Hostos Alumni Recognized by Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernandez

August 18, 2010 | Hostos Community College

A high point of Eugenio María de Hostos Community College’s 2010 study abroad program in collaboration with Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD), which took place from June 29th through July 15th, was the National Teachers Day Ceremony Celebration held at the National Palace of the Dominican Republic on June 30th.  At this event, the Honorable Leonel Fernández Reyna, President of the Dominican Republic, and the Honorable Melanio Paredes

Pinales, Minister of Education, recognized Dominican teachers who have excelled professionally in the United States.  Special awards were presented to Hostos alumnus Juan Villar, Principal of the Gregorio Luperón High School for Math and Science (21 years of service); Prof. Humberto Antonio Grullón, a teacher with 28 years of service from the High School for Contemporary Arts in the Bronx, and to Yamil Báez, a teacher in Rhode Island (19 years of service).  The awards ceremony was followed by a celebration at Hotel V Centenario, at which Minister Paredes Pinales presented “El Botón de Oro awards to President Matos Rodríguez of Hostos (the only non-Dominican scholar to receive this recognition); and to Christina Dominguez, an Hostos alumna and New York City public school teacher with over 28 years of service.  Other teachers in the Dominican Republic who have made outstanding contributions to the profession were recognized along with the honorees from New York.

HOSTOS DELEGATION AT THE NATIONAL PALACE IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC ON THE NATIONAL TEACHER/EDUCATORS’ DAY

For more than two decades, Hostos has collaborated in a series of very successful study abroad/academic exchange programs with institutions of higher education primarily in the Hispanic Caribbean.  These programs provide opportunities for CUNY students, faculty, and staff to increase their understanding of the history, culture, educational system, and language of other communities and countries throughout the world.  In addition to creating an institutional environment that promotes respect for cultural and linguistic differences, these programs cultivate skills that prepare participants to compete in the global economy.

In addition to the twenty educators (sixteen teachers, two principals, and two assistant principals) who participated this year, the group also included Dr. Hugo Morales, a member of the CUNY Board of Trustees, Mr. Nelson Valdez, Vice President of SEIU 1199; and NYC school principals Robert Mercedes and Juan Villar.

The contingent from Hostos this summer consisted of Dr. Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, President; Ms. Dolly Martínez, Assistant Vice President for College Affairs and Deputy to the President; Ms. Ana I. García Reyes, Special Assistant to the President for Community Relations and Director of International Programs; Ms. Nydia Edgecombe, Director of Alumni Relations; and Professor María Miranda of the Humanities Department.

ALUMNI AWARDS RECEPTION AT HOTEL SANTO DOMINGO 

On July 2nd the first reunion of Hostos Community College alumni to be held in the Dominican Republic took place at the Hotel Santo Domingo.  The following Hostos alumni were guests of honor at this event: the Hon. Amín Cruz, Advisory Minister (Ministro Consejero) to the Mission of the Dominican Republic to the United Nations; the Hon. Francis Lorenzo, Alternate Ambassador (Embajador Alterno) of the Dominican Republic to the United Nations.  Other Hostos alumni in attendance were Miguel Tejada, Juan Villar, Cristina Dominguez, and Lisanka Soto.  Also present at the ceremony were Dr. Hugo Morales, President Matos Rodríguez, Ms. Dolly Martínez, Mrs. Nydia Edgecombe, Ms. Ana García Reyes, Mr. Nelson Valdez; Mr. Robert Mercedes, and Prof. María Miranda.  In addition to other alumni activities in the Dominican Republic, it was decided that annual reunions will be scheduled to coincide with the study abroad/academic exchange programs.

VISIT TO DEDE MIRABAL AT THE MIRABAL MUSEUM IN SALCEDO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

A major experience of the trip was a visit to the Museum of Las Hermanas Mirabal in Salcedo, where the participants met Sra. Bélgica Adela Mirabal Reyes.  Known as Dedé, Sra. Mirabal Reyes is the only surviving Mirabal sister.  The other three—Patria Mercedes, María Argentina Minerva, and Antonia María Teresa—were assassinated on November 25, 1960, at the order of the infamous dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo.

LUNCHEON MEETING HOSTED BY DOM. REP. MINISTER ALEJANDRO SANTOS

Upon returning from this trip, the delegation attended a luncheon meeting hosted by the Hon. Alejandro Santos, Minister and Secretary of State of the Consejos Nacionales para las Comunidades Dominicanas en el Exterior de La República Dominicana (CONDEX).

SIGNING OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN HOSTOS CC/CUNY AND UNIVERSIDAD AUTONOMA DE SANTO DOMINGO

On July 1st  the Honorable Franklin García Fermín, Rector of UASD, and President Matos Rodríguez signed a new study abroad and faculty exchange and research agreement for continuation of this initiative in the coming year—providing the opportunity for another group of teachers and CUNY students to learn about the Dominican Republic.

