CUNY Teams up With Other States on Equality Program


CUNY ISLG Working with Dallas, Oakland, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Tulsa to Measure and Track Equality Among Residents

The CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance (ISLG), in partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation and 100 Resilient Cities (100RC), announced the selection of five cities to receive support to develop a tool to track progress towards equality, helping decision makers craft more effective policies to assist communities in each city. This work will build on the model developed by ISLG to measure equality among diverse groups (e.g., racial and ethnic minorities, immigrants, individuals with disabilities) in New York City. The NYC model measures equality across six broad areas, including economy, education, health, housing, justice, and services.

The selected cities—Dallas, Oakland, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Tulsa—will each work with ISLG to build a tool that prioritizes the needs of each city and will complement the comprehensive Resilience Strategies being developed or implemented as member cities of 100RC.

Enroll in CUNY today

The tool will include a number of specific indicators to measure disparities across various sectors and groups that will be identified by each site. ISLG will work with each city and the local community to solidify their priorities and determine which broad areas to focus on. ISLG and the partner cities will then determine a list of final indicators drawing from local data in each of these areas, and together, these indicators will provide practical means to assess progress—or lack of progress—over time and connect it to policy development.

ISLG Executive Director Michael Jacobson said, “We’re proud to expand our work with The Rockefeller Foundation to measure equality in five diverse cities across the country. At this critical time when there is increased scrutiny of local government policies and practices, it’s important for jurisdictions look closely at the data they have to really understand what’s going on, what’s working, and where improvement needs to be made. This work will go a long way towards helping jurisdictions do this in a thoughtful and transparent way.”

“Achieving greater equality within our cities has been one of the defining challenges of the last few years,” said Peter Madonia, Chief Operating Officer, The Rockefeller Foundation. “Policy makers are committed to addressing these disparities through public programs, but traditionally lack the data that allows them to better identify the problems and ultimately the most effective solutions. The Rockefeller Foundation is proud to support CUNY in its efforts to help cities navigate the realities of these disparities so they can work towards policies that offer the greatest impact to achieving equality.”

Prepare and strengthen your future

Otis Rolley, North America Regional Director for 100 Resilient Cities said, “Our cities agree that increasing equity is key to building resilience, and this tool will be critical in helping them understand where they need to focus their efforts. If cities better understand where they’re equitable and where they’re not, their leaders both inside and outside government can tailor programs and initiatives in the most efficient and effective way possible. The selected cities will not only work to improve equity in their cities, but by developing and piloting this tool, will be helping cities all over the world address this critical challenge.”

Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax said, “Notwithstanding the tremendous wealth and prosperity that Dallas has long enjoyed, many of our residents continue to struggle to provide for themselves and their families. If Dallas is to achieve her highest potential as a truly resilient 21st century city, we must strive to expand this abundance of opportunity to our most vulnerable residents. Through the good work of this partnership and the knowledge that we gain, Dallas will endeavor to build an equitable and just city that supports all of our residents in their success and nurtures our children to thrive.”

“The City of Oakland is excited to be part of this cohort of cities working alongside Rockefeller to ensure we are measuring equity outcomes, particularly around our housing and economic security work which are key pillars of our Resilient Oakland playbook,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. “True equity is when our entire community has equal access to opportunities that enable them to attain their full potential. Resilience in the face of chronic stresses, such as housing affordability or long-term unemployment, cannot be achieved until we focus on building this equity.”

“Participating in this selected cohort of the Equality Indicators Project is a great opportunity to tie together many of the leading efforts locally to build equity across the City. Using CUNY’s framework will allow us to tailor a Pittsburgh based equity measurement tool,” said Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto.

“August of 2014 has become a defining moment for both St. Louis and our nation,” said Mayor Lyda Krewson of the City of Saint Louis. “The protests that began in Ferguson marched down the streets of nearly every major American city. As a result, St. Louis now stands at the forefront of the national conversation about equity and the debilitating racial disparities across our communities. What we’ve learned through this conversation is that real equity cannot be defined by merely one indicator, but rather many, and it is something that we have to work toward continuously and with intention. The CUNY Equality Indicators grant and our partnership with 100 Resilient Cities presents St. Louis with an unparalleled opportunity to collaborate with other leading cities and experts in order to better inform our local decisions and utilize data to drive the policies that will close our equity gaps.”

