Queens College Skyline, view of Manhattan
Discimus ut serviamus: We learn so that we may serve.
QView #113 | November 9, 2021
What’s News
Above (from left): New York City Council Member James Gennaro, Chief Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Officer Jennifer Jarvis, President of the Pomonok Residents Association Tamika Williams, and President Frank H. Wu.
Last month, President Frank H. Wu initiated a meeting with residents at Pomonok Houses, right across Kissena Boulevard, to help the college and neighbors become better allies. The president, who was joined by college officials, described the community outreach as “the first step to paving the path” going forward.

From left: Deepti Sharma, Chief Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Officer Jennifer Jarvis, Patrick Pinchinat, Kenny Cohen, and Director of Housing and Residential Life at The Summit Apartments Sean Pierce
Tarana Burke (seen in top photo) is the author of Unbound and You Are Your Best Thing.
still of President Frank H. Wu
President Frank H. Wu introduced the event.
#MeToo founder, activist, author, and motivator Tarana Burke interacted with a live audience over Zoom on Wednesday, November 3, in an event presented through QC Africana Studies Community Conversations Join the Dialogue Series. It was organized by Director Natanya Duncan. Students served as moderators.
Education Professor Emeritus Maurice Lohman will hit the century mark on November 14. Lohman, a World War II veteran who has just survived COVID, was a faculty member at City College before moving to QC, where he taught from 1963 to 1986. The entire college community wishes him a happy and healthy hundredth birthday.
Demetria McCain, principal deputy assistant secretary in the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity—part of the Department of U.S. Housing and Urban Development—gave a lecture on the federal Fair Housing Act to James Vacca’s Urban Studies class on November 5. An alumna of Brooklyn College and New York University, McCain earned her JD at Howard University School of Law, where her professors included President Frank H. Wu.
Knights at the Movies

What To Know About Athletics” is the final video in the return to campus series produced by the Office of Communications and Marketing, in collaboration with student and faculty leaders and the Department of Drama, Theater and Dance. “What To Know About Athletics” was organized with the assistance of Director of Athletics Robert Twible and his administrative team and spotlights the return of teams and sports activities on campus.
Queer Cinema Screens Transmilitary

In honor of Veterans Day, Queer Cinema at Queens will hold a screening of Transmilitary—a documentary about four troops who came out as transgender during their service in the armed forces—on Monday, November 15, at 6 pm. The film will be shown in Rosenthal 230, followed by a discussion with guests Ashton Stewart, manager of SAGEVets, and Benjamin Pomerance, deputy director for program development for the New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs; the entire event will be streamed simultaneously over Zoom. Registration is required: tinyurl.com/TRANStroops.

In-person tickets are limited to the first 50 fully vaccinated Queens College students, faculty, and staff; masks are required and seating will be distanced. In-person viewers are invited to a pre-screening reception in the Rosenthal 230 corridor.

Queer Cinema at QC is made possible through the generous support of the New York City Council through the Office of Daniel Dromm (District 25), the Office of Speaker Corey Johnson, and LaGuardia Community College.

This film screening is co-sponsored by Veterans Support Services at Queens College, the Queens College Office of Student Development and Leadership, NYC Veterans on Campus, the NYC Department of Veterans Affairs, the Queens College Libraries, the Summit at Queens College, Queens College Student Association, the CUNY Office of Student Inclusion Initiatives, CUNY Law School, the Women and Gender Studies Program at Queens College, the Queens College Gender, Love and Sexuality Alliance/GLASA, the Queens College Arts Club, Queens College Student Association, and the Queens College Division of Student Affairs.

Queens College is a proud member of the CUNY LGBTQI+ Consortium.
Turning the Tables on Hunger Returns

The semester’s first stop by Turning the Tables on Hunger—the mobile program run by the Knights Table Food Pantry—will take place in Jamaica this Friday, November 12, from 12 noon to 2 pm, at 168th Street between 88th and 89th Avenues. This location is near the M and F subway lines at the Hillside Avenue and 169th Street station.

Matriculated students at QC and other CUNY campuses are eligible for food; advance registration https://bit.ly/QCKnightsMobilePantry-Nov12 is required. Students must wear a mask and adhere to social distancing when making pickups. For additional information, please contact [email protected].

The Knights Table Food Pantry is sponsored by a generous grant from the Carrol and Milton Petrie Foundation.
Jerima DeWese Appointed Chief Diversity Officer and Dean of Diversity

After a national search, Jerima DeWese has been named QC’s first chief diversity officer (CDO) and dean of diversity, effective November 15. DeWese will partner with the president and campus constituents in spearheading efforts to establish diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence as core values throughout the college community. The college created the role of CDO and dean of diversity at the senior leadership level, supplementing the duties of the existing Title IX compliance officer, to enrich its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). 

