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  •  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.

     LaGuardia Students Learn to Negotiate Like United Nations Ambassadors

    LaGuardia Students Learn to Negotiate Like United Nations Ambassadors


    Long Island City, NY—November 21, 2014—Nine LaGuardia Community College students had the opportunity to practice international diplomacy first hand last month as delegates to the National Model United Nations (NMUN) Conference in Washington, DC.

     

    Michael Collins, Liliana Katechis (Head Delegate), Diego Oliveros, Jhon Ortiz, Kennya Pesantez, Sarah Mindana, Kimberly Mota, Beatriz Ramos and Kevin Sarmiento, along with faculty mentor David Styler, attended the three day conference held at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

     

    They joined 850 students from 81 educational institutions from Asia, Africa, and the United States in discussing and debating “issues in the forefront of international relations,” Styler said.

     

    The student delegates, representing the Republic of Mozambique, participated in four simulated UN committees: General Assembly First, United Nations Commission on Trade and Development, United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees, and the World Health Organization.

     

    They researched and created position papers, and learned and followed United Nations rules of procedure for caucusing on and debating their respective committee issues.  Delegates delivered at least one speech per committee, and became sponsors on five resolutions.

     

    “The bond that grew between my classmates and me at the conference is unbelievable,” said Ortiz, who sat on the WHO. “We learned so much about ourselves, and I don’t think that bond will be broken easily.”

     

    NMUN was sponsored by the National Collegiate Conference Association which, according to the group website (http://www.nmun.org/ncca.html), is “a nonprofit organization that advances understanding of the United Nations and contemporary international issues.

     

    “We positively affect the lives of participants and prepare them to be better global citizens through quality educational experiences that emphasize collaboration and cooperative resolution of conflict.”

       

    •     •     •     •


    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 Delegates Shine at Society of Hispanic Engineers Conference

    LaGuardia Community College Delegates Shine at Society of Hispanic Engineers Conference 


    Long Island City, NY—November 13, 2014—Five LaGuardia Community College students presented their research projects at the annual Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) 2014 conference in Detroit, MI.


    Carl Gordon, Tabitha Rivera, Kevin Rodriguez, Silvia Tirado (LaGCC graduate now at City College of New York), and Nicole Vazquez, with graduate student and College assistant Ahmed Afifi and LaGuardia mentors professors Reginald Eze, John Toland and Yasser Hassebo joined more than 5,000 attendees—mostly undergraduate and graduate school students—from across the United States at the national event, held Nov. 5 - Nov. 9 at Detroit’s Cobo Center.

     

    The LaGuardia students presented projects they had researched over eight weeks of the summer of 2014, Hassebo said. It was the first time LaGuardia students attended and presented in the conference.

     

    They made an impressive debut, with four oral presentations on research projects, an entry in the paper competition and three submissions to the poster competition.

     

    LaGuardia faculty members gave two presentations during the Engineering Research Symposium/ Earth System Science and Environmental Research portion of the conference.

     

    In addition, Dr. Hassebo was invited to serve as a chairman of the symposium session titled "Climate Change and Energy."

     

    “We’re very proud of our students,” Hassebo said. “Attendees were completely taken aback when they found out these presenters were community college students.”

     

    The LaGuardia students research paper and posters earned them free registrations and four nights of hotel accommodations paid by SHPE, Hassebo said.

     

    LaGuardia students were so impressed with the event; they are forming a SHPE chapter on campus as well as making plans to participate in the SHPE 2015 conference and to attend one of the largest Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics career fairs, scheduled for Nov. 11-15, 2015 in Baltimore, Md.

     

    The summer research activities were funded through the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s New York City Research Initiative; the Department of Education Alliance for Continuous Innovative Learning Environments in STEM, New York City’s Ladders for Leaders Programs, and New York City’s Summer Youth Employment Program.

