Program Handbook

Welcome!

This handbook is meant to help orient newcomers to the CUNY Humanities Alliance (HA) program and their role within it. You’ll find four major sections in this handbook. “About the CUNY Humanities Alliance” is intended for all readers and offers information about the program’s structure, goals, history, and various components. “Guidance for Fellows” is intended for new HA fellows and contains information on fellows’ expectations, responsibilities, and guidance on how to make the most of their fellowship. “Guidance for Mentors” is intended for new faculty or staff mentors and contains information on mentors’ expectations, responsibilities, and guidance to help ensure a smooth and productive partnership with HA fellows. Finally, “Campuses” is intended for all readers and provides information on each of the five CUNY campuses participating in the HA program, including the structure of their HA teams, relevant offices, HA projects, and general campus notes.

This is the 2022 edition of this handbook. We will revise the handbook every year, and are always open to feedback and suggestions about how to improve it. Please contact the Program Coordinator with any ideas you have about things you’d like to see added or changed in this document.

Contact information

Graduate Center

David Olan, Principal Investigator: dolan@gc.cuny.edu
Luke Waltzer, Program Director: lwaltzer@gc.cuny.edu
Luis Henao Uribe, Humanities Director: lhenaouribe@gc.cuny.edu
Adashima Oyo, HA/FI Director of Collaboration: aoyo@gc.cuny.edu
Sujung Kim, Senior Research Associate: skim3@gc.cuny.edu
Miranda Fedock, Program Coordinator: mfedock@gradcenter.cuny.edu
Lauren Melendez, CUNY Peer Leaders Director: lmelendez@gc.cuny.edu

Don’t know who to contact? Email humanitiesalliance@gc.cuny.edu, and we’ll help you figure it out!

Community College Partners

Borough of Manhattan Community College:
Judith Anderson, Campus & Project Coordinator: juanderson@bmcc.cuny.edu

Guttman Community College:
Ria Banerjee, Campus & Project Coordinator 2021-2022 (on leave 2022-2023): ria.banerjee@guttman.cuny.edu
Laura Clarke, Campus & Project Coordinator 2022-2023: laura.clarke@guttman.cuny.edu

Hostos Community College:
Babette Audant, Campus Coordinator: baudant@hostos.cuny.edu
Kristopher Burrell, Project Coordinator: kburrell@hostos.cuny.edu

LaGuardia Community College:
Eric Hofmann, Campus Coordinator: ehofmann@lagcc.cuny.edu
Pablo Avila, Project Coordinator: pavilla@lagcc.cuny.edu

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About the CUNY Humanities Alliance

The CUNY Humanities Alliance (HA) was launched in 2016 as a partnership between the Graduate Center (GC) and LaGuardia Community College, and expanded in 2020 to incorporate Hostos Community College, Guttman Community College, and Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC). In this section, we will briefly give an overview of the CUNY Humanities Alliance, its goals, the key components of each of its two phases, and the structure that supports professional development and mentorship for graduate students.

Program Overview

The CUNY Humanities Alliance (HA), supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, explores how humanities inquiry and engagement can facilitate justice and equity in higher education. Through mentorship and supportive peer- and near-peer networks for undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, and staff, the program helps participants better understand the systems and structures that create conditions of learning in the university, and become more able to act within them to make humanistic inquiry more inclusive and empowering for the students CUNY serves.

In partnership with four community colleges, three cohorts of advanced doctoral students are learning or will learn strategies for teaching, collaboration, leadership, educational development, and instructional design in CUNY’s community colleges. Working closely with faculty, staff, and administrators at partner institutions, graduate fellows fill academic support roles for specific projects that connect to a range of humanities classrooms. With training and support from core HA staff and campus partners, fellows help plan, scope, scaffold, and support innovative opportunities for teaching and learning in the humanities.

In addition, undergraduate students in the CUNY Peer Leaders (CPL) program explore humanities education and career pathways. The program blends elements from both the Futures Initiative Undergraduate Leadership Program and the LaGuardia Mellon Humanities Scholars. Thirty to forty Peer Leaders engage in activities each year to build trust and community, learn skills related to professional development and digital literacy, create a meaningful writing or creative project, broaden their awareness of social justice issues and their connections to their lives, deepen their engagement with the humanities, and hone their leadership and peer mentorship skills. Leaders participate in a variety of community building workshops and enrichment opportunities designed to explore concepts of voice, respect, and presentation of self; critical and creative thinking; sociopolitical issues and their impacts; various historical and cultural perspectives; aesthetic appreciation; and human connection. Through their work, individually and as a group, Leaders develop their skills in research, oral and written communication, collaboration, project management, digital literacy, identifying needs and resources, learning with and from others, and building trust, while striving toward shared goals. These accomplishments help prepare them for success as CUNY students and beyond.

The HA aims to help undergraduate students envision pathways from community college to advanced degrees, and to help graduate students learn to navigate complex academic systems. Through meaningful professional development, training, and reflective opportunities, the HA helps prepare CUNY undergraduates for success in academic study or a range of possible careers, while emphasizing the worth and importance of the humanities. The HA also asks how we can help colleges and universities become more collaborative and collegial by bringing to light the institutional structures that may work against these dynamics. Such work is directly connected to making higher education and academia more equitable and inclusive.

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Program Phases

The HA program has had two phases. In Phase I (2016-2020), CUNY Graduate Center doctoral students taught classes in the humanities and humanistic social sciences at LaGuardia Community College. They were guided by experienced LaGuardia faculty and staff, and had opportunities to translate their specialized research into innovative and relevant teaching methodologies. Through the LaGuardia Mellon Humanities Scholars program (predecessor to CPL), they also identified LaGuardia undergraduate students who were invited to participate in regular programming to help them build academic and career pathways in the humanities.

The HA is currently in Phase II (2020-2025), which expands its reach to four CUNY community colleges and broadens the scope of professional development activities for graduate fellows to include academic support roles beyond the classroom. This section presents more information about each of the two phases. Phase I information is presented for context, to help readers grasp the program’s history, while Phase II represents the program’s current iteration.

Program History: Phase I (2016-2020)

Goals

Phase I asked key questions about graduate student training in the humanities. How do we prepare graduate students to teach in community college contexts? How do doctoral students doing cutting-edge research integrate their ideas with the student-centered, active learning strategies required at institutions like LaGuardia Community College? What are the challenges of distributing this kind of high-level training and praxis apparatus across two distinct institutions with their own cultures, goals, histories, and populations?

