Spring Outreach Campaign Features “Meeting of Minds”

Yolanda White, seen below with City University sociologist Andrew A. Beveridge, is the kind of student who energizes a class—challenging, self-confident and willing to ask questions until she is satisfied that she understands the material.

The pair are one of four notable dynamic educational duos who are being featured prominently in CUNY’s spring outreach media campaign titled “Meeting of Minds.”

Before finding herself in Prof. Beveridge’s class, White had tried various academic fields, beginning with pre-pharmacy courses at Bronx Community College, and finally earning an Associate’s degree in Liberal Arts at Queensborough Community College. Then White worked as a letter carrier until she was injured in a car accident and was also hurt in a fall down some steps.

Unable to work, she decided to go back to a new school, Queens College, and into a new discipline, sociology. She came to Beveridge’s attention in a small class in which students were required to prepare a research study of their neighborhoods. Also based at the Graduate Center, Beveridge is an award-winning authority on recent social and demographic trends affecting the New York metropolitan area and the United States. He is also prominent for his employment of computer-based geo-demographic methods. White became interested in the subject. Now an honors student at Queens, she has enrolled in the Master’s program in Sociology in order to continue her work with her mentor.

Since 1993, Professor Beveridge and the Social Research Office at Queens College, which he directs, have worked with The New York Times, doing demographic studies of New York that have resulted in many front-page stories. These have included a story showing that blacks pay higher real estate taxes than whites in many suburban areas around the nation, and another that revealed blacks have shown remarkable occupational gains during the last two decades, especially in technical fields.

Beveridge has also served as a consultant in a number of civil rights cases that proved racial discrimination in housing. It was this work that particularly inspired White. She plans to go on to law school to pursue the fight against racial discrimination in housing.

Other mentor-student pairs featured in the “Meeting of Minds” campaign are Distinguished Professor of Languages, Literature and Philosophy Elizabeth Nunez at Medgar Evers College and her student Kevin Brown, an honors English major, poet and actor. The two other “Meeting of Minds” teams were featured in the March issue of CUNY Matters: the biomedical technology research team of CCNY Distinguished Professor Sheldon Weinbaum and his student Mia Mia Thi and Bronx Community College’s minority biomedical research team of Professor John Davis and student Balori Paulino.

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