“This grant is another important national partnership for Tulsa as we work to ensure that no matter what area of town you live in, everyone has the same access to education and health needs that are vital to the quality of life of Tulsans,” Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said. “This grant will be an initial step in the use of data to address racial disparities that exist in Tulsa today.”

About the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance

The Equality Indicators are a project of the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance (ISLG). The CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance bridges the gap between researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to address the challenges and opportunities confronting government. ISLG works with government agencies, as well as nonprofit organizations, philanthropic institutions, and the private sector, to improve public systems to produce better results that are worthy of public investment and trust. For more information, please visit and

Subscribe to our newsletter for weekly lifestyle, culture, and community updates & people profiles


Popular MA Program in the Study of the America’s gets a new focus

The City College of the City University of New York (CCNY) is pleased to announce a new program, the Dominican Studies Track in the Master in the Study of the Americas Program in the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Center for Worker Education.  The program is the first of its kind in the nation, and will welcome its first students in the Fall of 2017.

“City College’s new master’s degree recognizes the importance of the Dominican Republic and Dominicans in our city, in our culture and at our university,” said CUNY Chancellor James B. Milliken. “Nearly 10 percent of CUNY’s students are of Dominican ancestry, but we expect that students from many backgrounds will be interested in a program that examines and highlights the Dominican society and economy. This institute brings a wealth of new academic opportunities to CUNY and City College provides an excellent location for the scholars and scholarship.”

Visit CUNY for special courses/classes

“I commend the students, faculty and administrators at CCNY on today’s launch of the new Dominican Studies specialization in the Master in the Study of the Americas Program,” said Congressman Adriano Espaillat. “This Master track program is a first of its kind in the United States and offers participating students a unique perspective into the legacy and socioeconomic development of the Dominican people in the Dominican Republic, the United States, across the Americas, and in communities around the world. Through their studies, scholars will gain an invaluable understanding of the Dominican culture and have the ability to produce and disseminate research based work as part of the program’s comprehensive approach in Dominican Studies.”

The MA in the Study of the Americas, under the direction of CWE Assistant Professor Alessandra Benedicty-Kokken, is an interdisciplinary, 30-credit graduate program that addresses questions and concepts about the Americas as it focuses on topics such as racial and ethnic identities, migration and immigration, popular culture, politics, gender, and human rights. The Dominican Studies specialization will focus on the legacy and the socioeconomic development of the Dominican people in the Dominican Republic and in the United States and on the relationships between the two countries.

“A rigorous academic program in Dominican Studies will be a real draw to students from the vital Dominican diaspora surrounding CCNY,” said CCNY Interim President Vince Boudreau. “It will also serve as a unique center of intellectual activity for anyone interested in exploring the immigrant experience in America or the interplay of different peoples in the fabric of our society.”

The Program finds a natural home at City College, where the Dominican Studies Institute of the City University of New York (CUNY DSI) is the nation’s first and only university-based research institute devoted to the study of the history of the Dominican Republic and people of Dominican descent in the United States and across the wider Dominican Diaspora.

“The CUNY Dominican Studies Institute brings unparalleled resources to the table for this exciting new program,” according to Director Ramona Hernández, “including possibilities for internships as well as research and conference participation. We will work with Dr. Kathleen McDonald, Chair of the Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Department, to ensure that this program has the resources over the long term to compete for the best students and offer them the best education in the field.”

Subscribe to our newsletter for weekly lifestyle, culture, and community updates & people profiles

About the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute
Founded in 1992 and housed in The Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at CCNY, the Dominican Studies Institute of the City University of New York under the leadership of Dr. Ramona Hernández produces and disseminates research and scholarship about Dominicans, and about the Dominican Republic.

