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

QView #160 | September 19, 2023

What’s News

Over lunch on September 12, Senior Planning Analyst William Lee (center), who leads the Asian Pacific Alliance at Con Edison, discussed the company’s long-standing support for the Con Edison STEM Education Program at QC. This initiative helps support increased diversity and graduates in STEM fields, including green energy and environmental science.

Kirsten Beck (CMAL) and Chuixiang Yi (SEES), seen here flanking President Frank H. Wu, joined him for coffee on Tuesday, September 12, to talk about projects they pursued on Fulbright fellowships.

Whatever the interest, QC probably has an organization devoted to it. Students had the chance to explore many extracurricular options on Club Day, which filled the Quad on September 13.

Meet the Firms, a panel discussion followed by networking, brought employers to the Student Union Underground at free hour on Wednesday, September 13. Some two dozen employers participated in the event, presented by the Center for Career Engagement and Internships; the center's director, Zavi Gunn, is speaking in the photo at right.

Presidents of schools belonging to the East Coast Conference—a Division II athletic conference affiliated with the NCAA—came to campus Thursday, September 14, for their annual meeting. Most of the members are, like QC, located in New York State.

From left: St. Thomas Aquinas College President Kenneth D. Daly; Molloy College President James Lentini; Mercy University President Susan L. Parish; Roberts Wesleyan University and Northeastern Seminary President Rupert A. Hayles, Jr.; Queens College President Frank H. Wu; D'Youville University President Lorrie Clemo; University of the District of Columbia Chief of Staff and Senior Vice President Kelly McMurray; East Coast Conference Commissioner Robert Dranoff; College of Staten Island President Timothy Lynch.

Addressing the first Academic Senate meeting of the semester, President Frank H. Wu talked about new faculty hires, enrollment and retention, projects to improve campus facilities and technology, governmental and cultural gains, student affairs initiatives, and other topics.

Bishop Robert Brennan of the Brooklyn Catholic Diocese celebrated mass on campus September 18 and met members of the college community.

President Wu visited the Caribbean and Taiwanese tables inside the Student Union and sampled new beverages and food.

Men’s Soccer Wins Two Matches; Women’s Tennis Makes Run in ITA Tournament

After a slow start to the 2023 season, the Queens College men’s soccer team got back on track last week, winning two matches. The Knights defeated Southern Connecticut State University last Wednesday by a score of 2-1 and then began East Coast Conference (ECC) play on Saturday with a 1-0 triumph over Daemen University.

Sophomore Harry Cooke scored both goals in the win over Southern Connecticut, while freshman Andrew Johnson headed in a shot in the 60th minute for the game’s only goal against Daemen. Goalie Juan Cruz Ladino made five saves in net for his first clean sheet of the season.

The women’s tennis team opened up the 2023 season competing in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) East Regional tournament held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Competing against some of the top players in the region, the Knights’ Eva Rivoal advanced all the way to the quarterfinal round. She won three matches and knocked off two ranked opponents before being ousted in the quarterfinals by sixth-ranked Jessica Purdy of Wilmington College. QC’s doubles team of Maja Makal and Saga Berggren reached the quarterfinal round as well, but ultimately fell to a team from Adelphi University.

Coming up this week, women’s soccer hosts Southern New Hampshire University today—Tuesday—at 4 pm and Mercy College on Saturday at 5 pm. Men’s soccer will visit Holy Family University on Wednesday at 7 pm before returning home to face Mercy on Saturday at 7:30 pm. Women’s tennis will travel to St. Thomas Aquinas College on Saturday at noon, while men’s tennis will compete at the Wagner Clay Court Invitational on Friday and Saturday. Lastly, women’s volleyball will host Daemen on Saturday at noon.

For the latest athletics news, visit https://queensknights.com/

U.S. News Names QC a Best College

Queens College figures prominently in the 2024 Best College rankings just issued by U.S. News & World Report. Among Regional Universities North, QC tied with Brooklyn College for seventh place in Social Mobility, came in 16th among Top Public Schools, and tied with St. Peter’s University in Jersey City for 19th in Best Colleges for Veterans. To see the complete report on QC, click here. 

QC branded

QC and Kith Partner for a Second Collection of Exclusive Lower Price Branded Wear

Fashion and lifestyle brand Kith has partnered with Queens College once again to create a second collection of custom apparel, made exclusively for QC students.

