News from LaGuardia Community College
Haven’t you heard a lot of talk these days about pandemic-induced pivots?  A pivot to work-from-home, a new career, an EV, or a better work-life balance? So much pivoting you get dizzy.  This Fall Semester at LaGuardia has been all about pivoting back to college as it should be.  Now that most of our students are vaccinated, faculty are holding in–person classes on campus.  We had a production at LPAC (the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center) this week.  Students are studying in the Library (with masks on, of course).  Food trucks are back on Thomson Avenue.  The parking lot is filling up.  Yes, thankfully, LaGuardia is pivoting back to life.
 
For an update, check out the (20-minute) highlight reel from my Fall Report here.  Among other topics, you’ll get the latest on enrollment, student debt relief, an initiative to embrace our role as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, strengthening AAS degrees, new scholarships, and my take on the importance of the Humanities in a community college. Any questions after all that -- you can see me after class.

Best wishes,

Kenneth Adams
President
Community Colleges Key to America’s Recovery
Not that you need more convincing that community colleges are essential institutions, but if you have any skeptical friends please send them this op-ed that Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO David M. Solomon and I recently published on CNN.com.  In it we urge U.S. employers suffering from labor scarcity to turn to our nation’s community colleges, where talented, motivated students are eager for opportunities.  To accelerate partnerships between small business owners and community colleges David and I recently launched the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Fellows program, in which business owners who have completed the entrepreneurship development program, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, host community college students for 12-week, hands-on, paid internships.  LaGuardia is one of several colleges helping Goldman with the national roll-out of the program.
Culinary Program Helps Cafeteria Worker Move to Front of House, Collect More Cabbage
District Council 37, New York’s largest public employee union, dedicated a blog post to Local 372 member Patrick Marino who earned an associate degree from LaGuardia earlier this year.  Patrick was working as a cook at a public school in Staten Island when he decided to enroll at LaGuardia during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Hungry for advancement, he took advantage of a program in which Local 372 members who work for the New York City Department of Education receive tuition assistance to earn their LaGuardia associate degrees in Nutrition and Culinary Management.  An essential worker, Patrick juggled full-time work with virtual classes and his family responsibilities.  He graduated in just three semesters with a 4.0 GPA. Degree in hand, Patrick was promoted to assistant manager and got a $20,000 raise.  No more apron. Congrats, Patrick.
Telling Our Story en Español
It helps to have a reporter in the family.  LaGuardia alumnae, Estefanía Hernández, recently filed this report for NY 1 Noticias about our $15 million Tomorrow Campaign to help New York City and our students rise and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.  Estefanía stresses that campaign funds will support all LaGuardia students—regardless of immigration or citizenship status, in both degree and continuing education programs.  Our intrepid reporter corners human services major Álvaro Chavarriaga and grills him about the impact of non-tuition financial support.  Bien hecha, Estefanía, y gracias.
State Department Salutes LaGuardia
In a nod to our role as leader in promoting international student collaboration and global citizenship, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has selected LaGuardia as a 2021 Fulbright HSI LeaderSecretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona released a Joint Statement of Principles in Support of International Education, outlining benefits of international education and the need for “all Americans [...] to be equipped with global and cultural competencies.” The Fulbright HSI Leaders Initiative supports those goals, including the principle that U.S. participants in international exchanges should reflect the diversity of the United States. (We do that quite well.)  Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Academic Programs Ethan Rosenzweig added, “Thank you for creating a campus culture that celebrates the mission of Fulbright and international exchanges.  Thank you for epitomizing the principle that mutual understanding between peoples of the United States and other countries will lead to a more just and peaceful society at home.”  You’re welcome.
Food Bank for New York City Helps LaGuardia Students and their Families
Led by Rhonda Mouton, LaGuardia CARES helps students cope with financial or personal crises. Resources include our on-campus food pantry, meal vouchers, help signing up for public benefits, housing assistance, and more.  On September 29, Rhonda and I distributed food and other essentials at a curbside pop-up event in front of the C Building.  Thanks to the Food Bank for New York City, we gave out food and toiletries to over 800 people.  Rhonda and her team held a second curbside pop-up event in October, and hope to make this a monthly event.
Urban Agriculture in Full Bloom at LaGuardia
We just scored our first-ever United States Department of Agriculture grant -- a four-year $250,000 award from the Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grants Program of the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.  The funding will support the recruitment of high school students into new Urban Sustainable Agriculture and Animal Science tracks of our Environmental Science associate of science program.

Questions? Comments? Contact me at PresidentAdams@lagcc.cuny.edu.