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  •  LAGCC Celebrates Asian Heritage Month

     LaGuardia Community College Celebrates Asian Heritage Month


     

    Asian Heritage Month


    Long Island City, NY—May 22, 2015—LaGuardia Community college celebrated Asian Heritage month with spectacular performances by the New York Chinese Chorus, folk singer and composer Dr. Chou Hsing-Lih and the Qi Shu Feng Peking Opera Company.


    The New York Chinese Chorus was founded in 2009 to promote cultural exchange in the local community. Chorus members hail from Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. It specializes in Chinese folk songs and classic tunes from the 1930s to 1960s.


    LaGuardia Community College Foundation honorary director Tai Wang, who is also the President of New York Chinese Chorus, helped to organize the event and joined the chorus on stage.


    “All my life I have had a passion to promote and support art,” said Tai Wang. “I am grateful for this opportunity to present this program to the students.”


    Performers from the New York Chinese Chorus included violinist Tan Wei, accompanied by 18-year-old American-born pianist, Eric Liu.


    The chorus was directed and conducted by Shanghai Conservatory faculty member Guojun Wu.


    Special guest Dr. Chou Hsing-Lih is an acclaimed Taiwanese dialect and Chinese folk singer and one of the pioneering composers of Campus Folk Songs, a combination of Taiwanese folk and country melodies.  With minimal accompaniment, Dr. Chou sang several of his most recognizable compositions.


    The Qi Shu Fang Peking Opera Company performed a colorful scene from “The Monkey King and the Princess Iron Fan,” a rollicking opera written by Wu Chengen that featured amazing martial arts and acrobatics.


    “At LaGuardia we had a spectacular afternoon full of music, songs and amazing acrobatics. The artists provided an unforgettable glimpse into ancient China,” said LaGuardia President Dr. Gail O. Mellow. “Many thanks to our friend and supporter, Tai Wang, for bringing this performance to our stage.”


    LaGuardia, which has one of the most diverse student populations in the city, serves students from more than 157 countries. Asian students make up 22% of the college’s student population, more than 700 of whom identify as being from China. Over 200 LaGuardia students attended the performance.

     

    •     •     •     •

     

    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.lagcc.cuny.edu to learn more.

     Environmental Science Students Clean Up Newtown Creek in 2015 Riverkeeper Sweep

    Environmental Science Students Clean Up Newtown Creek in 2015 Riverkeeper Sweep


    Riverkeeper photo


    Long Island City—May 18, 2015—LaGuardia Community College Environmental Science students and faculty recently spent a Saturday volunteering to clean up Long Island City.


    The fourth annual Riverkeeper Sweep, organized by Riverkeeper, an advocacy group dedicated to protecting New York City and the Hudson Valley’s waterways, took place Saturday May 9th at over 100 locations in the region.


    A group of LaGuardia students and faculty participated in the event at nearby Newtown Creek, collecting trash and recyclables from the shoreline and water. Canoeing guidance was provided by HarborLAB, a nonprofit community organization.


    Connecting students with learning experiences outside of the classroom has been the hallmark of the four-year old Environmental Science program at LaGuardia; participation in the Riverkeeper Sweep comes on the heels of April’s BioBlitz, and both are in addition to extensive faculty-led research projects.


    The combined efforts of all Riverkeeper Sweep events brought more than 2,000 volunteers collecting over 40 tons of debris from New York’s shorelines and waterways.

    •••


    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

    ###



     LaGuardia Community College’s Theater Program Presents “Our Lady of 121st Street”

    LaGuardia Community College’s Theater Program Presents “Our Lady of 121st Street”


    Theatrical Production Featuring LaGCC Students Will Run Until May 23rd


    LONG ISLAND CITY, NY—May 18, 2015—LaGuardia Community College’s Theater program is pleased to present the play “Our Lady of 121st Street,” until May 23rd in the College’s Black Box Theater.


    The dark comedy originally written by actor and playwright Stephen Adley Guirgis is directed by LaGuardia Community College faculty member Garrett Neergaard. “It’s a play about coming home and facing your past,” said Neergaard. In addition to acting in the play, students also are working behind the scenes as the stage crew, lighting crew and in costume design, among many other roles for the production.  Visit the show website to learn more.


    LaGuardia Community College’s Theater Program students have participated in the Kennedy Center’s American College Theater Festival for the past three years winning several awards and scholarships. 


    A synopsis of the play: “The Ortiz Funeral Room is in big trouble: The body of beloved community activist and nun Sister Rose has been stolen from the viewing room, and waiting for her proper return are some of New York City's most emotionally charged, life-challenged neighborhood denizens, trying to find a place to put their grief, checkered pasts and their uncertain futures. Among the equally hilarious and tragic twelve characters, you'll meet Rooftop, a chronically unfaithful but otherwise popular Los Angeles DJ, looking to reconcile with the love of his life; Pinky and Edwin, two brothers tragically linked forever; and the outrageously angry Norca, who doesn't let the fact that she slept with her best friend's husband her from the full expectation of being immediately forgiven of her sin by her best friend, Inez, still in pain fifteen years later. The rest of the crowd in this dark, insightful and very funny comedy inevitably square off on each other, motivated by rage, pain and a scary desire to come clean—perhaps for the first time.”


