2012 Commencements

May 3, 2012 | The University

2012 CUNY Commencement Ceremonies: New York State Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch, New York State Education Commissioner John B. King Jr., New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott, South African Jurist Dikgang Moseneke, Senior PBS NewsHour correspondent Ray Suarez, U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine, corporate executive and award-winning author Olaf Olafsson, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Immunologist Anthony Fauci, M.D., Labor Leader Denis Hughes, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, and Judith A. Jamison, Artistic Director Emerita of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, are among the speakers and honorees.

New York Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch, New York State Education Commissioner John B. King Jr., New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, South African Jurist Dikgang Moseneke, gender and refugee rights trailblazer Karen Musalo, New York Times columnist and author David Brooks, senior PBS NewsHour correspondent Rafael “Ray” Angel Suarez Jr., U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine, civil rights activist and U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Ellis, award-winning novelist and corporate executive Olaf Olafsson, labor leader Denis Hughes, acclaimed operatic soprano Kathleen Battle, and dancer/choreographer Judith A. Jamison are among an impressive list of distinguished public servants, educators, jurists, lawyers, entrepreneurs, labor leaders, entertainers, scholars, award-winning authors, journalists, broadcasters and philanthropists who are the speakers and honorees for the 2012 commencement ceremonies at The City University of New York.

City Council Speaker Quinn and State Comptroller DiNapoli will deliver the commencement addresses at the morning and afternoon ceremonies, respectively, at Baruch College. Speaker Quinn will also address the graduates of Hostos Community College later in the week. New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott will be the speaker at Borough of Manhattan Community College. Judge Ronald Ellis will speak and receive an honorary doctorate at the CUNY School of Law, where Dikgang Moseneke, the Deputy Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, will also receive an honorary doctorate. Gender and refugee rights trailblazer Karen Musalo will be awarded an honorary degree from Lehman College, while award-winning novelist and corporate executive Olaf Olafsson will deliver the keynote address at the CUNY Baccalaureate Degree commencement ceremony. Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch will be the speaker at the Macaulay Honors College commencement, and Denis Hughes, president of the New York State AFL-CIO, will receive the President’s Medal at the College of Staten Island.

“The CUNY Class of 2012 is a source of enormous pride and satisfaction for our University, the City of New York and New York State,” said Chancellor Matthew Goldstein. “We offer special thanks to CUNY’s world-class faculty and staff who, together with the families of our graduates, alumni donors and college friends, have provided crucial support to help make possible the success of our students and the joy of the upcoming commencement celebrations.”

At City College, Rafael ‘Ray’ Angel Suarez Jr., senior PBS NewsHour correspondent and author, will speak and receive an honorary doctorate, and Kathleen Battle, the distinguished operatic soprano, will also receive an honorary degree. The CUNY Graduate Center will confer an honorary doctorate on Philip Levine, the current Poet Laureate of the United States, while Marta Moreno Vega, an authority on the African Diaspora, will speak at York College. Two winners of the Presidential Medal of Freedom will speak and receive honorary doctorates at Brooklyn College’s commencement exercises: Sylvia Méndez, who played a key role in ending school segregation in California in the 1940s, and acclaimed immunologist Anthony Fauci, M.D., who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health.

Albert P. Carey, chief executive officer of PepsiCo Americas Beverages, will speak at Lehman College’s commencement and be awarded an honorary doctorate. Renowned dancer/choreographer Judith A. Jamison, Artistic Director Emerita of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, will be a speaker and receive an honorary doctorate at John Jay College, along with Michael Meltsner, principal architect of the death penalty abolition movement in the U.S., and Michael Perlin, who has devoted his career to championing legal rights for people with mental disabilities. Renowned sportscaster Howie Rose, the radio voice of the New York Mets, will speak at Queens College, while Louis J. Cappelli, who graduated from Baruch College in 1958 and worked his way from mail room messenger to chairman and chief executive officer of Sterling Bancorp, will receive an honorary doctorate from Baruch, along with New York Times columnist David Brooks.

The CUNY Spring 2012 Commencement Schedule May 18 – June 12:

May 18

CUNY School of Law: 11 a.m., Selma and Max Kupferberg Center for the Visual and Performing Arts, Colden Auditorium, Queens College, 65-30 Kissena Blvd., Flushing, Queens.

