Sheryll Pang is no stranger to hardship, but it’s adversity that has driven her to succeed.
Pang, 25 years old, says that at 16 her abusive stepfather kicked her out of their house. And three years later, she became a single mother.
“I was told I was stupid and that I’d never amount to anything,” she says. “I really didn’t think I would be able to go to college. I did not believe I had the mental capacity.
As a child, Donna Masini read and wrote poetry but never thought becoming a writer was in the cards. But now she has published two books of poems: That Kind of Danger, which won the Barnard Women Poet’s Prize, and Turning to Fiction.
Elizabeth Butson knows what really matters and it’s not money. “It’s all about making a difference in the lives of others,” says the philanthropist. Butson, a former Philip Morris International advertising executive, reporter for Time/Life magazine and local newspaper publisher, spent her early life making opportunities for herself. Now she creates them for others.
When Sherry Cleary was in “nursery school,” years ago, a one-sentence progress report came home. It said: “Sherry hates worms.” She still does. Nevertheless, within minutes Cleary can devise a prekindergarten curriculum using worms to teach arithmetic, storytelling, basic science and more.
When Isabella Rossellini was a girl growing up in Italy in the mid-1960s, her father bought her a copy of King Solomon’s Ring, a famous book about animal behavior by Konrad Lorenz, an Austrian zoologist who later won a Nobel Prize and may have been the world’s first animal whisperer.
In the fall 2013 issue of CUNY Matters, Nobel prize-winning chemist and CUNY alumnus Jerome Karle, who passed away in June, was celebrated for his contributions to his field and to the University. Karle’s legacy is extended by CUNY scholars, men and women who advance the fundamental mission of the University: preserving, transmitting, and generating new knowledge. That work is embedded in CUNY’s DNA, passed from mentor to student, each identifying critical questions, unpacking data and positing new approaches and answers.
STEPPING OUT of the subway station at 149th Street and Third Avenue in the South Bronx, you hear the sounds of honking cars and noisy crowds pulsate through the hardscrabble streets like the borough’s heartbeat. But walking further, after passing a smoke-filled falafel truck, a pawnshop, and a weed-choked lot, you soon encounter a striking oasis of homes known as Via Verde, or the “Green Way.”
SOME NEW YORKERS are being asked for information about their medical history to help researchers get a better understanding of urban health. Nearly 3,000 New Yorkers have been randomly selected to participate in the New York City Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, or NYC HANES.
THEY’RE ONLY TURTLES but they may be the key to helping CUNY researchers figure out how wildlife is affected by habitat restoration.
It was a special day for students at Pathways in Technology Early College High School. President Barack Obama had come to visit the Brooklyn institution he hailed as a national model of technology education.
A TEAM OF SCIENTISTS who set out to study a new type of material inadvertently confirmed a nearly 40-year-old physics theory that predicts a pattern of energy.
AT KINGSBOROUGH COMMUNITY COLLEGE, chemistry students are learning to synthesize biodiesel from vegetable oil found in their kitchen cupboards. Other innovative chemistry lessons include teaching student chemists to de-polymerize plastic bottles from recycling bins and how to extract the naturally occurring hydrocarbon, limonene, from an orange, instead of using a petroleum-based chemical.
CUNY RESEARCHERS are doing their part to help the city create an antiterrorism plan to deal with the release of hazardous airborne material. Last summer, New York City College of Technology was the hub of a field study investigating how these contaminants may disperse in the city’s streets and subways.
JONATHAN WACKS, founding professor of Brooklyn College’s Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema, discusses what unique qualities the new film school — scheduled to open in the fall of 2016 on a working production lot — will bring to both students and the industry.
THE FIRST new film school of the 21st century is now “in development” at Brooklyn College.
MOST ADVANCES in science these days tend to come out of laboratories with the very latest and most sophisticated equipment. And then there is the groundbreaking science emerging from Ofer Tchernichovski’s lab at Hunter College.
FOUR RECENT Queens College theater graduates sat chatting with instructor Claudia Feldstein about the Capulets, the Montagues and the major Shakespearian roles they would soon play at Flushing Town Hall.
‘HERE’S the scenario,” musician and composer Michael Bacon tells his students on the first day of their film-scoring class at Lehman College. “I’m a film director and you’re the composer. My film is in trouble and I say to you, ‘This scene doesn’t feel sad enough. Or it’s too sad. And this scene isn’t exciting enough.'”
LIZZETTE BONFANTE GONZALEZ, 23, is moved to tears when she discusses the importance of food education in the inner city. “My purpose is to share fairness and goodness,” she says. “For me it’s all about food justice and food education, and if there’s Community Supported agriculture or a farmer’s market in your community it should be supported.”
AFTER A BUSY, HEARTBREAKING NIGHT as a pediatrician for a neonatal unit in a city with the highest infant mortality rate in the country, Dr. Ayman A.E. El-Mohandes decided that if he really wanted to help as many patients as possible, he needed to study public health.