Most college students juggle work with school, and CUNY students are certainly no exception. As the semester progresses, and the holiday season eases upon us all, local companies are hiring more than ever to get through the holiday rush. And, let’s face it—for BMCC students, earning a little extra money this time of year is quite beneficial.
This has been a busy year for Mykola Kyrychuk. This past spring he was named an Honoree of the Engineering Science department and graduated from BMCC with a 3.8 GPA. He is currently pursuing his Bachelors at Cornell on a Richard Dewar Scholarship. But those bare facts convey only one piece of a remarkable complex picture: At BMCC, he attended classes, worked summers as a research assistant, and mentored fellow students—all while working full-time.
One might assume that an artist at the pinnacle of her profession would have little left to learn about her craft. But don’t make that assumption about legendary singer/songwriter/musician Roberta Flack.
“Those of us who have had the good fortune of being students of fundamental music, art and dance, continue to study and take lessons,” says Flack, who performed at BMCC’s Steinway Soiree on Sepember 25.
“I take a voice lesson every week and I intend to keep doing it until I can no longer find my way to the voice teacher’s studio.”
If it’s hard to imagine David Letterman without Paul Shaffer off to the side, bantering with the host and leading the orchestra, consider this: If it hadn’t been for a chance encounter three decades ago, the high-energy, multi-talented entertainer might have pursued a career in academia.
A remarkable line-up of talent—internationally renowned songstress Roberta Flack; iconic singer/songwriter Art Garfunkel; jazz trumpeter Lew Soloff of Blood, Sweat and Tears fame, and sensational pianist/songwriter Peter Cincotti—came together in support of BMCC recently, their cameo performances emceed by jazz musician and popular sidekick to David Letterman, Paul Shaffer, who also sang and performed to the packed house.
For a brief period of time, BMCC student Turner Gray, a business administration major with two children—recently found herself in panic mode. She was facing eviction from an apartment she and her family resided in for many years.
“Plus,” she recalls of her situation last year, “it was finals week, and I had to stay with a relative until my kids, mother, and I could get back into our apartment.”
Driving back home to Los Angeles from the east coast three years ago, filmmaker and BMCC graduate Ester Brym and her producer, Tom Buty, decided to steer clear of interstates and take a less traveled route: old Route 66. Their off-the-grid odyssey yielded some surprising insights—and became the basis of an award-winning film.
Built in the 1920s as one of the country’s first highways, Route 66 in time became a cultural icon, made popular in novels, movies, songs, and a long-running TV series. Growing up in Prague, Czech Republic, Brym was always fascinated with Route 66. “To Europeans, this is what America was all about,” says.
Born and raised in Toledo, Spain, Hilario Barrero emigrated to the U.S. 35 years ago and has taught in BMCC’s Modern Languages Department since 2001. But a day doesn’t go by that he doesn’t think—or dream—about the fabled city of his birth.
This past May, Barrero, an acclaimed poet, writer and translator, returned to Toledo to accept one of its highest honors: He was asked to serve as the pregonero or town crier of the Feast of Corpus Christi, a yearly procession observed since the thirteenth century and one of Toledo’s most important holidays.
“At a fundamental level, everyone needs to understand rate of change,” says BMCC math professor Jason Samuels.
“You go to the gas pump, it’s dollars per gallon; rates are often constant but in more complicated contexts, they’re always changing. Also, in the real world, almost everything—from air masses to financial trends—changes and has some kind of irregularity; some sort of curvy trajectory. So how do we analyze all that?”
They say heroes are made, not born.
Christopher Reeve, best known as “Superman” on the big screen, could be considered a hero, or a legend.
Thanks to the efforts of two BMCC Foundation Board members, BMCC students are now included in Citigroup’s prestigious summer intern program at their offices just up the street from the college, in Lower Manhattan.
Board member Tim Tynan, Managing Director and Global Head of Citigroup’s Transaction Services business in Japan initiated the idea in summer 2012, and Bill Fisse, Managing Director and Sr. HR Officer for Citi Tranaction Services, currently spearheads the internship program.
