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

QView #161 | September 27, 2023

What’s News

From left: Interim Associate Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs Maria DeLongoria, President Frank H. Wu, Queens North High Schools Superintendent Hoa Tu, School of Education Dean Bobbie Kabuto, AVP of External and Governmental Relations Jeffrey Rosenstock

Queens North High Schools Superintendent Hoa Tu visited campus on September 18 to discuss college preparatory work and collaborations with faculty and staff. Many alumni of QC’s renowned School of Education find rewarding careers with the New York City Department of Education.

From left: Iemma; Li; Moreira; Katz; Wu; Lipsey; and Donald Perrone, professor of piano performance.

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz was honored on the evening of September 18 for her key(board) donation: She gave the Concert Grand Steinway owned by her father, David Katz, founding conductor of the Queens Symphony Orchestra, to the Aaron Copland School of Music (ACSM). The event, emceed by President Frank H. Wu, featured comments by DA Katz and ACSM Director Michael Lipsey and performances by piano students Ricky Moreira, Binghao Li, and Donovan Iemma.

From left: CUNY School of Medicine Assistant Dean Elizabeth Wilson-Anstey, School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences Dean Daniel Weinstein, President Frank H. Wu, CUNY School of Medicine Dean Carmen Green, Psychology Chair Jeff Beeler, VP for Communications and Marketing and Senior Advisor to the President Jay Hershenson, VP for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Jennifer Jarvis

Carmen Green, dean of the CUNY School of Medicine, shared lunch and meetings on campus with President Frank H. Wu and QC faculty and staff on September 19. They explored creating a new pipeline program for students. CUNY Med, the only public medical school in New York City, diversifies the pool of doctors and physician assistants.

Kim Gheewhan (center), president of the Korea Foundation, stopped by QC on September 19 to discuss academic exchanges.

From left: ELL Chair Gerasimus Katsan (Modern Greek), Svetlana Cheloukhina (Russian), Provost Patricia Price, President Frank H. Wu, Thomas Bird, VP for Communications and Marketing and Senior Advisor to the President Jay Hershenson

The Department of European Languages and Literature (ELL) offers classes in French, German, Italian, Modern Greek, and Russian. Coincidentally, the word for coffee is similar in all of them—a good reason for President Frank H. Wu to break for caffeination with ELL faculty on September 19. Among the professoriate in attendance was Associate Professor Emeritus Thomas E. Bird, who led the Slavic Department and Russian Program during his 51-year tenure at QC.

President Frank H. Wu spoke on September 19 at Governing NYC, a course taught by former New York City Council Member James Vacca.

Jerusalem-born Palestinian scholar and peace activist Mohammed S. Dajani Daoudi received the college’s Excellence in Leadership Award from President Frank H. Wu on September 20. In a presentation before a full house of students, faculty, and staff, Dajani described the path that led him to give up militancy and pursue reconciliation. He was fired from his academic position at Al-Quds University after bringing 27 Palestinian students to visit Auschwitz, the infamous death camp.  Most recently, he received The International Simon Wiesenthal Prize for his civic engagement to combat antisemitism. 

Reading the Writings on the Walls

Growing up in Belfast in a family that supported Irish independence, Roseleen Walsh saw her father and brothers imprisoned and in 1973-74 was herself interned in Armagh Prison for over a year. She wrote poetry on the walls and ceiling of her cell, a habit that stuck; today, two of her living room walls are covered with her poems. Walsh is also the author of short stories and plays. On September 21, she performed Interned, a piece about her prison experience.

During the 78th United Nations General Assembly, His Excellency Nikos Christodoulides ’97, president of the Republic of Cyprus, spent most of his time in Manhattan. But the Borough of Queens was on his itinerary on September 23, when in a special ceremony at his alma mater he was given the President’s Medal by President Frank H. Wu, the college’s highest administrative honor. Representatives of the Byzantine and Greek Studies Program and it’s Advisory Board spoke about its importance and continued attractiveness to students. Faculty, staff, and student attendees were joined by a large delegation of Cyprus officials, CUNY Trustee Michael Arvanites, Staten Island Assemblyman Michael Tannousis, and former roommates of the Cyprus leader from when he took classes in political science, economics, and Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies.

President Frank H. Wu with President Nikos Christodoulides.  

