Discimus ut serviamus: We learn so that we may serve.
What’s News
Climate Change Week Is Here
Ship ahoy! With a 45-foot inflatable replica of a famous research vessel anchored on the Quad, QC Climate Week enjoyed a smooth launch. Monday’s opening ceremonies featured guest speakers, raffles, student poster contests, and free pizza and lemonade for those who attended.

"I am grateful to everyone who worked tirelessly on this project," said QC President Félix V. Matos Rodríguez . "I am so proud that our college community is hosting this exhibition, which builds on the strength of our renowned School of Earth and Environmental Sciences."
New York City Councilmember Costas Constantinides speaks at the launch of QC Climate Change Week, joined by (from left) speakers Cecilia McHugh and Stephen Pekar of SEES, Consolidated Edison representative Mabel Law, student Shaneeza Aziz, and President Matos.
Through Friday, the Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling (JOIDES) Resolution—which houses informative, interactive kiosks—will be open to visitors. Related events on campus include lectures, film screenings, and raffles. For information about the week’s events , click here.

QC is grateful to the National Science Foundation and Consolidated Edison for their support of the exhibit.
Grant Supports STEM Initiatives on Campus
QC is among 13 CUNY institutions that are beneficiaries of a five-year, $3.97 million grant to increase the number of underrepresented minority students graduating with degrees in the STEM fields—science, technology, mathematics and engineering.

Lehman College will oversee the grant which will support the efforts of the New York City Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (NYC-LSAMP) to provide training and academic support to STEM majors and prepare students for graduate school and STEM careers. It will also be used to broaden minority student recruitment into STEM fields and encourage faculty collaboration across the participating colleges. 

Explaining the grant’s application at QC, Assistant Provost Eva Fernández says, “Our participation will get us funds for engaging 30 LSAMP apprentices from among our freshmen and 10 sophomore fellows. They will receive stipends and other kinds of support for engaging with the project. The fellows, specifically, will each receive a $3,000 stipend on completion of an immersive research experience. The budget will also support Yu Chen (Chemistry) and José Anadón (Biology), the two faculty members carrying out the supervision of the project. Dean Susan Rotenberg (Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences) will obviously be involved, as will I.”

In Fall 2016, QC and Queensborough Community College received a $5.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to fund a collaborative program, STEM Bridges Across Queens, also intended to prepare minority students for STEM careers. 

“I’m really excited about the opportunity LSAMP will offer us to extend the work we’re doing with STEM Bridges,” says Fernández. “The focus of LSAMP is on undergraduate research, by providing really structured mentored research experiences to students who may not otherwise have access. The project emphasizes recruiting students from our marvelously diverse student body, and ensuring they receive appropriate mentoring and support to succeed in their academics, preparation for graduate work, and career trajectories. This focus complements the work through STEM Bridges, which addresses what happens in the introductory courses students take when they start a STEM major.

“I envision us developing a really robust ecosystem (a much better metaphor than a ’pipeline’!),” she continues, “where students enter STEM through one of the courses that has been enriched through the STEM Bridges project, connect with our STEM Bridges mentors, and there get recruited to become apprentices or fellows in the LSAMP program.”

LSAMP will also allow CUNY faculty to add to their pedagogical expertise, she explains. The program’s framework will connect QC faculty to other CUNY faculty and to national organizations such as Project Kaleidoscope, the STEM higher education reform center of the American Association of College & Universities. Project Kaleidoscope is dedicated to empowering STEM faculty—including those from underrepresented groups—to graduate more students in STEM fields who are competitively trained and liberally educated. “Which we’re already doing a bit of, but more is always welcome,” says Fernández.
Birthright Africa Trip Allows QC Students to Explore Their Roots

Tyrell Petrie, a media studies major of Afro-Guyanese descent, and Mikel Haye, an elementary education and urban studies student with Afro-Caribbean roots, traveled to Ghana from August 7 to August 17 as part of the second-ever cohort of Birthright Africa. 
In the front row of Birthright Africa's second cohort: QC's Mikel Haye (far left) and Tyrell Petrie (far right).
Similar to the Taglit-Birthright Israel initiative for those of Jewish descent, Birthright Africa gives young adults of African heritage the chance to explore their cultural background within select countries in Africa. The program is inspired by the Ghanaian principle of  sankofa,  which roughly translates to  “ in order to know where you’re going, you have to know where you’re from.” CUNY offers this opportunity to participants at no cost, thanks to funding from the CUNY Black Male Initiative and The Office of Special Programs. 

Before leaving for Africa, Petrie and Haye’s cohort toured historic sites in the United States, including the African Burial Ground National Monument on Wall Street and the National Museum of African-American Culture in Washington, DC. In Ghana, they visited the capital city Accra and Cape Coast, both on the country’s southern coast, and the city of Kumasi, located approximately 200 miles north. Among the highlights of the trip were interacting with locals, learning the culture through music, and hearing personal stories. The students also visited the notorious Cape Coast Castle and its “door of no return,” which served as the center of the transatlantic slave trade.

“The experience has changed my life in many ways,” says Petrie. “I have finally been exposed to the side of me that I never knew. It showed me how much room for growth that Africa has and opened a door for me to walk through again in the future.”

“After this trip, I am more confident in who I am as an African-American,” says Haye. “I am more active in my studies, and I have gained a deep hunger to learn more about my history and become more active in the betterment of my community and people.” 

Birthright Africa candidates have to complete an application and prepare an essay and a video describing themselves, their future plans, and their legacy of innovation. The final step is a phone interview. The selection committee chooses participants based on the merit of the essay, the interview, and the availability of the applicant. To learn more about this program, go to  https://www.birthrightafrica.org .
Business and Technology Expo Created Opportunities for Students
College students who network and obtain paid internships increase their chances of landing job offers and earning higher starting salaries. With that in mind, the QC Business and Technology Expo, held on the Quad on September 17, was an amazing opportunity for students to get a head start on their careers. 