    WHAT: OUR LADY OF 121ST STREET 

    WHEN: Monday, May 18th, 8 p.m.; Wednesday, May 20th, 2:30 p.m. & 8 p.m.Friday, May 22nd, 8. p.m. & Saturday, May 23rd, 8 p.m.

    WHERE: LaGuardia Community College’s Black Box Theater, 31-10 Thomson Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11101

    HOW: For ticket information, please visit www.lpac.nyc or call the box office at 718.482.5151.

    SHARE: LaGCC Performing Arts Program (Facebook); LaGCC Performing (Twitter) #121STREET


    Our Lady of 121st Street

    •••

    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

    ###
     LaGuardia Faculty & Students Participate in Van Cortlandt Park's First BioBlitz

    LaGuardia Community College Faculty & Students Participate in Van Cortlandt Park's First BioBlitz


    Long Island City—May 12, 2015—More than twenty members of the LaGuardia Community College family participated in the first ever BioBlitz at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. 

    The service-learning event, organized by the College’s Environmental Science program and STEM Advising Council, took 17 students and five faculty members to the all-day event held in New York City’s third largest park.

    BioBlitzes have been held for nearly 20 years all over the world, and bring biologists and communities together to raise awareness about biodiversity. 

    “The BioBlitz provides students a hands-on experience in urban biodiversity,” said Dr. Holly A. Porter-Morgan, Environmental Science Program Director at LaGuardia. “This experience exposes students to how scientists think and work in the field.”

    LaGuardia’s assemblage joined teams as they traversed the park’s wetlands, woods and meadows observing and recording different species of plants, insects, and amphibians in the park.

    Students from LaGuardia’s Environmental Science and Biology programs participated in the event.

    "I really had a great time; it was a great learning experience” said Kelsey Payne, an Environmental Science major at LaGuardia. “I was part of the plant group and it was interesting to see how many species of plants exist and what role each plant plays in our ecosystem.”

    The Environmental Science and Biology programs both have a history of generating impactful student research projects and earning various awards and recognition. 
    Previous BioBlitzes conducted in Central Park and at the New York Botanical Garden have yielded valuable information about plant and animal diversity.

    BioBlitz 2015

    •     •     •     •

    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more. 

     LaGuardia Community College Student Takes Prize in Statewide Science Competition

    LaGuardia Community College Student Takes Prize in Statewide Science Competition


    Long Island City—May 12, 2015—LaGuardia Community College biology major Marcos Murdumbay placed second at the statewide 23rd Annual CSTEP Conference. 

    The Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) is offered in a number of colleges and universities and helps students pursuing professions in mathematics, science, technology and health-related fields gain research experience.

    The Conference, which took place in April in Bolton Landing, NY, welcomed 156 students from two and four-year colleges and universities from throughout the state, including Columbia University and Cornell University.  

    Marcos was the only participant from a community college in the category of Cellular and Molecular Biology, putting LaGuardia on the map as a force to be reckoned with.  

    “Marcos’s success in the competition was quite an achievement because he demonstrated a high caliber of academic research work that is taking place here at LaGuardia,” explains his faculty mentor, Professor Maria Entezari, Ph.D. 

    Marcos’s research project looked into how macrophages and microglia interact and respond to Neuro-inflammation, which is a hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease.
     
    “Research is important to me because it gives me a major opportunity to get hands-on with many of the things I want to do in the future,” said Marcos. “[Research] should be important to every student because it propels you to higher levels of opportunities in your field.”  

    Marcos, born and raised in New York, grew up in an Ecuadorian household and says he always enjoyed studying biology. Upon graduating from LaGuardia, he plans to transfer to a senior college and go on to obtain a PhD in in hopes of one day becoming a Microbiologist.  

    “I got into biology because I was always fascinated by science. It helped me answer my questions about the meaning of life in a scientific aspect,” says Marcos. 

    Marcos was eager to express gratitude for the guidance Dr. Entezari has provided him. Of his mentor, Marcos says Dr. Entezari brings a passion for science to the lab, and serves as a source of inspiration to him and fellow students.

    Dr. Entezari noted that the research will continue: "In the next stage of our continuing research, we plan on further examining the mechanisms that involved in microglial phagocytosis upon neuro-inflammation. Once we gather our data, we hope to publish our research findings.” 

    Marcos has also recently joined the CUNY Research Scholar Program, an initiative that encourages students who are interested in the sciences to pursue a career in the field.  

    Along with Marcos, four other students traveled to the conference to present research projects they have pursued in various fields at LaGuardia with faculty mentorship.
     

    CSTEP 2015

    • • • •

    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.



     LaGuardia Community College Library Renovations Taking Shape

    LaGuardia Community College Library Renovations Taking Shape


    LIB construction april 2015



    Long Island City, NY–May 6, 2015—The LaGuardia Community College library renovations are well underway.


