• Conversations at the Center

  • The Problem and Opportunity of Patchwriting

    Tom Fink, English
    Tuesday, December 3, 2013, 2:15 - 3:15
    Location To Be Announced

    Professor Tom Fink of the English Department will make a brief presentation about his findings regarding student and faculty attitudes toward research writing, quotation, and plagiarism. Then, he will lead a discussion involving exploration of the line between proper quotation/attribution and plagiarism, including the problem and opportunity of patchwriting. The conversation will consider how faculty can develop instructional strategies to promote effective research writing.

    A professor of English at LaGuardia since 1981, Tom Fink did a sabbatical project on plagiarism during the 2012-2013 academic year. He is the author of  2 books of criticism, including "A Different Sense of Power": Problems of Community in Late-Twentieth Century U.S. Poetry (Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 2001), over 200 articles, reviews, and interviews, and 8 books of poetry, most recently Joyride (Marsh Hawk P, 2013). He has also co-edited 2 critical anthologies, including the forthcoming Reading the Difficulties (U of Alabama P, 2014), and a literature anthology. 

    Veterans and the Things They Carry to the Classroom:  Integrity, Commitment, Teamwork, and Leadership

    Bertha Fountain, Project Prove, and Emily Cohen, Social Science
    Tuesday, November 12, 2013, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
    Room E255

    Bertha Fountain, LMSW will discuss her work with veteran students in Project PROVE (Project for Return and Opportunity in Veterans Education), founded to serve student veterans by assisting their transition from military service to college life and beyond, currently available on seven CUNY campuses.  

     Dr. Emily Cohen, Social Science, has worked closely with military veterans and their families in the United States and Colombia through her anthropological research and her films, “Bodies at War” and “Virtual War.”   She will discuss her current work on the social implications of emergent simulation and virtual reality technologies in U.S. military medicine. Dr. Cohen did her undergraduate work at UC Santa Cruz where she earned a BA in Anthropology.  She earned a  Ph.D. in Anthropology and a certificate in Culture and Media at NYU.  

    LaGuardia Students' Transformative Encounters with Diversity

    Rosemary Talmadge, Director of Organizational Development
    Tuesday, November 5 2013, 2:15 - 3:15 pm
    Room E518

    In a study undertaken for her doctoral research, Rosemary Talmadge talked with our students about their prior experiences with diversity and critical incidents with diverse peers and perspectives on campus. Students reflected on how these experiences may have changed them, prompting them to rethink, for example, the definitions of God, and the possibility of multiple Gods, or no Gods at all. Her research is distinguished by the presence of community college students whose voices she brings into the center of a scholarly conversation about the impact of campus diversity previously shaped by large scale survey data from four-year campuses. She will discuss her findings and invite colleagues into a discussion about the implications for our practice.

    Rosemary Talmadge is completing a Ph.D. in Human Development at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, California. Her doctoral research, set on this highly diverse and international campus, focused on how students’ experiences with diverse peers and view points may prompt them to question and perhaps revise their prior beliefs and assumptions. Her research was framed by theories of self-authorship and transformative learning and inspired by her prior diversity work with dialogues on race relations and religious diversity. She is the director of organizational development in the President’s Office at LaGuardia.

    The Skills/Knowledge Divide

    George Sussman, Social Science, Eduardo Vianna, Social Science, Linda Chandler, English
    Tuesday, October 29 2013, 2:15 - 3:15 pm
    Room E255

    We are pleased that George Sussman, Eduardo Vianna, both of Social Science  and Linda Chandler, English, will open our Fall line-up with diverse perspectives on the skills/knowledge divide. 

    George Sussman, Professor of History, asks:

    "What should an educated person know? In ancient Greece, the answer was grammar, rhetoric, and logic. To this "trivium," the medieval European universities added a “quadrivium” of arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. In the Song Dynasty in China, the works of Confucius and his followers formed the basis of knowledge. In each case, bodies of common knowledge enabled educated people to communicate with one another and to build new knowledge on an older foundation.

    But in higher education, at CUNY and elsewhere, the current criteria for assessment suggest that we no longer expect our students to acquire any knowledge at all, only skills. Instead, students must learn to “analyze,” “evaluate,” “interpret,” but not to “know.” Yet without knowledge, we cannot be “skilled.”

