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  •  LaGuardia Community College Graduate Creates Successful Design Business on Campus

    LaGuardia Community College Graduate Creates Successful Design Business on Campus


    Design Business


    Long Island City, NY—Oct. 21, 2014—Nadira El Khang enrolled at LaGuardia Community College four years ago to learn English and pursue a secondary degree in accounting.


    But El Khang, who had already earned a college degree in her native Morocco, also saw an opportunity at LaGuardia to grow her online business. 


    Today, thanks to hard work and resources she was able to access at LaGuardia, El Khang holds an Associate’s Degree in Accounting and is the proud owner of the thriving NADIRABAG company.  


    El Khang started at LaGuardia in 2010. In the midst of her studies she created an online store to showcase her handmade leather bags on Etsy.com, an online marketplace for handcrafted products. El Khang developed a love for working with leather - an old and rich Moroccan tradition - as a child while working in her father’s store in Marrakesh’s famous Jamaa el Fna marketplace, where she would repair antique rugs and leather bags. 


    One day in 2012, she spotted a poster on LaGuardia’s campus announcing the Capital One Entrepreneurship Program, which offers free business training for students who want to grow or start a business. The program, a partnership between Capital One Bank and NYDesigns, a business incubator at the college for design and technology companies, offers a 12-week training in which students participate in weekly workshops, one-on-one business consultations, and advisement sessions with mentors from Capital One Bank and resident designers at NYDesigns. It concludes with a competition in which students present their business plans to a panel of judges and compete for up to $1,000 in start-up capital. 


    Established in 2008, the program has served 75 students, with 9 more expected to graduate in December, 2014.


    El Khang was not only accepted into the program based on her idea of a handmade leather bags online business. Her presentation also won the $1,000 prize. She used the money to buy materials and a camera to photograph her bags for her website.


    “They helped me, step by step,” said El Khang. “I needed guidance on everything for running a business: marketing, branding and a logo, business cards. After the program, my business was professional.”


    “As a local bank, we are committed to investing in Queens and helping our community to grow and thrive,” said Theresa Bedeau, vice president, Community Development Banking at Capitol One. “By fostering entrepreneurship and enabling students like Nadira to gain real-world business experience, we are working to develop the future business leaders of our community.” 


    El Khang readied herself for her next career move even before graduating from LaGuardia last June. She was accepted as a NYDesigns resident client and moved her workspace from home to a studio in the incubator, which is located on LaGuardia’s campus. El Khang said at NYDesigns she has found a forum where she can share with and learn from a community of 20+ design business owners and receive business counseling and other professional, pro-bono services provided to NYDesigns clients. Incubator residents also have access to a fabrication workshop with equipment to work with wood and plastic, and a digital lab with a large-scale laser cutter and 3D printer.


    El Khang now has 180 items for sale on her new website, nadirabag.com., including custom-made handbags, backpacks and satchels, journal and notebook covers, iPad cases and men’s and women’s wallets. She follows the tradition of “trace, cut, hole punch, sew,” making each piece a unique combination of old and intricate artistry with modern fashion that is reflected in the buckles, snaps, straps and other details.  


    “NYDesigns has been so helpful with everything, especially with the marketing, which is so important for running a business in the US,” said El Khang. “My expenses have increased, but so has my revenue—by about 30%. And now I have a place of business where I can meet with clients, for them to pick up their orders or to show them my products in person. I used to meet with them in Bryant Park or at Starbucks. This is much more professional.” 


    “We support design and tech businesses at different stages of growth,” said NYDesigns Director Natalia Argüello. “It has been a rewarding experience to see Nadira grow as a professional and entrepreneur in the past couple of years. Her participation in our incubator program is a reflection of NYDesigns' mission to diversify the industries we serve. We are thrilled to share her success story and encourage other minority women to follow her lead.”


    Besides regularly employing her acquired knowledge of accounting into running her business, El Khang has drawn upon other resources within the college. As a requirement for her major, she completed an internship in LaGuardia’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC), where subsequently she was referred to


    FEG’s Women's Enterprise Action Loan Fund (WEALF), which gave her a $5,000 interest-free loan. And it was SBDC Director Rosa Figueroa who suggested El Khang apply to NYDesigns.


    A LaGuardia teacher nominated El Khang for the school’s ePortfolio Student Scholars Project, where she got help creating a more robust ePortfolio (an electronic venue through which students can record and display their educational goals and achievements.)  Her ePortfolio, which featured her business, was displayed on the Scholars’ Gallery page of the ePortfolio website – and won her a $460 stipend.


    “I appreciate the experience I got at LaGuardia,” said El Khang. “If you need something, just ask. Everybody is helpful.”


    El Khang plans to pursue a graduate degree in finance but also hopes to open a store in Long Island City.


    “I want to bring people here, instead of them always going into Manhattan,” she said.


    She also plans to give back to the community, by helping women in particular.


    “I want to hire two women employees by January or February. They may not have a degree but will have ‘hand skills’ to help me with the sewing. I will offer them the chance to make their work schedule around ESL classes here at the college,” she noted.


    “I love LaGuardia,” said El Khang. “This feels like a second home.” 


    •     •     •     •


    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit  www.laguardia.edu to learn more. 





     BET Reporter Samson Styles SharesSecond Chances With LaGuardia Community College Students

    BET Reporter Samson Styles Shares Second Chances With LaGuardia Community College Students


    Samson Styles BET 


    Long Island City, NY— October 21,2014Black Entertainment Television News Reporter and Documentarian Samson Styles brought his inspirational message to LaGuardia Community College, urging students try hard to make the right choices in life.


    “Most of my challenges came from making poor decisions,” Styles said. “Not a lot of people get second changes like I did. Where I come from, a lot of people are lucky to finish high school.”


    More than one hundred students gather in the E-Building atrium to hear Styles.  The LaGuardia Step Team opened the event with a rousing performance. Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Michael Baston and Director of Student Life Kevin Jordan welcomed Styles to campus.


    "Sampson Style's journey reminds all of us that where we start in life does not always dictate where we can go or who we can become,” Baston said. “We are pleased to welcome him to LaGuardia and we encourage all in our community to believe in, and however possible, support second chances. We never know when we ourselves may be the one in need of a second chance."