Last year, Kith released its first line of its QC-branded collection, which was famously modeled by Queens alum Jerry Seinfeld. Due to overwhelming demand, Kith just released a co-branded crewneck and tee that showcase Queens College-inspired artwork and were produced in partnership with Champion. To access this new exclusive collection and begin shopping, students need to download the Kith app, create a profile using their QC email address, and navigate to the Kith Discover Tab and the Kith for CUNY 2023 collection. Students will also receive an email from Kith with instructions. For any questions, please reach out to Kith customer service: [email protected].

Additionally, Queens College will be giving away some items from the line on the QC Instagram page: @queenscollegeofficial. Be sure to follow the account and look for posts detailing how to win. 

Kith Helps Create Sewing Lab on Campus; Funds Internships for QC Students

Meanwhile, the college is still seeing the benefits from its first collaboration with Kith. 

Last year, as part of the partnership with Queens College, Kith generously gave the college a $25,000 grant through its Kinnect Foundation—a nonprofit organization dedicated to uplifting underserved youth and providing them with access to education and career opportunitiesto renovate Rathaus Hall, Room 201 into a sewing lab. The classroom is being outfitted with new furniture and upgraded electrical hardware to support seven new industry-standard sewing machines and two new serger machines. 

As shown on QC’s YouTube page, the state-of-the-art Juki sewing machines were recently installed in the sewing lab in the latest phase of the project. Emily Ripley (Drama, Theatre, and Dance), director of the newly minted Fashion and Design program, is thrilled about the upgrades.

“The students had been using home sewing machines that were decades old. But now they are getting industry standard equipment,” explained Ripley. “Juki is the gold standard for professional-grade sewing machines. They are MUCH faster than home sewing machines and really powerful.”

Tables, cabinets, and chairs will be added next. The sewing room is expected to debut Spring 2024.

“We’re super grateful to Kith,” Ripley said. “I also think the collections Kith is creating in collaboration with the college and featuring the QC’s historic insignia is just marvelous.”

As part of the grant, Kith is sponsoring internships for QC students in the fashion industry or related fields during the Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 semesters. Students working in unpaid internships can apply for a stipend of $2,500 to help with living expenses. Students who are interested can apply here. The deadline is October 16, 2023.

“Some of these scholarships are for external internships but also for students who work internally with me with the Queens College fashion and textiles collection,” added Ripley. “They are getting hands-on work that is usually reserved for graduate students. My students help with a whole range of responsibilities: curatorial duties, photography, research, talks, exhibitions, and more. Our program really prepares them for a wide range of jobs, both in the industry and in the field of archives and museum work.”

¡Feliz Mes de la Herencia Hispana!

Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS) has organized a series of events for Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 through October 15. 

Programming begins on Wednesday, September 20, from 12:15 to 1:30 pm in the Patio Room with a screening of Translators, a short film about three Hispanic children who are the only English speakers in their respective families. Discussion and Q&A will follow, moderated by Sara Hinojos (Media Studies). To attend, register here.

The next Wednesday, September 27, a Hispanic Heritage Month Alumni Professionals Forum will take place from 6 to 7:30 pm in the Q-Side Lounge. The event, co-organized by the Office of Alumni Relations, the Office of Student Development and Leadership, and ALAS, will include an empanadas reception with kosher-friendly options. To reserve a seat, click Here.

Alejandro Quintanaan assistant professor of history at St. John’s University, will speak about Latin American national identities in the shadow of the conquest and independence wars on Monday, October 2, from 12:15 to 1:30 pm in the Q-Side Lounge. Jorge Alves (Political Science) will moderate. Register here.

¡Orgullo! Queer. Latinx. Proud, a panel discussion of Queer and Latinx identity, will be held on Thursday, October 5, from 6 to 8 pm in the Muyskens Conference Room of the Summit Apartments. Panelists will include Chanel Lopez, deputy director for LGBTQ+ Affairs in the office of Governor Kathy Hochul; Liaam Winslet, executive director of Colectivo Intercultural TRANSgrediendo; Jorge Velez, assistant director of the Queens College First Year Experience; and Alejandro Gutierrez ’23, former Queens College Crear Futuros mentor. Estefanie Lliguichuzca (Office of Compliance and Diversity) will moderate. The first 50 in-person attendees at this event, organized by JC Carlson (LGBTQIAA+ Programs at Queens College and the CUNY LGBTQIA+ Consortium), the Office of Compliance and Diversity, and LALS, will receive a free copy of Wild Tongues Can’t Be Tamed: 15 Voices from the Latinx Diaspora. The discussion will be followed by a Q&A session and an empanada social. Registration is required.

