachelor’s in journalism this fall at City College.

He was recently one of just 43 emerging journalists selected from across the U.S. as a Pulitzer Center 2018 student reporting fellow. Jonathan, who speaks Spanish, plans to travel to Mexico in January where he’ll report on Afro-Mexican identity.

Jonathan started his college journey at a four-year college upstate, but was asked to leave after one semester for a 1.1 GPA. Being expelled was deeply disappointing for Jonathan, who especially feared letting down his parents, immigrants from the Dominican Republic. When they instead responded with love and understanding, his fears subsided.

Deciding that perhaps a school closer to his family home The Bronx would provide better structure for himself, he enrolled at LaGuardia where he realized his passion for writing and switched his major from business administration to journalism, and became editor-in-chief of LaGuardia’s student newspaper, The Bridge. He also served as a Civic Fellow for LaGuardia’s government affairs team—engaging civically with community members about the opportunities at the college.

His gift for writing is evident in the personal statement for his application to four-year schools, in which he writes passionately about the turmoil he felt upon leaving his first college. Read below.

In Depression to Independence

By: Jonathan Custodio

The letter arrived on a rainy June afternoon. I had been expelled from the University at Buffalo.

It was expected for months but it still struck me like a thunderous punch that I didn’t anticipate. I could not bear the shame, the disappointment, nor the depression that followed. The days went by slowly; the nights even more so.

My time at the university had come to an end because of academic ignorance. Growing up in a strict Dominican household, I was rarely given the autonomy to be as social as I had liked to be. So after being thrown into a situation in which I had complete freedom, I could not manage leisure with responsibility and my studies suffered. As a result, I ended my first and only academic year there with an atrocious 1.1 Grade Point Average (GPA).

“Jonathan, we are headed to the movies. Do you want to come?” “No, I’m okay.”

“Jonathan, are you feeling alright. Is everything okay?” “Everything is fine.”

These were the sullen answers that were given to genuine concern from my family because I felt too embarrassed to face them and explain my failures.

My father worked ten-hour shifts in a factory and my mother did housework gigs. I always noticed how tired my parents were when arriving home from work and told myself that I would do everything in my power to ensure that his final decades were as relaxing as possible.

Immigrants from the Dominican Republic, my parents always preached the importance of an education and placed immense pressure on me to succeed. That pressure was only exacerbated by the bachelor’s degrees that were earned by both of my older brothers.

All of these factors contributed to a rapidly developed depression. Overwhelmed by my lack of success, I could not bear disappointing them and thought that everything would be easier if I removed this liability from their lives.

With no job or school enrollment, I had hours in the day to myself that I would alternatively spend between crying or pressing a blade to my wrists and wondering what it was like to experience the sweet release of death. My pride always stopped me. My story was not going to end that way. It was time to speak up.

I waited until the night before returning students were scheduled to start the sophomore year to tell my parents. Before the words could even come out, my eyes became faucets. I had never felt so emotional and could only manage to keep my eyes fixed on the floor because I was too afraid to see the reaction of my mother, who was more critical of me than anyone else.

But suddenly, the support interjected. They proved what it meant to be family: togetherness and just being there for someone when he or she needs it most. I was at a loss for words as each member of my family showered me with love and words of encouragement.

Fear turned into relief. Depression converted to comfort.

Almost five years later, I sit here writing this statement as easily as blinking. I do so with no regrets, and with no remorse.

I went to college because I was told that you were supposed to. You go to college, get a job and have a family. Hence, I believed that I needed to seek what was familiar and safe. I followed my older brother’s path in studying Business Administration because he was doing well for himself and my parents approved of it.

I decided to pursue my passion in journalism at LaGuardia Community College. Why did I choose LaGuardia? The reason isn’t profound or deep. It was the only school in all of CUNY still accepting students at the time.

To my surprise, LaGuardia has been nothing but a venue of support, development and education. There, I have honed my leadership, networking and communal skills while being a Civic Fellow; embraced a journalistic integrity in being editor-in-chief of our school newspaper The Bridge for more than a year; and developed a passion for uplifting fellow students and dreamers towards their wildest aspirations.

I love to write and I love the news. I feel a compulsion to properly inform the people and give them a platform to be heard. Real change happens through people, and the biggest mistake is not believing that we have the power to have a massive impact on the issues that matter to us.  I learned to believe in myself.

LaGuardia Community College helped me develop those beliefs; I would not be as content and driven as I am today without the experience of being a student at this college in Long Island City, Queens.

I recently finished my classes towards my major and am getting ready to graduate in June. After which time I plan to go to a four-year school towards a bachelor’s in journalism.

We cannot improve upon ourselves until we tackle our greatest fears; until we follow our passions; until we learn from our past. I didn’t know that at nineteen years old. I know it at twenty-three.


ON THE DOCKET: The latest on the Supreme Court Circuit

Today’s 7-2 Supreme Court ruling on Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission has a lot to unpack. The central question, of whether the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause could be wielded as a weapon against non-discrimination law, seems to have received a stay of execution. And unlike Jack Phillips’ confectionary creations, these layers need to be consumed and commented on. Read on for our roundup of must-reads… we’ll be updating this post throughout the day to serve you the latest.

 

The Supreme Court Ruling Itself

 

SCOTUS Finds Colorado Civil Rights Commission Hostile to Religion in Masterpiece Cakeshop

By CUNY Law Professor Ruthann Robson, Constitutional Law Prof Blog

“Certainly, the Court’s opinion rests on narrow grounds, perhaps unique to this case. But it nevertheless represents the Court chipping away at equality on the basis of sexual orientation.”

 

A Statement from the ACLU, representing the couple that brought the original complaint

The Masterpiece Cakeshop Case: What You Need to Know

By Ria Tabacco Mar, ACLU

“In the 1960s, Piggie Park barbecue restaurant argued that its owner’s religious beliefs meant it could refuse to serve Black customers. In the 1970s and 1980s, schools claimed that they should be allowed to pay women less than men based on the belief that men should be the head of the household. Time and again, courts have recognized that religious views, no matter how deeply felt, don’t entitle any of us to discriminate. The same is true today.”

 

Justices Rule for Colorado Baker Who Refused to Make a Cake for Gay Wedding

By Marcia Coyle and Tony Mauro, New York Law Journal

“Kennedy also made clear the decision was relevant for this case only. ‘The outcome of cases like this in other circumstances must await further elaboration in the courts, all in the context of recognizing that these disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market,’ he wrote.”

 

Gay Americans Have Little to Fear From the Supreme Court’s Compromise in Masterpiece Cakeshop

By Mark Joseph Stern, Slate

The ruling came down to free exercise law.

“…SCOTUS didn’t directly answer that question on Monday. Rather, it chose to handle this case solely on free exercise grounds. The Supreme Court has held that the government violates the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause when it targets a particular faith for disfavored treatment. In an opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court found here that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had done precisely that in its dealings with Jack Phillips.”

And additional comment on non-discrimination law and the LGBTQIA community:

“…Kennedy’s opinion is also littered with dicta that shows states how they can enforce LGBTQ non-discrimination law without crashing into constitutional problems. He approvingly describes states’ authority ‘to protect the rights and dignity of gay persons who are, or wish to be, married but who face discrimination when they seek goods or services.’ He clarifies that ‘gay persons and gay couples cannot be treated as social outcasts or as inferior in dignity and worth.’ And he reaffirms the basic principle that religious objections ‘do not allow business owners and other actors in the economy and in society to deny protected persons equal access to goods and services under a neutral and generally applicable public accommodations law.'”


Baruch College Holds 2018 Commencement Ceremony

Students Take First Steps to Becoming Future Leaders in their Chosen Fields

Baruch College 2018 Valedictorian and Salutatorian at Commencement on May 30, 2018 at Barclays Center

L to R: Salutatorian Kevin Savarese and Valedictorian Patrycja Koszykowska are among the 5,024 graduates in Baruch College’s Class of 2018.

Baruch College conferred 5,024 degrees in business, business administration, public and international affairs, education, and arts and sciences at its Commencement on May 30, 2018 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The Class of 2018 included more than 3,800 undergraduate and more than 1,200 graduate degree recipients.

Baruch College President Mitchel B. Wallerstein, PhD, presided over the exercises, and David Christy, PhD, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, served as the master of ceremonies.

VIDEOS:  To view the full ceremony, visit here.

“An American Dream Machine”

In his opening remarks, President Wallerstein welcomed graduating students, their families and friends, returning alumni from the classes of 1958 and 1968, and members of the faculty. He spoke of Baruch as “an incredible institution and a stellar college” within the nation’s largest urban university system, the City University of New York.

“Baruch College is an American dream machine (whose) students represent the world,” said President Wallerstein. “You have what it takes to be a leader in your chosen field and contribute to your community and society,”

Also addressing the students were distinguished guests U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and James B. Milliken, Chancellor of The City University of New York.

Commencement Speaker and Honorary Recipients

Keynote speaker Jane Chu, PhD, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, who received an honorary doctorate of humane letters degree, told the Class of 2018 that their Baruch College education has instilled upon them the necessary qualities to be future leaders.

Dr. Chu said “as leaders we have a great opportunity to help ourselves, as well as others to be creative and not remain stuck, to keep moving, and to take those kind of creative risks that are necessary to making a positive impact on others and bring out the good in us.”

Austin W. Marxe (’65), who graduated with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration, was also awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters degree. Marxe is the president and managing director of AWM Investment Company, a firm he founded in 1991 which supports small companies that would otherwise not be financeable.

In 2016, Baruch Colleges received a $30 million gift from Marxe, the largest single gift in the history of Baruch College.

Degrees Conferred

The Zicklin School of Business conferred 789 Master of Business Administration and Master of Science degrees, as well as 2,736 Bachelor of Business Administration degrees.

The Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs conferred 274 Master of Public Affairs and Master of Science in Education degrees, and 52 Bachelor of Science degrees.

The George and Mildred Weissman School of Arts and Sciences conferred 161 Master of Arts degrees, and 986 Bachelor of Arts degrees.

At a separate CUNY ceremony held a week prior to Commencement at Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall, Baruch College awarded seven doctoral degrees in business to students who completed their coursework and dissertations under the supervision of the faculty.

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President Antonio Perez Steps Down After 23 Years

Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) President Antonio Pérez will step down after having served with 23 years of leadership at the college. Effective August 31, 2018, President Pérez will be leaving BMCC to pursue other opportunities in New York City higher education.

Appointed in 1995, President Pérez led BMCC to have the highest undergraduate enrollment of any college in New York City, increasing from 16,500 students when he came on board, to more than 27,000 today. BMCC has also grown to provide almost 50 Associate degree programs in the Liberal Arts and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

Under the leadership of President Pérez, BMCC has become a premier institution of higher learning on the national level, leading the way in grant-funded STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) research, Open Educational Resources (OER), pipeline programs to ensure seamless transfers for graduates, and staff and faculty leadership development. He has led the development of programs at BMCC that increase the participation of women and low-income students in the STEM fields, as well as programs that prepare students to enter other high-demand fields. Throughout these efforts, President Pérez has demonstrated a solid commitment to the BMCC mission that values, at its core, equity and success for all students.

BMCC President Antonio PerezPresident Pérez is also widely known for having shepherded the BMCC community through the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001. BMCC is the only college in the United States to have lost a building to a terrorist attack. Fiterman Hall was destroyed when World Trade 7 collapsed and fell against it, and the college’s main campus at 199 Chambers Street became a command center for about 2,000 rescue workers.

“That was the beginning of a new chapter in the life of our college and in my presidency,” says President Pérez. “Suddenly we were faced with new and unprecedented challenges.”

BMCC President Antonio Perez

President Pérez approached those challenges with strategies and a vision that have helped define leadership in a crisis and impacted crisis management protocols for higher education institutions, nationwide. He also led efforts to create a public and private partnership that enabled BMCC’s Fiterman Hall to be razed and rebuilt. It reopened in 2012.

After the college reopened, President Pérez addressed the BMCC community. “Darkness cannot be defeated by darkness,” he told students, faculty and staff who were determined to resume their education. “It will only be overcome by light, and education is all about light.” At commencement that Spring 2002, he spoke to graduates whose achievements sent a message of hope. “We at BMCC have witnessed first-hand the destructive power of terrorism,” said the President. “Terrorism feeds on hatred, and hatred is the child of ignorance. Hatred is overcome only by understanding, by knowledge and by human compassion, all of which are the best fruits of education.”

BMCC President Antonio Perez

This focus on the positive, and on student success has characterized the legacy of President Pérez. After 9/11, he was determined to let BMCC students know their college was going to remain open. To get that message out, he approached one of the news trucks lined up along the West Side Highway, and offered a reporter a better vantage point—BMCC’s rooftop.

“All I asked in return is that as long they were reporting the news, they would have subtitles scrolling across the bottom of the screen announcing, ‘BMCC will be reopening’,” he says, and it did open its doors within three weeks after the attacks, as he had predicted.

BMCC President Antonio Perez

In the years that followed, the revitalization of lower Manhattan gained momentum and BMCC thrived, increasing its enrollment, degree programs, retention rates, innovative curricula and student support programs.

“As the area revitalized, BMCC stayed in step with that growth,” says President Pérez. “The resiliency of our institution reflects the types of students we attract, who are looking for a better life with the same tenacity and positive response to adversity that we hold as a college. Our faculty, staff and students show a determination that reverberates within the institution. I feel strongly that the most important thing I can leave to the college is the realization that our students can start here and they can go anywhere.”

 

 

Embedded photos, top to bottom:

BMCC President Antonio Pérez and presidential candidate Barack Obama, 2007

BMCC President Antonio Pérez, center, walking to Fiterman Hall groundbreaking ceremony, 2009

BMCC President Antonio Pérez, center, at New York Stock Exchange, 2013

BMCC President Antonio Pérez with CBS reporter Lou Young on BMCC rooftop after 9/11, 2001

 


Letter to NEST+m Students & Families from Mark Berkowitz, Week of June 4, 2018

Dear NEST+m Students & Families,

Congratulations to our Lower Grades actors for their weekend performances of Shrek!

Thank you to all who were able to attend and assist during last week’s Middle Grades and Upper Grades Orientations on Wednesday evening. There was wonderful energy and enthusiasm for our NEST+m Community, and great pride in speaking of our school community with its soon-to-be newest Middle Grades and Upper Grades families.

Families, please complete this short survey to provide your feedback on our recent Curriculum Showcase & Science Fair. It is a work-in-progress and we want to make next year’s event even better!

Our week ahead features:

  • The 4th grade Science written exam tomorrow, Monday June 4, 2018
  • The Global History and Geography NYS Regents Exam on Tuesday June 5th
  • 12th grade Prom, Tuesday June 5
  • 6th grade plays:
    • Wednesday June 6th: 6th grade Plays, Classes 6D, 6C, + 6A, 5:30pm -7:00pm
    • Friday, June 8th, Classes 6B + 6E, 5:30pm -7:00pm
  • Anniversary Day, Thursday June 7th. No school for students.

Thank you for your ongoing support and communication,

Warmly,

Mark Berkowitz
Principal


Diversity and Inclusion Celebrated at Brooklyn College’s 93rd Commencement Ceremony

The event, which drew politicians from all around the city, highlighted student success with hopeful messages from alumni and friends of the college.

By ROBERT JONES JR.

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standing, suit and eyeglasses

CUNY Chancellor James Milliken and Brooklyn College President Michelle J. Anderson greet #BCGrad2018 keynote speaker, honorary doctorate recipient, and “mother of the disability rights movement” Judith Heumann.

“We know that our diversity is our strength and enhances the academic experience for all,” said Brooklyn College President Michelle J. Anderson at the 2018 Brooklyn College Commencement Ceremony, held for the second year in a row at the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn. “Studying at Brooklyn College provides our students with the opportunity to engage with difference and complexity, which makes them more inter-culturally competent and willing to assume challenging positions of leadership in the service of others.”

The Class of 2018 was one of the largest in the borough, with more than 4,100 graduates–3,035 baccalaureate, 1,029 master’s, and 67 Advanced Certificate students. The very diverse body of scholars come from more than 125 countries and speak over 85 languages. Approximately 88 members of the class identify as disabled, and 37 students are veterans or currently enlisted in the U.S. military.

Introduced as a hero and a legend by CUNY Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Christopher Rosa, disability right activist Judy Heumann gave the keynote address and accepted an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, presented by President Anderson. Known as the “mother of the independent living disability rights movement,” Heumann’s work has had a significant impact on the implementation of legislation and policies that benefit and protect people with disabilities.

“Without ever planning to, my parents, who had come from Germany and had lost so many family members in the Holocaust, taught me the value of advocacy,” Heumann shared. “They taught me that if a situation feels wrong, it probably is wrong. They taught me about the need to join with allies to speak up and, especially, to speak up for equality and rights in the face of discrimination and injustice. Eventually, the time came when I needed to become my own advocate. Some of you would say, ‘stand up on your own.’ I would say, ‘sit up in my own wheelchair.'”

Born in 1947, Heumann grew up in Brooklyn, New York. Her parents were German Jewish refugees who came to the United States in the 1930s. In 1949, Heumann contracted polio, resulting in her being a quadriplegic and using a wheelchair for mobility. The New York City Board of Education deemed it sufficient to provide Heumann with only 2.5 hours a week of home education until the fourth grade, at which time she was allowed to go to P.S. 219 special education classes. Heumann’s mother and other mothers banded together to force New York City’s Department of Education to make some of their high schools accessible.

In 1970, Heumann became the first public school teacher in the New York City system to use a wheelchair. During the Clinton presidency, Heumann served as assistant secretary of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services in the Department of Education. She then served as the World Bank’s first adviser on disability and development, and was also the director for the Department on Disability Services for the District of Columbia. In the Obama administration, she was appointed as the very first special advisor for International Disability Rights in the U.S. State Department from 2010¬2017. She continues to advocate on behalf of disabled people globally, participating in protests and giving lectures, including a popular TED Talk titled “Our Fight for Disability Rights and Why We’re Not Done Yet.” Recently, she was the featured subject of Comedy Central’s very popular web series, Drunk History.

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The #BCGrad2018 Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient Roger Hinds ’77, head athletic trainer for the NY Knicks, and President Anderson are excited for the ceremony to begin.

“Here’s this immigrant from the West Indies, who has lived his dream of working in the NBA for 24 years, and talking to these stars, all these stars, the future leaders of this country. This is what makes America great,” said NY Knicks Head Athletic Trainer Roger Hinds ’77, this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Quoting Norman Vincent Peale, he continued, “‘Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land among the stars.’ I’m in the midst of stars. Chase your dreams, graduates.”

Hinds been an athletic trainer for some of the most well-known athletes in basketball. Born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, Hinds moved to Brooklyn with his parents and five siblings at age eight. He earned a Bachelor of Science in physical education from Brooklyn College in 1977.

