Discimus ut serviamus: We learn so that we may serve.
#84
What’s News
In a QC tradition updated for current conditions, new faculty had the opportunity to meet President Frank H. Wu, senior administrators, faculty colleagues and each other at a virtual reception on Tuesday, September 22. Breakout rooms encouraged conversations among smaller groups. A warm welcome was extended all around, with much positive connectivity. Follow-up is anticipated. 
QC To Celebrate 83rd Anniversary
Queens College opened doors to its first 400 students--roughly equal numbers of men and women--on October 11, 1937. "Keep your buildings low and your ideals high," New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia recommended at Dedication Day later that month. As these photos (clockwise from top) from a German class, the Speech Department, and a math class of that era suggest, higher education used to be a more formal endeavor. LaGuardia might have quibbled over the construction of 13-floor Kiely Hall. But the college remains committed to its original vision of providing a top-quality, affordable education to talented students of every background. In that regard, QC is ageless. Happy Anniversary!
Making Queens Count
Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee is urging all Queens residents to complete the U.S. Census; for a direct link to the online form, as well as instructional videos in English and 12 other languages, click here. “With the deadline to complete the 2020 Census in the hands of the legal system, don't wait until it's too late to help ensure Queens is fully and accurately counted,” says Lee. “Your response to this 10-minute survey will help determine our next 10 years, from representation, to resources for our schools, hospitals, infrastructure and more.”

Lee also urges the borough’s U.S. citizens to make plans to vote in this year's critical election. To start, Verify your voter registration is still active. If you're not registered, the voter registration deadline this year is October 9. Click HERE to learn how to register in person, online or by mail.
Visit vote.nyc to find your Early Voting site (October 24-November 1), your voting site for Election Day (November 3) and/or to learn how to vote via Absentee Ballot.

Visitors to any Board of Elections facility must wear masks and maintain social distance. Queens has you covered! For reusable cloth masks that read “Make Queens Count/Get Out the Vote”—available in adult and children's sizes—along with mini hand sanitizers, call 718-286-3000 or email info@queensbp.org while supplies last.
College To Present 15th BMI Conference
Hakeem Jeffries
Donovan Richards
Olivier Noel
Congressmember Hakeem Jeffries and New York City Council Member Donovan Richards will deliver keynotes when QC hosts the 15th annual CUNY Black Male Initiative (BMI) Conference online October 1-2, from 10 am to 3 pm both days. Other speakers at the event—where New York City educators and community leaders will examine the education-themed challenges facing Black and Latino males from kindergarten through college—will include CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez; QC President Frank H. Wu; CUNY BMI Director Shawn Best; New York City Councilmember Inez Barron; QC alumnus and business leader Olivier Noel ’11; and QC Project ExCEL Director and Academic Advisor Rajiv Singh. Approximately 700 students from area high schools are expected to participate. Panel discussions will cover such topics as Profile of the Black Male Teacher, Professional Branding of a Black Educator; Black Intersectionalities, Afro-Latino & LGBTQ+ Identities; and The Inherent Power of Our Vote: Black Candidates Making History.

The conference will be livestreamed and publicly accessible for free. Faculty, staff, and students from CUNY and the New York City Department of Education may register here.

The CUNY Black Male Initiative, a university-wide student development program, comprises more than 30 projects focused on increasing matriculation, retention, and graduation rates of underrepresented students, especially men of color. As part of the BMI at QC, Project ExCEL supports the educational success of underrepresented groups and all interested students, in particular Black and Latino males, through mentoring and academic and professional development workshops.
Queens Memory Turns Ten

Queens Memory, an ongoing community archiving program supported by Queens Public Library and the Queens College Library, will celebrate its tenth anniversary on Wednesday, September 30, from 7 to 8 pm, with a Facebook event, A Decade of Stories: The Queens Memory Project Celebrates 10 Years. Queens Memory Project Director Natalie Milbrodt, an alumna of QC’s Graduate School of Library and Information Studies, will share highlights from the collections and welcome some special guests who have contributed their talents to Queens Memory over the years.

Since 2010, the Queens Memory team has involved hundreds of volunteers in the work of enriching the borough’s historic record, collecting over 600 oral history interviews with Queens residents from over 30 countries of origin. As part of its mission, Queens Memory offers training and materials for anyone wishing to contribute interviews, photographs, or other records of their families, neighborhoods, and communities. In addition, the team has partnered with dozens of community organizations, educators, and cultural institutions, creating exhibitions and special documentation projects and hosting over 300 events at locations across the borough as well as virtually on its Facebook Live page.

In April, Queens Memory launched the COVID-19 Project, compiling first-person accounts from members of communities that were affected acutely last spring, when New York City was the center of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. Stories collected through this initiative are featured in a new 10-episode season of the Queens Memory Podcast, “The Borough We Became: Queens Residents on Life During COVID-19,” with installments released weekly on the Queens Memory Aviary platform and available here. Each episode covers different aspects of life in Queens during the pandemic, including stories from health care workers battling the coronavirus, essential workers on the front lines, people who contracted the virus, and the new challenges facing teachers and students. (QC is launching its own COVID-19 archive, to record how the coronavirus affected the college community. For details, see following article, “Archives Intern Will Help Document COVID-19’s Impact on College Community.”)

