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Queens College Skyline, view of Manhattan
Discimus ut serviamus: We learn so that we may serve.

QView #179 | April 30, 2024

What’s News

From left: President Frank H. Wu; Brenda Jimenez, CEO of Mentor New York; Taruna Sadhoo, director of Honors and Scholarships and Macaulay Honors College

The Kessler Scholars Program honored its first graduating class and welcomed incoming students at its awards ceremony on the evening of Monday, April 15. Speakers at the event, held in the Student Union, included Mentor New York CEO Brenda L. Jimenez, President Frank H. Wu, and Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Jennifer Jarvis.

Foreground, from left: AVP for Facilities, Planning and Operations Zeco Krcic; Nassau Community College President Maria Conzatti; President Frank H. Wu

Nassau Community College (NCC) President Maria Conzatti and her team toured campus on Tuesday, April 16. Over lunch, she and President Frank H. Wu met with college officials to discuss ways to expand partnership programs and services to transfer students, Each year, approximately 900 students who attended NCC enroll at Queens College, according to President Conzatti.  

President Frank H. Wu and Nassau Community College President Maria Conzatti

An April 16 ribbon-cutting marked the official opening of CUNY Citizenship Now’s Queens College office in the Student Union. “With CUNY Citizenship Now working closely with our Immigrant Success Center, we are positioned wonderfully to enhance outreach to all those who can benefit from their services,” said President Frank H. Wu. Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Jennifer Jarvis and CUNY Citizenship Now Interim Director Monique Francis spoke at the event, as did Citizenship Now student Carla Cardova. Katherine Zapata, director of education in the office of Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, made remarks; Soojin Choi Lee, education policy director in the office of State Senator John Liu, was among the attendees. Allan Wernick, who co-founded CUNY Citizenship Now 27 years ago with Jay Hershenson and taught law at Baruch College, and Hostos Community College was in the audience. Free services are available to the college and external communities. Highlights of the ribbon-cutting are captured in this video.

Students strutted their stuff—wearing outfits that reflected their identity—in the annual CERRU Fashion Show on Wednesday, April 17, at the Student Union.

From left, back row: Dyaan Malik, Tenzin Norphel, Hajrah Ahmed, Nicholas Sarni, Sofia Mitts

Front row: Daniela Valencia, Elizabeth Taylor, President Frank H. Wu, Tasha Seeram, Ganimete Popovic

The Sociology Department saluted outstanding students on Thursday, April 18, at a luncheon in Dining Hall Room 120. President Frank H. Wu dropped by to congratulate the honorees.

Recruiters from JPMorgan Chase talked to students on Thursday, April 18, through the New York Jobs CEO Council Recruiter in Residence program. Launched earlier this month at the Career Center (Frese Hall 211), the program brings recruiters from New York area companies to campus to present a workshop on a career topic; afterward, recruiters meet with students individually by appointment. A Bloomberg recruiter will be in residence on May 2 and 9. To register for the event, go to www.qc.cuny.edu/hireqc

The sixth annual Reimagining Science & Technology Education Conference on Friday, April 19, featured workshops for students and teachers. J.R. Harris ’66, author of Way Out There: Adventures of Wilderness Trekker, gave the keynote. As a solo backpacker, Harris has circled the globe, staying with indigenous people. 

From left: President Frank H. Wu, CUNY Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management Reine T. Sarmiento, David Hinojosa, Chief Diversity Officer and Dean of Diversity Jerima DeWese

Diversity Week 2024 culminated in the Dismantling and Combating Hate Conference, held in the Student Union on Friday, April 19. David Hinojosa, director of the Educational Opportunities Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, delivered the keynote. The conference included a panel discussion and breakout sessions. Those who missed the event can see highlights on video.

Men’s Tennis Claims Second Straight ECC Championship

The Queen College men’s tennis team claimed their second straight East Coast Conference (ECC) Championship on Saturday night, defeating St. Thomas Aquinas College, 4-1. The win gives the Knights their 10th championship in the program’s illustrious history and their sixth in the last seven seasons.

Men’s tennis player Roni Rikkonen, who earlier in the week was named the ECC Player of the Year, clinched the championship point for the Knights (which can be seen on the Knights’ Instagram page). Queens College will now await the winner of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference to determine the automatic bid winner to the NCAA Men's Tennis Tournament. The match is set for Saturday, May 4 at 5:30 pm in Flushing inside the QC Tennis Bubble.

Softball, baseball, and track and field are also hoping to add an ECC Championship trophy to their shelves this year. Both softball and baseball recently cliched a playoff spot. Softball will be the #3 seed and will compete in the double elimination tournament this Thursday, May 2. In their first game, the Knights will take on St. Thomas Aquinas at 2:30 pm. All games will be played in Rockville Centre on the campus of Molloy University.

