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  •  Falchi Building to Host LaGuardia Community College Student Photo Exhibit

    Falchi Building to Host LaGuardia Community College Student Photo Exhibit  


    Long Island City, NY—March 24, 2015—LaGuardia Community College and its neighbor, the Falchi Building, are planning a fond tribute to the community they both call home.

    “Long Island City: Past. Present. Future.”, is a photography exhibit of more than 40 images of the once industrial, and now rapidly, changing western Queens neighborhood taken by LaGuardia students which will debut March 26 in the Falchi Building lobby.

    “LaGuardia Photography Program students and alumni train their gaze at Long Island City, the industrial, glass condo'ed,  Citicorp'ed,  Superfund'ed, retro-historical niche of New York City,” said LaGuardia Photography Department Director Scott Sternbach.  “Today we are witnessing the second coming of this great Metropolis”.

    “In this exhibit our students will present a practiced yet youthful view of the transformation of Long Island City,” he said.

    The exhibit includes over forty photographs of a variety of topics in almost as many styles and techniques, including collages, panoramas, abstract, street-documentary, topographic and time-lapse images.
     
    “Like LaGuardia and our neighbor, the Falchi Building, Long Island City continues to grow and evolve,” said LaGuardia President Dr. Gail O. Mellow. “We are thrilled that the Falchi Building and Jamestown is partnering with the college to host this beautiful and powerful photographic look at the community we both call home.” 

    “Jamestown’s partnership with LaGuardia Community College allows us to support local artists while providing a venue for the students to display their work,” said Michael Phillips, president of Jamestown. “At the Falchi Building, Jamestown remains dedicated to supporting the Long Island City arts community and is committed to the neighborhood’s continued growth.”

    More than 25 students took them over the last year from “the top two-year photo program east of the Mississippi,” said Sternbach.

    "Long Island City was the first place where I really wanted to go and photograph,” said student photographer Enrique Rosas, whose work is in the Falchi show. “It is a place that inspires me constantly. I am happy to be able to share a little of this wonderful place through this project."

    "The people are the blood and veins of Long Island City; the rest is the atmosphere, the soul,” said exhibit contributor and former Long Island City resident Machi Versano. “I know the place like the back of my hand. I realized that after living there for years and exploring every nook in it, I can really deliver a different, not obvious perspective of the place.”

    Built in 1922 as a warehouse for the famed Gimbels department store, the Falchi Building, located at 31-00 47th Ave, is a five story, mixed use office building in the heart of Long Island City and across the street from LaGuardia Community College.

    “Long Island City: Past. Present. Future” opening Thursday, March 26 with a 5 p.m. reception. 



    •     •     •     •


    About LaGuardia Community College
    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

    About Jamestown
    Jamestown was established in 1983 as an investment and management company focused on income-producing real estate in the United States.  Over the last 32 years, Jamestown has expanded into a national, vertically integrated real estate operator with approximately $7.6 billion of assets under management. Jamestown’s capabilities include: acquisitions, capital markets, property management, asset management, retail leasing, design, sustainability and risk management.  Jamestown employs more than 230 professionals in the United States, with headquarters in Atlanta, GA, and New York, NY and additional offices in Washington, DC, Boston, MA and San Francisco, CA. For more information, visit www.jamestownlp.com.



     Colorado College Officials Visit LaGuardia to Examine Educational Initiatives(1)

    Colorado College Officials Visit LaGuardia to Examine Educational Initiatives


    Colorado College Officials


    Long Island City, NY— March 23, 2015 – A delegation from Colorado’s Front Range Community College visited LaGuardia Community College last week to learn more about LaGuardia’s ground breaking student advisement and retention initiatives.

    Front Range Dean of Instruction Cathy Pellish, Faculty and Instructional Coach Heidi Strang, and Coordinator of Student Activities Nate Wiley spent an afternoon meeting with LaGuardia administrators and faculty members who briefed the group on several programs.

    Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Bret Eynon welcomed the group before giving a presentation on Project Completa, an initiative funded by a “First in World” grant.

    “Happily, we got the money to do what we were already doing,” Eynon said. “It was perfect. We don’t do any of these things for a few students; we do all of these things for all students.”

    Project Completa allows for more closely supervised academic and social counseling for students before they start college, while in college, and after graduating from LaGuardia as a means of increasing student retention and transition to careers or to four year colleges.

    Professors Andrea Francis and Raj Bhika outlined the discipline based, credit bearing first year seminars for incoming students, while Michael Rifino explained the Student Success Mentors program.

    Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Dr. T. Porter Brannon and Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs Dr. Howard Wach tackled the Integrated Advising initiative.

    English Professor Demetrios Kapetanakos and Dr. Bernard Polnariev, Administrative Officer of Academic Affairs gave an overview of LaGuardia’s ePortfolio system.

    Polnariev said there “was a college-wide conversation about the competencies we want our students to achieve, what we want them to know when they graduate. AS we worked through that, the task force was really comprised of Student Affairs and Academic Affairs, working collaboratively to think about what are essential for our students to know and what are the platforms on which they need to be able to demonstrate this knowledge.”

    Front Range Dean Pellish said the group made the trip to New York after their president “charges faculty, staff and administrators to really look at best practices and national innovations that are really attacking retention and completion rates.

    “We spent a semester reading, reading,” Pellish said. “What brought us to LaGuardia was when we looked at the Aspen Prize, CUNY names kept coming up, and that caught our attention.”

    Three CUNY colleges, LaGuardia, Hostos and Kingsborough, were Aspen Prize winners last year for in part for “strong outcomes” of student success in persistence, completion, and transfer; consistent improvement in outcomes over time and equity in outcomes for students of all racial/ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.

    According to their website, Front Range has four campuses and 30,460 students. Students come from 50 states and 50 foreign countries, and the average student is 26 years old.

    The Front Range group visited LaGuardia, Hostos, Guttman, Borough of Manhattan, and Kingsborough community colleges and the CUNY main offices.

    “The presentation today resonates with the theme of excellent what I’ll call onboarding of students,” Pellish said. “When Bret walked through the history of how all this came to be, I felt like he was reciting our history. Then I knew that LaGuardia is just a couple of years ahead of us, which gives me a lot of hope.”

