Banner featuring Guttman 10-year anniversary logo, "Press from the Prez" title and Dr. Johnson headshot

A Message from the President

Dear Friends & Supporters: 

Thank you for your continued support of Guttman Community College! As we opened the month of November, we celebrated Native American Heritage Month and the contributions of indigenous people and announced key renovations to the College campus. 

The Office of Student Life invited Barbara “Bluejay” Michalski to provide a lecture on the Lenape tribe. The lecture provided access for participants to engage in discourse around the myriad contributions of the tribe in the New York region. Students peppered the speaker with questions about the jewelry, literature, and other artifacts that define the Lenape’s existence. 

We were also fortunate to begin renovations of Guttman South (the main site for academic program delivery). The updates to the 6th floor will include adding six (6) new classrooms to the college footprint. Rooms will feature modern technologies to include the home of the inaugural IT Institute. With the new renovations, we are poised to continue growth and expansion of academic programs.

I am thankful for YOU for the unwavering support of the Guttman faculty, staff, students, and senior leadership. The responsibility of educating tomorrow’s leaders is a collective responsibility, and we are a better Guttman because of YOU. As poet laureate, Maya Angelou, once asserted: “Thank you, always say thank you; it’s the greatest gift you can give someone...” 

In thanks and appreciation, 

Dr. Larry D. Johnson, Jr.

President Adds Perspective

Leadership Summit Speaker  

Dr. Larry Johnson was invited to the 2023 Annual Leadership Summit at Mount Saint Vincent College in Riverdale on Nov. 9 to lead a discussion on how leadership begins with a call to service.

Guttman “Kinnects” with Kith through Scholar Program

On Nov. 15 Dr. Johnson welcomed members of the Kinnect Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Kith lifestyle fashion retail brand. The meeting centered around establishing a partnership to support Kinnect Scholars, students who explore their career passions while gaining hands-on fashion industry experience by working in Kith’s retail stores, headquarters and alongside their mentors. Kinnect Foundation’s mentorship program directly connects scholars with Kith’s internal staff, providing insight into potential career paths from fashion design to operations. Kinnect Scholars participate in College & Career Skills Workshops and have the opportunity to apply for Bridge College Scholarships.

A Closer Look

Preparing and Partnering Starts Now With CCPP  

Infusing the academic curriculum with career education and workplace exposure has been a core component of Guttman’s experiential education model since the College was founded over a decade ago. Today, the College’s Center for Career Preparation and Partnerships (CCPP) is innovating to ensure students of every major have the critical thinking and industry-specific tools they need for greater options and agility in the ever-changing world of work.

On Nov. 9, CCPP collaborated with Women of GRIT to host a LinkedIn workshop. Students created and enhanced their professional profiles, thanks to free headshots taken by Guttman’s student Media Club. Participants gained insights and actionable tips on the potential of networking for their future success. Additionally, students selected some brand-new complimentary professional attire to further empower their career journeys. Networking was again the focus of CCPP’s "Cookies, Cider, and Careers" event on Nov. 16, organized by Tasreen Rahman, Internship Coordinator. Combining cookie decorating, hot cider, and career exploration turned out to be a fun and informal way for students to mingle with guest panelists in technology, film, banking, and nonprofits, many of whom are Guttman and CUNY alumni.

The new Information Technology Internship Program Orientation launched on Nov. 14 with the help of CCPP’s Internship Manager, Shaina Davis. Actively participating in career readiness sessions, prospective graduates prepare for their upcoming internships. Noteworthy partner organizations from past collaborations that have provided invaluable opportunities for our IT interns include Phipps Houses, NYC Department of Youth and Community Development, Coexist Gaming, Progress Tech Solutions, and others. 

On Wednesday, Nov. 15, CCPP partnered with Guttman’s Immigrant Success Initiative to host “Professional Development Opportunities for Undoc Students.” Two John Jay Alum presented to Guttman staff and students and shared valuable insight on how to seek out paid work experience opportunities as an undocumented student, build their own brand, network to create a community, and more. By providing examples from their personal experiences, they helped students feel less alone and more empowered to start or strengthen their own professional development journeys.

Counting on Success: Guttman Does The Math 

While national pundits wring their hands over low math scores, Guttman math faculty do what they’ve always done: roll up their sleeves and get to work. Math instruction at Guttman has always utilized the brain-based and culturally-informed science of learning math, an approach backed by decades of research and evidence.   

Led by Math Program Coordinator Dr. Forest Fisher, Guttman math professors are using current student assessment data and studying data of the last ten years to design the appropriate interventions to solidify students’ basic skills and confidence in numeracy in Bridge and across their First Year Experience coursework. They work to increase students’ quantitative literacy in specific academic programs of study through college algebra, statistics and calculus.  

Guttman is a leader in CUNY’s first-year gateway math course completion, according to the University’s annual cross-system performance metrics. As part of the First-Year Experience program, students enroll in a math course aligned with their interests and educational goals during their first semester. “These courses will include embedded advising and tutoring,” said Dr. Shadi Ghaderi, Mathematics FYE Coordinator. 

“One of our five Guttman Learning Outcomes is Integrative Knowledge, which includes bolstering mathematical skills across disciplines, said Dr. Vivian Lim, Math Across the Curriculum (MAC) Coordinator. Two of Guttman's foundational courses for first-year students, AMST103: Introduction to Social Justice and AMST 203: Civic Engagement in a Global Society, engage students with both quantitative and qualitative approaches to examining issues of injustice and civic engagement. Each FYE instructional team has a mathematics area representative who supports their team in developing best practices for integrating relevant mathematics and key quantitative skills into students’ courses. Dr. Ghaderi provides ongoing professional development to the mathematics area reps targeted to specific quantitative-focused learning outcomes.  

