Guttman Community College held its sixth Summer Bridge Program for incoming students August 21-September 1, 2017. Approximately 460 new students completed the required 10-day program and matriculated to begin classes in the Fall I 2017 session. Three groups of students took Bridge classes in the morning and three groups in the afternoon, corresponding to the six Houses in which first-year students are grouped in the fall. Danielle Insalaco-Egan, Director of Student Support and Academic Achievement, and Tashana Samuel, Assistant Professor of Psychology, were the 2017 Summer Bridge Program coordinators.
Summer Bridge helps incoming students transition to their first year at Guttman. During Summer Bridge, they learn what is expected of them academically and explore their strengths and challenges as learners. Students work with faculty, staff, and Peer Mentors to develop strategies for success and gain practice completing assignments similar to those that will be required during the first-year program. Summer Bridge is also a time of self-discovery as students develop relationships with faculty, staff, and fellow classmates while engaging in academic and co-curricular activities.
The common read book for this year’s program was The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.
Among the activities held during the 2017 Bridge program:
- A co-curricular common hour for students focusing on Guttman values, college student ideals and getting involved.
- A field experience in Times Square where students posted photos to Instagram representing Poverty and Privilege.
- A second off-campus field experience where students investigated poverty and privilege in a particular New York City neighborhood for their final research assignments.
- Integrated student group project presentations from the voice of an assigned character from Sherman Alexie’s book made to the instructional teams and peers.
Summer Bridge concluded on September 1 with Convocation, when the College officially welcomed its sixth incoming class of 460 students. The event began with an introduction from the Master of Ceremony and Dean of Student Engagement Charles H. Pryor, II, who welcomed the 2017 entering cohort to their new college journey. President Scott E. Evenbeck congratulated the 2017 entering cohort for completing its first College milestone: Summer Bridge. The 2017 Summer Bridge coordinators Danielle Insalaco-Egan and Tashana Samuel and Howard M. Wach, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost gave additional greetings.
Alia Tyner-Mullings, Assistant Professor of Sociology, gave the faculty address. Professor Tyner-Mullings advised students to manage their time and work efficiently by using a calendar, and to “get to know the College you.”
Arva Rice, President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Urban League, gave the keynote address. She inspired students with her own story of perseverance and ambition. She encouraged everyone to make education a priority and “seize and seek opportunity.’ “Success is the best revenge. Ignore the nay-sayers,” she said.
Student Government Association President Onasis Cirineo greeted the students on behalf of the SGA and lead the pinning ceremony, when students helped one other with their Guttman pins, symbolizing they are officially Guttman students (“This means I am Guttman, and Guttman is me.”). The event concluded with closing remarks by Amanda Webb, Class of 2014, and President Scott E. Evenbeck. The Door provided the musical accompaniment.