Speaker and Honorary Degree: Doctor of Laws: Ronald Ellis was appointed a U.S. Magistrate Judge in 1993, but his pursuit of justice began long before. Born in Louisiana on Independence Day in 1950, Judge Ellis dedicated most of his legal career to being a civil rights lawyer and activist with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Judge Ellis received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Manhattan College in 1972 and a Juris Doctor degree from New York University in 1975. In 1976, he began working for the NAACP’s Fund, specializing in fair-employment class action litigation. During his years at the Fund, he directed the Fair Employment and Poverty & Justice Programs, and he was responsible for trial and appellate cases spanning six federal circuits in 12 states, dealing with voting rights, health care, housing, education, and environmental justice cases, in addition to equal employment cases. Judge Ellis has taught at New York University and has also written on many issues, including race and gender fairness in the courtroom. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, the Federal Magistrate Judges Association, the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, and the Federal Bar Council. Judge Ellis is a longtime friend of CUNY School of Law and takes the time to welcome each entering class during orientation. Honorary Degree: Doctor of Laws: Dikgang Moseneke is currently Deputy Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa. At the age of 15 Moseneke was arrested, detained and convicted of participating in anti-apartheid activity. He was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment, all of which he served on Robben Island. While in prison, he studied for and received multiple degrees, and after his release he obtained his LLB from the University of South Africa. In 1978, Moseneke was admitted to the bar and began practicing law. In 1993, he served on the committee that drafted the interim constitution of 1993. In 1994, he was appointed Deputy Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission, which conducted the first democratic elections in South Africa. Later that year, he was appointed to the Transvaal Provincial Division of the Supreme Court. He was then appointed as a judge in the High Court of Pretoria and as a judge on the Constitutional Court, and in 2005 he was appointed Deputy Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa. Moseneke is the recipient of numerous awards of honor, performance and excellence and has presented at numerous conferences and published in law journals in South Africa and abroad. Honorary Degree: Doctor of Laws: Radhika Coomaraswamy has served as Under-Secretary-General, Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, at the United Nations since 2006. In this capacity, she serves as a moral voice and independent advocate to build awareness and give prominence to the rights and protection of children affected by armed conflict. Coomaraswamy is a graduate of the United Nations International School in New York, received her B.A. from Yale University, a JD from Columbia University, and an LLM from Harvard University. A lawyer by training and formerly the chairperson of the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission, Coomaraswamy is an internationally known human rights advocate, and was the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women from 1994 to 2003. A strong advocate for women’s rights, she has intervened on behalf of countless women throughout the world seeking clarification from governments in cases involving violence against women.

Contact: Carol Kozo, 718-340-4207

May 24

CUNY Graduate Center: 5:30 p.m., Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, Columbus Avenue and 65th Street, Manhattan.
Speaker: Janet C. Gornick, professor of political science and sociology at the Graduate Center and director of the Luxembourg Income Study Center. Gornick’s research focuses on the economic well-being of women and families through analysis of income, wealth, employment and demographic data. She co-edited the books Gender Equality: Transforming Family Divisions of Labor (2009) and Families that Work: Policies for Reconciling Parenthood and Employment (2003). Honorary Degree: Doctor of Humane Letters: Marian Goodman, who founded the Marian Goodman Gallery in New York City in 1977 and opened her Paris exhibition space in 1995. She has presented such influential figures as Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Sol Lewitt, and she currently represents Gerhard Richter, Jeff Baldessari and William Kentridge, among other leading contemporary artists. Honorary Degree: Doctor of Humane Letters: Philip Levine, current Poet Laureate of the United States, author of 20 collections of poems, and winner of the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for The Simple Truth. He has also won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Ashes: Poems New and Old and 7 Years from Somewhere, and the National Book Award for Ashes: Poems New and Old and What Work Is.

Contact: Tim Ellis, 212-817-7181 or 212-817-7170

May 29

Hunter College: 3 p.m., Jacob K. Javits Convention Center North, W. 40th St. and 11th Ave., Manhattan.

Speaker: Soledad O’Brien, CNN anchor.

Contact: Anne W. Lytle, 212-772-4242

May 30

Baruch College: 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., Jacob K. Javits Convention Center North, W. 40th St. and 11th Ave., Manhattan.

Speaker: Christine C. Quinn (10:30 a.m. ceremony)
Christine C. Quinn has spent her career in public service, fighting for policies and services that are critical to the lives of New Yorkers. Since 1999, Quinn has served Manhattan’s lower West Side in the City Council. Elected Speaker in 2006, she has negotiated on-time, balanced city budgets, reducing government spending, avoiding tax hikes and preventing firehouse closings, teacher layoffs and cuts to key services. Honorary Degree: Doctor of Letters: David Brooks, whose column on the Op-Ed page of The New York Times started in September 2003. He has been a senior editor at The Weekly Standard, a contributing editor at Newsweek magazine and the Atlantic Monthly, and is currently a commentator on “The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer.” He is the author of Bobos In Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There and On Paradise Drive: How We Live Now (And Always Have) in the Future Tense, both published by Simon & Schuster.

Speaker: Thomas P. DiNapoli (3 p.m. ceremony)
Thomas P. DiNapoli was elected to a full, four-year term as New York State Comptroller in November 2010. Since first taking the position in February 2007, DiNapoli has transformed the way his office does business, instilling reforms to make government more effective, efficient and ethical. He has pushed for increased transparency and accountability in government and identified billions of dollars in waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement. Honorary Degree: Doctor of Humane Letters: Louis J. Cappelli graduated from Baruch College in 1958 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. While studying at Baruch, Cappelli worked full time as a mail room messenger at Sterling Bancorp. Through many years of hard work and dedication, Cappelli became chairman and chief executive officer of Sterling National Bank/Sterling Bancorp. He was also a former member of Mayor Dinkins’ New York City Council of Economic Advisors and continues to serve as a member of several industry-related organizations, including the American Bankers Association and the New York State Bankers Association.

Contact: Mary Gorman, 646-312-3315

Brooklyn College: 2 p.m., Master’s Commencement Program I (School of Visual, Media and Performing Arts; School of Humanities and Social Sciences; School of Natural and Behavioral Sciences): Walt Whitman Auditorium, 2900 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn.