To explore these questions, we developed Phase I with several goals in mind. We sought opportunities for graduate students to learn about the humanities at LaGuardia; to help graduate students explore and develop specific pedagogical tools to teach the humanities in community college contexts; and to enhance LaGuardia students’ engagement with the humanities and guide their educational and career pathways in the humanities.

Structure

Graduate fellowships combined teaching assignments and professional development focused on reflection. Each fellow shadowed a faculty member at LaGuardia for one semester, then taught the same class for the following three semesters. Fellows and faculty mentors participated in professional development workshops on pedagogy, teaching, and learning at LaGuardia and the Graduate Center. In the LaGuardia Humanities Scholars program, LaGuardia students participated in enrichment activities in the humanities as part of their professional development. Each year culminated in the LaGuardia Humanities Scholars’ Showcase, an annual event in which Scholars presented their projects.

Mentoring

Among the most valuable elements of Phase I were the mentoring relationships that graduate fellows built with senior faculty members during their time at LGCC. Graduate fellows deeply valued the mentoring from LGCC faculty, which included shadowing mentors’ classes, regular check-ins, and participation in professional development workshops at LaGuardia and the Graduate Center.

These workshops also facilitated peer mentorship between fellows.

Research

The work of the Senior Research Associate has facilitated engagement with and reflection on the program’s strengths and weaknesses. Research has included interviews with the program’s graduate fellows, faculty mentors, LaGuardia Mellon Humanities Scholars, and LGCC students, as well as ethnographic observations of classes, enrichment activities, professional development sessions, meetings, and numerous public events. One key finding from this research was that both doctoral fellows and faculty mentors stressed the benefits of opportunities to explore, employ, and continuously revise student-centered critical pedagogy through collaboration with each other. Furthermore, the doctoral fellows stated that the fellowship provided a more concrete understanding of community college students and class environments. Click here for Phase I’s research reports and more information.

Current Program: Phase II (2020-2025)

In its current iteration, the CUNY HA program asserts that humanities teaching and learning does not only happen in the classroom, but also in a range of other institutional spaces. These may include formal academic support services, administrative spaces, and more informal interactions and relationships. We believe that these spaces produce the conditions for the most transformative and engaged humanities instruction in higher education. The HA makes these conditions more visible, in an effort both to valorize them and to open up explicit space for reflection, discussion, and productive critique around them. The many complex, layered, hierarchical dynamics at work in these diverse spaces constitute the reality of doing work in the humanities in our current era. We aim to train GC students to navigate and contribute to these spaces in order to bolster humanities instruction at community colleges and beyond. The HA was developed in response to our view that such training for doctoral students is increasingly needed, as community colleges house a wide range of programs, pedagogical methods, technological supports, and curricular changes to enhance access to resources, promote peer connection and support, gain skills, and strengthen learning outcomes for students of all ages and backgrounds in a changing global economy.

Timeline & Goals

Year 1 (2020-2021) was a planning year. LaGuardia, Hostos, Guttman, and BMCC identified liaisons for the Humanities Alliance, and these liaisons met regularly with HA staff at the GC to design academic support projects that would offer meaningful professional development opportunities for the fellows while supporting the goals of each community college. Preparation for projects included defining each project’s goals, benchmarks, key personnel, evaluation plan, and strategies for project sustainability, as well as creating structures for fellow and mentor recruitment. HA staff also created plans to extend Phase I work, including programming, outreach, data collection, and writing projects. Meanwhile, CPL ran as a pilot program, focused on fostering near-peer mentoring relationships between two- and four-year college students in the program. The uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic created a number of challenges in Years 1 and 2, including major staff turnover, support burdens placed upon remaining staff, and challenging enrollment, budgetary, and organizational dynamics across the CUNY system.

In Years 2-5 (2021-2025), HA graduate fellows are placed on community college campuses.  8-12 Fellows enter as cohorts each year in Years 2-4, and remain with the HA for two years. Fellows from the new cohort join existing fellows in their work on academic support projects at one of the four partner colleges. Fellows also participate in a weekly seminar and other professional development opportunities at the GC. The CPL program continues to expand recruitment, flesh out its program structure, and build on the success of previous years. In Years 3-5, HA fellows will be increasingly integrated into elements of the CPL program to offer support and mentorship to CPL students. In Years 3-5, HA staff will collect data for program evaluation and assess opportunities for the program’s institutionalization and continuation.

Broadly speaking, the CUNY Humanities Alliance has five major goals. We aim to:

  • offer meaningful professional development and training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students that prepare them for further study or a range of career pathways while communicating the humanities’ lifelong worth and importance.
  • equip graduate students to provide academic support at community colleges in order to enhance and strengthen humanities education at these institutions.
  • augment traditional Ph.D. education in the humanities with GC- & campus-based pedagogical training, professional development support, and advocacy for the value of the humanities and higher education.
  • develop peer- and near-peer mentoring relationships throughout the university to support reflection and build community, among and between undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, and staff.
  • promote a social justice mission of access and equity within higher education, by helping underrepresented undergraduate students envision pathways from community college to advanced degrees, and by helping graduate students learn to navigate complex academic systems.

Structure

Phase II has two major components: HA fellowships and CUNY Peer Leaders (CPL). In the fellowships, fellows are assigned to one community college campus and work ten hours per week on academic support projects with faculty and staff mentors at that campus. Fellows also dedicate five hours per week to various types of professional development and other work at the GC, including attending a weekly seminar with other fellows, led by Humanities Director; attending regular check-ins with Humanities Director; collaborating regularly with CPL undergraduate students; and conducting research, public programming, or other professional development opportunities led by fellows’ interests.

CPL begins in mid-August each year with a one-day kick-off event, in which new Peer Leaders learn about important resources, acquire vital skills that will aid them in their service, and meet HA and Futures Initiative faculty, staff, and graduate fellows. Throughout the year, Leaders attend bi-weekly meetings in which leaders explore concepts of voice, respect, presentation of self, critical and creative thinking, socio-political issues, social justice topics, wellness, and health disparities, among others. HA fellows join up to two meetings each semester to help Leaders develop and finalize their final projects. Leaders also develop a portfolio of public writing on the CPL blog, on which HA fellows comment and give feedback, and attend several cultural, intellectual, and artistic enrichment activities. As a core part of the program, Leaders work throughout the year on designing and developing a humanities-themed project. These projects are publicly exhibited in a showcase in May of each year.

Mentoring

Building on the research findings of Phase 1, the HA relies on several structures to facilitate mentorship relationships. Fellows are assigned to each campus under a project coordinator’s guidance and work on several projects alongside different faculty and staff. The seminar space is designed to facilitate community-building and peer mentorship among fellows. The seminar also encourages reflection on mentorship itself and the conditions and practices where it emerges successfully.