    Demolition, or deconstruction, of the walls, fixtures and flooring on the E-Building second floor has produced an open space, part of the 21,000 square feet that will be added to the facility, expanding the library’s total area by 58 percent.


    LaGuardia Vice Presidents for Administration Shahir Erfan and Kenneth Campanelli, who are LaGuardia’s point persons overseeing companies doing the work, said the deconstruction required special considerations because much of the work was done while classes are in session.


    “It is easier to do renovations in an unoccupied building,” Erfan said. “With students and staff here, there are challenges to make sure we don’t lose services. If you lose electrical power or fire protection (by disconnecting the sprinkler system) you can’t occupy the building.”


    Renovating the occupied building required that every pipe, conduit and electrical wire exposed during the demolition had to be labeled and traced from end to end so workmen could be sure how removing it would affect other floors above and below the work area.


    “They had to ask what is this wiring, what is it doing,” said Campanelli. “Once we determine what it does, then we have to either relocate it or install new services.”


    Erfan pointed to a large, floor to ceiling air conditioning sitting almost in the middle of the cleared third floor. “That serves part of the building,” he said. “It can’t be moved during school hours. They will move it on a Saturday so that if something goes wrong they can have Sunday to fix it before everyone comes back on Monday.”


    Square notches have been cut into the top of several concrete pillars to which beams will be attached that will hold a system of cables Campanelli compared to a suspension bridge that in turn will support the dramatic central staircase that runs from the library’s first floor, through the mezzanine to the third floor.


    Giant sawblades now in place on the vacant floor will be used to cut through the foot-thick concrete and steel second floor to create the hole through which the stairs will be built.


    “Once they cut this big opening you have to physically support the floor,” Campanelli said. “We’ll have steel rods going all the way down to the first floor to support the penetration.


    “In another month the floor where we’re standing won’t be here.”


    A temporary, insulated wall was installed on the first floor to separate the still occupied portion of the library from the work space and served to muffle demolition noise and keep the dust it generates out while also separating the workers and students.


    “The workmen are here to work, and our students are here to learn,” Erfan explained. “We did not want them distracting each other.”


    Two sets of scaffolding were put up outside the E-Building to support the construction. The small scaffolding in the E-Building inner courtyard will protect pedestrians as the large windows and glass partitions that will bring natural light to the deepest recesses of the new library are installed.


    The other, put in along Thompson and Van Dam streets, serves the same purpose but also allowed workers to haul debris from the demolition out of a window, onto the scaffolding, where it could be dumped into trash trucks waiting below to haul it away.


    All of the construction debris was sorted on site, with recyclable materials preserved, Campanelli said.


    The renovated library will include 11 new study rooms, larger bathrooms and 732 seats, a 312-increase in seating. There will be new group study rooms, a media lab, media and faculty suites, archives, Courtyard and Thomson reading rooms, and 50 additional offices and support space.


    Wifi internet access will be available throughout the facility.


    Erfan said workman plan to drill the holes for the bathroom plumbing over Spring Break so as not to disturb students and staff.  


    Twenty-percent of the contracts on the project were awarded to women and minority run businesses, in accordance with New York City and state law, Erfan said.


    The $13 million project is projected to be completed in Fall, 2016.


    For answers to Library related questions during the renovation see this website: https://www.laguardia.edu/Administration/Library/Frequently-Asked-Questions/


    LIB 2        LIB 3



    ####


    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

     Actor Tony Lo Bianco Plays “The Little Flower” at LaGuardia Community College

    Actor Tony Lo Bianco Plays “The Little Flower” at LaGuardia Community College


    The Little Flower photo


    Long Island City, NY—May 1, 2015—The Little Flower came home to LaGuardia Community College.


    Actor Tony Lo Bianco brought “The Little Flower,” his one man play about the late New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, to the college that bears LaGuardia’s name this week with a mesmerizing performance in the school’s Little Theater.


    Lo Bianco reprised the lead role in the play he wrote, directed and has performed on Broadway and around the world since 1984, tracing the three term mayor’s rise from his birth on Manhattan’s East Side, his service as a pilot during the first World War 1 and as a US Congressman before his 1934 election to the first of three terms as the city’s 99th Mayor.


    The play is set on the last day of LaGuardia’s third term in office. Fiorello means Little Flower in Italian.


    LaGuardia Community College Foundation President Suresh Sani and Foundation Board Member Peter L. DiCapua, a friend of Lo Bianco who was instrumental in bringing the play to the school, were on hand for the performance. DiCapua and Foundation supporter Robert B. Catell provided funding for the production.


    "We are fortunate to have Tony Lo Bianco bringing to life the vision and power of our namesake Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia,” said LaGuardia President Dr. Gail O. Mellow. “Mayor LaGuardia was one of our city's greatest mayors and his legacy reminds us of the power of government to improve the lives of all New Yorkers.  Many thanks to our great friend and supporter, Peter L DiCapua, for bringing Tony to our stage."


    “It’s a great opportunity for students to understand the history of the man behind the name of the school,” Sani said. “I am so looking forward to learning more about Mayor LaGuardia because he’s an icon in the city and very important to where the city is today.”