Baseball has one more weekend of the regular season remaining and is still in the running for the #1 seed. Baseball trails rival Molloy University by two games in the standings for first place, and they control their own destiny as they will face Molloy in a four-game series this weekend.

Track and Field will also vie for an ECC title this week as they compete at the ECC Championship this Thursday at 10 am in Rochester, NY.

For all the latest playoff updates, be sure to go to queensknights.com

Entering the QC Campus

As of yesterday—Monday, April 29—CUNY or QC ID cards are required for people entering campus grounds. (For information about getting a QCard, go to https://www.qc.cuny.edu/its/qcard/.) Vehicles without a current decal will not be allowed on site.

The QC shuttle will pick up and drop off passengers on Kissena Boulevard, by the Public Safety building; car services, similarly, must pick up and drop off passengers outside college grounds. The Student Union gate is closed until further notice. For details about when the other gates will be open, see the recent mailer from President Frank H. Wu.

New Accessibility Policy for Students with Disabilities

In conjunction with CUNY Disability Awareness Month, observed in April, the City University of New York announced a new accessibility policy for students with disabilities. Effective at all CUNY campuses, the policy ensures that inclusion, equity, and accessibility are factors in every decision involving academic policy; it also establishes procedures and deadlines for responding to requests for academic accommodations.

“This new accessibility policy is another demonstration of CUNY’s commitment to provide a top-notch education to all students, regardless of background or means,” said Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “By specifying the steps that are necessary to provide equal access to education for students with disabilities, along with clear procedures to govern their equitable provision, CUNY will ensure a learning environment that is fully inclusive, and one in which all students with disabilities can obtain the resources they need to thrive.”

Building on the Americans With Disabilities Act’s general principle of non-discrimination and reasonable accommodations in employment, public facilities, and education, CUNY's policy addresses the academic adjustments entailed in giving students with disabilities equal access in a university setting. For more information, refer to the new policy.

Poetry Month, Concluded

For the last week of Poetry Month, QView presents work by Nicole Cooley (English/MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation) and Nicholas Alexiou (Sociology/Hellenic American Project).


Cooley shared a poem from her manuscript in progress, TRASH, about trash in the New York City area.


The Corona Ash Dump and the World of Tomorrow 


At the edge of the Van Wyck expressway in Queens as I walk

to work – egg carton, pair of smashed glasses, one eye gone—


the future telescopes back, and I’m standing in a salt marsh,

more than a hundred years ago, threaded


with cord grass, thick and vascular, as water leaks from Flushing Bay.




This is the valley of ashes --fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens



                           Or not grassland but farther

                           back: Brooklyn Ash Removal Company

dumps the marsh in Queens

with coal dust, and fires spark all night.



where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air.




Soot rats coins of light

Stutter and stammer of smoke

Mount Corona




The Corona Ash Dump is rebranded as

Flushing Meadows Park.


Robert Moses erases, fills and builds

The World of Tomorrow, 1939

World’s Fair, Futurama, gold and glitter.



All New York city built on landfill, all sprawl and wreck.



Alexiou submitted work from his from his collection Eleusis (Institute of Local History Publications, Athens, Greece, 2023).


Persephone Rising


We never learned

The ABC of justice

But in the netherworld

Those in the know

Say that for a single

Infinitesimal moment,

When the great night

Cracks like glass,

Between the millstones

And the tide of blossoms,

The darkest hierophants

Rise with Her

And pray with laurels

To the brightest star

Of pre-historic truth

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Wondering why May was designated Asian Pacific American Heritage Month?

According to an NPR article, the timing reflects two dates that are significant to Asian American Pacific Islander history. The first Japanese immigrants came to the United States on May 7, 1843; the first transcontinental railroad—the western section of which was constructed by 12,000 Chinese laborers—was completed on May 10, 1869, known as Golden Spike Day.  

The Asian American / Asian Research Institute (AA/ARI) has a busy calendar for May. Among the events: New York City College of Technology will host an Anti-Asian Hate Conference on Thursday, May 2, from 2 to 5 pm; and LaGuardia Community College will present an AAPI Heritage Month Mini Conference on Tuesday, May 7, from 10 am to 3 pm.

SongWriter Podcast Comes to Kupferberg

Acclaimed author Joyce Carol Oates and world music sensation Ali Sethi will take turns at the mic on the evening of May 11, when SongWriter—a podcast that turns stories into songs—will record an episode before an audience in LeFrak Concert Hall. The program, which will focus on caregiving, will also feature SongWriter founder and host Ben Arthur and psychologist Allison Applebaum, founding director of the Caregivers Clinic at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and author of Stand by Me: A Guide to Navigating Modern, Meaningful Caregiving.