     

    •     •     •     •


    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 New York Times - Article About Struggle to Raise Funds to Support LaGuardia Students
     The New York Times - Compelling Story about LaGuardia Student's Path to Graduation
     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

     LaGuardia Community College Archives Create Hit YouTube Videos

    LaGuardia Community College Archives Create Hit YouTube Videos


    Archive YouTube

    Long Island City, NY—November 7, 2014—They may be better known as repositories of New York City history, but the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives at LaGuardia Community College is also home to an online hit.


    The archive’s collection of historic videos posted to its YouTube channel has just passed 255,000 views.


    “About 100,000 of those hits are me going there every night, and I know my sister goes a lot,” joked Archive Director Richard Lieberman.


    Thanks to online analytics, Lieberman knows a lot about who is watching the three to five minute videos covering a range of topics, including the renovation of a Steinway piano, Charles Lindbergh’s historic solo flight, and studies of Queens neighborhoods including Woodside and Astoria.


    “YouTube says we get most of our views from males between the ages of 25 and 34,” said Mario DeLeon, a LaGuardia graduate who works in the archive. 


    “And they watch mostly at night,” said Lieberman. “I saw that, I said okay, I’m getting the insomniacs.”


    The Archives have produced close to 100 videos, all available on the Archive’s YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/lagarchivist).  Each video is a marvel of compact storytelling that got that way through a rigorous production and editing process.


    “The challenge is to keep the story between three and five minutes,” Lieberman said.  “The challenge is also to keep the audience wanting more, and to create something they find so interesting they will come and do their own research in the archives or on our website.”


    The Archives holds the personal papers and official documents (on microfilm) of Mayors Fiorello H. LaGuardia, Robert F. Wagner, Abraham D. Beame and Edward I. Koch, the records of the New York City Housing Authority, the piano maker Steinway & Sons, The Council of the City of New York and a Queens Local History Collection. They also work closely with the Municipal Archives of the City of New York.


    The video project began almost by accident.


    Lieberman was touring Steinway Hall, on West 57th Street in Midtown Manhattan, with then reigning Steinway Piano Company patriarch Henry Z. Steinway—the last Steinway to run the family company.


    “There was a janitor’s closet covered with paint, and, Henry being Henry, said Get a janitor, let’s open this,” Lieberman said.


    Inside they discovered a 1928 silent film by Fred Steinway, Henry Steinway’s uncle, on the making of a Steinway piano, along with several glass plate negatives of pictures of the Steinways and their factory.


    The Fred Steinway film, restored in high definition with a voice over narrative by Henry Steinway and others, is the most popular film on the Lagarchivist YouTube channel, with more than 50,000 views. It is also, at more than seven minutes, one of the longest.


    The second most popular video onthe Archives’ YouTube channel, is also Steinway related, but with a LaGuardiaCommunity College connection: titled “Restoring Steinway No. 2166: An 1858Steinway Piano,” it shows the renovation of the piano which now sits outsidethe LaGuardia Center for the Performing Arts’ Mainstage Theater.


    That video has over 20,000 views.


    Other popular videos include neighborhood “ethnographic studies” produced by LaGuardia and Wagner Archivist and LaGuardia Associate Adjunct Tara Hickman’s students for extra credit in her Urban Sociology class.


    Ethnographic studies are used to help “understand how and why neighborhoods change and the social impact aspects of why they change,” Hickman said. ““Some of my students have really gotten into it.  There seems to be two genres. Some are more Ken Burns, documentarian style and some take more of a reality TV approach. They’re on the streets interviewing people, so it’s fun.”


    Hickman’s students have produced videos on Astoria, Sunnyside, Elmhurst, Long Island City and Woodside, Queens, as well as several about Brooklyn neighborhoods, Hickman said.


    Stephen Weinstein, assistant tothe Archive director, does many of the video voiceover narrations – that’s himon most of the baseball videos, including “Chicago White Sox Win the 1959 ALPennant” (157 views in a month on the site) and “The 1934 World Series: St.Louis vs Detroit Tigers” (63 views in three days on the site.)


