“As an anthropologist, one of my aims is to challenge students to understand what it means to think anthropologically about a particular social problem; that is, how might one learn to critically examine so-called ‘natural’ states of being through a cultural lens? And how are micro processes of the everyday reflective of macro processes? Yeah, I secretly want them all to become anthropologists, but I understand that we need more than anthropologists for the world to work.”
“Guttman is a community of exceptional scholars that care deeply about teaching and learning and are at the forefront of rethinking the community college experience.”
Dr. Nicole Kras’ academic background is rooted in psychology and education. She earned a Ph.D. in Adult Learning and Development from Lesley University, as well as a Master of Science in Education and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study as a Classroom Teacher Specialist from Southern Connecticut State University. Dr. Kras has also received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with a concentration in child development and mental health, and a Master of Arts in Art Therapy from Albertus Magnus College. She serves as an accreditation self-study reader for the Council for Standards in Human Services Education (CSHSE) and is currently leading the self-study accreditation process for Guttman’s Human Services Program. She is actively involved on the Board of the New England Organization for Human Services, serving in many elected positions, including the former president of the organization.
Guttman Awarded $2.9M Grant to Advance Latinx and Underrepresented Students by Strengthening Financial Literacy, Transfer Performance & Career Preparation.
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Niesha Ziehmke and Dean of Faculty and Academic Affairs Dr. Nicola Blake have been awarded a U.S. Department of Education Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Title V Grant for Project Adelante: Advancing Latinx and Underrepresented Students by Strengthening Financial Literacy, Transfer Performance & Career Preparation. The Project aims to offer Latino/a/x and underrepresented students a coordinated set of culturally responsive experiences designed to improve their financial literacy, preparation to transfer to a four-year institution, and preparation to enter a career, and in so doing boost their academic performance and degree completion, thereby advancing their economic security and mobility.
Human Services Program Coordinator Named Transformative Learning in the Humanities Faculty Fellow 2021-2022 and Organizes Workshop on Nature-Based Learning
Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator of Human Services Dr. Nicole Kras has been awarded the Transformative Learning in the Humanities Fellowship, part of an important three-year CUNY-based initiative funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. With her cohort of 2021-2022 THL Faculty Fellows, Dr. Kras will share and develop active, creative, and participatory practices as well as “pedagogical research and methods designed for the rich diversity of CUNY students,” ensuring their success in and beyond the classroom. While prioritizing the importance of teaching, the grant supports CUNY faculty in the humanities, arts, and interpretive social sciences who are committed to equity and social and racial justice. Guttman Associate Professor of Anthropology Dr. Kristina Baines and Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies Dr. Grace Pai were also named THL Faculty Fellows for this, the fellowship’s culminating cycle.
Adjunct Assistant Professor Dr. Thomas Martin’s first book, Craft Learning as Perceptual Transformation: Getting ‘the Feel’ in the Wooden Boat Workshop , has been published by Palgrave Macmillan in January 2021. Using first-person participant fieldwork in three wooden boat workshops on the East Coast of the United States, the author examines “his changing sensory experience as he learned the basics of the trade. The book reveals how experience in the workshop allows craftspeople to draw new meaning from their senses, constituting meaningful objects through perception that are invisible to the casual observer.” Dr. Martin’s research on skilled work practices is directly related to his teaching of Guttman’s hallmark Ethnographies of Work course, wherein students utilize the methods of ethnography to learn about diverse work experiences.
In a recent commentary published in Community College Daily, Dean of Faculty and Academic Affairs Nicola Blake and Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Planning Niesha Ziehmke tout Guttman as an example of an institution that promotes and sparks needed social and economic change. In “You want systemic change? Community colleges have some tools to consider,” Deans Blake and Ziehmke explain how Guttman’s innovative, hands-on curriculum combined with the faculty’s teaching practices create opportunities for student success. Guttman embraces the whole student and ensures students’ voices, “expressed through the work they do in their courses, can play a role in the greater movement for social change.”
Assistant Professor of Psychology April Burns and Associate Professor of Sociology Alia Tyner-Mullings gave a presentation of Guttman’s innovative course Ethnogrpahies of Work at the Middle States Commission on Higher Education Annual Conference in Philadelphia.
In the June 26, 2019, Inside Higher Ed feature story Expanding Beyond NYC’s 5 Boroughs, Guttman’s Ethnographies of Work course and the CUNY Start, ASAP, and the ACE programs are cited for their strong impact on student success and for the University’s efforts to expand these initiatives throughout the system and beyond.
With the support of the Student Success Fund, Professor Nicole Kras, Assistant Professor of Human Services, created two exceptional active learning opportunities for Guttman students during Fall 2018. The workshops shared the fields of art therapy, eco-therapy, and animal therapy with Human Services majors and Prof. Kras’ Ethnographies of Work students, bringing these innovative career paths and areas of study directly to Guttman.
Harry Montas, a 21-year old continuing student at Guttman, was in the Atrium proudly presenting his photos and video from a recent trip to the Dominican Republic. A closer look at the small exhibit showed schoolchildren featured in photos that were hung up on a fishing net. Harry, a photographer and filmmaker, went to the Dominican Republic with Guttman alumnus Hector Castillo to take photos and videos to build awareness of the poverty and poor learning conditions children in Las Barias, Bani deal with on a daily basis. Their goal is to raise money to provide transportation, uniforms, and better breakfasts for the kids in Las Barias.