About the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at CWE
The Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Center for Worker Education under the leadership of Dean Juan Carlos Mercado offers an innovative and flexible curriculum that provides working adults and transfer students with a framework that allows them to connect their learning in the classroom in ways that are relevant to the workplace and the world.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today more than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship.  Now celebrating its 170th anniversary, CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View CCNY Media Kit.


City College & University of Texas Partnering to Produce Next Generation of Hispanic Professors

The City College of New York is partnering with the University of Texas at El Paso to educate the next generation of Hispanic professors in environmental sciences and engineering. Entitled “Collaborative Research: The Hispanic AGEP Alliance for the Environmental Science and Engineering Professoriate,” the five-year project is funded by a $3.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation. It begins July 1, 2017.

Harlem-based City College, which is designated a Hispanic Serving Institution of Higher Education by the U.S. Department of Education, will receive $2.315 million of the funding and UTEP $1.3 million.

Under the administration of CCNY’s NOAA CREST, the two institutions will collaborate to develop, implement and study a model for training and transitioning Hispanic environmental sciences and engineering (ESE) doctoral students to STEM instructional faculty positions at community colleges and other institutions. Candidates must have completed all coursework and be dissertating, as they transition.

Participants will primarily include Hispanic doctoral students of Caribbean or   Mexican origin, who are advanced level doctoral candidates majoring in ESE fields. These include civil, electrical, mechanical or biomedical engineering; earth and atmospheric sciences; ecology and evolutionary biology, among other disciplines.

Subscribe to our e-newsletter

The project will be led by CCNY faculty Jorge E. Gonzalez, Fred Moshary, Joseph Barba, Kyle McDonald and Ellen E. Smiley.  UTEP experts include: Miguel Velez-Reyes, Craig Tweedie, and Ivonne Santiago.

The CCNY-UTEP partnership is in response to the NSF’s Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) program solicitation.  AGEP seeks to advance knowledge about models to improve pathways to the professoriate and success of historically underrepresented minority (URM) graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty in specific STEM disciplines and/or STEM education research fields.

There are three community college partners in the Hispanic AGEP Alliance: LaGuardia Community College, Queensborough Community College and El Paso Community College in El Paso, TX.

The NSF grant to CCNY and UTEP brings up to $23 million in awards to City College since last fall for training underrepresented minority scientists and engineers. Last September CCNY won a $15.5 million NOAA grant to produce mostly minority STEM scientists.

In addition, $5.2 million was received from the U.S. Department of Education in October to promote STEM education, particularly among underrepresented groups.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Today more than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship.  Now celebrating its 170th anniversary, CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.  View

Subscribe to our e-newsletter

Policy & America’s Perception of Higher Education and Economic Mobility

Lehman President José Luis Cruz took part in an important educational panel in Washington D.C. last Thursday, discussing and debating how to translate America’s perception of higher education and economic mobility into policy.

The panel entitled “Diving into the Data: Translating America’s Perceptions Into Policy,” was organized by New America, a non-partisan think tank that recently surveyed 1,600 Americans about their opinions on the country’s higher education system. A link to the video is available here.

On the panel, Cruz conveyed his hopes and concerns facing the country’s public higher education system. He talked about Lehman’s high economic mobility rate (fourth in the nation according to a study published in The New York Times), the College’s goal to double its credentials to 90,000 by 2030, and how cuts in government funding are especially problematic for public colleges and universities.

“It is important for [policymakers] to realize that two-year and four-year public sector institutions are really the ones that are disproportionately serving students in the U.S., particularly low-income students and students of color,” said President Cruz. “For our nation to be secure and prosperous moving forward, they have to start looking at these two- and four-year institutions and providing us the resources we need.”