    For example, history students ask, “Do we have to know names and dates?” Yes, of course, we do. If we don’t know names and dates and places there is nothing to analyze, evaluate, and interpret.  Can we be “globally competent” without knowing where the Amazon River flows, where Islam is the dominant religion, or which countries are the world’s most populous? 

    At LaGuardia, we teach basic skills, but are we giving enough attention to teaching basic knowledge?"



    The 2012-13 theme was "The Whole Student, Body and Soul" and included the following events:

    Thinking Philosophically

    Richard Brown, Humanities
    Tuesday, October 30, 2012, 11:45 am - 12:45 pm
    Room E255

    Associate Professor of Philosophy at LaGuardia Community College, Richard Brown is also currently a drummer for Space Clamps (first band, the Distractions; first recording “Eternal Vigilance,” now lost to time). Richard curates the blog, Philosophy Sucks!, contributes to the blog Brains, and frequently presents on YouTube, where he currently offers his well-reviewed “Online Philosophy” course.

    At LaGuardia, Richard’s Introduction to Philosophy course in the mind-themed cluster Brain, Mind, and Consciousness complements his research in the philosophy of mind, consciousness studies, and the foundations of cognitive science. He also has interests in the philosophy of language, metaethics, logic, the philosophy of logic, and the history of philosophy.

    At the moment, Richard is organizing the 2013 Consciousness Online Conference, and preparing for the Third Annual Qualia Fest, an East Village event that celebrates the music of philosophers and neuroscientists.

    Richard will discuss with interested colleagues all of the above, with a special emphasis on his LaGuardia course, Introduction to Philosophy, in which he guides students to pursue the meanings and skills of philosophical inquiry, argumentation and reflection.


    Emerging Identities: Integrative Learning and ePortfolio
    Bret Eynon, Associate Dean, Academic Affairs

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012, 1:00 -2:00 pm
    Room E500

    Associate Dean Eynon will lead a discussion on new developments in social pedagogies and uses of ePortfolio to foster integrative learning.

    Creating Student Life
    Michael Baston, Vice President, Student Affairs

    Click here to see Vice President Baston's powerpoint presentation

    Tuesday, October 2, 2012, 1:00 -2:00 pm
    Room E500

    "Predicated on new and innovative approaches to providing a learner-centered experience, the concept of student achievement at LaGuardia encompasses mind, body and soul. To enhance student life, we must create experiences that inspire students’ self-actualization through intellectual development, local and global service, healthy lifestyle choices, and an appreciation of leadership opportunities and intracultural diversity."

    We invite all members of our community for a conversation with Vice President Michael Baston about how the whole College can participate in forming these experiences, and how together we can identify and improve outcomes that embrace the whole student.



    Healing through Storytelling
    Presenters:  Vanessa Bing (Social Science), Joanna DeLeon (Women's Center), Priscilla Stadler (CTL)

    Tuesday, May 22, 2012, 2:15 - 3:15 pm
    Room E255

    Using images, video, and music in conjunction with personal narrative, students and staff are developing short but powerful digital stories about their experiences with domestic violence.  Organized by the Women's Center and the Center for Teaching and Learning  this workshop series has created a "safe space" where participants can express themselves in a supportive, creative environment and learn to become advocates/activists in the effort to end domestic violence.  Come and hear about the project, the challenges, and the power of digital storytelling. 


    Making It Work: Faculty/Student Research Collaborations
    Presenters: Natural Sciences Faculty - Maria Entezari, Holly Porter-Morgan, Preethi Radhakrishnan , and Karim Sharif

    Monday, May 7, 2012, 2:15 - 3:15 pm
    Room E255


    Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work closely with students on a collaborative research project that may lead to publications?  How are students affected by working so closely with faculty ?   What makes such collaborations most effective?

    To learn more, come and hear about the research projects that Natural Sciences faculty are working on together with their students.   Faculty and students will briefly describe their projects, and discuss both the challenges and successes of their collaborative efforts.


    About the Brown Bags

    The Brown Bag Conversations: Tuesdays at the Center series offers an opportunity for LaGuardia faculty throughout the college to present on the topics that most interest them. Initiated in 2000, this popular series has provided a broad spectrum of activities with topics ranging from "How Can We Help Fix Our Water:  Environmental Science Adventures at the Newtown Creek"  to "Educating for a Global Citizenry". The Brown Bag series provides a valuable informal forum for faculty wishing to get input on their presentations, or to connect with colleagues from across the college who are interested in similar themes or research. Each year the Center hosts between 12 - 15 Brown Bag Conversations.