Saludos - April 2019
This is the time of the year when our annual Queens College Strategic Planning Retreat takes place and this year was no exception. On March 21 and 22, the retreat was held at the Douglaston Residence to take stock of the college’s 2018-19 goals, initiatives, and priorities— all of which can be found at  2018-2019 Strategic Plan Priorities . With great emphasis on maintaining our momentum in enhancing student success, the focus continued to be on supporting faculty and staff excellence, weaving campus, community and global connections, and strengthening operational capacity and infrastructure. The presentations on targeted initiatives and action plan activities sharpened the focus as progress reports were presented and “to do“ lists were refined. This was one part of an ongoing year-round process of review and discussion with faculty, staff, and students through the various offices, councils, and committees that work on implementation of the strategic planning goals. We are also continually engaged with follow-up on our successful Middle States Association Re-Accreditation and CUNY’s Performance Management Program processes.
Special thanks to consultant Anna Pond; Odalys Diaz-Pineiro, Glenda Grace, and Cheryl Littman; all those who prepared presentations and logistical arrangements, and all of the college participants. I have asked all members of the President’s Cabinet to engage in related consultation and reflection processes in their divisions, so that we can capture most campus voices. I have much appreciated working with smart, generous and committed colleagues who deeply care about Queens College and strive every day to make it better.
After the retreat, I attended a meeting of the TIAA Hispanic Advisory Council, which focuses on the financial health of the Hispanic community.
While there I had the pleasure of working with Roger Ferguson, president and CEO of TIAA-CREF and Waded Cruzado, president of Montana State University . . .
as well as Mildred Garcia, president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.
As chair of the Board of Directors of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), I recently joined HACU President and CEO Antonio Flores (to my right) and members of the governing board at the Capitol Forum Conference in Washington, DC.
Recently, The Knight News published an interview with me. I much appreciated speaking to reporter Jacob Lobosco and discussing initiatives under way at Queens College. I was also visited by NY1 Noticias, which came to the college to interview me. While touring the campus, we stopped by a table in the Dining Hall where QC students were raising funds for the TeletonUSA Foundation, so I joined the photo op.
One of our seniors has been making headlines of his own. Communications major and SEEK student Enoch Jemmott drew on his experiences to write a compelling op-ed, “ The Implicit Punishment of Daring to Go to College When Poor, ” published by the New York Times  on Thursday, March 28. A new documentary, Personal Statement , tells the story of Enoch and two other Brooklyn teens who coped with significant challenges while applying to college and—as peer college counselors in their respective high schools—helping classmates work through the process themselves. We hope to screen Personal Statement  on campus in the Benjamin Rosenthal Library.
A newsworthy event will take place in FitzGerald Gymnasium tomorrow—Wednesday, April 3—at noon, when the men’s basketball team will hold a draft day ceremony for its latest (and youngest) recruit: Evan May, a 14-year-old Bayside resident who is battling leukemia. The Knights met Evan through Team IMPACT, a Boston-based national nonprofit that connects children facing serious or chronic illnesses to college sports teams. Evan will attend basketball practices, games, team dinners, and other events, and the Knights will serve as his support team. I’m rooting for all of them.
In another notable development, senior Charusmita Madan—founder of the QC club, Women in Tech—and her team will launch a four-day, city-wide tech festival on Thursday, April 4. The festival covers themes such as health care and women in STEM, and includes panels, networking, a hackathon, and a talent showcase. Events take place on this campus and in Manhattan. For complete details, visit .
I’d also like to alert everyone to the annual Performing and Visual Arts Career and Internship Fair, which will be held next Monday, April 8, from 12:15 pm to 2:30 pm in the Atrium of the Music Building. Students will be able to talk to representatives from organizations ranging from our own Kupferberg Center to Lincoln Center, the Museum of Modern Art, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and Roundabout Theatre Company.
From my office in Kiely Hall, I see hints of warmer weather in the budding trees. I hope everyone enjoys spring, the upcoming holidays, and the rest of this rapidly waning semester.