Bronx Community College Honors Five Local Leaders at Annual Gala Event

Bronx – The Bronx Community College (BCC) Foundation will celebrate “Building on a Dream,” a gala awards dinner dance at The New York Botanical Garden (2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx, NY) on Tuesday, April 20, 2010. The evening’s honorees will be Allan H. Dobrin, Howard Stein andBeverly Spitzer, Van Thompson and Dr. Kenneth Olsen.

Allan H. Dobrin is the executive vice chancellor and chief operating officer of The City University of New York. Since joining CUNY in 2001, he has implemented key initiatives. He created the CUNY Task Force on Sustainability to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions; CUNYfirst, a five-year, $250 million project that is streamlining information systems; and the CUNY Productivity Initiative, which saved more than $50 million in four years.

Howard Stein is chairman of Rite Check Check Cashing & Financial Services Center, which has eight branches in the Bronx and four in Harlem.  Beverly Spitzer managed her own interior decorating company and helped start a fabric protection company called Fiber-Seal. Both Stein and Spitzer are legendary supporters of Bronx Community College. They are also generous supporters of many arts and community organizations in the Bronx and the Hudson Valley.

Van Thompson is the Building Blocks course director for Skanska USA, a construction company.  Since 2007, he was instrumental in leading two sessions of Skanska’s seven-week Construction Management Building Blocks training program at Bronx Community College.  Thompson is currently part of a management team managing a $1.2 billion, five-year renovation master plan project in New York City.

Dr. Kenneth Olden was recently appointed founding dean of CUNY’s School of Public Health. He is a former director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, and National Toxicology Program in the US Department of Health and Human Services.  Olden is a cell biologist and biochemist by training and has been active in cancer research for almost four decades.  He was director of the Howard University Cancer Center.

Among invited guests are members of the community, faculty, staff and members of the Board of Trustees and Chancellery of The City University of New York.

Funds from the evening will support BCC Foundation scholarships and programs.

Founded in 1957, Bronx Community College (BCC), the oldest of City University of New York’s six community colleges, serves as the engine for academic and economic mobility for motivated students from diverse backgrounds and preparations. More than 11,000 students from over 109 nations are enrolled in 30 associate degree and certificate programs including Nursing, Radiologic Technology, Computer Graphics, Nuclear Medicine, and Business Administration, Digital Arts, Computer Information Systems, Education Associate, Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Technology, Electronic Engineering Technology, Liberal Arts, Marketing, Accounting, Human Services, Media Technology and Paralegal Studies. BCC’s 43-acre campus, high above the Harlem River, features architectural masterpieces of Stanford White and Marcel Breuer, as well as the Hall of Fame of Great Americans, the nation’s first hall of fame. BCC President Carolyn G. Williams is in her 14th year of leadership service to the College, which is located on a 43-acre campus at 2155 University Avenue at West 181st Street , formerly New York University’s uptown campus until 1973.

The College is home to initiatives not commonly associated with two-year institutions, such as the Center for Sustainable Energy, which promotes the use of renewable and efficient energy technologies in urban communities. The National Center for Educational Alliances (NCEA) ) is currently collaborating with South African Further Education and Training Colleges and universities to create linkages between these institutions and is also working to enhance student and academic support at the colleges.. NCEA also coordinates the College’s global initiative which facilitates global learning within and outside of the classroom.

Bryant Mason / (718) 289-5208 /