The LALS Open House on Wednesday, October 11, from 12:15 to 1:30 in Kissena Hall 308, will give everyone a chance to learn about LALS majors and minors and meet faculty and students. Pizza and salad will be served. Register here.

The Hispanic Heritage Month schedule will conclude on October 16, from 12:15 to 1:30 pm at a location to be determined with a faculty panel on immigration waves. The panel is organized by the Department of Political Science and LALS.

A Fleeting Look at QC

If you could reduce the campus experience to a single brochure, the results would resemble QC at a Glance, a photo-filled booklet about the academic opportunities, student activities, and people who make the college such a remarkable place. The latest version of QC at a Glance is now available in digital format. Take a look.

Pyong Gap Min Has Had a Long and Distinguished Career at QC

“Immigration and assimilation have changed American society,” observes Pyong Gap Min, CUNY Distinguished Professor of Sociology. Min has had a similar impact on Queens College. The first faculty member to focus on Koreans and Korean Americans, he founded the Research Center for Korean Community (RCKC), which promotes research on Korean Americans and disseminates its data and information to the QC and Korean communities, as well as the Korean government. On a more personal note, in anticipation of his retirement in 2024, he established a scholarship in his name for a sociology student experiencing financial or family difficulties.

Min understands these issues all too well. He grew up in a rural Korean area where people had lots of children, losing many of them before they reached adulthood. “My parents had seven children; I was the only survivor,” he says. “My mother died when I was eight. My father was a farmer who had only three to four months of education.”

Money Matters

To attend high school, Min moved to Seoul. “I had no money,” he recalls. He slept in an unheated room, walked to school instead of taking a bus, and skipped lunch, which the school didn’t supply. “While the other kids were eating, I walked around campus.” The reward for his discipline: “I was accepted into the best university in Korea.”

At Seoul National University, Min earned a bachelor’s degree in history, supporting himself by tutoring high school students from rich families in English, in preparation for their college admission tests. He spent six months as a general reporter with the Korea Herald, an English-language newspaper, and two years teaching English in high schools and private academies before deciding to go back to school himself. “I wanted to be a scholar,” he says. “I liked to study.” Weighing options in the United States, he applied to the institution with the lowest tuition--Georgia State University—and was admitted.

In Atlanta, Min juggled minimum wage jobs and graduate school, earning a master’s degree in history and a PhD in educational philosophy. Unable to land a job, he completed a second PhD in sociology, becoming an instructor and a research associate at Georgia State. A tenure track position proved elusive. “The job market for sociology was terrible,” he notes. “I submitted more than 100 applications.” His sociology doctorate came from a brand-new program at Georgia State, which left him at a competitive disadvantage.

On the suggestion of a sympathetic committee member, Min applied for a National Science Foundation grant. In 1986, the NSF awarded him $78,000 to research “Some Positive Functions of Ethnic Business for an Immigrant Community: Korean Immigrants in Los Angeles,” a project that strengthened his curriculum vitae. When QC’s sociology department opened a search for an expert on the Korean and Korean American community, Min was among the five candidates interviewed. “He was very active, had two PhDs and an NSF grant,” reports Andrew Beveridge, sociology professor emeritus. “It was a no-brainer to hire him.”

Appointed an assistant professor in 1987 at age 45—“late,” Min says—he advanced quickly. Within nine years, he was promoted to full professor; he established the RCKC, serving as its director, in 2009. The following year CUNY named him a distinguished professor. “Assembling his materials, it was plain that Min's work was recognized as seminal by a dozen international recognized scholars in Asian and Migration Studies who reviewed his work,” comments Beveridge.

Flushing Find 

“I feel very lucky,” says Min. “Queens College has been the best of places for me. I enjoy conducting research on Asian Americans and there’s a large Asian community in Flushing, which serves as a natural laboratory.” Exploring topics such as immigrant entrepreneurship, religious and ethnic identity, and redress for Korean “comfort women” enslaved in Japanese military brothels, he has written seven books, edited or co-edited 15 more, and released a steady stream of chapters, journal articles, and book reviews.

Not surprisingly, Min has accumulated honors and distinctions, including fellowships, book awards, a second NSF grant, and recognition from the New York City Comptroller’s Office for his tremendous contributions to the city. In 2012 he was the first Asian American to receive the Distinguished Career Award from the International Migration Section of the American Sociological Association. Five years later, the government of Korea gave him the Presidential Award. He was recently nominated for membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

For Min, retirement represents just another phase in a remarkable career. “I cannot stop doing research,” he declares. He gets up at six in the morning, goes to the park, and regularly plays tennis. “You have to continue your work to be healthy, and you have to keep healthy to be able to contribute.” He hopes he’ll be succeeded at the RCKC by another immigrant Korean sociologist, whom he can assist by getting grants, collecting donations, and inviting visiting scholars from Korea. His next book will tackle a subject he knows intimately: He plans to write his autobiography.