    ####

    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacytoday. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-yearcolleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs tomake our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.
     President Dr. Gail O. Mellow Testifies Before Congressional Committee

    LaGuardia Community College President Dr. Gail O. Mellow Testifies Before Congressional Committee

    pres.Mellow - testifies


    Long Island City, NY- March 20, 2015 - LaGuardia Community College President Dr. Gail O. Mellow testified  before a Congressional committee this week, where she touted several LaGuardia training programs and educational initiatives and urged lawmakers to find more money for the nation’s community colleges.

    “When you look at who community college students are, these are the individuals who want to make it in America,” Mellow said. “They believe in the American dream and are doing everything they can to get there.”

    Dr. Mellow testified before the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies of the House Appropriations Committee, chaired by Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.).

    Mellow gave an overview of LaGuardia’s 50,000 students – more than half are 25 years old or older, the majority female and 68 percent work more than 20 hours a week. Many, she said, are unfamiliar with a professional work environment.

     “They never met a person who went to work in a suit,” Mellow said of many LaGuardia students. “They never met a professional person much less worked in a professional area.”
    LaGuardia has to be “relentlessly pragmatic” in educating and training these students, she said, so they receive “really necessary, technical and near term skills” that will allow them to immediately enter the workforce while also making sure they receive skills that will pay long term rewards.

    Mellow outlined several ways LaGuardia is improving student outcomes, including more teacher training and collaborations with businesses to offer contextualized instruction to fit employer needs.

    “Investing in helping faculty teach better is essential,” Mellow said. “They are facing students unlike any we have ever seen before. If we could get faculty to help just two more students pass their class in every class, we would raise graduation rates by seven percent without any additional dollars.”

    An MDRC study of LaGuardia’s Bridge to College and Careers Program showed that “with a well-trained faculty we could make a huge difference - double the graduation rate and triple the number of students who went to college,” Mellow said.

    And a contextualized 17-week training project with front office staff at Weill-Cornell Medical Center produced employees who were not only eligible for tuition reimbursement but who also stayed in the job longer than candidates with bachelor’s degrees.

    Mellow also touted the intensive advising involved in CUNY’s Accelerated Study in Associates Program (ASAP), which President Obama has heralded for increasing student retention and graduation rates.

    With ASAP, “we found we could double the number of students who graduate in half the time,” Mellow said. “The challenge is, it’s an expensive program. We find in ASAP we need an additional $4,000 per student per year. It is not cheap.

    “But to get that student through in three years means they then begin a lifetime of earning,” she said.

    Mellow said educators, businesses and government should collaborate on a system that would allow economically disadvantaged community college students to accept unpaid internships in the corporate world. 

    Students, she said, “then can understand what the job is really like. And companies get to see these students, who are not from Princeton or Yale or Harvard but boy, are they going to make a difference in the American economy.

    “The way to think of community colleges is to really understand that this is a different group of individuals who really want to make a difference and who don’t need a lot,” she said. “They need a little bit of a helping hand. And then the results are extraordinary."

    "LaGuardia Community College, under the outstanding leadership of its President Gail Mellow, does a remarkable job of educating an incredibly diverse student population,” said Rep Carolyn B. Maloney. 

    “More than just a leg up, LaGuardia Community College offers a path to a whole host of career opportunities.  They are literally changing lives and making it possible for employers to find candidates with the job skills they are seeking. They are providing exactly the type of education President Obama was thinking about when he suggested funding two years of community college."

    “Community Colleges like LaGuardia are fundamental to our goal of closing the opportunity gap that exists for our low income communities,” said Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx).

     “Through innovative training programs, LaGuardia Community College equips countless New Yorkers with the skills necessary to enter the workforce as soon as possible and in high-demand job sectors. At a time when rising tuition costs are discouraging students from pursuing higher education, it is more critical than ever to invest in these institutions and ensure our students are able to maximize their education, forge a path of upward mobility and contribute to the growth of our economy.”

    Also testifying at the hearing were Aaron Thompson, Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education; Benjamin L. Castleman, Assistant Professor of Education and Public Policy at the University of Virginia; Carol L. Fischer, Ph.D., Post-Doctoral Fellow, The University of Iowa, and Brian K. Fitzgerald, Ed.D., Chief Executive Officer, The Business-Higher Education Forum.


    •     •     •     •


    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is  a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success education underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit   www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

     Colorado College Officials Visit LaGuardia to Examine Educational Initiatives

    Colorado College Officials Visit LaGuardia to Examine Educational Initiatives


    Front Range Release

    Long Island City, NY—March 20, 2015—A delegation from Colorado’s Front Range Community College visited LaGuardia Community College last week to learn more about LaGuardia’s ground breaking student advisement and retention initiatives.


    Front Range Dean of Instruction Cathy Pellish, Faculty and Instructional Coach Heidi Strang, and Coordinator of Student Activities Nate Wiley spent an afternoon meeting with LaGuardia administrators and faculty members who briefed the group on several programs.

     

    Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Bret Eynon welcomed the group before giving a presentation on Project Completa, an initiative funded by a “First in World” grant.

     

    “Happily, we got the money to do what we were already doing,” Eynon said. “It was perfect. We don’t do any of these things for a few students; we do all of these things for all students.”

     

    Project Completa allows for more closely supervised academic and social counseling for students before they start college, while in college, and after graduating from LaGuardia as a means of increasing student retention and transition to careers or to four year colleges.


    Professors Andrea Francis and Raj Bhika outlined the discipline based, credit bearing first year seminars for incoming students, while Michael Rifino explained the Student Success Mentors program.


    Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Dr. T. Porter Brannon and Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs Dr. Howard Wach tackled the Integrated Advising initiative.


    English Professor Demetrios Kapetanakos and Dr. Bernard Polnariev, Administrative Officer of Academic Affairs gave an overview of LaGuardia’s ePortfolio system.


    Polnariev said there “was a college-wide conversation about the competencies we want our students to achieve, what we want them to know when they graduate. AS we worked through that, the task force was really comprised of Student Affairs and Academic Affairs, working collaboratively to think about what are essential for our students to know and what are the platforms on which they need to be able to demonstrate this knowledge.”


    Front Range Dean Pellish said the group made the trip to New York after their president “charges faculty, staff and administrators to really look at best practices and national innovations that are really attacking retention and completion rates.


    “We spent a semester reading, reading,” Pellish said. “What brought us to LaGuardia was when we looked at the Aspen Prize, CUNY names kept coming up, and that caught our attention.”


    Three CUNY colleges, LaGuardia, Hostos and Kingsborough, were Aspen Prize winners last year for in part for “strong outcomes” of student success in persistence, completion, and transfer; consistent improvement in outcomes over time and equity in outcomes for students of all racial/ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.


