INDO-CUNY EVENT ON CLIMATE CHANGE CREATED VIRTUAL GREEN UNIVERSITY SPEARHEADED BY BRONX COMMUNITY COLLEGE
On April 4, 2022, an Indo-CUNY conference organized by Professors Neal Phillip and Paramita Sen of the BCC Department of Chemistry, Earth Sciences and Environmental Sciences, brought together a distinguished group of representatives from the Indian government, Indian universities, the Slovakia UN Ambassador, BCC President Dr. Thomas A. Isekenegbe, BCC Provost Dr. Lester Sandres Rápalo and faculty members from CUNY and Columbia University to discuss climate change, renewable energy, air pollution, water resources and other sustainability collaborative efforts in India and the United States.
The ultimate goal of the conference was achieved with the creation of a virtual Green University Network between BCC, CUNY, and Indian Universities. The Green University Network will also provide a platform for other countries to participate, including Slovakia, the Security Order of Malta, Spain, and Australia, among others.
BCC has collaborated with Indian educational institutions since 2019 and conducted webinars and provided other tools to learn about climate change and its impact on local communities in India.
Dr. Phillip noted “We can no longer talk about sustainability efforts. We need to put them into practice. The Green University Network will provide a place for the exchange of ideas about climate change and other sustainability efforts between faculty and students around the world.” Prof. Sen added, “BCC/CUNY will lead this effort putting the College on the global map for innovation surrounding climate change.”
Professor Sunaina Singh, Vice Chancellor of Nalanda University and a key member of India’s Ministry of External Affairs spoke about her country’s prior work with BCC/CUNY and invited BCC President Dr. Thomas A. Isekenegbe to visit Bihar, India to see firsthand what has been achieved.
Dr. Michal Mlynár, Ambassador for the Permanent Mission of Slovakia to the United Nations in New York, pledged his country’s support of the Green University Network and ongoing sustainability efforts and also invited further discussions for BCC/CUNY to visit Slovakia
Beginning in January 2023, and continuing in January 2024 and January 2025, as part of BCC’s $300,000 National Science Foundation International Research Experiences for Students grant, eleven BCC/CUNY students will visit India in each year to conduct air pollution research with Professors Phillip and Sen along with faculty and student counterparts from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and Delhi campuses. This is the first such research grant with a study abroad component received by BCC, and which will cover all expenses and provide students with a stipend of $2,000 for the time spent in India conducting research