Paul Arcario, Ed.D. was appointed as interim president of LaGuardia Community College in August 2019 by CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. During his time in this role, he led the College’s transition to distance learning in light of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Most recently, Dr. Arcario served as LaGuardia’s provost and senior vice president—managing the Academic Division’s $40 million annual budget, leading faculty recruitment and development, and supervising Student Affairs—which serves the college’s nearly 20,000/yr. students pursuing associate degrees.
Under his leadership, LaGuardia secured grants totaling more than $34 million from the U.S. Department of Education, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation. He also oversaw grants from Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation, and other leading philanthropies that support higher education.
Immigrant Rights Activist Keynote Speaker
Antonio Alarcón, age 25, is an immigrant rights activist. He’s a co-plaintiff in the landmark case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court about the future of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), which has allowed those brought to the U.S. as children to go to school and work. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue its decision on the case any day now—before the end of June 2020—to great anticipation. Born in Mexico, Alarcón was raised there by his grandparents while his parents searched for work and eventually moved to the U.S. (as undocumented immigrants).
Alarcón is a LaGuardia Community College graduate—having earned his Associate of Arts degree in mass communications/media studies with the Class of 2015. He also holds a bachelor’s degree from Queens College (Class of 2019) in film/cinema/video studies.
Class of 2020 Representative
Felipe Maysonet, is graduating with an Associate of Arts degree in Communication Studies, with a concentration in Public Relations. He got involved in college activities that enabled him to shine a light on social issues—e.g., the annual Black Lives Matter Summit. For his dedication and scholarly achievements, Maysonet has received several awards and scholarships for high-achieving students. These include being named LaGuardia’s 2020 ASAP Scholars Valedictorian, and induction into the Delta Alpha Pi International Honor Society
Maysonet is transferring to NYU, where he plans to pursue a bachelor’s in film and communications. His long-term goal is to start a non-profit foundation. “I want to see all people represented fairly and equally, so that inclusion is no longer an issue.” He credits his partner Joel Hernandez, and his close friend Patrice Gordon, for their ongoing support.