Research

Phase II research aims to systematize the HA model, and to provide a critical literature review and analysis of relevant programs. Questions guiding this research are: Which other higher education institutions focus on supporting careers at community colleges? What can the HA do to make our program a model for others? What kinds of research are most useful to support HA fellows and staff? Research methods include critical literature review, program analysis, and interviewing, and participant-observation.

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Guidance for Fellows

This section offers guidance to new HA graduate fellows. It includes a discussion of general expectations, responsibilities, and tips on how to make the most of the HA experience.

Expectations

Fellows are expected to:

  • follow the HA’s 15 hour commitment per week: 5 hours at the Graduate Center & 10 hours at their assigned campus. This allocation may be in-person or virtual, depending upon the assignment.
  • work actively to build a community within their current HA cohort, previous and future HA cohorts, CUNY Peer Leaders (CPL), and faculty and staff within the HA program through the seminar and other spaces.
  • meet regularly with the Humanities Director and Campus Faculty Mentors
  • produce a public-facing reflection about their experience as HA fellows and the core questions of the fellowship.
  • collaborate, when possible, with the CUNY Peer Leaders Program.

5 weekly hours at the GC will include:

  • professional development seminar
  • individual check-ins with the Humanities Director
  • collaborations with the CUNY Peer Leaders (CPL) program
  • collaborative work with the HA’s senior researcher

10 weekly hours at the partner campuses are structured based on each project’s needs, and might include:

  • a periodic (weekly or, bi-weekly) synchronous meeting.
  • meetings and collaborations with various faculty and staff.
  • reading institutional profiles, and other institutional information to gain a broad understanding of the institution.
  • observing classes.
  • interviewing faculty.
  • designing and facilitating professional development workshops for faculty.
  • designing and facilitating student-facing programming.
  • identifying and connecting with external institutions, faculty or practitioners.

It’s important to remember that the HA fellowship places graduate students in unique roles on partner campuses as part-time staff members who are sometimes working across multiple spaces, with various levels of autonomy and oversight. It’s also important to remember that fellows are likely to encounter individuals on their campuses who do not know what the HA is, and are not aware of (or particularly interested in!) the constraints of the position. Challenges related to questions of workload, expectations, and responsibilities are common, and to be expected. If fellows encounter such challenges, they should immediately speak with their campus or project coordinators, the Program Coordinator, the Humanities Director, or the Program Director. It is the responsibility of Humanities Alliance leadership to ensure that fellows have the conditions, tools and support to fulfill their roles and responsibilities, and to ensure that these are fair, clearly-defined, and relevant to the goals of the program. Doing so takes clear and open communication and intentionality in relationship building, and often requires a generosity of spirit to establish the conditions for our work to thrive.

Suggested Practices

Organize and balance your time. Planning your coursework and research assignments ahead of time can help alleviate stress related to your HA workload. Plan your degree-related work, particularly major assignments or milestones, at the beginning of the semester. Be careful not to overextend yourself emotionally or physically.

Compartmentalize your HA workload: limit it to the assigned hours, so that you can spend remaining time on everything else in your life. If you feel that your current HA workload is overwhelming or exceeds the expectations outlined in the previous section, please contact the Humanities Director.

Know that compartmentalizing may be more challenging in this fellowship than in a GCF teaching fellowship. Because of the flexible nature of this fellowship, and because you will be working with individuals in different spaces within the university (faculty, staff, and students at multiple campuses), your schedule may vary from week to week. While it is important to meet the expectations of the project, it is also okay to protect the time you’ve reserved for other work. And while you should never work more than 15 hours per week, some weeks you may work fewer hours.

Remember that the HA is an experiment in professional development, cross-campus collaboration, interdisciplinary collaboration, and new modes of thinking about teaching and learning in the humanities. The program’s weaknesses and mistakes are opportunities to learn, reflect, and refine our practices as educators committed to inclusive practices in the humanities. The HA is not set in stone – it is malleable, a living and changing program that strives to adapt to the needs, desires and interests of the people involved. This means a couple things for you:

Be aware of the need to balance structure and flexibility. The experimental nature of the program means that this fellowship looks different from GCF, WAC, or other fellowships available to GC students, which are more heavily predetermined, have been around longer, and are more thoroughly integrated into their institutions. This fellowship may have less preconceived structure than you anticipate. Program leadership will do their best to provide fellows with structure, and will advise campus and project coordinators to do the same. If you feel you need more structure in order to work effectively and meet your personal goals for your time with us, tell the Humanities Director. At the same time, know that you have agency within the program. In many cases, you will get to decide fundamental things about your fellowship, precisely because of the built-in flexibility of the program. We invite you to view these less structured moments as opportunities for you to share your ideas and help shape your campus project, and the HA as a whole. All fellows will have opportunities to contribute to the structure of the HA.

Share your feedback. Don’t like how something is going in the fellowship? Is there some aspect of your work that isn’t working for you? Let us know. Tell your faculty or staff mentor/s, your campus or project coordinator, the Humanities Director, or any of the other directors about the situation, and share your thoughts on how to improve it. As a HA fellow, you are an active participant in shaping the program. We take all feedback and suggestions seriously, and they often form the basis on which we make changes to the program. At the same time, know that universities can be slow machines – change takes time and must accommodate the needs and desires of multiple constituencies. Not every proposed change is possible, or ultimately in the best interest of the program. HA staff pledge to be transparent with their decisions and to be available to all fellows to explain why they’ve been made.

Expect & embrace “failures.” Projects that don’t make it off the ground, interpersonal tensions, bureaucratic blocks, time constraints, scheduling mistakes, miscommunication…these are all part and parcel of what it means to work in higher education today; they are rarely failures on any one individual’s part. Our goal is to train you to navigate diverse professional spaces within higher education and beyond, and encountering hurdles such as these are part of that training. When you encounter frustrations or roadblocks, take a few moments to reflect upon the situation. What does the nature of this event tell you about the structures of the institutions involved? How can you, the HA program, or relevant institutions grow from the event?