“We are so proud to be a trusted keeper of Queens stories,” said Queens Memory’s Milbrodt. “We can only do it with the help of Queens residents, who are incredible partners in this work, recording interviews with neighbors, family members, and friends for the collections. We are grateful to them for making history with us.”
Archives Intern Helps Document COVID-19’s Impact on the College Community

As archives intern in the Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library for the Fall 2020 semester—a position supported by the Félix V. Matos Rodríguez Internship Fund—Kuba Pieczarski is spearheading the creation of the Queens College COVID-19 Collection.

The COVID-19 collection will be an openly accessible digital archive documenting the experience of the QC community during the pandemic. Materials include reflections, poems, college essays, photographs, oral history interviews, video, and audio. Under the guidance of Annie Tummino, head of Special Collections and Archives, Pieczarski will catalog and publish the materials through the library's new partnership with the JSTOR Open Community Collections initiative.

“This collection will give viewers a chance to witness the myriad ways individuals at Queens College have been experiencing this pandemic,” said Pieczarski. “Although many of the submissions can be quite challenging to read, there is something both inspiring and hopeful that comes across when taken in as a whole.”

Pieczarski—who has a background in the arts, both musical and visual—initially aspired to become the head archivist at a museum, gallery, or artist foundation; he previously interned at the Metropolitan Opera Archive. However, during the course of his studies at QC, he became more aware of the power of archives to give a voice to the silenced. His capstone research paper looked at strategies for decolonizing archives, looking at how non-tribal archives across the United States were transforming their collections by giving Native American communities agency over collections that previously were out of their reach and control. Now his career goals have shifted to wanting to become more involved in community-based archival projects.

“I think the most appealing thing about this project for me was its inclusivity as well as its focus on this current juncture in time,” added Pieczarksi. “Usually when one thinks of archives, one thinks of the far-off past, of historical records sealed off from the forces of decay and detached from the current moment. Archiving an unfolding crisis in real time, however, is paramount to documenting the lived experiences of people as they struggle and make sense of this moment in time. It also carries tremendous research value for the future. By collecting and preserving the voices of Queens residents and their recent experiences of this global crisis—their hopes, their dreams, their fears, their coping strategies—we are creating a richly textured record of this unprecedented moment in time and all the ways it has permeated our lives.”
The Félix V. Matos Rodriguez Internship Fund was created last year by the Queens College Foundation Board. The fund will benefit QC students such as Pieczarksi as they seek out internships through the Center for Career Engagement and Internships at QC.
Speech Therapy for People with Parkinson’s Disease 
Through a first-time, renewable grant from the nonprofit Parkinson Voice Project, the Queens College (QC) Speech-Language-Hearing Center is introducing therapy services tailored to people with Parkinson’s Disease, a progressive movement disorder. 
The center has received free training and resource materials to launch Parkinson Voice Project’s signature initiatives, SPEAK OUT!® and The LOUD Crowd®. In SPEAK OUT!®, clients with Parkinson’s receive individual therapy with a speech-language pathologist (SLP) twice a week for four to six weeks, to address difficulties with their speech and communication skills. Upon completion, clients graduate to The LOUD Crowd®, weekly group sessions. These sessions provide camaraderie as well as activities, such as singing, that reinforce the practices developed in therapy.

“This is a great opportunity for us to offer this program to the QC community at low or no cost,” says Kathleen Downing (Linguistics and Communication Disorders, coordinator of the Speech-Language-Hearing Center. “The Parkinson Voice Project program is extremely successful throughout the country.”
Since the campus’s shift to remote operations, the center offers these services via Zoom. “The challenge is making sure our clients can manage an iPad or laptop, or get the help of a caregiver to connect,” says Elizabeth Viccaro Sitler, an LCD clinical professor and lead author of the grant. Telepractice sessions may be more convenient for members of the Parkinson’s community, according to Viccaro. “It’s a variable disease. People can’t always come to a clinic.” She has seen the issues up close. Her father had Parkinson’s for more than two decades. “My father’s diagnosis inspired me to change career paths from social worker to SLP. I wanted the opportunity to help people affected by this disease,” says Viccaro.

The skills promoted by Parkinson Voice Project are especially important at a time of social distancing, which can compound the loneliness experienced by many people with disabilities. “When you lose your ability to communicate, it becomes socially isolating, with a significant impact on quality of life,” notes Patricia McCaul, director of QC’s graduate program in speech-language pathology. “Any opportunity to improve quality of life is important. Clients are empowered by techniques they can take with them. The support group will be ongoing.”

Clients aren’t the only ones who will benefit from the center’s new program. Through Parkinson Voice Project, QC’s graduate students in speech-language pathology are getting specialized training in working with people with Parkinson’s. “Our students are dedicated and highly motivated. Following the training, the graduate students can provide these services under the direct supervision of a licensed and certified SLP. This experience enhances their ability to compete in the job market,” says McCaul.