    “Stories are the windows into your life,” Jordan said. “This gentleman has come to tell his story, and when he tells his story you are invited to think about your own story.”


    Styles’ visit as arranged by Darren Ferguson, Project Coordinator of LaGuardia’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion. Styles is shooting a segment on Ferguson for his BET program, “Second Chances,” which profiles people who create successful careers after leaving prison.


    Styles’ talk was his story, which explained how he turned his life around after serving eight years in jail.


    Styles’ parents moved the family to the Louis H. Pink Houses in Brooklyn’s East New York neighborhood when he was eight years old, from Park Slope, Brooklyn.


    He started acting tough to fit in with his new crowd.


    “Some adversity you face is circumstantial, you have no control over,” Styles said. “But some adversity is made worse by poor choices.”


    Styles was nine years old when he started picking pockets with a group of neighborhood teens. “We used to call it getting money,” he said. “My mother would get calls from the local police precinct saying they picked up her son for this and that.”


    A good student, Styles said he “dumbed himself down” to fit in with his new friends. He kept running the streets. At 12 years old he did 18 months in juvenile detention. At 15 he was with a friend who killed someone and spent seven years in the penitentiary.


    “Again, I faced adversity because of my poor decision making,” Styles told LaGuardia students.


    Released in 2014, Styles returned to Brooklyn hoping to get into the recording industry but a friend persuaded him film was a better choice. Styles started shooting underground girl fights in Brownsville. A trailer he made from films of several fights was impressive enough to get him an interview with BET hierarchy, where he started filming segments for one of the network’s newsmagazines.


    Styles told the LaGuardia students that being on television did not insulate him from offers to resume the lifestyle that got him sent to prison.  “But I turned down those opportunities,” he said. “I wanted to do positive things in the community.


    “I’m letting you know that being here, in school, you are on the right path,” Styles said. “You might feel sometimes that you can’t make it, but ask yourself how many adversities you put on yourself.


    “To be here at LaGuardia and be able to inspire and motivate  students, that’s how I motivate myself,” Styles said.


    Last summer LaGuardia's Division of Adult and Continuing Education, working with the city Department of Corrections, completed the first phase of a pilot job training program for women in the Rose M. Singer Center on Riker’s Island.  


    "Having Samson Styles here at LaGuardia was a great opportunity to see what we can do with determination and a made up mind, even after being victimized by our own poor choices,” Ferguson said. “Mr. Styles showed our students, through his personal testimony, that success on a grand scale is possible even after what seems like a life altering error."

     

     •     •     •     •


    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

     Vice President of Continuing Education at LaGuardia Wins National Award

     Vice President of Continuing Education at LaGuardia Community College Wins National Award

    Jane Schulman

    Left to right, Dr. Ann Feibel, Associate Dean/Academic Affairs, LaGuardia; Shannon Bryant, Associate Dean/Continuing Education, LaGuardia; Dr. Jane MacKillop, Associate Dean/Continuing Education, LaGuardia; Jane Schulman, Vice President/Continuing Education, LaGuardia; Francesca Fiore, Assistant Dean/Continuing Education, LaGuardia; Dr. Miriam Deitsch, Distinguished Professor, State University of New York;  Reine Sarmiento, Assistant Dean/Student Affairs, LaGuardia; and Paul Schulman, President and COO of  US Commercial Operations, Brookfield Office Properties.


    Long Island City, NY—October 16, 2014—Jane E. Schulman, Vice President of the Division of Adult and Continuing Education at LaGuardia Community College, has been given the National Leadership Award by the National Council for Continuing Education & Training (NCCET).
     
    The award is presented to an individual who has contributed to the field of community services programming, continuing professional education, workforce and economic development, or learning technologies, and has demonstrated support for NCCET.

    LaGuardia’s Division of Adult and Continuing Education (ACE) serves over 25,000 adults, youth and businesses yearly in a wide variety of workforce development, pre-college and business programs, courses and services.  
     
    “Jane Schulman is a gift to LaGuardia and to our community. She leads one of the most vibrant and effective adult and continuing education programs in the nation,” said Gail O. Mellow, President of LaGuardia. “A member of the college’s pioneering staff, she understands the needs of our community and has launched innovative programs that successfully help thousands of students get the education and skills they need to improve their lives.”

    At the college for over 30 years, Ms. Schulman has greatly contributed to making LaGuardia a city, state and national model in the field of adult and continuing education.  She has secured grant funding of more than $35 million, and created and promoted numerous entrepreneurial programs. 

    In 2009, LaGuardia was chosen by Goldman Sachs as the first community college to launch the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative. Ms. Schulman spearheaded the development of the program at LaGuardia. 
    Today over 400 small businesses have graduated from the program, having grown their companies and created jobs in their communities.

    Other innovative ACE initiatives include the Bridge to College and Careers Program, a contextualized curriculum model that has increased the pass rate for those taking the High School Equivalency Exam and helped them gain access to higher education and employment, as well as several integrated education and workforce training programs that assist underserved populations in developing basic educational and vocational skills simultaneously in order to enter or advance in a professional career and increase their earning potential. 

    Ms. Schulman is recognized by the New York State Education Department as a leader in career development and has authored training materials that have been implemented statewide.   

    She received her Bachelors of Science in Education from State University of New York at New Paltz and a Masters of Science in Guidance and Counseling from Brooklyn College, City University of New York.

    The award was presented at the NCCET annual conference in Denver. 


    •     •     •     •

     

    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success education underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit  www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

     Japanese First Lady Presents 115 Books to LaGuardia Community College

    Japanese First Lady Presents 115 Books to LaGuardia Community College


    Abe


    Long Island City, NY— October 10, 2014—Japanese Ambassador and Consul-General Sumio Kusaka this week presented LaGuardia Community College President Dr. Gail O. Mellow with over one hundred books to be used in LaGuardia’s Japanese language learning classes. The books and plaque were gifts from Japanese First Lady Madame Akie Abe in appreciation of the reception she received when she visited LaGuardia in September 2013


    The Consul-General also gave President Mellow a baked clay plaque signed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and etched with the calligraphy character of the word “Dream.”


