Discimus ut serviamus: We learn so that we may serve.
What’s News
Researchers Find High Levels of Drugs in the Hudson River
In a study recently published in the online journal Water Research , scientists from Queens College, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the environmental group Riverkeeper, and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory have found the Hudson River contains 16 different pharmaceutical compounds. These include antibiotics, acetaminophen, and drugs for treating high blood pressure, high cholesterol, epilepsy, ulcers, and heartburn.
The medications are believed to enter the river after passing through human bodies into sewer systems, or when people dump unused pills down the drain. So far there is no evidence that humans are being harmed by floating pharmaceuticals, but in some areas the concentration of these compounds were at levels that might threaten aquatic life, including shrimp and mussels.
The researchers--including the members of SEES Chair Gregory O'Mullan 's lab--used Riverkeeper’s vessel to sample 72 sites along the river. They started above Troy, where the Mohawk River feeds into the Hudson, and ended off the Battery in New York Harbor, a stretch of about 155 miles. Unexpectedly, the concentrations were not highest near New York City, but rather near the sewage outfalls of a few upstate municipalities, such as Orangetown, Yonkers, and Kingston. At this time neither the EPA nor other agencies have set standards for what would be considered a safe level of pharmaceuticals in water, largely because no one is sure what levels are safe or not.
Katrina Adams, Head of the USTA, Speaks on Campus

On Wednesday, February 21, Katrina Adams came to campus to talk to students as part of the college’s celebration of Black History Month. A former tennis player and currently a commentator for the Tennis Channel and a contributor to the CBS Sports Network, Adams became the chairman of the board, CEO, and president of the United States Tennis Association in 2015, becoming the first former professional tennis player, the first  African- American, and the youngest person to serve as president in the 135-year history of the organization.
Nominations Open for Academic Senate Committees
Much of the work of the Academic Senate is done through its standing and special committees. Membership on these committees is open to all faculty. Faculty nominations are open now through Saturday, March 3, at 11:59 pm. To nominate online, click here .
Award-Winning Film Emerald City at QC March 14

The award-winning film Emerald City —said to mark “the end of an era in Irish American identity”—will make its borough debut at the college on Wednesday, March 14, at 6 pm in LeFrak Concert Hall. Mary Murphy ’81, Emmy Award-winning WPIX reporter and the daughter of Irish immigrants, will host an evening that will feature a Q&A session with Emerald City filmmaker Colin Broderick and actors from the film, as well as traditional Irish music and dance performances to raise money for the college’s Irish Studies Program. Tickets are $15 and are available here .
Another First by a Queens College Graduate

Raymond Crutchley ’95 is the first African American to be appointed as a circuit court judge in Oregon east of the Cascade Mountains. He had worked in the Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office for three years before this appointment. Crutchley was born and raised in Jamaica in a home without indoor plumbing. When he was 11, he and his single mother immigrated to New York. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years and earned his law degree from Lewis & Clark Law School in 1999.
Building Futures : Cecilia Vega Britez
Her Challenging Journey Inspires a Passion to Serve

As campus manager for the CUNY Service Corps at Queens College , Cecilia Vega Britez (BA, ’12, MA, ’17) helps students acquire valuable experience working for community service and nonprofit organizations. Applying for the CUNY Service Corps is highly competitive. Students who are selected receive 13 hours of pre-service training and monthly personal and professional training throughout their year of paid employment--a real point of difference compared to similar college-based employment programs.
Since its 2012 inception, 506 Queens College students have participated; the current (fifth) cohort numbers 124--an all-time high. Directing the logistics of interviewing every applicant who meets the basic qualifications (24 credits; enrolled full-time; 2.5 minimum GPA) is demanding enough. The Service Corps manager must also help students set goals to build specific skills, monitor their progress in one-on-one meetings, and build relationships with community partners--which all demands administrative and human relations expertise combined with a strong sense of mission.