CUNY Trustee Michael Arvanites with President Nikos Christodoulides 

QC Students and Alumni with His Excellency

At the Louis Armstrong Center, New York State Speaker Pro Tempore Jeffrion Aubry and Louis Armstrong House Museum Executive Director Regina Bain admired a photo in which Satchmo, on tour in Egypt, serenaded an appreciative listener and the less expressive Sphinx. The Assemblymember played a crucial role in obtaining State support for the new facility in Corona, Queens.

Federal Officials Visit QC To Mark AANAPISI Week 

On September 22, President Joseph Biden issued the first-ever presidential proclamation designating September 25-October 1 as Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander–serving Institutions (AANAPISI) Week. Four days later, Nasser Paydar, U.S. assistant secretary for Postsecondary Education—the highest-ranking federal higher education official—visited and selected Queens College to highlight the administration's efforts to strengthen AANAPISIs and support the nation’s Asian American and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities. 

AANAPISIs are defined as colleges or universities with an undergraduate enrollment that is at least 10 per cent Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander. QC, which hosts the Queens College AANAPISI Project, QCAP for short, certainly qualifies. Under the leadership of Director Carolyn Hong and Co-Director Amy Wan, members of the English faculty, the project offers students multilingual tutoring (in collaboration with the college’s writing center) and opportunities for experiential learning through internships with local Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations. For faculty, QCAP provides access to workshops designed to strengthen understanding of local AAPI histories and issues and encourage development of AAPI–focused course content.

Paydar toured campus with Stephen Lamb, special assistant, U.S. Department of Education; Phil Kim, senior advisor, the White House; Erika Moritsugu, deputy assistant to the president and Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders senior liaison, the White House; Ting Wu, special advisor to the chief of staff for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPIs), the White House; and Erika Ninoyu, senior advisor, White House Initiative on AANHPIs. These officials met President Frank H. Wu; Carolyn Hong and Amy Wan; Yung-Yi Diana Pan, interim executive director of the Asian and Asian-American Institute (AAARI); and members of the college administration, including faculty and counselors. They discussed federal support for AANAPISIs, affordability and student retention initiatives, maintaining multiple minority-serving institution statuses, and student mental health challenges and support services. In connection with the visit, a panel of students covered topics such as belonging and inclusion, first-generation student status, English as a Second Language, and mental health.

Savoring the Night Market Selections

The Borough of Queens is celebrated for its varied cuisine and now Queens College is, too. Sabrina Castro ’25, a part-timer in the Office of Communications and Marketing, captured fellow students sampling the wares sold on campus by Anda Cafe and Taqueria Nixtamal, Queens Night Market vendors. Students’ reviews are captured in these two short videos.



Rikkonen Wins Men’s Tennis ITA Regional Championship; Women’s Soccer Tops Nationally Ranked Southern New Hampshire

Senior men’s tennis player Roni Rikkonen became the first person in program history to win the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) East Region Men’s Tennis Championship. Rikkonen won six matches over four days, knocking off some of the best players in the region to win the title. With the victory, he advances to the ITA Cup Super Bowl, which will take place in Rome, Georgia from October 12–16.

The QC women’s soccer team pulled off a big upset last week, defeating nationally ranked Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), by a score of 1-0 last Tuesday. SNHU came into the match ranked 16th in the nation in the latest coaches’ poll. Junior Julia Ragone scored the only goal in the 69th minute and Erin Kelly stopped six shots to lead the Knights to victory.

The men’s soccer team went 1-1 last week, which included a 5-3 victory over Holy Family University on Wednesday. Tommy Gunn led the Knights in the high-scoring contest, netting two goals.

The women’s volleyball team also split a pair of contests last week. On Sunday, they rallied from down two sets to defeat D’Youville College, 3-2. In the match, Kendall Conrad established a new career high for kills with 20 to go along with 16 digs and two blocks.

Meanwhile, the men’s and women’s cross country teams returned to action after a two-week layoff and had a nice showing at the Mount Saint Mary College Invite. The women’s team placed third out of 15 teams and the men’s team was fourth out of 19 teams. Rachel Mow finished third overall to lead the women’s team while Daniel DeGregori was sixth to lead the men’s team.

In current week action, women’s soccer hosted Goldey-Beacom College on September 26 at 7 pm (results not available at press time) and will visit the College of Staten Island (CSI) on Saturday at 11 am. Men’s soccer will host Dominican University today—Wednesday, September 27—at 7 pm and then travel to CSI on Saturday for a 2 pm kickoff. Women’s volleyball travels to St. Thomas Aquinas College today at 7 pm and the College of Saint Rose on Friday at 4 pm before returning home on Saturday to take on Mercy College at 12 pm. Cross country will compete at the Queensborough Invitational on Sunday at 10 am.