    According to their website, Front Range has four campuses and 30,460 students. Students come from 50 states and 50 foreign countries, and the average student is 26 years old.


    The Front Range group visited LaGuardia, Hostos, Guttman, Borough of Manhattan, and Kingsborough community colleges and the CUNY main offices.


    “The presentation today resonates with the theme of excellent what I’ll call onboarding of students,” Pellish said. “When Bret walked through the history of how all this came to be, I felt like he was reciting our history. Then I knew that LaGuardia is just a couple of years ahead of us, which gives me a lot of hope.”


                   •     •     •     •                                                                         


    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

     Goldman Sachs Makes $2 Million Gift to LaGuardia

    Goldman Sachs Gives Makes $2 Million Gift to LaGuardia Community College


    Goldman Sachs Gives Raising Fund to Support Community Colleges Across the United States


    Long Island City, NY—March 12, 2015—LaGuardia Community College today announced that Goldman Sachs Gives will make a $2 million gift, the largest donation in the College’s history, to help students stay in college.  Goldman Sachs Gives is also raising an additional $1 million to provide targeted support to America’s community colleges.  


    The donation from Goldman Sachs Gives, a donor-advised fund through which Goldman Sachs and its senior employees recommend grants to nonprofit organizations worldwide, will be directed to the LaGuardia Community College Foundation. The funds will be focused on advancing the College’s highest priority of helping students stay in college and graduate, and will enhance LaGuardia’s endowment, enabling the Foundation to help students meet the costs of attending college. This includes emergency financial assistance for students facing urgent crises that threaten their ability to stay in college.  


    “Goldman Sachs gets it: by helping large numbers of our students graduate and enter the middle class there is an astounding return on investment,” said LaGuardia Community College President Gail O. Mellow. “This groundbreaking gift to LaGuardia and community colleges nationwide will allow us to help our neediest students pay their tuition and buy books and MetroCards, making it possible for them to graduate and get higher-paying and more fulfilling jobs. It's a smart investment that pays huge dividends for our students, our city and our nation." 


    LaGuardia’s partnership with Goldman Sachs began in 2010 through 10,000 Small Businesses, a national program designed to help small businesses in the United States create jobs and economic growth by providing entrepreneurs with a practical business education and support services. To date, nearly 600 businesses have participated in the program in New York City and more than 4,500 businesses have been served nationally. According to a report from Babson College, the program maintains a 99% graduation rate, 64% of participants have increased revenues and 45% have created new jobs. 


    “Community colleges are the most powerful tools we have in the United States to move people into the middle class,” said Lloyd C. Blankfein, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs. “They provide the opportunity for a higher education to students who otherwise cannot afford it. Through our previous partnership with LaGuardia Community College, we’ve seen up close the impact it has on its community and we know that a dollar invested in community colleges goes a long, long way.” 


    Goldman Sachs Gives is also raising an additional $1 million to provide further need-based financial aid at America’s community colleges. These grants will be focused on high performing community colleges, and, where applicable, leverage public sector funds to build successful public/private partnerships. Goldman Sachs Gives has had a long-standing commitment to need-based financial aid, having already supported scholarships at more than 200 colleges and universities globally. 


    Separately, starting in October 2013, 10,000 Small Businesses alumni began donating to LaGuardia Community College’s Foundation to express their gratitude for the program and has received donations from 164 donors to date. Program alumna Suzie Scanlon of Bliss Lawyers started the fundraising effort and now serves on the LaGuardia Foundation Board. 


    Garnering increasing attention, community colleges serve almost half of America’s 16 million undergraduates. President Obama has put community colleges at the center of his Administration’s education reform with the America’s College Promise proposal to fund two-years of free community college for students.  


    “There has never been a time when education matters more to success than it does today," said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “And CUNY opens that door to thousands and thousands of New Yorkers from every walk of life, every community and every means. That’s why we’ve made CUNY and programs linking our high schools, community colleges and growing job sectors such a vital priority in our fight against inequality. This gift from Goldman Sachs is an investment not only in the future of low-income students and their families, but in the future of our entire city as well.” 


    Goldman Sachs Gives’ support of community colleges echoes the unprecedented recognition they have recently received. Community colleges have historically had difficulty attracting high-profile donors. While they educate a disproportionate number of low-income and minority students - who often require support services to succeed - community colleges rarely see the level of donations that private and prestigious universities receive. 


    “I am delighted that Goldman Sachs, one of New York’s best known and successful corporate citizens, has chosen to support the success of some of New York’s students who are in a position to benefit most from that investment,” said CUNY Chancellor James B. Milliken. “LaGuardia and CUNY’s other community colleges are the engines of mobility and economic opportunity for so many immigrants, first generation and low income New Yorkers. Through its involvement with LaGuardia, Goldman Sachs has developed a strong appreciation for the great work the college does and is making an investment that will pay dividends for years to come.” 


    Like many community colleges, LaGuardia’s pioneering programs serve the local community, working directly with employers to meet area-specific workforce demands, creating a pipeline for students into better jobs and growing the economy. The College’s student population embodies the community, with over 50,000 students from more than 150 countries enrolling in 50 degree and certificate programs each year to transform their lives and the lives of their families.  


    Because 70% of LaGuardia students come from households with a family income of less than $25,000, the LaGuardia Community College Foundation was founded in 2003 to address overwhelming student financial need. Since that time, The Foundation has raised over $11 million and has provided thousands of students with scholarships, emergency funds and opportunities for enhanced academic and professional success.


    • • • •


    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.lagcc.cuny.edu to learn more.

     LaGuardia Shares Innovative ePortfolio Practices with Australian University

    LaGuardia Community College Shares ePortfolio Best Practices with Australian University


    Long Island City, NY—March 6, 2015—Innovative technology uses at LaGuardia Community College are again gaining international recognition as the College shares best practices with Australia’s Deakin University at a meeting held Wednesday, January 14, 2015.


    LaGuardia has long been a leader in groundbreaking approaches in the use of electronic portfolios, known as ePortfolios, for assessment, advisement, first year seminar courses and professional development.


    ePortfolio is an pedagogical tool that enables students to make connections among their coursework, co-curricular activities, advisement, internships, career goals and personal development activities. Students can use ePortfolio to maintain an electronic archive of their work and create a digital showcase of academic accomplishments that can be shared with potential employers.


