Congratulations to all these remarkable students.
I recently traveled to Cuba and took with me a CUNY BA messenger bag. CUNY BA students, when you travel (even within NYC!) be sure to take one along (if you don’t have one already, you can pick one up, for free, at our main office) and send us a picture.
Allison James graduated magna cum laude in June 2014 from CUNY Baccalaureate with a degree titled “Environmental Economics.” Raising a daughter and working in the financial industry on Wall Street, Alison began her CUNY career at BMCC, earning an associate’s degree, and later found CUNY BA as a means to develop an individualized degree that took into account her professional background and academic goals.
She is presently pursuing a graduate degree at The New School’s program in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management – a perfect fit for her! And, recently, she has had the privilege to speak, on behalf of her boss, City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez (who is chair of the Transportation Committee), at THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT, CARBON REDUCTION, AND ECO-DRIVE AS A SOLUTION TOWARDS SUSTAINABILITY.
An interview with Justice Stephen Breyer in The New York Review of Books (November 7, 2013) “On Reading Proust,” caught my attention because I always felt that I was missing out by not having read Marcel Proust’s masterpiece À la recherche du temps perdu. In fact, 2013 marked the centennial of the first published installment, with the final one published posthumously in 1927. So, I figured that these were signs that I could not ignore and so I immediately downloaded Proust onto my Kindle.
There it waited patiently (as many books still do on my Kindle) until I took the plunge, which has been challenging, exciting and a bit disorienting. Proust, even in translation, is not necessarily an “easy read,” in particular because sentences can go on for a page so that by the end it is difficult to remember the subject. But, I found that this is one of the remarkable achievements of Proust because once you ignore parsing sentences and allow them to simply be absorbed rather than scrutinized they become more than just a string of dependent clauses. It is, in fact, closer to how we think than we may be aware – reminiscent of James Joyce, who actually dined with Proust months before Proust’s death in 1922. Although they claim to have not read each other’s works, I am sure that Joyce would have admired Proust’s prose.
I am presently only about half way through so cannot make judgments about the entire work but suffice it to say that Proust’s insights into human behavior and his penetrating gaze into social discourse are a joy to read and to be a part of. Reading mostly on my short subway commute to and from Brooklyn I have at times become oblivious to the nearby humanity and am transported back to the fin de siècle society of Paris — a true respite that may only last for minutes but that stays with me for a lot longer.
Congratulations to all the graduates and their families and friends who attended yesterday’s commencement ceremonies. It was truly memorable. We wish you all the best as CUNY Baccalaureate alumni.
The Academic Director of CUNY Baccalaureate was in China for two weeks accompanying a small group of professors and administrators from Brooklyn College, including the President, Karen Gould, and exploring partnerships with numerous Chinese universities in Shanghai, Yangzhou and Beijing. CUNY BA was very well received because of its interdisciplinary mission and its academic flexibility and rigor. The photo was taken on April 25, 2014 in The Forbidden City, Beijing.
Professor Janet Carlile, a faculty mentor for Olivia Kotz’s area of concentration in “Interdisciplinary Studies of the Human Body,” is a tenured Professor of Art at Brooklyn College, where she has taught since 1971. Her paintings are in numerous collections including the Hirschorn Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Library of Congress and many others. She is also the director of the Red Mountain Gallery in Ouray, Colorado where her work is displayed. But you don’t have to travel to Colorado to see her beautiful paintings: many of them are available through her website at www.janetcarlile.com
On March 1, 2012 the NY Times reported a study that appeared in “Science” (vol. 335, no. 6072, 1114-1118), which highlighted “one of the most important aspects of modern human society: the power of teaching.” Observing the interactions of children in contrast to chimps and monkeys in solving a puzzle box (and being rewarded for success in each of the three stages) it was clear that children cooperated with, motivated and taught each other throughout the process while chimps and monkeys shared neither their rewards nor their knowledge. The researchers concluded: “the most effective means through which you can cooperate is through teaching.” And this cooperative spirit of passing along knowledge explains “why we have particle accelerators and sophisticated medicine,” which are only possible through the cumulative effect of sharing knowledge from one person to the next.
Professor Susan Crile, Department of Art and Art History at Hunter College and a CUNY BA faculty mentor, is a noted painter and printmaker, who is featured on CUNY TV’s program, Study with the Best, airing Wednesday, January 1 at 8:00am, 2:00pm, 10:00pm and Saturday, January 4 at 3:30pm. Congratulations!
Kayhan Irani, B.A. 2008 (Theatre and Social Change) and an Emmy award winning writer, is a performer and a senior trainer at the Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory N.Y. — the oldest Theater of the Oppressed training center in the US.
She directs participatory arts projects with government agencies, community based organizations, international NGOs and with the general public. She has led theater for change projects in conflict zones such as Afghanistan and Iraq.
As a recent Fulbright-Nehru Fellow to India, for eight months she undertook research for a new play, entitled “Tree of Seeds,” which is having its first staged reading in London. Congratulations, Kayhan!