In Memoriam

Kenneth Abrams

Kenneth Abrams, former member of the English faculty at Queens College, died on August 25. He was 94.

Born and raised in Paterson, New Jersey, Abrams devoted his entire career to public New York institutions. After teaching at QC and SUNY Stony Brook, he became part of the team that founded Empire State College in Saratoga in 1971. He stayed there for 35 years, retiring as Empire’s dean for international programs.

Abrams was remembered for his love of horse racing, Wordsworth, animals, food and wine, students, colleagues, friends, and relatives, and his dedication to progressive education and social justice causes. He is survived by Madeline, his wife of 68 years; their three children; and five grandchildren.

H. Barbara Weinberg

Art History Professor Emerita H. Barbara Weinberg, who held a joint appointment at Queens College and the CUNY Graduate Center, passed away on August 25. She was 81.

Weinberg was born, raised, and educated in New York: She held a bachelor’s degree from Barnard and a master’s degree and doctorate from Columbia. Specializing in American paintings, she joined the faculty of QC in the early 1970s and that of the Graduate Center a few years later. Retiring from CUNY in the 1990s, she became a curator at the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Colleagues recalled her as a prolific author, gifted lecturer, and nurturing mentor.

Predeceased by her husband, Weinberg is survived by her sister, nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and -nephew.

Hanacho Atako ’53

Prince Job Hanacho Atako, a social worker and manager in agencies affiliated with New York City’s Department of Social Services, died on August 22. He was 94.

Born to a royal family in Diobu, Port Harcourt, Nigeria, Atako immigrated to the United States in 1948 to pursue his education. After graduating from QC, where he excelled in soccer, he earned master’s degrees from New York University and Columbia University. He spent 30 years in social services; at his retirement in 1994, he was deputy director of protective services for adults in the New York City Human Resources Administration.

Atako was predeceased by his wife, Beulah Mae Bellamy. He is survived by two sons, two daughters, three stepdaughters, several sons- and daughters-in-law, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his extended family in the United States, England, and Nigeria, as well as the Ikwerre community of greater New York.

Heard Around Campus

Delaram Kahrobaei (Computer Science, Mathematics) quoted by Newsweek in “How AI and Quantum Computing Are Challenging the Security of Our Digital Future” . . . . Raymond Paretzky ’83 received a Lifetime Achievement Award on September 12 at the annual reception and award ceremony for the Belle Zeller Scholarship Fund. A former Belle Zeller Scholar and the first CUNY student to receive a Rhodes Scholarship, Paretzky is a partner at the law firm of McDermott, Will & Emery. QC student Sumaya Kabir was awarded a Belle Zeller Scholarship and was congratulated by President Wu for her academic achievements and commitment to social justice. The evening's honorees included New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, and former CUNY Senior Vice Chancellor for Budget and Finance Matthew Sapienza as well as notable former Professional Staff Congress officers . . . .

From left: President Frank H. Wu, Belle Zeller Scholar Sumaya Kabir, attorney, honoree and former Belle Zelle Scholar Raymond Paretzky, and his wife Karen.

Caroline Rupprecht (Comparative Literature) presented a lecture, “From ‘Ostjuden’ to East Germany: Jewish ‘scripture’ in Anna Seghers’s GDR novel Die Entscheidung,” at the conference “Muslim Intellectuals, Jewish Intellectuals & the Co-Writing of Europe” funded by Humboldt Universität, Berlin, and Max Weber Institute, Heidelberg, held September 1-3, in Granada, Spain . . . .

Holden Velasco, editor-in-chief of The Knight News, is credited as a contributing reporter for a New York Times story about anti-immigrant protests in Staten Island. Velasco (with President Wu in photo at left) is doing the 4+1 program with the CUNY Newmark School of Journalism; through that program, the New York Times hired him as a stringer . . . . Emily Wilbourne (ACSM) has published her latest book, Voice, Slavery and Race in Seventeenth-Century Florence . . . . President Frank H. Wu was a panelist for the American Bar Foundation’s New York Fellows Hybrid Lunch Program on September 13 . . . . The college’s 9/11 commemoration is available on video (see below).

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