    Dr. Kim Watty, the Associate Dean for Quality, Standards and Accreditation and Deputy Head for the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance at Deakin, heard about LaGuardia’s ePortfolio work and requested to meet with Business & Technology faculty.


    “I found out about the ePortfolio work being done at LaGuardia from the video about ePortfolios in accounting, second, through the Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL), and third, through Helen Chen from Stanford University,” says Dr. Watty.


    Dr. Chen served as a senior research scholar for Connect to Learning (C2L), a Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) program that is coordinated by LaGuardia. C2L created a knowledge-sharing network of faculty, staff and scholars from across the US and includes participants from Virginia Tech and Boston University, among others.


    Dr. Watty is currently the project lead for a similar, grant-based study in Australia that seeks to develop framework for learning assessment through ePortfolio use in business education across several universities.


    Michael Napolitano, Professor and Academic Chair of the Business & Technology Department at LaGuardia, advised Dr. Watty to explore all that ePortfolios can do for students in the classroom and in career preparation.


    Associate Professor Raj Bhika has played an active role in developing LaGuardia’s ePortfolio practices over the last several years and helped to coordinate the intercontinental meeting.


    "We started working with ePortfolios about 13 years ago; at that time there were about 800 [student ePortfolios], now there are more than 80,000” said Mr. Bhika.


    Throughout the meeting Mr. Bhika and several other business faculty shared insights and lessons learned as LaGuardia has cultivated ePortfolio standards and practices: Dr. Bernard Polnariev, Administrative Executive Officer for Academic Affairs, and Associate Professor Edward Goodman addressed ePortfolio assessment and curriculum design; Lecturer Nicole Maguire and Adjunct Lecturer Deijy Sherpa discussed logistics of ePortfolio assessment. Pablo Avila, ePortfolio Consultant for LaGuardia’s Center for Teaching and Learning, along with Assistant Professor Andrea Francis provided examples of the impact of ePortfolio use in the First Year Seminar for Business & Technology and the accounting capstone course. Associate Professor Hector Fernandez explained how feedback from employers has aided in the progress of ePortfolio design and practices to enhance students' employment prospects.


    Dr. Watty was excited to hear LaGuardia’s observations and best practices, noting that the Australian project team was specifically interested in learning from LaGuardia having seen their success online. Mr. Napolitano and Dr. Watty will next explore broadening the new connection, and possibly having LaGuardia and Deakin students assess each other’s ePortfolios. 


    ••••


    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

     Mayor Ed Koch Calls 1980 Sydenham Hospital Closing A Mistake in Video
    Mayor Ed Koch Calls 1980 Sydenham Hospital Closing A Mistake in Latest LaGuardia and Wagner Archives YouTube Video


    Ed_Koch

    Long Island City, NY—March 10, 2015—There is an extraordinary moment in “Sydenham, 2015,” the latest YouTube video offering from LaGuardia Community College’s LaGuardia and Wagner Archives.

    Former Mayor Ed Koch admits, “I was wrong.”

     

    The often candid and seldom repentant three-term mayor admits during an interview with Congressman Charlie Rangel and LaGuardia and Wagner Archives Director Richard Lieberman that he was wrong to order Sydenham Hospital closed to fill a multi-million dollar deficit in the city budget in 1980.

     

    “It was a mistake,” Koch said. “Not that it (the closing) was not right on the merits. But that I didn’t take into account what it meant psychologically to the community.”

     

    Sydenham, on 125th St. in Harlem, became a city hospital on March 3, 1949. It was the first municipal hospital to allow African-American doctors to bring in their own patients.

     

    The 12 minute video details Sydenham’s history and the tumultuous events—Koch’s decision prompted community protests and dozens of arrests—surrounding its 1980 closing. The video includes interviews with several former city officials involved in the closing, including Former First Deputy Mayor Stanley Brezenoff, former First Deputy Mayor for Human Services Haskell Ward, Special Advisor to the Mayor David Jones, and June Jackson Christmas, former Commissioner of Mental Health and Mental Retardation.

     

    They are interviewed by Koch Scholars and Honors students at LaGuardia Community College Modupe Ogunlaja, DarleneJo Perez, Beatriz Ramos and Jonathan Simmonds. The Koch Scholars program put the students and former top officials from the Koch Administration together to discuss landmark policies and programs created by the Koch Administration (1978-1989) that significantly impacted New York City.

     

    The video was produced by the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives at LaGuardia Community College, which has turned out more than 100 videos which have a collective 278,631 views on the Archive’s YouTube channel ( http://www.youtube.com/user/lagarchivist).

    The Koch Scholars researched the piece in the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives under the direction of Lieberman, Tara Hickman, John Chaffee, Karlyn Koh, Steven Levine and the Archives staff.

     

    The filmmaker was Sandy Chase.

     

    “When Mayor Koch took office in 1977, he inherited a city rife with financial troubles,” said Marian Clarke, the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives’ multi-media archivist. “In an effort to minimize the city’s fiscal crisis, Mayor Koch decided to close Sydenham Hospital despite public outcry over the measure. Many in Harlem rallied around the local hospital, the first New York hospital to accept African American doctors as interns, and whose closure was seen as emblematic of the Koch Administration’s insensitivity and indifference towards the black community.”

     

    Lieberman conducted the interview with Koch and Rangel, a session set up by Koch to discuss Sydenham.

     

    “The historical significance of Sydenham is that we learn that sometimes the symbol is more important than the reality,” Lieberman said. “What the hospital represented to the community and to the black doctors and nurses was more important than what the balance sheet revealed. Although the hospital was a tremendous economic drain in a city in fiscal crisis, Koch realized in retrospect that he looked at the balance sheet and not the symbol and admits as much in the video.”

     

    “The Koch Scholars and the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives have produced yet another gem,” said LaGuardia CommunityCollege President Dr. Gail O. Mellow. “This is a wonderful piece of our city’s history that might have been lost if not for their diligence; now it’s available for all to see.”

     

    The Sydenham building is now the Mannie L. Wilson Primary Care Center, which provides medical and dental care for seniors and their families.

     

    You can visit the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives YouTube channel here.

     

                                                                                

    •     •     •     •


     

    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

     LaGuardia Students Collaborate to Become Published Authors

    LaGuardia Students Collaborate to Become Published Authors


    LAGCC student authors


    Long Island City, NY—March 10, 2015One current and two former LaGuardia Community College students are now published authors, thanks to LaGuardia Associate Professor Jodi Schwartz and some very hard work.