President Cruz’s fellow panelists were Cheryl Oldham, vice president of education policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Scott Ralls, president, Northern Virginia Community College; and Deborah Santiago, chief operating officer and vice president for policy, Excelencia in Education. The moderator was Rob Nabors, director of U.S. policy, advocacy, and communications, at The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The panel was part of New America’s public release of a report entitled “Varying Degrees: How America Perceives Higher Education.” The report includes a few institutional profiles of innovative and effective higher education programs, among which Lehman’s Adult Degree Program (ADP) is highlighted. A link to the ADP profile is available



Four CUNY Faculty Win National Science Foundation Early Career Awards

Dr. Hysell Oviedo is one of four young and talented City University of New York assistant professors to receive the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious award for early-career faculty of exceptional promise. The awards come with grants totaling almost $2.3 million to support their development as “outstanding researchers and educators.”

The NSF’s Early Career Development (CAREER) award  recognizes “early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization,” according to the foundation. “Activities pursued by early-career faculty should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research.”

CUNY’s Chancellor, James B. Milliken, said, “These awards offer a wonderful endorsement of our efforts to bring talented new faculty to CUNY on a regular basis. What is particularly important is that our students benefit from their research and skills. I congratulate these award winners and look forward to seeing the results of their exciting work.”

The CAREER award is the most prestigious honor the NSF bestows on early-career, tenure-track assistant professors, who are required to submit proposals for research projects in which they are the principal investigators. In the 2016 competition for this year’s awards, CUNY had 21 applicants.

The four CUNY scholars honored by the NSF CAREER program this year are:

  • Hysell Oviedo, assistant professor of biology at City College, who is expected to receive $725,642 in NSF funding. Her CAREER project, “Mechanisms of Lateralized Auditory Processing,” focuses on how the left and right sides of the brain differentially process sounds important for listening to the environment and communicating with others.
  • Sarang Gopalakrishnan, assistant professor of physics at the College of Staten Island, awarded $484,348 by the NSF. His CAREER project, “Quantum Many-Body Physics Beyond the Boltzmann Paradigm,” probes the behavior of large physical systems that are not reversible, meaning that the current state of complex systems becomes independent of the initial conditions. His research is novel and contrary to classical quantum physics theory.
  • Louis-Pierre Arguin, assistant professor of mathematics at Baruch College, granted an award of $446,046. His winning project, “Statistics of Extrema in Complex and Disordered Systems,” will provide a statistical analysis of the patterns of complex systems as driven by critical but rare events called extrema.
  • Jean Gaffney, assistant professor of chemistry at Baruch College, expected to receive $636,977 in funding. Her NSF project, “Discovery of Tunable Fluorescent Proteins from Marine Organisms: Integrating Education and Research in the Identification and Development of Novel Fluorescent Probes,” explores the chemistry of fluorescent proteins from marine organisms and their applications for basic and biomedical research as molecular markers.

The intent of the NSF program, which grants awardees at least $400,000 for the five-year duration of the award, “is to provide stable support at a sufficient level and duration to enable awardees to develop careers as outstanding researchers and educators who effectively integrate teaching, learning and discovery,” according to the foundation.

Catch Up, Get Ahead, Explore

The sandals are on, the radiators are off and it’s starting to feel like summer. But if you’re a student entering college this fall, or attending school, you know summer’s not all about barbecues, the beach, bikes and baseball. It’s about new beginnings, catching up and – most important — getting ahead.

There’s no better place to do that than The City University of New York. With 24 campuses throughout the five boroughs and summer classes spanning human anatomy, history, digital music, accounting and more, CUNY offers a productive way to enjoy summer and add new credits, move ahead in your major, or simply explore something completely different and fun.



CUNY Summer in the City is convenient. Squeeze a class between your job and that free concert in the park. CUNY campuses are easily reachable by public transportation, so taking a summer class usually means an easy commute.

CUNY Summer in the City offers:

  • High-quality academics recognized at colleges and universities nationwide, which means that summer classes may very likely be credited at your college. Just remember to check with your school first.
  • A nice price. CUNY’s affordable classes cost an average 68 percent less than courses at private universities. College shouldn’t be a financial burden, in any season.
  • A great course selection, which gives you opportunity to re-take last year’s calculus class for a better grade, lighten your upcoming fall course load, fulfill a core course requirement, or try something new and career-changing. Take note: CUNY’s most popular summer courses reflect the ambition of students who are staying on track. Biology, chemistry, mathematics, psychology, physics, sociology, English, economics, accounting and speech are the top 10 summer choices.