Hinds was the strength-and-conditioning coach for the gold-medal-winning U.S. Olympic Team at the 1996 Atlanta Games. He is the contributing author of two books: Condition the NBA Way (Cadell & Davies 1994) and Total Fitness the NBA Way (Perennial Currents 2000). Currently in his 24th NBA season, Hinds spent four seasons as assistant athletic trainer and strength-and-conditioning coach, for the Atlanta Hawks; eight years as the head athletic trainer for the Dallas Mavericks; and also served as host athletic trainer for the East squad at the 2015 NBA All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden. He is entering his 14th season as head athletic trainer for the Knicks. Hinds is just the sixth head trainer in the franchise’s 70-year history, joining Jim Nevins, Don Friederichs, Bill Norris, Danny Whelan, and Mike Saunders.

Hinds is also an active Brooklyn College alumnus. Since 2016, through an alliance with the Magner Career Center, he has taken time to guide current Brooklyn College students as well as high-school seniors in the Brooklyn College Academy, and provide them with the benefit of his industry expertise through class visits, panel discussions, and career mentorship.

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“The best is yet to come.”

The valedictorian of the Class of 2018, William E. Macaulay Honors College Scholar and English educationmajor Margaret Iuni, inspired the audience by sharing a hopeful philosophy and challenging to audience to reach for the highest of common goals.

“We are more likely to believe that our individual success is determined by our own hard work than citizens of nearly any other country in the world,” she said. “The narrative of individual achievement without the assistance of others is a fiction that persists in American culture. We cannot and will not succeed without one another.”

She continued: “Together we can be fearless, we can be confident, and we can learn. We can create communities that foster individual growth without forfeiting our need for human connection. We can take the meaningful relationships we have forged over the years we have spent at Brooklyn College and help redesign our world to be a more unified and filial one. Remember the words of the American poet, author, and teacher Gwendolyn Brooks: ‘We are each other’s harvest; we are each others’ business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond.'”

The theme of inclusiveness and triumph continued throughout the day.

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“Never be afraid to have game.” – Jumaane D. Williams ‘01, ‘05 M.A. #BCGrad2018

“My first bit of activism on the Brooklyn College campus was a small organization called S.O.F.E.D.U.P., having Tourette’s syndrome that meant a lot to me. So thank you for your work,” said New York City Council Member Jumaane D. Williams ’01, ’05 M.A. “Some of my proudest achievements are my Brooklyn College degrees. This is the best education I could have gotten. The education I got inside and outside the classroom was simply amazing.”

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams shared: “They told me I could not be a captain in the police department; I became a captain.They told me I couldn’t be a state senator; I became a state senator. They told me I couldn’t be the first person of color borough president; I became borough president. In three years they say I can’t be the mayor; I will be the mayor. There are only two types of Americans: those who live in Brooklyn and those who wish they could.”

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Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

During the conferral of degrees, Brooklyn College Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs William A. Tramontano called for a moment of silence to honor Jean Joseph. Joseph, who majored in kinesiology and was anticipating graduating with his fellow students in the Class of 2018, passed away suddenly last week, stunning and saddening the entire campus community. His bachelor’s degree will be awarded posthumously.

Other distinguished guests and speakers included outgoing CUNY Chancellor James B. Milliken, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, and members of the Brooklyn College 50th Anniversary Class of 1968, Brooklyn College Foundation Board of Trustees, and Brooklyn College Alumni Association.

Additionally, 106-year-old Ethel Lagarenne Hagquist ’32, the sole surviving member of Brooklyn College’s very first graduating class, filmed a message for the most recent class, providing advice and well wishes.

For more on Brooklyn College’s 2018 Commencement Ceremony, follow the hashtag #BCGrad2018 on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

 

Contact: Ernesto Mora | 212.662.9939 | emora@brooklyn.cuny.edu


Lehman College Celebrates 50th Commencement in Historic Ceremony

Lehman College of The City University of New York today conferred a record 3,446 undergraduate and graduate degrees to a celebratory crowd on the College’s South Lawn.

The ceremony featured greetings by Lehman College President José Luis Cruz and CUNY officials and a keynote address by author and professor André Aciman, who also received the College’s 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award. In addition, Professor Emeritus Jacob Judd, one of the College’s longest-serving faculty members, received an honorary doctorate of humane letters.

“Most of you had significant responsibilities outside our classrooms and labs: you held down jobs and internships, you raised children, you cared for family members, you dealt with illness,” President Cruz commented to the graduates, while noting that more than half of the undergraduate students receiving degrees—55%—are the first in their families to earn a college diploma. “But you persisted and came to our campus, and you expanded your knowledge, deepened perspectives, learned new skills…Above all, each and every one of you exhibited what I have come to learn is the drive and determination that characterizes those who strive to make their lives here, in the world’s greatest city, The City of New York.”

President Cruz added an exhortation to the graduates that “it is time for you to lead others—in your families and the communities you represent—to become part of the fabric of change.” CUNY General Counsel and Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs Loretta Martinez and CUNY Trustee Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez also addressed the graduates. Jonathan Berenguer, who received his master’s degree in Organizational Leadership, delivered the student speech and spoke of how he overcame tremendous adversity to attend and succeed at Lehman College.

“No matter the ingredients in your life; past, present, or future; remember that when life gives you lemons, you make Lehman Lightning Lemonade,” concluded Berenguer to a standing ovation.

Dr. Aciman, who received his bachelor’s degree from Lehman in 1973, is the author of four novels, including Call Me by Your Name, which was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film last year. He is the author of the memoir Out of Egypt, and also two collections of essays. Widely published in leading magazines and journals, Dr. Aciman is the recipient of the Whiting Writers’ Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a fellowship from the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers.

In his remarks, Dr. Aciman noted that he was also the first one in his family to graduate from college, and an immigrant to the U.S. as well—much like many of the Lehman students in attendance, but “here a half-century earlier.”

“Lehman College changed my life,” he said, adding that the degree he received from Lehman was “an invitation” to further learning and success.

A nationally recognized scholar specializing in Colonial American history, the Revolutionary War, and the early years of the republic, Dr. Judd first taught on campus in 1967 when Lehman College was still Hunter College in the Bronx. The editor of the four volume collection of Van Cortlandt family letters and papers, he was also program director for the Rockefeller Archives American Business History Series. At Lehman, Dr. Judd was chair of the Department of History for twelve years, acting dean of Arts and Humanities, and chair of the Lehman College Retirees Association until 2016.

The Commencement was filled with applause and cheers. Professor Joseph Fera from Lehman’s Department of Mathematics, named Teacher of the Year, was the master of ceremonies; and the Adjunct Teacher of the Year award was given to Professor Kenneth Piccininni from the Department of Counseling, Leadership, Literacy and Special Education. Provost Harriet Fayne presented the candidates for degrees while the noise on Lehman’s South Field swelled. Amid the celebratory nature of the proceedings, this year’s Commencement included a somber recognition of loss as well. Professor Young Kun Kim, a beloved member of the College’s Department of Political Science, died earlier this month as a result of a random act of violence near his Manhattan home; an award in his name has been established to honor his scholarship and long service to the College. And a posthumous Bachelor of Arts degree was conferred to Yoryi Joel Dume, an outstanding student majoring in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, who had completed his Honors Thesis with distinction before he passed away this spring. An award has been created in the Department of Latin American and Latino Studies to honor Yoryi’s memory as well. After the Commencement ceremony, there was a luncheon for the graduates and guests, who mingled and strolled around the 37-acre campus while the Lehman College and Community Latin Jazz Ensemble, conducted by Professors Victor Rendón and Armando Rodríguez, performed.

Lehman College provides undergraduate and graduate studies in the liberal arts and sciences and professional education within a dynamic research environment. With a diverse student body of more than 13,000, Lehman offers more than 90 undergraduate and graduate programs. Ranked as having the fourth highest mobility rate in the nation by the National Bureau of Economic Research and the Equality of Opportunity Project, Lehman is a proud catalyst for economic and social mobility for its students, almost half of whom are first generation college students.

 


Saluting Gina Rodriguez, the BCC 2018 Salutatorian

Our Salutatorian’s post-BCC career has already begun — Gina Rodriguez completed her graduation requirements last August and is now an English major at Hunter College. Born in New York City but raised in the Dominican Republic, Ms. Rodriguez returned to the United States in 2015 to attend BCC. “Here I learned it’s not just about where you go to get a degree it’s what you do with it.” At BCC, Gina did a lot. She got involved in the creative writing club and the student literary magazine, Thesis. “I love to write, read and teach others to love reading and writing as much as I do.” Gina was also a semi-finalist for the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship. Upon graduating from Hunter, she plans to earn a master’s in New York University’s Creative Writing Program and return to BCC to teach English 11, the course she cites as the inspiration for her achievements. When not studying, Gina gravitates towards activities related to writing. “Last year I went to the Bronx Book Fair, I go to readings at Lehman College, writing workshops.” Among her favorite writers: Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison, whose work she calls “raw and truthful.” Not surprisingly, Ms. Rodriquez is currently working on a novel of her own.


Invested in Student Success

Launched in 2015 with the generous support of Martin D. Sass ’63, Brooklyn College’s M.D. Sass Investment Institute has ensured that students gain the real-world financial experience and access to Wall Street movers and shakers that give them an edge in the job market.

<p>Martin D. Sass '63 is the visionary behind Brooklyn College's M.D. Sass Investment Institute (MDSII), which gives students real-world investment experience and direct access to some of the greatest financial minds in the country.</p>

Martin D. Sass ’63 is the visionary behind Brooklyn College’s M.D. Sass Investment Institute (MDSII), which gives students real-world investment experience and direct access to some of the greatest financial minds in the country.

M.D. Sass, which manages over $7 billion in assets, has been a leading name in investment strategy and innovation for 42 years. Martin D. Sass ’63, the company’s founder, chairman, and CEO, has been a stalwart supporter of his alma mater, committed to helping its students gain opportunities to follow in his footsteps. His generous donation to Brooklyn College to found the M.D. Sass Investment Institute (MDSII) is helping students to get closer to achieving their professional goals.

“Brooklyn College has opened doors to highly successful careers for many students who, like me, came from humble backgrounds,” said Sass, just before the MDSII was established in 2015. Currently serving as vice chair of the Brooklyn College Foundation (BCF) Board of Trustees, Sass began his career at the Wall Street brokerage firm Ira Haupt & Co. after graduating from Brooklyn College with a bachelor of science in accounting. He founded M.D. Sass in 1972.

“My hope is that the institute will help keep those doors open for tomorrow’s Brooklyn College students by providing them the chance to learn, grow, and succeed in a business environment, through hands-on financial and investment experiences, invaluable mentoring, and Wall Street connections.”

That dream is being realized.

Today, MDSII, which is a part of the college’s Murray Koppelman School of Business, operates as a student-involved hedge fund where students “manage funds for the Brooklyn College Foundation,” says Associate Professor Hyuna Park, who is the Herbert Kurz ’41 Endowed Chair in Finance and Risk Management, and faculty adviser for MDSII.

“Normally, students learn theory in classrooms. But with MDSII, they gain real-world experience by applying the theories of capital investment in real time. They get to buy stock, sell short stock, and help analyze stock. They conduct research and evaluate risk. They regularly make presentations before the investment panel. So not only do students help the foundation perform better financially, they also receive feedback from the industry leaders on their work.”

That last part, Park says, is what differentiates MDSII from business programs at other colleges, as most students do not receive that sort of direct feedback from industry professionals. Additionally, the institute’s curriculum is highly rigorous. Students must complete courses in introductory accounting, economics, statistics, principles of financial management and investments to participate in the program. It requires a great deal of the students’ time as well as their peak intellectual and analytical skills. If this sounds demanding, it is because of how high the stakes are and how priceless an opportunity participation in the program is.

Judging by the outstanding performances and successes of MDSII students, the return on Sass’ investment has been immediate.

<p>Graduating senior Kelly Alvarez is the M.D. Sass Investment Institute's first award-winning participant. Photo: David Rozenblyum.</p>

Graduating senior Kelly Alvarez is the M.D. Sass Investment Institute’s first award-winning participant. Photo: David Rozenblyum.

Take Kelly Alvarez, who will be graduating with the Class of 2018 on May 31. In spring 2017, Alvarez was the first recipient of the MDSII Security Analysis Program Award. Her analysis of Liberty Latin America Ltd Class C (LILAK) stock earned her $2,000 and certificate of achievement.

“I remember working that entire semester on that stock and initially doubting myself and my research, says Alvarez, who is majoring in finance. “And then getting into that room to present—a room, frankly, full of men. It was intimidating. There’s still so much to be done in finance for women to be equally represented. But I think even something as small as my winning that award—it means a lot. I didn’t think I could do it and then I did. I hope that’s the message other women looking to participate in the program get.”

For that reason and others, the victory was quite sweet for Alvarez, a Brooklyn native of Cuban descent and the second person in her family to attend Brooklyn College (her brother Daniel graduated from the college last year and participated in the Journey to Commencement campaign video). She admits to not living up to her true potential in high school at first, and, as a result, did not initially gain admission to Brooklyn College.

“I spoke with my guidance counselor and advocated for myself. I believed that just because I had figured out high school late, didn’t mean I wasn’t a good fit for college. After making a strong case for myself, I was accepted to BC. So there was a little bit of adversity in that respect, but it has been amazing experience since. How many 21-year olds can say they presented in front of a hedge fund manager who oversees more than $7 billion? You’re not going to have that opportunity anywhere else.”

Given that opportunity, Alvarez has thrived. She will be graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor of business administration (B.B.A.). She is co-president of the Murray Koppelman Student Leadership Council, whose goals are to enrich the campus experience of Murray Koppelman School of Business students, promote student involvement in on-campus activities, and increase the visibility of the School of Business itself. She was also a participant in the Summer Financial Careers Academy, a program at Brooklyn College’s 25 Broadway campus. The program provides an understanding of the financial services industry, the largest industry in New York City. It also includes career development activities and workshops through the Brooklyn College Magner Career Center, founded by BCF Foundation Trustee Marge Magner ’69. Additionally, Alvarez is the recipient of the Anthony R. Castellanos ’85 Scholarship and the Financial Careers Academy Scholarship. She was also the subject of the winning 2015–2016 CUNY Student Photo Challenge.

Alvarez is grateful for the education and experiences she received in the M.D. Sass Investment Institute, the sought-after paid internships at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. she scored with help from the Magner Center and its director Natalia Guarin-Klein, and valuable connections to alumni like Sass, and BCF Trustee Anthony R. Castellanos ’85, global accounts lead partner and industry leader for KPMG US. She has already secured a position with the global finance and business management team at JPMorgan Chase & Co., which she begins in August.

<p>Graduating senior Sebastian Komuda stands proudly in front of Whitehead Hall, where most of the School of Business' courses take place. He is the most recent winner of the MDSII Security Analysis Program Award. Photo: David Rozenblyum.</p>

Graduating senior Sebastian Komuda stands proudly in front of Whitehead Hall, where most of the School of Business’ courses take place. He is the most recent winner of the MDSII Security Analysis Program Award. Photo: David Rozenblyum.

“I knew coming into college I had the desire to pursue finance and declared my major during sophomore year, as soon as I was able,” says graduating senior Sebastian Komuda, who is double majoring in finance and business management, and minoring in financial planning. His reasons are quite personal.

“When I was a little kid, my dad invested in the stock market. I was probably in the sixth grade when he gave me $100, a list of stocks, and said: ‘Put your money in any of these companies.'” Komuda was unfamiliar with the stock market and the companies his father instructed him to invest in, and picked one randomly. At the end of junior high school, Komuda’s father returned to him. “He said, ‘Look. Your $100 is now $180!’ I didn’t understand how it got to $180 and my father explained: ‘That’s what happens when you invest in a good company.'”

Komuda is the recipient of a Financial Careers Academy Scholarship. He is also the winner of the spring 2018 MDSII Security Analysis Program Award for his astute research on B&G Foods, Inc. (BGS) and GSV Capital Corporation (GSVC), which he presented to the investment panel headed by Sass himself.

“It was nerve-racking,” he recalls. “But once you get the hang of it, it’s basically like talking to anyone else. Mr. Sass, Mr. Ante Basic, Mr. Tanner Coyle, and the entire panel are very accepting of you. They like to see you thrive on the knowledge that you’re gaining. They’re constructively critical, genuinely seeking to improve their knowledge of these companies, and interested in how your research might help do that.”

Komuda credits Professor Park’s rigorous instruction, as well as guidance from Professor and Department of Finance Chair Sunil Mohanty, for preparing him to participate at his highest level in MDSII. “What feels great,” Komuda added, “is when you present your research and the investment panel’s theses align with your own.”

Like Alvarez, Komuda’s older brother, also named Daniel, graduated from Brooklyn College, too. Komuda says his brother is the reason he decided to attend the college. “He told me that Brooklyn College was extraordinary; that the professors really cared about the students; and the classrooms weren’t overcrowded, particularly in the majors.”

Komuda works part-time at his uncle’s restaurant, attends college full-time, and also participated in paid internships at Vision Financial Services, New York Life Insurance Company, and HSBC. He secured the last two internships through the Magner Center.

“At HSBC, my primary focus was networking efficiently, this resulted in an opportunity to assist various teams on the trading floor, which is one of the biggest deals in banking.”

Komuda has quite a few interviews lined up with companies like Morgan Stanley and UBS, which he said he scored because of the inclusion of MDSII on his resume and a letter of recommendation from Sass. While all of this is very exciting for Komuda, he has something else he wishes to accomplish as well.

“I’m definitely pursuing a master’s degree in finance. I know many people don’t find grad school intriguing, but I enjoy school, so it’s not a problem for me. And it will better position me for the job market as well.”

<p>In Fall 2017, Luiz Cazares placed third at the MDSII Security Analysis Program Awards for his analyses of Comcast Corporation (CMCSA) and Discover Financial Services (DFS). Photo: David Rozenblyum.</p>

In Fall 2017, Luiz Cazares placed third at the MDSII Security Analysis Program Awards for his analyses of Comcast Corporation (CMCSA) and Discover Financial Services (DFS). Photo: David Rozenblyum.

While he does not currently have plans to attend graduate school, senior Luiz Cazares does want to take the exam to become a certified public accountant (CPA).

Born in Brooklyn to Mexican immigrant parents and raised in Queens, Cazares is only the second person in his family to attend college and will be the first to graduate. He was enrolled at another school before attending Brooklyn College, but says that none of its resources or services were a match for those of Brooklyn College.

“The courses I took, people I met, faculty I spoke to, and even the career center I sought out—none were up to the standards I have since become accustomed to at Brooklyn College,” Cazares says. “One of my dad’s friends, who sadly passed away a year after I came to the college, received his master’s degree here. He was someone who pushed me toward this college, informing me that it was one of the top CUNY schools. At that point I thought, ‘I have to go now because he went and he’s really great.’ So, I followed his route and I think it paid off.”

Cazares is double majoring in accounting and finance and has received the Dean’s List honor multiple times. He has been attending school full-time, taking a minimum of 15 credits each semester, while working full-time as a reservations manager at U-Haul. He says that he found the will and the drive to put in this kind of effort because of his mother, whose dream it is for him to attain a level of success that she and his father were unable to.

