Discimus ut serviamus: We learn so that we may serve.
QView #112 | October 26, 2021
What’s News
Student Association President Zaire Couloute was among the speakers at an international Virtual Youth Climate Workshop held on Tuesday, October 19, in advance of the 2021 UN Climate Change Summit. Also known as COP26—an acronym for the 26th annual “conference of the parties”—the UN summit, taking place from October 31 to November 12, will assemble representatives from most of the world’s countries to discuss environmental issues. Due to her well-received presentation on behalf of Queens College and CUNY students, Couloute has been invited to the in-person celebration to mark COP26. The speaking opportunity was arranged with the assistance of Tria Case, CUNY’s university executive director of Sustainability and Energy Conservation. 
Rosenthal Offering Weekend Reservations
Soon, students may begin booking weekend time at the library.

Effective Saturday, October 30, Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library will be open by prior reservation for study space from 11 am to 5 pm. Library staff will not be on site.

Reservations, which must be made at https://qc-cuny.libcal.com/ by 7 pm the night before a planned visit, are limited to currently registered QC students, faculty, and staff who are cleared for campus access.

For more information about the Queens College Libraries, go to https://library.qc.cuny.edu/.
Change of Venue for State of the College Address and Faculty Teaching Awards

On Monday, November 1, at 3 pm, President Frank H. Wu will speak in LeFrak Concert Hall—not in Colden Auditorium, as originally announced. His talk will be preceded by presentation of Excellence in Teaching Awards with Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Elizabeth F. Hendrey to selected full-time and adjunct faculty from each of QC’s schools. Seating in LeFrak will be available on a first-come, first-served basis; the proceedings will also be livestreamed. 
What To Know About the Summit”—the latest video in the return to campus series produced by the Office of Communications and Marketing, in collaboration with student and faculty leaders and the Department of Drama, Theater and Dance—illustrates the advantages of living in QC’s residence hall. The Summit Apartments offers convenience, safety, and an easy commute to class. This latest video was developed with the support of the Office of Student Affairs and Summit staff. 

Tarana Burke Speaks to QC
QC Africana Studies Community Conversations Join the Dialogue Series will feature Tarana Burke—founder of #MeToo, activist, author, and motivator—over Zoom on Wednesday, November 3, at 4:30 pm. Africana students will moderate this live event, where Burke will take questions from the audience about her books You Are Your Best Thing: Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience, and Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement. Attendees must register in advance.

The session will be livestreamed, but not recorded, on Africana’s Facebook page.

This 90-minute conversation is being presented with the support of the Mellon Foundation, which enabled Africana to give away more than 150 copies of You Are Your Best Thing. Natanya Duncan (Africana Studies)—who arranged the event—personally donated three copies of that book, and three copies of Unbound, to Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library, which has both titles in ebook format. 
Godwin-Ternbach Explores MIGRATIONS
The Godwin-Ternbach Museum is offering virtual events In connection with its exhibition MIGRATIONS: A Study of Arts and Identity.

Today—Tuesday, October 26, at 6 pm—the museum is hosting a panel conversation, Following a Thread: Stitching Memories of Migration through Partnership and Community Building. Artist Naomi Kuo, curator Sarah Margolis-Pineo, and archivist Natalie Milbrodt will discuss their work on a collaborative textile installation and how it served as a community-building project. To register, email gtmuseum@qc.cuny.edu.

On Tuesday, November 9, at 7 pm, an artist talk will spotlight photographer Orestes Gonzalez, whose work is included in MIGRATIONS. Gonzalez will share the stories that inspired many of the images, which concern seemingly random occurrences and their impact on people. Register for this talk here.

For information about upcoming events, click here.
Working the Crowd 

Five QC students will perform alongside two professional actors from the Drama, Theatre and Dance faculty next month, when DTD stages The Crowd You're In With by Rebecca Gilman. In Crowd, couples wrestle with whether to have a family. The production—the department’s first in-person effort with an audience in over a year—will be presented live November 4-7 and livestreamed November 11-14. Audience members must be vaccinated and wear a mask; for details, click here.
Helping People with Parkinson’s Reclaim Their Voice  

With funding from the Parkinson’s Foundation and the Parkinson Voice Project, the Queens College (QC) Speech-Language-Hearing Center is offering Reclaiming Your Voice, a program of free speech and communication therapy tailored to people with Parkinson’s Disease. Currently, services are provided via telepractice; in-person appointments will be available in coming months.
In June, Elizabeth Viccaro Sitler (Linguistics and Communication Disorders) received a Community Grants award from the Parkinson’s Foundation to improve the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s. “The grant allows us to reach out to underserved communities in New York City to offer speech therapy at no cost for people who would not ordinarily have access to such services,” says Viccaro. In addition, she was awarded a second grant from Parkinson Voice Project (PVP) organization, which in 2020 gave the center the training and resource materials to establish the SPEAK OUT!® and The LOUD Crowd® programs for the Queens College community (see story published in QView 84). 
In SPEAK OUT!®, clients with Parkinson’s work one-on-one with a speech-language pathologist (SLP) for up to eight weeks. Thereafter, clients graduate to The LOUD Crowd®, weekly group meetings where participants can continue to reinforce their skills while socializing with others. Additional support is available directly from the Parkinson Voice Project, which posts prerecorded sessions on its website and presents daily sessions with a live SLP on Facebook.  
Lifesaving Lift 
Participants in last year’s pilot at QC praised the program for strengthening their skills, lifting their spirits, and even bolstering their confidence. “It is a lifesaver to have mom participate in your program . . . the sessions are a real source of joy in her life,” wrote the daughter of one client. “I know that her ability to speak and swallow would be much more diminished if we were not enrolled in the program. The bonus of increased socialization is an additional benefit that should be emphasized.” (Mother and daughter are seen in the photograph at left.)