Speaker and Distinguished Alumni Award: John Yau ’78 MFA is a poet, fiction writer, renowned critic and college professor who has amassed an impressive number of awards. He has written more than 50 books and is widely celebrated as one of the most influential Chinese-American writers of his generation. A former Ahmanson Curatorial Fellow at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Yau has curated several important art exhibits and currently teaches art history at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Yau is the publisher of Black Square Editions, and publishes the online magazine Hyperallergic Weekend. After earning his B.A. from Bard College, Yau pursued his MFA at Brooklyn College. His awards include the French Government’s Chevalier in Order of Arts and Letters, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, the Academy of American Poets’ Lavan Award, three New York Foundation for the Arts awards, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, two Ingram-Merrill Foundation fellowships, the American Poetry Review’s Jerome Shestack award, and a Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation grant.

Brooklyn College: 7 p.m., Master’s Commencement Program II, School of Business and School of Education, Walt Whitman Auditorium, 2900 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn.

Speaker and Honorary Degree: Doctor of Humane Letters: Sylvia Méndez is a civil rights activist and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Méndez’s role in the nation’s history was sealed nearly 70 years ago when her parents — who were of Mexican and Puerto Rican origin and residents of Orange County, California — attempted to enroll her in a local, all-white elementary school. Méndez was denied entrance due to her ethnicity and was directed back to the predominantly Mexican school. In response, her parents solicited support from the community and successfully filed the landmark lawsuit — Mendez, et al v. the Westminster School District, et al — which made California the first state to end school segregation in 1947. This historic victory established the legal precedent for the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court case that would end racial segregation in schools across the country almost a decade later. Méndez received an Associate of Arts in Nursing degree from Orange Coast Community College, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Certificate in Public Health from California State University at Los Angeles. After a successful 30-year career as a nurse, she retired early to care for her ailing mother. Her story inspired not only an Emmy Award-winning documentary about the lawsuit, but a U.S. postal stamp, a school named after her parents, and an exhibit in the Los Angeles County Law Library. Last year, President Barack Obama bestowed upon Méndez the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, for spreading messages of tolerance and opportunity to children of all backgrounds.

Contact: Ernesto Mora, 212-662-9939

May 31

Queens College: 9 a.m., Queens College Quad, 65-30 Kissena Blvd., Flushing, Queens.

Speaker: Howie Rose, the American sportscaster known as the radio voice of the New York Mets and the television announcer of the New York Islanders. Rose has been the full-time, play-by-play announcer for WFAN Radio (the Mets flagship station) since 2004 and for MSG Plus (formerly Fox Sports Net New York) regional TV network since 1995. Previously Rose broadcast the New York Rangers games on WFAN, including their Stanley Cup Championship season of 1993-1994. Before joining WFAN, the Queens native was a sportscaster for WCBS Radio and the NBC Radio Network. Rose won New York Emmy awards in 1999 and 2003 for sports coverage as part of the Islanders broadcast crew. He also received the Dick Young Award from the New York Baseball Scouts in 1995 for service to baseball in the media, and the New York State Broadcasters Award for play-by-play work during the 1994 Stanley Cup Playoffs. In April, he was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. Rose broke into broadcasting in 1975 while in college as one of the original voices of Sportsphone, a radio service that recorded the latest sports scores and news. He received his undergraduate degree in 1977 from Queens College. Honorary Degree: Doctor of Humane Letters: Sara Miller McCune is the co-founder and executive chair of SAGE Publications, a leading global and commercial academic publishing company in Thousand Oaks, CA. She is also the founder and executive chair of the nonprofit Miller-McCune Center for Research, Media and Public Policy, which publishes the award-winning print and online magazine Pacific Standard. Through her charitable McCune Foundation and work with SAGE, McCune has established the SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind, and made significant contributions to organizations dedicated to promoting education and the arts. Additionally, she has received many awards for her philanthropy, visionary service and entrepreneurship. McCune is a member of the board of directors for the Samuels Center of the CUNY Graduate Center, the Center for the Advancement of Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, and the American Academy of Political and Social Science in Philadelphia. McCune received her undergraduate degree in 1961 from Queens College.

Contact: Phyllis C. Stevens, 718-997-5597 or Maria Matteo, 718-997-5593

Brooklyn College: 10 a.m., Baccalaureate Commencement Program, Brooklyn College’s Central Quadrangle, 2900 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn.