Cazares is most proud of his honorable placement in the MDSII Security Analysis Program Awards. “That recognition did not come easy. There were times when I spent the entire night trying to discover what it is I needed to do, especially as a person who had no significant finance background. What that award said to me was that all I had to do was try to do my best.”

He has completed paid internships at Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS), where BCF Trustee Lorraine Levy Laighold ’64, founder of Brooklyn College’s Lorraine Laighold Summer Leadership Academy, is senior vice president and wealth management financial adviser, and at PwC, where he says he was inspired to employ critical thinking and develop the ability to be proactive, rather than reactive, in problem-solving. For both opportunities, Cazares has nothing but gratitude for both MDSII and the Magner Center.

“These were the most important and vital things for me: the college’s career services, especially Andre Fontenelle and Natalia Guarin-Klein—my two favorite people even though they might not know it. Natalia introduced me to Ms. Laighold, who interviewed me for the UBS internship. Additionally, having MDSII on my resume helped tremendously. Employers are eager to find candidates who have real-world experience, and MDSII ensures we have that—even before we receive our degrees.”

In January, Cazares begins working at PwC as an auditor in the alternative investments group.

 

The M.D. Sass Investment Institute and the Magner Career Center are able to provide students like Kelly Alvarez, Sebastian Komuda, and Luiz Cazares the assistance, skills, values, and opportunities that are essential to fulfilling their career aspirations thanks to the generous support of alumni and friends received through the Brooklyn College Foundation. There are many ways donors can support Brooklyn College and its students: Make a planned gift through a will, trust, or retirement plan; designate gifts for specific purposes, such as scholarships, awards, prizes, internships, travel funds, research fellowships, or departmental discretionary funds; join the Boylan Society, a monthly sustainer program; purchase a Commemorative Brick and leave behind a lasting legacy at Brooklyn College; or make a one-time gift online. The Brooklyn College Foundation, Inc. was established in 1958 to encourage and promote the academic purposes of Brooklyn College of The City University of New York and the educational welfare of students, faculty, alumni, and the community. Through a full spectrum of fundraising programs, the foundation provides resources that advance the mission of Brooklyn College.

 

Contact: Ernesto Mora | 212.662.9939 | emora@brooklyn.cuny.edu


172nd CCNY Commencement salutes Class of 2018

Some stellar members of CCNY’s Class of 2018. From the top: John Kopyta, Fatimah Barrie Valedictorian Yasmine El Gheur, Etienne Forbes, Claire Lynch, Salutatorian Zhiying Zhu and Kevin Gonzalez.

At age 55, John Kopyta, a soft-spoken 6-foot-four former Marine, can proudly claim another battle. He graduates from The City College of New York on June 1 with a 4.00 GPA, more than 30 years after leaving the University of South Florida as a sophomore and later overcoming homelessness.

Kopyta is one of 3,996 members of City College’s Class of 2018 (1,077 of whom will receive graduate degrees) marching in the institution’s 172nd Commencement Exercises, at 9:30 a.m. on the South Campus Great Lawn, 135th St. and Convent Ave., Manhattan.

His stellar academics have earned him a BA in interdisciplinary arts and science from CCNY’s Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Center for Worker Education (CWE).

“It’s been a great experience. Without CWE it would have been very difficult to go back to school – it’s a great service that City College provides,” said Kopyta.

His degree opens up a pathway to law school, after previous occupations as a C-130 aircraft electrician in the Marines and in construction.

Among the numerous other standouts in CCNY’s Class of 2018 are:

Anita F. Hill, the noted law professor, author and voice for gender and civil rights, is the keynote speaker at CCNY’s commencement. She will receive the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters.

City College will also honor two of its distinguished alumni:

  • Seymour L. Moskowitz, ’54ME, co-founder and retired president of CoVant Management Inc., honorary degree Doctor of Science;
  • Harold Abraham Scheraga, ’41, pioneering scientist and George W. and Grace L. Todd Professor Emeritus, Department of Chemistry, Cornell University, honorary degree Doctor of Science (in absentia).

Click here for more CCNY Class of 2018 student success stories.  Click here for more commencement week information.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.

 

 

 

 

 

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Jay Mwamba
p: 212.650.7580
e:jmwamba@ccny.cuny.edu
View CCNY Media Kit


Photonics Initiative Director Andrea Alù Selected as a Finalist for the 2018 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists: World’s Largest Unrestricted Prizes to Early Career Scientists

Andrea AluAndrea Alù, Einstein Professor of Physics at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York (GC/CUNY) and director of the Photonics Initiative at the Advanced Science Research Center at GC/CUNY, has been selected as a finalist for the prestigious Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists.

Announced today, Alù is one of 31 U.S. researchers who will compete for the world’s largest unrestricted prizes for early career scientists. Each year, three Blavatnik National Laureates in the categories of life sciences, chemistry, and physical sciences and engineering are awarded $250,000 each. This year’s national finalists were selected from 286 outstanding faculty-rank researchers nominated by 146 institutions across 42 states (see list with brief summaries of their work below). These institutions comprise the nation’s leading academic and research centers, and each is requested to name their single most promising candidate in one or all of the three categories.

An electrical engineer and physicist by training, Alù is being considered in the Blavatnik Award’s physical science and engineering category for his seminal contributions to the science and technology of metamaterials that mold electromagnetic waves, light and sound in unusual ways. His work has pioneered discoveries in electromagnetic cloaking, nonlinear signal transmission and nanocircuitry.

“I’m humbled and excited to be selected as a finalist along with 10 other scientists for this award,” said Alù. “It’s a very competitive award, and the support it provides helps winning researchers advance their work in critical ways. This kind of opportunity can advance not only a scientist’s career, but also the work to bring life-changing discoveries and advances to humankind.”

“We are thrilled by this recognition of Andrea’s work,” said GC/CUNY Dean of Sciences Joshua Brumberg. “We knew when we recruited him to lead the ASRC’s Photonics Initiative that we were tapping an individual who would help lead the center toward becoming a global hub for interdisciplinary scientific research. The Blavatnik Award nomination highlights that The Graduate Center is on its way to achieving this goal.”

Spearheaded by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and administered by the New York Academy of Sciences, the Blavatnik National Awards recognize both the past accomplishments and the future promise of the most talented scientific and engineering researchers aged 42 years and younger at America’s top academic and research institutions. The three 2018 National Laureates will be announced on June 27, 2018.

“We created the Blavatnik Awards to identify the brightest young minds in science early in their scientific careers,” said Len Blavatnik, founder and chairman of Access Industries, head of the Blavatnik Family Foundation and member of the President’s Council of the New York Academy of Sciences. “These 31 finalists, through their creative, cutting-edge research, have demonstrated great promise for future discoveries of enormous scientific importance.”

Past finalists have gone on to make discoveries that turn science fiction into reality, including creating plants that emit light or detect explosives, formulating new theories of time travel through black holes, bioengineering micro-robots that can swim through arteries and heart valves, gene-editing DNA and RNA sequences to treat previously incurable genetic diseases, and detecting infectious epidemic viruses through a cellphone. Blavatnik Scholars advance the progress of humanity through scientific discovery.

“The 31 national finalists in the U.S. join the Blavatnik Awards community of scholars — a decade’s worth of finalists and laureates who are leading scientific research into the next century,” said Ellis Rubinstein, president and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences and chair of the Awards’ Scientific Advisory Council. “With continued support and recognition from the Blavatnik Awards, our goal is to launch these pioneering young scientists onto an even higher trajectory of scientific pursuit, giving them a visible platform to attract new collaborators, future grants, investors, and other key resources.”

The Blavatnik Awards, established by the Blavatnik Family Foundation in the United States in 2007, and administered by the New York Academy of Sciences, began by identifying outstanding scientific talent in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The Blavatnik National Awards were inaugurated in 2014 and, in 2018, the awards were expanded to include young scientists in the United Kingdom and Israel.

By the close of 2018, the Blavatnik Awards will have conferred prizes totaling $6.6 million, honoring 271 outstanding young scientists and engineers.

The 2018 Blavatnik national laureates and finalists will be honored at the Blavatnik National Awards on Monday, September 24, 2018, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

Media Contact: Tanya Domi, 212-827-7283, tdomi@gc.cuny.edu; Shawn Rhea, 212-817-7180, srhea@gc.cuny.edu

 

Organizational Attribution

Our correct name is the Advanced Science Research Center at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York. For the purpose of space, Advanced Science Research Center, GC/CUNY is acceptable. On second reference, ASRC is correct.

About the Advanced Science Research Center

The ASRC at The Graduate Center elevates scientific research and education at CUNY and beyond through initiatives in five distinctive, but increasingly interconnected disciplines: environmental sciences, nanoscience, neuroscience, photonics, and structural biology. The ASRC promotes a collaborative, interdisciplinary research culture with renowned researchers from each of the initiatives working side-by-side in the ASRC’s core facilities, sharing equipment that is among the most advanced available.

About the Blavatnik Family Foundation

The Blavatnik Family Foundation is an active supporter of many leading educational, scientific, cultural, and charitable institutions in the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, and throughout the world. Recipients of Foundation support include University of Oxford, Harvard University, Yale University, Tel Aviv University, Stanford University, New York University, the New York Academy of Sciences, Tate, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Carnegie Hall, the Royal Opera House, the Hermitage Museum, the Israel Museum, Lincoln Center, Jewish charitable organizations, and countless other philanthropic institutions. The Foundation is headed by Len Blavatnik, a major American and British entrepreneur and philanthropist. Len Blavatnik is the Founder and Chairman of Access Industries, a privately held U.S. industrial group with global strategic interests in natural resources and chemicals, media and telecommunications, venture capital, and real estate.

For more detailed information, please visit: www.accessindustries.com

About the New York Academy of Sciences

The New York Academy of Sciences is an independent, not-for-profit organization that since 1817 has been driving innovative solutions to society’s challenges by advancing scientific research, education, and policy. Throughout its history, the Academy’s Membership has featured thinkers and innovators from all walks of life, including U.S. Presidents Jefferson and Monroe, Thomas Edison, Lord Kelvin, Charles Darwin, Margaret Mead, Louis Pasteur, and over 130 Nobel Laureates. Today, the Academy numbers over 20,000 Members in 100+ countries, with a President’s Council that includes 36 Nobel Laureates and a distinguished Board of Governors comprised of leaders from business, academia, and philanthropy. It is also young and dynamic with nearly 10,000 post-doctoral, post-graduate, undergraduate, and gifted high school student Members. Through collective action, the Academy is partnering with the United Nations to address their Sustainable Development Goals, advising national leaders and organizing public-private partnerships to address the grand challenges of the planet.

Please visit us online at www.nyas.org and follow us on Twitter at @NYASciences

To follow the progress of the Blavatnik Awards, please visit www.blavatnikawards.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@BlavatnikAwards).

 

2018 Blavatnik National Finalists in Physical Sciences & Engineering

From predicting and understanding the behavior and make-up of astronomical bodies with astonishing accuracy to using enormous data sets to understand more about the human condition, the 2018 National Finalists in Physical Sciences & Engineering are pushing the boundaries of human knowledge and understanding of the universe around us, both near and far. This year’s Finalists are also rapidly advancing our scientific understanding of unique physical phenomena that exist at the nano- and even atomic scale, helping to create technologies that will revolutionize the telecommunications, opto-electronics, and energy storage industries.

Andrea Alù (City University of New York, Advanced Science Research Center; formerly of University of Texas at Austin) – Electrical engineer and physicist Dr. Alù has made seminal contributions to the theory and engineering of metamaterials and introduced new concepts to create metamaterials that mold electromagnetic waves, light and sound in unusual ways. He has made pioneering discoveries in plasmonic cloaking and invisibility, optical nanocircuits and nanoantennas, and in generating nonlinear and nonreciprocal optical responses in metamaterials.

Alexandra Boltasseva (Purdue University) – A physicist and electrical engineer, Dr. Boltasseva’s research approach merges the field of optics with materials engineering and is making possible a new generation of nanophotonic technologies and all-optical devices for telecommunications, sensing, energy and information processing.  Her research in plasmonics – where light is confined to the nanoscale enabling a range of new devices to be developed – has uncovered new tailorable ceramic plasmonic materials, which have improved performance over previously used materials.

Xiangfeng Duan (University of California, Los Angeles) – As a physical chemist, Dr. Duan focuses on the design and synthesis of highly complex nanostructures with controlled chemical composition, structural morphology and physical dimensions. He places particular emphasis on the integration of nanoscale structures with different chemical composition, structure or function, thereby creating a new generation of integrated nanosystems with unprecedented performance or unique functions to break the boundaries of traditional technologies.

Jonathan Fortney (University of California, Santa Cruz) – A planetary scientist, Dr. Fortney’s research challenges our current understanding of the formation, evolution and structure of distant exoplanets and planets in our very own solar system. For instance, his research investigating hot Jupiter-class exoplanet atmospheres has provided strong evidence for the existence of two unique classes of exoplanetary atmospheres on these planets and is shaping our understanding of planetary composition and formation.

Ryan Hayward (University of Massachusetts Amherst) – As a polymer scientist and chemical engineer, Dr. Hayward creates material systems with elastic buckling instabilities that transform their shape, surface morphology and material properties, on demand. He has developed microscale polymeric sheets that self-fold into origami structures and 3D shapes in response to external stimuli such as light and heat. His work also focuses on the assembly of nanoscale materials such as polymer nanowires and polymer-embedded nanoparticles to control macroscale properties.

Sergei V. Kalinin (Oak Ridge National Laboratory) – A materials scientist and nanoscientist, Dr. Kalinin creates novel technologies to study and control the functionality of nanomaterials by combining imaging, big data and materials theory. Dr. Kalinin and his collaborators recently challenged a 25-year paradigm by proposing and implementing the atomic forge — a new approach that uses the atomically-focused beam of a scanning transmission electron microscope to control and direct matter, manipulating single atoms to enable fundamental physical studies and also to develop quantum computing and single spin magnetoelectronic devices.

Jure Leskovec (Stanford University) – Dr. Leskovec is a computer scientist who has revolutionized our understanding of large social and information networks. Using experiments, analysis and modeling, he was first to validate the “six degrees of separation” hypothesis and demonstrated how influence and trust propagate through social networks and shape online communities, viral networking and media bias.

Ying Shirley Meng (University of California, San Diego) – Dr. Meng, a materials scientist and engineer, utilizes computational approaches and unique operando and in-situ experimental approaches to understand, develop and optimize the behavior and operation of electrolyte and electrode materials in batteries to drive better energy storage and conversion performance.  She and her team recently developed a novel type of liquefied gas electrolyte material that allows battery operation at ultra-cold temperatures.

Brian Metzger (Columbia University) – As a theoretical astrophysicist, Dr. Metzger works on a broad range of topics related to the “transient” universe.  In 2010, he predicted the visual flares — termed “kilonova” — that accompany the coalescence of binary neutron stars.  In 2017, the LIGO/Virgo collaboration detected gravitational waves from merging neutron stars for the first time.  The fading light seen following this event agreed remarkably well with Dr. Metzger’s predictions and revealed these mergers as factories of the heaviest elements — like gold — in the Universe.

Anastasia Volovich (Brown University) – Dr. Volovich is a theoretical physicist working in quantum field theory, general relativity and string theory. She has developed extremely efficient methods to evaluate scattering amplitudes, the key quantities that describe scattering of elementary particles, and discovered a remarkable connection between mathematical cluster algebras and scattering amplitudes, sparking an intense new interaction between physics and mathematics.

Gleb Yushin (Georgia Institute of Technology) – A materials scientist and nanoscientist, Dr. Yushin has made multiple transformative contributions to the synthesis of advanced materials for batteries and supercapacitors. Combining innovative nanoscale synthesis approaches with the development of novel analytical techniques, he develops nanostructured and nanocomposite materials with remarkable performance characteristics. He has recently discovered a fundamentally new synthesis mechanism to fabricate oxide nanowires from low-cost powders. His research has applications in next generation electric vehicles and electronic devices.


Meet BCC’s 2018 Non-traditional Valedictorian Alixan Ducreay

Non-traditional students like Alixan Ducreay are a Bronx Community College tradition. A Bronxite for the last 20 years, he came to BCC to earn his first college degree after years of working in banking and information technology and raising a family. The Caribbean-born Mr. Ducreay majored in political science while serving as a senator in the Student Government Association, vice president of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, vice chair of the Inter-Organizational Council, editor of the student newspaper The Communicator and a peer tutor. When not busy with all of that “I am an avid chess player, and I like to think I play a decent piano.” Alixan’s post-BCC plans include graduate studies in political science, with a concentration in urban studies, leading to legal advocacy for housing and human rights. When he addresses the Class of 2018 today, Mr. Ducreay says, “I want to speak for mature, non-traditional students like myself who have to balance work and family, and face doubts about their viability as students. I also wish to dispel the notion that older students are only in school to improve job prospects. The students I talked to and advocated for understand the benefits of a broad liberal arts education in making them better citizens and better humans.”

 


Baruch College Hosting Social Equity Leadership Conference June 12-13

The National Academy of Public Administration sponsored event will explore ways that states and localities can address inequality in the face of fiscal austerity

Baruch College’s Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs will host a two-day Social Equity Leadership Conference on June 12-13 sponsored by the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA). The theme of this year’s conference is “Promoting Equality in an Age of Austerity: The Role for State and Local Governments.”

This year’s annual conference will focus on best practices designed to achieve racial, gender, economic, and other forms of equity in the current climate of reduced federal budgets. The conference will explore ways that states and localities, working through government and alongside nonprofit partners, can feasibly address inequality in the face of persistent fiscal austerity.

“This national conference shares best practices in achieving social equity and highlights outstanding projects developed at the state and local levels from around the nation,” said David Birdsell, PhD, Dean of the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College. “States and localities have long been the crucibles of policy innovation; at this year’s Social Equity Leadership Conference, we aim to make sure that the best, most portable and most scalable solutions get the attention they deserve from government and nonprofit leaders everywhere.”

The Ford Foundation provided $30,000 to help support the conference.

Baruch College President Mitchel B. Wallerstein will open the conference with welcoming remarks. Terry Gerton, President, NAPA; Xavier de Souza Briggs, Vice President, The Ford Foundation; and Dean Birdsell will provide additional introductory remarks.

Conference Speakers and Sessions

The Social Equity Leadership Conference will feature the following keynote speakers:

Cristina Jimenez, executive director and co-founder of United We Dream; recently named as one of the most influential people of 2018 by Time. Jimenez holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the Marxe School.

Bruce J. Katz, co-founder of New Localism Advisors

Marc H. Morial, president and chief executive officer of the National Urban League

Jeremy Nowak, distinguished visiting fellow from Drexel University

Phillip Thompson, deputy mayor of New York City

Breakout sessions will examine, in detail, best practices gleaned from city and state governments, successful nonprofit organizations focused on human services, and academic research. These sessions will also concentrate on key substantive inequality concerns, such as workers right and workforce development, international migration and human rights, and areas showing promise for other cities and states.

A full list of the speakers and events is available here.

To register for the NAPA Social Equity Leadership conference, visit here.

If you are part of the Baruch community and wish to attend the conference, please contact Angelina.Delgado@baruch.cuny.edu.

