April 22, 2014 | CUNY Matters, The University
HAVE YOU HEARD? CUNY won an Emmy for historical-cultural website programming and two in the TV magazine category … Brooklyn College professor Alex Sverdlov, trapped in a snowstorm for two days on the Mauna Loa volcano, was rescued by park rangers … Citizenship Now celebrates its 17th year helping people in New York become U.S. citizens …
Alex Sverdlov, a Brooklyn College adjunct professor who teaches computer science classes, became trapped in a snowstorm for two days in January near the top of a volcano in Hawaii. An experienced hiker, Sverdlov was on an 18-mile trek to the top of Mauna Loa at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. He reached the top of the 13,677-foot summit, but as he started to descend he was caught in a fast-moving winter storm. “Getting stranded on top of a freezing volcano in a windbreaker was not part of my vacation plans,” said Sverdlov. “My pleasant hike up Mauna Loa was interrupted by a blizzard, and within a few hours I was lost on top of the mountain, in the dark, with my winter gear unreachable just half a mile away.” Although he retrieved his warmer gear the next day, heavy snow kept him on the volcano for another night. “Hindsight is 20/20, but can’t prevent the unexpected,” Sverdlov said, “and when it happens, adapt, don’t panic, and be here now, both mentally and physically.” Sverdlov was rescued by National Park Service rangers, who knew he was stranded because he had taken out a backcountry permit with his expected time of return. “After spending two nights in the snow, I was lucky to have been rescued. The Park Rangers rock!” Sverdlov added, with gratitude.
The City University of New York has won three 2014 New York Emmy Awards, one for a video segment about the civil rights era on cuny.edu, the University’s website, and two by CUNY TV’s long-running Spanish-language Program, “Nueva York.”
CUNY.edu won for historical/cultural program feature for Stephen Sommerstein’s vintage black and white photography of the 1965 civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., in a presentation adapted by video editor Beethoven Bong. In 1965, a photographer for Main Events, an evening student newspaper at City College, traveled with a busload of students who participated in the march. Main Events published a few photographs after the march, but it wasn’t until 2013 that a full exhibit was curated for display at CUNY. Next year, the New-York Historical Society will present an expansive exhibit of Sommerstein’s images to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the march.
“Nueva York,” which explores the diversity of Latino culture in New York, won in the best magazine program category for an episode that featured the best of its Season 8 shows. Composer Tyrik Washington won in the musical composition/arrangement category for his original score for a “Nueva York” segment about fashion designer Pamela Gonzales. The winner of nine previous New York Emmys, the CUNY TV program is also carried by stations in Mexico and Panama.
The Invest In CUNY Campaign Office held its fourth annual CUNY Philanthropy Forum, The Challenge of Success, on March 25. This University-wide, daylong professional development conference brought together Advancement professionals and college and University leaders from across CUNY for a host of fundraising-related workshops, panel discussions with leading CUNY donors and a chance to hear from grant makers. The forum offered an unparalleled opportunity for colleagues to share insights and practical information and to hear from experts in a variety of areas of fundraising. The Invest in CUNY campaign was launched in 2004 with a goal of raising $3 billion. So far, the effort has raised more than $2.7 billion.
Citizenship Now! is 17 years old. And to celebrate the milestone, the organization honored five people who have been committed to immigration affairs on March 25 at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Citizenship Now! was started by Senior Vice Chancellor for University Relations and Secretary of the Board of Trustees Jay Hershenson and Baruch professor of law, Allan Wernick. Over the years, the group has helped more than 100,000 New Yorkers get on the path to U.S. citizenship and provided legal information and referrals to an additional 120,000 callers at the annual call-in events, in partnership with the New York Daily News.
Those honored during last month’s event were:
Robert E. Juceam, American Immigration Law Foundation Founder
Lin-Manuel Miranda, actor, composer and lyricist
Carole M. Berotte Joseph, president, Bronx Community College
Mortimer Zuckerman, owner and publisher of the New York Daily News and U.S. News & World Report.
A Medgar Evers College senior took center stage at City Hall during the Jan. 1 mayoral inauguration. Lissette Ortiz introduced former President Bill Clinton, who presided over the swearing-in ceremony of Mayor Bill de Blasio. (A previous photo caption misidentified who introduced President Clinton.) Ortiz, who was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to the United States when she was 15, said she was honored to speak about the struggles of immigrant students.
“I used to see Sonia Sotomayor and other prominent Hispanics, and I would dream of being where they stand. I didn’t expect it, but when it did happen, the only thing I could do was prepare and take the responsibility seriously,” said the public administration major. Ortiz, a student leader at Medgar Evers, was chosen to speak through her participation in the New York Needs You Fellowship — a career-development and leadership program at CUNY for first-generation students.