Speaker and Honorary Degree: Doctor of Science: Anthony Fauci, M.D. is an acclaimed immunologist known internationally for his pioneering medical research and scientific leadership. A graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, Dr. Fauci received his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College in 1966. He has conducted research and cared for patients at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health since 1968, eventually becoming its director in 1984. Fauci directs a portfolio of basic and applied research aimed at preventing, diagnosing and treating diseases such as HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, as well as influenza, tuberculosis, malaria and illnesses caused by agents of bioterrorism. He also oversees a large research effort on transplantation and immune-related illnesses, including autoimmune disorders, asthma and allergies. Fauci serves as an adviser to the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services on global AIDS issues and initiatives to bolster medical and public health preparedness against emerging infectious disease threats. For service to his country, Fauci was awarded the 2008 Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. A prolific researcher, Fauci has made substantial contributions to our understanding of how HIV destroys the body’s defenses and leads to AIDS. He also played a significant role in developing strategies for the therapy and immune reconstitution of patients with the disease, as well as for a vaccine to prevent HIV infection. Fauci has served as visiting professor at major medical centers nationwide and has delivered major lectureships all over the world. He is a recipient of numerous prestigious awards for his scientific accomplishments, including the National Medal of Science, the George M. Kober Medal of the Association of American Physicians, and the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research. Honorary Degree: Doctor of Fine Arts: Cecil Taylor is a musician and poet famed for his distinctive “percussive” style of piano playing — making the piano keys sound as if they were 88 finely tuned drums. He is considered one of the formative figures in what is now known as avant-garde jazz. His pioneering work — along with that of Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane — helped establish the musical genre called “free jazz.” Born in Long Island City in 1929, Taylor began playing piano at age 5. After receiving his classical training at the New York College of Music, he attended the New England Conservancy of Music in Boston, where he earned a degree in pop arranging. Taylor formed his small group in 1956, the year of his recording debut. In 1967, Taylor added concert-length solo piano recitals to his arsenal of performing triumphs, and in subsequent years he also adapted his concept for a jazz student orchestra. He has continued to perform with his small group, as a soloist, and in various ensembles. Presidential Medal: Martin Mendelsohn ’63 has a distinguished 45-year career as an international attorney specializing in trade and commercial affairs between the United States and the emerging economies of post-Soviet Europe. He is a recognized expert and authority on international law, particularly as it pertains to crimes against humanity and frequently lectures at universities and colleges in the United States and abroad. Mendelsohn earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Brooklyn College and received his law degree from George Washington University Law School. In 1977, while working for the U.S. Department of Justice, Mendelsohn created an Office of Special Investigations unit whose purpose is to find and prosecute Nazi war criminals. He was also a staunch advocate for Holocaust survivors, assisting them, pro bono, with their claims against Swiss banks as well as Austrian and German corporations. Mendelsohn was appointed by President Bill Clinton to represent the United States as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Austrian Reconciliation Fund. During his five years of service, the fund disbursed more than $700 million to former slave and forced laborers in World War II. Mendelsohn received the Hero in Law Award from the Bar Association of the District of Columbia in 1999, the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland in 2000, and the Grand Decoration of Honor for service to the Austrian Republic in 2002. In 2009, he received the Pursuit of Justice Award from the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists at the U.S. Supreme Court. He was also named an Advocate for Justice by the Olender Foundation. Mendelsohn, and his wife Syma ’64, are the benefactors of the Martin and Syma Mendelsohn Lectureship in International Relations, which brings ambassadors from around the world to Brooklyn College to educate and engage the student body. Class Representative: Elizabeth Cusick ’12 is a recipient of a 2011 Rosen Fellowship, and her project took her to Cape Town, South Africa, to study the effects of HIV on child development. At the Children’s Infectious Disease Research Unit, also known as KIDCRU, she examined infected children to determine if there were disparities between their head size and the head size of uninfected children. She found that children infected with HIV experience decelerated head growth, which raises neurological concerns as head growth is directly linked to brain development. Her research further revealed that there is more to contend with in the treatment of HIV than issues related to health. Political roadblocks, including South Africa’s dismantled system of apartheid and its lingering effect on the conditions of hospitals that serve black South Africans, have made effective treatment difficult.

Contact: Ernesto Mora, 212-662-9939

College of Staten Island: 10 a.m., Great Lawn, 2800 Victory Blvd., Staten Island, New York. Departmental Exercises to follow immediately.

President’s Medal: Denis Hughes (Hon. ’11), president of the New York State AFL-CIO. Mary O’Donnell, associate professor and chair of the Department of Nursing, and Mrs. Rose Volpe, community activist, founder of the Friends of CSI, and widow of Dr. Edmond L. Volpe, the first president of the College of Staten Island, were presented with the President’s Medal by Dr. Tomas Morales, president of the College of Staten Island, at CSI’s third annual Celestial Ball in December 2011. All recipients will be recognized on stage during commencement. Alumni Speaker: Dr. Arthur Merola ’84, ’85, president of the CSI Alumni Association. Alumni from class years ending in 2s and 7s will be marching to celebrate the anniversary of their graduation.

Contact: Ken Bach, 718-982-2200

John Jay College of Criminal Justice: Two ceremonies: at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Jacob K. Javits Convention Center North, W. 40th St. and 11th Ave., Manhattan.

Speakers: Judith A. Jamison, a talented performer and Artistic Director Emerita of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, whose many awards include the Kennedy Center Honor (1999), the National Medal of Arts (2001), and the Paul Robeson Award from the Actors’ Equity Association (2004). Michael Meltsner, the George J. and Kathleen Waters Matthews Distinguished University Professor at Northeastern University’s School of Law, who is the principal architect of the death penalty abolition movement in the United States. As counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Meltsner argued for the unconstitutionality of capital punishment and researched the systematic connection between racism and capital punishment. Michael Perlin, Professor of Law at New York Law School, who has devoted his career to championing legal rights for people with mental disabilities. He has written 20 books and nearly 200 scholarly articles on all aspects of mental disability law. Perlin serves on the National Advisory Board of the Institute of Mental Disability and Law of the National Center for State Courts, and on the Board of Directors of the International Academy of Law and Mental Health. Honorary Degree: Doctor of Letters: Judith A. Jamison; Honorary Degree: Doctor of Laws: Michael Meltsner; Honorary Degree: Doctor of Laws: Michael Perlin.

Contact: Doreen Vinas, 212-237-8645

Lehman College: 10:30 a.m., South Field, Lehman campus, 250 Bedford Park Blvd. West, Bronx, N.Y.

