In an opinion piece published on Citylimits.org, Dean of Faculty and Academic Affairs Dr. Nicola Blake advocates for support for community colleges – institutions of higher education that have been most severely impacted by the pandemic. Dean Blake cites the unprecedented experiences of Guttman’s students and faculty during the past year to call on city, state, and private sector funders to invest in community colleges. “One thing that is quite clear is that this past year has amplified the need to better serve students at the community college level–students who are the economic engine of New York,” she writes.
On Thursday, July 1, 2021, Dr. Larry D. Johnson, Jr. assumes the presidency of Stella and Charles Guttman Community College. He was selected on February 1, 2021, by the CUNY Board of Trustees after a national search was conducted. President Johnson comes to CUNY after serving as the president of Phoenix College, a community college in Maricopa County, Arizona. He succeeds Dr. Doris Cintrón, who served as the College’s interim president from August 1, 2020-June 30, 2021.
This year’s Salute to Graduates virtual ceremony honoring the Guttman Community College Class of 2021 will feature two distinguished guest speakers. Mr. Michael Lawrence Collins, vice president at JFF, and Mr. Joshua “J1” Raiford, Director of Hip Hop at Pandora and Program Director at SXM Pandora, will deliver their messages to graduating students during the June 17th ceremony, broadcast on YouTube at 2:00 pm.
Guttman Faculty Drs. Makris and Gatta Publish Op-Eds on “Equitable and Just” Recovery for US Cities and Towns
Following the publication of their book, Gentrification Down The Shore, Guttman Urban Studies faculty Dr. Molly Vollman Makris and Dr. Mary Gatta released op-eds in The Progressive and ArcaMax, Politics section, on February 12, 2021. Based on research the co-authors conducted on Asbury Park, New Jersey, both articles respond to the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan for economic recovery during the ongoing pandemic. In “Rescue Our Cities and Towns” and “Commentary: Rescue our cities and towns,” the co-authors emphasize “long-term progressive planning… that means a continued focus on economic security for working families, fully funded public education, universal health care, and environmental and racial justice measures.” By calling for an “equitable and just” policy direction, Drs. Makris and Gatta assert that cities and towns throughout the United States “will need sustained support from the federal government to survive and thrive in a COVID-19 world.”
Dr. Kristina Baines and Guttman Students Participate in Pandemic Journaling Project and Featured in The New York Times
In the Introduction to Urban Community Health courses she taught during the Spring II and Fall I 2020 semesters, Assistant Professor of Anthropology Dr. Kristina Baines’ students interacted with the Pandemic Journaling Project (PJP) – a public research initiative developed at the University of Connecticut, which invites participants to respond to weekly prompts about their experiences living through the pandemic. Students could either create journal entries (written, audio or visual methods) or reflect on the journal entries that others posted on the public section of the site. The aim of Dr. Baines’ assignment is to involve students in documenting the COVID-19 pandemic through the eyes of everyday people rather than official narratives. In their responses, students were able to consider their contributions to this alternative history on personal and scholarly levels. Overall, Dr. Baines’ students have welcomed this space to share their thoughts and feelings about the impact of the pandemic on their lives.
On the historic date of January 6, 2021, Instructor of Political Science Prof. Douglas Medina was the invited guest on A New Day, a radio broadcast hosted on WBAI 99.5FM by Dr. Johanna Fernandez, author of The Young Lords: A Radical History and Associate Professor of History at Baruch College, CUNY. In the midst of the worst stage of the COVID-19 pandemic to date, the scholars discussed the US response to the coronavirus; the socioeconomic effects on workers and communities of color; the latest in workers’ rights movements; and most prominently, that morning’s dramatic results of the Georgia run-off election and the certification of the 2020 presidential election by Congress.
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.”
On June 26, Guttman Community College faculty member Grace Pai published an opinion piece in the Daily News. Entitled, “All people of color should fight anti-blackness,” her piece focuses on the anti-black racism in her own Chinese-American family, as well as on some of her own life experiences where she was challenged to confront anti-black sentiment. Grace notes that Guttman has been “embroiled in heated race talks” as the faculty and staff explore how the College can become an anti-racist institution, both in its policies, practices, and student success and graduation rates. Colleges and universities across the nation, and Guttman is no exception, are rededicating themselves to examining how systemic racism has hindered student success.
CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez today announced the appointment of Doris Cintrón, a CUNY alumna who has held numerous leadership positions in higher education and is now Senior Associate Provost for academic affairs, assessment and accreditation at The City College of New York, as interim president of Guttman Community College.
Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies Dr. Grace Pai was featured on an episode of Academic Minute, a radio news segment featured on NPR and Inside Higher Ed. In the segment published on March 6, Dr. Pai discusses her research on the impact of universal primary education policies in sub-Saharan Africa.