# # #

 


Queens College Honors Three Distinguished Alumni From Diverse Fields at its 94th Commencement

For Thursday, May 31, 9 am

— Graduates Include Marshall Scholar Planning to Study the Role of Dance Therapy in Neuro-Rehabilitation; STEM Student Who Will Pursue an Ivy League Biomechanical Engineering Degree; and an Opera Singer Committed to Helping Others —

WHAT:
The Queens College 94th commencement ceremony with over 2,600 degree candidates in attendance. President Félix V. Matos Rodríguez will preside over an audience that is expected to number more than 10,000, graduates included. Over 6,000 degrees will be awarded  to students graduating in summer and fall ’17, and winter, spring, and summer ’18.

WHO:
Cristina Jiménez Moreta ’07 will deliver the commencement address
and receive an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters. Jiménez Moreta, a 2017 MacArthur “Genius Award” Recipient and one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2018, is the cofounder of United We Dream, the largest Immigrant youth-led network in the country. Read more about Cristina Jiménez Moreta here.

Mattel CEO and philanthropist Jill Barad ’73, who broke the glass ceiling to lead a Fortune 500 company, will also be awarded an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters. Barad is credited with building the Barbie® brand from a $200 million enterprise in 1981 into the most recognized toy brand of all time with sales of $2 billion by the year 2000. Read more about Jill Barad here.

Renowned math educator Alan Schoenfeld ’68, who holds the Elizabeth and Edward Conner Chair in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley, will be given an honorary Doctor of Science degree. Schoenfeld was recognized with the Distinguished Contributions to Research in Education Award in 2013, “the premier acknowledgment of outstanding achievement and success in education research,” and the Klein Medal in 2011, the highest international distinction in mathematics education. Read more about Alan Schoenfeld here.

WHERE:
Campus Quadrangle, Queens College, 65-30 Kissena Boulevard, Queens, NY
Click here for directions to the college, and here for a campus map.
Media Sign-in: Table located to right of the stage when facing it. Pick up press kits and programs here. We will escort you to reserved seating.
Media Parking is Available: You must enter the campus at Gate 2 on Melbourne Avenue and 150th Street no later than 8 am (the Kissena Boulevard gate will be closed). Please bring press ID.

Highlighted Graduates
The student speaker is Marshall Scholar Josephine Cooke. A neuroscience and psychology double major who will graduate summa cum laude, Cooke was selected as one of 43 students nationwide to receive a 2018 Marshall Scholarship from the British government. The highly competitive award will provide for her post-graduate studies at Imperial College London, where she plans to pursue a PhD focusing on how dance therapy can be used to rehabilitate neurological disorders. Upon completing the degree and returning to the United States, Cooke hopes to open a clinic dedicated to arts therapy and neuro-rehabilitation. She is the third student from Queens College to be named a Marshall Scholar. Cooke, a Seattle native, says, “The advisors and mentors I have had while at Queens College have been invaluable in helping me to get to this point, and I’ve gladly come to accept New York and Queens College as a second home.” Read more about Josephine Cooke here.

Brian Small will attend Columbia University—one of two Ivy League institutions to which he was accepted—to study mechanical engineering. He plans to combine his interests in engineering and medicine to pursue a career in creating bionic prosthetics for the handicapped. Small—who was also accepted into the University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins, New York University, and the Stevens Institute of Technology—credits the Queens College physics faculty and the guidance he received from his freshman year advisor with helping him attain an internship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Small describes the courses he took with physics lecturer Peter Glass as “rigorous, but fair,” crediting Glass with encouraging “everyone to ask questions both in and out of class…so that I understood and enjoyed the material.” Small, who has been the recipient of several internal awards throughout his college career, is the newest Queens College alum in his family—his brother and several cousins also attended QC.

Joseph Hill, an honors student and opera singer graduating with dual degrees in Classical Performing Arts and Business Management of Performing Arts, is committed to music and helping others. He plans to apply to the doctoral program in Performance Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Hill’s graduation this May is an achievement that was hard-fought and won: After his father’s sudden death and mother’s hospitalization, Hill, who is adopted, assumed co-guardianship at the age of 18 of his eight-year-old brother, who suffers from ADHD. To provide financial support while homeschooling his brother, Hill worked two part-time jobs, one as a cashier and overnight stocker at Walmart. As a Lead Ambassador for the Andrew Goodman Foundation—named after the murdered QC student and civil rights worker—Hill is dedicated to bringing voting awareness to campus. He also has distributed food and toiletries to the homeless during Midnight Runs organized by QC clubs and, since 2016, has performed monthly with other members of the volunteer nonprofit Sing for Hope, visiting hospitals, children’s health facilities, and other sites throughout New York City. He is also active in the CUNY Service Corps and Project Excel, part of the CUNY Black Male Initiative, as a peer mentor and a mentee in subjects such as music and theatre. Says Hill, “I believe we should never limit ourselves. We have only this one life.” Read more about Joseph Hill here.

James Marone, a Marine Corps veteran, is graduating with a major in English and a minor in Business and Liberal Arts. He served as a Data Network Specialist with 2nd Battalion 7th Marines, where he participated in a Marine Expeditionary Unit to Okinawa, Japan, and deployed to Afghanistan. As president of the QC Veterans Club and through the Veterans Affairs work-study program, Marone has been a guiding force in the growing campus veteran community, advocating to improve the quality of resources for veterans and increase their involvement in all aspects of student life, He feels that a highly active and well-networked veteran community can positively impact a veteran’s post-service experience. Marone believes that success in the business sector is rooted in the ability to communicate effectively, and plans to draw on his passion for English to succeed both creatively and professionally.

 

About Queens College
Queens College graduates the most teachers, counselors and principals in the metropolitan area. The college contributes to the local talent pool as a powerful economic engine and a leader in tech education, with more computer science majors than any college in New York City. Queens College also has the third-highest number of accounting and business students in all of New York State. Students from across the country and around the world are attracted to study at the Aaron Copland School of Music. Its renowned faculty and alumni include nationally recognized composers, conductors and performers who have received over 100 Grammy Awards and nominations over the past 40 years.

Queens College enjoys a national reputation for its eighty years of service to the City and State through its outstanding liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs. With its graduate and undergraduate degrees, honors programs, and research and internship opportunities, the college helps its 19,000+ students realize their potential in countless ways, assisted by an accessible, award-winning faculty. Located on a beautiful 80-acre campus in Flushing, the college is cited each year in the Princeton Review as one of the nation’s 100 “Best Value” colleges, as well as being ranked a U.S. News and World Report’s Best College and a Forbes magazine Best Value College, thanks to its outstanding academics, generous financial aid packages, and relatively low costs. Visit our homepage to learn more.

For more about Queens college, visit http://www.qc.cuny.edu/Pages/home.aspx

Contact:
Maria Matteo
Office of Communications
Assistant Director, News Services
718-997-5593
maria.matteo@qc.cuny.edu


New Alumni Practice Groups Launch at CUNY Law

The first iteration of a new Alumni Engagement initiative united alums working in solo and small firm lawyer for the school’s first Practice Group meeting on May 23, hosted in the co-working space available at 2 Court Square.

 

The Solo/Small Business Practice Group brought together students, experienced alumni in the initial stages of small private practice, and professionals considering a starting down a new path in the name of learning and supporting one another (and enjoying delicious local Mexican food).

From marketing and book keeping to technology, hiring, and maintaining a separation of downtime and ownership of a small business, the group discussed local resources available to small firm start ups and shared information and contacts. A central tension the group is combatting is the desire to be not only financially stable but also successful in the face of lawyering “in the service of human needs” and providing affordable representation; many in the group began their practices to better serve the communities of which they are a part.

Leading the group is alumna Angela Torregoza, (‘12) who recently launched a boutique immigration law practice in Long Island City with fellow alumnus Amir Rasoulpour (‘12).  The Practice Group model is designed to support Torregoza in collecting feedback from the group to determine what topics of most of interest going forward, and will expand to include an on-line discussion group and resource archive. In addition to in-person meetings and workshops, the program will include speaker series and CLE programs. To date, forty alums have connected to advance this Practice Group.

 

If you are interested in starting  or joining a different practice group, contact Alizabeth Newman, head of Alumni Engagement, at newman@law.cuny.edu. If you have questions or would like to join the Solo/Small Business Practice Group , please contact Angela Torregoza at angela@legalease.us.


JOHN JAY STUDENT RESEARCHERS SHINE DURING 2018 RESEARCH AND CREATIVITY WEEK

 John Jay Student Researchers Shine During 2018 Research and Creativity Week

 

This spring, John Jay students presented original research and projects to fellow students, faculty, and the general public as part of the annual Research and Creativity Week. From April 30 to May 4, 355 undergraduate and graduate students from 25 areas of study participated.

Presenters included students in the Honors Program, the Program for Research Initiatives in Science and Math(PRISM), Macaulay Honors College, the McNair Scholars Program, and Student Academic Success Programs(SASP), as well as students completing their capstone courses in the Criminal Justice and International Criminal Justice majorsAlso included were the departments of Public Management, Psychology, and English. A total of 163 faculty members served as mentors for student projects.

Bettina Muenster, Assistant Director of the Office for Student Research & Creativity, helps organize Research and Creativity Week. As always, she was impressed by the students who participated. “This year’s Research & Creativity Week has once again been an enormous success and demonstrated the indisputable power of intense student-faculty research collaborations,” said Muenster.

 

Ashley Gonzalez
Student Ashley Gonzalez presents her International Criminal Justice capstone research on discrimination in the Dominican Republic to onlookers

 

This year’s projects were diverse in topic and form. While Karen Argueta presented a storytelling podcast she helps produce at John Jay, Joseph Mahmud presented an app that he and students Steven Pacheco and Donauta Watson-Starcevic created to help formerly incarcerated individuals find jobs. For their innovative app, Mahmud and his team were recently named the winners of the Echoing Green Social Impact Challenge.

 

Joseph Mahmud and Steven Pacheo presenting their app CONNECTr
 Joseph Mahmud (left) and Steven Pacheco (right) presenting on their app, CONNECTr, which aims to help formerly incarcerated people find jobs

 

On May 3, Dr. Guillermo Linares, Acting President of the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation, visited the Honors Program poster session. The posted session showcased Honors students’ scholarship and creativity across various disciplines. Dr. Linares, who oversees financial aid for higher education in New York State, was able to witness some of the unique and remarkable research conducted by John Jay students.

 

Bryant Silva

Honors student Bryant Silva presents his criminal justice research to Dr. Guillermo Linares

 

PRISM students also showcased their research presentations in forensic science, toxicology, cell and molecular biology, chemistry, environmental science, and computer science. Lisset Duran, who has conducted award-winning research on the genetics of breast cancer and who will be attending Princeton as a Ph.D. candidate this fall, presented her findings at the PRISM symposium as this year’s Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher.

 

Lisset Duran, Dr. Guillermo Linares and Dr. Nathan Lents
(from left to right) Student Lisset Duran; President of the NYS Higher Education Services Corporation Dr. Guillermo Linares; and Director of Honors Program Dr. Nathan Lents

 

On May 4, to conclude the weeklong fair, students were given awards for top ePortfolios. EPortfolios are student digital archives that document learning and spotlight achievements in and out of the classroom. You can view the list of award-winning portfolios here.

 

Selina Li and Daniel Auld
EPortfolio award winner Selina Li (left) with Director of Student Learning Dr. Daniel Auld (right)

 

By the end of the week, John Jay scholars who presented, many of whom are graduating this May, walked away with a sense of accomplishment. “Students were visibly beaming with excitement and energy,” said Muenster. “They eagerly shared their work, passions, and future aspirations as emerging scholars.”

 

View more photos from Research and Creativity Week here.


JOHN JAY IS USING INNOVATIVE DATA PROJECT TO HELP BOOST GRADUATION RATES

John Jay is Using Innovative Data Project to Help Boost Graduation Rates

 

In partnership with DataKind, a non-profit committed to helping social justice leaders use data to increase their impact, John Jay College is taking an innovative approach to improving student graduation rates through the use of data and analytics.

Using 10 years of historical student data, the project, which was sponsored by the MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth and supported by the Robin Hood Foundation, aims to help John Jay advisors identify students who are at risk of dropping out or taking over four years to graduate. The hope is that this data can help advisors prioritize intervention services for students at risk of not finishing their degrees.

Dara Byrne

Dara N. Byrne, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Retention and Dean of Undergraduate Studies

Across the country, college graduation rates are disproportionately low among low-income students. Dara N. Byrne, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Retention and Dean of Undergraduate Studies, believes that Datakind’s research will be invaluable to supporting John Jay students, especially those from low-income backgrounds. “The lower the income, the more likely you are to be impacted by that burden of how to afford all aspects of college,” Byrne says. “The tool is allowing us to see trends and patterns and help us to rethink our approaches earlier.”

In an exploratory analysis of the 10-year data, the Datakind team was able to find which factors are associated with a student’s decision to leave school before finishing their degree. The team also created two sets of models designed to predict the likelihood that a student would graduate within four semesters after completing 90+ credits of coursework, once they are already in their late junior or senior year. The models predicted within a 70 to 90 percent accuracy whether students would graduate.

“The more we engage with the opportunities and data skills that were provided by this project, the more it allows us to do more with our students around academic skills and job preparedness,” says Byrne. “I am very hopeful about what this will mean in terms of preparing young people for the future.”

Read more about the project here.


Renowned Legal and Business Expert Barry A. Bryer to Receive Queens College President’s Medal at the College’s Baccalaureate Convocation, May 29

— Alumnus Bryer Has Been Widely Recognized for Decades as a Leading Mergers and Acquisitions Lawyer and Expert on Corporate Governance 

May 29, 2018 (Queens, NY) – The Queens College President’s Medal—the college’s highest administrative honor—will be awarded at the college’s baccalaureate convocation on May 29 to distinguished alumnus Barry A. Bryer, a corporate securities lawyer and renowned expert on mergers and acquisitions. The ceremony will take place at 7 pm in the college’s Colden Auditorium.

“A prominent figure in business and legal circles, Barry A. Bryer has nonetheless found time to give back to his alma mater for 30 years as a member of the Queens College Foundation Board of Trustees,” said Queens College President Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “But during this time of the #MeToo Movement, it is also with pride that we acknowledge his service as a member of the Legal Advisory Council of Sanctuary for Families, the leading service provider and advocate for survivors of domestic violence, sex trafficking, and related forms of gender violence.”

A 1969 cum laude graduate with a B.A. in Political Science, Bryer went on to receive his J.D. degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1972. He was on the editorial board of the Virginia Law Review and was elected to The Order of the Coif, the national honor society for law school graduates.

Combining his interest in securities markets and his legal acumen, Bryer embarked on a career as a corporate and securities lawyer focused primarily on mergers and acquisitions. A partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz for 25 years, and thereafter a partner at Latham & Watkins LLP until his retirement in 2015, Bryer was recognized as a leading mergers and acquisitions lawyer and corporate governance expert by such publications as the Chambers USA Legal Guide, the Legal Media Group’s Guide to the World’s Leading M&A Lawyers, and the IFLR 1000 Guide. He was a featured “Dealmaker” in the American Lawyer.

Bryer published numerous articles and lectured on structuring leveraged buyouts, the duties of corporate directors in takeovers, corporate governance matters, and representing special board committees in conflict transactions and internal investigations. He was particularly active in representing technology and pharmaceutical companies.

Besides being Chair of the Board and Executive Committee of the Queens College Foundation Board of Trustees and a member of the Legal Advisory Council of Sanctuary for Families, Bryer has served on the Ramaz School Board of Trustees; the Park Avenue Synagogue Board of Trustees, where he continues as an Honorary Trustee; and the University of Virginia School of Law Alumni Council.

A member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Bryer has served on the Corporation Law Committee and on the Special Committee on Mergers, Acquisitions and Corporate Control Contests. He is also a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

About Queens College
Queens College graduates the most teachers, counselors and principals in the metropolitan area. The college contributes to the local talent pool as a powerful economic engine and a leader in tech education, with more computer science majors than any college in New York City. Queens College also has the third-highest number of accounting and business students in all of New York State. Students from across the country and around the world are attracted to study at the Aaron Copland School of Music. Its renowned faculty and alumni include nationally recognized composers, conductors and performers who have received over 100 Grammy Awards and nominations over the past 40 years.

Queens College enjoys a national reputation for its eighty years of service to the City and State through its outstanding liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs. With its graduate and undergraduate degrees, honors programs, and research and internship opportunities, the college helps its 19,000+ students realize their potential in countless ways, assisted by an accessible, award-winning faculty. Located on a beautiful 80-acre campus in Flushing, the college is cited each year in the Princeton Review as one of the nation’s 100 “Best Value” colleges, as well as being ranked a U.S. News and World Report’s Best College and a Forbes magazine Best Value College, thanks to its outstanding academics, generous financial aid packages, and relatively low costs. Visit our homepage to learn more.

For more about Queens college, visit http://www.qc.cuny.edu/Pages/home.aspx

Contact:
Maria Matteo
Office of Communications
Assistant Director, News Services
718-997-5593
maria.matteo@qc.cuny.edu


MORE THAN 3,700 STUDENTS GRADUATE FROM JOHN JAY COLLEGE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE ON WEDNESDAY, MAY 30, 2018

More than 3,700 Students Graduate from John Jay College  of Criminal Justice on Wednesday, May 30, 2018

 

Champion of Women’s Rights Rashida Manjoo and Pioneering Criminologist Ronald V. Clarke to Receive Honorary Degrees and Address the Graduating Class

WHAT:

Led by President Karol V. Mason, who will preside over the ceremonies for the first time, students, alumni, faculty and guests will gather at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, N.Y., for John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s 53rd Commencement exercises. In keeping with the national trend, the 3,700+ graduates in the Class of 2018 – John Jay’s largest graduating class ever – are 58 percent female.

The College will award 3,110 bachelor’s degrees and 607 master’s degrees. The class includes 178 military veterans. Students range in age from 19 to 74, with six pairs of siblings and two sets of twins.

This year, eleven students enrolled in the College’s Accelerate, Complete and Engage (ACE) program as freshmen three years ago will graduate earlier than expected and will enter the fields of law, healthcare, and public service. ACE is a comprehensive program designed to dramatically raise graduation rates and help young people reach their full potential.

This year’s morning ceremony will also feature the first graduate of the Prison to College Pipeline (P2CP) Program.

View snapshots of a few members of the Class of 2018.

WHO:

Speakers will include the following honorary degree recipients.

Ronald V. Clarke, one of the most important figures in criminal justice research, has helped to transform the study of criminology. His work has reshaped crime prevention strategies worldwide to focus on changing the characteristics of the situations in which crimes occur. Over the past 25 years, this concept has help lead to significant crime reduction in New York City, the United States and other nations. Clarke is a University Professor at the Rutgers School of Criminal Justice and the associate director of the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing. In 2015, he was awarded the prestigious Stockholm Prize in Criminology. He will be awarded a Doctor of Science degree.