Try out different ways of expressing critique in different spaces. Your graduate program at the GC is training you to develop highly refined and nuanced critical thinking skills: academic humanities disciplines thrive in environments of healthy critique, and it’s important to learn the discourses for critique common to your discipline. It’s equally important to know that not every space inside or outside higher education uses the same critical discourse, or is equally open to receiving critique. This fellowship provides an opportunity for fellows to explore different ways of expressing critique in diverse spaces. Think about the individuals occupying a particular space into which you’d like to make an intervention – consider their professional backgrounds, expertise, priorities, constraints, pressures, and the roles they occupy in the university. How might you present your critique in a way that’s valuable and accessible to the people in that space? How can you meet them where they’re at, in order to better show them where you’d like to go? This is a key skill to develop for any career.

ommunicate clearly with your campus and project coordinators and mentors. Express your goals, needs, interests, and boundaries, early and often. Crystal-clear communication on your end will help ensure that they offer you the same. At the very beginning of your engagement with the HA, we encourage you to actively share your expertise, interests and passion with your campus and project coordinators and mentors. In addition, ask about the expectations of the coordinators and mentors at your campus.

Practice patience & compassion for others, and for yourself. One of the HA’s primary goals is to expose graduate students to the inner workings of various spaces in higher education outside of the classroom. Establishing and maintaining respectful relationships is a central part of the work that occurs in these spaces. Patience and compassion are two key skills to develop in this important relational work. Understand that each person with whom you speak has distinct priorities, workflows, and timelines, often based on how they are positioned within CUNY, which may not match your own. Make the choice to trust that others are doing the best they can in a given circumstance. At the same time, extend compassion to yourself. Determine your personal boundaries and limits, and clearly state them.

Build relationships with other HA fellows. Many current and past fellows share that their relationships with other fellows are one of the best parts of the fellowship. In the fellowship seminar space, we encourage an atmosphere of honesty and openness, where vulnerability is embraced. We hope that each year’s cohort of fellows will form into a safe and supportive network of co-learning for all members.

Find mentorship where you can. Mentors can be an excellent resource for you within and beyond your fellowship. Not every fellow-mentor relationship will click, so when you find one that does, invest in it and take full advantage of it. Also be open to mentorship in unstructured spaces: from your peers and near-peers, from staff members you encounter along the way, from guests or colleagues who engage with the HA. Every participant in the HA has much to give, and much to learn from the program.

List your goals, and then be proactive in reaching them. Your fellowship is intentionally structured in such a way as to allow your individual interests and needs to drive much of your experience in the program. We encourage self-directed exploration, research, and training, and are here to support and provide resources for you to pursue your own goals for your time with us as much as possible. Think about what you want to learn, reflecting on your professional development interests and needs. Then think creatively about how to expand your experiences in these areas, taking advantage of the contacts, resources, and opportunities this fellowship offers you. If you have ideas related to courses, activities, or research at your campus, share them with your campus or project coordinator or mentor. Consider scheduling meetings with various faculty at your campus at the beginning of the year, to brainstorm projects you might pursue together. If you don’t yet know what you want to do, speak with faculty about their classes and projects for the semester, and ask about ways to collaborate with them. Don’t be afraid to contact someone on your own, and don’t be afraid to ask for help in doing so if you would like it: your campus coordinator, project coordinator, other campus mentors, the Humanities Director, and the Program Coordinator can all help connect you to whomever you want to contact. We’re here to help you reach your goals however we can.

Take notes for your future job applications. The HA experience is unique and enriches your candidacy in your job applications. Consider taking notes on your ideas, practices, and feedback from mentors, students, and others so that you can utilize this information in your C.V., cover letters, teaching statements, diversity statements, and/or interviews when you’re on the job market.

Hopes

In your role as a fellow with the Humanities Alliance, we hope that:

  • you feel the fellowship has broadly prepared you for a variety of career possibilities and outcomes;
  • you learn about community colleges, the CUNY system, and universities more broadly, including how they function as institutions and the practical skills needed to work in academic support roles within them;
  • you think in new and exciting ways about what the humanities are, and their relationship to the life on an institution like CUNY that is centered on access and opportunity for learners from marginalized populations;
  • you will be able to put your experiences from the fellowship to good use throughout the length of your professional life.

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Guidance for Mentors

This section is intended for new faculty and staff mentors, including campus coordinators and project coordinators. The section includes a list of general expectations for each mentor, your responsibilities as a mentor for HA fellows, suggested tips on how to nurture positive and productive relationships with your mentees, and our hopes for your time with us at the HA.

Expectations

Faculty and staff mentors are expected to:

  • support fellows in familiarizing themselves with your institution, its structure, and culture.
  • establish clear roles and tasks for the fellows, and ensure they have all needed resources and support to complete them.
  • attend meetings with all HA personnel and share your campus experiences with other community college faculty and staff.
  • meet regularly and communicate openly with HA leadership about fellows’ progress and challenges.
  • prepare an annual report at the end of each academic year, composed of a narrative portion that describes and evaluates the activities undertaken that year, and a financial portion that accounts for the use of grant funds that year.

Suggested Practices

Define and communicate clear goals and expectations. Early each semester, work with your mentees to set explicit project goals and map out effective paths for reaching these goals. Communicate expectations for your mentees that have been defined in concert with them and aligned with your project’s goals and trajectory. Understanding the big picture of their work and how smaller steps and tasks fit into this big picture will help fellows grasp the meaning of the work they’re doing.

Invite mutual patience and compassion in your relationship with your mentees. Doctoral students at the GC lead complex lives: balancing fellowship tasks with many other scholarly, professional, and personal commitments. In the same way, Fellows might not be fully aware of all the competing responsibilities of faculty and staff involved in your projects. Encourage a culture of mutual trust and understanding where it is clear that everyone is doing their best in a given circumstance. If you encounter tensions in your relationship with a mentee, speak with them about it openly and compassionately. Offering such grace to your mentees will go a long way towards building a productive and meaningful relationship with them.

Define time boundaries and expectations with your mentees. Fellows are expected to work on campus projects no more than ten hours per week during the GC’s academic calendar. Fellows should not do work that will exceed this time. Check in regularly with mentees to ensure they do not spend more than ten hours per week on your project. Define reasonable expectations for replying to emails and scheduling meetings. In addition, keep in mind that the GC calendar may differ from your campus, and plan accordingly. Fellows are not expected to work during GC holidays or breaks.

Find ways to align mentees’ project work with their personal goals, experience, and expertise. HA fellows excel when it is clear how their individual goals align with the campus projects and when they feel that their mentor values their particular experience and expertise. Check in regularly throughout the academic year with your mentees about their personal goals for their work with the Humanities Alliance, your campus, and you. Ask your mentees about their backgrounds, previous experiences, academic and personal interests, and areas of expertise. Brainstorm with them ways to bring their unique expertise into your project work. When relevant, put them in touch with other faculty or staff who will support and nurture their unique interests and goals.