    From relief efforts undertaken by the College community on behalf of Japanese earthquake victims to it’s growing Japanese language program, LaGuardia Community College’s ties to Japan have been growing steadily since Japanese was offered as a major in Spring 2014. The books were the latest exchange between LaGuardia and Japan. In May, Ambassador Kusaka gave LaGuardia a commendation for establishing strong ties to Japan and establishing a Japanese studies program.


    View photos from the event on LaGuardia’s Flickr photostream:


    https://www.flickr.com/photos/laguardiaccollege/sets/72157648165578899/


    “It is hoped that both gifts will inspire students here at LaGuardia Community College to continue their Japanese studies and love of Japan, and by doing so, this will bring our countries closer together,” the Consul-General said. “These gifts are also in recognition of LaGuardia’s College’s excellent and extensive teaching of Japanese language, culture and history.”


    The 115-book collection included books for Japanese language learners, dictionaries, novels and Manga comics. Ambassador Kusaka said the gifts “are meant as sincere thanks from the First Lady for the warm hospitality shown to her when she visited here last September. First Lady Abe was very impressed by LaGuardia students, faculty and staff members for their passion to learn and teach about Japan. She hopes her donation of books can further the Japanese studies you undertake here.”


    Noting that she keeps the commendation the Consul-General presented to LaGuardia earlier this year in her office, Dr. Mellow accepted the gifts, which she said affirms LaGuardia’s connection to Madame Abe,  “a brilliant and exciting part of a new Japan, and the visionary leadership of her husband.”


    Dr. Mellow noted that the “Dream” etching in the Prime Minister’s own hand “is very special and very moving to us, because for the students we have here at LaGuardia, the dream of being able to have education make a difference in their lives, and to be very rooted in the America but not lose some of the Japanese they have, the language and the culture, is very powerful.


    “So we will take the Prime Minister’s words to heart, and, Ambassador, yours as well, and strive to have an ongoing friendship and continue our ability to highlight for our students the power and beauty of Japan.”


    LaGuardia Provost Paul Arcario joined Professor Tomonori Nagano, Dean Ann Feibel, and Luce Heritage Language Scholarship recipients Rachael Stuyvesant, William Tsuda and Kazuko Kobayashi in thanking the Consul-General for conveying the gift to LaGuardia. 


    “LaGuardia Community College is honored to have so many wonderfully enriching ties to Japan, two traditional Japanese cherry blossom tress, sakuras, were planted in our grass courtyard two years ago, thanks to the generosity and goodwill of the Japanese government. Our students’ cultural horizons will continue to expand as they learn about Japan from this marvelous collection. Thank you,” said Provost Arcario.


    “Thank you so much for this lovely gift,” said student William Tsuda, who, after teaching himself Japanese in an attempt to reconnect to his heritage culture and language. “Thanks to the Luce program my dream to speak fluent Japanese and learn more about my cultural heritage is becoming a reality. These books will help students like me and others who want to learn more about Japanese culture, history and language.”


    Speaking in Japanese, Kazuko Kobayashi, another Japanese heritage language student in the College’s Luce program also offered heartfelt thanks.


    “Our relationship with Japan is very strong. We’re looking forward to meeting with students from Hosei University when they come to visit our campus next month. Last year we welcomed students from Chuo University, and our students have also visited Japan. “


    In May 2013, 46 CUNY students took an all-expenses paid trip to Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan as part of the “Kakehashi – Bridge for Tomorrow” Youth Exchange Program.


    The collection will be kept in LaGuardia’s Education and Language Acquisition Department.


    •     •     •     •


    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

     Japanese Educators Visit LaGuardia Community College to Learn about ePortfolios

    Japanese Educators Visit LaGuardia Community College to Learn about ePortfolios


    Japanese delegation

     

    Long Island City, NY— Oct. 7, 2014 – A group of LaGuardia Community College administrators, staff and students recently hosted a delegation of Japanese educators on for a day-long discussion of LaGuardia’s ePortfolio  and Outcomes Assessment programs.


    Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Bret Eynon, founding Director of the Making Connections National Resource Center, joined a host of LaGuardia officials including Provost Paul Arcario, Professor Tomonori Nagano, Faculty Outcomes Assessment Director Debra Engel, Director of ePortfolio Dr. Mercedes Del Rosario, Bernard Polnariev, Administrative Executive Officer for Academic Affairs, Assistant Dean Howard Wach, and Laura Gambino, Acting Dean for Assessment and Technology at Guttman Community College in briefing the Japanese delegation on how student ePortfolios have been integrated into the LaGuardia system.



    The discussion was titled “Student Success through a redesigned First Year Experience and an award winning Outcomes Assessment model grounded in ePortfolio.” LaGuardia’s ePortfolio system is used to collect student work for learning outcomes assessments.



    The Japanese delegates included Kansai University of International Studies President Atsushi Hamana, Kanai University Human Sciences Professor Kiyoshi Fujiki, Kansai University Professor of Organization of Common Education Takanori Kitaoka, and Tatsuo Kawashima, Professor of Higher Education in the Strategic Planning Office at Osaka University.


    The delegates received a crash course in ePorfolio creation and use from Del Rosario and a host of LaGuardia officials, including Student Success Mentors Genesis Baque and Kaltrina Lajqi, who each showed the delegates their personal ePortfolio pages and fielded a series of questions from the visitors.


    Dr. Hamana said Japan tried to institute an ePortfolio–like system several years ago without success. Under LaGuardia’s system, student assignments are collected in ePortfolios, where faculty can assess them to determine which teaching strategies work best.

     

     Polnariev said to date more than 40,000 student data points gleaned from ePortfolios have been studied, powerfully demonstrating how students learn in all core competencies from freshman to graduation.

     

    Professor Nagano said LaGuardia has a long history of collaboration with Japanese delegations. In May the Japan’s Consul General, Ambassador Sumio Kusaka, presented a commendation to LaGuardia Community College for establishing strong ties with his country and for building a rich Japanese studies program in the school.