    Brian Miller, Joserichsen Mondesir and Timothy Slater collaborated with Prof. Schwartz on an essay, “Returning to School After Incarceration: Policy, Prisoners, and the Classroom,” which is a chapter in the book, “Swimming Upstream: Black Males in Adult Education,” edited by Schwartz, Dionne Rosser-Mims, Brendaly Drayton and Talmadge C. Guy.


    Schwartz said the idea for the essay came to her two years ago after Miller, then a student in her English composition class, asked to speak to her.


    “Brian told me that he was just out of prison and didn’t know if he would stay in college,” Schwartz said. “The first semester I met him I knew he was brilliant. I learned a lot about being incarcerated from him.”


    Schwartz previously worked in several Brooklyn based community programs and had done her doctorate on children of color disenfranchised by the public educational system. An associate professor at LaGuardia for four years, Schwartz had also used a cultural diversity grant to fund a documentary: “A New Normal; Young Men of Color, Trauma and Engagement in Learning.”


    She had already agreed to collaborate with Drayton, who earned her doctorate from Penn State, and Guy and Mims, professors at the University of Georgia and Troy University, respectively, on the “Swimming Upstream” book.


    Schwartz asked Miller, 31, if he would be interested in writing about the problems formerly incarcerated men returning to school face that could become a chapter in a book she was collaborating on.


    Schwartz and Miller recruited Mondesir, 23, and Slater, 22, who like Miller were Schwartz’s students and had returned to school after doing time in prison.


    Each said Schwartz’s offer was impossible to turn down.


    “Miss J. (Schwartz) invited me to be a part of this process,” Slater said. “I guess she saw something in me, in my writing that I never saw.”


    Mondesir, who like his co-authors was one of Schwartz’s students, also worried about his writing. “I did not feel my writing was up to par, I had grammar issues, like everybody else does,” he said.


    The men started work in November, 2013, meeting regularly for months to conduct research in the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives, the LaGuardia Library, and with the Fortune Society, a group which former prisoners adjust to life outside prison walls.


    All said the project was hard work, but worth it.


    “We had to revise, revise, revise,” Miller said. “But the growth came from the empowerment of our voices being heard. If you read the chapter we wrote, you’ll hear our voices. They were not muted; Dr. Schwartz did not mute us. We agreed on what we would feature in the chapter, and that allowed us to express our individuality and our pain. Some areas were even a bit funny.”


    Mondesir said “These guys helped me, they validated my writing style, and they validated me as a person.”


    “We were like the right sides of the puzzle pieces because we all meshed together,” Slater said. “Although we critiqued each other, there were no hard feelings because we all knew the project was bigger than us.


    “We all had different writing styles but at the end of the day we made it happen because of our personality types,” Slater said. “There were no egos involved. We were just happy to be involved in something that we never had an idea we would be involved in.”


    The chapter is a testament to the men’s success at LaGuardia. Miller is Project Coordinator for LaGuardia’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion and is also Outreach Coordinator for LaGuardia’s Black Male Empowerment Cooperative. Miller graduated from LaGuardia and is now enrolled at City College of New York, where he is considering studying law.


    Mondesir is in his final semester at LaGuardia, majoring in secondary education and is intent on pursuing a doctorate degree.


    Slater graduated from LaGuardia and is studying business and mass communications at Brooklyn College.


    “Swimming Upstream” was published in December by Jossey-Bass as part of that company’s New Directions for Adult & Continuing Education series. The book is available on Amazon.com.


    Schwartz and the trio presented LaGuardia Community College President Dr. Gail O. Mellow with a signed copy of the book, and have since signed copies for students, faculty and friends during an African Heritage Celebration held LaGuardia’s E-Building atrium.


    •     •     •     •


    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

     LaGuardia Students Show Appreciation for Business Partners of the College at Networking Event

    LaGuardia Community College Students Show Appreciation for Business Partners of the College at Networking Event


    Networking Uncorked Event 

    Long Island City, NY—March 9th, 2015—LaGuardia Community Collegestudents, faculty and staff gathered for a networking event titled “Uncorked: LaGuardia Partners Appreciation Reception” with the College’s business partners. 

     

    The event was an opportunity for students to thank representatives from various businesses for their commitment to the College.

     

    “Our partners really have our students’ best interest at heart” said Tony Lugo, Business Manager for College and Community Relations.  “They don’t just see students as simply equity, or margins on a financial statement, they see them as our future leaders and as entrepreneurs Mr. Lugo said.

     

    Students from the Luce Heritage Language Scholars program  and Barnes and Noble Scholarship recipient Shah Faizal Mazhar mingled with representatives from numerous businesses  including Canteen Vending Services, MBJ Foodservice and World Financial Group among others.  Mr. Mazhar, a sophomore Liberal Arts: Mathematics and Science major, showed his appreciation for partners of the College by sharing his story.

     

    “Students can get tips on how to tackle the real world and corporate world after graduating.  As the eldest son in my family, I have a responsibility to help support my family as I pursue my dream.  The scholarship is a boost of confidence, and a symbol of pride that tells my inner-self, ‘good job you’re on the right track,’” said Mr. Mazhar of networking with the different businesses. Mr. Mazhar also expressed his gratitude for having received a scholarship from the LaGuardia Foundation, which provides assistance for students facing financial obstacles.

     

    Susan Lyddon, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, realizes the contribution LaGuardia’s partners have made to the College.  “Over the years our partnerships have led to many great opportunities: scholarships, hiring additional tutors in our math labs, renovating our SGA Study Hall, career preparation and even job placement,” said Ms. Lyddon.

     

    MBJ Foodservice catered the event and everyone enjoyed hors-d'oeuvres while making lasting connections.  

     

    Rachael Stuyvesant, a Japanese Heritage Language Scholar studying Earth System Science & Environmental Engineering, realizes the impact networking can have on her future college career and internship prospects.

     

    “At the end of the spring term we are supposed to have internships where we are going to be utilizing the heritage language.  Coming to these types of events helps us become more prepared and even helps us meet people that could possibly help us find those internships,” said Ms. Stuyvesant about the event and the Luce program. The Luce Heritage Language Scholar program is a yearlong program designed to enhance students’ language proficiency.  

     

    As students look toward the future—beyond LaGuardia, networking events can be a useful tool, and the support of LaGuardia’s partners in making these events possible is “invaluable, and we really appreciate it,” said Mr. Lugo.