Construct a space for productive criticism. GC doctoral students inhabit an environment that encourages scholarly critique. Fellows will bring their sharp critical minds to your project, campus, and mentor-mentee relationship. By introducing and exposing the fellows to your institution’s structure and systems, you can offer avenues to contextualize their critique and develop productive ways to enact it. We encourage fellows to try different ways of expressing their points of view at their campus. At the same time, we encourage you to do your best to remain open to your mentees’ perspectives, and to be sure that any critical feedback you offer is productive.

Balance structure and flexibility in all areas of your project and mentor-mentee relationship. HA fellows benefit from clear structure in their fellowship, which helps prevent confusion. At the same time, HA fellows excel when they know their fellowship is flexible enough to accommodate their needs or any unforeseen situations they may encounter. Consider balancing these dual needs for structure and flexibility. For example, collect mentee feedback throughout the year, then incorporate their suggestions into your project; agree upon flexible deadlines with your mentees; collaborate to determine suitable modes of presence and engagement; set up regular meeting times while making clear that they can easily be rescheduled or converted to asynchronous check-ins if needed; or distribute the responsibility for facilitating and documenting meetings. Initiate honest and compassionate conversations with your mentees about their particular needs in your working relationship, and remain flexible enough to accommodate these needs consistently.

Consider and discuss mentees’ roles in your project and how it impacts your relationship. In their work with you, HA fellows’ roles may lie on a spectrum between students and collaborators, with individual fellows preferring to have roles closer to one end of the spectrum or the other. We recommend taking note of the roles you expect the fellows to occupy, sharing your perspective, and asking them individually what role they prefer to have in their work with you. Revisit this discussion throughout the year, and remain mindful of how you view and treat your mentees. Be willing to treat mentees more or less as students or collaborators based on their expertise, desires, and goals for their work with you.

Use the support available to you. Contact your campus coordinator as your go-to source of support, to share your questions, concerns, issues, comments, feedback, and more. Reach out to additional HA contacts on your campus for more support, such as other faculty and staff mentors, and associated administrators and offices (likely including your campus’ Center for Teaching and Learning). Finally, know that you have a network of people to support you at the GC, and don’t hesitate to use it. Program leadership, including the Humanities Director, Program Director, Program Coordinator, and HA/FI Director of Collaboration, are all available to help you as you navigate this mentorship role and your work on HA-affiliated projects. Reach out to us for support at any time.

Hopes

In your role as a mentor with the Humanities Alliance, we hope that:

  • you will feel fulfilled by the chance to work with committed, bright, passionate doctoral students;
  • your projects will be infused with new energy and vitality;
  • your projects will reach a new level of visibility on your campus, at CUNY, and beyond;
  • your projects will benefit from fellows’ new perspectives and critiques;
  • you will have the opportunity to pursue extended or additional research in areas of interest related to your HA activities, and will have support in doing so;
  • and you will learn and grow from your relationships with your mentees and your experience in the HA program.

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Campuses

One of the most exciting opportunities of the Humanities Alliance is the collaboration between CUNY campuses, each with their own structures and goals. This section provides preliminary information on the people and offices with whom fellows and mentors might expect to interact at each campus, current projects, and general notes on campus culture.

A Note on Campus Projects

A central part of the HA fellowship involves working on different educational support projects at community college campuses. These projects are unique to each campus and to the units and individuals working on them. Some projects build upon existing initiatives at a campus, while others projects respond to a campus’ emerging needs. Projects also inherently include an array of individuals who are all differently positioned within each campus, and who bring various goals and hopes to the project.

Projects change over time, shifting to integrate the interests of the fellows, faculty and staff developing them; to address the unique needs of the populations they serve; and to support the broader goals of the college, among other reasons. At any given time, individual projects may be at different stages: some may have existed in roughly the same form for a year or more, while others may be in the process of small or significant changes, and still others may be brand-new. The project of one fellow may look very different from the projects other fellows and mentors are working on, at other campuses or on the same campus. Fellows and mentors work closely and collaboratively together to clearly define the goals and scope of a given project, and to gain clarity around the particular roles and expectations of each individual working on the project.

We hope that this project-based approach to humanities teaching and learning will help doctoral students learn about collaboration, leadership, educational support, instructional design and campus culture in CUNY’s community colleges, while simultaneously broadening access to the humanities for undergraduates and strengthening humanities education at these campuses.

The Graduate Center

Structure of HA Team

HA fellows are selected from current GC doctoral students in years 3-5 of their program in any humanities or humanistic social science discipline. HA fellows join the project for 1-2 years. HA staff at the GC include full-time staff at the Teaching and Learning Center and the Futures Initiative and part-time personnel employed solely for HA-related work.

HA Staff

  • David Olan (he/him), Principal Investigator
    • Serves as liaison between project and the Mellon Foundation
    • Meets regularly with the directors to advise on both long-term planning and issues that arise
    • Interfaces with Graduate Center administration as needed
  • Luke Waltzer (he/him), Program Director
    • Directs Teaching and Learning Center (TLC) at Graduate Center
    • Conceptualizes the HA program and grant as a whole
    • Offers strategic guidance to program staff on all aspects of the program
    • Pivots lessons learned from the HA into other programs at the GC
  • Luis Henao Uribe (he/him), Humanities Director
    • Based in the Teaching and Learning Center
    • Primary point of contact for graduate fellows
    • Designs and runs GC-based professional development opportunities for fellows, including weekly seminar
    • Designs and supports GC-based public programming for HA
    • Oversees relationships with campus partners
  • Adashima Oyo (she/her), HA/FI Director of Collaboration
    • Executive Director of Futures Initiative
    • Liaison between the HA and Futures Initiative
    • Oversees CPL program and work of Senior Research Associate
  • Sujung Kim (she/her), Senior Research Associate
    • Based in the Futures Initiative
    • Undertakes collaborative scholastic activities with fellows, mentors, and other HA staff.
    • Mentors fellows’ research related to higher education, the HA program, and qualitative research methods.
  • Miranda Fedock (she/her), Program Coordinator
    • Conducts program’s administrative tasks, such as scheduling, budgeting, and processing financial paperwork
    • Coordinates internal communication among HA personnel and between the HA, other GC offices, and campus partners
    • Stewards documentation of program activities
  • Lauren Melendez (she/her), CUNY Peer Leaders Director and Administrative Specialist, The Futures Initiative
    • Provide administrative, budgetary and academic support to the Futures Initiative.
    • Direct and oversee 30+ undergraduate students from across 13+ CUNY campuses in a leadership and mentoring program.
    • Facilitate and develop activities, blog prompts, skill shares, and track resources that the CPL’s work on throughout the year.
    • Manage budget and process stipend awards that are distributed to the CPL’s enrolled in the program.
    • CPL program liaison between the Futures Initiative and the Humanities Alliance.

