On October 11, a ceremony and reception at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) celebrated the Fall 2018 Out in Two inductees, a cohort of 25 students selected from a pool of 113 applicants, according to Richard Naughton, who coordinates the program with fellow Senior Academic Advisor Jonathan Matamoros.
Among other strengths—including their community service and resilience—the scholars hold exceptional Grade Point Averages, or GPAs.
“We are very proud of this semester’s cohort. The students possess very impressive academic records. Nine of the 25 cohort members have a 4.0 GPA, and all but one of the new scholars has a GPA higher than 3.5; the lowest GPA is 3.48,” said Naughton.
BMCC Interim President Karrin E. Wilks delivered welcome remarks to the new cohort of scholars, who gathered along with their friends, family, classmates and members of the BMCC community in Richard Harris Terrace at the college’s main campus.
“We know that you have already been successful, that you have distinguished yourselves as students and citizens,” Wilks said. “Your commitment is inspiring to us. The world needs more smart, dedicated, tenacious leaders to make a difference not only in your careers and communities, but to make the world a better place for all of us.”
Acting Provost Erwin Wong told the Out in Two scholars, “We have nothing but the highest expectation that you will make us proud. We are confident we will see you doing many great things in your time at BMCC and beyond.”
Doris Holz, Vice President of Development and Chief Operating Officer of the BMCC Foundation congratulated the inductees, “on behalf of myself and the entire BMCC Foundation Board,” she said. “There is a lot of talent and hard work in this group of scholars. You are an inspiration to us all.”
Donors and dedicated staff ensure success of Out in Two scholars
Out in Two, a program unique to BMCC, provides support to help high-achieving students graduate within two years and transfer to a senior college. Out in Two scholars are closely mentored by BMCC faculty and staff. They solve academic challenges together, share resources and build networks that extend into their professional careers.
The Out in Two cohorts have doubled in size in the last few years, and that growth has been supported by donations from the BMCC Foundation, the Derfner Foundation, the Meringoff Family Foundation and the Southpole Foundation.
“We are grateful for the ongoing, generous donations of leading foundations who understand the value of supporting a cohort or small group program,” says Vice President Holz. “Out in Two, a close-knit learning community at BMCC, has proven to build student retention and success. The Out in Two scholars have earned an overall two-year graduate rate of 91 percent, and transfer to prestigious institutions including Cornell University, New York University, Vassar, Smith College and many others.”
The ceremony’s alumni speaker, Bhawna Seth (’17, Communication Studies), served as Out in Two Club President and has been accepted to Baruch College, CUNY. Today, she works as a College Assistant at BMCC for the Panther Partners program in the Office of Student Affairs.
Seth shared her experience in Out in Two. Having grown up in India, in a family of “many girls,” she said, “many things in our lives were determined by our gender.” At BMCC, she found mentors who “supported my freedom to experiment, and to take risks without being judged. Each of us has his or her own unique way to contribute.”
Out in Two scholar and liberal arts major Wendy Ihama said she appreciates the program’s one-on-one advising, and trips such as one planned for next week to the United Nations in midtown Manhattan.
“I want to study international relations once I graduate from BMCC, and eventually work as a foreign service officer,” she said. “The Out in Two program helps us complete our degrees but also helps us plan for the future and transfer to a bachelor’s degree program.”
Simon Dybowksi, an Out in Two scholar and video arts and technology major said what he likes about the program “is our community of students who are focused on their careers and doing well in their studies.”
In the past few years, he said, he has been creating content for videos, and wants to produce documentaries that focuses on issues related to children, who he works with through community service projects.
The Fall 2018 Out in Two scholarship recipients include Yetunde Adesunloro, Ingrid Becker, Barbara Bessa, Fernando Campos, Chiara Cutelli, Claudia Daporta, Richard Dias, Mamadou Doumbia, Szymon (Simon) Dybowski, Simcha Goldwurm, Wendy Ihama, Patrick Izidro De Souza, Regina Jackson, Monette Jacobs, Jean Lacap, Angie Maldonado Rodriguez, Moyosore Omolayo, Miriam Palma, Nino Pateishvili, Kevin Romeus, Lylia Saurel, Kate Sukhnandan, Gabriela Vassallo, Tingting Wu and Rei Yoshida.