Through a partnership between two New York University (NYU) programs—the Pipeline Opportunity for Inter-Collegiate STEM Education (POISE) and the Gallatin Undergraduate Initiative for Discovery in Education GUIDE—two select groups of Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) students will gain access to academic resources, mentors and scholarships at NYU. They will also have the opportunity to either attend or observe a class at NYU, while they complete their associate degree at BMCC.
Through the BMCC Office of Student Affairs and Office of Academic Affairs, students are selected for the programs based on their academic excellence and unique contributions to the BMCC community. POISE connects BMCC students focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) with theAcademic Achievement Program (AAP) within NYU’s College of Arts and Science (CAS). This links them to bachelor’s degree programs where they can continue their education in STEM, as well as in psychology and related majors.
GUIDE brings BMCC students into the NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study, where faculty and advisors help them prepare for Gallatin’s rigorous Bachelor of Arts degree program. GUIDE is tailored for students interested in developing their own program of study in the area of social justice, which includes a focus on social movements, law and governance, urban democracy, economics, identity, political literature and art, as well as environmental studies.
Each pipeline program welcomes BMCC students to become part of the NYU campus community. In addition to meeting with mentors, the POISE and GUIDE students receive an NYU ID and are able to join NYU student groups and utilize resources such as the NYU library. Once they graduate from BMCC and are accepted into NYU, they are eligible to apply for generous scholarships.
POISE scholars pursue STEM opportunities at NYU
The POISE scholars are Precious Adeyemi-Ogunleye, Joanne Callaghan, Erick Cochea, Amy Jimenez, Sohna Aisha Joof, Manoel Kadja , Radha Longo, Emmanuel Ologundudu, Jeydy Perezand Fadel Yerima.
BMCC science major Fadel Yerima says that, “NYU has a great neuroscience program. It could open doors I can’t even imagine now and it has tons of resources. Ultimately, I want to attend medical school, to focus on neurology and become a neurosurgeon.”
Science major Jeydy Perez says that interacting with the NYU academic community will challenge her, academically. “I recently completed an internship at a hospital in Dominican Republic,” she says, “and I was shocked at their lack of resources. I talked to a little boy who was there for an appendix that needed to be extracted, and that got me focused on the pediatric side of medicine.”
Sohna Aisha Joof, a science for health professions major at BMCC, intends to work toward a career as a trauma surgeon. Joanne Callaghan, a BMCC science major, is interested in a career in pharmacology, and wants to transfer into the biochemistry program at NYU, while science major Precious Adeyemi-Ogunleye is interested in NYU’s dental school.
GUIDE students embrace the rigor of NYU
The GUIDE scholars include D’Ilyna Adams, Dara Hyacinthe, Owen Kellaway, Jayshawn Lee and Shaina Vallejos. Each one takes a class at NYU, while completing their associate degree at BMCC.
Business Administration major Shaina Vallejos says that she looks forward to integrating her interests into a major she could create through NYU’s Gallatin School of Individual Study. She appreciates the level of discourse she has encountered in her class at NYU: “Instead of ‘Reading, Understanding and Accepting’, our class discussions at NYU seem to focus on, ‘Reading, Understanding and Questioning’.”
“I appreciate the new level of challenge,” said Writing and Literature major Jay Shaunless, and gerontology major Owen Kellaway says, “The GUIDE program is really rigorous, and it has that social justice lens that I share and that is central to my work.”
“We are super excited you are here.”
Michael Hutmaker, BMCC Dean of Student Affairs, told the gathering of POISE and GUIDE scholars, “Your ability, your intellect and your drive are on the same level as any student at NYU.” While it might be challenging to transfer to a senior college like NYU, he said, “You will already be part of the community. Try to get over there to the NYU campus once a week. Meet with an advisor, make sure they know who you are. If they are aware of your strengths and goals, they can be of more assistance when you apply to NYU.”
Erwin Wong, BMCC Acting Provost, told the group, “As POISE and GUIDE students, you’ll be assessed by the faculty and staff at NYU. It’s also important that you assess them; that you pay close attention to whether NYU is a good fit for you and your goals. Whatever happens, the level of engagement you have at NYU will be valuable experience whether you eventually transfer to NYU or some other university that has a program that speaks to you.”
Helene Bach, BMCC Director of Research, advised the students, “While you’re at NYU, take the opportunity to talk to your professors. Look them up. See what they’re publishing, what their research is about. Make an appointment and talk to them about their projects, and try to get a sense of where you might fit into a project like that, someday.”
“That’s an important skill, in business or academia—networking,” Wong added. “Bottom line, NYU poses challenges but you can meet those challenges. You are all here because you belong here. You have each other, you have us, and you have your mentors and networks on the NYU campus. You are not alone and we are super excited that you are here.”