News from LaGuardia Community College
Happy New Year! Glad 2020 is behind us. Next, let’s put Covid behind us. In the meantime, there is a lot going on (virtually, of course) at LaGuardia. We are taking what we have learned about online learning and student support and making plans for the future. And while there are still plenty of unknowns about precisely when and how we will return to campus later this year, one thing is certainthe LaGuardia spirit of innovation, fueled by rigorous assessment and a passion for problem-solving, will put us at the vanguard when it comes to post-Covid solutions for our students and the Queens communities we serve. Too much to capture in this short, monthly newsletter, but the pieces below make a pretty good sampler. Thanks for your support. Email me at

Best wishes,
Kenneth Adams
Celebrating LGBTQ Visual Arts in New York City
A new year means it’s time for a new calendar, and ours is LGBTQ Visual Arts in New York City published by the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives. Inspiration was drawn from the Archives' LGBTQ Collection, which explores the struggle for LGBTQ equality in New York, with a special emphasis on Queens. Visual AIDS and Queer|Art|Mentorship provided valuable input on the calendar. Funding for the calendar made possible thanks to NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Councilmember Daniel Dromm. Amazing artwork, photos, graphics, along with historic references, make you wish a year had more than twelve months.

Partnering with Bard Graduate Center to Expand Arts Education for LaGuardia Students
LaGuardia students have access to valuable opportunities to deepen their visual arts education and gain professional development in the arts. Our ongoing collaboration with Bard Graduate Center has resulted in a student-curated exhibition, Connecting Threads, about the unique stories contained in our clothing and fashion choices. And through a new arts education internship, LaGuardia students attend Bard faculty-led training seminars preparing them to lead tours of the Bard Graduate Center Gallery exhibition Majolica Mania. Congratulations to LaGuardia students Jessica Toomey and Xiuquin Zhu on being the first-ever Bard-LaGuardia arts education interns!

Powerful Student Advocacy Leads to Flexible Grading Policy Change Throughout CUNY
Effective advocacy from LaGuardia’s Student Government Association and CUNY’s University Student Senate resulted in an extension for the Fall Semester of the credit/no credit option at LaGuardia and across CUNY. I spoke recently with four students that led the effort: Annette Gonzalez, Governor of Political Awareness; Mary Rodriguez, Student Government President; Aleksandr Davydov, Student Government Parliamentarian; and Justin Rodriguez, Chair of the Senate Committee of Students. I commend these students for their leadership and cooperation with others across CUNY. They quickly drafted a persuasive SGA resolution that advanced an important policy change to address students’ needs during these challenging times.

Sunil B. Gupta Joining as Vice President of Adult and Continuing Education
Sunil B. Gupta will bring 25 years of higher education experience to LaGuardia when he becomes our Vice President of Adult and Continuing Education on February 8, 2021. He joins LaGuardia from Borough of Manhattan Community College, where he served as Dean of the Center of Adult Continuing Education and Workforce Development. In this role, he oversaw training programs for 10,000+ adult students and managed more than $18.2 million in workforce training grants. Sunil has received worthy recognition for his efforts in developing innovative career pathways in health care and in specialized information technology-based programs.

Mother-Daughter Professors Joni Schwartz and Rebecca Schwartz Co-Author New Book on Transracial Adoption
LaGuardia Community College mother-daughter professors Joni Schwartz and Rebecca Schwartz have co-authored a new book, Learning to Disclose: A Journey of Transracial Adoption, exploring their relationship and identities. Haitian-born Rebecca was adopted by Joni in 1990. Both are Humanities faculty. Their book offers first-person accounts from both women as they contemplate their memories and experiences while reflecting on race, white privilege and the controversies that now surround transracial and international adoptions.

From Peer Tutor to High School Teacher
Students often come to LaGuardia for a second chance—students like Tommy Pinedo of Elmhurst. Unsure of what he wanted to study in college, he got a maintenance job but seeing the professionals there made him want to go back to school. Tommy started at LaGuardia in a health major, but found a passion for teaching after tutoring his peers. He has now completed his associate degree and will continue his studies at Queens College as a secondary education major. LaGuardia is also a family affair for Tommy, his mother Ofelia Pinedo ('96, computer science) and sister-in-law Sally Cruz (current early childhood education major) are LaGuardians.

Warren Buffett Gets his Batteries Charged by LaGuardia’s 10,000 Small Business Program
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett recently spoke on CNBC’s Squawk Box about his involvement with the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses since it first launched at LaGuardia Community College in 2010. Now serving its 40th cohort at LaGuardia, the program helps entrepreneurs grow their businesses and in turn, create jobs and economic opportunity, by providing access to business education, capital and technical assistance.

Opportunities for our Students to Learn from Industry Leaders
AIG’s General Counsel Lucy Fato recently shared her personal story as the daughter of immigrants who moved to the U.S. with little money and no English, eager to make a better life, with students in LaGuardia’s President’s Society. Lucy encouraged students to seek out allies and allow themselves to be inspired by people they meet—especially those who encourage them to try new career opportunities. Thank you to LaGuardia Foundation Board Chair Suzie Scanlon, Esq. for facilitating Lucy’s visit with our students!