    The sports videos are a byproduct of a larger project originally funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities which allowed the LaGuardia Archives to send someone to search the National Archives in Washington, DC for newsreel footage in which Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia appeared.


    Newsreels, for the uninformed, were popular from 1908 until television rose to dominate news delivery in the 1950’s. Shot on celluloid film, newsreels often recorded or recreated short portions of news or entertainment events and were played in movie house before and between feature films.


    Lieberman said the Archives had been collecting film of various types—traditional cellulose acetate film, Umatics, etc.—for years but had to wait for digital technology and staging platforms like YouTube to evolve before they could share video easily.


    Multi-media Archivist Marian Clarke said historians are beginning to see video as a legitimate primary research resource and so making more use of film footage. “The idea that television could tell you anything, well, it’s called the idiot box for a reason,” Clarke said. “So it has never been legitimized as a source of information and it’s considered very lowbrow.


    “What l like about the videos we put together is that we have put some effort into not just making it this boring history,” Clarke said.


    For the Lindbergh video, for instance, Lieberman brought in LaGuardia History Professor Emeritus Janet Lieberman, who as a child attended the New York City parade in Lindbergh’s honor, to do the narration. Uploaded two years ago, that video has over 17,000 views.


    “It kind of contextualized the video for people, made it really human, this woman remembering being a little girl and thinking about Lindbergh,” Clarke said.”


    Lieberman noted that the Archives pays to have its videos recorded in high definition, giving each a better quality than most YouTube offerings.


    The Wagner and LaGuardia Archives YouTube channel is reachable by clicking on the YouTube icon on the Archives homepage http://www.laguardiawagnerarchive.lagcc.cuny.edu/ or on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCp0cYCrJT5CCDx6QUe9BAAg.


    The most popular videos on the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives YouTube channel:


    1.  The Making of Steinway

           54,509 views

    2.   Astoria, Queens: My Astoria Past and Present by Jason Riggs

          28,805 views

    3.  Restoring Steinway No. 2166: An 1858 Steinway Piano

         20,293 views

    4.  Charles Lindbergh - From New York to Paris 1927

         16,717 views

    5.  How Public Housing Transformed New York City 1935-67...part one

         12,855 views

    6.  Woodside, Queens: Past and Present by Christina Abad

         7,786 views

    7.  Sunnyside, Queens by Oljer Lliguicota

         6,100 views

    8. La Guardia, Fusion Candidate for Mayor, 1933, Campaign Commercial

        5,736 views

    9. Joe DiMaggio's Wild Dash Home Clinches Yankees 1939 World Series Victory over the Cincinnati Reds

        5,726 views

    10. Fiorello H. La Guardia Attacks Tammany Hall, 1933

          5,182 views

            

    •     •     •     •

     

    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.

     


     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.




     The David Grainger Foundation presents the LaGuardia Community College Foundation with $5000

    The David Grainger Foundation Presents the LaGuardia Community College Foundation with $5000


    Grainger pic

    Long Island City, NY—July 1, 2014—Grainger Industrial Supply officials present LaGuardia Community College President Gail O. Mellow with a $5,000 check from the David Grainger Foundation.


    Taking part in the ceremony, from left to right, are Grainger Account Manager Jim Dodson; Dr. Mellow; LaGuardia student and scholarship recipient Enes Malik Akdemir; Grainger Market Manager for Queens William Draghi; Grainger District Manager Tania Godoy; LaGuardia Community College Foundation Board Vice Chairman Suresh Sani; LaGuardia student and scholarship recipient Diriana Tejada; LaGuardia Vice President, Division for Institutional Advancement Susan Lyddon, and LaGuardia Vice President of Administration Shahir Erfan.