If you usually juggle four or five classes a semester, taking a lighter load of one or two courses during the summer may sharpen your focus and improve your chances of academic success. And take note: when your course is over, you won’t have lost much beach time. But you will have had the opportunity to gain some credits – and pride in using your summer wisely.

News Integrity Initiative A Global Consortium Administered by CUNY Graduate School of Journalism


Founding Funders Include Facebook, Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund, Ford Foundation, Democracy Fund, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Tow Foundation, AppNexus, Mozilla and Betaworks

Global Consortium Will Be Administered By The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

A group of tech industry leaders, academic institutions, non-profits and other organizations are jointly launching a $14 million fund to support the News Integrity Initiative, a global consortium focused on helping people make informed judgments about the news they read and share online. The Initiative’s mission is to advance news literacy, to increase trust in journalism around the world, and to better inform the public conversation. The Initiative will fund applied research and projects, and convene meetings with industry experts.

The founding funders are Facebook, the Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund, the Ford Foundation, the Democracy Fund, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Tow Foundation, AppNexus, Mozilla and Betaworks.

The News Integrity Initiative will be run as an independent project by the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism under the auspices of the School’s Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism, whose director is Professor Jeff Jarvis. The Initiative will appoint a general manager, who will report to the dean of the CUNY J-School, Sarah Bartlett. The Journalism School will coordinate the activities of the News Integrity Initiative, including research, special projects and events.

Advance with great summer classes

“By locating the News Integrity Initiative at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, our faculty and students will have a unique opportunity to engage with researchers and technologists, attend events and conduct experiments aimed at building greater trust in our profession,” says CUNY J-School Dean Sarah Bartlett. “It’s hard to think of a more important role for a public graduate school of journalism.”

“As part of the Facebook Journalism Project, we want to give people the tools necessary to be discerning about the information they see online,” said Campbell Brown, Facebook’s Head of News Partnerships. “Improving news literacy is a global concern, and this diverse group assembled by CUNY brings together experts from around the world to work toward building more informed communities.”

“In high school U.S. history, I learned that a trustworthy press is the immune system of democracy,” said Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist and the Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund. “As a news consumer, like most folks, I want news we can trust. That means standing up for trustworthy news media and learning how to spot clickbait and deceptive news.”

“Creation of a funders consortium emerged as a major theme from the Facebook-ASU news literacy working group meeting just a month ago,” said Dan Gillmor, author and professor at Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. “Today’s announcement sends a strong signal that news literacy matters. We can’t upgrade only just the supply of news. We need to upgrade ourselves, to become better, more active media users, as consumers and creators.”

Early participants who will contribute to conversations, host events around the world, and bring projects and research for potential funding to the Initiative’s attention include:

  • Arizona State Universityin the U.S.
  • Center for Community and Ethnic Media at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in the U.S.
  • Constructive Institute at Aarhus University in Denmark
  • Edelmanbased in the U.S.
  • European Journalism Centre in the Netherlands
  • Fundación Gabriel García Márquez para el Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano(FNPI) based in Colombia
  • Hamburg Media School in Germany
  • Hans-Bredow-Institutin Germany
  • The Ida B. Wells Society in the U.S.
  • International Center for Journalists based in the U.S.
  • News Literacy Projectbased in the U.S.
  • Polis, London School of Economics in the U.K.
  • Ecole de Journalisme de Sciences Po (Sciences Po Journalism School) in France
  • The Society of Publishers in Asiabased in Hong Kong
  • Trust Project based in the U.S.
  • Walkley Foundationin Australia
  • Weber Shandwick based in the U.S.
  • Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO) Division for Freedom of Expression and Media Development headquartered in France

Funding for the News Integrity Initiative will be administered through the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism Foundation, Inc., an independent 501c3 whose mission is to support the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

The News Integrity Initiative will seek out additional funders and participants in order to fund research and projects, convene events and further the goal of fostering better informed communities.