    DiCapua said he was playing golf with Lo Bianco when the actor told him he was reprising his “Little Flower” show.


    “It was a no brainer” to bring it to the college, DiCapua said.


    “I told him I was involved with LaGuardia Community College which also hosts the largest archive of Mayor LaGuardia’s effects,” DiCapua said. “He and I and his manager talked about it for months. He needed a bit of funding, I got some people to help and we made it happen.”


    The Brooklyn born Lo Bianco has had an extensive film and stage career, including roles in the “The French Connection” movie, the “Police Story” television show and on stage in Arthur Miller’s “A View from the Bridge.”


    The Little Theater audience sat spellbound throughout Lo Bianco’s performance, hanging onto his every word as he stalked about the set reprising LaGuardia’s life story.


    During a question and answer session after the play Lo Bianco said he learned the considerable dialogue “the same way you get to Carnegie Hall; practice, practice, practice.”


    Lo Bianco said he did extensive research for the role, reading every book he could find on LaGuardia. He also changes the script periodically to make it more relevant to the audience.


    “What happened in 1934 to 1945 parallels what is going on in our country as we speak and the lessons we don’t seem to learn from history, and that is truly unfortunate,” Lo Bianco said. “There are no new problems.


    “I’m always challenging the audience,” Lo Bianco said. “When they think I’m talking about someone else, I want them to know I’m talking about you.”


    •     •     •     •


    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit  www.laguardia.edu to learn more.



     LAGCC Shares Groundbreaking Adult Education Approaches through New Professional Development Institute

    LaGuardia Community College Shares Groundbreaking Adult Education Approaches through New Professional Development Institute


    Long Island City, NY—November 21, 2014—LaGuardia Community College has officially launched the College and Career Pathways Institute (CCPI) to provide professional development that helps educators prepare adults and out-of-school youth to get back on track to college and new careers through innovative contextualized and integrated instructional strategies.


    CCPI offers a campus-based demonstration site that pilots leading-edge curricula and program models and provides customized hands-on and web-based workshops, educational tools, faculty coaching and a well-tested curriculum design. CCPI trainers, all teachers with extensive and proven success in college preparatory classrooms, work with adult education programs, colleges, community based organizations, workforce training organizations, and college access and success organizations across the country. The Institute has already provided services in 11 states and has presented at many national conferences, including the Council on Adult Basic Education (COABE) Conference and the National College Transition Network Effective Transitions Conference in 2014.  


    “The pioneering work of the College and Career Pathways Institute is providing the highest quality training to a whole new generation of adult educators,” said Gail O. Mellow, President of LaGuardia. “With this training, thousands of educators will more effectively teach adult students, giving them the education and understanding about their chosen career that will allow them to build a better future for themselves and their families.”


    CCPI creates workshops and training materials using curriculum and program materials from LaGuardia’s Bridge to College and Careers Program and New York Basic Education and Skills Training (NYBEST) programs.  


    The Bridge to College and Careers Program prepares students to earn their High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma and successfully transition to college or career training. A recent random assignment evaluation of the Bridge Program found that students were twice as likely to complete the program, three times as likely to earn a HSE diploma, and twice as likely to transition to postsecondary education as their counterparts in a traditional HSE preparatory program ( http://www.mdrc.org/publication/enhancing-ged-instruction-prepare-students-college-and-careers). CCPI trainers have shared the Bridge Program model and methodology in recent workshops for educators at community colleges in New York, Illinois, Ohio and the New England region.  The Bridge Program has also recently been cited as a model transition program by Acting Assistant Secretary of the US Department of Education Johan Uvin.


    This winter, CCPI is partnering with the National College Transition Network to offer a public webinar series examining program and instructional shifts connected to new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) legislation. To expand training and disseminate its models across the country, CCPI has also launched a new website ( http://www.laguardia.edu/CCPI). And a monthly newsletter featuring CCPI updates and best practices is available to the adult education and college access and success communities. 


    Olga Merchan, Director of Workforce Strategy at YouthBuild USA, commented, “If you want to build a successful bridge-to-college program, partner with LaGuardia Community College and learn from the best.”


    For more information on LaGuardia’s College and Career Pathways Institute contact ccpi@lagcc.cuny.edu or (718) 349-4015.


    •     •     •     •


    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating under served students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

     State Education Department Officials Discuss Bridge Program

    State Education Department Officials Discuss Bridge Program Over Lunch with LaGuardia Community College President, Administrators and Students

    Bridge

    Long Island City, NY—November 13, 2014—President Gail O. Mellow and LaGuardia Community College administrators last week hosted New York State Education Department, New York State Board of Regents, and local elected officials at a luncheon held in LaGuardia’s NYDesigns center.


    State Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch, Regent Betty Rosa, Dist. 37 Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan, State Education Commissioner John B. King and Deputy Commissioner Kevin Smith met with Dr. Mellow, Associate Dean of Pre-College Programs Jane MacKillop, Executive Director of Pre-College Academic Programs Amy Dalsimer, and Executive Director for Adult Community Learning John Hunt.


