November 21, 2013 | Academics, President's Office
Guttman President Scott E. Evenbeck taught a section of Ethnography of Work I class on November 18. First-year students were given the opportunity to ask the President questions about a variety of topics related to education and career pathways. This classroom session also enabled the President to learn more about the students’ career goals and concerns.
The students first asked President Evenbeck what he liked most about his position. “The most important part of my job is honoring relationships,” he responded. “The best way to get things done in New York is through relationships given the size of the city.” He also noted that hearing about what students are learning in class and watching the Peer Mentors work with students to develop a peer culture motivate him.
Ethnographies of Work I is the first course of a two-course sequence that uses social science concepts, perspectives, and methods to increase student understanding of the work world and the processes and contexts that link the self and work. The class looks at careers and provides students with an understanding of how different types of work impact the daily life of New Yorkers. The course encourages students to consider how their skills, passions, and interests will contribute to New York’s economic sustainability.
During the class, President Evenbeck spoke about his life experiences. He provided a heart-warming story about his years as a young academic and his early start in higher education administration. President Evenbeck’s accomplishments are considerable, and he was able to share poignant moments on his journey toward becoming CUNY’s newest College President.
When Professor Blake posed questions to students to encourage them to reflect on their place at the college and career aspirations, they were able to openly share what it felt like being the first in their families to attend college. Students talked about the pressure to succeed and struggling with work outside of college. Students were also asked which obstacles they face in graduating (working and family issues were given), and what inspires them. Students talked about their commitment to their friends and families. This last question resonated strongly with President Evenbeck, who admitted that the stories students tell are what keeps him inspired.
President Evenbeck’s commitment to student success remains the driving force behind the team effort at the College. Spending time in the classroom is a reflection of this commitment, and he hopes to continue to visit classes during the academic year. Evenbeck ended the class discussion by imparting some useful advice to students on career directions. “You can’t plan out a whole life. You need to plan step by step and find your pathway by being purposeful and cultivating relationships,” he affirmed.