September/ October 2022
It’s been great to see the increased presence of students, staff and faculty walking across campus, sitting in the cafeteria, making their way to class, walking through the halls, and off Zoom screens. But as joyous as these past few weeks have been for the College, we were hit recently with the loss of our long time and beloved colleague and friend Heather Brown, director of the KCC Child Development Center, and the sudden passing of nursing student Luiia Buravleva. Similarly, some of our colleagues have experienced recent losses of loved ones. Let’s please keep them and their families in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you for those who joined us at our annual September 11 memorial service. It’s twenty-one years later, yet for so many of us, it feels like it was just yesterday. May we continue to hold tight to the memories of the people we loved with the promise to live vibrant lives where we are good to ourselves and each other.
The spirit of living vibrantly calls us to celebrate the good work we continue to engage in as a community. I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to once again thank each and every one of you for the critical part you played during the season of registration. Each action made a difference: from the outstanding upgrades to many parts of our physical plant, to the LVA team and Public Safety Officers at the front gate, to administrative assistants who fielded questions and problem-solved, to our advisors that helped students to register, to the admissions staff that helped to onboard them, to the Office of Student Life that helped to orient them and everyone in between—thank you. There is more good news to come involving some of our colleagues. As soon as we receive the final green light, we will share it with you in the coming weeks. Please continue to share your good news with VP Todmann at communication.Marketing@kbcc.cuny.edu so that the Communication and Marketing team can highlight your accomplishments.
Kudos to the Office of Student Life for relaunching our in-person involvement fair. Students were able to sign up for clubs and I was finally able to be reunited with fried ice cream. Fortunately for me, steps away at the sea wall, we kicked off the KCC WELL Initiative with a walk around the campus. I counted about 50 participants but I know there were many more. Special thank you to Prof. Keisha Thompson, Althea Maduramente, Alissa Levine, Mickie Driscoll and Monica Joseph for their leadership and development of this initiative. I look forward to more walks and wellness programming this year.
Earlier this month, were pleased to plant the CUNY Flag in East New York/ Cypress Hills. KCC will occupy two classrooms and an office space in our new satellite location. Our classrooms are nestled within a brand new and deeply affordable housing complex¾Chestnut Commons¾for ENY/Cypress Hill residents that provides 275 permanently affordable homes, retail space and a community center. Now, in addition to affordable housing, residents will have a deeply affordable pathway to workforce development and higher education. Our efforts further advances our equity agenda. The neighborhood, which is located not too far from the Queens border, is diverse: 48,899 residents who are Latino/Hispanic (61.6%), African American (24.6%), Asian (8%), and Caucasian (3.2%); with 27.1% having an education level that’s less than high school; 41.3% are high school graduates; and 12.8% hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.
As we build capacity toward offering credit-bearing classes, our initial offerings will consist of Continuing Education Courses and ESL. We anticipate that classes will begin in January. I am exceedingly proud of the team: VPs Rodriguez, Todmann, Rios, their offices and the partnership with Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation that made this happen.
If the summer was the time to get ready, then September was the time to launch and get settled into a new semester. We were honored to have CUNY’s Executive Vice Chancellor Wendy F. Hensel join us for the day and deliver remarks at our Fall Convocation.
With regards to searches, the search for the assistant dean of DEI is still underway, a search has been launched for the VP of Institutional Advancement, and one will be launched for the dean of Institutional Research and Assessment shortly.
We are in the midst of preparing for our November visit from the Aspen Team. As part of being considered for the Aspen Prize, the College is required to participate in a two-day site visit from the Aspen Team. We also continue to prepare for our MSCHE accreditation visit in 2024-25. A number of faculty and staff are participating the MSCHE Self Study Institute. Thank you to those members of the faculty and staff who have answered the call to serve. MSCHE accreditation is critical as it is an accreditation is “an expression of confidence in an institution's mission and goals, its performance, and its resources”. For more information on MSCHE visit msche.org.
Please be on the lookout for an important communication from our Executive Legal Counsel Beth Douglas, regarding the recent expansion of the New York State Gender Recognition Act.
Although we are in a different place that we were last year with regards to COVID-19, it still remains a concern. The home page to our website continues to have a link to COVID-19 Guidance and Safety measures (https://www.kbcc.cuny.edu/campusentry/COVID-19_Guidance_Safety_Hub.html)
Please note that there is a new response guide that you can refer to for COVID-19 exposure protocols https://inside.kingsborough.edu/response/. Please continue to contact the KCC COVID Response team with all updates at firstname.lastname@example.org. As shared this week, Ms. Seanna Carter is the contact. You can report a positive case or make COVID inquiries to the following email address KCC.COVIDResponse@kbcc.cuny.edu email account. Over the next few weeks, there will be a search for a permanent LVA.
Colleagues, we will soon enter another season of registration, but our work in retaining students in perennial. We know a sense of belonging is critical to student retention and success. Recipients of the KCC Sense of Belonging Awards https://www.kbcc.cuny.edu/administration/presoffice/Sense-of-Belong-Initiative.html have started to implement their activities. Please support and encourage students to participate as well. I also encourage you all to support and participate in our annual Equity and Anti-Racism Summit (EARS) October 18 -19 as well. The theme this year is Promoting a Sense of Belonging ;and the organizers have done an incredible job creating a summit which provides multiple platforms for a diversity of voices, and advancing our college values of Diversity, Respect and Excellence.
October is one of those months where we celebrate a host of causes: Breast Cancer Awareness Month, National Bullying Prevention Month, Domestic Violence Month, Health Literacy Month, Italian American Heritage Month, ADHD Awareness Month, National Coming Out Month, and Hispanic Heritage Awareness Month. Thank you to faculty and staff, as well as all units across the College, especially Student Affairs and Communications and Marketing, for all that they do to highlight and host activities for our students and the college community. If there is an occasion/cause that you are interested in highlighting, please let VP Todmann know.