MEETING WITH RENOWNED HISTORIANS

Following the signing of the agreement, President Matos Rodríguez and a distinguished assemblage of historians, scholars, and administrators discussed potential areas for collaboration topics for future seminars on the history and culture of the country. The participants included Dr. Franklin Franco; Dr. Carlos Andújar; Dr. Emilio Michel Cordero; Dr.  María Filomena González; Dr. José Guerrero; Dr. Jaime Dominguez; Dr. Álvaro Caamaño; Dr. Luis Peguero; Dr. Ángel Hernández; Dr. Ramón Paniagua present at this event were Vice Chancellor Iván Grullón and other administrators, including Rafael Nino Féliz and Juan Medina; Prof. Rocío Billini;

Dr. Julia Drullard; Prof. Thelma Arvelo; Dr. Mauro Canario, Director of National and International Collaborations at UASD; Ms. Ana l. García Reyes; Dr. Hugo Morales; Ms. Dolly Martinez; and John C. Sheppard, Representative of UASD in New York; Dr. Herrera; Dr. Miguel Díaz; Dr. Julio Cesar Morel; Dr. Irma Nicasio; and Dr. Nélida Cairo among others.

VISITS TO THE HOSTOS GRAVE AT THE MONUMENTO DE LOS HEROES AND VISIT TO THE JUAN PABLO DUARTE HOUSE AT THE COLONIAL ZONE IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Field trips took the participants to different parts of the country, where they had opportunities to hear lectures by prominent scholars and view the work of well-known artists.  The group also visited the grave of Eugenio María de Hostos at the Monument of the Heroes in Santo Domingo. Other sights included La Casa de Juan Pablo Duarte (founding father of the country) and La Catedral Primada de América in the colonial district.

VISIT TO THE PEDRO MIR LIBRARY AT UNIVERSIDAD AUTONOMA AND LA FUNDACION GLOBAL DEMOCRACIA Y DESARROLLO LIBRARY

The delegation was also received at the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development by Dr. Marcos Herrera, the organization’s Executive Director.

DR. IRMA NICASIO AND DR. CARMEN DURAN LECTURING PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS AT THE UNIVERSITY GUIDED LECTURE TOUR AT THE COLONIAL ZONE WITH PROFESSOR ODALYS PEREZ

Participants also benefitted from the lectures of UASD Professors, Dr. Victor Encarnación; Dr. Odalis Perez; Dr. Eleanor Grimaldi; and Dr. Carmen Duran. These also received pre-orientation lectures from Dr. Ramona Hernández, DSI Executive Director and Professor Sarah Aponte, CUNY DSI Head Librarian.

VISIT TO THE DAJABON CITY (BORDER OF HAITI)

Some participants also traveled to the border of Haiti and were able to see the devastation and misery that persists in wake of the earthquake and subsequent aftershocks that occurred in January of this year.

NYC SCHOOL TEACHERS WITH CHILDREN FROM THE INSTITUTO DOMINICANO DE DESARROLLO INTEGRAL SCHOOL AT THE CITY OF BONAO

They also went to the City of Santiago de Los Caballeros, where they visited Centro de Arte y Cultura León Jiménez, and to Bonao’s Instituto Dominicano de Desarrollo Integral Inc. (IDDI). In their meeting with administrators, teachers and students, the visitors had enlightening exchanges about the best educational practices and success stories of the school.

In describing his experience, Juan Villar said: “Words can never tell how terrific this trip was.  I was very fortunate to be surrounded by such a nice group of professionals. I learned a lot in this educational training program and learned about new innovative teaching methods used in the DR.  It offers an excellent educational experience which lends itself for creating innovative curriculum that can benefit the children of the NYC public schools.”  Melissa De Ranieri also found the program intensely enlightening: “Being a teacher and a history major in college, I considered myself pretty well educated about the history of the world around me.  I have opened my mind further than I ever have before after this experience.  The trip to the Mirabal Museum and meeting Dedé Mirabal was fascinating.  I really enjoyed going to the museums and classes and learning so much about the complex history of the country.  Through this experience, I was able to create a slideshow for my second grade class.  I thank Hostos Community College for this wonderful opportunity.  I feel like I’ve become a more educated person and a person who will be able to relate better to my Dominican children.”

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC TEACHER TRAINING STUDY ABROAD PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS

Cristina Asunción,  Brandon Schreck,  Juan Tineo,  Juan Villar,  Máximo Hernandez,  Deepak Kapoor,  Saulio Tuero, Noemi Diaz, Yamil Baez, Nora Montan, Clayton Abbey,  Adam Benson, Melissa R. Deranieri, Tracey Ball-Douglas, and Cristina Dominguez.

The Dominican Republic Teacher Training program is made possible by financial support from the Office of the President and the Office of International Programs at Hostos Community College; the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute at The City College of New York; The New York State Department of Education; the CUNY Office of International Programs/STOCS Grants; The Minister of Education of the Dominican Republic; Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo; and 1199 SEIU.

For more information on this note, edited by Don Braswell and Ana I. García Reyes, please visit http://www.hostos.cuny.edu/news/press/

 

Media Contact at Hostos Community College:

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of The City University of New York

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Email: publicrelations@hostos.cuny.edu