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Discimus ut serviamus: We learn so that we may serve.

QView #181 | May 21, 2024

What’s News

Tis the season for year-end departmental ceremonies. The History honors luncheon

and the Mathematics celebration took place on Monday, May 13; 

Jewish Studies held its graduation and award lunch two days later.

President Frank H. Wu was among the award recipients on Tuesday, May 14, when Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz held a celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. The event took place at Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York Inc. Honorable Justice Randall T. Eng, the first Asian American to become a judge in New York State, delivered the keynote; Wu was honored alongside New York City Council Member Linda Lee and Queens Assistant District Attorney Olivia Quinto of the DA's Felony Trials Bureau.

From left: New York City Council Member Linda Lee, Director Yijun Wang of the DA's Administration Division, President Frank H. Wu, District Attorney Melinda Katz, Justice Randall T. Eng, Assistant District Attorney Olivia Quinto of the DA's Felony Trials Bureau, Assistant District Attorney Rosemary Chao of the DA's Felony Trials Bureau

Good sports were saluted at the Knights Annual Awards Ceremony on the evening of May 14 in Rosenthal Library. Multiple teams reached East Coast Conference (ECC) Championship Tournaments this year; mens soccer won their first ECC title in program history, mens tennis won their sixth ECC title in seven years, and 47 student-athletes earned all-ECC honors. 

Medical staff member Karol Gajewski next to a Blood Drive sign

Members of the QC community donated more than time when the Health Service Center, Office of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, and the New York Blood Center organized a blood drive on campus on May 15. 

The Israel Student Association, in partnership with Queens Hillel and other Jewish-related clubs at QC, held Israelfest in FitzGerald Gym on Wednesday, May 15. The event, marking Israel Independence Day, featured music, games, and food.

Students in the dual program in Library Science and History presented work at the MLSMA Graduate Symposium on Thursday, May 16.

CUNY Vice Chancellor for Facilities Planning, Construction and Management Mohamed Attalla came to campus on May 16. He last visited in April 2023; his team works closely with college officials year-round. He met with President Frank H. Wu and senior administrators on the status of ongoing projects and pressing needs.

From left: Vice President for Communications and Marketing and Senior Advisor to the President Jay Hershenson; Assistant Vice President for Budget and Finance Joe Loughren; Vice Chancellor for Facilities Planning, Construction and Management Mohamed Attalla; President Frank H. Wu; Assistant Vice President for Facilities, Planning and Operations Zeco Krcic; Assistant Vice President for Governmental and External Relations Jeffrey Rosenstock

Like human snowbirds, mallards winter in the southern United States and head north in the spring. This trio touched down on the Quad, adding to the avian diversity on campus.

Executives of Navitas, the firm helping Queens College recruit international students, met with President Frank H. Wu, Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Patricia Price, and other members of the QC administration on Friday, May 17.

Back row, from left: Vice President for Communications and Marketing and Senior Advisor to the President Jay Hershenson; Provost Emerita Elizabeth Hendrey; Navitas North America COO Darcy Rollins; President Frank H. Wu; International Students and Scholars Director Patrick O’Connell; Interim Associate Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs Maria DeLongoria; Navitas North America Vice President of Marketing and Recruitment Livia Castellanos; QC Global Student Success Program Director Lin Reed

Front: Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Patricia Price; Navitas North America President and CEO Brian Stevenson

Tennis Teams Make NCAA Tournament Runs

The Queens College women’s tennis team saw their run at the NCAA Tournament end in the Round of 16, while the men’s tennis team is looking ahead to their Round of 16 match-up taking place today.

The women’s team came up short in their Round of 16 match against Midwestern State University (Texas) yesterday morning. Despite the loss, it was a great season for the team, as they finished the year with a record of 14-5 and reached the Round of 16 for the first time since the 2018-19 season.

The men’s tennis team won their opening round match last Tuesday against Southern New Hampshire University to advance to the Round of 16 for the seventh time in program history. The Knights will be in Altamonte Springs, Florida, where they will face Saint Leo University this afternoon (May 21) at 12 pm. Live stats are available.