For the latest Knights’ news, be sure to visit https://queensknights.com.

Omari Miller Reaches the Summit

The Summit Apartments has a new assistant director of residence life: Omari Miller.

An experienced higher educational professional specializing in residence life services, Miller has worked in this area at SUNY Delhi, Mary Baldwin University, and Stony Brook University. He takes pride in providing students with opportunities to thrive through community engagement, programming, and holistic support. He looks forward to assisting with making on-campus housing a destination for incoming and returning students at Queens College.

How To Teach Hebrew

Seven years ago, World Language Education at Queens College added to its undergraduate, post-bac, and graduate options by launching a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Critical Languages, the only such program in the United States. As might be expected in the polyglot Borough of Queens, where estimates for the number of languages spoken by residents start at 130, the MAT keeps expanding. Through the program, teacher certification is now available in a dozen of the languages deemed to have particular value for national security: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Russian, and Urdu.

In January 2024, through a generous grant from the Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life and in collaboration with the Brandeis University Consortium for the Teaching of Hebrew Language and Culture, QC will begin offering its 13th MAT in Critical Languages—in modern Hebrew, the national language of Israel.

Number Matters

Thirteen is a favorable number in Jewish culture. For starters, it’s the age when a boy becomes a bar mitzvah (girls can become bat mitzvahs as early as 12). By some accounts, Israel’s founders named 13 members to its first provisional government, to enhance their luck. There’s no question that 13 is proving auspicious for QC. The Steinhardt grant will fund scholarships, adjuncts for specific courses in Hebrew language and culture, guest lectures, and related programs. “We are thrilled to support Queens College in this work,” says Rabbi David Gedzelman, president and CEO of the foundation. “We are excited to partner with an institution that looks at teaching languages the way we do.”

For learners who spent years drilling the grammar of a foreign language without developing the ability or confidence to use it, the methods of World Language Education—a unit within the School of Education’s Department of Secondary Education and Youth Services (SEYS)—would represent welcome change.

As explained in this video, World Language Education prepares teachers to stress practical skills that would come in handy overseas or, Queens being Queens, closer to home. “We emphasize intercultural competence and language proficiency that learners can use right away in the community, at college, at work, and in the world,” says Jennifer Eddy, the program’s director. World Language Education graduates are so effective that, as previously reported in QView, districts accept its candidates as interns even if they haven’t quite completed the program.

It was only natural for QC to become part of the Consortium for the Teaching of Hebrew Language and Culture, which gets some of its funding from Steinhardt and advances principles similar to those of World Language Education. One challenge to overcome in the United States is that classes in modern Hebrew are often led by native speakers—say, Israelis who happen to be living here—whether or not they have pedagogical backgrounds.

Language Literacy

“There’s a big difference between language learning and language acquisition,” observes Vardit Ringvald, the consortium’s director. “For retention, teacher training is key.” Consequently, the consortium, which originally comprised Brandeis and Middlebury College and now, in addition to QC, also includes Universidad Hebraica in Mexico City, seeks to professionalize Hebrew instruction. Demand already exceeds supply in the New York metro area and beyond. Growing numbers of public schools, charter schools, Jewish day schools, and yeshivas are in the market for credentialed Hebrew teachers.

“We always need Hebrew teachers,” says Valerie Khaytina, chief external officer of Hebrew Public, which oversees a network of five managed charter schools and six affiliates across the country, reaching children of all backgrounds. “We look everywhere for native or near-native speakers with American classroom management experience. Having that [MAT] training will help them be successful.”

Ringvald and Eddy, whose professional circles overlap, began discussing the Hebrew MAT before the pandemic. “When I conceived of this program, I couldn’t think of any institution better suited to it than QC,” says Eddy, citing the college’s supportive community and excellent Hebrew language and Jewish studies faculty, and the track record of World Language Education. “We needed to do this.”

Steinhardt Support

Rabbi Gedzelman, who collaborated with David Gerwin (SEYS) on Hebrew language charter schools, is equally enthusiastic. “We have a good relationship with the School of Education. World Languages Education has a great model for creating a community of teacher-scholars of all backgrounds learning to teach languages.”