Speaker and Honorary Degree: Doctor of Humane Letters: Albert P. Carey is chief executive officer of PepsiCo Americas Beverages, a unit of PepsiCo, and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of PepsiCo’s beverage business across North, Central, and South America. He joined PepsiCo in 1981 and has held a variety of positions, including president and chief executive officer of Frito-Lay North America, the company’s most profitable operating division and its largest North American business. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland, College Park, where he has served on the Board of Trustees of its foundation and on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Robert H. Smith School of Business. He is currently on the board of Home Depot and on the corporate advisory council for the National Council of La Raza. Honorary Degree: Doctor of Humane Letters: Karen Musalo is a professor of law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she is also the Founding Director of both the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies and the Refugee and Human Rights Clinic. She founded and advises the Hastings-to-Haiti Partnership, a faculty and student initiative focused on strengthening the rule of law in Haiti through an annual delegation to École Supérieure Catholique du Droit de Jérémie in Haiti. Recognized as a trailblazer and innovator on refugee and asylum law, she is the primary co-author of Refugee Law and Policy: An International and Comparative Approach (4th edition), the first comprehensive textbook on this subject. The lead attorney in Matter of Kasinga, representing a woman from Togo who fled female circumcision, she won the first presidential decision establishing gender-based persecution as a basis for asylum. She also represented two women in landmark cases that have advanced the struggle to win the right to asylum for women fleeing domestic violence. Honorary Degree: Doctor of Humane Letters: Shirley Rodriguez-Remeneski is chairperson of Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center’s Board of Trustees; president of 100 Hispanic Women, which provides education and career opportunities to Latinas, and the founder and chairperson of the Bronx Global Learning Institute for Girls, a K-3 charter school that serves 300 Bronx students. During her 21 years on the hospital’s board, she has served in various capacities, including previous roles as vice chairperson and Assistant Secretary, and has helped to coordinate Mind, Body, and Spirit conferences jointly co-sponsored with 100 Hispanic Women. Previously, she was senior vice president of the Empire State Development’s Economic Vitalization Division. She is currently an active board member of the mayor’s Commission on Women’s Issues, the Multicultural Advisory Committee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Greater New York Hospital Association Advisory Task Force on Diversity in Health Care Leadership, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Hostos Community College Foundation Board. She is vice chair of the Boricua College Foundation Board and co-founder, as well as current chairperson, of the 21st Century Women’s Leadership Center. Alumni Achievement Award: Dr. David L. Spector, Robert B. Gardner Jr. Professor and Director of Research, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Cancer Center.

Contact: Marge Rice, 718-960-4992; Keisha Anderson, 718-960-8013

June 1

York College: 9 a.m., York Athletic Field, behind 160-02 Liberty Ave., Jamaica, Queens.

Speaker: Dr. Marta Moreno Vega has conducted extensive research in Yoruba Belief systems in the African Diaspora and has organized international conferences uniting scholars and traditional leaders who are experts on these religions. She was awarded a grant from the Ford Foundation, which partially supported the filming of the documentary “When the Spirits Dance Mambo,” which premiered at the Havana International Latino Film Festival in Cuba, in December 2002. The documentary, also shot in Cuba, focuses on the impact of Santeria on the Civil Society of the island. Vega has received research fellowships from El Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños at Hunter College for developing a documentary on African-based spiritual practices in Puerto Rico. She has taught Afro-Caribbean Religions and Afro Latinos in New York City at Hunter College/CUNY. She is co-editor of Voices from the Battlefront: Achieving Cultural Equity and author of The Altar of My Soul: The Living Traditions of Santeria, as well as the book When the Spirits Dance Mambo. The New York Women’s Agenda selected When the Spirits Dance Mambo as the book of the year in 2007 for distribution to New York City public schools as part of their New York Reads Initiative. Vega received her doctorate in Yoruba Philosophy in the Diaspora from Temple University in May 1995. She is the founder of the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute and former director of El Museo del Barrio and the Association of Hispanic Arts. She is currently president of the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI), founded in 1976. CCCADI is an international not-for-profit organization dedicated to researching, documenting and promulgating the rich history and traditions of African descendants in the Americas. CCCADI has organized international conferences in Nigeria; Bahia, Brazil; Puerto Rico and New York. She is also co-founder of the Global Afro Latino and Caribbean Initiative (GALCI) that has established an alliance of nongovernmental not-for-profit organizations that are grounded in African-descendant communities, and is a member of the UNESCO United States Advisory Commission on the Slave Route Project.

Contact: Marcia Moxam Comrie, 718-262-3865

Bronx Community College: 10 a.m., Ohio Field, Bronx Community College. 2155 University Ave., Bronx, N.Y.

