Guttman’s Exceptional First-Year Experience (FYE) Holds Annual Summer Institute for Integrative Learning
The Guttman Community College First-Year Experience (FYE) hosted its annual Summer Institute for Integrative Learning, held virtually June 22-26, 2020. Organized by Professor of English and FYE Program Coordinator Dr. Daniel Collins and Dean of Academic and Faculty Affairs Dr. Nicola Blake and supported by Assistant Dean Lavita McMath, the Institute focused on the cornerstones of the FYE: inclusion, integration, and community. The Institute prepares faculty and staff to work in the FYE and promotes excellence in teaching and student support, with the ultimate goal of increasing student retention and success in higher education. As the Guttman community grapples with the persistent social inequalities that put our Black, Latinx, and immigrant students at risk, made starkly clear by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Promising Practices that the FYE espouses have become especially relevant.
The International Print Center New York (IPCNY) New Prints 2020/Summer show, titled Give Me Space, includes two prints by Adjunct Lecturer Kathryn Larkins. This cycle of the biannual open-call exhibition focuses on spaces for political dissent and the body. It features new works by 41 artists working in the medium of print, selected by Brooklyn-based visual and multimedia artist Chitra Ganesh. The show can be viewed remotely from June 25 to September 19, 2020.
“In all of my classes, my biggest focus is building up students’ confidence so that they can persist and overcome obstacles.”
“When I first came to Guttman” in 2014, remembers Assistant Professor of Mathematics Dr. Marla Sole, “I designed a signature assignment for my Statistics class.” Working as “empirical researchers to collect data and analyze it,” students compared the prices of iced and hot coffee. Dr. Sole also arranged a visit to a local café, where the coffee buyer spoke to the class and provided the essential context that makes coursework come alive. “When I think about that research,” published in 2017 in the Journal of Statistics Education, “I always remember my first group of students” at the College, the first of many Dr. Sole has taught in courses ranging from the Quantitative Reasoning component of City Seminar to Calculus.
“The thing that you always want as a professor is that moment when the students get what you’re talking about… see something and connect it to their lives, or see [something] in their lives and connect it to [what’s] happening in the classroom… When you do something in a class and the students say it was the first time they did that, or the first time they saw the point of something.”
There is little that Associate Professor of Sociology Dr. Alia Tyner-Mullings has not done as a Guttman Founding Faculty, joining in 2011, a year before the College’s doors opened to students. Colleagues assume, she laughs, “that any committee that exists, I’m on it, which obviously is not true.” Dr. Tyner-Mullings has chaired Guttman’s chapter of the Professional Staff Congress since its inception, a position she has held through several election cycles and crucial contract negotiations. A vocal advocate for establishing the Academic Senate, she presently serves as its Vice Chair. Dr. Tyner-Mullings has collaborated to revise Guttman’s unique two-semester Ethnographies of Work (EoW) sequence and, subsequently, to create an Open Educational Resource (OER) for these courses. In addition, the acronym she coined for the Guttman Learning Outcomes that articulate educational goals and reflect the institution’s vision for our students – GLOs – has been heartily adopted.
“I always say [to my students], I want you to be the master of mathematics rather than mathematics being the master of you.”
Assistant Professor of Mathematics Dr. Vivian Lim finds Guttman “the perfect setting for being able to teach math in a way that is meaningful, that engages students critically about the world.” Teaching the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) component of City Seminar in the First-Year Experience since Fall 2017 has been ideal as “one of the fundamental learning outcomes is students being critical and using math in an interdisciplinary way.” Dr. Lim freely admits that “this is my dream job,” an opportunity to connect math directly to her students’ lives and empower them as civic agents.
“My students are deserving of the wonderful opportunities that life has to offer, even if they have to demand a seat at the table.”
“Lean into the present and don’t waste time” are tenets of Dr. Tashana Samuel’s proactive philosophy, words by which she lives. A child psychologist specializing in cognitive development, Dr. Samuel holds a Ph.D. from the CUNY Graduate Center, with research experience including a longitudinal study at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital Center under Drs. Catherine Monk and Laraine McDonough. Since becoming Assistant Professor of Psychology at Guttman in 2015, Dr. Samuel is simultaneously teaching Statistics in the First-Year Experience and Introduction to Psychology in the Liberal Arts and Sciences – Humanities and Social Sciences Program of Study; conducting research on “techniques to alleviate academic anxiety in community college students”; publishing the promising findings in an article co-authored with fellow Guttman faculty Dr. Jared Warner; and sharing their pedagogical impact in service of our students. Also involved in expanding psychology course offerings at the College, she is excited to teach Guttman’s upcoming first iteration of Child Psychology.
Seven first-year United Men of Color (UMOC) student scholars, accompanied by Professors Mary Gatta and Marcus Allen, presented at the Monmouth University Interdisciplinary Conference on Race on November 16th at Monmouth University’s campus in West Long Branch, NJ.
“You will not have learned everything possible at any point in your life. The learning process is a lifelong endeavor. It is never over.”
Defying deep-seated expectations, Lecturer of Mathematics Keino Brown reveals that he was once “hellbent on becoming an English professor. Then, math happened.” He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Mathematics at the CUNY Graduate Center, “securing the requisite firm footing in the breadth of my discipline’s concerns.” Though “not yet settled on any particular interest,” Prof. Brown will likely select his research focus from one of the “pillars” of mathematical physics: topology, differential geometry, or complex analysis. Since Spring I 2014, Guttman has counted him among the pure mathematicians at the College, where he has taught every mathematics course offered at least once, aiming “to make the classroom feel like a shared space for learning how to think about abstractions logically.”
Assistant Professor of History Dr. James Rodriguez has been published as a contributor to Racial Inequality in New York City since 1965, recently released by SUNY Press.
“Life is good, life is beautiful. Enjoy it. Use it to the full extent. Don’t waste your moments. Create an objective for you and go for it!”
Assistant Professor of Business Dr. Rodrigo Lobo has been all about business for over 30 years. Before taking the daring “180 degrees toward full-time work in academia,” his career spanned the breadth of “corporate life.” For nearly a decade, Dr. Lobo contributed his analytical expertise to a unique public project: the Itaipu Binacional Company, an initiative of the Brazilian and Paraguayan governments that jointly runs one of the most productive hydroelectric power plants in the world.