    •     •     •     •

    About the LaGuardia Community College Foundation

    The LaGuardia Community College Foundation ensures that ambitious students have the resources they need to receive a college education and improve their families’ lives. More than 70% of LaGuardia students come from homes where the annual family income is under $25,000. Since 2003, Foundation donors have contributed more than $8 million, which has provided scholarships, textbooks, transportation and tutoring for students in need. To learn more visit  www.laguardia.edu/Supporters-Friends/Home.

     

    About LaGuardia Community College

    A nationally recognized leader among community colleges, LaGuardia Community College was founded in 1971 as the ultimate experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today.  Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs.  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.  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.

     

     Vanguard Director at LaGuardia Community College Wins Literacy Recognition Award

    Vanguard Director at LaGuardia Community College Wins Literacy Recognition Award


    Amy

    Long Island City, NY—June 20, 2014—Amy Dalsimer, Executive Director of Pre-College Academic Programs at LaGuardia Community College, has won a 2014 Literacy Recognition Award from the Literacy Assistance Center in New York. The annual award honors literacy practitioners for outstanding contributions to students, their program or the New York City literacy community. There were seven winners citywide this year.


    Ms. Dalsimer has been a trailblazer in contextualized and integrated instruction in the New York area for over 20 years. The Bridge to College and Careers Program (Bridge Program), which gears high school equivalency preparation towards careers and college readiness, as well as the Supporting Adults through Vocational EMT Training Program (S.A.V.E. EMT Program), which combines basic skills instruction with technical training, are two examples of innovative programs that she has pioneered and that have been instrumental in helping students achieve their educational and professional goals.


    “LaGuardia is on the cutting edge of developmental instruction for high school equivalency preparation and vocational training, thanks to Amy Dalsimer and her staff,” said Gail O. Mellow, President of LaGuardia. “They are creating groundbreaking methods of effective contextualized instruction that are serving as a model for the rest of the country.”


    The focus on math and literacy skills in the context of vocational training (called the NYBEST model, based on Washington State's Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) initiative) has proven successful. In the past four years, approximately 240 students have enrolled in the S.A.V.E. EMT Program, and 85% completed and passed the NY State EMT certification exam. Eighty percent of those were able to find employment with ambulance companies, the FDNY, and hospitals in the metro area. Now more New Yorkers have access to this career pathway, are realizing their career goals, and are serving New York City in providing vital pre-hospital emergency care. 


    The central feature of the Bridge Program is the implementation of contextualized, career-focused curricula. Contextualized instruction is a sector-based approach to developmental instruction that uses authentic materials from one career area to build basic skills. Ms. Dalsimer has led the curriculum development and program design for the Bridge Program since its inception, using the sectors of business, health and science. To date, more that 1,000 students have been served in the program. The GED exam pass rate of the last Bridge Program group that took the test in December 2013 was 67%, compared with New York State’s latest pass rate of 53% in 2012-13.


    Ms. Dalsimer has also been tireless in her efforts to provide training on this kind of instruction for other institutions and literacy professionals nationwide through her creation of and work in the College and Careers Pathways Institute at LaGuardia.


    “It has been my great pleasure and honor to work with adult learners for the last 25 years in their quest to improve their education and career prospects,” said Ms. Dalsimer. “The students’ hard work and the unwavering commitment of my colleagues in the adult education community have been my daily inspiration. I am proud to receive this recognition but consider it a shared honor that belongs to all of these remarkable adult students and their dedicated educators.”                                                                           


    The Bridge Program is funded by Robin Hood Foundation and the S.A.V.E. EMT Program is currently funded by the U.S. Department of Labor through its Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program. 


    Find out more about this year’s Literacy Recognition Awards at http://www.lacnyc.org/Awards.

       

    •     •     •     •

     

    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.

     Met’s Legend Mookie Wilson Speaks at LaGuardia Community College
    Met’s Legend Mookie Wilson Speaks at LaGuardia Community College

    Mookie Wilson-press2

    Long Island City, NY—May 23, 2014— New York Met great Mookie Wilson proved as exciting a speaker as he was a baseball player Thursday during an afternoon appearance at LaGuardia Community College.

