CUNY’s outstanding faculty inspire, challenge and mentor students in the full spectrum of academic fields from the sciences to the humanities to fine arts. Pursuing scholarship in the nation’s intellectual capital, our faculty bring high credentials and achievement, real-world perspectives and hundreds of millions of dollars in research grants to our campuses, engaging students in classrooms, labs and studios and enhancing the quality and value of a CUNY education. The University’s roster of prominent Distinguished Professors teach students, mentor faculty and initiate cultural programs and University-wide campaigns to improve life and learning. CUNY faculty members make their mark beyond the campus as well: 14 won Fulbright Scholarships in 2014 to research, study, teach and consult abroad, and include Guggenheim fellows, winners of Pulitzer and Man Booker prizes and National Book Awards, and two U.S. Poet Laureates.

TIMOTHY ELLMORE

PH.D.

HIS STORY

The neuroscience of memory intrigues Ellmore, an associate professor of psychology at City College and member of the Graduate Center’s doctoral faculty in behavioral and cognitive neuroscience. He studies brain activity to uncover how people remember – research relevant to understanding memory-robbing conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or hemorrhagic stroke. read more

At CCNY, Ellmore teaches cognitive psychology, heads the psychology honors program and has honors undergraduates working in his lab; CUNY students are “fantastic to interact with,” he says, noting that with their “different walks of life, so many different cultures … different questions get asked.”

AWARD

A $469,250 grant from the National Institutes of Health for a three-year study of how memories become permanent, using “continuous” MRI scanning of brain activity.

GOAL

To “understand how memories are made. That’s really what motivates me every day.”

AVA CHIN

PH.D.

HER STORY

Where most New Yorkers view park and sidewalk-crack greenery as mere weeds, Ava Chin sees edible, super-nutritious food such as dandelion greens and “chicken of the woods” mushrooms, as well as medicinal plants. Chin, associate professor of creative nonfiction and journalism at the College of Staten Island, recently published a prizewinning memoir, “Eating Wildly: Foraging for Life, Love and the Perfect Meal,” which chronicles her discoveries as an “urban forager” spotting, gathering and cooking useful plants that grow wild in the city. read more

A third-generation CUNY graduate following her mother and grandmother, Chin says it’s “a special thrill” to teach at CSI and “to connect and mentor the next generation of writers.”

AWARDS

First Prize, MFK Fisher Book Awards 2015; Library Journal’s “Best Books of 2014”.

GOAL

To complete “the next couple of books,” including one about uncovering her family’s legacy in New York’s Chinatown from the 1880s onward.”