Math strives to be ubiquitous around Guttman, creating and normalizing a sort of “math culture.” In addition to 24/7 tutoring, math opportunities abound on the College’s monthly calendar for all students to plug into weekly workshops and drop-in sessions offered by the Academic Success Center or to stop by the open Office Hours of math professor, Dr. Rebecca Walker, who publishes her weekly availability for any student on campus needing math support. Several Math faculty regularly employ mindfulness techniques within their classes, a practice introduced by Dr. Tashana Samuel who conducts research on math anxiety.  

“We also have our first cohort of five MAC Spring Fellows,” said Dr. Lim. “These are faculty representing different disciplines such as English Composition, Sociology and Urban Studies, who learn how to incorporate essential math concepts and skills into engaging course projects that deliver on course objectives. A second cohort of MAC Fellows will be named in Spring 2024 to expand faculty expertise in integrating mathematics across Guttman majors.” 

For incoming students, Guttman offers Math Start, a seven-week intensive pre-college program offered during summer and winter sessions, which prepares eligible associate degree-seeking students to increase their understanding of math, prepare for college-level coursework and meet CUNY’s math proficiency milestone. Guttman aims to increase the number of committed students who can achieve proficiency in math prior to matriculation.

OAA Sets Pace for Progress 

The College’s Office of Academic Affairs (OAA), located in the Guttman North building on 42nd St., is on a roll with new initiatives derived from a close study of over ten years’ worth of student success data since the College’s founding in 2012. Flowing from “Guttman Forward 2028,” the institution’s six-year Strategic Plan, the documents drafted by Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Nicola Blake and her team align with multi-year enrollment management targets. Currently, OAA is creating a six-day student-centered and comprehensive schedule with a three-year completion goal of incrementally offering 12 houses per academic year, with nine houses in the fall and three houses in the spring. In addition to new sixth-floor classrooms, the college is maximizing space at Guttman South to include student meeting spaces and improve corridor traffic flow.

Not only do OAA’s five new documents together comprise a defining map for the strategic growth of academic departments and programs, but according to Dr. Blake, “We’ve undergirded each of our plans with careful consideration to celebrating our students' strengths and breaking down the structural barriers to their success.” Below are highlights from each of the new plans:

  • Academic Master Plan Credit for prior learning, evening and weekend courses, online degree programs, improving classroom climate with Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) principles and Culturally Relevant Pedagogical (CRP) strategies 
  • Career Innovation Hub Roadmap Credit-bearing certificate programs that align with in-demand careers, curriculum-embedded career preparation, deepened industry partnerships 
  • Assessment Plan Implement Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE) recommendations such as: greater emphasis on direct assessment of student learning, use assessment results for improving educational effectiveness, offer departments and programs ample opportunity to engage in analysis, reflection, change implementation, and impact evaluation 
  • Pre-College Plan Expand Guttman’s offering of College Now in Spring and Fall semesters for NYCPS high school students across the five boroughs to earn at least three credits in college-level coursework prior to matriculation, explore adoption of CUNY Language Immersion Program (CLIP) to support students’ English language literacy skills and LINCT to Success, a college access, transition, and success program addressing pandemic learning disruption   
  • Global Connections Plan Details yet to come!


Guttman Granted NSF


The National Science Foundation awarded the College a $197K Early-Concept Grant for Exploratory Research (EAGER). The grant will support the innovative development of the Certificate in Cybersecurity and an Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology degree in response to the sector-specific needs of Guttman’s partners at the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA). Read more.


Guttman Plays Host to Gates Foundation  

On Nov. 8 and 9, the College hosted a team from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Postsecondary Success Strategy during their New York City Learning Trip. This trip allowed the Gates team to learn how the principles of Guided Pathways and Dual Enrollment have been implemented in the educational landscape of New York City. A presentation on Guttman ‘s model, new programs and strategic plan was given by Drs. Danny Ambrose, Nicola Blake and Rosslyn Knight.

“Notes of Faith: The Interplay

of Jewish and Black Heritage”

On Nov. 16, Professor James Mellis moderated a discussion featuring Rabbi Moshe “Mickey” Shur, a civil rights activists who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, and Mayaan Zik, Brooklyn Crown Heights community organizer, activist and proud Black Jewish woman. Kosher food was available for all.

First Gen Rules! 

On Nov. 8, National College Celebration Day, Guttman acknowledged the anniversary of the signing of the Higher Education Act of 1965 with performances, alumni, faculty and staff panels, storytelling, swag and empanadas! One-third of all U.S. college students are first gen, as are 70% of all Latine college students.

“What Are You Working On?”  

A group of faculty shared their research with students on Nov. 30 in a “What Are You Working On?” informal panel moderated by Professor Ria Banerjee. Featured faculty were Dr. Marcus Allen (Political Science), Dr. Sebastien Buttet (Economics), Dr. Shadi Ghaderi (Math) and Dr. Alia Tyner (Sociology).


The Guttman community helped fill the Connect Center pantry “Giving Room” on Nov. 15 with much-needed items for students (and a few treats, too!).

Is it Tuesday? It must be Senior College tabling in November. Each week this month, students explored transfer to five or six colleges ready to answer questions.


"Off the Record" with Jaritza Ortiz, Class of ‘15


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