    The former Met right fielder and coach discussed growing up in the segregated South, the drastic reduction in the number of African-Americans playing professional baseball, and the need to exploit opportunities as they come your way during his keynote address to students, faculty and staff at the LaGuardia African Heritage 2014’s Sports and Race in America program, held in LaGuardia’s Little Theater.


    The program focused on how sports have played a historical role and continue to help break down barriers relating to inclusion, showing respect for people and their differences, promoting fairness and equity, and highlighting individual talents, experiences, and capabilities. The program also celebrated LaGuardia’s inaugural season in the NJCAA, honoring its LaGuardia Red Hawks men and women basketball teams, and its cheerleaders and step team.


    “Sports have taught me that you have to prove everyday that you are more than just a number,” Wilson said. “You have to prove you’re more than a follower, you’re a leader.”

    Wilson warned students against complacency.  “You still have to work, you still have to establish yourself, you still have to prove that you deserve the opportunity that you were given and show you are going to take advantage of it.”

    Wilson’s day at LaGuardia included a videotaped interview for the College’s archives, a meeting with the College’s President, Dr. Gail O. Mellow, an autograph session for students, faculty and staff, and a VIP luncheon for all.

    Dr. Mellow introduced Wilson to the assembly, saying, “he’s someone who understand the power of sports beyond the glitz and glamor.” While his athletic ability got him into college and allowed him to play baseball” at the highest level in the greatest city in the world,” Wilson said his success was not without obstacles.

    “The mistake that most of us make today is in thinking that if I’m a professional athlete, everything is going to go right,” he said. It’s going to help me get the American Dream, which is financial independence.”

    “But the American dream is about being happy with who you are,” Wilson said. “People say money can buy you friends. No. Money can buy you associates, and a posse.“


    Wilson said as the first black player on the University of South Carolina baseball team he was the target of racist taunts from opposing fans. But he said he never allowed himself to get upset because he knew he represented his school, his family and his race.


    Asked by LaGuardia Assistant Professor Habiba Boumlik in the Department of Education and Language Acquisition why the number of African-American players in major league baseball has dropped to eight percent today from twenty-eight percent in 1975, Wilson blamed budget cuts that have forced cities around the country to cut back or eliminate free or low cost baseball leagues for grade school kids.  “A lot of parents can’t afford these travel leagues,” he said. 

    Wilson said life after baseball has been busy. He is studying to be a minister at a church near his Columbia, SC home, but ventures to New York often where he works as a goodwill ambassador for his beloved Mets.

    Brian Goldstein, LaGuardia’s Director of the Department of Athletics and Recreation, presented Wilson with several gifts including a Red Hawks basketball jersey with his name on it.

    Wilson and coauthor Erik Sherman signed dozens of copies of his book, “Mookie; Life, Baseball & The ’86 Mets” for students, faculty and staff before heading to the College’s Poolside Café to dine on an African themed lunch that included West African Chicken Stew and Bobotie, a traditional African style meatloaf, as the Daniel Mixon Trio serenaded the packed room. Glancing around the room, Wilson said “If I ever teach, this is the kind of school I want to teach at.”

    For photographs of the event, please see our Flickr gallery.

    And the event page: African Heritage 2014




     

     LaGuardia Receives Commendation from the Consul General of Japan on May 22

    LaGuardia Community College Receives Commendation from the Consul General of Japan for Its Warm Ties with the Country and its Culture on May 22  

    Consul Japan General

    Long Island City, NY—May 29, 2014— Ambassador Sumio Kusaka the Consul General of Japan, in New York on May 22, presented a commendation to LaGuardia Community College for establishing strong ties with his country and for building a rich Japanese studies program that is exposing its students to the country’s language and culture. 


    The commendation was presented at a formal ceremony held at the consul general’s residence where faculty, staff, students, supporters of the College, and members of the consulate gathered to celebrate the honor bestowed upon LaGuardia.