Speaker: Bill Shore is the founder and chief executive officer of Share Our Strength, a na¬tional nonprofit that is working to end childhood hunger in America. Shore founded Share Our Strength in 1984 with his sister Debbie and a $2,000 cash advance on a credit card. Since then, Share Our Strength has raised and invested more than $315 million in the fight against hunger, and has won the support of national leaders in many fields ranging from governors, including Maryland’s Martin O’Malley, to Oscar-winning actor Jeff Bridges. Shore is also the chairman of Community Wealth Ventures Inc., a for-profit subsidiary of Share Our Strength that offers strategy and implementation services to foundations and nonprofit organizations, partnering with them to design and implement innovative approaches to growth and sustainability to promote social change. From 1978 through 1987, Shore served on the senatorial and presidential campaign staffs of former U.S. Senator Gary Hart, and from 1988 to 1991, Shore served as chief of staff for former U.S. Senator Robert Kerrey. Shore is the author of four books focused on social change, including Revolution of the Heart (Riverhead Press, 1995), The Cathedral Within (Random House, 1999), and The Light of Conscience (Random House, 2004). His most recent book, The Imaginations of Unreasonable Men (Public Affairs, 2010), showcases the entrepreneurial strategies and qualities of character required to solve problems that affect people who are so voiceless, vulnerable and economically marginalized that there are no markets for solving them. A native of Pittsburgh, Shore earned his B.A. at the University of Pennsylvania and his law degree from George Washington University. He served as a director of the Timberland Co. from 2001 through 2011. Shore was named one of America’s Best Leaders in 2005 by U.S. News & World Report and most recently won an S. Roger Horchow Award for Greatest Public Service by a Private Citizen. He has been an adjunct professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business and is currently an adviser for the Reynolds Foundation Fellowship program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.
President’s Investiture: Dr. Carole M. Berotte Joseph will be officially inaugurated at the commencement by CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein.

Contact: Carmen Vasquez 718-289-5318

City College of New York: 10 a.m., NAC Parking Lot, 135th Street at Convent Avenue, Manhattan.

Speaker and Honorary Degree: Doctor of Humane Letters, Laws: Rafael “Ray” Angel Suarez Jr., senior correspondent for the PBS NewsHour and author, who has been a key Latino voice and leader in the communications field. He is a veteran broadcast journalist with more than 30 years experience in the news business. Suarez currently hosts the monthly radio program “America Abroad” for Public Radio International and the weekly politics program “Destination Casa Blanca” for Hispanic Information Telecommunications Network, HITN TV. He is the author of The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America (Rayo, 2006), which examines the tightening relationship between religion and politics in America. It earned him a 2007 Latino Book Award for Best Religion Book. Suarez is also the author of The Old Neighborhood: What We Lost in the Great Suburban Migration, 1966-1999 (Free Press, 2009). The book chronicles the effects of the American migration from cities to suburbs in the second half of the 20th century. Suarez has, in addition, contributed to several other books and is a strong advocate for public education. Honorary Degree: Doctor of Humane Letters: Kathleen Battle, a distinguished operatic soprano, is known for her work within the concert repertoire. The Washington Post has described her luminous voice as being “without qualification, one of the very few most beautiful in the world.” Her extensive opera career includes more than 150 performances with the Metropolitan Opera in 13 different operas. She is also a Grammy Award-winning recording artist. A native of Portsmouth, Ohio, Battle began her career as a music teacher at a Cincinnati inner-city public school in 1971. She made her operatic debut in 1975 and has since mesmerized audiences around the globe with her unique artistry and vocal beauty. Honorary Degree: Doctor of Science: Harvey Kaylie, distinguished alumnus of City College’s School of Engineering. He is the founder and president of Mini-Circuits Inc., and a world leader in design and manufacturing of radio-frequency, infrared and microwave components. Kaylie has strongly supported innovation and entrepreneurship at CCNY’s Grove School of Engineering. He founded the Harvey and Gloria Kaylie Entrepreneurship Prize and established the Mini-Circuits Scholarships for talented students. In addition, Kaylie is a board member of the City College 21st Century Foundation and has made contributions in excess of $5 million to CCNY. Honorary Degree: Doctor of Science: Sheldon Weinbaum, Distinguished Professor Emeritus who has had a profound impact on the preeminence of biomedical-engineering education and research at City College and in New York City. Professor Weinbaum was the major force behind the founding of CCNY’s Department of Biomedical Engineering and the New York Center for Biomedical Engineering. He developed it into one of the most diverse engineering departments in the nation, both in faculty and students. Weinbaum is one of only seven living individuals who have been elected to all three national academies. He has been a tireless advocate and innovator for addressing underrepresentation of women and minorities in academic engineering.

Contact: Jay Mwamba, 212-650-7580


Queensborough Community College: 10 a.m., QCC Athletic Field, Queensborough Community College, 222-05 56th Ave., Bayside, N.Y.

Speaker: John B. King Jr., as New York State Education Commissioner, oversees more than 7,000 public and independent elementary and secondary schools (serving 3.1 million students), and hundreds of other institutions of higher education, libraries and museums across the state. King is a strong voice for educational reform, and he was a driving force in New York’s successful Race to the Top application. A former high school teacher and middle school principal, King has earned a national reputation for his vision and commitment to education reform. King earned a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, a master’s and a doctorate from Teachers College-Columbia University and a JD from Yale Law School.