    •     •     •     •


    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

     

    ###

     LaGuardia Community College Food Cart Vendors Know Staff and the Students They Serve

    LaGuardia Community College Food Cart Vendors Know Staff and the Students They Serve

    halal   

    Long Island City, NY—September 30, 2014—LaGuardia Community College students, faculty and staff love eggs, aren’t as picky eaters as folks in other parts of the city, and love to snack between classes.

     

    This information comes from people who know the food cart vendors along Thomson Avenue, who feed hundreds of LaGuardia community members each school day.

     

    “My business philosophy is always to have a business around schools and students because they eat all the time,” said Elsayed, who has run the Mando Halal Food cart since 2000.

     

    “Students are easy to serve,” said John, who did not want his last name used. John runs the Coffee Bagel Cart near Van Dam Avenue and says he sells close to fifty egg sandwiches a day, making them one of his top selling dishes.

     

    “LaGuardia students are very patient, very, very patient,” said Juho Kim, who has been running the popular Yogi Food Cart by himself since his assistant had a hernia operation. “Kids always have a next class so they have to run. I feel so bad that they have to wait, but it’s only me. I do everything as fast as I can, but they keep waiting, waiting.”

     

    LaGuardia Community College, known as “The World’s Community College,” has one of the most diverse student bodies in New York City, with students from more than 157 countries, speaking over 111 languages.

     

    Yet, they have a lot in common. They share the dream of creating a better future for themselves and their families, and if you ask the vendors—they like to eat.

     

    Mohamad Mohamad’s Habbia Cart specializes in breakfast items “because there is a lot of competition for lunch,” Mohamad said.

     

    Carts offer speed, good food and low prices, Mohamad said, which makes them competitive. But having a business on wheels doesn’t diminish the need to service your customers if you expect them to come back, Mohamad said. 

     

    “We sell things cheap that can fill you up, something nice they can afford,” he said. “Go to a restaurant and they sell you a cup of coffee for $4 or $5 and you stay a half hour.”

     

    “Here the coffee is seventy five cents to one dollar and we talk and have fun,” Mohamad said. “If he has a problem with the cup we give him another one, no problem.”

     

    The men live in Queens and Brooklyn. They all tow their carts on the back of their cars or panel vans each workday from storage yards where they are kept overnight. Some of the yards restock the carts overnight, while some of the owners make their food at home and replenish the carts themselves each morning.

     

    Their stories of how they came to run their businesses are as colorful and intriguing as those of many of their LaGuardia customers.

     

    Elsayed graduated from law school in his native Alexandria, Egypt, but decided law was not for him. “I did it for my father,” he said. “He wanted me to be a lawyer. When I graduated I gave him the certificate.”

     

    Elsayed’s father was a spice merchant, and his son was able to put his knowledge of a variety of condiments to good use in his cart even though he didn’t cook when he moved here in 1986. He worked several jobs, including dishwasher at a Port Jefferson, NY restaurant.

     

    One night the restaurant’s chef stormed out after having words with the owner. Elsayed said he “knew everything about the kitchen” and stepped in to do prep work. He cooked there for ten years.

     

    His food vendor career got off to a rocky start. “The first day, nobody knew me so nobody came,” he said. “I made forty dollars and had to throw away almost eight hundred dollars worth of food because I could not keep it. It was rough. But over time it got better.”

     

    Kim owned a nail salon in Stony Brook when he saw a newspaper advertisement from a man, who happened to be Korean, who wanted to sell his food cart. “I had lived in France with a woman who taught me to cook some things, and I would cook for my wife and daughter,” he said.

     

    Kim sold the salon and bought the cart, one of the more popular food stands on the street with dishes like teriyaki chicken. With his assistant out, that success has meant more work for him. “It’s a lot of work; you have no idea,” he said. “If I knew that before, I might not have done it.”

     

    Mohamed majored in sports therapy in Egypt, but found the additional courses he’d have to take to be certified here too expensive when he immigrated here ten years ago.

     

    He said he worked a variety of jobs, including on a food truck near Columbia University Medical Center. Mohamed learned the business from scratch, and there was a lot to learn.

     

    “You have to learn how to use gas, how not to burn yourself, which food to cook first cause it takes longer,” he said.  “It is not easy stuff, because if the customer is not satisfied they are not going to come back.”

     

     Mohamed rents his cart, which specializes in lunch items like kebabs and sausages, from a man named John, who Mohamed said worked the cart for almost two decades but gave up after enduring the brutal cold last winter.

     

    Business is good, but tighter because competition from other carts “means you can’t raise your prices.”

     

    John, from the Philippines, has been in New York for fifteen years and has run his cart on the same corner outside LaGuardia for ten years. He taught himself to cook, he said, experimenting with recipes at home.  “Though the ten hour days are hard,” John said what he likes most about the work is that “my inventory is low and I don’t have to worry about overhead costs.”

     

    Last summer, when the LaGuardia Community College Foundation was challenged to raise $500K for the students’ scholarships, LaGuardia reached out to local businesses.  Each of the vendors in this story contributed to the LaGuardia Million Dollar Challenge. 

     

    “I was a student too, so I have feelings for them,” said Elsayed.Today he’s a student. Tomorrow we don’t know what he will be. You have to support him. Today you have to give back,” he said. “That is what we did.”

    yogi


    •     •     •     •


    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

     Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program at LAGCC Receives $5 Million for Education Center

    Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program at LaGuardia Community College Receives $5 Million for Education Center


    Long Island City, NY—August 1, 2014—The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program at LaGuardia Community College is about to receive a $5 million boost, courtesy of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State of New York.

    The capital money will be used to create the 10,000 Small Businesses Education Center, which will permanently house the program that helps entrepreneurs grow their companies and create jobs.

    “The students at New York City’s public colleges and universities have provided the world with game-changing ideas in fields ranging from healthcare to manufacturing. Through the CUNY 2020 program we are maximizing those ideas to create economic opportunity for New Yorkers,” Governor Cuomo said. “The first round of CUNY 2020 projects will help link some of our best and brightest students with positions in high-tech sectors, while leveraging their academic excellence to support economic development and create new opportunities throughout the New York City area. By funding these eight projects we are making an investment in New York’s future, and I am proud to present these awards to the first round of CUNY 2020 recipients.”