Rashida Manjoo is an international human rights advocate who has worked to establish women’s rights as human rights. As the United Nations Special She Rapporteur on Violence Against Women from 2009 to 2015, she was a trailblazer in the fight for a binding global treaty to recognize extreme domestic violence against women as human rights violations. Manjoo was also an anti-Apartheid activist and women’s liberation campaigner in South Africa. She also served as the former Parliamentary Commissioner of the Commission on Gender Equality (CGE) of South Africa. She is currently the co-convenor of the Human Rights Program within the Law Faculty at the University of Cape Town She will be awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

VALEDICTORIAN:

Veronika Lizarv is a Forensic Psychology major from Brooklyn, NY, with a 4.0 GPA. Her twin sister graduated last year with a John Jay degree in Forensic Psychology, and her mother has a master’s degree in Forensic Psychology, so Lizarov actually attributes much of her academic success to her family, as well as her caring professors.

 

WHEN: 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

  • Morning Ceremony begins at 10:30 AM 
    Ronald V. Clarke will address graduates.
  • Afternoon Ceremony begins at 3:30 PM
    Rashida Manjoo will address graduates.
WHERE:

Arthur Ashe Stadium, 124-02 Roosevelt Avenue, Flushing, N.Y.


CUNY Law’s INRC and the NYCI Publish New Report on Policing and Surveilling Latinx Communities

 

On May 18, CUNY Law faculty members Nermeen Arastu and Talia Peleg, of our Immigrant and Non-Citizen Rights Clinic (INRC), and Babe Howell, expert in criminal law and gang policing and surveillance, partnered with the the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) to release a new reportSwept Up in the Sweep: The Impact of Gang Allegations on Immigrant New Yorkers.

 

The report examines how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are using over-broad gang allegations to deport and detain Latinx communities across New York State.  Through an extensive field study, the report details the Trump administration’s use of supposed-gang enforcement to carry out punitive immigration policies and shows how Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), with other federal agencies and law enforcement, uses arbitrary methods to profile immigrant youth of color to allege gang affiliation. As a result, immigrant youth are detained for prolonged periods, have had their visa applications denied, and have faced deportation without proper due process.

“Gang databases are purely based on stereotypes. Gang databases do not require any criminal background or even proof of gang membership, instead include being seen with neighbors, friends or families; observed in local bodegas or restaurants or parks; and social media and video content. There are no notices and checks to assure accuracy of these databases. Relying on these gang databases for immigration or detention decisions violates due process, equal protection, and adherence to fact-based decision making.” – Babe Howell, professor at CUNY School of Law, as quoted in the official press release

 

CUNY Law’s INRC has long represented immigrant populations that have been wrongly characterized as national security threats or criminals to justify their deportation. Many of the INRC’s existing clients have been caught in a web of over-broad post-9/11 security measures. Within the context of the clinic’s work, advocates have seen individuals deported or denied benefits because they attended a certain mosque, dressed in a certain way, were seen in bodegas or community parks in surveilled low-income communities, or engaged in legitimate, non-violent political activism.

“For over a decade, we have seen the shattering impact of the government’s post-9/11 ‘anti-terrorism’ policies, which has labelled immigrants as ‘national security threats’ based on nothing more than their nationality, ethnicity, or religion. These policies have clear devastating impacts: indefinite detention, permanent banishment, distrust, trampled civil liberties, and the absence of enhanced safety.” – Talia Peleg, Visiting Clinical Law Professor in the Immigrant and Non-Citizen Rights Clinic at the CUNY School of Law, as quoted in the official press release

 

“Our research shows that little so-called ‘proof’ such as the color of one’s clothes, the bodega where they bought their lunch, or the shape of a tattoo can be used by the U.S. government to justify a gang allegation and deport aspiring Americans. By carelessly painting large swaths of New York’s Latinx immigrants as gang members, the U.S. government has again used threats and fear as justification for the erosion of the constitutional and civil rights of communities of color.” – Nermeen Arastu, Clinical Professor & Co-Director of the Immigrant and Non-Citizen Rights Clinic at the CUNY School of Law, as quoted in the official press release

 

  The shared goal of the INRC and NYIC is to help policymakers, community members, and practitioners see the broader patterns of discriminatory profiling and surveilling and prevent past mistakes. The findings of the report are based on a survey of over 40 practitioners and advocates who represent immigrant communities around New York State.

We are proud to highlight the work of many of CUNY Law’s recently graduated INRC students (listed as researchers, editors or contributors on page 2 & 4 of the report) completed the extensive research, editing, drafting and most importantly, brainstorming, that led to the completion of this report. The INRC faculty note that they were continually impressed and grateful for their creativity, relentless focus on impacted voices, and commitment to this project despite their heavy litigation docket.  CUNY Law’s Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility Project (CLEAR Project) contributed relevant perspective on discriminatory policing and immigration enforcement in New York’s Muslim communities.

 

The report is available at www.nyic.org/sweptup 


RON MOELIS FELLOWS WIN ECHOING GREEN SOCIAL INNOVATION CHALLENGE

Ron Moelis Fellows Win Echoing Green Social Innovation Challenge

 

The Ron Moelis Social Innovation Fellowship was created to help John Jay students pursue business endeavors and opportunities that are socially responsible. That’s why Joseph Mahmud, Steven Pacheco and Donauta Watson-Starcevic, three inaugural Ron Moelis Social Innovation Fellows, started creating CONNECTr, a mobile app that will help people with criminal records find employers open to hiring them.

The Moelis Fellowship was created by the generous support of Ron Moelis, John Jay College Foundation Trustee and co-founder, CEO and Chairman of L+M Development Partners Inc., a leader in developing affordable, mixed-income and market-rate housing. When he established the Fellowship, Moelis said: “I wanted to work with the College to create an opportunity for students who maybe hadn’t really considered a career in business, and show them that there are ways to foster what I call ‘the double bottom line’ – doing well while doing good.”

 

“I saw the necessity of creating CONNECTr based on my experience of being released from prison with little to no support.” Steven Pacheco

 

Professor Heath Brown, who directed the fellowship, was contacted by Echoing Green, requesting student proposals for The Future of Work Social Innovation Challenge, sponsored by Echoing Green, Barclays and Smart Cities New York. “Echoing Green is a global leader in social innovation, and I knew these students would thrive in the competition,” says Brown. “Joseph, Steven and Donauta completed a small business plan at the same time that they were finishing their spring academic semester, running for student government and preparing for graduation.”

Their hard work paid off. The CONNECTr team won the Echoing Green Social Impact Challenge with their plan to create a mobile job app that helps formerly incarcerated individuals find employment. “The competition was intense,” says Pacheco, John Jay’s next Student Council President. “However, it was surprisingly thoughtful in regards to networking and bonding.”

His teammate, Mahmud, who’s worked with the Prisoner Reentry Institute (PRI) as a Pinkerton Fellow at The Legal Aid Society, agrees. “We networked with people we would never have crossed paths with in any other setting, finalists from elite institutions like Columbia University, NYU, Penn and MIT,” says Mahmud. “None of us had a business or technology background, but we strongly believed in our idea. The adrenaline was unreal during the competition round, and we came out victorious.”

Watson-Starcevic, an English major, was struck by the supportive atmosphere amongst the competitors. During lunchtime the participants all sat together and shared the visions behind their innovations. “There was this really powerful moment when a young man blurted out, ‘Wow, it really doesn’t matter which one of us wins.’ He was right. We were all committed to social good being done,” says Watson-Starcevic.

To learn more about the CONNECTr app, and the visionaries behind it, we talked to the team and their advisor, Professor Heath Brown.

Q:  What made you so passionate about creating this app?

SP: I saw the necessity of creating CONNECTr based on my experience of being released from prison with little to no support. Society’s overall impression of you as a formerly incarcerated person is that you are no longer worthy of your humanity, and this worldview impacts every aspect of your life.

DWS: I am not an American citizen. I grew up undocumented. So I understand the hopelessness associated with a lack of opportunity in a place called home. The concept behind CONNECTr stems from an overwhelming desire to be of service to a demographic that’s been systematically locked out of opportunities.

 

The app will give hope to people within the justice system, letting them know that there are socially conscious companies out there open to hiring them.” Joseph Mahmud

 

Q: What ripple effect do you hope this app will create?

JM: I want to see our app break cultural and biased views of justice-affected individuals on a macro level. The app will give hope to people within the justice system, letting them know that there are socially conscious companies out there open to hiring them.

DWS: At the moment there’s a real struggle in American industries around diversity and inclusion. During the Ron Moelis Social Innovation Fellowship, we had the chance to visit companies and hear about their need for candidates from diverse backgrounds. Joseph tapped into that information and formed a large group of organizations ready and willing to support what we are doing with this app.

Q: What would help you take the app to the next level?

SP: An investment valued at $200,000 would allow us to do wonders in a short period of time, three to six months to be specific. Aside from all of the business and operational logistics, we greatly need an app developer and a graphic designer to help us materialize this concept as soon as possible.

DWS: We’re looking for partnerships, advisers, and additional support from employers willing to sign on to our vision. Of course, more capital would help fund the design and marketing strategy behind the app.

Q: Professor Brown, what are you most proud of most about this team?

HB: I’m most proud of how they combined their various backgrounds. Donauta has a background in writing and the arts. Steven has a background in music and student government. And Joseph has a background in public administration and has worked at several legal advocacy organizations. Innovation demands combining perspectives and learning from diverse insights. This is what every team of John Jay students brings to their collective work. It’s up to us as an institution to make these opportunities happen, where they can collaborate so productively. The sky is the limit on what Bloodhounds can do.


Letter to NEST+m Students & Families from Mark Berkowitz, Week of May 28, 2018

Dear NEST+m Students and Families,

I am hoping you are having a wonderful three-day weekend.

Thank you once again to all of the families who were able to join last week’s K-12 Curriculum Showcase, a night of celebrating our students’ intellectual achievements as scientists, thinkers, writers and creators across the disciplines.

This week, on Wednesday evening, we will be hosting our evening Orientation for next year’s incoming students in Grades 6 and Grade 9, 5:15pm. Please join us if your child will be entering NEST+m’s Middle Grades or Upper Grades next year.

Upper Grades students will resume their normal lunch procedures on Tuesday May 29th: students with signed parental permission to leave our campus during lunch may do so.

Important Dates:

  • Tuesday, May 29th: The 4th Grade Science Performance Task
  • Wednesday May 30th: Regents Exam Tickets will be distributed to students taking Regents exams
  • Friday June 1st and Saturday June 2nd: Lower Grades After-School Musical, Shrek
  • Tuesday June 5th: Regents Exam, Global History & Geography. Only Upper Grades students taking tests will be on site.
  • 6th Grade Theatre Plays:
    • Wednesday, June 6th, Classes 6D, CC, + 6A, 5:30pm -7:00pm
    • Friday, June 8th, Classes 6B + 6E, 5:30pm -7:00pm
  • Thursday June 7th: Anniversary Day: No Students on Site
  • Monday June 11th: K-8 clerical day. Only Upper Grades Students on site. Last day of instruction prior to Regents Week for Upper Grades Students.
  • June 12th: Regents Week begins. Please see the New York State Regents Exam Schedule here: Upper Grades students only report to school for the exams they are taking. 8th graders who are enrolled in Regents courses (Math, Science, Social Studies) only report to school for the exams they are taking. Students are expected to use their additional time for studying.
  • Friday June 15th: All NYC DOE Schools closed, Eid al-Fitr

Thank you for your ongoing support and communication,

Warmly,

Mark Berkowitz
Principal

Student Opportunities

Summer Journalism at NYU
Visit our website, Summer Journalism at NYU, to find out more about us and be sure to connect with us on facebook! Like our page to interact with current and prospective students, ask questions, and to keep up with the latest news about Summer Journalism.

If you don’t find answers to your questions here, email us at: journalism.summer@nyu.edu

Previously announced opportunities for NEST+m students

Putney School Summer Arts Program, July 15- August 3
In this three-week dynamic workshop, students will collaborate to create in response to urgent social, political, or environmental issues of our era. APPLY HERE

Manhattan Youth Downtown Day Camp in Tribeca is Now Interviewing 17 and 18 year olds!
Apply to be a Camp Counselor! Applications available via email at: gabi@manhattanyouth.org

Business, Entrepreneurship and Leadership Programs
Summer Discovery  offers high school students ages 14-18 the opportunity to make the most of their summer with hands-on learning in a variety of business related courses. It’s not too late to attend one of the world’s most prestigious universities this summer. Prepare for the transition from high school to college. Experience living on a college campus and learn to balance business related course work and fun. MORE INFO

STEM Summer in the City, a free, five week for current 2nd – 10th graders that is engaging and a fun summer program designed around STEM – science, technology, engineering and math.  MORE INFORMATION

The MFSC (Manhattan Field Support College Expo) is on Friday, May 11th 10am to 2pm.
The MFSC college expo offers to juniors and all transfer school students exposure to over 50 colleges and universities, including technical programs. This Expo focuses on college and career readiness as students and counselors ask questions and learn about individual opportunities at institutions of higher education.
More info HERE; Register HERE

Summer Shakespeare
Summer Shakespeare is a five-week theater acting program for students who receive free or reduced lunch. Prior experience with Shakespeare is not required.
For more information CLICK HERE.

Summer Journalism at NYU
Visit our website, Summer Journalism at NYU, to find out more about us and be sure to connect with us on Facebook! Like our page to interact with current and prospective students, ask questions, and to keep up with the latest news about Summer Journalism. Questions? Email journalism.summer@nyu.edu

Marist College Summer Pre-College
There are still spots available in Marist’s Summer 2018 Pre-College Programs!
What is Marist Summer Pre-College?

  • An academic program offered to rising high school juniors and seniors
  • 16 different courses offered on our New York campus
  • Choose 2 or 4 week options
  • Students will earn 3 to 6 transferable college credits
  • Students can get a head start on college and benefit from the following:
  • Experience residential life on a college campus
  • Meet like-minded students from around the world
  • Work in a small classroom environment led by Marist faculty
  • Have your interested students apply today to secure their spot in the 2018 Marist Summer Pre-College Program!

For more information, including a list of programs, visit: www.marist.edu/precollege

3T Summer Style Workshop
Naked Angels Theater Company’s (nakedangels.com) 6th annual free 3T Summer Style workshop will take place July 9-19th.  There will be an intro to filmmaking week and a week of writing for the theater.  Professional actors will be acting in the student writers’ work.  It is fast, fun, free, and freeing!  Please email 3T@nakedangels.com for more info and an application.  First come, first accepted!  Click here for more information.

NY Center for Children
The New York Center for Children is a non-for-profit, child-friendly center, providing free, comprehensive evaluation and therapy services to victims of child abuse and their families. We are currently accepting referrals for a 10-12 week support group beginning mid-March for adolescent female’s (ages 14-16) who have experienced sexual abuse. Participants must attend an intake appointment prior to beginning group and commit to attending every session. Please note that our services are completely free and confidential.
Attached is our flyer with more information about the group. For further information, please contact Leah Mansback at (212) 517-3012 ext 34.

Here are a variety of summer job listings:

Camp Cardiac and Camp Neuro
Scholarship and standard applications have just opened up for Camp Cardiac & Camp Neuro 2018!
Run by medical students in over 30 cities nationwide with locations in Manhattan and Westchester County, Camp Cardiac & Camp Neuro are 1-week summer day camps for high school students interested in exploring careers in medicine. Students may learn more and apply by visiting http://www.campcardiac.org and http://www.campneuro.org.

In addition, you may download PDF flyers by clicking on the following links:
Camp Cardiac 2018 Flyer
Camp Neuro 2018 Flyer

Duke University Summer Session
Improve your college application and go to college while still in high school!
At Duke Summer Session, we are committed to providing high school students with the opportunity to be a college student over the summer at one of the world’s premier universities.  By attending our Summer College program, you will not only have the authentic college experience of living in Duke University’s dorms and taking credit-bearing classes alongside undergraduate students, but also the opportunity to accompany your college application with a letter of recommendation from a Duke instructor and transcript from Duke University – two substantive indicators that you have what it takes to thrive in an elite academic setting. Courses fill up quickly, so apply online today: Application for US Students

YMCA – Teen Summer Paid Internships
The Center for Architecture’s Summer Programs give curious kids an opportunity to dive into an architecture topic of interest and test out their own design ideas. Each program explores a different theme through art and building activities, design challenges, and special site visits. Summer Programs run five days (Monday-Friday), 9:00am-4:00pm at the Center for Architecture. A limited number of need-based scholarships are available.
2 weeks of professional development training (sessions are facilitated by industry professionals from Colgate, Univision, Uber, Memorial Sloan, HBO etc)
6 weeks at internship (participants are placed in their industry of choice*)
Each participant is paired to a mentor for the duration of the program
Participants receive 2 monthly metrocards + $300 clothing stipend + $1500 “working” stipend
Visit: www.teencareerconnection.org

The Woodland Ecology Research Mentorship (WERM) is open to current freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. This 14-month program provides a unique opportunity to work with local ecologists and participate in ecological research projects. WERM students learn content and develop basic research skills during their first summer through hands-on projects and coursework.  After building on their skills at weekend workshops during the academic year, students embark on a final research project under the guidance of a science mentor for their second summer. The application deadline for this program is April 1st, 2018. For more information and the online application please go to http://www.wavehill.org/education/woodland-ecology-research-mentorship/

We have Scholarships for students for our Summer Programs in New York!!
We are glad to offer students a special 40% scholarship and discount (tuition is then $1,490 instead of $2,450) on our Summer 3-Week Summer Program “Discover New York Business and Finance”, which combines top level courses, company and financial institutions visits and guests speakers lectures.
Click here for MORE INFO HEREBROCHURE 3-Week Program.

August Writers’ Workshop
The School of The New York Times is excited to announce our new end-of-summer August Writers’ Workshop for rising middle and high school students (grades 7-12) of all writing abilities on August 13–17 in New York City. This week-long program helps students enhance their writing skills under the tutelage of some of the best writers in the world. Students will emerge with strengthened communication skills, confidence in their writing and a profound sense of the power of the written word and visual communication—all right before school starts! The August Writers’ Workshop is the perfect way to kick off the academic year and occurs right after our NYC Summer Academy.

Workshop Quick Facts
Date: August 13–17, 2018
Grade Eligibility: Rising 7-12
Click here for more information.
Click here to register.

Summer 2018 College Credit Courses at Baruch College
Current 10th and 11th graders can apply to enroll in one of the following college credit bearing courses for FREE:
Business Fundamentals – BUS 1011 (3 Credits)
Journalistic Writing – JRN 3050 (4 credits)
Cultural Anthropology – ANT 1001 (3 credits)
Critical Health Issues – HED 1911 (3 credits)
Program Details:
All courses will take place at Baruch College from July 5th – August 16th
Courses will be from Monday through Thursday from 9am – 2pm
Eligibility:
Be a current NYC public high school 10th or 11th grader
Have the following test scores: PSAT/SAT Verbal (Min. 480) OR English Language Arts Regents (Min. 75), OR  ACT English Score (Min. 20),  OR  Overall 80+ English average
Online Application: www.baruch.cuny.edu/collegenow. Deadline for application and ALL supporting documents: April 13th, 2018

Rutgers School of Engineering
Rutgers University–New Brunswick is excited to announce an opportunity for students interested in engineering. The Rutgers School of Engineering is offering the chance for students to participate in a new Pre-Engineering Summer Academy to develop their knowledge and skills through real-world field experiences.