Current Fellows:

  • Francine Almash (she/her), Communications Fellow

Key Offices

  • Futures Initiative: The HA was founded out of a collaboration between the Futures Initiative and the TLC. The FI oversees the CUNY Peer Leaders, supports the work of the Senior Research Associate, and participates in strategic oversight and partnership with the HA.
  • Teaching & Learning Center: The Teaching and Learning Center supports GC students’ development as educators in CUNY and beyond. The HA and the TLC have had close ties since their inception. The HA & the TLC were both created in 2016, and have expanded and flourished in partnership with one another. Luke Waltzer is director of both the HA and the TLC, and Luis Henao Uribe has been based in the Teaching and Learning Center since 2018. In addition to sharing staff, the HA and the TLC often draw from each other’s resources and work collaboratively on projects and programs aiming to support the pedagogical development of GC students.
  • Provost’s Office: Our Principal Investigator, David Olan, was formerly the Associate Provost and Dean for Academic Affairs, and is now Professor of Music. He also is the PI for the PublicsLab, also funded by the Mellon Foundation.
  • Room 3317: Not an office, rather a GC workspace available for all HA fellows to use. This is a big space with computers and desks available. Shared with fellows from other programs.

Seminars and Public Events

The Seminar at the GC is the key space for sense-making for the fellows. During weekly meetings, fellows discuss principles and readings related to teaching, the state of higher education, professionalization, and other topics. The Seminar is a space for community building and collaborative learning. Fellows share their experiences at their assigned campus projects, forming a community of practice and enacting the reflective praxis that is key to successful teaching and learning.

The Humanities Alliance facilitates and supports additional spaces for public reflection around the topics and themes of the program: teaching and learning in community college contexts, mentorship in higher education, humanities training, and professional development, among others. This programming extends the reflection process beyond the Seminar’s confines and toward a broader audience.

Notes on Campus Culture

As an institution primarily focused on supporting graduate research and granting graduate degrees, the GC cultivates a culture of scholarly critique. In coursework and dissertation research, GC doctoral students are encouraged to read with a critical eye and position their original scholarship as timely and necessary interventions into existing scholarship and academic practice. GC students are often incredibly passionate about their work, committed to its urgent importance, and dedicated to its success. While individual departments differ in this respect, as a whole, GC students in the humanities or humanistic social sciences have limited opportunities in their degree-related activities to collaborate with each other or with scholars, faculty, or staff from other disciplines: individual, single-authored scholarship is encouraged and rewarded, and collaborative projects, while celebrated, may not always be fully valued or prioritized. Despite this, many GC students are collegial and supportive of one another, rejecting the aggressive competitiveness that often characterizes graduate programs at other universities. GC students provide a tremendous service to the university, teaching as many as 150,000 undergraduates a year in graduate teaching fellowship and via adjunct appointments. As students in an expansive public university serving NYC’s working-class, BIPOC, and immigrant populations, GC students are often keenly aware of issues of social injustice within CUNY, NYC, and academic and public spheres more broadly; and of the importance of fighting to address such issues in scholarship, teaching, and beyond.

Borough of Manhattan Community College

Structure of HA Team

  • Judith Anderson (she/her), Associate Professor, Ethnic and Race Studies; HA Campus and Project Coordinator
    • Works closely with all graduate fellows assigned to BMCC
    • Coordinates fellows and faculty/staff mentors, and all campus projects
    • Liaison between BMCC and GC HA teams
  • David Barnet (he/him), Acting Dean of Academic Affairs
    • Administrative liaison

Current Fellows:

  • Ariel Leutheusser (they/them) (C21)
  • Inma Zanoguera Garcias (she/her) (C22)
  • Luis Escamilla Frias (he/they) (C22)
  • Janelle Poe (she/her) (C22)
  • Sukyoung Kim (she/they) (C22)

Key Offices

  • Office of Academic Affairs: David Barnet, Acting Dean of Academic Affairs; Greer McPhaden, Director of Faculty Appointments
  • Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning: Gina Cherry, Director
  • E-Learning Center: Tom Harbison, Director of Digital Education
  • Library: Jean Amaral, Open Knowledge Librarian
  • Office of Research: Odaelys Pollard, Director of Research
  • Office of Internships and Experiential Learning: Jessica Levin, Experiential Learning and Study Abroad Manager; Sharon Reid, Director of Internships and Experiential Learning
  • Race, Equity, and Inclusion (REI) Steering Committee:
    • Co-chairs: Odelia Levy, Chief Diversity Officer/Special Advisor to the President, Office of Compliance and Diversity (OCD); Pedro Pérez, Director of College Discovery; Shenique Davis, Associate Professor, Criminal Justice Program
    • Ex-officio: Chris Shults, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness and Analytics

HA Projects

In the Spring 2022 semester, the fellows and Judith Anderson began supporting the faculty, staff, and students participants of the Black Studies Across the Americas program (funded through a grant from the McKenzie Scott Foundation through President’s Fund for Innovation and Excellence). In the program, faculty, students, and international collaborators work together to create new open access curricula that insert Black Studies into courses where it traditionally is not the focus. Two fellows worked within the smaller groups in the cohort while the third fellow provided support for OpenLab where we shared the educational products produced from the program. The three fellows worked together to design and facilitate the Mentoring Undergraduate Research workshop for faculty in the program.

One fellow focused on developing asynchronous support materials, including OER templates and direct-to-researchers help documentation, using the BMCC OpenLab and rich text templates. The second fellow developed an ongoing project related to podcasts and pedagogy, discussing and developing the project with various stakeholders at the college in preparation for a future workshop on this topic and on the incorporation of asset-based assignments for faculty through the Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Scholarship (CETLS). The third fellow developed a project on experiential learning, designing and leading offsite activities and developing OpenLab materials for self-guided activities.

Notes on Campus Culture

BMCC is located in Tribeca, and is the largest college at CUNY, enrolling over 26,000 undergraduates. Several BMCC faculty teach and participate in programs at the Graduate Center, and many are GC graduates. BMCC has led efforts in New York City to help Ph.D. candidates envision careers in community college contexts. BMCC has also been at the forefront of the university’s work to reduce the costs of attendance for undergraduates by transitioning course readings to open educational resources.

Advice from fellows for fellows

  • Attend the director’s meeting at the beginning of the semester, which will give you a good sense of the various offices you’ll be working with and their scope.
  • Attend CETLS and WRC events that pique your interest, where you can meet other faculty, staff, and students.
  • Attend workshops hosted by the library, which often enthusiastically center critical pedagogy.