    “We’ve seen through our 10,000 Small Businesses program that public-private partnerships can spur job creation, strengthening communities,” said Lloyd C. Blankfein, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs. “We are proud that the program has served as a catalyst for Governor Cuomo’s Economic Development Fund’s investment in LaGuardia Community College and know that the Center will become an important resource to small business owners in New York.”

    “This extraordinary partnership between LaGuardia and Goldman Sachs has helped numerous small business owners gain the skills they need to make their businesses flourish and hire new employees,” said LaGuardia Community College President Gail O. Mellow. “This $5 million capital grant from Governor Cuomo will create a permanent home for the program and allow us to strengthen our work with local businesses.”

    The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program at LaGuardia provides practical business management education that helps participants develop the skills needed to helm a successful business.

    Participants attend 11 class sessions, receive business support services and one-on-one help from a team of business professionals to create a business plan tailored to their company needs.

    Nearly 450 businesses have participated in the program to date, and the program will continue to serve approximately 100 businesses per year. Approximately 70 percent of graduates report increased revenues in businesses and 50 percent of graduates have created jobs.

    This infusion of public dollars represents the recognition of policy makers that the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is an effective driver of economic growth and job creation.

    Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is a $500 million national program designed to help small businesses in the United States create jobs and economic growth by providing entrepreneurs with practical business education, access to capital and business support services.

    The $5 million is part of $55 million in grants CUNY and Empire State Development awarded to eight economic development projects involving 20 CUNY campuses. The grants are designed to connect academic institutions with entrepreneurship to stimulate the local economic development.

    •     •     •     •


    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is  a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success education underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit  www.laguardia.edu to learn more.




     The David Grainger Foundation presents the LaGuardia Community College Foundation with $5000

    The David Grainger Foundation Presents the LaGuardia Community College Foundation with $5000


    Grainger pic

    Long Island City, NY—July 1, 2014—Grainger Industrial Supply officials present LaGuardia Community College President Gail O. Mellow with a $5,000 check from the David Grainger Foundation.


    Taking part in the ceremony, from left to right, are Grainger Account Manager Jim Dodson; Dr. Mellow; LaGuardia student and scholarship recipient Enes Malik Akdemir; Grainger Market Manager for Queens William Draghi; Grainger District Manager Tania Godoy; LaGuardia Community College Foundation Board Vice Chairman Suresh Sani; LaGuardia student and scholarship recipient Diriana Tejada; LaGuardia Vice President, Division for Institutional Advancement Susan Lyddon, and LaGuardia Vice President of Administration Shahir Erfan.


    •     •     •     •

    About the LaGuardia Community College Foundation

    The LaGuardia Community College Foundation ensures that ambitious students have the resources they need to receive a college education and improve their families’ lives. More than 70% of LaGuardia students come from homes where the annual family income is under $25,000. Since 2003, Foundation donors have contributed more than $8 million, which has provided scholarships, textbooks, transportation and tutoring for students in need. To learn more visit  www.laguardia.edu/Supporters-Friends/Home.

     

    About LaGuardia Community College

    A nationally recognized leader among community colleges, LaGuardia Community College was founded in 1971 as the ultimate experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today.  Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs.  Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average.  At LaGuardia, we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger.  Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

     

     Vanguard Director at LaGuardia Community College Wins Literacy Recognition Award

    Vanguard Director at LaGuardia Community College Wins Literacy Recognition Award


    Amy

    Long Island City, NY—June 20, 2014—Amy Dalsimer, Executive Director of Pre-College Academic Programs at LaGuardia Community College, has won a 2014 Literacy Recognition Award from the Literacy Assistance Center in New York. The annual award honors literacy practitioners for outstanding contributions to students, their program or the New York City literacy community. There were seven winners citywide this year.


    Ms. Dalsimer has been a trailblazer in contextualized and integrated instruction in the New York area for over 20 years. The Bridge to College and Careers Program (Bridge Program), which gears high school equivalency preparation towards careers and college readiness, as well as the Supporting Adults through Vocational EMT Training Program (S.A.V.E. EMT Program), which combines basic skills instruction with technical training, are two examples of innovative programs that she has pioneered and that have been instrumental in helping students achieve their educational and professional goals.


    “LaGuardia is on the cutting edge of developmental instruction for high school equivalency preparation and vocational training, thanks to Amy Dalsimer and her staff,” said Gail O. Mellow, President of LaGuardia. “They are creating groundbreaking methods of effective contextualized instruction that are serving as a model for the rest of the country.”


    The focus on math and literacy skills in the context of vocational training (called the NYBEST model, based on Washington State's Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) initiative) has proven successful. In the past four years, approximately 240 students have enrolled in the S.A.V.E. EMT Program, and 85% completed and passed the NY State EMT certification exam. Eighty percent of those were able to find employment with ambulance companies, the FDNY, and hospitals in the metro area. Now more New Yorkers have access to this career pathway, are realizing their career goals, and are serving New York City in providing vital pre-hospital emergency care. 


    The central feature of the Bridge Program is the implementation of contextualized, career-focused curricula. Contextualized instruction is a sector-based approach to developmental instruction that uses authentic materials from one career area to build basic skills. Ms. Dalsimer has led the curriculum development and program design for the Bridge Program since its inception, using the sectors of business, health and science. To date, more that 1,000 students have been served in the program. The GED exam pass rate of the last Bridge Program group that took the test in December 2013 was 67%, compared with New York State’s latest pass rate of 53% in 2012-13.


    Ms. Dalsimer has also been tireless in her efforts to provide training on this kind of instruction for other institutions and literacy professionals nationwide through her creation of and work in the College and Careers Pathways Institute at LaGuardia.


    “It has been my great pleasure and honor to work with adult learners for the last 25 years in their quest to improve their education and career prospects,” said Ms. Dalsimer. “The students’ hard work and the unwavering commitment of my colleagues in the adult education community have been my daily inspiration. I am proud to receive this recognition but consider it a shared honor that belongs to all of these remarkable adult students and their dedicated educators.”                                                                           


    The Bridge Program is funded by Robin Hood Foundation and the S.A.V.E. EMT Program is currently funded by the U.S. Department of Labor through its Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program. 


