• News Center
  • LaGuardia Community College News Center


    Learn about our innovative academic programs, successful business initiatives, award-winning faculty and our hard-working students. 

     

    News stories

  •  LaGuardia Community College Theater Students to Perform at Kennedy Center Festival

    LaGuardia Community College Theater Students to Perform at Kennedy Center Festival


    Long Island City, NY—January 20, 2015—LaGuardia’s Bengal Tiger is a good tiger indeed!


    LaGuardia Community College’s production of Rajiv Joseph’s Pulitzer Prize nominated play, “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo,” beat out more than thirty colleges nationally to claim a spot at the Kennedy Center’s American Collegiate Theatre Festival (KCACTF), Region 1.


    Cast members are currently in rehearsals on campus in preparation for the Jan. 30 performance at the Region 1 Theatre Festival on Cape Cod, Rhode Island.


    LaGuardia students, faculty and friends as well as interested New Yorkers can catch encore productions of the play in the school’s Black Box theatre on Saturday, Jan 24th at 7:30 p.m., and Monday, Jan 26th at 2:30 p.m.

     

    Tickets are available online at http://www.laguardiaperformingarts.orgor at the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center (LPAC) box office thirty minutes before curtain.

     

    Tickets are a suggested donation of $10.

     

    Play director and LaGuardia Associate Professor Stephanie Sertich said LaGuardia will join Boston University, Southern Connecticut State University and Dean College in performing at the festival.

     

    “We beat out at least 30 others schools and their productions,” Sertich said. “It is rare that a Community College is represented at this level. The entire production has to be solid. We are always struggling to compete against the 4-year schools but once again, the passion and dedication of our students has proven successful!”

     

    The festival selection committee called the LaGuardia production “one of the best representations of the region,” Sertich said.

     

    Some 23 LaGuardia students will be among the expected 1,000 people at the five day festival, which runs Jan. 27 to 30.

     

    Eleven LaGuardia students have been nominated for KCACTF scholarships or awards in various categories, some for other campus productions.


    Dayana Sanchez is in competition for the Richard Maltby Jr. Award for Musical Theatre Excellence for her “In the Heights” work.
     

    Doo Young Yoon, who studied physics in his native South Korea before immigrating to the US and enrolling in LaGuardia’s theater program, has been nominated for the KCACTF Stage Management Award for his work with “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo.”

     

    The ‘Bengal Tiger’ cast began rehearsals for their KCACTF appearance with a surprise visit from the play’s author, Pulitzer Prize nominated playwright Rajiv Joseph. Invited by Sertich, the Park Slope, Brooklyn resident discussed the play’s origin and bantered with the actors’ in LPAC’s Black Box space.

     

    Joseph got the idea from the play after reading about the lone tiger left in the Baghdad zoo during the 2003 Iraq War.  “I saw this article in the paper and I was moved and disturbed by it,” he said. “It stuck in my head.”

     

    It took Joseph him several years and “hundreds of rewrites” before the play was staged, eventually being nominated for the Pulitzer and lauded during a well-received Broadway run featuring the late Robin Williams.


    Joseph said he was glad to receive Sertich’s invitation.


    “I’m always excited if people are doing my play but especially if students are doing it,” he said. “I like to come out and show my support and if they want me to answer questions, that’s something I really appreciate.”


    •     •     •     •


    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 Professor Arthur Simms Wins SJ Weiller Fund Award

    LaGuardia Community College Professor Arthur Simms Wins SJ Weiller Fund Award

    Simms


    Long Island City, NY—January 26, 2015—Arthur Simms started the year on a roll.


    A week before his December 15Th birthday Simms, a sculptor and Director of LaGuardia Community College’s Art Program, learned he had been awarded tenure.

    This came two months after Simms, 53, learned he had won the S. J. Weiller Fund Award. 

    According to the award letter, the monetary prize “is to support and publically acknowledge the ongoing work of exemplary artists” and is made “in recognition of individual artistic achievement and creativity as well as significant contributions to the arts community.” 

    Simms got the check in the mail the day before the letter arrived announcing he had received tenure. 

    It was a very exciting couple of days and Simms said he has been on Cloud Nine since.

    “I’m lucky because I work hard and all that, but a lot of people do,” Simms said. “So it’s good to be recognized, because I do know people who don’t get their due. To win a prize like this is major affirmation. To get something like this is really a big pat on the back saying you’re doing well, keep doing what you’re doing. 