DeWese previously served as the chief diversity and affirmative action officer, Title IX coordinator, and ADA Section 504 compliance officer at Purchase College of the State University of New York, where she oversaw the school’s Office of Diversity and Compliance and its Multicultural Center. At Purchase, she created and implemented a DEI Call to Action Plan comprising nine points to symbolize the nine minutes-long assault resulting in George Floyd’s death; secured grant funding for campus faculty diversification efforts; conceived, implemented, and oversaw campus-wide Title IV, VI, VII, IX and Section 504/ADA compliance laws, requirements, trainings, instructional programs and activities; implemented and facilitated campus-wide anti-bias training for all college stakeholders; secured and maintained Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) designation for the college; and chaired the college’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan committee.

“Jerima DeWese brings extensive experience from both the public and private higher education sectors to the position and will provide essential leadership to help us advance diversity, equity, and inclusion as prominently envisioned in our new Strategic Plan. It gives me great pleasure to welcome her home to the college,” said President Frank H. Wu, who announced the appointment last week in his State of the College address.

Returning Home 

”As a New Yorker, a product of the City University of New York system and a Queens College alumna, I am truly honored to be given this opportunity to serve as chief diversity officer/dean of diversity of Queens College,” said DeWese. “I am so looking forward to the fulfilling experience to collaborate and partner with the entire Queens College community (students, faculty, and staff) to (as stated in the Queens College mission statement) ‘prepare all students to serve as innovative leaders in a diverse world that they make more equitable and inclusive.’” 

DeWese holds an MA in Urban Affairs/Public Management from Queens College, CUNY; a BS in Public Administration/Human Resources Administration from Baruch College, CUNY; and an AAS in Business Management/Human Resources Management from the Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY. She is a doctoral candidate at Northwestern University specializing in Educational and Organizational Leadership.
Makal Voted as ECC Women’s Tennis Player of the Year; Two Others Named to All-ECC Second Team

Queens College women’s tennis player Maja Makal, a junior, was selected as the East Coast Conference Player of the Year and two other Knights, Gabriela Sciarrotta and Nathalie Ulander, were named to the All-ECC Second Team. The postseason awards were voted on by each school’s coach and were announced last week by the ECC.

Makal was named the Preseason Player of the Year in August and those predictions came true, as she had a dominant 2021 fall season. She posted a 5-2 record at #1 singles (which pairs her against the opposing team’s top player each match) and a perfect 8-0 record in #1 doubles play, partnered with either Sciarrotta or Ulander.

Sciarotta held a 7-1 record playing at #2 or #3 singles and a 6-1 mark across all three flights of doubles, while Ulander finished the season with a 4-1 record at #2 singles and a 6-1 record split between #1 and #2 doubles.

The Knights wrapped up the fall season with a loss in the ECC Championship match on October 30, but will return to action next semester for the Spring 2022 season.
QC Alum Chris Rosa To Lead Viscardi Center

Effective January 1, 2022, CUNY Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Inclusion Initiatives Chris Rosa, a QC alumnus, has been appointed president and CEO of the Viscardi Center, a network of nonprofit organizations providing a lifespan of services that educate, employ, and empower children and adult with disabilities. Rosa will also serve as president of the Henry Viscardi School and Abilities, Inc.

“In our search for the next president and CEO, we were fortunate to meet with and interview an extremely well-qualified pool of candidates,” said Russ Cusick, chair of Viscardi’s board of directors. “A collaborative and visionary leader, Dr. Chris Rosa brings exemplary experience in education, non-profit and advocacy. He will continue the legacy of Dr. Henry Viscardi, Jr. and lead the organizations to new heights. We are delighted to welcome him to this paramount position and are prepared to support him in this leadership role.”

The Legacy Continues 

“The Viscardi Center has always loomed large in the formation of my disability rights consciousness and identity,” said Rosa, who has limb-girdle muscular dystrophy and has used a wheelchair since he was 12. “The prospect of serving as the leader of this historic organization is, at once, humbling and thrilling!”

In his current CUNY title, which he has held since 2019, Rosa designed and led programs that promote access, equity, and inclusion for thousands of students who have historically under-participated in higher education—such as students with disabilities, student veterans, LGBTQI students, and undocumented students. He previously served the university as interim vice chancellor for Student Affairs and assistant dean for Student Affairs.

Rosa joined the CUNY Office of Student Affairs in July 2004 after 11 years at his alma mater. During that time, he served Queens College in multiple capacities: director of services for Students with Disabilities, director of Student Support Services, 504/ADA compliance officer, affirmative action officer, and student disciplinary officer. He also collaborated with the New York City Department of Education’s District 75 to create its Inclusive Higher Education Program.

A published disability studies scholar, Rosa was a faculty member for CUNY’s Master’s Program in Disability Studies as well as the co-executive officer of the Society for Disability Studies, the international professional association for disability studies scholars. He is a staunch advocate for economic justice for people with disabilities.
College Has a Fulbright Future

In recognition of Queens College’s engagement with the Fulbright program over the past two years, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs named QC to its inaugural cohort of 35 Fulbright Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) Leaders. The classification was announced on October 27, during the annual conference of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). 

