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Discimus ut serviamus: We learn so that we may serve.

QView #134 | September 13, 2022

What’s News

Members of the Queens College community and invited guests gathered on Cooperman Plaza on Friday, September 9, to mark the 21st anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Jennifer Jarvis, the Newman Center’s Father Jeremy Canna, New York State Assembly Member Nily Rozic, New York City Council Member James Gennaro, and Student Association Vice President Reveena Ramotar spoke during the ceremony, which was livestreamed on YouTube. As always, the bells in Chaney-Goodman-Schwerner Clocktower tolled at 8:46 and 9:03 am to mark the minutes when the World Trade Center towers were struck.

Father Canna, VP Jarvis

Assembly Member Rozic

City Council Member Gennaro

Student Assocation VP Ramotar

The ceremony concluded with Enzo Cetti, an Aaron Copland School of Music student, performing “Taps” on the trumpet.

Kith Re-fashions College Apparel

Casual wear designer Kith, in collaboration with Russell Athletic, Golden Bear, and New Era, gave QC apparel a new brand makeover. The collection, which was nearly sold out at press time, includes sweatshirts, tees, varsity jackets, and hats bearing reinterpreted college crests, logos, and club emblems. (A similar line was created for Brooklyn College.) 

Jerry Seinfeld ’76 is among the QC students and alumni modeling the updated old-school look for social media. In conjunction with the collection’s release, Kith’s nonprofit organization, the Kinnect Foundation, is awarding a $25,000 grant to each college to support scholarships. Colleges will also receive a portion of sales revenues.

Standing (from left): Njehan Phillip, Yuval Akiva. Sitting (from left): Abrham Shimelis, Michael Amrami, Jessica Ng

If you prefer QC’s own collegiate apparel, rest assured that the standard items remain available at the Queens College store.

Bloomberg, a QC employer partner, hosted fun, games, and networking on the Quad on Monday, September 12. Students had the opportunity to learn about internships and career opportunities at the global conglomerate and talk to alumni who work for it. 

Breakfast with Slackman

Networking and a presentation by financial executive David Slackman ’70, a longtime banking executive and most recently a consultant to the chairman of Republic Bank, are on the menu tomorrow—Wednesday, September 14, 8:30-10 am—at QC’s first Business Breakfast of the semester. All students are welcome. The event, taking place at the Q-Side Lounge, is free; reserve seats in advance.

Achieving Digital Fame

Sometimes it seems as though everyone has a podcast. If you haven’t created one yet, don’t worry. The Tech Incubator at Queens College is holding a workshop, Start a Podcast in 30 Days; classes begin tomorrow—September 14, 7-8 pm, and continue on Mondays and Wednesdays for four weeks. To learn more about the course and/or enroll, click here. For a complete listing of programs offered by the incubator, click here.

Media Studies Major Makes Headlines

Holden Velasco, a Media Studies major who is sports editor and webmaster for The Knight News, won a slot in the inaugural class of the New York Times Corps. Launched this year, the Times Corps is a journalism talent-pipeline program for U.S.-based college students from underrepresented groups, including students of color and/or students from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Twenty people were selected from hundreds of applicants from across the country. Velasco, who will be paired with New York Times Sports Editor Randy Archibald, was the only winner from New York State, and one of just two students chosen from the entire Northeast region.

Throughout the duration of their undergraduate education, Times Corps members will receive one-on-one mentorship and attend presentations, trainings, and other activities. Students who complete the program after being active in it for at least two years will also receive an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City, where they will tour the Times newsroom and meet Times journalists in person. (Perhaps Velasco can be reimbursed for taking mass transit into midtown.) Upon graduation, top-performing corps members may be considered for The New York Times Fellowship, an immersive, yearlong work program.

Processing Barbara Rosenthal’s Archives

During summer session, a small cohort of GSLIS students in the archives certificate track got hands-on experience by processing the papers of Barbara Rosenthal ’75. (In fall 2021, as reported in QView 111, QC acquired the archive of the influential cross-media artist in a combined sale and donation facilitated by a generous patron.) Rosenthal’s donated work and materials served as the basis for all practical coursework. Under the supervision of instructor Caitlin Colban-Waldron and in collaboration with repository staff, students completed processing work on specific sections of the larger collection, including creation of a finding aid—a tool that helps users find information. Appropriately, the practicum was held in the Charles J. Tanenbaum Room, funded by the Pine Tree Foundation of New York for use as a special collections classroom. 

