Dear Friends, Alumni and Colleagues:
The Fall 2013 semester got off to a great start as we continue to expand on those initiatives that make successful student outcomes our number one priority. At our 2013 convocation, I had the pleasure of handing out our second annual employee recognition awards:
Our First Year Seminars reach more new BCC students than ever – and now we have proof the program works. Fall 2012 FYS students had higher end-term GPAs than those who did not take part in the program. The conclusion: give our scholars attention and guidance when they first arrive and they're more likely to leave in a cap and gown. Across our campus there are many fresh faces who are bringing with them fresh energy and ideas. Dr. Claudia V. Schrader is our dynamic Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. The College is also now benefitting from the talents of Mr. Mark J. Lennerton, the Director of the Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT), and Ms. Marie Lourdes Elgirus, the Director of the International Education and Study Abroad Program. Welcome to all!
Our programs for studying and volunteering abroad were the subject of the first installment of “Defining What Matters,” a monthly half-hour TV program I’m hosting on BronxNet that looks at issues of importance to BCC and the community it serves. To further extend the global reach of the College, I visited Romania over the summer and signed a protocol of cooperation for academic exchanges with the president of Ovidius University in Constanta, Romania
Sometimes we leave our campus for the larger world – and sometimes we bring the outside world to our campus. For instance, I am leading an effort to establish a Haitian Studies Institute here at BCC. A major step toward that goal occurred in August when The City University of New York approved $180,000 to launch the crucial planning phase of the institute. My thanks to Interim Chancellor President William P. Kelly and Senior Vice Chancellor Jay Hershenson for their support of this project. I invite both of them to the ribbon cutting ceremony in the not-too-distant future!
BCC is in fact on a grant-winning streak. Thanks to funding from the New York State Education Department, we have a new lab for the Radiologic Technology program ($161,598), and we’re upgrading the automotive lab and curriculum to offer courses in diesel technology ($158,798). The New York City Council awarded us $112,000 to provide ESOL classes and other assistance to students who immigrated to the United States as children.
Thanks also to New York State, specifically the Office of Governor Cuomo, for choosing BCC to be the Bronx borough’s academic partner in Start-up New York. This statewide initiative, which formally launches at the start of the new year, will use generous tax incentives to stimulate business and workforce development. Eligible entrepreneurs will either start up new companies or expand existing ones on property owned or leased by community and four year colleges and universities. A major stipulation is that the partnering businesses align with and support the school’s academic mission by providing internships, job opportunities and other tangible benefits to the colleges and its students. I look forward to sharing more about this exciting opportunity in the coming months.
And finally, all of you are invited to visit our historic, landmark campus Sunday, December 15 at 3 p.m. for our free performance of "The Bronx Community Messiah," featuring the The Bronx Opera Chorus and The Orchestra of the Bronx. This presentation of Handel's masterpiece takes place in our Hall of Fame Playhouse. Free parking is available, and a spirited kick-off to the holiday season is virtually guaranteed.
Carole M. Berotte Joseph, President