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Summer 2002
CUNY Biologists Cultivate New Medicines
Remarkable June Grads Break the Mold
Major CUNY Response to Nursing Shortage
Harlem Hospital Leader a Role Model for Salk Scholars
"Votes Rebuild New York" Campaign Launched
Goldstein “Closeup” On Honors College Governors Island, High Schools
CUNY ANNOUNCES 9/11 Memorial Competition
CCNY Engineer Honored by the Nation

Seminar-in-a-Book Ponders 9/11

From "Ground Zero" Rapper to City Council Candidate
Turning Anger into Literature
Model City Council Planned in the Fall
Highlights of 2002-2003 State Adopted Budget
Two New CUNY Trustees Appointed
Biomedical Engineer Wins Guggenheim
City University Leading Producer of Hispanic Graduates
The Challenge of AIDS in Africa
Bilingual: College French, Scientist's Latin
Presidential Appointments for Queens and York Colleges

Queens College Artist Adds New Passion to His Palette

El Diario-La Prensa Editor Honored at Model Senate

Intel Chief Plunges into Memory

Dual Citizen of the Pen

"Opticals" for Woody Allen, Illustrations for Mother Nature
CUNY Faculty Experts on Post-9/11 Response Listed on Web Site
 
 

Harlem Hospital Leader a Role Model for Salk Scholars
Appearing as keynote speaker for the annual Jonas Salk Scholarship awards ceremony on May 29, Dr. Samuel J. Daniel, President and CEO of North General Hospital in Harlem, made clear his pleasure in observing a perfect coincidence. “That I, an immigrant, am speaking to you—a class made up of many immigrant scholars—is what I consider the American dream. . . . Never in my wildest dream did I ever believe I would one day be invited to speak to a class at CUNY, much less to Jonas Salk Scholars.”

Trustee Kathleen Pesile, Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, and many other CUNY leaders were on hand to honor eight Salk Scholars: Marc Braunstein (Brooklyn College), Ghana native Belly Braimah (Hunter), Shavon Dillon (Queens), Jonathan Feig (Brooklyn), Jamaican native Choy Rae Ava Lewis (Hunter), Dominican native Kymora Scotland (Hunter), daughter of Bangladeshi parents Nushrat Ullah (Queens), and Russian native Dmitry Volfson (CSI). Joseph Sclafani of CSI was also fêted as an Honorary Salk Scholar.

After delivering his keynote speech for the 2002 Salk Scholars, Dr. Samuel Daniel received a Certificate of Appreciation from Chancellor Matthew Goldstein.
The Salk Scholarships, which carry an annual stipend of $4,000, are named for the discoverer of the polio vaccine, a City College alumnus. Begun in 1955, they are now funded by the University.
Dr. Daniel, who grew up in Antigua and eventually graduated from Queens College, felt it was important to dwell on his own academic struggles and eventual triumph not only because they are similar to the experience of so many City University graduates (and Salk Scholars), but also because today “questions are being raised regarding the patriotism of immigrants, and whether we should limit immigrants entering this country.”

After his acceptance into Queens College in 1970, Daniel traveled from the South Bronx to Flushing every day of the week, even spending weekends studying on campus because the streets of the South Bronx were so noisy.

When his lack of high school chemistry stymied his desire to major in the field, Daniel says he was “not to be dissuaded in pursuing my goal.” He helped form the Science Organization for Minority Students, tutored other minorities in chemistry and math both on campus and in the Upward Bound Program and went on to obtain his Bachelor’s in chemistry.

2002 Salk Scholars, from left, Shavon Dillon, Dmitry Volfson, Jonathan Feig, Nushrat Ullah, Marc Braunstein, Kymora Scotland, and Belly Braimah (not pictured, Choy Rae Ava Lewis).
“Thanks to the encouragement of a Dr. Marion in the Pre-Med Department and my best letter of recommendation from the chair of the Chemistry Department, I went on to be accepted to Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.” As an immigrant (there were only 8 in my class of 150), Daniel recalls, “I felt very intimidated rubbing shoulders with graduates of Harvard, Yale, MIT, and so forth.” Nor were subtle forms of racism absent in his interactions with the College’s faculty: “This was the reality of the College of Physicians and Surgeons at the time.”
And Daniel had to summon even more courage when, in his second year, he was struck by thrombophlebitis and pulmonary embolism that required hospitalization. “I could not afford to be fall back because of a mere illness, since I was paying my tuition with grants and loans.” So he convinced the Dean of Student Affairs to allow him to participate in classes through taped lectures and take proctored exams while confined to bed.

Daniel graduated on schedule in 1978 in internal medicine and gastroenterology, then practiced on Central Park South and also taught at Columbia. A desire to serve the community brought him to Harlem and North General, a non-profit teaching hospital, in 1992, and he arrived in its top position in 2001. The year before he was cited in New York as one of the 100 best doctors in the city.

Addressing the eight outstanding CUNY students, whose University-funded Salk Scholarships will underwrite their study of medicine, Daniel promised no bed of roses. “On your entry into today’s world, you will meet new challenges, especially that of managed care and how to do more with less as health care costs continue to skyrocket.” Their generation will have to invent how to “maintain our leading position in biotechnology while at the same time holding down the cost of medical education and health care.”

Daniel concluded, however, on an optimistic note: “You have all individually overcome challenges in your life, so I am sure you will prevail.” And he added, “This is exactly what I believe Jonas Salk wanted to address when he was offered a ticker-tape parade and suggested this scholarship instead. He saw that, for all people, education is the path to personal and professional success.”