Noted & Quoted

December 2, 2011 | CUNY Matters, The University

Stanford@CCNY Considered a Leading Proposal For NYC Science/Engineering Campus

Stained-glass windows in CCNY’s centenarian Shepard Hall celebrate major American colleges at the time of its construction, including City, top, and Stanford.

A unique partner-ship between CUNY and Stanford University has emerged as a leading contender among seven proposals in the fierce competition to create a world-class applied science and engineering campus in New York City.

Last spring, the city called for proposals from major research universities to conceive and build a new graduate center whose ultimate mission will be cutting-edge economic development. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his administration boldly envision a research center capable of incubating a colony of promising new technology companies that could establish the city as a competitor to high-tech meccas like Silicon Valley. To lure top universities into the competition, the city is offering a $400 million package of incentives — including city-owned land (on Roosevelt Island, Governors Island or at the Brooklyn Navy Yard).

Discussions between CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, Stanford President John L. Hennessy (a native New Yorker) and top officials of both universities led to a joint academic research entity called Stanford@CCNY. In October, the two institutions submitted their proposal: a long-term plan by Stanford to build a $2.5-billion science and engineering campus and offer a joint-degree program with City College, which has a rich tradition in engineering and technology.

Even in advance of the city’s decision, Stanford and CUNY announced plans to immediately start an East Coast demonstration site on the City College campus for Stanford’s undergraduate curriculum in entrepreneurship, technology management and related areas.

“City College and City University have been educating the students of New York for more than 160 years and share our commitment to innovation and technology commercialization,” Stanford’s Hennessy said. “CCNY also has an excellent track record for bringing underrepresented minorities into engineering, which is a clear national priority. We believe there is tremendous potential through our partnership with CUNY to bring Stanford’s curriculum to some of the best and brightest students in New York.”

“This collaboration offers our students the opportunity to learn side by side with peers enrolled at one of the world’s finest private universities,” said CCNY President Lisa S. Coico.

Stanford@CCNY will create partnerships between our research-active faculty and their colleagues at Stanford, who helped create and sustain Silicon Valley, and these partnerships will incubate innovation and entrepreneurship in the technology sector right here in New York.


Governor’s Regional Council Releases 5-Year Strategic Plan

CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein and his co-chair of the New York City Regional Economic Development Council, American Express Chairman & CEO Kenneth Chenault, have released its five-year strategic plan. The council was launched this year by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo with the goal of redesigning the relationship between the state government and businesses to stimulate regional economic development and create jobs statewide.

“The comprehensive plan reflects New York City’s essential role in the New York State economy, while addressing the city’s increasing global competition as well as its significant opportunities to leverage its historic assets in the 21st century innovation economy,” the co-chairmen reported.

The plan’s strategy rests on four key pillars: Improving the quality of life; creating a pro-growth, pro-jobs environment; investing in the future; and fostering innovation and interregional cooperation.

The strategic plan identifies several projects as top priorities: redeveloping the Hunts Point Produce Market; creating a new Green Manufacturing Center at the Brooklyn Navy Yard; redeveloping a long-vacant industrial building in Harlem to accommodate artists, artisans, small businesses and community services; bringing manufacturing and distribution companies to a largely vacant 1,100 acre site in Staten Island; expanding a program that nurtures entrepreneurs and connects them to funding and markets to build innovation industry clusters; and developing a new international convention and exhibition center in Queens with accompanying hotel accommodations.

Find the complete report at: www.nyworks.ny.gov


Walking on the Wild Side with the Urban Forager

Ava Chin

When not in the classroom, College of Staten Island associate professor of creative nonfiction and journalism Ava Chin often can be found searching urban woodlands for natural recipe ingredients.

Growing up in a Chinese family whose meals often included mushrooms, Chin became curious about these familiar fungi and discovered they could be found all around New York City — growing wild. Realizing she needed help identifying them — “You have to be careful with mushrooms; some are poisonous while some are incredibly edible” — she also discovered the New York Mycological Society, whose members share a passion for, and knowledge of, fungi.

Chin is now considered a top expert in the field — she writes the Urban Forager blog for The New York Times and is working on a memoir for Simon & Schuster.

Her audience ranges from “survivalists to Freegans to people who are simply curious about food and nature.” Being a forager also has changed the way she sees the world. On a visit to England’s Stonehenge, while other tourists focused on the monument, Chin spent more time noticing how many edible plants grew in the area. “You cannot not see it once you know it’s there,” she said.

You can find her blog at http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/author/ava-chin


‘Women in Politics and Public Service: Opportunities and Challenges’

Distinguished University and political leaders gathered to advise — and salute — student leaders at the recent CUNY/New York Times in College Women’s Leadership Conference. Among student leaders honored were 20 members of CUNY’s 2011 Public Service Internship Programs, who are receiving first-hand experience in the offices of female legislators — including the conference keynote speaker, N.Y. Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, who has introduced a national campaign to encourage more women to participate in public life and to run for public office.