                                                                                            

    •    •     •     •

     

    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.lagcc.cuny.edu to learn more.

     


     LAGCC Shares Groundbreaking Adult Education Approaches through New Professional Development Institute

    LaGuardia Community College Shares Groundbreaking Adult Education Approaches through New Professional Development Institute


    Long Island City, NY—November 21, 2014—LaGuardia Community College has officially launched the College and Career Pathways Institute (CCPI) to provide professional development that helps educators prepare adults and out-of-school youth to get back on track to college and new careers through innovative contextualized and integrated instructional strategies.


    CCPI offers a campus-based demonstration site that pilots leading-edge curricula and program models and provides customized hands-on and web-based workshops, educational tools, faculty coaching and a well-tested curriculum design. CCPI trainers, all teachers with extensive and proven success in college preparatory classrooms, work with adult education programs, colleges, community based organizations, workforce training organizations, and college access and success organizations across the country. The Institute has already provided services in 11 states and has presented at many national conferences, including the Council on Adult Basic Education (COABE) Conference and the National College Transition Network Effective Transitions Conference in 2014.  


    “The pioneering work of the College and Career Pathways Institute is providing the highest quality training to a whole new generation of adult educators,” said Gail O. Mellow, President of LaGuardia. “With this training, thousands of educators will more effectively teach adult students, giving them the education and understanding about their chosen career that will allow them to build a better future for themselves and their families.”


    CCPI creates workshops and training materials using curriculum and program materials from LaGuardia’s Bridge to College and Careers Program and New York Basic Education and Skills Training (NYBEST) programs.  


    The Bridge to College and Careers Program prepares students to earn their High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma and successfully transition to college or career training. A recent random assignment evaluation of the Bridge Program found that students were twice as likely to complete the program, three times as likely to earn a HSE diploma, and twice as likely to transition to postsecondary education as their counterparts in a traditional HSE preparatory program ( http://www.mdrc.org/publication/enhancing-ged-instruction-prepare-students-college-and-careers). CCPI trainers have shared the Bridge Program model and methodology in recent workshops for educators at community colleges in New York, Illinois, Ohio and the New England region.  The Bridge Program has also recently been cited as a model transition program by Acting Assistant Secretary of the US Department of Education Johan Uvin.


    This winter, CCPI is partnering with the National College Transition Network to offer a public webinar series examining program and instructional shifts connected to new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) legislation. To expand training and disseminate its models across the country, CCPI has also launched a new website ( http://www.laguardia.edu/CCPI). And a monthly newsletter featuring CCPI updates and best practices is available to the adult education and college access and success communities. 


    Olga Merchan, Director of Workforce Strategy at YouthBuild USA, commented, “If you want to build a successful bridge-to-college program, partner with LaGuardia Community College and learn from the best.”


    For more information on LaGuardia’s College and Career Pathways Institute contact ccpi@lagcc.cuny.edu or (718) 349-4015.


    •     •     •     •


    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating under served students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

     State Education Department Officials Discuss Bridge Program

    State Education Department Officials Discuss Bridge Program Over Lunch with LaGuardia Community College President, Administrators and Students

    Bridge

    Long Island City, NY—November 13, 2014—President Gail O. Mellow and LaGuardia Community College administrators last week hosted New York State Education Department, New York State Board of Regents, and local elected officials at a luncheon held in LaGuardia’s NYDesigns center.


    State Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch, Regent Betty Rosa, Dist. 37 Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan, State Education Commissioner John B. King and Deputy Commissioner Kevin Smith met with Dr. Mellow, Associate Dean of Pre-College Programs Jane MacKillop, Executive Director of Pre-College Academic Programs Amy Dalsimer, and Executive Director for Adult Community Learning John Hunt.


    During the working lunch administrators gave the Education Department officials an overview of several LaGuardia programs that help adults who did not finish high school earn high school equivalency (HSE) diplomas and continue on to college: the Bridge to College and Careers Program, the Center for Immigrant Education and Training (CIET), and NY Basic Education and Skills Training (NYBEST) Programs.


    The Bridge to College and Careers Program provides career focused high school equivalency preparation and college readiness. CIET provides contextualized English, immigrant family literacy, and parent and civic engagement programs. NYBEST combines basic skills and technical instruction/vocational training to prepare students for employment.


    “We really are a community college,” Mellow said. “We take everybody who has a high school equivalency diploma and everything in between or a degree from a New York City public school, or an adult who got a degree in Brazil. We take them and say welcome, if you are going to give us the time, we’re going to create a system that allows you to succeed.”


    After a welcome from Dr. Mellow, MacKillop, Dalsimer and Hunt gave overviews of each program. After a sometimes spirited discussion about how the programs are funded, the state officials visited curriculum developer and Pre-College Academic Instructor Viktoriia Dudar’s Bridge to Health classroom, where Rosa, Hunt, Smith and Nolan sat with the students and took part in the class discussion.


    Students Sandra Chevalier, Melissa Derrick, Johnny Webb, Troy Paul, Yaritza Cabrera, Claudia Gastelum, Sabrina Prime, and Ann Marie Hennessy, each of them graduates or current students in the Bridge Program, and high school principals Hope Baxter (Energy and Tech High School), Linda Siegmund (Middle College High School), and Jaclyn Valane (International High School) joined the state officials for lunch.


    The students praised Dudar for her patience and teaching ability and credited the Bridge Program with changing their lives.


    “I went from I’m going to get my GED (General Equivalency Diploma) to I’m going to go to college, I can succeed in college,” said Hennessy. “I tried other GED programs, and there was such a lack of communication. You’re so welcome here. It’s so organized.”

    •     •     •     •

    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.




     The Korean Times Article on a Korean Food Vendor Support of LaGuardia

    “May It Give Hope To International Students...” Joo-Ho Kim, President Of Yogi and a Food Vendor, Supported LaGuardia Community College Scholarships 


    korean food truck article

    "I also had a difficult time during my overseas studies. Therefore, my operating principle is to provide large portions of delicious food at cheap prices to students, because I know that they don’t have a lot of extra money," said President Joo-Ho Kim.


    Of the four or five food carts located in front of the buildings at LaGuardia Community College (LaGCC) in Queens Long Island City, the line in front of one is exceptionally long. It is the Korean-food food cart “Yogi,” which is operated by President Joo-Ho Kim (43 years old), an ethnic Korean.