Knights logo

Knights Men’s Soccer Team Looking Good on New Soccer Pitch

The Queens College men’s soccer team has gotten off to a great start to the 2022 season, as they boast a 4-2 record after three weeks.

After dropping their season opener to Franklin Pierce University on August 25, the Knights have won four of their last five matches, with three of those victories coming at home on QC’s newly renovated turf field. Queens earned victories against Bentley College (Aug. 27) and Chestnut Hill College (Aug. 31), winning both games by the score of 2-1. They followed with a convincing 4-1 victory at home against Jefferson University on September 7.

This past weekend, the Knights began East Coast Conference (ECC) play on the road against D’Youville College and won 1-0, thanks to a second-half goal from David Oprea. Oprea (2 goals, 1 assist), Adolfo Martinez Paquet (3 goals, 1 assist), and Leo Pinto (2 goals, 2 assists) have been the Knights’ leading scorers this season.

This week, the Knights travel to New Haven, CT, for a non-conference match at Southern Connecticut State University at 7 pm before returning home for an ECC match with Daemen University on Saturday at 3:30 pm. Live stats and video are available for all games at queensknights.com.

Noteworthy Career

The Harlem Chamber Players (HCP) fielded its largest ensemble to date—four soloists, a 75-member choir, a 62-piece orchestra, and a 28-person dance troupe—to present R. Nathaniel Dett’s oratorio The Ordering of Moses to a packed Riverside Church on Friday, June 17. The New York Times praised the singing of soprano Brandie Sutton, mezzo-soprano Krysty Swann, tenor Chauncey Packer, and baritone Kenneth Overton. Despite all the talent on display, the concert, held during Juneteenth weekend, had a welcoming atmosphere, reported the paper. “The only thing stuffy about the evening was the weather outside.”

That’s the goal, says Liz Player ’08, HCP’s founder, executive director, and artistic director. “I love creating communities and opportunities for people to perform.”

A self-described “Army brat,” Player lived in multiple places, including Japan and Korea, until she was in third grade, when her family settled in New Jersey. At age 11, emulating her best friend, she took up clarinet and joined the school band. Soon music was more than a hobby. “I started checking out albums at the library,” Player recalls. “I bought albums at the record store—Beethoven, Shostakovich. I joined a youth orchestra.”

Never Too Late To Face the Music

Nonetheless, she didn’t pursue a degree in performance. “My parents did not want me to be a broke musician,” Player says. “At Rutgers College in New Brunswick, I studied something practical—computer science—and hated it the whole time.” Upon graduating, she became a programmer analyst. Eight years later, still working in that field, she moved to New York City with the goal of resuming clarinet lessons. She studied with David Glazer, who urged her to enroll in a college-level music program.

“I knew some people attending Queens College,” Player explains. “I heard that Queens was friendly to older students going back to study music.” A visit to campus confirmed that impression; she applied to the Aaron Copland School of Music and was accepted.

“QC opened up a whole new world for me,” she says, citing faculty such as celebrated oboist and chamber music coach Ronald Roseman and Queens College Orchestra conductor Maurice Peress. “Getting a chance to perform Claude Debussy’s Première Rhapsodie with the Queens College Orchestra was a highlight of my life.” She thrived academically, too. “Morey Ritt recommended me for a Mellon Minority Fellowship,” Player continues. “It gave me an opportunity to do research on tonal versus atonal music for ACSM faculty member Joseph Strauss.” Making Dean’s List every semester, she completed all the requirements for a bachelor’s in music by 1999, apart from the mandatory physical education courses. Finishing those later, she received her diploma.