Additionally, the Knights received multiple honors from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association last week. Head Coach Somadi Drucker was named ITA East Region Coach of the Year, while Assistant Coach Robert Gomez was selected as the ITA East Region Assistant Coach of the Year. Roni Rikkonen was honored as the ITA East Region Senior Player of the Year and sophomore Lucas Foix Sotos was named as an ITA Player to Watch.

For the latest updates on the Knights at the NCAA Tournament, visit queensknights.com

Honoring the Memories of Staci Hope Cohen . . .

Wilfred Reyes

Vijay Sanichar

QC students Wilfred Reyes and Vijay Sanichar were announced in April as joint winners of the Staci Hope Cohen Award, given in recognition of their contributions to campus sustainability. Both are being cited for their unstinting dedication to the maintenance of the FNES organic garden and will share the $500 award.

Staci Cohen on the right

First given out in 2019, the award celebrates the memory of Staci Hope Cohen, who was in charge of QC’s Office of Sustainability until her untimely passing in 2016. Her family and friends established the Staci Hope Cohen Fund to support student-inspired sustainability initiatives and recognize students’ contributions to the college’s sustainability efforts. A plaque bearing her name is on display at the FNES garden. Sanichar will be graduating this month while Reyes, on track to graduate in 2027, will continue gardening. 

. . . and Carol Douglas

Carlos Alberto Escobar-Durango, a junior double majoring in political science and history, has been named the inaugural winner of the Carol Douglas Student Diversity Award.

Established in honor of Douglas—an administrative executive assistant for the School of Social Sciences, a QC and CUNY alumna, and a founding member and leader of the Black and Latinx Faculty and Staff Association (BLFSA)—the award aims to recognize and celebrate the outstanding contributions of QC undergraduate students who share her commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion.

Carlos Alberto Escobar-Durango

Carol Douglas

After reviewing 52 nomination letters from members of the QC community, the award committee identified Escobar-Durango as a student whose activism on campus and beyond most aligns with the legacy of Carol Douglas. “He has demonstrated a deep understanding of the challenges faced by marginalized groups and has worked tirelessly to amplify their voices and promote positive change,” the letter noted. Escobar-Durango was cited for exercising leadership as president of the Speech and Debate Club and using social media to increase participation in the SEEK Young Men's Alliance (SYMA). Via PowerPoint, he presented at the CUNY OSP Conference with his SYMA peer leaders to raise awareness about diversity and equity. 

Urban Studies Class Takes Power Trip

Standing in front of a giant part once used in a hydro-electric turbine apparatus are (from left) Maude Montesano from host Hydro-Quebec, Jaegi LIssade, Michelle Herrera, Ricardo Barco, Andrew Zaoutis, Alex Baron, Marwan Alsaedi, Kelvin Gonzalez, Kevin Mscichowski, Charisse Stoll, Racquel Ramlall, Costa Constantinides, and an unidentified individual.

Students in the Just Transition in Renewable Energy class taught by former City Councilman turned adjunct lecturer (Urban Studies) Costa Constantinides ’05 traveled north to Canada in April to visit the Beauharnois hydropower generating facility station on the St. Lawrence Seaway in Quebec. The plant, one of the world’s largest hydropower generating stations, will provide clean renewable power as part of the Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE), an innovative project currently under construction. CHPE will play a key role in New York State’s clean energy transition, delivering clean hydropower via underground and underwater cables running 339 miles from the Canadian border to a converter hub facility being built in Astoria, Queens, with completion anticipated in 2026.

Offered in Urban Studies and Labor Studies, the course focuses on the impact that the conversion from a fossil fuel-driven economy to a green economy will have on workers. The CHPE project is addressing this with a $40 million Green Economy Fund, which will support disadvantaged communities, low-income individuals, and transitioning fossil-fuel workers in accessing and building careers in New York State’s green economy.

The precedent-setting CHPE is projected to provide enough renewable electricity to meet 20 percent of New York City’s energy needs, powering over one million residences, reducing harmful emissions by 3.9 million metric tons, and significantly improving air quality for all New Yorkers. Emissions reduction will be equivalent to removing approximately 44 percent of cars from New York City streets. To ensure that the environment is cleaner than when the project began, CHPE will provide $117 million over 35 years to fund environmental protection programs through the Hudson River and Lake Champlain Habitat Enhancement, Restoration, and Research/Habitat Improvement Trust Fund.