Another client recalled that “during an early session, my clinical coordinator, Kathleen Downing, said, ‘You have not lost your speaking muscles; you just have to access them in a different way.’ This helped me emotionally to achieve speaking success. I also decided to apply the same intent to my physical workouts and to attack other roadblocks that may come in the future.” 

Of course, people with Parkinson’s and their caregivers are not the only people benefiting from the speech center’s initiatives. Since the grants were secured, all graduate students have received PVP training to work with Parkinson’s clients under the direct supervision of a licensed and trained SLP. “When our graduate students are completing their clinical field work in hospitals and in rehab centers, their supervisors are impressed with their additional skills and knowledge,” notes Patricia McCaul, director of QC’s graduate program in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. “The impact of this program is significant for our clients and our students.”
Director of Africana Studies Brings a World of Knowledge to QC
After teaching at Clark Atlanta University, Morgan State University, and most recently, Lehigh University, historian Natanya Duncan has returned to her native New York as director of QC’s Africana Studies and Research Institute.

Duncan, the daughter of Caribbean immigrants, grew up in Brooklyn, planning to be a journalist. In her teens, she was writing for publications such as the New York Daily Challenge, Afro Times, and Emerge Magazine. Academically talented, too, she commuted to the Bronx High School of Science. “I had a very interesting experience as one of only 150 Black diasporic students in a student body of 2000,” she comments.

Eager to see school from a different perspective, Duncan enrolled at Clark Atlanta University, a historically Black college in Atlanta, Georgia. “It was a beautiful culture shock,” she recalls. “I became familiar with euphemisms and idioms from New York that had Southern roots and regional meanings.” Another shock—hearing a television newscaster misidentify Kuwait and Afghanistan—prompted her realization that “this is why we need history.” She decided to major in the subject, minoring in mass communications.

Rising Up

Having taken every available history course at Clark Atlanta by the end of her sophomore year, Duncan was accepted into the United Negro College Fund’s Mellon Mays Program, the first of many awards supporting her career. While shadow teaching at Atlanta’s Booker T. Washington High School—another celebrated Black institution—she made the decision to attend graduate school and pursue an interest in the powerful roles women played in the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). Pan-African activist Amy Ashwood co-founded the association in 1914 with her future husband, Marcus Garvey. She “borrowed” money from her mother to subsidize the UNIA, served as one of its executives, and co-wrote its constitution, which ensured women voting rights in the global organization seven years before women could vote in the United States or Great Britain. Along with equal voting rights, women in the UNIA could run for any office and held constitutionally designated autonomous spaces within the organization. The political and social autonomy led to the development of an activist strategy Duncan calls an efficient womanhood.

“UNIA women strategically pursued gender equality along with an end to the socio-economic oppression faced by Black people world-wide. They worked on the two goals in tandem and saw them as inextricably connected,” says Duncan, who studied the organization’s female membership for her PhD. “Their strategy included creating partnerships with like-minded groups and persons; serving as mentors and mirrors for each other; and creating community-based programs to address the needs of the Black race and their communities where governments failed to do so.”

Researching their efforts has involved tremendous legwork. “An archive didn’t exist,” Duncan continues. “The UNIA existed on six continents. I have traveled the globe to trace these women.” To date, her itinerary has included Barbados, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Haiti, Jamaica, Nova Scotia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and 28 of 50 U.S. states.

“Some of these places are not on the GPS,” she notes. “You get to places, look lost, and people take pity on you and help you. There are repositories in people’s homes! I take a picture of a picture with a sign from the owner saying I have permission to share the image.” It’s important to Duncan that the history of the UNIA be recorded as the history of the people and their descendants who have worked so hard for over one hundred years to improve the quality of life for Black people globally.

Africana Studies Plus 

Duncan’s forthcoming book, An Efficient Womanhood: Women and the Making of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (University of Illinois Press), has made her an authority in this field. In August, she delivered the 12th Annual Marcus Mosiah Garvey Lecture, an event that was livestreamed on the YouTube page of the African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica/Jamaica Memory Bank. The knowledge she gained has, in turn, influenced her work as an educator.