Temping, Teaching, Teaming 

A musical career proved elusive. “My love was chamber music, but there’s no work,” Player explains. While working at the New York Stock Exchange and then temping, she taught, freelanced, and founded a woodwind quintet, the West Harlem Winds. In collaboration with violist Charles Dalton, she started and played in Music at St. Mary’s, a four-concert summer series at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, a historic West Harlem congregation. With the departure of Dalton in 2010, she teamed up with fellow clarinetist Carl Jackson, an East Harlem native. Renaming their project the Harlem Chamber Players, they expanded programming, in the process building audiences for classical music and creating outlets for classically trained musicians of color. 

In the ensuing years, HCP has performed at significant New York City venues—the Apollo Theater, the Cotton Club, and all three stages at Carnegie Hall—and as far afield as the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The organization’s work is sustained by a mixture of public funding, arts partnerships, corporate grants, and individual donors, such as Player’s parents, who resigned themselves to her career choice. (Her mother even provided catering after some events, preparing sushi, cellophane noodles with vegetables, fried chicken, and potato salad—dishes reflecting the family’s Korean and African American heritage.)

For years, Player in effect held two jobs, overseeing HCP while doing something else to support herself. From 2016 through last spring, she was employed at the Ford Foundation, most recently as a grants manager; she enjoyed the position, but had to give it up. “I got so busy I couldn’t keep up with both,” she admits. “It’s lots of responsibility.” But she didn’t sacrifice a steady paycheck to join the ranks of broke musicians. A grant the Baisley Powell Elebash Fund awarded HCP for capacity building—foundation talk for work, apart from programming, that strengthens an organization—includes a salary for Player, proof that it’s possible to pursue a path you love and eventually get paid for it.

Heard Around Campus

Professor Emerita Thelma Adair (EECE) has surpassed the century mark: She celebrated her 102nd birthday on August 29. In addition to teaching at QC, Adair became an ordained elder for the Mount Morris Ascension Presbyterian Church of New York City in Harlem. She is the first African American female elected as a moderator for a general assembly of the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (UPCUSA) . . . . Sarah Barlow-Ochshorn, a GSLIS student, made a presentation at the annual American Library Association Conference in June 2022 on the panel, Verify but Trust: Re-assessing Best Practices for Security in Special Collections Environments . . . . Fred Gardaphé (English, Italian American Studies) will appear on the CUNY TV show “Italics” tonight—Tuesday, September 13, the 50th anniversary of The Godfather—to discuss new perspectives on Italian American Studies. The episode airs at 9:30 pm and will be repeated this week on Wednesday at 10:30 am and 4:30 pm, Saturday at 7:30 am, and Sunday 6:30 pm . . . . Tara Helfman ’99, formerly an associate counsel in the Trump administration, is now clerking for Supreme Court Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch . . . . Keena Lipsitz (Political Science) was quoted in a Philadelphia Inquirer story about Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano . . . . Beatriz Carolina Peña (Spanish) came away with prizes in three categories at the 24th International Latino Book Awards, held on Los Angeles August 12-13. Peña’s 26 años de esclavitud: Juan Miranda y otros “negros españoles” en la Nueva York colonial won a gold medal for Best Academic Themed Book, College Level and silver medals for both the Victor Villaseñor Best Latino Focused NonFiction Book Award – Spanish or Bilingual, and Best Biography – Spanish or Bilingual . . . . Patricia Reguyal ’21 MLS started a one-year practicum internship at the Conservation Lab at the Frick Art Reference Library Archives over the summer. She is getting training in paper-conservation work, such as paper cleaning, paper repair, and encapsulation and binding . . . . Niklas Sivelöv, a Swedish pianist and composer, is performing solo recitals at Flushing Town Hall tonight—Tuesday, September 23—at 7:30 pm and on the following afternoon at LeFrak Concert Hall at 12:15 pm. The program includes works by Bach, Beethoven, Scriabin, Smaldone, and Sivelöv himself . . . . The Calandra Institute and Tulane University’s School of Liberal Arts will present a symposium, The Italian Immigrant Experience: Between Black and White, on September 23-24, featuring scholars who have studied the Italian-American and the Black experiences in New Orleans as well as in the United States at large. Joseph Sciorra and Anthony Tamburri (Calandra), and Frank Wu will be among the speakers. To attend virtually, register here.

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