Contact: Alex Burnett, 718-631-6044

Borough of Manhattan Community College: 11:30 a.m., Jacob K. Javits Convention Center North, 37th Street and 11th Avenue.
Speaker: Dennis M. Walcott, New York City Schools Chancellor. Walcott is a former teacher, with an easy rapport with children, a graduate of the city’s public schools, and “a guy from Queens,” he says, whose parents were raised in Harlem and whose grandparents were immigrants, like many of the city’s 1.1 million students. Walcott has worked hard to improve the administration’s relationships with key constituencies through frequent, sometimes unannounced, school visits and constant contact with the teachers’ union. He views his role as building support for, and tweaking — not changing — policies. Walcott says that civility is his foremost goal. Building on Mayor Bloomberg’s Children First reforms, Chancellor Walcott is committed to cultivating teacher talent, expanding school choices for families so that students attend schools that best meet their individual needs, creating strong partnerships with parents and preparing students to graduate from high school and succeed in college and careers. Prior to his appointment as chancellor, Walcott served as Mayor Bloomberg’s Deputy Mayor for Education and Community Development for more than eight years. In that capacity, he oversaw and coordinated the operations of the Department of Education, the Mayor’s Office of Adult Education, the Department of Youth and Community Development, and the New York City Housing Authority. He also reviewed the activities of the New York City School Construction Authority.

Contact: Barry Rosen, 212-220-1238

Hostos Community College: 3 p.m., New York City Center, 131W. 55th St. (between 6th and 7th avenues) Manhattan.

Keynote speaker: City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn has spent her career in public service, fighting for policies and services that are critical to the lives of New Yorkers. Speaker Quinn started out as a housing organizer, helping low-income tenants stay in their homes and protecting affordable housing. As the director of the Gay & Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, she worked closely with the NYPD against hate crimes. Since 1999, she has served Manhattan’s lower West Side in the City Council. Elected speaker in 2006, she has negotiated on-time, balanced city budgets, reducing government spending, avoiding tax hikes and preventing firehouse closings, teacher layoffs and cuts to key services. Speaker Quinn has worked to find innovative and fiscally responsible ways to spark job creation and has been a leader in the fight to eliminate unfair taxes, particularly the double taxation of freelancers and sole proprietors. She has fought to eliminate unnecessary regulation on small businesses and created a program that has sharply reduced the average wait for government inspections for new businesses. She has also worked to diversify our economy, investing in growing job sectors like health care and food manufacturing, and has helped our city develop an economy of innovation through tax credits and initiatives to support new ventures in the five boroughs. A longtime advocate for affordable housing, Quinn renewed incentives for developers who build affordable units. Protecting tenants is a top priority, and Speaker Quinn passed legislation to allow landlords to be taken to court for threatening tenants or interrupting essential services, as well as forcing landlords to repair dangerous apartments. Her innovative Housing Asset Renewal Program has turned unsold condominiums into affordable middle-income housing. Speaker Quinn has long advocated investment in early childhood education and has worked to expand the city’s Universal Pre-Kindergarten program. She has also worked extensively to better our middle schools, and at her urging the Department of Education has funded innovative new programs at the highest-need middle schools in the city. Speaker Quinn and the Council led the environmental movement with legislation, the first of its kind in the nation, requiring manufacturers to collect and recycle electronic waste, and passed a bill establishing a plastic bag recycling program. And she has passed bills to improve energy efficiency in large commercial buildings – a move that will reduce the city’s carbon footprint. As the first openly gay Speaker of the City Council, Quinn has worked extensively on issues of justice and equality. She emerged as a leading voice in the fight for marriage equality in New York State, and has made fighting hate crimes a particular emphasis. Speaker Quinn legislated against harassment at reproductive health clinics and exposed anti-abortion front groups that pretend to be family planning clinics. She coordinated a public/private partnership to expand free HIV testing for tens of thousands of public hospital patients. Working with immigrants’ rights organizations, Speaker Quinn recently ended the injustice at Riker’s Island that was turning innocent immigrants over to the INS and splitting up families. She has worked extensively to expand access to healthy food and reduce hunger, and has expanded access to food stamps for those who need them, and made sure they can be used to buy fresh produce at Greenmarkets around the city.

Contact: Soldanela Rivera, 718-518-6872 or 917-627-9097

June 2

Medgar Evers College: 12 p.m., Jacob K. Javits Convention Center North, 655 West 34th St., Manhattan.

Speaker: Robert Reffkin, chief of staff to the president and chief operating officer of Goldman, Sachs & Co. Reffkin came to the position following five years working in the firm’s private equity arm. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, he worked at Lazard Frères and McKinsey & Co. In 2005, he was appointed as a White House Fellow to serve as special assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury. He currently serves on the Board of the Citizens Committee for NYC, Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx, and served as founding chair of Bronx Success Academy 1 charter school. He received a B.A. from Columbia University and an MBA from Columbia Business School. His primary philanthropic undertaking includes running 50 marathons, one in each state, to raise $1 million for youth education and enrichment programs.

Contact: Christopher Hundley, 718-270-6926 or 718-270-6982

June 4

CUNY Baccalaureate, CUNY’s Individualized Degree (CUNY BA): 10 a.m., the Great Hall at Cooper Union, 7 East 7th St. at Third Avenue, Manhattan.