This intensive one-week certificate program will introduce students to a variety of engineering areas including: Aerospace, Biomedical, Civil, Computer, Electrical, Forensic, Mechanical.

Eligible students must be between the ages of 16-18, must have completed courses in precalculus and physics, and must submit an online application.

Interested in learning more? Attend an online information session or visit Pre-Engineering Summer Academy. Contact: cpreston@admissions.rutgers.edu.

George Washington Pre-College
GW Pre-College offers credit and non-credit programs for motivated high school students to study in Washington, D.C. Our programs are exciting and intensive, offering a transformative introduction to college life! Please click here for more information. Please click here to apply.

Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program
Our FREE 7-week summer program teaches 10th–11th grade girls the computer science skills they need to make an impact in their community and be competitive in the job market of the future. No past experience with coding is required to apply and take part in the Summer Immersion Program. Summer stipends are also available to cover transportation and living expenses for those who qualify.

Click here for more details on the Summer Immersion Program. Applications open in early January!

Spring Test Prep by Atlas 
Study Skills Seminar (FREE) – 4/21, 10am-12pm – Register Here
June 2 SAT Prep Starts 4/21 – Enroll Here
June ACT Prep Starts 4/21 – Enroll Here
Hybrid Exam (FREE) – 4/28 – Register Here (Class of 2020)
Hybrid Exam (FREE) – 5/19 – Register Here (Class of 2020)
Hybrid Exam (FREE) – 6/2 – Register Here (Class of 2020)
Finding Your Right Path Seminar (FREE) – 6/16, 10am-12pm – Register Here
Common App & Essay Workshop – 8/14 & 8/16, 6-9pm – Enroll Here
– Making College Affordable Seminar (FREE) – 9/8, 10am-12pm – Register Here

School of NY Times NYC Summer Academy 2018
Applications for NYC Summer Academy 2018 are now open.

The skills taught at The School of The New York Times are core to being a participant in a global community of thinkers. While we know not all of our students want to become journalists someday, the writing, critical thinking, visual storytelling and persuasive communication skills taught during Summer Academy can help guide students’ academic and professional paths.

This year, we are pleased to announce the return of our most beloved courses from past summers and introduce an exciting lineup of new offerings. As always, we’ll turn New York City into our classroom and invite students to immerse themselves in the iconic neighborhoods, people and culture of this great city.

Click here to view the 2018 Course Catalog


Shaun King, Activist and Journalist, To Keynote 2018 LaGuardia Community College Commencement

Shaun King, Activist and Journalist, To Keynote 2018 LaGuardia Community College Commencement

More than 2,000 Expected to Receive their Associate’s Degrees

***9am, June 5th @ Barclays Center***

Shaun King, Activist and Journalist, To Keynote 2018 LaGuardia Community College Commencement
Shaun King, a Black Lives Matter advocate, eminent writer, journalist, and humanitarian will give the keynote address at LaGuardia Community College’s 46th Commencement on June 5, 2018 at Barclays Center.

Shaun King gained attention for his activism involving police cruelty and justice. He has led a number of social media campaigns in movements for social justice. He has described how seeing video of Eric Garner’s death on YouTube as the “breaking point” which motivated him to begin speaking out publicly against police brutality and advocating for the Black Lives Matter movement. He worked for the New York Daily News as senior justice writer from 2015 to 2017, and is currently a columnist for The Intercept and writer-in-residence at the Harvard University-based Fair Punishment Project. He is also the political commentator for the legendary Tom Joyner Morning Show. In 2017, he received the Samuel Peabody Award for Journalism from the Citizen’s Committee for Children in New York — an award given annually to one journalist who uses their platform and position to improve the lives of children.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., a 1998 graduate of LaGuardia Community College, will give the alumni speech.

The Commencement will be led by LaGuardia Community College President Gail O. Mellow. For more information about LaGuardia’s 46thAnnual Commencement, visit: http://www.laguardia.edu/Commencement/

WHO: Members of LaGuardia’s Class

  • 2,000 graduating students who’ll receive their associate’s degrees from LaGuardia Community College, and their friends and families
  • LaGuardia Community College President Gail O. Mellow, and additional College leadership, faculty and staff
  • Keynote Speaker: Shaun King, writer, activist, journalist, humanitarian, and a prominent voice within the Black Lives Matter movement
  • Class of 2018 Speaker: Karina Ramos-Caraballo

WHAT: LaGuardia Community College’s 46th Commencement

WHEN: Tuesday, June 5, 2018, 9am ET

Press Call: 8am ET. Reporters should enter via the Calvin Klein VIP Entrance of Barclays Center. It’s the Entrance on Northwest corner of arena on Atlantic Avenue by Ft. Greene Place across Old Navy, Marshall’s and Burlington Coat Factory. Reporters will be asked to check-in at one of the two stationary podiums in the entrance to receive a press badge allowing them to access the media section, and a press packet.

WHERE: Barclays Center, 620 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, 11217

To attend the 2018 LaGuardia Community College Commencement, credentialed members of the media are asked to RSVP by replying to this email or calling (718) 482-6131 or (718) 482-5060 by Monday, June 4th, 5pm ET.

• • • •

LaGuardia Community College, located in Long Island City, Queens, educates more than 50,000 New Yorkers annually through degree, certificate, and continuing education programs. Our guiding principle Dare To Do More reflects our belief in the transformative power of education—not just for individuals, but for our community and our country—creating pathways for achievement and safeguarding the middle class. LaGuardia is a national voice on behalf of community colleges, where half of all US college students study. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), the College reflects the legacy of our namesake, Fiorello H. LaGuardia, the former NYC mayor beloved for his championing the underserved. Since our doors opened in 1971, our programs regularly become national models for pushing boundaries to give people of all backgrounds access to a high quality, affordable college education. We invite you to join us in imagining what our students, our community, and our country can become. Visit www.LaGuardia.edu to learn more.

####


In the Balance: Edwina Richardson-Mendelson

The Honorable Edwina Richardson-Mendelson is Class of ’88 alumna celebrated for her commitment to Family Law and Criminal Justice. Currently a Judge of the Court of Claims, as well as a state-wide Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for Justice Initiatives, she also presides over the New York County Supreme Court Criminal Term Youth Part. Read on for why starting her day at 4AM is vital to her success, how she seeks progress and not perfection, and why her legal degree wasn’t the finish line but a mile-marker in her marathon. In this spotlight, she shares how she gets it done.

 

 

 

 

On her typical morning

My workday mornings begin at 4 a.m. when I awake.  I work very, very hard, but I like to say that I play hard as well, so I am a fan of self-care and wellness.  For me, self-care is rising early enough to do all that I want to and like to do before my work day begins.  That includes mediation, spiritual devotion time, exercise and a really nice cup of coffee.   I leave home for work at 6 a.m. and my work day often ends late at night.  Even with self care to fortify me, there is always far more work for me to do than time in which to accomplish things.  I aspire to a season of less stress and the possibility of fewer than the hundreds of emails I currently have waiting to be addressed in my inbox.  I remind myself each morning that I seek progress and NOT perfection, and try to do what is mine to do that day.

 

On keeping Justice top of mind

 It’s easy to keep Justice front and center in my day-to-day life and in my larger career narrative.  I lead our state court system’s Office for JUSTICE Initiatives as Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for JUSTICE Initiatives!  In addition to spearheading programs involving child welfare and juvenile justice, including implementation of the new law raising the age of criminal responsibility in N.Y.S., I also lead the state court system’s Access to JUSTICE Program.  Our mandate is to ensure meaningful access to justice for those passing through the doors of every New York State housing court, civil court, criminal court and family court—regardless of income, background or special need.

 

On her education and life-long learning 

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to receive a fantastic legal education that actually began at the college level – in the Urban Legal Studies (ULS) Program of City College (CCNY), where Haywood Burns was my Dean.  ULS was a 6-year BA/JD program where my first year at CUNY Law School also served as my final year of College.  From the very start in the ULS program, my education was focused on law and law-related courses, which served me very well.  However, by the time I graduated from CUNY Law School, I was well-educated on the law and felt less than capable in other areas.  My reason for pursuing other advanced degrees was to broaden my knowledge base lens beyond law, while also having my studies relate to my work in law.  While pursuing my Masters and Ph.D. in Criminal Justice, I was able to take courses in English, Sociology and Psychology.  It was fun and helpful to me in my work as a Family Court practitioner.  I was also able to supplement my education and income by teaching undergraduates as an Adjunct Professor at John Jay College where I was pursuing my advanced degrees.  I must admit that I loved school and being a student, so continuing my education while practicing law as a newer attorney worked in my favor.  Also, after taking the LSAT to enter Law School and the bar exam to enter the legal profession, preparing for the GRE graduate school entry exam wasn’t as daunting a task as it would have been had I not already experienced difficult standardized exams.  I encourage students to explore different forms of education beyond a law degree in areas of interest to them.  I was a single parent and solo practitioner during my post law school studies, and it took many years to complete my advanced degrees.  For me, it was certainly a journey more akin to a marathon than to a sprint.

 

On the most pressing call to action for advocates of children and families

I am now a Judge of the Court of Claims, as well as state-wide Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for Justice Initiatives.  As such, I am primarily involved in court policy and planning.  Those who know me know that Family Court is the court of my heart.   NYC Family Court refers to me as their “Administrative Judge Emeritus,” a title of honor that I plan to hold forever.  Family Court is where I spent most of my years as a lawyer and judge.  More recently, I shifted my judicial focus to the criminal arena, where I presided over the New York County Supreme Court Criminal Term Youth Part involving cases where adolescents as young as 13 are prosecuted as adults.  There are plenty of public interest areas in need of enhanced child and family advocacy.  As we implement the new law raising the age of criminal responsibility in N.Y.S., there has been recent and necessary focus on appropriate juvenile justice interventions for youth.  Also there has been recent consideration of the intersection of immigration and housing issues for families.

 

On processing trauma 

It’s difficult to answer this.  It’s been 30 years since I’ve graduated from CUNY Law School, and I have spent my entire legal career hearing stories of pain, abuse and neglect, and making critically important decisions for the people who have appeared in my courtroom.  I understand and appreciate the impact of vicarious trauma that legal and other professionals endure from our work with people in deep need and crisis.  As I stated earlier, I work hard and I play hard as well, and this ‘playing’ helps me disconnect.  I’ve recently re-started my long-ago abandoned love affair with my cello, whom I call Orville.  I take music lessons, and play every chance I get.  I’m sounding a bit less awful.  I have a hook rug project going with no rush to completion, and I take fresh-air walks and ride a bike when I can.   Additionally, beginning my work day with mediation and spiritual devotion time continually renews my faith and strengthens me to deal to the best of my ability with these painful and tragic circumstances which bring litigants to court.

 

On recommendations she’d like to see adopted and institutionalized by NY state courts

What an interesting question.  What comes to mind is gratitude. I get to wake up every single day and participate in work about which I am passionate; work that is important and fulfilling.  I get to try to make the world better.  I’m so fortunate to be able to do that.  I’ve never made any recommendations that came just from me.  I habitually surround myself with wise and hard-working people – many with whom I disagree on occasion.  They all inform recommendations I make.  I’m deeply privileged to serve in justice system improving work.  Lucky me!


Summer in China, Jordan for two CCNY language scholarship winners

 

CCNY’s Libby Ho [left] and Atsuko Sakuari will spend the summer in China and Jordan, respectively, as Critical Language Scholars.

Amman, Jordan, and Changchung, China, are the summer destinations for City College of New York’s Critical Language Scholarship recipients Atsuko Sakuari and Libby Ho.

The competitive national award will take Sakuari, a sophomore majoring in computer engineering, to the Jordan Language Academy in the Jordanian capital. She’ll spend eight weeks there studying Arabic, her minor.

A Japanese immigrant who’s served in the U.S. Coast Guard, Sakuari said her pursuit of Arabic suits her career goal perfectly.

“I want to do something that combines international diplomacy and computer science,” said the Manhattan resident.

Ho, from the Macaulay Honors College at CCNY, travels to Changchung in northeast China to study Mandarin, one of two widely spoken variants of the Chinese language. She’ll also be away for two months.

Born and raised in New York of Chinese immigrant parents, Ho grew up speaking Cantonese, the other form of Chinese. “Mandarin is a completely different language,” observed the CUNY/BA human physiology major.

The Brooklyn resident is a Colin Powell Fellow and plans a medical career in underserved communities, hence her mission to learn Mandarin, in addition to the Spanish she’s learning at CCNY.

“I hope to study medicine in the future and serve immigrant populations that can’t speak English. Communication is very important and that’s why I’m learning these other languages,” she added.

About The Critical Language Scholarship Program
The CLS Program is an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program for American students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities. The program includes intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains.

CLS is part of a wider government initiative to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering foreign languages that are critical to national security and economic prosperity. CLS plays an important role in preparing students for the 21st century’s globalized workforce and increasing national competitiveness.

CSL is a program of the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. It is supported in its implementation by American Councils for International Education.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.

 

 

 

 

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Jay Mwamba
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CUNY School of Professional Studies Academic Director Dr. Bonnie Oglensky Publishes Ambivalence in Mentorship

New York, NY – May 24, 2018 – The relationship between mentor and protégé is often complicated, layered with conflicting sentiments and expectations that can either benefit or afflict the two parties involved. Dr. Bonnie Oglensky, academic director of sociology and human relations at the CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS), delves into mentorship as a way to further examine the intricacies of this power dynamic in her newly published book, Ambivalence in Mentorship: An Exploration of Emotional Complexities.

The book, which reflects Dr. Oglensky’s immersion in social science research on the topic over the past 25 years, employs vivid case narratives to take a nuanced look at the emotional complexities of their mentorships.

“I have long been aware of the intensity of the emotional connection and profound influence of mentoring relationships,” says Dr. Oglensky.  “At the same time, I have learned from my own experience and from interviews with scores of mentors and protégés about the vulnerabilities and risks that such bonding entails.  Mentorship is a hugely important relationship in a person’s life – and understanding and appreciating its ups and downs is crucial to personal and professional growth.”

Throughout the text, Dr. Oglensky traverses the vital and risky elements of this relationship with the intention of providing professionals in numerous fields with a new perspective to the highs and lows of mentorship.

“I hope readers will gain an appreciation of the centrality of mentorship in growing up,” says Dr. Oglensky. “Mentorship – a relationship that lives apart from our family lives – can be every bit as influential in helping us to grapple with what it means to struggle to grow. And there is grace in that process, touching both mentor and protégé in ways that can often not be described but are certainly felt.”

Home to the first fully online degree programs at the City University of New York, the CUNY School of Professional Studies provides online and on campus programs that meet the needs of adults who are looking for a seamless way to finish or transition into a bachelor’s degree, earn a master’s degree or certificate in a specialized field, advance in the workplace, or change careers.

Press Contact:
Andrea Fagon
Director of Marketing and Communications
andrea.fagon@cuny.edu
646-664-8690


Office Hours with Nina Chernoff

Professor Nina ChernoffNina Chernoff cemented her place in the CUNY Law Professor Hall of Fame this year when she was given the Outstanding Professor Award by the graduating class of 2018.  Proving for perhaps the first time that it is, in fact, possible to make Powerpoints both informative and entertaining, Nina is known for unparalleled cat memes and clever ruses. Step into her classroom and be prepared to question every forensic evidence scene you’ve seen on your favorite procedural dramas. Prior to joining CUNY’s faculty, Nina was an Acting Assistant Professor of Lawyering at New York University Law School. She has also worked as a staff attorney in the Special Litigation Division of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, served as a Zubrow Fellow at Juvenile Law Center, and worked on programs and policies affecting at-risk youth at Public/Private Ventures in Philadelphia.

 

If we asked you to pen your own introduction, what would you add to the “standard faculty intro” to give us the really important details?

Like most faculty members at CUNY Law, I’m eager to build connections between my scholarship and real-world reform through working closely with attorneys and courts concerned with the same issues in my research. For example, though I’ve written about fair cross-section claims – the tool criminal defendants use to protect their constitutional right to a jury of their peers – what feels more important are the opportunities I have to coordinate with courts that are trying to increase the diversity of their pools and attorneys litigating those claims. I always learn a great deal from these experiences and it allows me to identify how my scholarship can be most useful.

 

What’s new and exciting in your classroom this semester?

Shining a light on the unreliability of many types of forensic evidence! This semester I have a small class of students who are combining a study of the rules of evidence with in-depth analysis of the problems with forensic evidence. They’re each drafting legal pleadings that use law and science to argue for the exclusion of some unreliable methods –  like bite-mark and hair evidence, arson investigations, and fingerprints. It’s exciting to watch the students use their legal skills to help the criminal justice system catch up with scientific developments.

 

What’s this we’ve heard about wigs?

I have been known to appear in disguise – complete with wig – in my Professional Responsibility class. The course is about figuring out how to apply ethical rules in practice, so I try to make the classroom as realistic as possible. And sometimes that means having a “supervisor” run into the room and demand you take action – which requires the students to work in real time to figure out ethical solutions to conflicts. But it’s not just me: we also have staff and faculty come to class in-role as teenagers so students can explore the ethical issues involved in counseling a juvenile client who might not be making thoughtful long-term decisions.

 

Do you have any alumni in your inbox right now?

I have two alumni in my inbox and my phone – two fantastic students who just graduated and are now preparing for the bar exam. I am their bar mentor, which means we’ll be working together this summer to ensure they succeed on the bar exam.  They’re doing all the hard work, of course, but I’m here to grade practice essays, help them stick to their study schedule, and provide plenty of chocolate.

 

If you could recruit anyone to guest lecture in your class, who would it be? Or, alternatively: if you could attend a lecture by anyone, on anything – what would you sit in on?

I’m actually hoping to attend a class that’s being taught at the law school this fall. The course is Race and the Law and it is being taught by two extraordinary judges: The Honorable Ronald Ellis and the Honorable Jenny Rivera. It would be a thrill even to just sit in the back of the room and listen!

 

What can’t you let go of? Is there anything that holds you enthralled, that you want to keep on people’s radar, or that is keeping you up at night?

I’m obsessed with the jury system and will stop people in the street if I hear them trying to figure out how to avoid jury service. Juries are particularly important today when so many questions have been raised about the discretion exercised by some police officers, prosecutors, and judges. The jury system is designed to ensure that the community has a voice in the process of prosecution, and it is critical to ensure that juries reflect the communities they come from.

 

Summer is right around the corner. Any essential reads or books you’ve been looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to reading Chokehold: Policing Black Men, by this year’s commencement speaker, Paul Butler. And this is the summer I’m finally going to read War and Peace. (I hope by making this public declaration, I’ll actually follow through!)