Guttman Community College

Structure of HA Team

  •  Laura Clarke (she/her), Assistant Professor, English; HA Campus and Project Coordinator*
    • Works closely with all graduate fellows assigned to Guttman
    • Coordinates fellows and faculty/staff mentors, and all campus projects
    • Liaison between Guttman and GC HA teams
  • Niesha Ziehmke (she/her), Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Planning
    • Administrative liaison

*Dr. Clarke will occupy this HA position for the 2022-2023 academic year. In 2021-2022, English professor Ria Banerjee (she/her) held this position.

Current Fellows:

  • Gregory Hartmann (he/him) (C21)
  • Rosalía Reyes Simon (she/her) (C21)
  • Sokunthary Svay (she/her) (C21)
  • Yoseph Joned Suryatmoko Ndaruhadi (he/him) (C22)
  • Sharanya Dutta (she/her) (C22)

Key Offices

  • Office of Student Engagement (OSE): As well as providing wellness and mentoring services, The Office of Student Engagement organizes events that celebrate the vibrant cultural and ethnic diversity of Guttman students and faculty. HA fellows are encouraged to participate in these events and have contributed to programs such as Latinx Heritage Month and Poetry Month.
  • The Library: The Library Team at Guttman promotes scholarly and professional success through access to resources, study environments, research services, and events. Current fellows collaborated with the Library to coordinate and present Guttman’s annual Big Read campus community event.
  • The Division of Academic Affairs – Office of the Provost: Personnel in the Division of Academic Affairs aid with administrative matters such as budgeting and planning.

HA Projects

During the 2021-2022 academic year, fellows developed and participated in numerous projects at Guttman and beyond. The fellows made a splash on Guttman campus moderating and managing a 3-part bilingual English/Spanish poetry and discussion event for Hispanic Heritage Month in September 2021. In following months, fellows developed and ran several student-facing workshops, rotated an embedded role in the course Introduction to Philosophy and Humanistic Thinking, and took part in the college’s Poetry Month events. In March 2022, fellows helped inaugurate a major HA program, in partnership with the Guttman Library: the inaugural Guttman Big Read, a three-part campus reading and discussion series open to all students, faculty, and staff. We chose to read Cathy Park Hong’s book of essays, Minor Feelings and each session was led by a HA fellow with others providing technical support on a rotating basis. We intend to make this a regular part of our campus events calendar in coming years. In addition, one fellow worked with faculty to recruit and mentor a student journalist for a Pulitzer Center student fellowship program. Another fellow designed and executed a classical music listening and discussion series in conjunction with the New York Public Library. A third fellow provided crucial administrative aid in setting up the college’s Honors Program.

Notes on Campus Culture

Guttman, located blocks from the Graduate Center on 41st Street, is CUNY’s

newest and smallest community college, enrolling just under 1,000 students. Students at Guttman enjoy access to an innovative First-Year Experience curriculum built around a City Seminar that introduces students to humanistic inquiry through exploration of historical and contemporary urban issues.

Because of its location, small population and building size, and as the newest CUNY college, Guttman feels noticeably different from other CUNY campuses. Fellows note that Guttman faculty are generally remarkably responsive and flexible in collaborating with fellows and supporting their interests, and that the campus provides a strong and positive sense of community.

Advice from fellows for fellows

  • Note that Guttman’s academic calendar is different from the GC’s. Be clear with faculty and staff as needed about each semester’s start and end date at the GC, and communicate that you are not available to work outside of these dates.
  • Note that the Business Office may not be able to operate under your ideal timeline for your project. Be prepared to begin conversations with them early, in order to ensure that funds are made available for your project when they are needed.

Hostos Community College

Structure of HA Team

  • Babette Audant (she/her), Dean of Academic Affairs and Institutional Effectiveness, Research and Assessment; HA Campus Coordinator
    • Coordinates fellows and faculty/staff mentors on campus
    • Liaison between Hostos and GC HA teams
  • Kristopher Burrell (he/him), Associate Professor of History; HA Project Coordinator
    • Coordinates all campus projects
    • Works closely with all graduate fellows assigned to Hostos

Current Fellows:

  • Angela Dunne (she/they) (C21)
  • Seyedeh Mehrnaz Moghaddam (she/her) (C21)
  • Jennifer Queenan (she/her) (C22)
  • Diana Higuera Cortés (she/her/ella) (C22)
  • Natasha Tiniacos (she/her/ella) (C22)

Key Offices

  • Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL): In keeping with Hostos tradition, the Center for Teaching and Learning promotes excellence in teaching and learning with innovative pedagogies and state-of-the-art technologies by fostering interdisciplinary and cross-divisional collaborations. CTL provides faculty development, promotes best practices of teaching excellence in both traditional and online pedagogy of teaching and learning, and provides faculty with opportunities for research, scholarship, service, and leadership development to create and use pedagogical innovations to transform faculty teaching experiences and improve student outcomes. The Center will house and support HA fellows to accomplish their projects and will also help them navigate the campus culture of Hostos.
  • CTL Advisory Council: A cross-divisional, faculty-driven committee, concentrates on meeting the professional needs of faculty from all disciplines. A priority of this committee is to encourage faculty to rethink and put into practice innovative pedagogical methods that answer the basic and advanced needs of students to increase overall retention and graduation rates. This council will support the work of the fellows through feedback and building connections across the academic departments.
  • Office of Academic Affairs (OAA): OAA provides the leadership and support necessary to ensure the integrity and excellence of the academic programs, support the faculty’s teaching and scholarship, and advocate for faculty and the academic programs within the College, University, community and external regulatory agencies, as required. OAA will offer support and guidance to connect the work of the HA with the institution’s priorities and goals.

HA Projects

Learning Communities (LC)

At Hostos, faculty pair across disciplines to adapt their curricula and teach as a learning community. Fellows collaborate to develop resources and structures to support the intentional and sustainable development of these learning communities. Fellows work directly with teaching faculty to design linked assignments and assessments, and with students in linked classes. Fellows also collaborate with faculty to tell the story of these learning communities to a wider audience at Hostos and across CUNY through presentations and publications.

Humanities Experiential Learning (EL)

Hostos has a robust Service Learning and Civic Engagement Committee that supports experiential learning opportunities (ELO) and a related initiative to code ELOs across disciplines. In this project, fellows work alongside faculty and staff to develop resources for intentional and sustainable development of ELOs, conduct qualitative scans of existing ELOs, develop rubrics to evaluate ELOs, and help identify best practices. Fellows work with faculty interested in revising and developing ELO-designated courses and coordinate with the Committee and other parties to facilitate syllabus revisions and implement pilot projects.

