April 2022 Monthly Report and Updates
Dear College Community,
There were patches of fog across the city on Saturday, but not at Kingsborough. The sun was out on campus shining brightly through the over 300 guests in attendance at our Admitted Students/ Family Day. Thank you to the 70+ volunteers, staff and faculty, from so many departments and offices across the college who helped to welcome, orient, support and educate our guests. It was truly an incredible day. Thank you to VP Rivera and her team for organizing such a wonderful event. The next Admitted Students/Family Day will take place in August.
If the joy of seeing and talking to our incoming students and their families wasn’t enough, I had the opportunity to catch the in-person performance of the Laramie Project. Our students took my breath away and I am tremendously grateful for the Department of Communications and Performing Arts faculty and staff for how they pour into their students.
I wouldn’t know it until later last evening, but while I was entranced by the performance of our students as they brought the story of what happened in Laramie, Wyoming in October 1998 and the story of Matthew Shepard to life, that hate would once again be responsible for the senseless loss of lives in Buffalo, NY. I stay in a constant state of thoughts and prayers for all victims of hate, but I am also in a constant state of being sick and tired and angry and frustrated. Yet at the same time, when these horrors big, small, local, national and daily reports of hate crimes occur, I become more resolute in my understanding of the important work we do at KCC to advance respect, tolerance, equity, inclusion and diversity.
College campuses are the places where we influence the development of a generation of people who will help to turn the tide of hate. Campuses are also the places for conversations about these issues. This coming week, our college community will have the opportunity to do so as part of the Emmett Till Symposium organized by Prof. Debra Schultz with the support of the SCLS and the Mellon Foundation. The event will be held on Tuesday and include a screening of the Untold Story of Emmett Till, panels on Racial Justice, Reconciliation and Healing. I encourage you to participate and bring your classes (in person or via Zoom). Thank you to the Diversity Symposium, Student Union and Intercultural Center, Women, Gender and Sexualities Studies, Men’s Resource Center, College Now and the Honors program for their collaborative support for this critical program. Register via Zoom: https://bit.ly/till1130
Over the past few weeks we have used the feedback many of you have provided us during a variety of forums to drive needed improvements. The Admitted Students/ Family Day was one such recommendation from an Enrollment Management Chat; a Guidance Counselor Breakfast was held; and Human Resources distributed its first Staffing Updates bulletin where information on salient hires, transitions and updated contact information will be shared with the college community.
Dr. Davy has hit the ground running in her new role as the Interim Dean for Institutional Research and Strategic Planning. The week of May 23rd, is Assessment Week at KCC. It will include a slate of events designed to highlight and share our QUEST for success (Ensuring Quality of our work, Understanding the faculty, staff, students, and community we serve, striving for Equity in our work, Sharing the results of our assessments, and fostering Transparency). During Assessment Week we will be sharing the results from the Culture of Assessment Survey which will further guide our assessment efforts. I will also share the results of the Faculty and Staff Satisfaction survey that was administered in the fall, feedback and subsequent recommendations. As we inch closer to our MSCHE visit it is important that we continue to use assessment to drive our work.
As many of you know we have entered phase two of our Academic Momentum efforts. ACMO 2.0 includes a needed focus on improving student transfer. As a supplement to our formal plan, we have held Transfer Days with City College, York College, Brooklyn College and The College of Staten Island. On Tuesday March 24th, President Karol Mason and her team will be on campus; and on Wednesday, March 25th we will host a Transfer Talk via Zoom with Baruch President Wu on Wednesday. Please encourage students to attend, these are great opportunities to engage with the president, faculty and staff from these colleges. For more registration information, contact Linda McKernan at Linda.McKernan@kbcc.cuny.edu.
They say that April’s showers bring May flowers. April was certainly a month when we were showered with good news and good vibes. We received notice that we are among the 25 finalists for the coveted Aspen Prize! We celebrated our Administrative Assistants with a special lunch and KCC paraphernalia; and two of our faculty Sara Rutkowski and Elke Weesjes were among the 30 faculty from two year colleges who were announced as recipients of the Mellon/ACLS Community College Fellowship. As we entered this month, the good news and vibes continued to bloom as we raised awareness, fun and over $1k in funds with our intramural game Volley for Mental Health. Thank you to all those who played and donated to this worthy cause. Our Men’s Baseball Team won the CUNYAC Community College Championship. We also received notice that two of our students (Shaindy Weichman and Jiahua Wu) were selected as finalists for the JKC transfer scholarship. Just last week we were informed that Jiahua Wu was selected as one of the 100 winners. Yesterday, I had the honor of delivering 470 birthday cards from KCC and the students at PS 206 to Fran Koch for her 103rd birthday. Fran is a KCC alum, helped to establish our My Turn program and is an beloved donor. She was overwhelmed, moved to tears and most of all grateful for the outpouring of love. Thank you to all those who sent her a card. You can view the video here: https://youtu.be/YwocdnUr_oY
The month is still young. Join us in celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Month by attending our upcoming events https://www.kbcc.cuny.edu/studentlife/aapi.html. We are fast approaching one of my favorite times of the year: Commencement Season! This year will be extra special as it marks a return to in-person commencement ceremonies after a two-year pause. In addition to participating in commencement, I ask that you come out to support and celebrate our students at the Dean’s List Award Ceremony and Lavender Graduation. For more information about all things Commencement- related go to: https://www.kbcc.cuny.edu/commencement/57Commencement/index.html.
I am also looking forward to enjoying A Night by the Sea and Under the Stars with you and the many other friends of the college as we raise funds to support students. We will also honor the outstanding Chairperson of our Foundation Board, Dr. Suzanne Murphy; one of KCC’s finest faculty, Professor Ryan McKinney; our accomplished alumna Jill Marcus, Esq. and fabulous friend of the college, The New York Council, Navy League of the US. Please join us! Information about purchasing tickets and participating in the auction can be found here: https://www.kbcc.cuny.edu/gala/index.html
The fall semester is right around the corner. Registration for both continuing and new students is now in full swing. For more detailed information on enrollment, you can refer to the weekly EM reports from VP Rivera.
I want to thank you for the many messages I received wishing me a speedy recovery from COVID. I am grateful that I am boosted and vaxed to the max. I take this opportunity to remind everyone that as of the writing of this message, mask wearing is optional, please ensure that you are current with your vaccinations/boosters, follow our and isolation and quarantine protocols and comply with our random testing program. I am sure everyone would agree we are in a much better place than we were 2 years ago, but continued vigilance is still needed.