“How did you feel interacting with 32 summer analysts from top schools around the country?” Fisse asked the interns at their recent presentation in a Citi conference room flanked by sweeping Hudson River views and attended by both BMCC and Citi leaders and staff.
After United States military personnel return home after serving overseas, their transition back to civilian life isn’t always smooth.
A new Veterans Service Center has opened on the main campus at 199 Chambers Street, and according to President Antonio Pérez, “this Center helps student veterans navigate the complexities of enrollment and registration, informing them of education-related veterans benefits and helping them deal with any issues they may face, whether those issues are academic, administrative, vocational, or psychological.”
“She went back to America; I went back to England”—that’s the start of an inspiring alumni story, one with cinematic potential.
Here’s the opening shot: A 16-year-old boy—he recently dropped out of high school—is working on a construction site outside London.
BMCC Alumni Richard Toussaint grew up in Harlem and as a child, would walk down to the bank of the Harlem River to skip stones and chase crabs.
As the years passed, though, his favorite outdoor spot changed. A cement factory along the waterfront closed and became a dumping ground for junked cars. The homeless and others began using the area as a refuge, and it grew increasingly unsafe.
Even so, Toussaint was determined that his generation would not be the last to enjoy this unique urban waterfront.
Last semester, BMCC student Lindsay Wengler was named to the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) All-State Academic Team. For the All-State application, she wrote an essay about an eating disorder support group she started in Manhattan while attending BMCC.
Currently living in San Francisco, Wengler is studying to be a dietician and took pre-requisite science courses during her time at BMCC, where she maintained a 4.0 GPA.
“The assistant director position was open and I hadn’t seen anything from Alexa. I asked her to make an appointment with me, and told her, ‘You have everything it takes to have a very successful career in this field’. She’s extremely committed, bright, innovative … and has lots of ideas.”
Those encouraging words are from Karen J. Booth, Director of the Child and Family Center at Rockefeller University, and refer to BMCC alumna Alexa Pomales, whose progress building a career in early childhood education has been right on track—once she discovered it.
Liberal Arts major Diva Green wanted to enroll in a specific course at BMCC so badly, she recalls, “I stalked the class online for days until there was an opening, and I immediately registered.”
What was this course Green wanted so urgently to take? Professor Andrew Levy’s Journalism 303 English course Journalism: News Writing, a thorough, in-depth look at reporting in today’s fast-paced, media-savvy world.
Since journalism is not a direct major at BMCC, the course attracts those who have a nose for news.
Today, over 1.3 million New Yorkers (almost one in eight) have diabetes. Many of them painfully stick their fingers twice a day for glucose testing, but thanks to developments in nanotechnology, they might one day trade that procedure for waiving a light over a tattoo.
Mentored by science professor Brahmadeo Dewprashad, Andrew Boodhan has completed an Honor’s project in which he immersed himself in the subject.
His paper, “The Use of Nanotechnology to Develop a Tattoo to Test Blood Sugar” placed in the top three out of 127 papers submitted in the category of physical sciences at the 2013 Beacon Conference held this past June at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Think personal training involves just showing people how to lift barbells and use equipment? Think again.
As BMCC’s newest instructors—professional personal trainers Billy Davis and Brian Semonian explain, personal training involves more—much more—than utilizing equipment. And if you’re interested in taking the NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) exam, you better brush on your science knowledge…
After completing a year of law school in her home country of Montenegro (the former Yugoslavia), Sanja Chastain moved to New York and in 2011 earned an associate degree in criminal justice from BMCC.
Next, she transferred to John Jay College and completed a dual baccalaureate/master’s program in forensic psychology in 2013.
“Only 29 of us were accepted,” she says of her accelerated studies at John Jay. “It’s a really tough program. You must maintain a 3.5 GPA. We all made it, though. If you struggle with certain classes, the professors are available, and you can participate in study groups.”