Sethi, Oates

“KCA is proud to partner with so many QC entities in bringing Joyce Carol Oates to campus for this dynamic, thought-provoking event,” says Jon Yanofsky, director of the Kupferberg Center for the Arts (KCA). “QC has a great tradition of bringing eminent authors to campus to read from their works and interact with our campus community. The SongWriter session on May 11 fits perfectly into this rich history, with the bonus of live music to add to the evening’s focus on creativity.”

Each SongWriter episode—65 are posted online—involves a writer and one or more musicians. Arthur, a singer-songwriter and novelist, launched the podcast in 2018 as an outlet for “answer songs” responding to literary works.

“Joyce was part of the development of this project from the beginning,” he says. Through Deborah Treisman, fiction editor of the New Yorker and host of its Fiction podcast, he sent Oates a song he’d written in response to one of her stories. A collaboration ensued, resulting in a SongWriter episode with Oates reading “Deceit,” a dark tale about a teenager and her mother; indie punk rocker Ted Leo performed the song it inspired and discussed why the text resonated with him. “One of the joys of this project is that I get to trust artists and let them do the things they do best,” Arthur observes.

Over time, he has enlisted a literary Who’s Who and musicians from many genres. Soviet-born satirist Gary Shteyngart was teamed with Elissa LeCoque of the electronic duo Kodacrome; novelist and nonfiction writer Cheryl Strayed, famed for her memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, made her SongWriter debut with country-pop artist Maia Sharp. Like Strayed, Roxane Gay, author of social commentary and fiction, has appeared twice. The second time, Gay examined life with her wife during the pandemic; actor-musician Celisse and folk-blues-rock legend Toshi Reagon each offered replies.

“The secret sauce of the project is the individual works,” says Arthur. “Writers give their work to me, and I share it with the songwriter. The first time Gary and I heard Elissa’s song was at the performance. Often these songs don’t live anywhere else than on my podcast. Some have never been released.”

In a sign of SongWriter’s growth, the LeFrak date is part of a series of episodes supported by the Templeton World Charity Foundation. “Templeton invited me to apply for a grant to make podcasts on the subject of human flourishing—empathy, forgiveness, polarization, animal intelligence, caregiving—including a conversation with a scientist researching that topic.” Arthur explains. The grant is oriented toward engaging a young, international audience, so this summer and fall, he’ll be recording English-language shows in Rwanda on forgiveness and in Turkey and the United Kingdom on empathy.

SongWriter contributor turned project manager Laurie Woolever—click on season four, episode 6 for her account of a hair-raising film shoot in Sri Lanka with late chef-author-TV producer Anthony Bourdain—pointed out that a diverse audience could be found at Queens College. Friends at QC connected Woolever and Arthur to Jason Tougaw (English), director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing & Literary Translation. After Tougaw reached out to Yanofsky and KCA Director of Strategic Partnerships & Development/Queens College School of Arts Associate Dean Julia Del Palacio, QC arts units agreed to co-host the show. (SongWriter is using grant funds to pay the artists and cover advertising and Oates’s transportation.)

LeFrak will be the podcast’s largest venue to date. “Generally, I do shows in small rooms,” Arthur says, citing an upper Manhattan coffeeshop where he recently worked with Oates and banjoist Tony Trischka. “It’s terrifying and awesome to do it in a 500-seat theater. To have two extraordinary titans of the art world on stage is a breathtaking opportunity.”

“I’m really excited to invite the student population to engage with this,” Arthur continues. “We’re attempting to talk about things that matter. Students can attend the May 11 event for free; I hope they do.” In connection with SongWriter’s appearance on campus, he will visit two classes, one in podcasting and the other in creative nonfiction.

“Ben Arthur and Laurie Woolever have created an amazing opportunity for students in English and Media Studies to meet and work with professional podcasting producers,” says Tougaw. “It’s invaluable for students to learn about the creative and business elements of podcasting from the inside. The show is multimedia, by nature, so students who attend will see live possibilities for creating multimedia events—not to mention witnessing two artists with international reputations interact with each other.” 

By design, that conversation is open ended. People who watch SongWriter in person or online are invited to respond to episodes with songs, poems, and paintings that can be shared on the website’s Community Art section. “The underlying philosophy of SongWriter is that art is here as a practice to make your life better,” Arthur says. “The idea that something has no value without money is a sickness. Everyone gets to take part in this. Please do!”

The May 11 SongWriter event is presented by the Queens College School of Arts, the MFA Program in Creative Writing & Literary Translation, and the Kupferberg Center for the Arts, and made possible by a grant from the Templeton World Charity Foundation.

Scholarships for Hispanic Women

For 15 years, the New York League of Puerto Rican Women (NYLPRW) has been awarding scholarships to help Hispanic women attain bachelor’s degrees. The deadline to apply for this year’s award cycle is May 24. Interested students can request a form by emailing info@nylprw.org.