Department of English Professor Eva Shan Chou Awarded Resident Fellowship to New York University’s Center for Ballet and the Arts

Project to focus on writing a historical account of ballet in China from its beginnings in 1954 to today

Department of English professor and chair Eva Shan Chou, PhD, of Baruch College’s Weissman School of Arts and Sciences, has been awarded a Resident Fellowship to New York University’s Center for Ballet and the Arts (CBA).

Dr. Chou is among 27 artists and scholars who will serve as CBA Fellows during the 2018-19 academic year. The group represents the Center’s largest cohort, featuring a range of disciplines including writers, choreographers, filmmakers, dancers, a lighting designer, and scholars.

“I am excited to be joining a community that will includes principal dancers from the New York City Ballet among those working on choreography,” Dr. Chou said. “To see the artists up close, to watch the unfolding of experimentation, is very important for my continued thinking as a critic.”

According to the Center, it is the “first international institute devoted to the creative and academic study of ballet.”  Entering its fifth year, the CBA Fellowship Program invites scholars and artists from the field of ballet and its related arts and sciences to work at the Center on their own scholarly and artistic projects.

Ballet in China: A History

As a Resident Fellow, Dr. Chou will be developing a historical account of ballet in China from its beginnings in 1954 to its present strikingly accomplished position in the international ballet world.

Like the country’s history, the path of ballet in China contained intense about-turns, multiple beginnings, and a recent strong arrival on the international scene. This history approaches the development of ballet in China as a function of fluctuating relations between an art form and cultural authorities. It also pays special attention to the role that ballet plays in the creation and shaping of national identity.

Along with this book project, Dr. Chou will continue writing about dance performances for Ballet Review (New York).

“Dance studies is growing rapidly in many stimulating directions,” she said, “and the range and depth of the 2018-19 Fellows and their projects show this. Dance studies is clearly establishing itself as a field within cultural studies in addition to its first home of performance studies.”

Presenting Ballet as an Art Form

A history of ballet in China is Dr. Chou’s primary goal during her fellowship, but she is already thinking about other forms of dissemination that can stem from this core book.

“Ballet is a multi-media art form,” she said. “Even ballet that has no record in moving images can be – needs to be – excitingly presented outside the pages of a book. I want to infect others with the enthusiasm that I feel.”

A Cultural Historian

Dr. Chou’s work has focused on many different forms of art, moving from classical poetry to modern fiction, and now ballet. As a cultural historian, Dr. Chou has found her status as a bilingual outsider to be beneficial in her research on each of her projects. Whether poetry from twelve hundred years ago, or literature from China’s modern beginnings a century ago, or ballet in the past seven decades, the ability of art to cross borders and languages has always inspired her to undertake research.

“I am a cultural historian who’s always been interested in works of art both as creative works and in their relation to their use in China’s sense of identity,” she said. “What has stayed constant is my interest in the historical and political frames that ascribe value to the art.”

 

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Four CUNY Baccalaureate Students Win Chancellor’s Global Scholarship

CUNY BA congratulates Melissa Corning, Natasha Danielian, Kimberly Martinez and Matthew Perez on receiving the CUNY Chancellor’s Global Scholarship to study abroad in the winter and spring 2018 terms. Melissa will spend her fall semester at the Universidad de Belgrano in Buenos Aires, Argentina through CCIS, and will conduct independent ethnographic research on tango for her senior thesis while she’s there. Natasha and Kimberly will spend a month studying Japanese Language and Culture at Ritsumeikan University in Tokyo, Japan, through the College of Staten Island. Matthew will study entrepreneurship and data management at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, Netherlands through City College this summer.

As part of CUNY’s commitment to “[widen] the pipeline of language training, study abroad, and cross-cultural learning and collaboration for all students” (The Connected University, CUNY Master Plan 2016-2020), the Chancellor’s Global Scholarship provides partial funding on a competitive basis to CUNY students planning a study abroad experience. Funding for these scholarships is provided by the University Office of Academic Affairs and the SEEK program under the auspices of the University Office of Special Programs.

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CUNY BA is the University-wide, individualized degree. It is an exciting, versatile, rewarding degree route for highly motivated, self-directed students whose academic goals transcend traditional majors. Students create their own degree plans working directly with faculty mentors and academic advisors.


The Graduate Center, CUNY Announces Two Honorary Degree Recipients and Commencement Speaker

The Graduate Center of The City University of New York will award honorary degrees to Neal Kumar Katyal, former acting solicitor general of the U.S., and Katharine Viner, the first woman to serve as editor-in-chief of Guardian News & Media, and recognize Patricia Chapple Wright (Ph.D. ’85, Anthropology) with its President’s Distinguished Alumni Medal at its fifty-fourth Commencement exercises on Wednesday, May 30, 2018.

Graduate Center Distinguished Professor André Aciman, New York Times best-selling author of Call Me by Your Name and other works, will give the Commencement address.

Neal Kumar Katyal, the Paul and Patricia Saunders Professor of law at Georgetown University, partner at the firm of Hogan Lovells, and former acting solicitor general of the United States, has argued more Supreme Court cases in United States history than any other minority attorney, breaking the record held by Thurgood Marshall. As acting solicitor general under President Barack Obama, Katyal successfully defended the constitutionality of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Most recently, in the Supreme Court on April 25, Katyal argued the “Travel ban” case on behalf of the State of Hawaii against President Donald Trump, earning Katyal a headline in Politico as “The Travel Ban’s Legal Nemesis.” A graduate of Dartmouth College and Yale Law School, Katyal was one of the youngest professors to receive tenure and a chaired professorship at Georgetown University Law Center.

Katharine Viner took the reins of The Guardian and The Observer in 2015 when the business model for modern newspapers was failing. She has effectively navigated the challenges of running a news organization in the digital age with innovative business models and a passionate respect for reporting that, as she says, “takes time and effort, carefully uncovers the facts, holds the powerful to account, and interrogates ideas and arguments—work that speaks to the urgency of the moment, but lasts for more than a day.” She is considered one of the most eloquent and thoughtful analysts of journalism today. As advertising revenue has fallen for newspapers generally, The Guardian has chosen to keep its website open to all readers. Viner’s speeches and extended reflections on the press have highlighted the importance of journalism to the functioning of democracy.

Patricia Chapple Wright (Ph.D. ’85, Anthropology) has been honored as a MacArthur Fellow and is the recipient of many awards, including the Chevalier d’Ordre National of Madagascar and the Indianapolis Prize for conservation. She is a distinguished professor of anthropology at Stony Brook University. Wright took on conservation issues more than 30 years ago in Madagascar when she and her colleagues discovered the golden bamboo lemur and re-discovered the greater bamboo lemur, a species thought to be extinct. The lemurs lived in one of the country’s last remaining intact rain forests, a habitat that was threatened by timber exploitation. She spearheaded an integrated conservation and development project that ultimately led to the 1991 inauguration of the Ranomafana National Park. Her work has been featured in several documentaries and in the 2014 IMAX film Island of Lemurs: Madagascar, narrated by Morgan Freeman. She is the author of more than 170 scientific papers and of a two-volume autobiography.

André Aciman is a distinguished professor of comparative literature and French at The Graduate Center and a noted novelist and essayist. The first of his four novels, Call Me by Your Name, garnered widespread praise and inspired the film by the same name, which won the 2018 Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. While a professor at Princeton, Aciman published his acclaimed memoir, Out of Egypt, for which he received the 1995 Whiting Award. He is the author of three more novels and a number of essay collections. He has written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, and The New York Review of Books, and his work has appeared in several volumes of Best American Essays. His teaching at The Graduate Center, which started in 2001, focuses on the work of Marcel Proust and the literature of memory and exile.

The Graduate Center will confer 547 master’s and doctoral degrees at its Commencement exercises on Wednesday, May 30, at 7:30 p.m. at Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall.

Media Contact: Tanya Domi, tdomi@gc.cuny.edu, 212-817-7283

 

About The Graduate Center of The City University of New York

The Graduate Center of The City University of New York (CUNY) is a leader in public graduate education devoted to enhancing the public good through pioneering research, serious learning, and reasoned debate. The Graduate Center offers ambitious students more than 40 doctoral and master’s programs of the highest caliber, taught by top faculty from throughout CUNY — the nation’s largest public urban university. Through its nearly 40 centers, institutes, and initiatives, including its Advanced Science Research Center (ASRC), The Graduate Center influences public policy and discourse and shapes innovation. The Graduate Center’s extensive public programs make it a home for culture and conversation.


Art historian Anna Indych-López is new CCNY Katz Professor

 

Art historian Anna Indych-López is CCNY’s new Stuart Z. Katz Professor in the Humanities & the Arts.

Anna Indych-López, an expert in Latin American modern art, is The City College of New York’s 2018-2019 Stuart Z. Katz Professor in the Humanities & the Arts.  The endowed professorship is supported by a $1 million gift to City College by distinguished alumnus Stuart Z. Katz, Esq., a 1964 graduate.

As Katz Professor, Indych-López will work on her fourth book, “Imágenes de la ciudad: Mexico City and The Aesthetics of Public Space.”   It will explore the intersections of art and activism, public spaces and historical memorialization in the Mexican capital.

According to Indych-López, “Imágenes de la ciudad” was inspired by the provocative dialogues in one of the graduate seminars she teaches.

“My study concentrates on the ways in which artists, advertisers, designers, photographers, urban dwellers, and others have negotiated the visual construction of Mexico City across the 20th century and have transformed the city itself by creating visual networks and spatial and urban interventions,” she explained.

Indych-López’ previous books include:

Indych-López’ scholarship investigates Latin American and U.S. modernisms as well as Latina/o and U.S.-Mexico borderlands contemporary art, focusing on trans-American exchanges, the polemics of realisms, and public space.

She holds appointments as professor of Latin American and Latina/o art history in CCNY’s Division of Humanities and the Arts, and at the Graduate Center, CUNY.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.

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Jay Mwamba
p: 212.650.7580
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Distinguished CUNY Fellow honor for Spitzer’s Marta Gutman

 

CCNY’s Marta Gutman, an award-winning author and architectural historian, is now a Distinguished CUNY Fellow. Photo credit: Marcos Gasc

Marta Gutman, an award-winning author and historian in The City College of New York’s Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, is the recipient of a new honor: Distinguished CUNY Fellow.  As a Fellow, she takes up a semester-long appointment at the Advanced Research Collaborative (ARC), a program of the Graduate Center, CUNY, in the fall.

ARC promotes interdisciplinary scholarship among Fellows who are selected for their outstanding published research and scholarship.

At ARC, Gutman will collaborate with scholars researching inequality in all of its manifestations. She’ll also continue work on her new book,

“Just Space: Architecture, Education, and Civil Rights in Urban America” that will be published by the University of Texas Press in 2020.

Gutman’s first book, “A City for Children: Women, Architecture, and the Charitable Landscapes of Oakland, 1850–1950” (The University of Chicago Press, 2014), earned her four prizes including the Spiro Kostof Award from The Society of Architectural Historians.  The prize recognizes interdisciplinary studies of urban history that make the greatest contribution to our understanding of the growth and development of cities.

“A City for Children” focuses on the ways in which women used and reused   everyday buildings over a hundred year span in Oakland, California, to make the city a better place for children.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.

 

 

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Jay Mwamba
p: 212.650.7580
e:jmwamba@ccny.cuny.edu

View CCNY Media Kit


Baruch College to Graduate 5,024 Students at Commencement Ceremony on May 30 at Barclays Center

National Endowment of the Arts Chairman Dr. Jane Chu to deliver keynote address; ceremony to confer more than 5,000 degrees in business, arts and sciences, and public affairs

Baruch College will hold its 2018 Commencement on May 30 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, conferring 5,024 degrees in business, business administration, public and international affairs, education, and arts and sciences. The Class of 2018 includes more than 3,800 undergraduate and over 1,200 graduate degree recipients.

Baruch College President Mitchel B. Wallerstein, PhD, will preside over the exercises and David Christy, PhD, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, will serve as the master of ceremonies.

The Commencement ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. at Barclays Center, located at 620 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. The event will also be livestreamed starting at 9:15 a.m. via the College’s homepage, www.baruch.cuny.edu. Follow and share on the College’s social media channels: Twitter and Facebook.

Keynote Speaker

Jane Chu, PhD, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), will deliver the keynote address and receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters degree.

Since being confirmed as chairman by the U.S. Senate in 2014, Dr. Chu has awarded more than $409 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and artists and oversaw multiple-year increases to the NEA’s Congressional budget appropriation to expand its military healing arts initiative, Creative Forces. She also launched the United States of Arts project that demonstrates the importance of the arts in communities across the country. An accomplished and artist, Dr. Chu is the daughter of Chinese immigrants.

Read more about Dr. Chu’s accomplishments as head of the NEA here.

Alumnus to Receive Honorary Degree

Austin W. Marxe (’65), who graduated with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration with a major in Accounting, will be awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters degree. Mr. Marxe is the president and managing director of AWM Investment Company, a firm he founded in 1991 which supports small companies that would otherwise not be financeable.

Mr. Marxe has always had an eye toward giving back. In 2007, he made a gift to the Baruch College Fund to purchase new Bloomberg terminals for the trading floor and began supporting the scholarship fund in 2011. He endowed the Austin Marxe Scholarship for promising incoming freshman in 2015 and made a $30 million gift to Baruch in 2016 to endow and name the Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs. Mr. Marxe’s donation was the largest single gift in the history of Baruch College.

Watch a video interview with Marxe and learn more about the man behind this transformation gift in the Baruch Alumni magazine.

Valedictorian and Salutatorian

The valedictorian for the Class of 2018 is Patrycja Koszykowska, who is receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Political Science and Economics from the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences.

She was a 2017 Rhodes Scholarship nominee, received a 2016 Phenomenal Woman Award from the Baruch College Women’s History Month Committee, and was a recipient of the 2014 Comptroller’s Achievement Award in Economics and Finance in Nassau County.

As a student, Ms. Koszykowska has been an active participant in many campus organizations, as well as having served as Secretary and then President of the Polish Culture Club at the College. Ms. Koszykowska will be attending graduate school at the University of Cambridge to obtain a Master of Philosophy in International Relations and Politics.

Kevin Savarese is the salutatorian for the Class of 2018. A Macaulay Scholar, he will graduate with a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Economics and a double minor in Business Law and Interdisciplinary Honors in New York City Studies from the Zicklin School of Business.

Mr. Savarese made the Dean’s List in 2015, 2016, and 2017, and was inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society, and the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society.

On campus, Mr. Savarese has participated in the Max Berger Pre-Law Fellows Program in the Starr Career Development Center, was co-founder and vice president of the Photography Club in the Macaulay Honors College, and a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society. Upon graduation, Mr. Savarese will enter Fordham University School of Law with a merit scholarship.

Learn more about Ms. Koszykowska and Mr. Savarese here.

Watch and Follow the 2018 Commencement Live

Watch the livestream of the Commencement ceremony on May 30 beginning at 9:15 a.m. via Baruch College’s website. Follow and share on the College’s social media channels: Twitter and Facebook.

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Brooklyn College Class of 2018 Valedictorian Margaret Iuni’s Goal Is to Teach Tolerance

The William E. Macaulay Honors College student believes a key component to overcoming many of the obstacles facing society today is practicing compassion, a trait she wants to instill in younger generations of students.

By ROBERT JONES JR.

<p>Margaret Iuni will be giving the valedictory address at this year's Commencement Ceremony. </p>

Margaret Iuni will be giving the valedictory address at this year’s Commencement Ceremony. Photo: Craig Stokle.

As they prepare for the next stages of their lives, members of the Brooklyn College Class of 2018 share their thoughts on some of the more complex and challenging aspects of their areas of study. For more on this year’s commencement, visit our FacebookInstagram, and Twitter pages. Use the #BCGrad2018 hashtag to join the conversation.

Margaret Iuni is the valedictorian of the Brooklyn College Class of 2018.

She was born and raised in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn surrounded by a large family of Irish and Italian heritage. Before coming to Brooklyn College, she attended Bishop Kearney High School where she took classes through St. Joseph’s College.

William E. Macaulay Honors College student, Iuni majored in English education for grades 7–12 and minored in history with a focus on New York City studies. She chose Brooklyn College because of its affordability, diversity, and outstanding reputation in education and the humanities. She has a 4.00 grade point average and has made the Dean’s List every semester she has attended Brooklyn College.

Iuni is a very active scholar. She interned for Professor Roni Natov in the English Majors’ Counseling Office, where she advised students on program requirements and helped publish the Department of English student magazine, The Junction. She also contributed to the office’s blog. She was president of the Macaulay Creative Writing Club and a member of Brooklyn College’s Eta Theta Chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, the international honor society for education. She was the recipient of the 2017 Herb Berman Memorial Scholarship for academic merit and civic service, the 2017 Special Merit Award for Outstanding Contribution to the English Department, and served as the Lisa Goldberg/Revson Scholar in 2016 for her service to New York City. She indicates that Brooklyn College faculty have been essential to her success, noting that Professor Natov, Professor Priya Parmar, and Adjunct Professors Sivan Butler-Rotholz and Janice Pumelia have profoundly affected her life both academically and personally.

In classic Brooklyn College spirit, Iuni has dedicated her life to the education, advancement, and empowerment of younger generations. She is a student teacher at Brooklyn Collegiate Preparatory High School, and assistant coach and team judge of the forensics (speech and debate) team at Xaverian High School. Previously, she was a summer supplemental music history instructor and English tutor for the Brooklyn College Percy Ellis Sutton SEEK Program, assistant teacher at the Buckley School of Irish Dance, and a peer mentor for her fellow students at Brooklyn College. She serves as a research assistant on Professor Parmar’s upcoming publication focused on dismantling the school to prison pipeline through hip-hop pedagogy. Iuni’s civic engagement extends to the nonprofit sector; in 2014, she founded the Brooklyn College Relay for Life Club to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Just recently, she received a Mayoral Service Award from the City of New York for outstanding volunteer efforts.

Next year, she plans to attend New York University’s Graduate School of Arts and Science Program for English and Comparative Literature, with the goal of becoming a full-time high school teacher. She hopes to continue to guide young adults toward a more empathetic and tolerant worldview through literary studies and mentor students in need of academic guidance.

In that vein, Iuni was asked her thoughts on solutions to some of the biggest problems young people receiving a public education face as it relates to equity and resources. This is what she had to say.

With the caveat that there are scholars and policymakers who have researched this topic extensively and are much better equipped to address the multifaceted problem of inequity in the public education system than I am, I believe that incorporating critical pedagogy in a classroom would be a great place to begin. Critical pedagogues aim to provide a democratic, relevant, and experience-inclusive education to all students despite differences in race, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexual identity, socioeconomic status, language, ability, age, class, or any other element of a student’s identity. It extends beyond the formal curriculum and empowers all students to develop strong individual and group identities by questioning hegemonic (social hierarchical) powers within cultures and subcultures that are relevant to them. Incorporating critical theory and multiple literacies in a high school English classroom may at first seem like a difficult task because many schools still subscribe to the literary canon of books written by typically white Western men. However, by incorporating students’ experiences and cultures, and by diversifying course materials, students can contextualize and engage with traditional texts more effectively, while becoming empowered to question and incite change.