City College of New York, Hunter College, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, LaGuardia Community College, Lehman College, and the CUNY Graduate Center are also among the inaugural cohort, giving CUNY more participating campuses than any university system in the nation. (To be eligible for HSI status, schools must have an enrollment of undergraduate full-time equivalent students that is at least 25 percent Hispanic students at the end of the award year immediately preceding the date of application.)

“This important new partnership between HACU and the U.S. State Department will build on the Fulbright U.S. Student Program’s long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion by expanding the representation of HSIs in the program,” said Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, past chair of HACU’s board of governors. “As an institution that has built a long, proud record of service to Latinos in higher education, CUNY embraces its leading presence among the first cohort of Fulbright HSI Leaders and we encourage other HSIs to engage with the program.”
Safety Is Top Priority at The Summit

With COVID 19 still a major factor in our lives, the people who spend the most time on the Queens College campus, the residents of The Summit Apartments, have perhaps the most reason to be concerned about safety protocols.
Reassuringly, Sean Pierce, director of Housing and Residential Life at The Summit Apartments, says, “Our residents’ health is our top priority. That is why we’ve instituted some basic rules and procedures to help protect the residential community.”

As outlined by Pierce, those rules and procedures are:

  • Per CUNY policy: Prior to moving into The Summit Apartments, all residents must be fully vaccinated, which is defined as 14 days after the final dose of a 2-dose regimen (Pfizer or Moderna) or the 1-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Proof of vaccination must be uploaded into the student’s CUNYfirst profile and be approved by Health Services before the individual can move in. Then, when students enter campus, they simply present their QCard to Public Safety officers at the entrance to verify vaccination status. 
  • COVID-19 testing is ongoing. CUNY and Queens College reserve the right to conduct random testing of residential students as deemed necessary. All residents must comply, if selected, in order to continue living on campus. Any student exhibiting symptoms or who tests positive receives our full support and is provided a secure room in our COVID-19 isolation area for the 10 days of their incubation period.
  • Our staff performs regular cleaning and sanitizing of all common hallways and lounges. 
  • Masks are required to be worn throughout the building except when in your own apartment. Masks are also required on campus in all buildings. Students are strongly encouraged to practice social distancing.

“Through these precautions,” says Pierce, “we maintain the health of our residential community.” 
Extending QC’s Global Reach

An already diverse college is attracting overseas students with the help of the Navitas Global Student Success Program (GSSP). In 2019, QC became the first college in New York State to sign an agreement with Navitas, which partners with universities to increase international students’ access to higher education and prepare them for future achievements.

Today, nearly 40 students from a dozen countries are on our campus through this program. Southern and South Eastern Asian nations are well represented; the college hopes to increase the number of students from Africa and South America. With the return to in-person classes, applications for spring are running 120 percent ahead of the figure for this time last year.
20/20 Vision

Periodically, QView publishes or links to the work of faculty or staff members. The views expressed are those of the author. In the following excerpt from Quarantine Chronicles of a Composer, an essay collection to be published on Vision Edition, UK, 2022, Sunny Knable (ACSM) explores the pandemic experience.
Permit me to put on my rose-colored glasses. In my view, if there is anything good to come out of 2020, it is that I can see clearly now. Johnny Nash would add, “I can see all obstacles in my way.” Pre-pandemic “problems” seem laughable now; plans for the future, a fairy tale. Priorities, upside down. How about yours? At least we have clarity, if not much predictability. This modern life of quarantine—fearing your neighbor, spending time with your pod and hanging on to work by an invisible thread in the sky—can be stressful, challenging and fracturing to the life we had built before this. After five years as a college professor, I feel a fatherly kinship with those Freshmen-turned-Seniors who have had to endure this period. This was supposed to be their time to learn, mature and accomplish. Read more >>>
Heard Around the Virtual Campus
Mara Einstein
Carole King
Stephen Pekar
Natalya Balnova (Art) had illustrations in a special 125th Anniversary edition of the New York Times Book Review . . . . Mara Einstein (Media Studies) was quoted in a Marketplace article about the Coca-Cola Company . . . . Miles Grier (English) presented a lecture, Stigma Before the Dead Metaphor: Premodern Race, Slavery, and Marking, on October 28 at Queen Mary University of London . . . . George Hendrey (SEES) was interviewed by the Associated Press for the video “Climate Change: Why Major Storms Hit More Often.” The story was internationally reported . . . . Carole King, a QC alumna, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an artist. In 1990, King and her ex-husband, Gerry Goffin, an alum, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as songwriters. They met on campus . . . . Markos Papadatos, a QC alumnus, was named “Journalist of the Year” by the Hellenic News of America and the Hermes Expo. Papadatos thanked Queens College and The Knight News in his acceptance speech at the ceremony, which took place at the Grand Marquis in Old Bridge, New Jersey . . . . Stephen Pekar (SEES) was interviewed by Spectrum NY1 News about climate change and urban flooding . . . . John Waldman (Biology), interviewed by QC alumnus Barry Mitchell, talked about the invasion of giant goldfish on “Simply Science,” broadcast by CUNY TV on November 3 . . . . President Frank H. Wu was named to the NCAA Division II Presidents Council, where he will represent Region 1.
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