    Find out more about this year’s Literacy Recognition Awards at http://www.lacnyc.org/Awards.

       

    •     •     •     •

     

    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success education underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

     Met’s Legend Mookie Wilson Speaks at LaGuardia Community College
    Met’s Legend Mookie Wilson Speaks at LaGuardia Community College

    Mookie Wilson-press2

    Long Island City, NY—May 23, 2014— New York Met great Mookie Wilson proved as exciting a speaker as he was a baseball player Thursday during an afternoon appearance at LaGuardia Community College.

    The former Met right fielder and coach discussed growing up in the segregated South, the drastic reduction in the number of African-Americans playing professional baseball, and the need to exploit opportunities as they come your way during his keynote address to students, faculty and staff at the LaGuardia African Heritage 2014’s Sports and Race in America program, held in LaGuardia’s Little Theater.


    The program focused on how sports have played a historical role and continue to help break down barriers relating to inclusion, showing respect for people and their differences, promoting fairness and equity, and highlighting individual talents, experiences, and capabilities. The program also celebrated LaGuardia’s inaugural season in the NJCAA, honoring its LaGuardia Red Hawks men and women basketball teams, and its cheerleaders and step team.


    “Sports have taught me that you have to prove everyday that you are more than just a number,” Wilson said. “You have to prove you’re more than a follower, you’re a leader.”

    Wilson warned students against complacency.  “You still have to work, you still have to establish yourself, you still have to prove that you deserve the opportunity that you were given and show you are going to take advantage of it.”

    Wilson’s day at LaGuardia included a videotaped interview for the College’s archives, a meeting with the College’s President, Dr. Gail O. Mellow, an autograph session for students, faculty and staff, and a VIP luncheon for all.

    Dr. Mellow introduced Wilson to the assembly, saying, “he’s someone who understand the power of sports beyond the glitz and glamor.” While his athletic ability got him into college and allowed him to play baseball” at the highest level in the greatest city in the world,” Wilson said his success was not without obstacles.

    “The mistake that most of us make today is in thinking that if I’m a professional athlete, everything is going to go right,” he said. It’s going to help me get the American Dream, which is financial independence.”

    “But the American dream is about being happy with who you are,” Wilson said. “People say money can buy you friends. No. Money can buy you associates, and a posse.“


    Wilson said as the first black player on the University of South Carolina baseball team he was the target of racist taunts from opposing fans. But he said he never allowed himself to get upset because he knew he represented his school, his family and his race.


    Asked by LaGuardia Assistant Professor Habiba Boumlik in the Department of Education and Language Acquisition why the number of African-American players in major league baseball has dropped to eight percent today from twenty-eight percent in 1975, Wilson blamed budget cuts that have forced cities around the country to cut back or eliminate free or low cost baseball leagues for grade school kids.  “A lot of parents can’t afford these travel leagues,” he said. 

    Wilson said life after baseball has been busy. He is studying to be a minister at a church near his Columbia, SC home, but ventures to New York often where he works as a goodwill ambassador for his beloved Mets.

    Brian Goldstein, LaGuardia’s Director of the Department of Athletics and Recreation, presented Wilson with several gifts including a Red Hawks basketball jersey with his name on it.

    Wilson and coauthor Erik Sherman signed dozens of copies of his book, “Mookie; Life, Baseball & The ’86 Mets” for students, faculty and staff before heading to the College’s Poolside Café to dine on an African themed lunch that included West African Chicken Stew and Bobotie, a traditional African style meatloaf, as the Daniel Mixon Trio serenaded the packed room. Glancing around the room, Wilson said “If I ever teach, this is the kind of school I want to teach at.”

    For photographs of the event, please see our Flickr gallery.

    And the event page: African Heritage 2014




     

     LaGuardia Receives Commendation from the Consul General of Japan on May 22

    LaGuardia Community College Receives Commendation from the Consul General of Japan for Its Warm Ties with the Country and its Culture on May 22  

    Consul Japan General

    Long Island City, NY—May 29, 2014— Ambassador Sumio Kusaka the Consul General of Japan, in New York on May 22, presented a commendation to LaGuardia Community College for establishing strong ties with his country and for building a rich Japanese studies program that is exposing its students to the country’s language and culture. 


    The commendation was presented at a formal ceremony held at the consul general’s residence where faculty, staff, students, supporters of the College, and members of the consulate gathered to celebrate the honor bestowed upon LaGuardia.


    “LaGuardia, under the strong initiative taken by its president, Dr. Gail Mellow, and with the full support of the Consulate General of Japan in New York, has significantly contributed to the promotion of friendship between Japan and the U.S., as well as to the institutional enhancement of its Japanese programs, through the execution of a wide range of events and endeavors,” said Ambassador Kusaka, presenting the award along with a traditional gift to LaGuardia Community College President Dr. Gail O. Mellow.


    After giving her thanks on behalf of the College in Japanese, Dr. Mellow noted, “Our Japanese language program has100 students and it continues to grow. We’re so fortunate to have such a rich program that has been enhanced by so many wonderful events blooming with the beauty and knowledge inherent in Japanese culture.”


    Over the past several years, LaGuardia has developed a strong, and every expanding, Japanese academic and cultural program that is providing its students with a broad understanding of this fascinating Asian country.  


    “LaGuardia is known for being innovative, that’s why their modern language program is unique among community college, which typically do not have a language requirement,” said Queens Council Member Peter Koo, owner of Starside Drugs, a chain of local pharmacies in Flushing and a longtime supporter of the College, in his congratulatory remarks.


    In the academic arena, LaGuardia’s Japanese language program offers basic, intermediate and near-native level language courses that enroll 100 students each semester.  The Japan Foundation has helped the College to maintain and expand its Japanese language and culture course with a $38,441 grant.  And due to the growing popularity of the language courses, LaGuardia has established a Japanese studies major that received official approval from the State in February 2014.   