Nearly 30 companies from the fields of business, accounting, finance, and technology—including Geico, Canon, and Revature—lined up along the Quad to meet potential interns and employees. After learning that employers prefer industry-specific events, the Center for Career Engagement and Internships began to set up smaller job fairs such as this one.
“It’s good for our students to meet with our recruiters on a more informal setting,” says Zavi Gunn, director of the Career Development Center. “Having a smaller, intimate industry fair has given students a lot more connections.”

This is the fourth time QC has held such an expo, which has grown from about 15 companies when it started to 28 companies this year. QC also improved the event by bringing in a free LinkedIn photo booth, restructuring the layout to encourage more engagement, and adding a table where QC Career Center staffers could meet and engage with students and educate them on its services.

The Career Center plans to hold other industry-specific job expos in the spring, as well as its more formal career fair on March 13, 2019. For more information about upcoming events, call 718-997-4465.
Sweet Home in Corona
It was 75 years ago that Louis Armstrong’s wife Lucille bought the house at 34-56 107th Street in a working-class neighborhood of Corona, Queens, where she once lived. She made the down payment with her own funds and without her husband’s knowledge, keeping the purchase a secret while on tour with him for eight months. It’s only when the tour ended and they were about to return to New York that she told him they wouldn’t be returning to their apartment but to a house. She showed him some pictures. He was delighted and, as the story goes, they lived there happily ever after. (Awarded both city and national landmark status, the property is now overseen by QC.)

The new exhibit at the Louis Armstrong House Museum,  That’s My Home: 75 Years of the Armstrongs in Corona , explores Lucille and Louis’ life in their neighborhood. The show includes many rare snapshots taken by photographers such as Burt Goldblatt, Paul Studer, John Loengard, Jack Bradley, and Charles Graham. Many of these images have never been previously exhibited. For information about museum hours and directions, go to  https://www.louisarmstronghouse.org
Reception for New Faculty
From left to right: Chief Librarian Kristin Hart, Dwayne Baker (Urban Studies), Eunjeong Lee (English), Sara Alvarez (English), Anoop Balachandran (FNES)
President Félix V. Matos Rodríguez (far right) hosts a reception for new faculty members at the QC President's Residence in Douglaston.
Iván Duque Márquez , president of Colombia, visiting New York City for UN Week, held an on-campus meeting on Sunday, September 23, with members of Colombia’s expatriate community in the tristate area. From left to right: First Lady Maria Juliana Ruiz Sandoval and President Duque Márquez of Colombia, QC President Félix V. Matos Rodríguez and his wife, Liliana Arabia.
CERRU Seeks Superheroes

Superman, Wonder Woman, and other larger-than-life characters may be in attendance when QC’s Center for Ethnic, Racial and Religious Understanding (CERRU) holds its launch party in the Patio Room on September 27, from 6 to 9 pm. Returning members and prospective new ones are encouraged to dress as their favorite superheroes, mythological figures, or anyone they find admirable. Food and beverages will be served; BYOC—Bring Your Own Camera—to document the evening. For further information about CERRU, please stop by the office in Delaney Hall 213, or call 718-997-3070.
Calling All Innovators

Have an idea for a tech-enabled product, design, or app? Bring it to Pitchfest, a new annual competition sponsored by QC’s Tech Incubator and the Queens chapter of SCORE (the Service Corps of Retired Executives). During the first round, contestants submit proposals electronically; the deadline is October 31, 11:59 pm. Semifinalists will be announced on November 9 and participate in a bootcamp three days later, to develop their concepts. The competition will culminate in finals held live on the QC campus.

The first event of its kind in the borough of Queens, Pitchfest is open to all New York City residents, as well as QC students, faculty, researchers, staff, and alumni. In addition to cash prizes of $2,500, $5,000, and $7,500 for third, second, and first place, respectively, all winners will receive a discounted one-year membership in the incubator, with use of workspace and access to interns, potential investors, advisors/mentors, and professional workshops. To learn more about Pitchfest, go to https://techincubatorqc.com/pitchfest/ .
Alums Can Make Presents of Their Past

I f you, or someone you know, is ready to discard QC keepsakes, take note of a Homecoming program debuting this year. Then & Now: Queens College Memories, to be held on Sunday, October 14, from 1 to 3 pm, is an opportunity for alumni to contribute House Plan or Greek Life memorabilia to a campus archives project. You don’t have to donate items to participate; archivists will be on hand to record oral histories. Join classmates and friends for a trip down memory lane at Rosenthal Library, 3 rd  floor, Special Collections and Archives. For a complete listing of this year’s Homecoming activities, go to https://qccommunity.qc.cuny.edu/homecoming2018
Heard Around Campus
June Bobb reports that QC successfully applied for renewed funding for the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program at QC, winning a $59,000 grant from  the American Council of Learned Societies in accordance with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation . . . . George Held , formerly an English professor at QC, has written a children’s picture book,  Under the Escalator . The book will be made into an animated film/video for release next year . . . .
Congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was on campus on Sunday, September 23, to talk to Student Association President Carmine Couloute and other students involved with ongoing relief efforts in Puerto Rico for victims of Hurricane Maria . . . . Tracy Yang , a student in ACSM’s master’s program in jazz composition, entered two pieces in the Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra’s sixth annual contest for female jazz composers—and became the first person to win two awards in the same competition. “A Step to My Dream” took first place; “Dark and Grey” received honorable mention. Yang will be in attendance when the orchestra premieres and records the pieces live in Seattle on October 27, 2018, during the Earshot Jazz Festival . . . .

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