February 2022
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Welcome to the spring semester and Happy Lunar New Year!
I hope everyone—including the considerable number of students who enrolled in winter session—had a refreshing holiday break.

Given the campus’s prominence in “the world’s borough,” I had plenty to do. On December 16, Queens College had the pleasure of hosting a breakfast with the Queens Chamber of Commerce. QC personnel and local legislators mingled with Tom Grech—president and CEO of the chamber, the oldest and largest business association in the borough—and other chamber members.
A few days later, Kate Pechenkina, interim dean of Social Sciences and I attended a meeting of the Flushing Chinese Business Association. We value connections to people who own or operate local companies; these relationships are even more consequential with the launch of the Queens College Business School.
President Wu and Interim Social Sciences Dean Pechenkina (in Queens College masks) and members of the Flushing Chinese Business Association brought their issues to the table in December.
Two history makers visit Queens College regularly: New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, the first African American to hold that title; Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, the first Black male in his position. Now they are making history all year round.
In another highlight, on December 17 we marked the completion of work on the soccer field and track. The project was funded by money from both New York City and New York State. Once the weather gets a little warmer, I look forward to joining members of the college community and area residents doing laps to keep in shape.
The college’s annual commemoration of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. gives us a chance to reaffirm our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. This year’s event, on Sunday, January 16, was especially moving, with speeches by student leaders and New York legislators, a choral performance by Trey McLaughlin & the Sounds of Zamar, and a video made by the Office of Communications and Marketing about King’s speech to campus on May 13, 1965, featuring interviews with five QC alumni who were in attendance that day.
It's always a treat to go to the Queens Museum, with its topical shows and celebrated New York City panorama. I stopped by the museum—which has partnered with the college’s graduate program in social practice art—on January 20, met with President and Executive Director Sally Tallant, and picked up an alternative shopping bag.

The next day, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, the Queens Jewish Community Council, and I welcomed Israeli Consul General Asaf Zamir to campus. Ambassador Zamir has a big portfolio, representing the State of Israel to New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Delaware. We are following up with members of his team to explore future collaborations. 
Group shot all wearing masks
From left: Christine Mangino, president of Queensborough Community College;
Rabbi Mayer Waxman, director of the Queens Jewish Community Council; Frank H. Wu, president of Queens College; Asaf Zamir, Israeli Consul General in New York; Michael Nussbaum, president of the Queens Jewish Community Council; Donovan Richards, president of the Borough of Queens
Last Friday—January 28—Queens College hosted the annual Queens Legislative Breakfast, an opportunity for the borough’s CUNY college presidents, including yours truly, to advocate for their campuses. We’re fortunate to be represented by elected officials who are very much committed to the college and support public higher education. The state executive budget proposed by Governor Hochul for 2022-23 calls for additional CUNY funding that would increase the number of full-time professors, extend TAP eligibility to part-time students in degree programs, and significantly ramp up capital support for enhanced facilities. We are looking to further build on the recommended investments in full-time staff, including mental health counseling and support for research. We have to continue our advocacy to ensure the best outcome. Everyone—especially students—can promote Queens College. Elected officials want to hear from their constituents. We encourage you to contact them and explain how you benefit from all we do on campus. We’ll know more about state allocations after the joint legislative hearing of the State Senate and Assembly fiscal committees meets in Albany on February 7. 
CUNY Senior Vice Chancellors Glenda Grace and Matthew Sapienza participated in the legislative breakfast remotely.
Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas and New York State Senator John C. Liu, chair of the New York City Education Committee
Queens Borough Deputy President Ebony Young
President Wu presented a gift to Vice Chancellor for Budget & Finance Sapienza, who is leaving CUNY after nearly two decades to become CFO at the American Council of Learned Societies.
From left: Christine Mangino, president of Queensborough Community College; Berenecea Johnson Eanes, president of York College; President Wu; Kenneth Adams, president of LaGuardia Community College
Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27, marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. This year it fell just a few days after a terrorist took four people—including the rabbi—hostage at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas. While all the hostages escaped, their ordeal demonstrated once again why we pause to honor the memory of Holocaust victims and why history’s lessons need to be heeded.
Today, February 1, marks the start of Black History Month. The Office of Student Development and Leadership is hosting a wide range of programming: a poetry-tap dance-drum show, a professional networking event, a discussion about navigating law school, and a hip-hop trivia contest. A conversation about self-care in the Black community is planned. Many programs will be live-streamed here. For dates and times, please see the flyer. Each week this month, the Godwin-Ternbach Museum will share posts about Black artists in its collection on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The artists include Hale Woodruff, Claude Clark, M. Jume, and Robert E. Fletcher. The Louis Armstrong House Museum will be holding a special tour, Louis Armstrong and Civil Rights in America, February 10-26. Special thanks to the staff, faculty and students for these great initiatives. Watch your campus emails for additional details. 
I know that everyone remains concerned about pandemic safety protocols. This Thursday and the following one, I will be holding two additional sessions in our series of virtual briefings.
Thursday, February 3, 6:30 pm. Register at https://bit.ly/31GA9ab
Thursday, February 10, 6:30 pm. Register at https://bit.ly/3fa08Kg
The latest information is posted to the college’s coronavirus page
The past two years of the pandemic have been especially stressful for many of us. “Mental Health in Asian American Communities and the Obstacles in Seeking Help,” a virtual seminar for faculty and students on February 28, is especially timely. The presenter is Catherine Vuky, assistant professor of clinical psychology and director of the Asian Mental Health Program at William James College.

To attend this event, jointly presented by my office and the Asian/American Center, email QC.AAC@CUNY.EDU. While I’m on the subject of mental health, I’d like to remind students about the college’s free, confidential Counseling Services counselingservices@qc.cuny.edu (also available by telephone 718-997-5420). All email and voicemail messages will receive a response within 24 hours; sessions are conducted via telehealth.
I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Jennifer Jarvis as vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. Jennifer came to Queens College in 1995 as assistant director of Student Life. In the years that followed, she held multiple titles, including director of Student Life, executive director of the Student Union, executive director of Student Development, and most recently, assistant vice president for Student Affairs. Jennifer’s outstanding experience, expertise and commitment to student success will serve the college well. There will be additional staffing announcements later this semester as we continue to augment this important area so essential to student life.
Queens College is immensely proud of former CUNY Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Inclusion Initiatives Chris Rosa, an alumnus who started his career at this campus. On January 1, Chris became president and CEO of the Viscardi Center, a network of nonprofit organizations that educate, employ, and empower children and adult with disabilities. He also serves as president of the Henry Viscardi School and Abilities, Inc. At the baccalaureate convocation this spring, I will present Chris with the president’s medal, the college’s highest administrative honor. In turn, he will be the keynote speaker. I look forward to a most joyous occasion. 
Let me close with a huge thank you to the staffs of Buildings and Grounds, Public Safety, Information Technology, and all those who worked through the weekend in snow-related removal and communications. Admittedly, after the blizzard, spring—and Commencement—seem a bit far in the future. But the calendar assures me otherwise, so I’ll sign off by wishing everyone a successful and, hopefully, soon to be warmer semester. Stay safe!
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