    Simms said he was particularly happy to receive the S. J. Weiller Fund Award because candidates cannot nominate themselves. 

    Earlier last year Simms got a call from a professional acquaintance who wanted to submit his name for the award but could not find suitable images online to send in with the application. Simms sent her pictures of his work and forgot about it.

    He was at his Staten Island home months later when Simms got the email from the S. J. Weiller Foundation president saying he had won.

    “I got an email from the Foundation telling me I had won for a body of work and my service to the artistic community,” Simms said.  “I’d forgotten about it. I called my wife, Lucy who reminded me that it was the prize I had been nominated for.”

    Simms was one of four artists to receive the 2014 prize.

    “I have a vision and that vision has manifested in the work that I have produced,” he said. “I would say from my late twenties, from around 1989, is when I started on the vision that continues until now.

    Simms’ work is often wrapped in rope or wire, a signature of his pieces that he calls obsessive, not in terms of how much material is used but in how he uses it.

    “That’s just who I am,” he said. “That’s my personality. When I start on something I’m just so focused and I want to get it done. It comes from things I have studied and the people and places I have been around all my life.”

    Though he has won many honors Simms put being awarded tenure at LaGuardia right up with the best of them.

    “LaGuardia is a great place to be,” he said. “I have great colleagues, a great department, a great program.  There are a lot of creative people here, not only in terms of faculty but also the students.”

    “I’m proud of the fact that I was able not only to stay here and contribute in a positive way to this institution, but also that they felt it valuable enough to offer me tenure,” he said.

    •     •     •     •                                                                    


    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.


     Two New Members Welcomed to LAGCC Board of Directors

    LaGuardia Community College Foundation

    Installs Two New Members to Board of Directors

    New Board of Directors Members 

    Long Island City,NY—January 8, 2014— Nicolas Nicolaou and Larry Solomon were sworn in on December 2 as new LaGuardia Community College board members. 

    LaGuardia President Gail O. Mellow welcomed them to the board. "I am excited about the growth of our board,” she said. “Their wealth of experience in our community is essential to our fundraising efforts. I am confident that they will bring creative ideas and new energy to the group.”

    “We are all thrilled to have such extraordinary people join our board and are looking forward to their contributions,” said Susan Lyddon, LaGuardia Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the LaGuardia Foundation. 

    Nicolaou, the Chief Financial Officer at Mana Products, a contract and private label cosmetics manufacturer based in Long Island City, is a former LaGuardia student, and he understands the challenges students face.

    “LaGuardia was my first college, and by the hand of faith I came back to work for the company which is right by LaGuardia,” he said. “Now I want to be involved and give back to LaGuardia. I wish to help students who are experiencing the same obstacles as I had many years ago….If I can be a CFO they can too.”

    Nicolaou has hosted several LaGuardia Community College students at Mana Products, where he introduced them to various career development opportunities, including several panel discussions with leaders of the company. Mana has hired several LaGuardia engineering students as interns. 

    The new board members have hit the ground running, connecting students to tangible opportunities that will further their careers. Solomon, the Group Chief Operating Officer for Accenture, a multinational management consulting, technology services, and outsourcing company, has already partnered with the LaGuardia’s Skills to Bookkeeping program. The program presents contextualized ESL instruction and job counseling to help students improve their English and computer-based accounting skills, as well as assistance with job placement as bookkeepers at local businesses. 

    “I am grateful to Nellie Borrero, my esteemed colleague, who also sits on the board, for introducing me to LaGuardia students,” Solomon said. “I am looking forward to contributing and adding to the board as much value as I can.”


    •     •     •     •
     

    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 Foundation Installs New Chairperson

    LaGuardia Community College Foundation Installs New Chairperson 

     

    Foundation Chairperson Suresh Sani Photo

    Long Island City, NY—December 12, 2014—Suresh Sani, President of First Pioneer Properties, Inc., was sworn in as the newly elected chairperson of the LaGuardia Community College Foundation on December 2. 


    Sani succeeds Paul Higbee, a partner of G.C. Andersen Partners, LLC, who served as the Foundation chair for four years and is now serving as an honorary director.


    During the traditional swearing in ceremony, where Mr. Higbee handed over the gavel to the new chair, Mr. Sani applauded the Foundation for raising private funds to support and enhance the education of LaGuardia students.


