Noted & Quoted

Projects Taking Shape to Aid Haiti's Recovery

Though last January's earthquake in Haiti has largely faded from the headlines, 1.3 million Haitians remain displaced, living in some 1,300 tent camps. And for the University's campuses, the catastrophe is still front and center. CUNY Colleges have offered more than $200,000 in tuition waivers, scholarships and emergency assistance to students from Haiti and now discussions are underway to establish long-term assistance in rebuilding the impoverished Caribbean nation. Kingsborough Community College President Regina Peruggi and University Dean for Health and Human Services Bill Ebenstein have been meeting with faculty, alumni and students involved in Haiti projects to discuss ways to engage CUNY. A proposed Haiti Volunteer Corps would provide opportunities for teams of faculty, students and staff to work on various relief projects in Haiti. Meanwhile, colleges have developed a number of ongoing academic programs.

  • City College is sponsoring two Haitian students in its M.S. program in Sustainability in the Urban Environment and is considering a certificate program in construction management to train technicians to help rebuild Haiti's infrastructure.
  • Jean Pierre-Louis, who received a master's in public health from Brooklyn College, founded a nonprofit that provides health services including mental health counseling and physical therapy to children and their families through schools in Haiti's rural areas.
  • Hunter College School of Nursing is exploring ways CUNY could assist Haiti's public university with curriculum and faculty development.
  • New York City College of Technology professor Jean Claude has discussed the development of a program to train Haitians to work in hotel and hospitality management. In addition, CUNY's Citizenship Now! volunteers and staff, directed by Baruch College professor Allan Wernick, have helped more than 1,000 Haitians living in New York City to apply for Temporary Protective Status (TPS) and other immigration benefits.

BMCC Scores Another Math Win

Mathematics isn't typically thought of as a competitive sport. But try telling that to the members of BMCC's Math Team. For the second straight year, the team has placed first in the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges Northeast Region Student Math League competition. In addition, team member Xian-Zhen Zhu, above, finished first in the individual competition and an impressive second in this year's CUNY Math Challenge, outpacing a field of two- and four-year colleges.

Brooklyn College Celebrates New Rooms with a View

A dad carried in a big plastic tub. A mom, toting a desk lamp, stopped to talk to a resident adviser. A student checked out a bunk bed.

It would have been a typical move-in day for any other campus residence, but not for this one. "It's a historic day for Brooklyn College as it opens its first residence hall," said Milga Morales, vice president for student affairs, who greeted parents and students in the lobby with pizza and cold drinks. "It is definitely a community-building enterprise and poses wonderful opportunities for the enhancement of our already diversified student life on campus," Morales added, noting that Brooklyn College volunteers and Student Center staff have been actively involved in the opening of the hall.

The Residence Hall contains 115 individual apartments -- a mixture of studios and two-bedroom units with private and shared bedrooms, kitchenettes, cable and Wi-Fi -- that can accommodate about 250 students. Freshman Eric Sowin was accepted to Columbia University and the University of Chicago, but chose Brooklyn College. "The Residence Hall was a part of my decision -- that and the campus. It's so beautiful."

CUNY Prep's Innovative Director is Moving On

Derrick Griffith, founding director and principal of CUNY Prep Transitional High School, is leaving to become executive director of Groundwork, a social service agency in Brooklyn. Griffith led CUNY Prep for seven years, building it into one of the city's most successful programs that helps dropouts back onto an academic track. "We offer a second chance for otherwise talented young people who, for a variety of reasons, left school...." Griffith said. "CUNY Prep gives them time to consider the reasons they left school and plan a new course for themselves."

Trustee Schmidt Honored for 'Academic Renaissance'

CUNY Board of Trustees Chair-man Benno Schmidt has won the prestigious Philip Merrill Award for Outstanding Contributions to Liberal Arts Education from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni. The council cited the distinguished, nationally prominent educator for leading an "academic renaissance" at CUNY.

Chancellor Matthew Goldstein praised Schmidt for his leadership in developing three University Master Plans and his work "for the advancement of a robust liberal arts education for all students."

Daniel Kim, a former Marine who recently completed two tours of duty in Iraq, said: "I looked at all the CUNY schools and felt that Brooklyn College was the best for me. I want to study anthropology and pre-med ...." It was also a perfect fit for Alkistis Karatzis, a transfer student from Greece who heard about the jazz program and will study classical piano at the Conservatory of Music. "So not only do I have the benefit of a great program, but I also get to stay in a residence with great views," she said, gesturing toward the tall windows revealing the distant Empire State Building.

CCNY Student Solar Project Shares International Spotlight

More than 100 City College students are expected to work as Team New York on constructing a "Solar Roof Pod" in the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathalon.

The mission of the 20 final international teams is to design, build and operate the most affordable, attractive, effective and energy-efficient solar-powered house. The project designed by Team New York students from CCNY's Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture and the Grove School of Engineering will take advantage of the rooftops of buildings in New York and other large cities. "The Solar Decathlon is a great project to educate and train the next generation of professionals in the emerging and needed fields of sustainable buildings and renewable energy," said Jorge Gonzalez, a mechanical engineering professor and one of the team's advisers. Completed structures will be displayed on the National Mall in Washington for the final round of the competition in fall 2011.