    During the working lunch administrators gave the Education Department officials an overview of several LaGuardia programs that help adults who did not finish high school earn high school equivalency (HSE) diplomas and continue on to college: the Bridge to College and Careers Program, the Center for Immigrant Education and Training (CIET), and NY Basic Education and Skills Training (NYBEST) Programs.


    The Bridge to College and Careers Program provides career focused high school equivalency preparation and college readiness. CIET provides contextualized English, immigrant family literacy, and parent and civic engagement programs. NYBEST combines basic skills and technical instruction/vocational training to prepare students for employment.


    “We really are a community college,” Mellow said. “We take everybody who has a high school equivalency diploma and everything in between or a degree from a New York City public school, or an adult who got a degree in Brazil. We take them and say welcome, if you are going to give us the time, we’re going to create a system that allows you to succeed.”


    After a welcome from Dr. Mellow, MacKillop, Dalsimer and Hunt gave overviews of each program. After a sometimes spirited discussion about how the programs are funded, the state officials visited curriculum developer and Pre-College Academic Instructor Viktoriia Dudar’s Bridge to Health classroom, where Rosa, Hunt, Smith and Nolan sat with the students and took part in the class discussion.


    Students Sandra Chevalier, Melissa Derrick, Johnny Webb, Troy Paul, Yaritza Cabrera, Claudia Gastelum, Sabrina Prime, and Ann Marie Hennessy, each of them graduates or current students in the Bridge Program, and high school principals Hope Baxter (Energy and Tech High School), Linda Siegmund (Middle College High School), and Jaclyn Valane (International High School) joined the state officials for lunch.


    The students praised Dudar for her patience and teaching ability and credited the Bridge Program with changing their lives.


    “I went from I’m going to get my GED (General Equivalency Diploma) to I’m going to go to college, I can succeed in college,” said Hennessy. “I tried other GED programs, and there was such a lack of communication. You’re so welcome here. It’s so organized.”

    •     •     •     •

    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.




     The Korean Times Article on a Korean Food Vendor Support of LaGuardia

    “May It Give Hope To International Students...” Joo-Ho Kim, President Of Yogi and a Food Vendor, Supported LaGuardia Community College Scholarships 


    korean food truck article

    "I also had a difficult time during my overseas studies. Therefore, my operating principle is to provide large portions of delicious food at cheap prices to students, because I know that they don’t have a lot of extra money," said President Joo-Ho Kim.


    Of the four or five food carts located in front of the buildings at LaGuardia Community College (LaGCC) in Queens Long Island City, the line in front of one is exceptionally long. It is the Korean-food food cart “Yogi,” which is operated by President Joo-Ho Kim (43 years old), an ethnic Korean.


    Yogi’s main menu includes bulgogi, jeyukbokkeum and chicken teriyaki. Most of the students to patronize Yogi are LaGuardia students and foreign students. The students who have tried the food always give it a thumb up. President Kim’s food cart is unusually popular, not only because of the delicious taste of his food, but also thanks to his generous mindset which thinks of the students as his younger brothers and sisters.


    Last summer LaGuardia Community College had been challenged to raise $500,000 for student scholarships. President Kim is one of 282 donors who supported the College.


    President Kim, who graduated from college in Korea and then worked in the fashion business before going to study in Italy, laughed as he explained, “I was worried about meals during my difficult life as an international student and so I learned cooking from a neighbor Italian lady,” and “Rather than my following my fashion business studies, I became a gourmet chef instead.”


    President Kim came to New York in 1998 and studied Economics at Hunter College, but he slowly awakened to his hidden cooking skills that no one knew about and finally started this food cart business after graduating. President Kim said, “During my 20s and 30s, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do... But I slowly became aware of what true happiness is when I would see people eating the food which I made, even though it isn’t easy to go shopping for ingredients every day.”


    President Kim explained, “I wasn’t able to support with a lot of money but I hope that what I gave can be a small contribution to the students who are dreaming of the future even in their difficult circumstances.” He revealed that he intends to keep providing scholarship support in the future, too. “ (Journalist Ji-Hoon Cheon)


    View The Korean Times article: http://www.koreatimes.com/article/881299

     BET Reporter Samson Styles SharesSecond Chances With LaGuardia Community College Students

    BET Reporter Samson Styles Shares Second Chances With LaGuardia Community College Students


    Samson Styles BET 


    Long Island City, NY— October 21,2014Black Entertainment Television News Reporter and Documentarian Samson Styles brought his inspirational message to LaGuardia Community College, urging students try hard to make the right choices in life.


    “Most of my challenges came from making poor decisions,” Styles said. “Not a lot of people get second changes like I did. Where I come from, a lot of people are lucky to finish high school.”


    More than one hundred students gather in the E-Building atrium to hear Styles.  The LaGuardia Step Team opened the event with a rousing performance. Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Michael Baston and Director of Student Life Kevin Jordan welcomed Styles to campus.


    "Sampson Style's journey reminds all of us that where we start in life does not always dictate where we can go or who we can become,” Baston said. “We are pleased to welcome him to LaGuardia and we encourage all in our community to believe in, and however possible, support second chances. We never know when we ourselves may be the one in need of a second chance."