    “This is a new role for me, and I welcome the challenge. I hope that I can do as good a job as my predecessors,” he said.  “The Foundation will continue to serve as a robust source of vital financial support to LaGuardia and its students.”


    Sani joined the Board in 2009 and was elected vice chair a year later. He has over 20 years of experience in real estate, including acquisitions, financing, development, leasing and management and also sits on the boards of several public and private companies. Sani received his Bachelor's Degree from Harvard College and a Juris Doctor Degree from the New York University School of Law.


    “The LaGuardia Community College Foundation has a powerful impact in assuring that students have the support they need to receive a quality education, the opportunity to prosper and access to the middle class,” said President Gail O. Mellow. “Suresh has brought tremendous energy and knowledge to the board. I look forward to the continued growth and success of the Foundation under his leadership.”


    The LaGuardia Community College Foundation has raised over $11 million and has provided thousands of students with scholarships, emergency funds and opportunities for enhanced academic and professional success.


    For more information about the LaGuardia Community College Foundation visit www.laguardia.edu/lagfoundation.

    President Mellow and Foundation Chairperson Suresh

     

    •     •     •     •


    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.eduto learn more.

     LaGuardia Community College Offers Training in Solar Panel Installation and Sales Careers

    LaGuardia Community College Offers Training in Solar Panel Installation and Sales Careers

    Apply by December 19



    Long Island City, NY—December 11, 2014—LaGuardia Community College next month will launch Solar Plus Pro, a professional training program that will help individuals join or advance their career in the booming field of solar energy, a $13.7 billion a year industry. 

    Applications for the training will be accepted through Dec. 19, 2014. 

    Classes begin on January 5, 2015.

    Solar Plus Pro prepares individuals with sales, electrical or construction background for a career in the installation or sales of solar photovoltaics (PV), the increasingly sought-after technology that converts sunlight into electricity using arrays of solar panels. 

    Two of the three courses in the program—Math & Electricity for PV and PV Fundamentals—provide students with a solid foundation in PV installation and design. The third course allows students to choose one of two specialty tracks - PV Installation or PV Sales - that give them the knowledge and technical skills necessary to pursue those jobs. 

    The PV Sales track is unique to LaGuardia’s program, preparing students to apply for sales positions at solar installation companies and to sit for the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Technical Sales Certification exam.

    In addition, the track’s integrated curriculum, taught by industry experts, contextualizes training objectives in deep market understanding, consumer outreach and customer service, giving graduates a competitive edge in the solar sales job market.
    Program participants enter the field with more knowledge and experience than their counterparts who require employer-supervised, on-the-job training. 

    Funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Solar Plus Pro provides the courses as a complete package, setting it apart from the status quo in solar training.

    Whereas standard PV courses must be purchased individually and at varying locations, Solar Plus Pro gives students a chance to learn PV installation or PV sales, from the foundational concepts to hands-on specialized skills, all in one place. 

    And thanks to the NYSERDA grant, tuition will be offered at a 50% discount—$900—for the first two years of the program, making the often high-priced classes more affordable. Solar Plus Pro plans to offer the program three times a year.

    Administered by LaGuardia’s NYDesigns, a business incubator for design and technology companies, Solar Plus Pro follows in the footsteps of other successful sustainability-oriented career training programs run by the incubator, including the Green Jobs Training Program, Green Ladders and Carreras Verdes.

    Since its 2011 inception, the Green Jobs Training Program—which prepares unemployed and underemployed adults for careers in select green industries—has trained 590 individuals in green cleaning, waste management, or green building operations and has helped over 350 of those students get jobs. 

    The Green Ladders program, which began in November 2014, provides intensive training in green building operations and green cleaning as well as access to secondary education and employment opportunities. The program is expected to train 120 adults annually.

    Carreras Verdes, a Spanish-language program developed exclusively for Spanish speakers who have construction experience and want to transition to a career in green construction or building maintenance, has trained 80 people since its August, 2014 launch. 

    Solar Plus Pro is accepting applications through December 19, 2014. 

    For more information, visit www.solarpluspro.org or call (718) 663‐8411. 


    •     •     •     •


    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. 

     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.




     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. 

    ###

    [First] [Previous] [Next] [Last]

LaGuardia Community College LaGuardia Community College 31-10 Thomson Ave. Long Island City, NY 11101 LaGuardia Community College 1-718-482-7200 LaGuardia Community College Map & Directions
Copyright © All Rights Reserved