Notes on Campus Culture

Hostos has been an educational agent for change, transforming and improving the quality of life in the South Bronx and neighboring communities since 1968. Hostos serves as a gateway to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility. The College’s unique “student success coach” program, which partners students with individualized guidance, is emblematic of the premier emphasis on student support and services. The Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture (HCAC) is one of the pre-eminent Latino arts centers of the northeast.  Hostos enrolls more than 7,000 students, and serves a predominantly Hispanic population. Hostos has long housed an impactful Writing Across the Curriculum Program that trains GC doctoral students to consult with faculty on approaches to writing instruction. In addition, Hostos has developed a wide range of online and hybrid courses in the humanities, an innovative curriculum that includes a vibrant arts center and a program in Game Design.

LaGuardia Community College

Structure of HA Team

  • Eric Hofmann (he/him), Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; HA Campus Coordinator
    • Coordinates fellows and faculty/staff mentors on campus
    • Liaison between LaGuardia and GC HA teams
  • Pablo Avila (he/him), Associate Director of ePortfolio and Digital Learning; HA Project Coordinator
    • Coordinates all campus projects
    • Works closely with all graduate fellows assigned to LaGuardia

Current Fellows:

  • Marianne Madoré (she/her) (C21)
  • Oriana Mejías Martínez (she/her) (C21)
  • Elliot Jun (he/him/they) (C22)
  • Travis Bartley (C22)
  • Francisco Medina (C22)

Key Offices

  • Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL): https://www.laguardia.edu/ctl/ The LaGuardia CTL is a hub for professional innovation, reflection, collaboration and transformation. Engaging the collective expertise of LaGuardia faculty and colleagues across the U.S., the Center provides professional development opportunities that support effective, student-centered pedagogies and scholarly approaches to teaching. Through workshops, forums, mini-conferences, informal discussions and sustained seminars, faculty develop innovative strategies for examining and advancing student learning. Activities explore a spectrum of pedagogical topics: integrative learning, basic skills education in mathematics, learning communities, inquiry learning, effective uses of digital technologies, critical literacies, the scholarship of teaching and learning, holistic assessment, and ePortfolio. Building capacities across the college, our mission is to promote a dynamic, supportive culture of learning for students and faculty at the college and beyond.
  • Office of Academic Affairs: Administrators in OAA have oversight of a range of student success initiatives, College and University projects and policies, and grant-funded programs. Administrators and staff collaborate with chairpersons and faculty across the eight academic departments and the Library, and each of the College’s divisions, especially Student Affairs, Adult & Continuing Education (ACE), IT, and Communications. Activities align with the LaGuardia Strategic Plan Goals & Objectives and CUNY’s Strategic Plan.

HA Projects

Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL)

Collaborative Online International Learning is a global learning initiative supported by Academic Affairs and Center for Teaching and Learning at LaGuardia Community College. COIL facilitates virtual collaborations between faculty and students from different national and cultural spaces, facilitating students’ global awareness and cross-cultural and cross-linguistic communication through interactive online practices. COIL faculty in any discipline can connect their courses with courses abroad using digital tools such as video chat and web blogs. In 2021-22, in collaboration with COIL Program Director Olga Aksakalova, graduate fellows’ energy and vision enabled the COIL project to move forward in significant ways. In addition to participating in monthly meetings of the COIL committee, both HA Fellows initiated and sustained significant aspects of COIL’s work, including: developing content and navigation for the new COIL website, preparing content from students and faculty for the COIL video, reaching out to professors in other countries to connect them and their students with the COIL network, revising the COIL student survey, developing the COIL-specific rubric and learning objectives, and assisting COIL faculty with translation to facilitate communication with their international partners.

ePortfolio

Fellows work closely with faculty leaders to help design faculty and student ePortfolio showcases, workshops, and co-curricular activities, and to facilitate the use of ePortfolio in career and transfer fairs for students majoring in programs in Humanities and Liberal Arts. Fellows also help conduct student and faculty focus groups to help inform a full view of LaGuardia’s wide-ranging ePortfolio practice. Fellows are introduced to a variety of educational High Impact Practices by developing a network of faculty and staff partners across the college, including the Center for Teaching & Learning’s instructional design and digital learning specialists, advisement services staff, peer mentoring program leaders, and multidisciplinary faculty. Previous fellows on this project conducted faculty and staff interviews to help inform a 360-degree view of LaGuardia’s wide-ranging ePortfolio practice; facilitated a cross-campus faculty workshop regarding creative uses of ePortfolio moving into a post-pandemic world and applied for IRB approval for future research with students and faculty; developed interview questions for student focus groups to be conducted in the future; and drafted a snapshot of ePortfolio practice at the college.

The Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (SoTL)

In 2022-2023, working with CTL staff and faculty, fellows may help design and support the next iteration of LaGuardia’s “Carnegie Seminar on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning,” focused on the Humanities. SoTL encompasses contextualized classroom inquiry and knowledge creation, based on Ernest Boyer’s Scholarship Reconsidered (1990). Faculty in the seminar develop a scholarly paper for internal publication in In Transit: LaGuardia’s Journal on Teaching and Learning based on research projects undertaken in the seminar. Fellows may participate in all aspects of seminar design and implementation, as well as the journal publication slated for Spring 2024. Past In Transit journals have focused on the first year experience, STEM education, and incarceration, among other themes.

Notes on Campus Culture

As a vibrant two-year college within the City University of New York, LaGuardia Community College has proudly served the Queens community for the past 50 years. Located in Long Island City, LaGuardia annually educates thousands of New Yorkers. Since opening our doors to all in 1971, we have been committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and we offer a welcoming environment for immigrants of all nations and individuals of all backgrounds. LaGuardia is recognized as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), and we enrolled 89 percent minority students and 47 percent Hispanic students as of Fall 2020. Our successes reflect the hard work and dedication of our faculty and staff – allowing students to write their own futures. Our guiding principle, “Dare to Do More,” reflects our conviction in the transformative power of education for individuals and for our community. We take pride in living that conviction as a “learning college,” and continuously assess and improve how we support student learning, development, and success. Our strong academic programs and culture of continuous improvement are buttressed by a host of support services and co-curricular learning opportunities, including an Honors Program, Veterans Services, and a range of peer mentoring programs. We recognize the value of providing interactions between successful students and newer students, and peer mentoring and tutoring programs are central to our student experience. (From LaGuardia’s 2021-22 Middle States Self Study Report)

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