Dr. Kim’s Students and Research Mentees Present at 68th Annual NY American Chemical Society Undergraduate Research Symposium
Guttman Statistics Faculty and Students Present Paper at National Numeracy Network 2020-2021 Annual Meeting
Guttman Associate Professor of Mathematics Dr. Marla A. Sole and her students Tamika Daley and Mendel Batashvili presented the paper “Never miss a teachable moment: How to cultivate statistical literacy and time-management traits that foster success” at the National Numeracy Network 2020-2021 Annual Meeting, held virtually February 26-28, 2021. According to the abstract, the presentation was on “a class project designed to investigate media claims that teens have changed their sleeping habits in response to the pandemic.” Guttman students Tamika Daley and Mendel Batashvili spoke about the research they and their peers conducted to collect “robust evidence to support or refute… the validity of claims made,” as well as what they learned from the project, both mathematically and personally. These gains, made through students “engaging… in meaningful, authentic investigations,” model how rigorous empirical methods can create a deeper grasp of statistics.
The article “Reframing School Culture Through Project-Based Assessment Tasks: Cultivating Transformative Agency and Humanizing Practices in NYC Public Schools,” co-authored by Guttman Associate Professor of Sociology Dr. Alia Tyner-Mullings with Drs. Maria Hantzopoulos and Rosa L. Rivera-McCutchen, has been published in the Teachers College Record. Building on the argument that high-stakes testing policies are ineffective and “have exacerbated inequities in schooling across racial, economic, geographic, and linguistic lines,” the researchers focus on the transition to Project Based Assessment Tasks (PBAT) at ten New York City public high schools that are part of the New York Performance Standards Consortium. The authors, who “specifically consider the role that PBATs might play in shaping school culture,” have found them “a useful tool to engage students and teachers more actively as participatory actors in the school environment, particularly when overall school structures collectively support its integration.”
Faculty Feature: Dr. Karla Fuller, Associate Professor of Biology and Program Coordinator of Science
“More than anything, I want our students to know that they can succeed in science and math. They don’t have to pursue it, but I don’t want them to think that it’s not for them for any particular reason, except [if they don’t choose it.] If they want to, they can be good at it, or they can be interested in it… I just want them to feel like they belong. That it’s for them, if they want it.”
Dr. Karla Fuller, Associate Professor of Biology and Program Coordinator of Science, bears the unique distinction of being the very first faculty hired at Guttman, prior to the convocation of its inaugural first-year class in 2012 and the naming of the College. Seeing it as the urban likeness of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU), she determined to fulfill her “mission in life” – giving students of color sustained opportunities to “have that moment like, ‘Oh, maybe I could study science’,” the realization critical to “increasing the overall percentage of underrepresented people in America who are scientists, the number of Black and Latino scientists in the field, and this means pursuing graduate studies or professional school after a Bachelor’s degree.” To this ambitious end, Dr. Fuller has spearheaded the establishment of Guttman’s Associate of Science (A.S.) degree Program of Study, forthcoming in Fall 2021.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dr. Jihyun Kim has co-authored “Brown grease pyrolysis under pressure: Extending the range of reaction conditions and hydrocarbon product distributions,” an article published in the April 2021 issue of Fuel, a top-tier peer-reviewed journal featuring primary research in the science and technology of fuel and energy. Written with Dr. Lawrence Pratt of Medgar Evers College, CUNY, Dr. Hoy Yin Lo, President and CEO of Synovel Laboratory, LLC, and Dr. Dequan Xiao of University of New Haven, the paper documents the use of a pressure reactor to explore the effects of higher temperatures and pressure on brown grease and to transform waste into fuel. Significantly, the research “resulted in shorter reaction times, reduced formation of undesirable ketone byproducts, and a higher percentage of the most valuable light hydrocarbon products.” This project builds on Dr. Kim’s longstanding focus on the potential beneficial uses of biofuels – brown grease, for one – and the development of eco-friendly chemical processes to reduce or eliminate toxic chemical waste.