    On the cultural front, LaGuardia has hosted a panoply of special events.  Soh Daiko, the first established taiko drumming group on the East Coast, gave a performance that combined explosion percussion with dynamic choreography.  Mr. Hiroki Ohara, one of the youngest Japanese grandmasters in ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement, demonstrated this exquisite art form.  The ancient form of Japanese storytelling, rakugo, was performed by Mr. Katsura Sunshine.  Also hosted were workshops by Mr. Shu Kubo, a paper-cut artist, who visited New York on one of his government-funded tours; and Mr. Shuhei Hasado, one of Japan’s finest plaster craftsman, who was appointed as a Japan cultural envoy by the Agency for Cultural Affairs.    


    To further enrich the students’ understanding of its culture, the Japanese government last summer invited nine LaGuardia students to take part in an all-expense paid, 10-day study tour of Japan.  During the whirlwind tour, known as Kakehashi Bridge to Japan, the LaGuardia and 37 students from other CUNY colleges were immersed in the Japanese culture, sampling the country’s fine cuisine, visiting ancient temples and modern structures and learning about its art and traditional and pop culture.  


    The students who participated in the tour and those involved in the Japanese program got a rare treat when Madame Akie Abe, wife of the Prime Minister of Japan, paid a special visit to the College last September.  There she observed a Japanese language class and spoke with the students who participated in Kakehashi.


    When the devastating tsunami and earthquake shook Japan in 2011, the Japan club organized a three-day fundraiser and hosted a charity art exhibition to help in the relief efforts.  The following year, as a symbol of their friendship, the Japanese Consulate General presented the college with a gift of two cherry trees during the 100thanniversary celebration of the planting of Japan’s cherry blossom trees in New York. 


     “LaGuardia embodies the global community,” said LaGuardia Community College Board member Marilyn Skony Stamm, CEO of Stamm International, as guests raised champagne flutes in a celebratory toast.” It is an inspiring place where students can achieve their lifelong dreams. The College is committed to creating world citizens. Kam pai.”


    Guests enjoyed the finest sushi and other Japanese delicacies as they mingled in the palatial residence.


    View photos from the ceremony on Campus Snapshots, LaGuardia’s Flickr photostream: https://www.flickr.com/photos/laguardiaccollege/sets/72157644814055555/


    View more photos from the ceremony, courtesy of the Consul General:

    http://www.ny.us.emb-japan.go.jp/en/html/index.html

    •    •     •     •  


    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more. 

    ###

     LaGuardia Holds Town Hall as Three-Year Renovation of the C-Building Begins

    LaGuardia Community College HoldsTown Hall as

    Three-Year Renovation of the College’s C-Building Begins

    C Building Town Hall

    Long Island City, NY, May 27, 2014—Faculty, staff and students gathered on Monday, May 16 in LaGuardia Community College’s C-building at a town hall meeting to learn more about what to expect during the renovation of the C-building that is set to commence in June. The renovation of the 100-year-old C-building will include a façade renovation, lobby upgrade and redevelopment of the rear south side that is estimated to be completed in 2017.


    “This process will be hard, but we are fortunate to have experts who have working with us who not only have experience performing similar work but also have successfully completed similar projects for other CUNY colleges. We are in good hands,” said LaGuardia Community College President Dr. Gail O. Mellow to the attendees.


    Members of the College community learned more about what to expect during the construction process as representatives from CUNY, Mitchell | Giurgola Architects, TDX Construction Management, the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY), and key College personnel gave a presentation on the three-year long project followed by Q&A.


    Visit Campus Snapshots to view photos from the town hall: https://www.flickr.com/photos/laguardiaccollege/sets/72157644801913572/


    “Through a terra cotta curtain wall designed to increase the building’s durability and improve its energy usage and waterproofing ability, Mitchell | Giurgola Architects will transform the 20th century neoclassical elegance of the C-building’s façade into a vibrant, polished 21stcentury academic facility while maintaining the historical significance of the original design,” said Shahir Erfan, LaGuardia Community College Vice President for Administration, the division in charge of the project.


    The renovation will ease pedestrian traffic in the lobby; create a single, ADA access entry on Thomson Avenue; improve energy efficiency throughout the building by 11%; and add such external upgrades as a permeable paver strip in the new sidewalks that will reduce storm water runoff, as well the addition of 28 new trees.


    Funding for the project was secured through state and local disbursements as well as through CUNY support.


    Since faculty, staff and students will continue to occupy the building during construction, noise and disruptions to life in the C-building will be minimized, as most work will take place at night. Other changes to the flow of daily activities in and around the building include closure of certain building areas and rerouting of pedestrian traffic. 


    The IDCNY sign on the building’s roof will be replaced with LaGuardia Community College signage, tying the building to the rest of the College along Thomson Avenue. A 64% improvement in building envelope energy performance is projected, thanks to added insulation, and high performance windows that reduce solar heat gain with sunshades and fritted glass.


    A grassy area will replace a storage facility on the south side of the building that will be demolished, providing a courtyard space with trees for the College community to enjoy.


    “What about students who take evening classes, and during exams? How will this affect us?” asked Claudia Storian, Liberal Arts major asked during the Q&A.


    “Night work will commence at 10 p.m. when all evening classes are over,” said Vice President Erfan, “and faculty, staff and students can call our 24 hour hotline number listed on the C-building renovation section of the College’s website if work is disrupting their classes. There will be no noise disruption during exams periods.”


    In addition, night lighting concepts will bring brighter, safer streets to the vicinity of the building.


    LaGuardia is committed to keeping the College community informed and safe for the duration of this project. Regular updates on timing, scheduling and impact of the construction process on the College’s website, as well as through emails and signage in each campus building.


    Visit www.laguardia.edu/crenovation to learn more.

    • • • •

    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

     LAGCC Professor Exhibits at Reiss Studios
     LaGuardia Community College Professor Exhibits at Reiss Studios


    Long Island City, NY—May 19, 2014—LaGuardia Community College Professor Bruce Brooks' most recent work is on exhibit at Reiss Studios in Long Island City. But you have to hurry to see it - the show closes Friday.