    “Stories are the windows into your life,” Jordan said. “This gentleman has come to tell his story, and when he tells his story you are invited to think about your own story.”


    Styles’ visit as arranged by Darren Ferguson, Project Coordinator of LaGuardia’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion. Styles is shooting a segment on Ferguson for his BET program, “Second Chances,” which profiles people who create successful careers after leaving prison.


    Styles’ talk was his story, which explained how he turned his life around after serving eight years in jail.


    Styles’ parents moved the family to the Louis H. Pink Houses in Brooklyn’s East New York neighborhood when he was eight years old, from Park Slope, Brooklyn.


    He started acting tough to fit in with his new crowd.


    “Some adversity you face is circumstantial, you have no control over,” Styles said. “But some adversity is made worse by poor choices.”


    Styles was nine years old when he started picking pockets with a group of neighborhood teens. “We used to call it getting money,” he said. “My mother would get calls from the local police precinct saying they picked up her son for this and that.”


    A good student, Styles said he “dumbed himself down” to fit in with his new friends. He kept running the streets. At 12 years old he did 18 months in juvenile detention. At 15 he was with a friend who killed someone and spent seven years in the penitentiary.


    “Again, I faced adversity because of my poor decision making,” Styles told LaGuardia students.


    Released in 2014, Styles returned to Brooklyn hoping to get into the recording industry but a friend persuaded him film was a better choice. Styles started shooting underground girl fights in Brownsville. A trailer he made from films of several fights was impressive enough to get him an interview with BET hierarchy, where he started filming segments for one of the network’s newsmagazines.


    Styles told the LaGuardia students that being on television did not insulate him from offers to resume the lifestyle that got him sent to prison.  “But I turned down those opportunities,” he said. “I wanted to do positive things in the community.


    “I’m letting you know that being here, in school, you are on the right path,” Styles said. “You might feel sometimes that you can’t make it, but ask yourself how many adversities you put on yourself.


    “To be here at LaGuardia and be able to inspire and motivate  students, that’s how I motivate myself,” Styles said.


    Last summer LaGuardia's Division of Adult and Continuing Education, working with the city Department of Corrections, completed the first phase of a pilot job training program for women in the Rose M. Singer Center on Riker’s Island.  


    "Having Samson Styles here at LaGuardia was a great opportunity to see what we can do with determination and a made up mind, even after being victimized by our own poor choices,” Ferguson said. “Mr. Styles showed our students, through his personal testimony, that success on a grand scale is possible even after what seems like a life altering error."

     

     •     •     •     •


    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

     LaGuardia Community College Food Cart Vendors Know Staff and the Students They Serve

    LaGuardia Community College Food Cart Vendors Know Staff and the Students They Serve

    halal   

    Long Island City, NY—September 30, 2014—LaGuardia Community College students, faculty and staff love eggs, aren’t as picky eaters as folks in other parts of the city, and love to snack between classes.

     

    This information comes from people who know the food cart vendors along Thomson Avenue, who feed hundreds of LaGuardia community members each school day.

     

    “My business philosophy is always to have a business around schools and students because they eat all the time,” said Elsayed, who has run the Mando Halal Food cart since 2000.

     

    “Students are easy to serve,” said John, who did not want his last name used. John runs the Coffee Bagel Cart near Van Dam Avenue and says he sells close to fifty egg sandwiches a day, making them one of his top selling dishes.

     

    “LaGuardia students are very patient, very, very patient,” said Juho Kim, who has been running the popular Yogi Food Cart by himself since his assistant had a hernia operation. “Kids always have a next class so they have to run. I feel so bad that they have to wait, but it’s only me. I do everything as fast as I can, but they keep waiting, waiting.”

     

    LaGuardia Community College, known as “The World’s Community College,” has one of the most diverse student bodies in New York City, with students from more than 157 countries, speaking over 111 languages.

     

    Yet, they have a lot in common. They share the dream of creating a better future for themselves and their families, and if you ask the vendors—they like to eat.

     

    Mohamad Mohamad’s Habbia Cart specializes in breakfast items “because there is a lot of competition for lunch,” Mohamad said.

     

    Carts offer speed, good food and low prices, Mohamad said, which makes them competitive. But having a business on wheels doesn’t diminish the need to service your customers if you expect them to come back, Mohamad said. 

     

    “We sell things cheap that can fill you up, something nice they can afford,” he said. “Go to a restaurant and they sell you a cup of coffee for $4 or $5 and you stay a half hour.”

     

    “Here the coffee is seventy five cents to one dollar and we talk and have fun,” Mohamad said. “If he has a problem with the cup we give him another one, no problem.”

     

    The men live in Queens and Brooklyn. They all tow their carts on the back of their cars or panel vans each workday from storage yards where they are kept overnight. Some of the yards restock the carts overnight, while some of the owners make their food at home and replenish the carts themselves each morning.

     

    Their stories of how they came to run their businesses are as colorful and intriguing as those of many of their LaGuardia customers.

