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.