At a September 19, 2023, event in Astoria attended by several dignitaries—including U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Secretary David Turk and Québec Premier Francois Legault—to mark the beginning of the converter hub’s construction, New York Governor Kathy Hochul remarked, “Renewable energy plays a critical role in the transformation of our power grid while creating a cleaner environment for our future generations. The transformation of a fossil fuel site into a zero-emission facility highlights the world of possibilities we have to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, mitigate the impact of climate change, and accelerate our collective progress of shifting our power grid to go green.”

Attending the event in his current capacity as CEO of Variety Boys and Girls Clubs of Queens, Constantinides, who previously represented Astoria in the City Council, said, “Today is a great day for the energy transition away from fossil fuels here in Astoria. For too long our community has borne the brunt of fossil fuel production and the health impacts that have turned our neighborhood into Asthma Alley. The CHPE converter transformation promises us 1250 megawatts of clean power flowing to Astoria protecting our lungs while powering our homes.” 

Godwin-Ternbach Hosts John Turner Retrospective

The next exhibition at the Godwin-Ternbach Museum will be Family, Identity & Culture: Paintings by John Hunter, opening on May 30 with a reception on site from 6 to 8 pm. Timed to coincide with Pride Month and Queens Rising, both occurring in June, the show features oil paintings and works on paper by Hunter, a gay African American artist based in Oaxaca, Mexico, and New York City.

“Since I am African American, I began to cast my gaze in the direction of fellow people of color,” he observed. “This decision has determined the bulk of the painting I have done for the past twenty years culminating in the series of portraits made from photographs that I made during a visit to the countries in West Africa of Ghana, Togo, and Benin. There was another subject, though, that I had hesitated to address—gay life. As a gay married man, I wanted to express my sexual orientation and depict the life that I had lived. This has been a driving impulse that has not only determined what I paint but how it reflects the gay gaze.”

The show will be on view through August 8, 2024. Generous support for Family, Identity, & Culture has been provided by John Hunter and Harold D. Kooden. Additional funding has been provided by the Friends of the Godwin-Ternbach Museum, Kupferberg Cen­ter for the Arts, and Queens College. Education programs and initiatives are supported in part by the Milton & Sally Avery Arts Foundation, and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council. Additional support for the care of the collection is made possible by the Pine Tree Foundation.

Happening in the Borough

The Noguchi Museum offers free admission on the first Friday of every month; tickets are released at noon two weeks before the date. Located in a repurposed industrial building in Long Island City, the museum displays the work of its namesake, an internationally renowned Japanese American sculptor. The site includes a sculpture garden featuring plants native to Japan, the United States, or both.

Heard Around Campus

Raymond Erickson (first director of the ACSM and later dean of Arts and Humanities) just published “Bach at the Barre: An Annotated List of Choreographies Using J. S. Bach’s Violin Ciaccona (Chaconne),” the lead article in BACH: Journal of the Riemenschneider Institute, Vol. 55, No. 1 [Spring 2024]. The issue is devoted entirely to choreographies to J.S. Bach's Chaconne for unaccompanied violin. Erickson, who moved to the Hudson Valley after retirement in 2008, regularly teaches in Bard College's Lifelong Learning Institute and serves as artist-in-residence in the Bard College Conservatory of Music. In 2014, he played the first solo harpsichord recitals in major concert halls in Wuhan and Beijing. Three years later, his return concert to Beijing, an all-Bach program, sold out the Forbidden City Concert Hall. Erickson also lectured and taught in several Chinese cities, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan . . . . Team Solar Eclipse, representing QC, won the outstanding student group award in ISACA Metropolitan New York Chapter’s 2024 Cyber-Security Case Competition. Solar Eclipse, comprising Brandon Scott (Computer Science), Brandon Graff (Computer Science), Tam Nguyen (Quantitative Economics), and Oksana Weigand Suminski (Computer Science), worked with direct advisors and mentors Mark S. Northrup of CISO, Richard Balram ’21 of A-lign (a former winner), and Nate Samuels ’22, a consultant (a former second- and fourth-place finisher). The team’s mentors also included Walter Cook and Brian Mohr of Reqfast.com.


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