Urban Studies Program Coordinator Receives Spencer Foundation Grant for Research with Parent and Youth Activists in New York City
With Co-Principal Investigators Dr. Mira Debs (Yale University) and Dr. Elise Castillo (Trinity College), Guttman’s Dr. Molly Vollman Makris was awarded a Spencer Foundation COVID-19 Related Research Grant. Their proposal, “New York City School Integration Activists during covid-19,” was one of only 20 to be funded, out of a competitive pool of 1,369 “education research projects that would contribute to understanding the rapid shifts in education in relation to COVID-19.” The team’s research with parent and youth activists in New York City, beginning during the summer of 2020, has potential impacts on policy that are urgent in the context of the “twin pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism.” Along with its “anti-deficit orientation,” the study also met the criterion of “aim[ing] to understand and disrupt the reproduction and deepening of educational inequality caused by the COVID-19 crisis.” In Dr. Makris’ important work, which resonates with Guttman’s institutional dedication to equity, the Spencer Foundation “recognized that in times of great disruption and change, there are opportunities to remake and imagine new forms of equitable education.”
Drs. Fuller, Kim, and Sole Present “Storytelling in STEM: How Narratives and Data Analysis Teach Real World Skills”
Guttman faculty Drs. Karla Fuller, Ji Kim, and Marla A. Sole presented the pedagogical practices they have implemented in their STEM courses at the Mid-Atlantic SENCER Center for Innovation Conference, an initiative of the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement (NCSCE) held virtually in January 2021. The presenters discussed how rigorous scientific methods were combined with readily understood contexts. In their courses, students gained real world data analysis skills by working on problems authentically connected to their lives: examining if home remedies have microbial properties; studying how cooking waste could be transformed into fuel; tracking the changes in teenagers’ habits during the pandemic. By incorporating students’ own narratives in teaching STEM concepts and skills, Drs. Fuller, Kim, and Sole have created opportunities for underrepresented students to succeed in mathematics and science courses and to share their experiences and developing knowledge with their families and communities. The presentation highlighted important benefits for students, including increased and deeper understanding of research methodology, building self-confidence in mathematics and science, and learning to communicate with a diverse audience. Furthermore, these innovative teaching practices have significant potential to expand equity and access in STEM courses.
Guttman Faculty Publish on Use of Culturally Responsive Curricula to Improve Engagement and Learning in Microbiology Lab Course
The article “A Culturally Responsive Curricular Revision to Improve Engagement and Learning in an Undergraduate Microbiology Lab Course,” by Guttman faculty Dr. Karla S. Fuller and Prof. Camila Rivera Torres, was published in Frontiers in Microbiology in January 2021. The article details the implementation of a “culturally responsive approach in an undergraduate microbiology lab [to] increase engagement and learning gains.” In a scaffolded assignment, “students interviewed family members to learn about ‘home remedies,’ and then devised experiments to test” the effects of those remedies on the “growth of bacteria commonly implicated in gastrointestinal distress or sore throat. As a final assessment, students generated project posters which they presented at a class symposium.” The work of Dr. Fuller and Prof. Torres exemplifies the commitment of Guttman faculty to culturally responsive pedagogy and experiential learning, aimed at “increased retention and degree attainment for students at our Hispanic-serving institution.” To further its impact on higher education, this open access publication is available to readers and educators around the world.
Guttman faculty member Dr. Ria Banerjee has been selected for the maximum funding of the CUNY Community College Research Grant (CCRG) Mentored Undergraduate Research program to continue a creative storytelling archival project that began in AY 2019‐2020. The CCRG Mentored Undergraduate Research program is designed to support faculty basic research endeavors and to increase the number of associate degree students engaged in faculty mentored research projects. Dr. Banerjee’s work with Guttman students to document and explore their interactions with the legacy of colonialism captures faculty commitment to the student-centered pedagogy and opportunities for guided research strongly supported the College.
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.