“The efficient womanhood strategy has shaped my pedagogy,” Duncan observes. “Just as UNIA women saw no limits to their possibilities through their global connections, I strive to have my students have a similar view. Often, I invite the scholars we read to my classroom. Students get to meet the people they read. The students become their own mirrors and form connections and partnerships that benefit them in their chosen professions and in their graduate school pursuits.” Recognizing the value of the lived experiences, while at Lehigh, she expanded on an alternative spring break program that, like QC’s In the Footsteps of Dr. King program, tours sites significant to the civil rights movement and visits people from that era.

Duncan also brings joy and energy to her classes, whether they take place in person or remotely. “I deejay at the start of every class,” she says. “We dance. I’m a deejay who takes requests, so we can bring music to the classroom to connect to the topic we’re discussing. Everything is a primary source, including the sneakers you’re wearing. This is Africana Studies, after all. We are interdisciplinary and multimethodological.”

“The beauty of Africana Studies,” she concludes, “is that it’s a field that encompasses all disciplines, such as liberation dance, poetry, and psychology. It’s a space and a place to explore the questions that are most important to students.”
Students Learn To Help Children with Developmental Disabilities 

Since 2014, Emily Jones (Psychology) has integrated service learning into undergraduate and graduate courses through SIBS Club, an on-campus program for children with autism and their siblings. Now, backed by a We Learn So That We May Serve (WLSTWMS) grant, Jones and Lenwood Gibson (Education and Community Programs) are integrating service learning components into a course about children with Down syndrome and other developmental issues from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Through the curriculum, students will participate in an on-campus clinic for children with those disabilities and their families.  
Emily Jones
Lenwood Gibson
“This was the right time to think about it,” says Jones, adding that Gibson was the logical colleague to partner with her on Culturally Responsive Family Support Practicum: Meeting the Needs of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Children with Intellectual Disabilities and their Families.  

Gibson agrees. “We have similar interests—and the college is fostering cross-departmental collaborations.” 

As reported in QView 109, WLSTWMS encourages faculty to redesign existing courses or develop new ones that integrate teaching, learning, and community service, enabling QC students to “learn so that they may serve.” Led by former Vice President for Finance and Administration William Keller and supported by the Queens College Foundation, the program made its debut this year by awarding seven grants of up to $5,000 each. 

Demonstrating the Demographics

Jones and Gibson’s project focuses on the changing demographics of disabilities and the difficulties some communities experience in accessing help. “We need to provide services to culturally and linguistically diverse groups that aren’t being served at all,” explains Jones.  

Part of the solution will be to change the demographics and training of service providers. Students will be taught evidence-based strategies and culturally responsive practices appropriate for young children and their families. “We will help children in ways that are effective,” says Gibson. “This is exciting, important work.”  

The Culturally Responsive Family Support Practicum will have a soft launch next semester, with a small course and clinic that can be expanded in the fall. Students who have completed Psychology 213 or something similar will be eligible for the class, whether or not they major in psychology.  

In the meantime, Jones and Gibson are reaching out to agencies, pre-schools, community organizations, and houses of worship to promote their program among potential families. They are also investigating ways to prepare recruitment and instructional material in languages other than English, in the process creating a model for making programs more accessible. 

QView will continue to cover WLSTWMS courses as they develop.   
Squashing Waste
When Halloween is over, opt for eco-friendly disposal of old jack-o-lanterns and gourds: Toss them at the Queens Botanical Garden’s 2021 Pumpkin Smash on November 6 from 10 am to 1:30 pm at Lou Lodati Park (41-15 Skillman Avenue, 11104). Staffers will haul the pulp to the garden to be recycled through the NYC Compost Project. In a smashing success, the event will divert material from the waste stream and generate fertilizer for parks, community gardens, and other green spaces.
Heard Around the Virtual Campus
Tong Chen
Dennis Mackrel
Steven Markowitz
Tong Chen has been appointed assistant conductor of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, reported New Jersey Stage. Chen studied with Maurice Peress at ACSM and led the school’s orchestral program from 2021 through 2018 . . . . Marc-Antoine Longpre (SEES) and graduate students Samantha Tramontano and Franco Cortese got coverage in CUNY News for their work monitoring the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Canary Island of La Palma . . . . Dennis Mackrel (ACSM) was named to New Jersey Youth Symphony’s inaugural jazz residency, an appointment covered in Digital Journal, New Jersey Stage and Union News Daily. Mackrel will hold a series of in-person clinics for students from this month through April 2022 . . . . Steven Markowitz (Barry Commoner Center) published an op-ed, “Call it a weakly testing option: COVID vaccine mandates with a weekly testing option don’t do enough to stop the virus” in the Daily News . . . .
President Frank H. Wu talks about QC’s strategic plan, including the launch of arts and business schools, in a new Schneps Media podcast, “Leading an Iconic Institution with Frank H. Wu, President, Queens College, CUNY.” On Thursday, October 21, Wu participated in Science & Security: Focus on China, a panel discussion presented during the Council On Governmental Relation’s four-day virtual meeting.
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