    Brooks, LaGuardia's Program Director of Art and Photography and an instructor here for over forty years, said the thirty six pieces, most of them wall or painted constructions, were created over the last two years. Most are formal abstractions with a focus on color and composition and show an eclectic array of influences, from religion to Eastern, Western, and Middle Eastern art.

    "I also have a fascination with trains," said Brooks, "So you will see locomotives in some of the works." Brooks' eclecticism is reflected in the range of materials used in his compositions; wood, canvas, metal, plastic, acrylic, epoxy, oil and enamel are all employed in the show. 

    The exhibit also demonstrates Brooks' belief that painting, drawing and sculpture are one in the same.  
    "I always tell my students that painting is sculpturing," Brooks said. "The paint is a physical substance and has physical properties." 

    It is the artist's job to manipulate the physical properties of the raw material to create art, he said. Inspired to teach by a pair of particularly dedicated art teachers he had as a student, Brooks encourages his students to be free thinkers. "The most important thing is to think on your own," he said. "Artists are good at that."

    He's particularly proud that many of his LaGuardia students have gone on to four year colleges, some even to earn Masters of Fine Arts degrees.

    Brooks has mounted shows at the OK Harris gallery in Soho, as well as the Lawrence Oliver, Pam Adler, Frank Marino and OK Harris West galleries.

    He has exhibited at the Queens Museum, and has pieces in many public and private collections. "Art is a mirror of life," Brooks said. "It's an experience and it carries that with it. In terms of becoming a person, there really isn't anything more important than art."

    The exhibition is open from Noon to 5 p.m. at Reiss Studios, 43-01 22nd St. in Long Island City.
    The closing reception is from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, May 23.

    • • • •


    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

     LaGuardia Celebrated its 8th Annual Earth Day With Green Festivities

    LaGuardia Community College Celebrated its 8th Annual

    Earth Day with “Green” Festivities 

    Green Week Fun Run 2014

    Long Island City, NY—May 6, 2014—Eight years and counting, LaGuardia Community College’s “green” efforts continue to grow at our annual Earth Day celebration.  The Sustainability Council and its supporters hosted a three-day event that centered on this years theme, “Engineering Sustainable Solutions.”

     

    This year’s kick-off event engaged employees in a 5K fun run/walk for the environment.  Employees met at the Van Dam street entrance of LaGuardia’s E-building on Tuesday, April 29 and then made their way to Long Island City Park enjoying scenic views.  Green LaGuardia headbands were given to participants of the run/walk for their efforts in caring for the environment.

     

    The 8th annual Earth Day celebration took place in the College’s E-Atrium on Wednesday, April 30.  The tabling event featured academic and administrative departments, including LaGuardia’s Departments of Mathematics, Engineering and Computer Science and the Natural Sciences.  The Mathematics, Engineering and Computer Science department displayed LaGuardia’s first ever Earth Systems Science and Environmental Engineering (ESE) major which is set to begin next fall. 

     

    “If students are in the Environmental Engineering program they can use their knowledge to improve air quality and water.  They can work for the community to improve these conditions,” said Dr. Zahidur Rahman, assistant professor of the Mathematics, Engineering and Computer Science Department.

     

    The Sustainability Council set-up an eco footprint calculating exercise where students entered a raffle to win: an i-Pad, t-shirts and folders with this year’s logo designed by LaGuardia alumnus Fulmer Duckworth, aluminum water bottles, cell phone plugs and more.  The W. Rogowski Farm, LLC from Pine Island, New York provided fresh produce for students, faculty and staff.  Tables displayed organic cleaning products, vitamins and eco shoulder bags.   

     

    “We give students the opportunity to take an eco footprint quiz that asks the student what kind of lifestyle do they have, how much water do they consume, do they recycle and do they drive or bike.  At the end it tells the student how many planets they need to live their daily lives.  We want them to be conscious about what they do in their daily life,” said Anthony Lugo, director of Campus Auxiliary Services & Sustainability.

     

    On May 1, Lee Boyar, professor at LaGuardia’s Business and Technology Department, presented his teachings on sustainability in business called: “People, Profits and Planet: The Triple Bottom Line.”   Following the presentation the Japanese Club co-sponsored a screening of the 1971 classic “Godzilla vs. Hedorah (the Smog Monster)” with Green Week’s first ever Artists’ Café, where students, faculty and staff shared their artwork on the Freedom Wall installation.

     

    On May 2, Metro Shine was on-site providing eco friendly hand car wash services to the College community.

     

    “All of these great activities and more would not have been possible without the help of dozens of individuals, departments and a very supportive Administration.  The Sustainability Council at LaGuardia would especially like to thank the College Association for generously sponsoring Green Week 2014 events,” said Judi O’Toole, chemical hygiene officer in the Natural Sciences Department.

     

    •     •     •     •

     

    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

     

    ###

     LaGuardia is Hosting the 2014 Asian Heritage Celebration on May 7

    LaGuardia Community College is Hosting an Asian Heritage

    Celebration 2014 on May 7

    Free and Open to the Public

     

    Long Island City, NY—May 2, 2014—To celebrate the wide range of Asian cultures that make up its student population, LaGuardia Community College on May 7 is hosting a festival featuring talented performers.  The events are free and open to the public.

     

    The event will be held from 2:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. in the College’s Cobblestone Courtyard at 31-10 Thomson Avenue, Long Island City.  For more information, please call (718) 482-5180 or visit http://www.lagcc.cuny.edu/ahc/.

     

    Culinary delights from different regions of the world will be served, and faculty and students will model traditional clothing from Asian countries.            

     

    LaGuardia, which has one of the most diverse student populations in the nation, serves students from more than 46 Asian countries and areas including China, South Korea, Japan, Bangladesh, Philippines, India, and Pakistan.  Asians comprise 21% of the College’s student population and represent the fastest growing ethnic group at LaGuardia.

     

    Performing will be a professional acrobat and a modern dance troupe.  Also, there will be a student showcase featuring performances by LaGuardia students from the Bangladesh Student Association, the Chinese Club, the Filipino Club and the Japanese Club.

                                                   

    •     •     •     •

     

    LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.

       

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