For more information about this new program for people with Parkinson’s, contact the QC Speech-Language-Hearing Center at speechcenter@qc.cuny.edu or 718-997-2946.
QC Receives Excellent Grades in WSJ/Times Higher Education Rankings 
The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education Rankings 2021 listed QC among the top public institutions in the northeast that offer a high-quality education. QC was also cited as one of the most affordable four-year colleges in the United States.

The WSJ/THE list is determined from data in four main categories. Forty percent of each school’s overall ranking is based on student outcomes, including graduates’ salaries and debt; 30 percent comes from academic resources, including how much the college spends on teaching; 20 percent reflects student engagement, including whether students feel prepared to use their education in the real world; and the last 10 percent comes from the learning environment, including the diversity of the student body and academic staff.

Data was collected before the near-total shutdown of in-person higher education occurred; therefore, the ranking doesn’t weigh such factors as quality of distance learning or in-person health and safety practices. For WSJ/THE purposes, fundamentals like the cost of tuition or student-body diversity are presumed to remain basically the same during the pandemic.
Marvin Hamlisch International Music Awards Returns to Campus

QC will reprise the Marvin Hamlisch International Music Awards next spring. The ceremony, which honors the memory of renowned composer Marvin Hamlisch ’67, will take place at LeFrak Concert Hall on the evening of Monday, March 22, and feature performers and celebrity presenters. A total of $10,000 in cash prizes will be issued in four categories: composition for musical theatre, film/media scoring, classical composition, and jazz composition. Applicants must register by September 30 and submit work by October 21; see the organization’s website for details.
Exploring Italian American Heritage

On October 1—the first day of Italian American Heritage Month—the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute will tackle a complicated topic by holding the webinar Talking Columbus at 6 pm. CUNY Distinguished Professor Fred Gardaphe (English) is among the panelists discussing Columbus from the perspectives of different disciplines; Anthony Tamburri, dean of the Calandra Institute, will moderate. To register, click here. On Tuesday, October 13, at 9:30 pm, on CUNY TV, the Calandra Institute’s “Italics” program will feature Richard Vetere, a novelist, playwright, poet, and screenwriter. Vetere is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Mary Roberts Rinehart Grant for playwriting, a Cultural Council Foundation for poetry and playwrighting, and a grant from the Russo Brothers Film Forum to write, direct, and produce a documentary, Where Are We Now? The Italian American Today. He was a guest of the Chicago Humanities Theater Festival for his play, Caravaggio. Vetere teaches playwrighting and film writing at QC.
LAHM Launches Armstrong Now

Armstrong Now is an integrative video series that will roll out from October 5 through December 31, 2020, providing museum-quality programming that promotes equity, access and inclusion to a wider audience outside of its Queens community. Inspired by the newly digitized archives of Louis Armstrong and the LAHM research collections, four groups of renowned contemporary artists, with the help of filmmaker Ben Stamper and artistic producer Jake Goldbas, have created original short films exploring their respective artforms, from spoken word to dance. Each piece is intended to reacquaint audiences everywhere with Louis Armstrong’s legacy of artistry and innovation. 

Through a nuanced engagement with the Armstrong home and Archives, Black artists will delve into the complexities of Louis Armstrong and what he represents to culture, responding with new work that encapsulates their own journey. The collaborations, which draw from different art disciplines and synthesize into one cohesive body of work, were filmed in and around the Louis Armstrong House Museum. Artist cohorts are as follows: 

  • GROUP 1: Naomi Extra / Kayla Farrish / Melanie Charles
  • GROUP 2: Alita Moses / Vuyo Sotashe / Michael Mayo / Negah Santos
  • GROUP 3: Christian Sands / Martha Nichols
  • GROUP 4: Daniel J Watts / Derrick Baskin / Braxton Cook / Brett Williams
Heard Around the Virtual Campus
Patricia Greenberg
Douglas Rushkoff
Jian Xiao
Kristina Aranbaeva (Center for Career Engagement and Internships) has become a licensed mental health counselor . . . . Nabila Chowdhury has been elevated from the wait list and received a Fulbright English Teaching Award for South Korea . . . . Omri Elisha (Anthropology) received a $15,000 grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research for his project, Enchanting Expertise: Knowledge, New Media, and Professionalism in Western Astrology . . . . Patricia Greenberg ’85, a certified nutritionist, presented “The Top Tips to Eat Well, Live Well, Age Well”—a seminar based on her book of the same title—to QC alumni on Wednesday, September 23, through At Home with Queens College. The event was sponsored by the Office of Institutional Advancement . . . . Douglas Rushkoff (Media Studies) was interviewed by CoinDesk about the past and future of the web . . . . Chat Travieso (Art) examines the history of race barriers in the United States in "A Nation of Walls," published in Places Journal . . . . Jian Xiao (Accounting and Information Systems) was one of the panelists at a virtual roundtable for students and young professionals held on Friday, September 25, by the Small Business Committee of the Institute of Management Accountants.
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Comments and suggestions for future news items are welcome.