     

    Elsayed graduated from law school in his native Alexandria, Egypt, but decided law was not for him. “I did it for my father,” he said. “He wanted me to be a lawyer. When I graduated I gave him the certificate.”

     

    Elsayed’s father was a spice merchant, and his son was able to put his knowledge of a variety of condiments to good use in his cart even though he didn’t cook when he moved here in 1986. He worked several jobs, including dishwasher at a Port Jefferson, NY restaurant.

     

    One night the restaurant’s chef stormed out after having words with the owner. Elsayed said he “knew everything about the kitchen” and stepped in to do prep work. He cooked there for ten years.

     

    His food vendor career got off to a rocky start. “The first day, nobody knew me so nobody came,” he said. “I made forty dollars and had to throw away almost eight hundred dollars worth of food because I could not keep it. It was rough. But over time it got better.”

     

    Kim owned a nail salon in Stony Brook when he saw a newspaper advertisement from a man, who happened to be Korean, who wanted to sell his food cart. “I had lived in France with a woman who taught me to cook some things, and I would cook for my wife and daughter,” he said.

     

    Kim sold the salon and bought the cart, one of the more popular food stands on the street with dishes like teriyaki chicken. With his assistant out, that success has meant more work for him. “It’s a lot of work; you have no idea,” he said. “If I knew that before, I might not have done it.”

     

    Mohamed majored in sports therapy in Egypt, but found the additional courses he’d have to take to be certified here too expensive when he immigrated here ten years ago.

     

    He said he worked a variety of jobs, including on a food truck near Columbia University Medical Center. Mohamed learned the business from scratch, and there was a lot to learn.

     

    “You have to learn how to use gas, how not to burn yourself, which food to cook first cause it takes longer,” he said.  “It is not easy stuff, because if the customer is not satisfied they are not going to come back.”

     

     Mohamed rents his cart, which specializes in lunch items like kebabs and sausages, from a man named John, who Mohamed said worked the cart for almost two decades but gave up after enduring the brutal cold last winter.

     

    Business is good, but tighter because competition from other carts “means you can’t raise your prices.”

     

    John, from the Philippines, has been in New York for fifteen years and has run his cart on the same corner outside LaGuardia for ten years. He taught himself to cook, he said, experimenting with recipes at home.  “Though the ten hour days are hard,” John said what he likes most about the work is that “my inventory is low and I don’t have to worry about overhead costs.”

     

    Last summer, when the LaGuardia Community College Foundation was challenged to raise $500K for the students’ scholarships, LaGuardia reached out to local businesses.  Each of the vendors in this story contributed to the LaGuardia Million Dollar Challenge. 

     

    “I was a student too, so I have feelings for them,” said Elsayed.Today he’s a student. Tomorrow we don’t know what he will be. You have to support him. Today you have to give back,” he said. “That is what we did.”

    yogi


    •     •     •     •


    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

     Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program at LAGCC Receives $5 Million for Education Center

    Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program at LaGuardia Community College Receives $5 Million for Education Center


    Long Island City, NY—August 1, 2014—The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program at LaGuardia Community College is about to receive a $5 million boost, courtesy of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State of New York.

    The capital money will be used to create the 10,000 Small Businesses Education Center, which will permanently house the program that helps entrepreneurs grow their companies and create jobs.

    “The students at New York City’s public colleges and universities have provided the world with game-changing ideas in fields ranging from healthcare to manufacturing. Through the CUNY 2020 program we are maximizing those ideas to create economic opportunity for New Yorkers,” Governor Cuomo said. “The first round of CUNY 2020 projects will help link some of our best and brightest students with positions in high-tech sectors, while leveraging their academic excellence to support economic development and create new opportunities throughout the New York City area. By funding these eight projects we are making an investment in New York’s future, and I am proud to present these awards to the first round of CUNY 2020 recipients.”

    “We’ve seen through our 10,000 Small Businesses program that public-private partnerships can spur job creation, strengthening communities,” said Lloyd C. Blankfein, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs. “We are proud that the program has served as a catalyst for Governor Cuomo’s Economic Development Fund’s investment in LaGuardia Community College and know that the Center will become an important resource to small business owners in New York.”

    “This extraordinary partnership between LaGuardia and Goldman Sachs has helped numerous small business owners gain the skills they need to make their businesses flourish and hire new employees,” said LaGuardia Community College President Gail O. Mellow. “This $5 million capital grant from Governor Cuomo will create a permanent home for the program and allow us to strengthen our work with local businesses.”

    The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program at LaGuardia provides practical business management education that helps participants develop the skills needed to helm a successful business.

    Participants attend 11 class sessions, receive business support services and one-on-one help from a team of business professionals to create a business plan tailored to their company needs.

    Nearly 450 businesses have participated in the program to date, and the program will continue to serve approximately 100 businesses per year. Approximately 70 percent of graduates report increased revenues in businesses and 50 percent of graduates have created jobs.

    This infusion of public dollars represents the recognition of policy makers that the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is an effective driver of economic growth and job creation.

    Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is a $500 million national program designed to help small businesses in the United States create jobs and economic growth by providing entrepreneurs with practical business education, access to capital and business support services.