“QC is proud to partner with the Steinhardt Foundation in meeting an urgent need for professionally trained and certified Hebrew language teachers, including coursework on modern Hebrew culture and expression,” says Gerwin.

Many world language teachers end up in schools where they lead one-person departments. Like the MATs in other languages, QC’s 39-credit, post-baccalaureate program in modern Hebrew will prepare people to design as well as teach K-12 curriculum. Upon completing the first 24 credits, candidates receive initial certification, which allows them to start working in the classroom. To earn the MAT and become eligible for professional certification, they have to finish the remaining 15 graduate credits.

Career changers are encouraged to apply to the program. “Whether it’s five years or 20 years after they graduated, we welcome them with open arms,” Eddy says. A degree in Hebrew is not required; neither is previous teaching experience. Instead, applicants will be asked to demonstrate their language skills through an oral interview and a writing proficiency test administered by Language Testing International.

For more information about the MAT in Critical Languages Education in Hebrew, contact Jennifer Eddy [email protected].

Paying Tribute to Vietnam Veterans

Viewers looking closely at the wall

Members of the Queens College community are invited to attend a ceremony to honor Vietnam Veterans tomorrow—Thursday, September 28—from 5 to 7 pm in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Appropriately, the event will be held at the Wall that Heals, the three-quarters size traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC. Speakers will include members of the New York City Vietnam veteran community, elected and appointed officials, and representatives of veteran service organizations.

The Wall that Heals will stand in the field on the southwest side of the World Ice Arena, 131-05 Meridian Road, from September 28 through October 1.

Going the Distance with the President

The next Monday Mile with President Wu will take place on Monday, October 2. All are welcome to put on their walking shoes and gather at 12 noon at the World War II Memorial flagpole—behind Jefferson Hall—to join the president for a few laps around the Quad. Monday Mile is presented by the Office of Student Development and Leadership.

Godwin-Ternbach Presents Ubuhle Women: Beadwork and the Art of Independence

A traditional South African craft gets vibrant contemporary expression in Ubuhle Women: Beadwork and the Art of Independence, a group show opening at the Godwin-Ternbach Museum on October 4.

Ubuhle, developed more than two decades ago by a community of women in rural KwaZulu-Natal, represents a new direction in indigenous beadwork. Artists affix colored glass beads to plain black fabric that has been stretched taut, like a canvas. Pieces can take up to 10 months to complete; the resulting images, whether abstract or figurative, have a distinctive, shimmering quality. Making and selling ubuhle—which means “beauty” in Xhosa and Zulu—has given these artists income and a route to financial independence. 

Ubuhle Women will run through January 11, 2024

Foods, Fashions, Furnishings and Friendship

During the summer of 1973, a group of QC students visited six European countries on an educational tour, “Foods, Fashions and Furnishings,” sponsored by Scholastic International and led by Helen Volkman ’66, MSED ’71 (Home Economics). The participants, who formed lifelong friendships, collaborated with Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library staff to archive their memorabilia and create a digital exhibit.

Through the virtual series At Home with Queens College, Annie Tummino (Special Collections and Archives) will present vintage historical materials from the exhibit and collection on Thursday, October 12, at 4 pm over Zoom. Elaine Kris Ludman ’67, who began her 40-year tenure as a Home Economics faculty member in 1968, will discuss the evolution of the Home Economics and Family, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences (FNES) programs over the years. To attend, register here.

This event, sponsored by the Office of Institutional Advancement, is dedicated to the memory of Volkman, who passed away in May 2022 at the age of 96. A nontraditional student, she enrolled at QC in 1961, earned her BA in Home Economics with departmental honors in 1966, and joined the faculty as a full-time lecturer the following year. She went on to complete an MSEd from QC in 1971 and a doctorate in education from Columbia Teachers College in 1980.

Volkman stepped down from her position in 1991, returning as an adjunct in 1992. She remained employed at QC until 2005. Predeceased by her husband Jerome and her daughter Carol, she is survived by her son Robert, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren

Study Abroad This Winter

Students looking for a change of scenery during winter session can spend 3 weeks at a campus somewhere else and earn 3 credits. In 2024, Winter Study Abroad programs will be held in Australia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, South Korea, and Spain. Don’t be left out in the cold! The application deadline is Friday, October 27, 2023.

Above and right: Students explored their options at the Study Abroad Fair on September 20.

