Each year, the days leading up to April 15 are a whirl of intense activity for BMCC’s Single Stop program. As the tax filing deadline draws near, the number of students stopping by the program’s office (199 Chambers Street, S235) to have their tax returns prepared swells dramatically.
Tax preparation is part of a varied suite of services available free of charge to students through Single Stop, according to Deborah Harte, student life manager for the program at BMCC. Operating at all six CUNY community colleges, and working with both external and internal partners, Single Stop also provides financial and legal counseling as well as assistance in applying for government-sponsored nutritional, healthcare and childcare programs.
Recently, BMCC student Rada Mayya Kostadinova was one of four CUNY students to receive honorable mention for the Barry M. Goldwater scholarship, the premier federally funded scholarship for undergraduates in the sciences, engineering and mathematics.
Thousands of students are nominated for this award, and their undergraduate research experience weighs heavily in the selection process.
BMCC students face many challenges, but few can say they faced the challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania.
In fact so far, there’s just one: Human Services major Carmen Miranda, who hiked Africa’s tallest mountain with the same perseverance she applies to her studies.
It was no walk in the park.
Richard Harris Terrace buzzed with conversation as student researchers stood by large, three-panel posters and explained their research projects to guests filing up and down the long rows of exhibit tables.
Three faculty judges examined each poster, using a rubric to organize their assessment.
Michael C.Hattem, a teaching fellow and research assistant at Yale, was tapped to do a textual analysis of an unprecedented American document written in 1775.
“It’s remarkable that the trailers helped our community get back on its feet after not one, but two major disasters,” says Thomas Ching, BMCC’s Director of Buildings and Grounds. And while the trailers themselves are being disposed of, the furniture they held has been donated to other CUNY institutions. “Even as the trailers go, their legacy lives on in terms of sustainability.”
Remy Morel wasn’t sure what to expect when she attended BMCC’s Spring Career Fair a year ago. But showing up proved a smart move—it’s how she landed her first job.
Since then, says the BMCC Business Administration major, “I’ve found the Fair to be a great way to build connections, see what kinds of jobs are out there, and learn new things.”
BMCC Business major Subas Dhunten remembers what it was like not to have healthcare insurance.
“I’d had no coverage since 2010, and when I got sick and wound up in the hospital, it cost me a lot of money,” he says. “It was very bad.”
“Our continuing goal is to be the premier Community College in the nation,” said BMCC President Antonio Pérez as he opened this year’s State of the College address in Theatre II on the BMCC main campus.
“In 2013, Community College Week ranked BMCC as Number 2 among all the two-year colleges in the nation for awarding degrees to African Americans and Number 4 nationally, in awarding degrees to underrepresented students in general.”
The President went on to highlight strategies leading to those outcomes.
Doing paperwork may be no one’s idea of a good time. But students who thronged to this year’s Financial Aid Awareness day genuinely appeared to be having fun completing and filing financial assistance application forms. Turnout at the annual event was at record levels.
“Of the 24,000 students enrolled at BMCC each semester, at least 75% receive financial aid in one form or another,” notes Ralph Buxton, the college’s director of financial aid. “The purpose of Financial Awareness Day is to help students learn about all the options available to them, get their questions answered and file their 2014-2015 FAFSA on the spot.”
Every year at BMCC, a traditional Irish feast celebrating St. Patrick’s Day raises money so that no student goes hungry, or has to drop out because he or she can’t afford a Metrocard.
This year’s celebration, held in Richard Harris Terrace, was more successful than ever. With proceeds slated for the BMCC Emergency Fund, the sixth annual Saint Patrick’s Day Lunch provided live dance performances and a delectable corned-beef and cabbage lunch prepared by MBJ Food Services.
t’s difficult to watch the documentary film, “I Learn America,” without feeling profound admiration for the five resilient high school students whose stories it tells—and without gaining a new appreciation for what it means to be an immigrant teenager in 21st century America.
“Being different is like a part-time job,” says Sandra Staniszewski, currently a BMCC multimedia arts major and one of the five students profiled in the film. “You are half yourself and half the time you try to be someone better for the people to show how you want to be. What I want to be is myself.”
Ron Wallace will be the first to tell you that he wasn’t born with a pencil in his hand.
“Growing up, I couldn’t draw much, but I was good with computer graphics programs like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop,” he says. But by the time he was in eighth grade, he knew what he wanted to do with his life. When he enrolled in BMCC, he found teachers who were ready and willing to help him achieve his dream—to become a fashion designer.
When Chika Arita arrived in New York from Tokyo recently, among the top items on her agenda was a meeting with Professor Achraf Seyman of BMCC’s Accounting Department.
Arita is a section chief in the Administrative Evaluation Bureau of Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, with responsibility for auditing the performance of government entities in terms of efficiency, effectiveness and transparency. “Our role is similar to that of the General Accounting Office in the U.S,” she explains.
Two years ago, Business Management Professor Michelle Wang came up with an innovative approach to career planning—one that would link the seemingly disparate worlds of business and Himalayan arts.
“My hope was to help business students develop a strong sense of humanity through museum visits and teaching,” she says. “In that way, they could become leaders who care about people, community, society and the world.”
Every year, the Modern Language Association (MLA), hosts a convention attended by its 30,000 members from over 100 countries.
This year, among the hundreds of presenters at the convention were BMCC English Professors David Bahr, Chamutal Noimann and Joyce Zonana.
Both Science Professor Quinn Minor and his student Macarthur Young are fascinated by the stars.
“Originally, I was into physics more than astronomy,” says Professor Minor, “and examining questions like, ‘How did the universe start?’”
Thanks to the efforts of a long list of BMCC students, staff and faculty, the Opening Ceremony to this year’s African Heritage Month took place in the first-floor lounge of BMCC’s main campus building with spectacular live music, dance and spoken word performances.
Therapy, a Caribbean band from Kaptain Productions, filled the open area with the uplifting, new world energy of reggae, soca, salsa and hip hop music.
On February 24, Ethnic Studies Professor Zetta Elliott will present a talk in the Canada Seminar at the Weatherhead Center for International Studies at Harvard University.
Thanks to the vision and generosity of the Harold and Helen Derfner Foundation and of its trustee, Jay Lieberman, BMCC will soon house a state-of-the-art Communication Center where students from every department can refine their basic speaking skills.
The Center’s development will be spearheaded by BMCC communication studies professors Lee Ritchey—who brings to the classroom, many indispensible lessons learned from voicing hundreds of commercials and appearing in over 30 feature films and television shows—and Hollis Glaser, chairperson of the Speech, Communications and Theatre Arts department.