Speakers: Keynote - Olaf Olafsson. With interests in physics, literature, writing, business and technology, Olafsson is an excellent example of interdisciplinarity in action. He is executive vice president, International and Corporate Strategy of Time Warner Inc., having previously been vice chairman of Time Warner Digital Media. Earlier, as founder, president and chief executive officer of Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc., Olafsson built and managed its businesses in the United States and Europe. During his six-year tenure, he directed the worldwide operations of Sony’s entertainment software and hardware divisions and was responsible for the introduction of the acclaimed PlayStation. He is also the author of four novels, The Journey Home, Absolution, Walking Into the Night and Restoration, and a story collection, Valentines. His books have been published to critical acclaim in more than 20 languages. He is the recipient of the O. Henry Award and the Icelandic Literary Award, was shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor Prize, and has twice been nominated for the IMPAC Award. Olafsson, who was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, in 1962, graduated with a degree in physics from Brandeis University, where he was a Wien Scholar. Faculty Speaker: Elizabeth Schaible received her undergraduate degrees from the University of Kentucky, in business administration, and New York City College of Technology, in hospitality management. She earned a master’s from Rochester Institute of Technology, with a concentration in service management. At City Tech, she is chair of the Hospitality Management Department and teaches culinary arts, purchasing, dining-room management and marketing. Prior to joining the City Tech faculty, she held a variety of culinary and hospitality management positions, including executive chef of a corporate dining facility and private chef to the editor of Rolling Stone Magazine; she also owned a retail food and catering operation. Schaible currently serves on the National Advisory Board of Spoons Across America, a source for children’s culinary education, and she recently completed a photography essay, “Down on the Farm: A Farm to Table Photo Essay of the Indiana Farmer.” She has mentored June graduate Therese Savery-Connors; her son, Alex Gueron, is also graduating. Therese Savery-Connors, who is earning her B.S. in Food Service Administration for Disaster Relief, will introduce professor Schaible. Student Speaker: Arlene Schulman, English and American Literature: Fiction and Non-Fiction Genres, B.A., June 2012. Arlene Schulman is a writer, editor and author of seven published nonfiction books. She has written hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles, which have appeared in the New York Times, New York Daily News, New York Post, the Village Voice and elsewhere, and she wrote 26 episodes for ESPN Classic “Sugar Ray’s Hit Parade.” She has worked as a communications writer for nonprofits in New York City. She is also a photographer, and her work has appeared in exhibitions and is in several private collections. She is a filmmaker as well, with three completed film projects so far: “Provincetown Sky”; “The Tides of Norman Mailer”; and “My Hands Talk for Me: A Boxing Journey.”

Contact: Beth Kneller, 212-817-8238


New York City College of Technology: 11:30 a.m., Jacob Javits Center North, 40th St. at 11th Avenue, Manhattan.

Speaker: TBA

Contact: Michele Forsten, 718-260-5979 or Dale Tarnowieski, 718-260-5695

June 5

Macaulay Honors College: 10 a.m., Alice Tully Hall at Starr Theater, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Broadway at 65th Street, New York, N.Y.

Speaker: Merryl H. Tisch, Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents, was appointed to the board April 1, 1996, and re-elected to five-year terms in 2001, 2006 and 2011. She was elected Vice Chancellor by her colleagues, effective in 2007, elected Chancellor in 2009, and re-elected to a three-year term in 2010. Chancellor Tisch has years of experience in the fields of education, community service and philanthropy. She is chairperson of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, which has an annual budget of $100 million and has gained national recognition for its work in the areas of youth and family services, housing, poverty programs and neighborhood preservation. Previously, Chancellor Tisch served as chairperson of the Mt. Sinai Children’s Center Foundation. She serves on the executive committees of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the UJA-Federation of New York, the Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Citizens Budget Commission. Additionally, she serves on the board of the Trust for Cultural Resources of the City of New York. She was appointed to the Graduate School of Education Board of Overseers at the University of Pennsylvania in 1998 and has been a board member of both Barnard College and the Dalton School. From 1977 to 1984, Chancellor Tisch taught first-graders at New York City’s Ramaz School and the B’nai Jeshurun School.

Contact: Autumn Payne, 212-729-2909

CUNY School of Professional Studies: 6 p.m., Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, 1941 Broadway at 65th Street, Manhattan.

Keynote Speaker: Yvette L. Campbell, president and chief executive officer, the Harlem School of the Arts. Campbell assumed leadership of the Harlem School of the Arts on Jan. 18, 2011. She served as director of the Ailey Extension, Ailey’s adult, continuing-education program, for more than five years, which she named, developed and managed from its inception. The program earns $2 million annually and serves 15,000 adults a year. She is a committed not-for-profit professional, focused on the performing arts, with demonstrated strengths in entrepreneurial start-ups, strategic planning, operations management, marketing, fundraising, financial reporting, developing software solutions and cultivating client relationships. Campbell became passionate about dance at the University of California at Berkeley, where she graduated +with a degree in Applied Mathematics and Dramatic Art – Dance. She studied dance at The Ailey School, performed with Ailey II, and was the interim school administrator for the Ailey School, working closely with mentor Denise Jefferson, director of the Ailey School. Campbell danced with Elisa Monte Dance for six years as a principal, touring over 26 countries. In 2000, she moved to London with her family, where she taught classes and choreographed as a guest artist. She also performed as a guest artist at the Barbican Theatre in London with Wynton Marsalis and JazzXchange, a London-based dance company. Board experience includes over 10 years serving as a member for JazzXchange in London and Elisa Monte Dance in New York City. Since taking the helm at HSA in January, Campbell has been featured in Essence and Uptown Magazines and named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business 2011.

Contact: Heather Zeman, 212-817-7274


June 12

Kingsborough Community College: 11 a.m., 2001 Oriental Blvd., Brooklyn, New York, Marine Academic Center Plaza tent.

Speaker: TBA

Contact: Ruby Ryles, 718-368-5543
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