Click here to read more.
What’s in a Building’s Name?
Razran Hall

Stark and windowless, the New Science Facility, erected in 1970, was designed to provide a controlled environment. Since 1994 that building has been known as Razran Hall, after Gregory Razran, a professor who specialized in animal behavior and chaired the psychology department for 22 years.
Summer Session is Coming

Now is the time to consider registering for summer classes at QC. Students can earn up to 15 credits and get a jump on completing their degree, or on meeting the requirements for the Excelsior Scholarship or on advancing in QC in 4--and still have time left over for a long vacation. Summer Session features:
  • over 700 undergraduate and graduate courses, including 30 online courses
  • choice of three sessions (each lasting four or six weeks)
  • affordable tuition
  • free on-campus parking 
  • inexpensive and exceptional on-campus housing
For information on schedules, courses, and tuition and to apply, visit www.qc.cuny.edu/Summer . If you have questions, contact Academic Advising at 718-997-5599.
Wow! #17
A Civil Rights Archive established at the Rosenthal Library documents the significant record of activism by Queens College students and teachers and includes the library collection of famed activist James R. Forman (r). Forman (1928–2005) was a ctive in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Black Panther Party, and the International Black Workers Congress.

To see all 80 Wows!,  click here .
QC Bookshelf
Serinity Young (CMAL) is known for her encyclopedic cross-cultural knowledge of gender in world religions, a topic she has explored through fieldwork and publications. Her most recent book takes her subject to new “heights.” In Women Who Fly: Goddesses, Witches, Mystics, and Other Airborne Females (Oxford University Press), Young questions the meaning of women imagined in flight around the world and through the ages. Whether winged, endowed with supernatural powers, or transported (as by magical horses), such women have been a perennial in world cultures for thousands of years. Young’s fascinating study draws on comparative religion, literature, the arts, and popular culture--encompassing areas as diverse as the ancient Near East and Mediterranean, India and Southeast Asia, Siberia and northern Asia, and Scandinavia and northern Europe. She interprets a wealth of examples, from winged goddesses, swan maidens, witches, succubi, angels, and fairies, to modern-day icons like Wonder Woman and twentieth-century aviatrixes. A specialist in Middle Eastern and Asian religion, Young gives special attention to flying women from Islamic, Hindu, and Buddhist traditions. In her reading, all these figures represent “a single motif or trope in the human imagination--that of women not defined by the restrictive gravity of men’s wishes or desires, but women whose ability to fly empowered them to impose conditions on men, or to escape roles they found constricting.” Their stories reveal not only their power and sexuality, but patriarchal ambivalence toward empowered women, often ending in death or a figurative clipping of their wings. Despite the continued appeal of women in flight today, Young argues, both past and present traditions have served to “disempower actual women while empowering imaginary ones. In effect, female imagery is used to conquer and control a fear of female power.”
Heard Around Campus
The Fairy Godmother Foundation of New York recently granted a wish to QC graduate student Dolly Coleman: a check to pay for her LSAT prep courses. Dolly, who is wheelchair bound, received her BA in political science from QC and is now working toward a master’s degree in history, with the goal of becoming a lawyer . . . Sharing this Walk: An Ethnography of Prison Life and the PCC in Brazil  (Univ. of North Carolina Press), translated and edited by John Collins (Anthropology), won the Best Book Prize from the American Anthropological Association’s Political and Legal Anthropology Section. Collins notes that his role in the book came about thanks to contacts he made when the college was celebrating the Year of Brazil during the 2014–15 school year
. . . CERRU Associate Director Sophia McGee is currently featured on the TIAA website as part of their celebration of “Difference Makers.” She was chosen for “bridging differences on a diverse campus.” Click here to see her profile . . . Annmarie O’Brien MS ’76 is superintendent of schools in the Northwest Arctic Borough School District, headquartered in Kotzebue, Alaska, which is far north of the Arctic Circle and reachable only by air . . .  A book by Misagh Parsa ’75,  Democracy in Iran: Why it Failed and How it Might Succeed (Harvard Univ. Press), was hailed in the Wall Street Journal as being “easily the most important work in English on the Islamic Republic since the revolution” . . . Three students in Jian Xiao ’s (Accounting) fall 2017 graduate course Governmental and Not-for-Profit Accounting, Reporting, Auditing, and Evaluation-- Su Hang, Nathan Katz , and Keuita Saintlouis --chose to examine the Fairy Godmother Foundation as part of their course assignment. Among other things, they advised the foundation on which software it should use to manage its accounting and reporting, recommended growth strategies, and created the foundation’s first annual report.​

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