    “LaGuardia, under the strong initiative taken by its president, Dr. Gail Mellow, and with the full support of the Consulate General of Japan in New York, has significantly contributed to the promotion of friendship between Japan and the U.S., as well as to the institutional enhancement of its Japanese programs, through the execution of a wide range of events and endeavors,” said Ambassador Kusaka, presenting the award along with a traditional gift to LaGuardia Community College President Dr. Gail O. Mellow.


    After giving her thanks on behalf of the College in Japanese, Dr. Mellow noted, “Our Japanese language program has100 students and it continues to grow. We’re so fortunate to have such a rich program that has been enhanced by so many wonderful events blooming with the beauty and knowledge inherent in Japanese culture.”


    Over the past several years, LaGuardia has developed a strong, and every expanding, Japanese academic and cultural program that is providing its students with a broad understanding of this fascinating Asian country.  


    “LaGuardia is known for being innovative, that’s why their modern language program is unique among community college, which typically do not have a language requirement,” said Queens Council Member Peter Koo, owner of Starside Drugs, a chain of local pharmacies in Flushing and a longtime supporter of the College, in his congratulatory remarks.


    In the academic arena, LaGuardia’s Japanese language program offers basic, intermediate and near-native level language courses that enroll 100 students each semester.  The Japan Foundation has helped the College to maintain and expand its Japanese language and culture course with a $38,441 grant.  And due to the growing popularity of the language courses, LaGuardia has established a Japanese studies major that received official approval from the State in February 2014.   


    On the cultural front, LaGuardia has hosted a panoply of special events.  Soh Daiko, the first established taiko drumming group on the East Coast, gave a performance that combined explosion percussion with dynamic choreography.  Mr. Hiroki Ohara, one of the youngest Japanese grandmasters in ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement, demonstrated this exquisite art form.  The ancient form of Japanese storytelling, rakugo, was performed by Mr. Katsura Sunshine.  Also hosted were workshops by Mr. Shu Kubo, a paper-cut artist, who visited New York on one of his government-funded tours; and Mr. Shuhei Hasado, one of Japan’s finest plaster craftsman, who was appointed as a Japan cultural envoy by the Agency for Cultural Affairs.    


    To further enrich the students’ understanding of its culture, the Japanese government last summer invited nine LaGuardia students to take part in an all-expense paid, 10-day study tour of Japan.  During the whirlwind tour, known as Kakehashi Bridge to Japan, the LaGuardia and 37 students from other CUNY colleges were immersed in the Japanese culture, sampling the country’s fine cuisine, visiting ancient temples and modern structures and learning about its art and traditional and pop culture.  


    The students who participated in the tour and those involved in the Japanese program got a rare treat when Madame Akie Abe, wife of the Prime Minister of Japan, paid a special visit to the College last September.  There she observed a Japanese language class and spoke with the students who participated in Kakehashi.


    When the devastating tsunami and earthquake shook Japan in 2011, the Japan club organized a three-day fundraiser and hosted a charity art exhibition to help in the relief efforts.  The following year, as a symbol of their friendship, the Japanese Consulate General presented the college with a gift of two cherry trees during the 100thanniversary celebration of the planting of Japan’s cherry blossom trees in New York. 


     “LaGuardia embodies the global community,” said LaGuardia Community College Board member Marilyn Skony Stamm, CEO of Stamm International, as guests raised champagne flutes in a celebratory toast.” It is an inspiring place where students can achieve their lifelong dreams. The College is committed to creating world citizens. Kam pai.”


    Guests enjoyed the finest sushi and other Japanese delicacies as they mingled in the palatial residence.


    View photos from the ceremony on Campus Snapshots, LaGuardia’s Flickr photostream: https://www.flickr.com/photos/laguardiaccollege/sets/72157644814055555/


    View more photos from the ceremony, courtesy of the Consul General:

    http://www.ny.us.emb-japan.go.jp/en/html/index.html

    •    •     •     •  


    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. 

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