    The $5 million is part of $55 million in grants CUNY and Empire State Development awarded to eight economic development projects involving 20 CUNY campuses. The grants are designed to connect academic institutions with entrepreneurship to stimulate the local economic development.

    •     •     •     •


    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is  a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success education underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit  www.laguardia.edu to learn more.




     The David Grainger Foundation presents the LaGuardia Community College Foundation with $5000

    The David Grainger Foundation Presents the LaGuardia Community College Foundation with $5000


    Grainger pic

    Long Island City, NY—July 1, 2014—Grainger Industrial Supply officials present LaGuardia Community College President Gail O. Mellow with a $5,000 check from the David Grainger Foundation.


    Taking part in the ceremony, from left to right, are Grainger Account Manager Jim Dodson; Dr. Mellow; LaGuardia student and scholarship recipient Enes Malik Akdemir; Grainger Market Manager for Queens William Draghi; Grainger District Manager Tania Godoy; LaGuardia Community College Foundation Board Vice Chairman Suresh Sani; LaGuardia student and scholarship recipient Diriana Tejada; LaGuardia Vice President, Division for Institutional Advancement Susan Lyddon, and LaGuardia Vice President of Administration Shahir Erfan.


    •     •     •     •

    About the LaGuardia Community College Foundation

    The LaGuardia Community College Foundation ensures that ambitious students have the resources they need to receive a college education and improve their families’ lives. More than 70% of LaGuardia students come from homes where the annual family income is under $25,000. Since 2003, Foundation donors have contributed more than $8 million, which has provided scholarships, textbooks, transportation and tutoring for students in need. To learn more visit  www.laguardia.edu/Supporters-Friends/Home.

     

    About LaGuardia Community College

    A nationally recognized leader among community colleges, LaGuardia Community College was founded in 1971 as the ultimate experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today.  Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs.  Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average.  At LaGuardia, we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger.  Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

     

     Vanguard Director at LaGuardia Community College Wins Literacy Recognition Award

    Vanguard Director at LaGuardia Community College Wins Literacy Recognition Award


    Amy

    Long Island City, NY—June 20, 2014—Amy Dalsimer, Executive Director of Pre-College Academic Programs at LaGuardia Community College, has won a 2014 Literacy Recognition Award from the Literacy Assistance Center in New York. The annual award honors literacy practitioners for outstanding contributions to students, their program or the New York City literacy community. There were seven winners citywide this year.


    Ms. Dalsimer has been a trailblazer in contextualized and integrated instruction in the New York area for over 20 years. The Bridge to College and Careers Program (Bridge Program), which gears high school equivalency preparation towards careers and college readiness, as well as the Supporting Adults through Vocational EMT Training Program (S.A.V.E. EMT Program), which combines basic skills instruction with technical training, are two examples of innovative programs that she has pioneered and that have been instrumental in helping students achieve their educational and professional goals.


    “LaGuardia is on the cutting edge of developmental instruction for high school equivalency preparation and vocational training, thanks to Amy Dalsimer and her staff,” said Gail O. Mellow, President of LaGuardia. “They are creating groundbreaking methods of effective contextualized instruction that are serving as a model for the rest of the country.”


    The focus on math and literacy skills in the context of vocational training (called the NYBEST model, based on Washington State's Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) initiative) has proven successful. In the past four years, approximately 240 students have enrolled in the S.A.V.E. EMT Program, and 85% completed and passed the NY State EMT certification exam. Eighty percent of those were able to find employment with ambulance companies, the FDNY, and hospitals in the metro area. Now more New Yorkers have access to this career pathway, are realizing their career goals, and are serving New York City in providing vital pre-hospital emergency care. 


    The central feature of the Bridge Program is the implementation of contextualized, career-focused curricula. Contextualized instruction is a sector-based approach to developmental instruction that uses authentic materials from one career area to build basic skills. Ms. Dalsimer has led the curriculum development and program design for the Bridge Program since its inception, using the sectors of business, health and science. To date, more that 1,000 students have been served in the program. The GED exam pass rate of the last Bridge Program group that took the test in December 2013 was 67%, compared with New York State’s latest pass rate of 53% in 2012-13.


    Ms. Dalsimer has also been tireless in her efforts to provide training on this kind of instruction for other institutions and literacy professionals nationwide through her creation of and work in the College and Careers Pathways Institute at LaGuardia.


    “It has been my great pleasure and honor to work with adult learners for the last 25 years in their quest to improve their education and career prospects,” said Ms. Dalsimer. “The students’ hard work and the unwavering commitment of my colleagues in the adult education community have been my daily inspiration. I am proud to receive this recognition but consider it a shared honor that belongs to all of these remarkable adult students and their dedicated educators.”                                                                           


    The Bridge Program is funded by Robin Hood Foundation and the S.A.V.E. EMT Program is currently funded by the U.S. Department of Labor through its Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program. 


    Find out more about this year’s Literacy Recognition Awards at http://www.lacnyc.org/Awards.

       

    •     •     •     •

     

    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success education underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

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