My experiences as a student of an English secondary education program have framed my desire to place the field of literature in dialogue with student experiences as a way to examine the human condition without excluding narratives curated for younger audiences. I believe the introduction of the intersection of literary studies and youth studies in my own classroom could spark the formation of political, social, and economic thought in young readers. Critically reading literature is vital to the creation of well-rounded, well-adjusted global citizens. In a diverse city such as New York, wherein dozens of cultures collide on a daily basis, it simply does not make sense to perpetuate a single-culture environment. The study of literature within the context of students’ experiences can pedagogically shape attitudes towards students’ own identities as well as to those that are different from theirs. I am a firm believer that valuing students’ experiences from all backgrounds and instilling a culture of respect within a classroom can help positively shape students’ lives and those whom they come in contact with. I have personally witnessed the positive effects that critical reading can have on the lives of students whose cultures are often forgotten or have been actively removed from the curriculum and who hide parts of themselves to ‘fit in.’

 

Contact: Ernesto Mora | 212.662.9939 | emora@brooklyn.cuny.edu


Cultural Competency and Intersectionality Are Priorities for English and History Double Major Nicole Solis-Ramirez

The graduating senior and mother of four discusses how her life impacts her approach to academics.

By ROBERT JONES JR.

<p>Nicole Solis-Ramirez's multicultural background inspires her intersectional approach to her scholarly work.</p>

Nicole Solis-Ramirez’s multicultural background inspires her intersectional approach to her scholarly work.

As they prepare for the next stages of their lives, members of the Brooklyn College Class of 2018 share their thoughts on some of the more complex and challenging aspects of their areas of study. For more on this year’s commencement, visit our FacebookInstagram, and Twitter pages. Use the #BCGrad2018 hashtag to join the conversation.

Nicole Solis-Ramirez is a member of the Class of 2018 graduating with a bachelor of arts in English and a bachelor of arts in history, with a minor in Puerto Rican and Latino studies. Solis-Ramirez, who hails from York, Pennsylvania, is of European and Japanese descent.  She made the Dean’s List every semester she attended Brooklyn College. She was also accepted into the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, where she conducted research on a series of Roman coins from 100 B.C. The data she assembled during the semester will add to Department of Classics Associate Professor Liv Yarrow‘s ongoing research in that area. She also made the Department of English’s Chairperson’s List of Outstanding Scholars in 2017, and works part time in the Brooklyn College Learning Center as an English tutor.

Solis-Ramirez’s husband is Mexican American, and she is the mother of four children, ages seven to one, two of whom are currently enrolled in the Brooklyn College Early Childhood Center. She says she works to ensure that her children are educated about their heritage so that they are instilled with a sense of pride. She is a full-time student, a mentor in the Peer Mentoring Program, and an elected member of the Community Education Council for her home district in Brooklyn. She credits the Magner Career Center for helping her to prepare for the job market by providing resources such as cover letter and resume review and career advisement. She was accepted into Brooklyn College’s Master of Arts English Program and hopes to one day become a college professor.

Solis-Ramirez shared her thoughts on how identity, history, and literature intersect, and what impact all three have had on her and her family.

“There are layers to rebuilding a system that does not erase or ignore the works of marginalized perspectives in literature. The Internet and social media have given people a platform that is special in the way that it crosses age, race, and gender barriers. Yet, living in this unique moment that offers us an opportunity to celebrate marginalized voices is not enough. Changes need to be made at a larger institutional level and we, as the people who are the foundation and support of these institutions, have a responsibility to hold them accountable.

“On an individual level, we need to hold ourselves responsible for unlearning Eurocentric and colonial ideologies. In my own experience, I was never exposed to literature or literary characters that represented me. I never questioned why some books were considered ‘classics,’ and what it meant to have characters of color being depicted by white authors. My educational experience at Brooklyn College made me more aware of how unaware I was. Just because someone is a woman does not mean that she cannot contribute to the patriarchy. Just because someone is other than European does not mean that they cannot contribute to Eurocentrism. The acceptance of the Eurocentrism of literature is compliance— we need to hold ourselves and our institutions accountable for the silencing of marginalized perspectives.

“As a woman who is multiracial but white passing, my struggle has not necessarily been the same as other marginalized groups. Growing up in a small, predominately white town, I think that my siblings and I were very aware that we would never be accepted as white or Japanese. From a very young age, I loved reading; literature was my great escape. However, I never found authors who vocalized feelings through their characters that were similar to my own.

“Partially because of how those that have preceded me have been silenced and because those with similar experiences were not present in the literature that was introduced to me, understanding my own identity has been a continuous process with no starting point. Yet, another layer of my struggle lies in the fact that my grandmother, who immigrated to the United States from Japan, was silenced. My grandfather did not permit my grandmother to teach her children her native language. There was no sense of pride instilled in my family lineage. Perhaps I silenced my own voice because of my feelings of inadequacy.

When I think about marginalized voices being heard in spaces where they have been silenced, I think of my children. I want them to hear voices similar to their own, and I want them to be able to speak. My partner was born and raised in Mexico, and because of the many political discussions that are currently present in the United States, we have worked very hard to instill a sense of pride in every cultural identity that exists within our children. Because these voices have been historically silenced, the most important lesson I can teach them is that their voice is significant because of who they are.”


Letter to NEST+m Students and Families from Mark Berkowitz, Week of May 21, 2018

Dear NEST+m Students and Families,

Please join us on Wednesday for our K-12 Curriculum Showcase, 4pm to 7pm, featuring:

  • K-5 Science Fair
  • 6-8 Science Fair and Grades 6-12 Curriculum Highlights
  • Upper Grades Spring Music Concert

 CLICK HERE for an overview of this comprehensive evening!

Middle Grades Families: Please join us on Thursday for our Middle Grades Spring Concert!

As we enter the final two weeks of May, a reminder to Upper Grades Students and families, the last day of instruction prior to Regents Week is Monday June 11th.

The Regents Week calendar is here: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/assessment/schedules/2018/504hs-june2018.pdf

Families: We look forward to seeing you this week.

Thank you for your ongoing support and communication,

Warmly,

Mark Berkowitz
Principal

 

 This week

Wednesday May 23rd

  • Middle Grades Principal’s Coffee, 8:30am, in the NESTCafe
  • Upper Grades Math Team Carnival, in the courtyard, 2:40pm
  • K-12 Curriculum Showcase 4pm to 7pm featuring:
    – K-5; 6-8 Science Fair
    – Highlights across Grades 6-12
    – Upper Grades Spring Concert, 6pm

Thursday May 24th

  • Lower Grades Principal’s Coffee, 8:30am, in the NESTCafe
  • Middle Grades Spring Concert, 6pm

 
Friday May 25th

  • Upper Grades Principal’s Coffee, 8:30am, in the NESTCafe

Looking Ahead:

  • Monday May 28th: Memorial Day: Schools Closed.
  • Tuesday, May 29th: The 4th Grade Science Performance Task.
  • Monday, June 4th: The 4th Grade Science Written Test.
  • June 5th: Regents Exam, Global History & Geography
  • June 7th: Anniversary Day, No school for students.
  • June 11th : Clerical Day: elementary & middle school students do not attend. Final Day of Instruction for Grades 9-12.
  • June 15th: Eid al-Fitr: schools closed

Student Opportunities

Putney School Summer Arts Program, July 15- August 3
In this three-week dynamic workshop, students will collaborate to create in response to urgent social, political, or environmental issues of our era. APPLY HERE

Previously announced opportunities for NEST+m students

Manhattan Youth Downtown Day Camp in Tribeca is Now Interviewing 17 and 18 year olds!
Apply to be a Camp Counselor! Applications available via email at: gabi@manhattanyouth.org


STEM Expo Plaza Party for Harlem kids at CCNY May 20

 

Concrete Canoe team

Chem-e-Car team

Community School District Five

Many parents are concerned their children’s school doesn’t have an emphasis on science. Or that the way science is taught is too boring to engage their kids. One way to get kids interested in science is to show them experiments that make them ask “how did you do that”?

This Sunday, May 20, from 12-5pm, kids from the Harlem community (and their parents) can get psyched about science at the STEM Expo Plaza party at the Grove School of Engineering at the City College of New York at 259 Convent Avenue and 140th Street.

CCNY engineering and computer science student clubs will showcase some of the mind blowing work they’ve done this year, including a concrete canoe, a blazing fast Chem-E-Car, and a “computer garden” that grows food without soil or harmful chemicals.

The event is open and free to the public and features interactive STEM exhibits, vendors, music and food. It is offered on day two of Harlem STEM Weekend and is hosted by the Grove School in partnership with District Five and Harlem Renaissance Education Pipeline (HREP).

Grove School Dean Gilda Barabino looks forward to welcoming kids and parents, saying “So much about what we do at the Grove School remains a mystery to our neighbors. On Sunday, we will open our doors to the Harlem Community to demystify what it is we do and to also cultivate the natural curiosity of community’s school aged children—some, our future students. This will be just one of many activities to come in which we will engage and partner with the community.”

About The City College of New York

Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks CCNY #2 among public colleges with the greatest success in ensuring the social mobility of our student body; at the same time the Center for world University Rankings places it in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself. View CCNY Media Kit.

 

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Media contact: rrivera1@ccny.cuny.edu


Jane Chu, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, to Speak at Baruch College Commencement Ceremony on May 30, 2018

Jane Chu, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts

Jane Chu, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), will be the keynote speaker at Baruch College’s Commencement Ceremony on May 30, 2018 at Barclays Center, New York City.

Since being confirmed as chairman by the U.S. Senate in 2014, Chu has awarded more than $409 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and artists; issued new research reports on arts participation and the impact of the arts and cultural industries on the nation’s gross domestic product; and launched the United States of Arts project that demonstrates the importance of the arts in communities across the country.

In 2015, Chu launched her signature leadership initiative, Creativity Connects, that investigates the current state of the arts in our nation, and explores how the arts connect with other industries. She also oversaw multiple-year increases to the NEA’s Congressional budget appropriation to expand its military healing arts initiative, Creative Forces.

The following year, Chu accepted a Special Tony Award on behalf of the agency for its “unwavering commitment in paving the road” between Broadway and cities throughout the U.S.

Under Chu’s leadership, the NEA ranked first among small agencies in Best Places to Work in the Federal Government for 2016.

A Passion for the Arts

In additional to her experience in arts administration and philanthropy, Chu is an accomplished artist and musician.

The daughter of Chinese immigrants, Chu was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma and raised in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. She studied music growing up, eventually receiving bachelor’s degrees in piano performance and music education, as well as master’s degrees in music and piano pedagogy, a PhD in philanthropic studies, an MBA, as well as three honorary degrees

Before becoming the 11th chairman of the NEA, Chu served as the president and Chief Executive Officer of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City.

2018 Commencement Ceremony

Baruch College will hold it 2018 Commencement Exercises for both undergraduate and graduate students on Wednesday, May 30 at Barclays Center at 620 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. The ceremony will commence at 9:30 am.

For more information, go to Baruch College Commencement.

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A Feirstein Cinema School Graduate Talks Diversity in the Film Industry

Daniel W. Smith ’18 M.A. finds his voice and shares it as part of a commencement campaign celebrating the Brooklyn College Class of 2018.

<p>Dan Smith is a member of the first official graduating class of Brooklyn College's Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema.</p>

Dan Smith is a member of the first official graduating class of Brooklyn College’s Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema. Photo: David Rozenblyum.

As they prepare for the next stages of their lives, members of the Brooklyn College Class of 2018 share their thoughts on some of the more complex and fraught aspects of their areas of study. Find more student commencement profiles and videos on our FacebookInstagram, and Twitter pages. Use the #BCGrad2018 hashtag to join the conversation.

Daniel “Dan” W. Smith is a member of the Class of 2018, graduating with his master of arts in screen studiesfrom Brooklyn College’s Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema. Smith financed his education with a scholarship he won from the New York City Office of the Mayor. He is a part of Feirstein’s first official graduating class. The cinema school is dedicated to cultivating new and emerging voices in cinema in a diverse and inclusive learning environment.

A Las Vegas native, Spider-Man aficionado, and singer in the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus, Smith came to Brooklyn in the hopes of refining his career as an educator. Currently a high school teacher, his ultimate goal is to become a college professor and he believes his academic experiences at Brooklyn College have prepared him to pursue a Ph.D. in media studies.

When asked about the state of Hollywood, media production, and diversity, particularly in the United States, Smith had this to say.

Wonder Woman is the first critically acclaimed film and box office smash starring a female super-hero.

 

“While Hollywood has definitely made progress in presenting more diverse narratives in film and media, many of them lauded for their attempts at representation, these attempts are often superficial because the majority of the producers behind them are still white males. For example, Wonder Woman was directed by a woman who did the best she could with a film written and produced by men and that battle of perspectives plays out in the final product. So, while women, queer people, people of color, and other marginalized demographics are out there creating media in an attempt at real diversity, it is a slow-going process. Many of us who find ourselves in marginalized and underrepresented communities want a revolutionary change, but I feel that with a system so sexist, homophobic, and, quite frankly, racist, this change will not happen overnight.”

 

Love, Simon is about a gay teen who comes out to his family and friends, and falls in love.

 

“A film like Love, Simon (a coming-of-age story of a gay teenager) could never have been made a generation ago because of the mindset of Hollywood and the nation as a whole. What is fortunate is that not just the people behind the creation of the film, but people who understood the importance of the film advocated for its showing across the nation even in small towns where queer-themed films could still be controversial.”

 

Black Panther is the second-highest grossing film of 2018 so far, earning over a $1 billion globally.

 

Black Panther is an example of a film that is on the right track as well. With a predominately black cast and crew, it certainly broke molds within the Hollywood paradigm, particularly because it was made by Marvel Entertainment, but also because it was made to target a general audience, not to exploit a marginalized one. What it comes down to is Hollywood wants to make money, but that is largely based on public consumption trends and I believe that those trends are shifting toward more diverse narratives in Hollywood as well as television and other media. Eventually, that will bring about change rather than simply superficial fixes.”

 

 

Contact: Ernesto Mora | 212.662.9939 | emora@brooklyn.cuny.edu


Hostos Gears Up for 50th Anniversary Commencement

 

Eugenio María de Hostos Community College of The City University of New York will celebrate the achievements of 709 graduates at its 48th Commencement, to be held on Thursday, May 31, at New York City Center. In total, the College celebrated 1,292 students in two ceremonies this year.

Hostos is also celebrating its official 50th Anniversary, and this event will truly take on a special meaning.

“To recognize the men and women who have made the commitment to their education, just as this institution has for so many others since 1968, is truly a highlight of our yearlong anniversary celebration,” said Hostos President, Dr. David Gómez. “On behalf of Eugenio María de Hostos Community College, we could not be prouder of them as they move forward to become the change agents of tomorrow.”

commencement speaker

This year’s Commencement Speaker is Luis Salgado, an international director, choreographer, and educator known for his work as the Latin Assistant Choreographer of the Tony Award-winning musical In The Heights, and most recently was seen on the Broadway stage in the Gloria Estefan Musical On Your Feet!

Luis has performed on Broadway in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, ROCKY, and In The Heights, as well as in Off Broadway shows and Broadway tryouts; The Mambo KingsFame on 42nd Street, and Aida,among others. Film credits includeAmerican GangsterDirty Dancing 2, the remake of Dirty Dancing for TVEnchanted, and Step Up 2: The Streets. He both performed in and served as assistant to the choreographers of Enchantedand Step Up 2.

Luis has directed/choreographed productions in and out of the United States, including Amigo Duende The Musical, Bountiful,Song of SolomonCandela Fuerza y Pasión in Lima PerúTo Be or Not To Beand, most recently, RAGTIMEat the Axelrod Performing Arts Center.

In 2017, he directed and choreographed the U.S. premier of the Spanish version of In The Heights in Washington D.C., which received 18 nominations for the 2018 Helen Hayes Awards, including Best Musical, Best direction, and Best Choreography.

He is the founding director of R.Evolución Latina, an affiliate of the non-profit organization Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Through R.Evolución Latina, Luis empowers the Latino community to discover its full potential. Throughout his career, he has worked as a teacher, affecting the lives of thousands of young artists by providing them with the tools to grow and to use their art to create social change. In April of this year, Luis devised a performance piece with a group of NYC artists and the class of adult performers from Latin America, To Be or Not To BeA Shakespearean Experience,that explored what it means to be an immigrant in the U.S.

This year’s Valedictorian and Salutatorian are two incredible examples of the diversity and inclusiveness that have powered the College since its inception in 1968.

valedictorian

Valedictorian Raz Rivera was born and raised in Kfar Blum, a kibbutz in Israel’s Upper Galilee. She left high school at age 15 to attend Tel-Hai, a local community college, where she intended to study art and art history. Rivera’s life changed course when she was drafted to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces a year and a half into her studies. She took a year off to travel after she left the military, visiting Europe and the U.S. before returning to Israel.
A mother of two, Rivera immigrated to New York in 2007. Motivated by her children and an enduring passion for learning, she decided in 2016 to go back to school. Rivera is a member of the ASAP program and the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She also participated in Hostos’ Honors Program and was president of the Honors Club. In 2017, she received the Women’s and Gender Study Award and English Gold Medal Award for her essay “Gender and Our Identity.” She will pursue a degree in Public Administration at City College.

swimi student

Class Salutatorian Swimi Kolancheril was born and raised in India and immigrated to New York with her family in 2015. As a child, she wanted to follow her father’s path into the field of engineering. She began her journey toward her goal in 2016, when she enrolled in Hostos’ Joint Dual Engineering program with The City College of New York’s Grove School of Engineering.

Kolancheril served as the president of the Robotics Club at Hostos and as a student ambassador for the Student Leadership Academy. In the spring of 2018, she was nominated to Phi Theta Kappa’s All-State Academic Team and part of a winning team at the 26th Annual CSTEP Statewide Student Conference. She plans to pursue a Bachelor’s degree at The City College of New York, with a focus on electrical engineering and a minor in math.
Representing CUNY for this special anniversary commencement, Trustee Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez, and Vice Chancellor Pamela Silverblatt will also be in attendance.

What: Eugenio María de Hostos Community College of CUNY 48th Commencement Ceremony.
When: Thursday, May 31, at 3:00 p.m.
Where: New York City Center, located on 130 West 55th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues in midtown Manhattan.

About Hostos Community College
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College is an educational agent for change that has been transforming and improving the quality of life in the South Bronx and neighboring communities for nearly half a century. Since 1968, Hostos has been a gateway to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility, as well as a point of departure for lifelong learning, success in professional careers, and transfer to advanced higher education programs.
Hostos offers 27 associate degree programs and two certificate programs that facilitate easy transfer to The City University of New York’s (CUNY) four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions. The College has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education & Workforce Development that offers professional development courses and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. Hostos is part of CUNY, the nation’s leading urban public university, which serves more than 500,000 students at 24 colleges.


Baruch College Hosts Finals of CUNY-IBM Watson Case Competition

Team from Baruch College and New York City College of Technology finish in first-place, proposing