Stephen Sommerstein covered the historic 1965 march for voting rights as a student photographer for the City College newspaper. Fifty years later, his evocative photographs are on exhibit at the New York Historical Society and those five days in Alabama are still vivid in his memory.
Standing committee meeting of the Board of Trustees, Committee on Student Affairs and Special Programs, April 6, 2015.
CCNY’s Spitzer School of Architecture hosts an unprecedented exhibition on Antoni Gaudí’s “unfinished masterpiece” — Sagrada Família, the basílica in Barcelona that generations of architects and builders have continued since Gaudí’s death in 1926. George Ranalli, dean of the architecture school, talks about the world’s longest-running construction project and how he brought to New York this rare collection of original drawings, plaster casts and other architectural artifacts that have never been out of Spain.
In a NY1 interview with Sam Roberts on The New York Times Close Up, Chancellor James Milliken discussed CUNY’s plans to expand programs that boost student success. Success, he noted, includes graduating with a two-year degree: “There are great opportunities for high-paying jobs for two-year graduates,” he said, noting that to meet the needs of the city’s tech industry CUNY should be offering more “short courses, certificates or two-year degrees in programs teaching software development, coding and gaming. There’s a big market out there.”
John O’Keefe (City College, 1963) describes his discovery of the brain’s “internal GPS,” which won him a 2014 Nobel Prize, and discusses his formative years as a CUNY undergraduate. The son of Irish immigrants, born in Harlem and raised in the South Bronx, he transferred to CUNY from a private college that he had attended at night while working to support himself during the day. But at CUNY, he could afford the day program with far less time devoted to outside work. Deeply curious, O’Keefe explored philosophy and film courses, among others, graduating with more than 40 credits beyond the requirements of his psychology major.
Cuban dissident Yoani Sánchez gained international fame for her eloquent and outspoken opinions on Cuba in her blog, Generación Y, translated into 20 languages. In her visit to City College in March, Sánchez praised blogs and social media as “vital” journalistic tools, and described her dreams for a free press in her country: “In this future Cuba, I expect that words will be more common and more powerful than military uniforms, that information will be more common than ideology.” City College professor Carlos Riobó, chair of Foreign Languages and Literatures, was moderator for the event and Baruch College professor of Black and Hispanic Studies Ted Henken served as translator.
There’s a myth about Rosa Parks – a pivotal figure in the American civil rights movement who refused to give her seat on a Montgomery, Ala. bus to a white passenger. The myth is that Parks was a quiet, humble woman until that historic moment. But, in the revealing new book, “The Rebellious Life Mrs. Rosa Parks,” Brooklyn College political science professor Jeanne Theoharis documents more than a decade of activism leading up to her stand against segregation on Dec. 1, 1955. Perpetuating the myth of a “meek and tired” Parks, argues Theoharis, erases the resistance she faced and fails to recognize the racial injustice that still exists.
Kofi Annan, former U.N. Secretary-General, used his post as a “bully pulpit” to draw world attention to issues such as human rights, poverty and child soldiers, says Jean E. Krasno, a political science lecturer at City College, who led a six-year project to organize and publish Annan’s collected papers. Krasno sees the historic papers as crucial to documenting Annan’s legacy and leadership style as he navigated international relations in the post-Cold War era.
In his new book, Deadline and Disruption: My Turbulent Path from Print to Digital, Stephen Shepard describes how journalism is experiencing a “best-of-times, worst-of-times moment,” but that, in spite of the turmoil, will continue to thrive as it adapts to the ever-changing technology that delivers news content. “There is a bright future for journalism,” says Shepard, the founding dean of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and a former editor-in-chief of BusinessWeek. “More journalism is being done, on more platforms, by more people, than ever before in our history.”
Author Joshua Henkin says that when it comes to families, Tolstoy was right — it’s adversity that keep them interesting. “All happy families are the same, unhappy families are unhappy in their own way,” says Henkin, citing the iconic Russian novelist to describe his latest novel, “The World Without You.” Henkin, who directs the MFA program in fiction writing at Brooklyn College, discusses his book, which revolves around a family mourning the death of their son in Iraq and how a calamity impacts family members for years to come. “Tragedies do big things to the most stable kinds of people.”