News from LaGuardia Community College
Since March is Women’s History Month I thought I would check in with Nava Lerer, LaGuardia’s Dean for Institutional Effectiveness, for an update on women at LaGuardia. Nava, a leading expert in college research and assessment, reminds us that 58% of LaGuardia students are women, and, notably, 60% of our graduates are women. (Nationally, 57% of community college students are women.) Since 51 percent of all LaGuardia students are between the ages of 17 and 22, 56 percent are foreign-born, and 69 percent live in Queens, one can imagine a typical LaGuardia student today as an immigrant young woman who lives in Elmhurst or Corona. Then again, there is nothing typical about our LaGuardia students.  
Happy Spring!

Kenneth Adams
LaGuardia: A Leader in Education for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing
LaGuardia’s services for Deaf and hard-of-hearing students, which began 45 years ago, are unmatched in CUNY and unique in our region. Thousands Deaf and hard-of-hearing New Yorkers have earned degrees and certifications at LaGuardia that have prepared them for careers as teachers, interpreters, social workers, and other professionals. Thanks to the special support we offer, LaGuardia enrolls more Deaf and hard-of-hearing students than any other CUNY institution. I recently spoke with John Collins of our Deaf Studies major, Kimberly Lucas of the Program for Deaf Adults, and Liz Lauria of the ASL-English Interpretation Program. You can learn all about these programs by watching our discussion here.
News from Mars
Last month, the world took note of NASA’s successful landing of its newest Mars rover, Perseverance, on the harsh terrain of the Red Planet. Back on Planet LaGuardia, physics major, Amaru Alzogaray, kept us up to date on the mission of “the most sophisticated scientific rover ever built,” through Ad Astra, our undergraduate research newsletter. Edited by Physics Professor Roman Senkov, Ph.D., Ad Astra showcases research initiatives and scientific work of LaGuardia students, faculty, and staff. I really enjoyed Amaru’s article about the Mars 2020 Mission, and hope you do, too. And think about it: seven months of travel to get to your destination and then it’s really hard to park because the surface is full of potholes. Driving across Queens, perhaps?!
Portraits of an Epicenter: NYC in Lockdown
Written reflections and photography of LaGuardia students during NYC’s first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic are documented in a fantastic new e-book published by the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives. Portraits of an Epicenter: NYC in Lockdown covers topics related to Covid-19, including mental health, the Black Lives Matter protests, food distribution for the needy, and deportation. I got a chance to speak with students and faculty involved in this project and was struck by their creativity and resiliency.
Helping Young Fathers Help their Families
The CUNY Fatherhood Academy at LaGuardia Community College helps current or expectant fathers between the ages of 18 and 30 earn their high school equivalency diplomas and get ready for college, while providing parenting classes and other resources. Thanks to funding from the Mayor’s Office, the Academy is free, and participants receive weekly stipends and other benefits. Jesus Benitez, who graduated from the Fatherhood Academy before earning his associate degree at LaGuardia, was profiled recently in “1 in 5”, the Aspen Institute’s podcast exploring the 22 percent of undergraduate students in the US who are parents. In his interview, Jesus describes how the support from Executive Director Raheem Brooks and his Fatherhood Academy team helped his entire family—including his 11-year-old son, Mason.
Record Number of LaGuardia Students Selected as Semifinalists for the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarships
Eight LaGuardia students have been selected as semifinalists for the national Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship—the largest transfer scholarship for community college students in the country. This highly competitive program provides stand-out community college students with up to $40,000 per year toward the completion of a bachelor's degree. This year, 406 national semi-finalists were selected from about 1,500 applicants from 398 community colleges across the US. Winners will be announced later next month. Big shout-out to the LaGuardia faculty and staff who supported our outstanding students through the rigorous application process.
Socially Distanced Study Hall Opens for Spring Semester
All across CUNY the current Spring Semester is again online. While for the most part faculty, staff, and students have adapted to the technological challenges of remote learning, there are still some hurdles, especially for students that don’t have a quiet place at home to study. To address this need we recently converted the Poolside Café and three computer labs into socially-distanced study halls. Students can reserve three-hour sessions at individual workstations. Of course, they must follow all Covid-19 safety measures, including masks, social distancing, and temperature checks. And, sorry, no socializing or hanging out.