QC To Host BMI Conference

The 18th Annual CUNY Black Male Initiative (BMI) Conference will be held at Queens College on Friday, October 6, from 9 am to 4 pm. President Wu will speak during the plenary portion of the program. Afternoon breakout sessions will explore topics ranging from financial literacy, franchising, and doing business in New York City and State to career prospects for undocumented students. Karl Mitchell (Economics) will moderate the panel on Overcoming Challenges as a Black Entrepreneur from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm; participants include Reginald Wills ’22, co-founder of Collabiversity, which won the network round of the national Blackstone LaunchPad Business Ideas Competition, under the category of Social and Climate Impact (see QView 150). This year, for the first time, the conference will also include the CUNY BMI Career and Internship Fair, organized in collaboration with the Queens College Office of Career Engagement and Internships.

To attend the conference, reserve seats at The 18th Annual CUNY BMI Conference Registration (whova.com).

In Memoriam

Barbara Lane

Art Professor Emerita Barbara Lane, longtime chair of the Art Department at Queens College, passed away earlier this month.

A scholar of Early Netherlandish, Northern Renaissance, and Medieval art, Lane earned her doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania in 1970. She taught at the University of Maryland and at Rutgers University before joining the CUNY faculty in 1979. In 2000 was elected to the faculty of The Graduate Center, where she served for several years on the executive committee of the Program in Art History.

Renowned for her work on Hans Memling—she wrote Hans Memling, Master Painter in Fifteenth-Century Bruges—Lane was also the author of The Altar and the Altarpiece: Sacramental Themes in Early Netherlandish Painting (1984), and a wealth of articles. She published essays in Oud Holland and Simiolus, including the seminal “Sacred vs. profane in early Netherlandish painting,” and The Art Bulletin. She regularly spoke at conferences and symposia, and chaired four sessions at the College Art Association’s annual meetings.

Lane was a beloved mentor to students and junior colleagues. She is survived by her husband, Joseph M. Lane, her daughters Debra Everett-Lane and Jennifer Lane, and three grandsons. 

Frederick Wolfe ’58

Frederick Wolfe, a rheumatologist celebrated for his work in identifying fibromyalgia—a chronic disorder that causes musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and other issues—died on September 5. He was 87.

After graduating from Queens College, Wolfe earned a medical degree from the State University of New York and served two years in the U.S. Air Force. Settling in Kansas, he established the Wichita Arthritis Center and became a clinical professor of internal medicine at the University of Kansas, Lawrence. Computerizing medical records before that was common, he collected data from his clinic and others for research purposes; he’s credited as the lead or co-author of hundreds of peer-reviewed papers. In 1987, he brought together 20 rheumatologists to define the group of symptoms that would become known as fibromyalgia. He would continue studying the condition for the rest of his life.

Wolfe enjoyed amateur radio, gardening, cooking, and bicycling, repeatedly crossing his home state with Bicycling Across Kansas.

He is survived by his wife, three children from his first marriage, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren

Heard Around Campus

John Kotowski, QC alumnus—seen here receiving a certification of appreciation from New York City Council Member Eric Dinowitz, chair of the Higher Education Committee—recently retired from his position as CUNY director of City and Community Relations. Kotowski spent a total of 37 years working for CUNY, including his service as director of Governmental Relations at LaGuardia Community College . . . . Nerve Macaspac (GSLIS) and Lara Saguisag of New York University launched Here Lies Love in Critical Context: A Public Syllabus. Compiled in response to the Broadway show Here Lies Love, the syllabus delves into the complex and painful history of the Philippines under the Marcos dictatorship . . . .

Gail Marquis ’80 was among this year’s four recipients of the Joe Lapchick Character Award on September 21 at the New York Athletic Club. Named after Original Celtic turned coach Joe Lapchick, the award recognizes those who demonstrated honorable character throughout their basketball careers . . . . President Frank H. Wu was a speaker and honoree at the AAPI Next Gen Trailblazers Gala held on September 13 by the Serica Initiative, a New York-based nonprofit that advocates for greater Asian American inclusion and strives for positive social impact in U.S.-China relations. Wu will appear on the Power Players in Education list, to be published online on PoliticsNY.com and in print in amNY Metro on October 2 . . . . Exceeding previous benchmarks, the Queens College Foundation issued more than $3.9 million in scholarships and awards to 3,457 students in fiscal 2023. These figures don’t include Athletics, which has its own funding.

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