Grants from New Visions

Now approaching its third year, the New Visions initiative is toasting the current awardees while seeking proposals for the next academic year. Through funding from the Aaron Diamond Foundation totaling $77,500 annually, New Visions grants are intended to support faculty-based planning and interdisciplinary educational programs across CUNY campuses and departments.

At a Feb. 21 reception for this year's winners, Prof. Stanley Aronowitz, Chair of the New Visions Faculty Committee, offered Queens College's Cities and Civilizations Program as an example of the program's purposes. "It was proposed to solve problems of academic reorganization in the wake of retrenchment," he noted. "Several departments were merged into one: the Department of Classical, Middle Eastern, and Asian Languages and Cultures. The Program, proposed by Prof. Ammiel Alcalay and his Queens colleagues, was designed to explore how these disciplines could work collaboratively within their new administrative context."

All CUNY faculty are again invited to submit proposals for innovative programs involving two or more disciplines to the New Visions Program, which operates under the aegis of the Office of Academic Affairs. These can serve very diverse purposes, as suggested by this year's eight successful proposals involving grants of $6,500 to $13,000:

  • At Brooklyn College, Prof. Gertrud Lenzer and colleagues will develop a framework for the field of ChildrenUs Studies, produce a required seminar on the topic, and plan additional courses, fieldwork, and an internship program.

  • Prof. John Moyibi Amoda of CCNY and his colleagues won funding for a BA/MA Honors Program in UN-Related Peace-Building and Peace-Making Statecraft. This initiative will involve CUNY students and UN personnel in developing competencies in such areas as conflict anticipation and prevention, risk assessment and mitigation, and post-conflict peace-keeping.

  • The College of Staten Island proposed development of an Interdisciplinary Major in Applied Mathematics to provide math- oriented students with a liberal education in quantitative problem- solving. This program, with Prof. Philip Goldberg as principal investigator (PI), will interact with CSIUs engineering, computer science, and environmental science programs.

    Three awards went to a cluster of community-organizing proposals: Hunter's Community Organization and Development Program (Prof. Terry Mizrahi, PI); the joint Kingsborough/Queens Student Interdisciplinary and Community-Based Union Program (Prof. Norah C. Chase, PI); and LaGuardiaUs Hidden Organizers Program: Preparing Community College Students to Become Community and Labor Organizers (Prof. Nancy Erber, PI). The only proposal to gain funding for a second year was Hunter's Community Organization and Development Program, which received additional support to complete a curriculum and institutionalize the program. The Hunter, Kingsborough/Queens, and LaGuardia teams will work collaboratively.

    A request for proposals (RFP) for 1997 New Visions grants will be issued to all full-time faculty members on April 15, with proposals due in November. The faculty committee will provide technical assistance seminars for interested faculty in May and September (details will be included in the RFP). For further information, call Prof. Aronowitz (212-642-2428) or write to him at GSUC/Center for Cultural Studies.