    Yogi’s main menu includes bulgogi, jeyukbokkeum and chicken teriyaki. Most of the students to patronize Yogi are LaGuardia students and foreign students. The students who have tried the food always give it a thumb up. President Kim’s food cart is unusually popular, not only because of the delicious taste of his food, but also thanks to his generous mindset which thinks of the students as his younger brothers and sisters.


    Last summer LaGuardia Community College had been challenged to raise $500,000 for student scholarships. President Kim is one of 282 donors who supported the College.


    President Kim, who graduated from college in Korea and then worked in the fashion business before going to study in Italy, laughed as he explained, “I was worried about meals during my difficult life as an international student and so I learned cooking from a neighbor Italian lady,” and “Rather than my following my fashion business studies, I became a gourmet chef instead.”


    President Kim came to New York in 1998 and studied Economics at Hunter College, but he slowly awakened to his hidden cooking skills that no one knew about and finally started this food cart business after graduating. President Kim said, “During my 20s and 30s, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do... But I slowly became aware of what true happiness is when I would see people eating the food which I made, even though it isn’t easy to go shopping for ingredients every day.”


    President Kim explained, “I wasn’t able to support with a lot of money but I hope that what I gave can be a small contribution to the students who are dreaming of the future even in their difficult circumstances.” He revealed that he intends to keep providing scholarship support in the future, too. “ (Journalist Ji-Hoon Cheon)


    View The Korean Times article: http://www.koreatimes.com/article/881299

     BET Reporter Samson Styles SharesSecond Chances With LaGuardia Community College Students

    BET Reporter Samson Styles Shares Second Chances With LaGuardia Community College Students


    Samson Styles BET 


    Long Island City, NY— October 21,2014Black Entertainment Television News Reporter and Documentarian Samson Styles brought his inspirational message to LaGuardia Community College, urging students try hard to make the right choices in life.


    “Most of my challenges came from making poor decisions,” Styles said. “Not a lot of people get second changes like I did. Where I come from, a lot of people are lucky to finish high school.”


    More than one hundred students gather in the E-Building atrium to hear Styles.  The LaGuardia Step Team opened the event with a rousing performance. Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Michael Baston and Director of Student Life Kevin Jordan welcomed Styles to campus.


    "Sampson Style's journey reminds all of us that where we start in life does not always dictate where we can go or who we can become,” Baston said. “We are pleased to welcome him to LaGuardia and we encourage all in our community to believe in, and however possible, support second chances. We never know when we ourselves may be the one in need of a second chance."


    “Stories are the windows into your life,” Jordan said. “This gentleman has come to tell his story, and when he tells his story you are invited to think about your own story.”


    Styles’ visit as arranged by Darren Ferguson, Project Coordinator of LaGuardia’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion. Styles is shooting a segment on Ferguson for his BET program, “Second Chances,” which profiles people who create successful careers after leaving prison.


    Styles’ talk was his story, which explained how he turned his life around after serving eight years in jail.


    Styles’ parents moved the family to the Louis H. Pink Houses in Brooklyn’s East New York neighborhood when he was eight years old, from Park Slope, Brooklyn.


    He started acting tough to fit in with his new crowd.


    “Some adversity you face is circumstantial, you have no control over,” Styles said. “But some adversity is made worse by poor choices.”


    Styles was nine years old when he started picking pockets with a group of neighborhood teens. “We used to call it getting money,” he said. “My mother would get calls from the local police precinct saying they picked up her son for this and that.”


    A good student, Styles said he “dumbed himself down” to fit in with his new friends. He kept running the streets. At 12 years old he did 18 months in juvenile detention. At 15 he was with a friend who killed someone and spent seven years in the penitentiary.


    “Again, I faced adversity because of my poor decision making,” Styles told LaGuardia students.


    Released in 2014, Styles returned to Brooklyn hoping to get into the recording industry but a friend persuaded him film was a better choice. Styles started shooting underground girl fights in Brownsville. A trailer he made from films of several fights was impressive enough to get him an interview with BET hierarchy, where he started filming segments for one of the network’s newsmagazines.


    Styles told the LaGuardia students that being on television did not insulate him from offers to resume the lifestyle that got him sent to prison.  “But I turned down those opportunities,” he said. “I wanted to do positive things in the community.


    “I’m letting you know that being here, in school, you are on the right path,” Styles said. “You might feel sometimes that you can’t make it, but ask yourself how many adversities you put on yourself.


    “To be here at LaGuardia and be able to inspire and motivate  students, that’s how I motivate myself,” Styles said.


    Last summer LaGuardia's Division of Adult and Continuing Education, working with the city Department of Corrections, completed the first phase of a pilot job training program for women in the Rose M. Singer Center on Riker’s Island.  


    "Having Samson Styles here at LaGuardia was a great opportunity to see what we can do with determination and a made up mind, even after being victimized by our own poor choices,” Ferguson said. “Mr. Styles showed our students, through his personal testimony, that success on a grand scale is possible even after what seems like a life altering error."

     

     •     •     •     •


    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

     LaGuardia Community College Food Cart Vendors Know Staff and the Students They Serve

    LaGuardia Community College Food Cart Vendors Know Staff and the Students They Serve

    halal   

    Long Island City, NY—September 30, 2014—LaGuardia Community College students, faculty and staff love eggs, aren’t as picky eaters as folks in other parts of the city, and love to snack between classes.

     

    This information comes from people who know the food cart vendors along Thomson Avenue, who feed hundreds of LaGuardia community members each school day.

     

    “My business philosophy is always to have a business around schools and students because they eat all the time,” said Elsayed, who has run the Mando Halal Food cart since 2000.

     

    “Students are easy to serve,” said John, who did not want his last name used. John runs the Coffee Bagel Cart near Van Dam Avenue and says he sells close to fifty egg sandwiches a day, making them one of his top selling dishes.

     

    “LaGuardia students are very patient, very, very patient,” said Juho Kim, who has been running the popular Yogi Food Cart by himself since his assistant had a hernia operation. “Kids always have a next class so they have to run. I feel so bad that they have to wait, but it’s only me. I do everything as fast as I can, but they keep waiting, waiting.”

     

    LaGuardia Community College, known as “The World’s Community College,” has one of the most diverse student bodies in New York City, with students from more than 157 countries, speaking over 111 languages.

     

    Yet, they have a lot in common. They share the dream of creating a better future for themselves and their families, and if you ask the vendors—they like to eat.

