When BMCC’s Music and Art Department relocated from the first floor of BMCC’s main building to large, spacious studios in the all-new Miles and Shirley Fiterman Hall, students were just as excited as their professors.
The college’s new art space made it easier for groups of students to work on large-scale projects such “Life Unfolding,” a commissioned piece of artwork built by some very talented BMCC students.
Getting through two years of college and earning an associate’s degree is an impressive achievement for anyone. But for low-income students with small children to care for, simply making it to class and keeping up with assignments can be a major challenge.
Since 1984, BMCC’s Early Childhood Center (ECC) has given student parents the peace of mind “that comes from knowing their children are in a nurturing and enriched environment,” says the center’s executive director, Cecilia Scott-Croff. “Parents can attend classes and without having to worry about the care of their children.”
Entering the headquarters of the United Nations (U.N.) complex overlooking the East River in Manhattan was like a dream come true for BMCC Liberal Arts major Nga Ping Lam.
“I saw the name in my history book but it was the first time I had seen the real thing,” she says. “I have the ID with my fingerprint on it, so I’ve been excited to explore it.”
Recently nominated to be a Youth Representative through the Association for Women in Psychology, Lam will canvas the BMCC student body for a report she’ll deliver at the U.N. this fall.
BMCC students are flexing their understanding of economics in a prestigious annual competition, the College Fed Challenge.
“Each student team needs to present four aspects: economic outlook, forecast, risks, and recommendations for policy,” explains Adrián Franco, Program Director for Economic Education at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. “They prepare for months, studying macroeconomics and monetary policy.”
This fall, an exhibition of artworks by BMCC art faculty members opened in the Shirley Fiterman Art Center, located on the ground level of the college’s Miles and Shirley Fiterman Hall.
Participating faculty members are Simon Carr, Betty Copeland, Pat Genova, Xico Greenwald, Sarah Haviland, Ann Hjelle, Thaddeus Radell, Jessica Ramirez, Jerrold Schoenblum, Anthony Sorce and A.C. Towery. Their eclectic artwork was on display during the college’s acclaimed Steinway Soiree benefit, where funds were raised for scholarships and to acquire a Steinway piano for students and faculty.
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.