The Spring semester at Bronx Community College came to a spectacular end with the participation of 923 students at our June 1 commencement ceremony. Bill Shore, Founder and Chief Executive of Share Our Strength, a non-profit that has raised and invested more than $315 million in the fight to end childhood hunger, delivered a truly inspiring commencement speech. The Honorable David Dinkins, former New York City Mayor and our own Dr. Alice Fuller, Dean of Faculty and Academic Affairs who has just retired after 45 years of outstanding service to BCC, were honored President Medallion Recipients.
BCC's 52nd commencement also marked the occasion of my investiture as the College's fifth President.Â Many thanks to my many friends, family members and present and former colleagues who joined me in celebrating my "new beginning."
"New Beginnings" was also the theme of this year's successful fundraising gala hosted by our Foundation on May 17th at The Bronx Zoo. This event supports scholarships for some of our most deserving students and subsidizes faculty research. We're indebted to Foundation Chair Marilyn "Penny" Joseph, Director of Corporate Outreach programs for the Panasonic Corporation of North America, for spearheading our Foundation's efforts.
I'd also like to recognize a few members of the BCC community for their recent achievements.
Thomas Cipullo, the deputy chairperson of Music in the Art and Music Department, has been awarded a prestigious 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship to work on his opera Mayo.
Congratulations to Dr. Aaron Socha, an assistant professor in our Department of Chemistry & Chemical Technology, who has been granted a leave of absence to conduct research at Sandia National Laboratory, Livermore, California. Dr. Socha will be working with collaborators from government and academia on cutting edge research on the next generation of biofuels. Although we will sorely miss him for his success in engaging students in laboratory work involving recycling cooking oil into renewable fuels, his affiliation with Sandia National Laboratory will bring additional prestige to his department, BCC and to CUNY.
Dr. Donna Genova, a professor in Health, Physical Education and Wellness, has won the prestigious National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Award. Dr. Genova is being honored for her many contributions to women's collegiate sports. She has served as the NJCAA Women's Regional Director for 13 years, founded and directed the Women's Division III National Tennis Tournament at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, chaired the Women's Division III National Basketball Committee, and exemplifies the NJCAA ideals of leadership and excellence.
Jason Palladini, a biology major student, is now enjoying a two-month summer internship in the Material Science Laboratory at the University of Texas, Austin. In addition to a $1000 stipend from the University of Texas, Jason will receive $3,000 from the National Science Foundation's Pathways to Chemical Technology Education and Careers grant co-sponsored by York College and BCC. He will be working on synthesis and characterization of transition metal oxides for lithium ion batteries and fuel cells.
Finally, we're already counting the days till the fall opening of our newest building, a truly impressive addition to a campus known for its landmark architectural gems. North Hall and Library will house our campus library, a state of the art Information Commons, new study areas and 15 "smart classrooms." More about that later. In the meantime, I hope you will "save the date" for our September 21 ribbon cutting ceremony.
Sincere best wishes for a productive and relaxing summer.