     

    Mohamad Mohamad’s Habbia Cart specializes in breakfast items “because there is a lot of competition for lunch,” Mohamad said.

     

    Carts offer speed, good food and low prices, Mohamad said, which makes them competitive. But having a business on wheels doesn’t diminish the need to service your customers if you expect them to come back, Mohamad said. 

     

    “We sell things cheap that can fill you up, something nice they can afford,” he said. “Go to a restaurant and they sell you a cup of coffee for $4 or $5 and you stay a half hour.”

     

    “Here the coffee is seventy five cents to one dollar and we talk and have fun,” Mohamad said. “If he has a problem with the cup we give him another one, no problem.”

     

    The men live in Queens and Brooklyn. They all tow their carts on the back of their cars or panel vans each workday from storage yards where they are kept overnight. Some of the yards restock the carts overnight, while some of the owners make their food at home and replenish the carts themselves each morning.

     

    Their stories of how they came to run their businesses are as colorful and intriguing as those of many of their LaGuardia customers.

     

    Elsayed graduated from law school in his native Alexandria, Egypt, but decided law was not for him. “I did it for my father,” he said. “He wanted me to be a lawyer. When I graduated I gave him the certificate.”

     

    Elsayed’s father was a spice merchant, and his son was able to put his knowledge of a variety of condiments to good use in his cart even though he didn’t cook when he moved here in 1986. He worked several jobs, including dishwasher at a Port Jefferson, NY restaurant.

     

    One night the restaurant’s chef stormed out after having words with the owner. Elsayed said he “knew everything about the kitchen” and stepped in to do prep work. He cooked there for ten years.

     

    His food vendor career got off to a rocky start. “The first day, nobody knew me so nobody came,” he said. “I made forty dollars and had to throw away almost eight hundred dollars worth of food because I could not keep it. It was rough. But over time it got better.”

     

    Kim owned a nail salon in Stony Brook when he saw a newspaper advertisement from a man, who happened to be Korean, who wanted to sell his food cart. “I had lived in France with a woman who taught me to cook some things, and I would cook for my wife and daughter,” he said.

     

    Kim sold the salon and bought the cart, one of the more popular food stands on the street with dishes like teriyaki chicken. With his assistant out, that success has meant more work for him. “It’s a lot of work; you have no idea,” he said. “If I knew that before, I might not have done it.”

     

    Mohamed majored in sports therapy in Egypt, but found the additional courses he’d have to take to be certified here too expensive when he immigrated here ten years ago.

     

    He said he worked a variety of jobs, including on a food truck near Columbia University Medical Center. Mohamed learned the business from scratch, and there was a lot to learn.

     

    “You have to learn how to use gas, how not to burn yourself, which food to cook first cause it takes longer,” he said.  “It is not easy stuff, because if the customer is not satisfied they are not going to come back.”

     

     Mohamed rents his cart, which specializes in lunch items like kebabs and sausages, from a man named John, who Mohamed said worked the cart for almost two decades but gave up after enduring the brutal cold last winter.

     

    Business is good, but tighter because competition from other carts “means you can’t raise your prices.”

     

    John, from the Philippines, has been in New York for fifteen years and has run his cart on the same corner outside LaGuardia for ten years. He taught himself to cook, he said, experimenting with recipes at home.  “Though the ten hour days are hard,” John said what he likes most about the work is that “my inventory is low and I don’t have to worry about overhead costs.”

     

    Last summer, when the LaGuardia Community College Foundation was challenged to raise $500K for the students’ scholarships, LaGuardia reached out to local businesses.  Each of the vendors in this story contributed to the LaGuardia Million Dollar Challenge. 

     

    “I was a student too, so I have feelings for them,” said Elsayed.Today he’s a student. Tomorrow we don’t know what he will be. You have to support him. Today you have to give back,” he said. “That is what we did.”

    yogi


    •     •     •     •


    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

     Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program at LAGCC Receives $5 Million for Education Center

    Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program at LaGuardia Community College Receives $5 Million for Education Center


    Long Island City, NY—August 1, 2014—The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program at LaGuardia Community College is about to receive a $5 million boost, courtesy of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State of New York.

    The capital money will be used to create the 10,000 Small Businesses Education Center, which will permanently house the program that helps entrepreneurs grow their companies and create jobs.

    “The students at New York City’s public colleges and universities have provided the world with game-changing ideas in fields ranging from healthcare to manufacturing. Through the CUNY 2020 program we are maximizing those ideas to create economic opportunity for New Yorkers,” Governor Cuomo said. “The first round of CUNY 2020 projects will help link some of our best and brightest students with positions in high-tech sectors, while leveraging their academic excellence to support economic development and create new opportunities throughout the New York City area. By funding these eight projects we are making an investment in New York’s future, and I am proud to present these awards to the first round of CUNY 2020 recipients.”

    “We’ve seen through our 10,000 Small Businesses program that public-private partnerships can spur job creation, strengthening communities,” said Lloyd C. Blankfein, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs. “We are proud that the program has served as a catalyst for Governor Cuomo’s Economic Development Fund’s investment in LaGuardia Community College and know that the Center will become an important resource to small business owners in New York.”

    “This extraordinary partnership between LaGuardia and Goldman Sachs has helped numerous small business owners gain the skills they need to make their businesses flourish and hire new employees,” said LaGuardia Community College President Gail O. Mellow. “This $5 million capital grant from Governor Cuomo will create a permanent home for the program and allow us to strengthen our work with local businesses.”

    The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program at LaGuardia provides practical business management education that helps participants develop the skills needed to helm a successful business.

    Participants attend 11 class sessions, receive business support services and one-on-one help from a team of business professionals to create a business plan tailored to their company needs.

    Nearly 450 businesses have participated in the program to date, and the program will continue to serve approximately 100 businesses per year. Approximately 70 percent of graduates report increased revenues in businesses and 50 percent of graduates have created jobs.

    This infusion of public dollars represents the recognition of policy makers that the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is an effective driver of economic growth and job creation.

    Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is a $500 million national program designed to help small businesses in the United States create jobs and economic growth by providing entrepreneurs with practical business education, access to capital and business support services.

    The $5 million is part of $55 million in grants CUNY and Empire State Development awarded to eight economic development projects involving 20 CUNY campuses. The grants are designed to connect academic institutions with entrepreneurship to stimulate the local economic development.

    •     •     •     •


    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is  a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success education underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit  www.laguardia.edu to learn more.




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