There are seven requirements for eligibility. Students must be undergraduates matriculated at an accredited institution; have a GPA of at least 3.0, with no failing grades; submit a resume; submit an essay detailing their educational and career goals and community service; provide an official college transcript; provide two letters of recommendation from a professor, college advisor, employer, minister, or supervisor; submit a 4" by 6" (minimum size) color headshot photo in high resolution, jpeg format of the applicant in appropriate business casual or professional attire, with a neutral background, for inclusion in NYLPRW’s commemorative gala journal; and be available to meet with the scholarship committee.

QC Art Center Presents Interwoven

Interwoven, an exhibition that celebrates the Italian immigrant experience and highlights the generational impact of the decision to come to the United States, will open at the Queens College Art Center with a reception on May 2 at 5 pm. Multiple QC entities collaborated to create a full sensory experience for visitors. The show features images from the Photography Department, wall texts provided by the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, and music created by Italians from the Aaron Copland School of Music. To add another dimension, the reception will feature the tastes and smells of regional Italian cuisine. Interwoven will close on June 4.

USTA Looking for People with a Lot on the Ball

Full-time and seasonal positions are available at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadow Corona Park. Pay for part-time jobs during the US Open starts at $17 an hour. Recruiters will meet with applicants in person at the center’s job fair on June 26-27, 3-7 pm. Learn more about the fair and or file an application online here 2024 US Open Tennis Tournament.

In Memoriam

Charlotte M. Shapiro ’46

Women’s rights activist Charlotte Meyrowitz Shapiro passed away on April 3, at the age of 98.

The only child of Eastern European immigrants, she was 16 when she matriculated at QC, where she majored in Elementary & Early Childhood Education. Upon graduation, she continued her own education at Hofstra University.

In 1981, after teaching American Studies at South Side High School in Rockville Centre, Shapiro co-founded Women on the Job (WOJ), a Long Island-based not-for-profit. WOJ promoted equal employment opportunities for women and fought workplace discrimination. The organization’s records are housed in NYU’s Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, which credits WOJ with “community organizing, coalition building, advocacy, counseling, research, information and referral services, and the publication of resource materials,” including the widely distributed manual Working for Pay Equity

Shapiro served as president and board member of the League of Women Voters in Levittown, Long Island, and New York State. She also wrote Searching for Matilda: Portrait of a Forgotten Feminist, a biography of Matilda Joslyn Gage.

Predeceased by her husband of 73 years, Shapiro is survived by her children Richard, Susan, and Jill; their respective spouses; and four grandsons.

Heard Around Campus

Richard Bodnar (Psychology) has been chosen for the 2024 City University of New York Award. Bodnar, who earned his doctorate at CUNY, was recognized for his contributions as a scholar and a leader. He will be honored at the CUNY Graduate Center’s Alumni Awards ceremony on May 6 . . . . Richard Branciforte ’67, publisher of Good Times Magazine, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Chapters Network on April 21 . . . .

Susan Isaacs ’65 was one of five participants in the recent Mystery Writers of America 2024 Symposium, featuring nominees for the G.P. Putnam's Sons Sue Grafton Memorial Award . . . . Francesc Ortega (Economics) is the co-author of a 2018 study on the economics of climate change, cited in a recent issue of the Economist. The study was published in the Journal of Urban Economics . . . . Eugenia Paulicelli (ELL), in her second year of collaborating with Francis Lewis High School, presented her fourth workshop in March. Students from different classes—Spanish, Chinese, Japanese—are using The Fabric of Cultures and material to develop projects for the school’s year-end festival on the fusion of different cultures and languages. Also, Paulicelli gave a lecture on “Rosa Genoni’s Tanagra Dress Reframed: A Story of Fashion, Performance, Feminism” on March 21 at the Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University, in conjunction with the exhibition Recasting Antiquity: Whistler, Tanagra, and the Female Form . . . .



Kate Pechenkina (Social Sciences/Business) and Ying Zhou (TIQC) represented Queens College at the New York City Small Business Resource Fair held on campus on April 23. The fair was the first in a series of five events taking place this spring, with one in each borough . . . . Laura Silverman and Rebecca DeJesus from Academic Advising and former peer advisor Selina Singh ’24 participated in the webinar “Postsecondary Spotlight on Peer-to-Peer Advising,” presented by Grant Makers for Education . . . .

Maral Tajerian (Biology) has been chosen to receive a Henry Wasser Award for Outstanding Research for Assistant Professors in CUNY, 2024. In the next academic year, she will present her work in a talk alongside other awardees as part of the Feliks Gross and Henry Wasser lecture series . . . . President Frank H. Wu participated in Serica Initiative’s April 17 panel at New York University, “Racially Profiled for Being a Scientist: A Discussion of the US DOJ’s China Initiative.”

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