President’s Report June 2019
Dear KCC Community,
Congratulations on a job well done this academic year. Because of your efforts in and outside of the classroom, and in offices across the College, over 1,300 of our graduates withstood the rain and wind, and filled the tent with joy on commencement day. It was a joy so palatable that the sun had no choice than to make an appearance in the afternoon.
I was excited to participate in my first commencement as well as be formally inaugurated as the 7th President of Kingsborough Community College. Two weeks after our own commencement, I was honored to bring greetings at the Leon M. Goldstein High School graduation, and at the Kingsborough Early College Secondary School awards ceremony. As you know, KECSS graduated 74 students who earned both a high school diploma and an Associate of Arts degree. Not only will our KECSS graduates enter four-year colleges as juniors, but their cost of a college degree is significantly reduced because of their participation in the Early College program. Over the next two years, 100 students will also have the benefit of a free college degree thanks to the generous gift of Mr. Leonard Riggio, our commencement speaker, who announced his gift of one million dollars to the College during his speech.
Our student scholarship recipients were in full bloom at our annual Seaside Splash Gala. Our Garden of Dreams themed gala was a smashing success, and we were able to raise funds to support scholarships, and to continue to fund Kingsborough’s promise of access, excellence and opportunity for all students. Thank you to the Office of College Advancement for putting together an amazing event.
June was a time for celebrating the accomplishments of our students, and I was happy to do so at our annual Awards Ceremony, Nursing Pinning Ceremony, and the reception for My Turn students where I was also honored to meet and celebrate the 100th birthday of Fran Koch, founding member of the My Turn program and member of the KCC Class of 1977.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all members of the planning committees for their hard work organizing all of our end of the year events. Special thank you to the Events Management Staff, Public Safety, and Buildings and Grounds for all their hard work during our month of celebrations.
I am pleased to report that the CUNY Board of Trusteees voted to approve the establishment of the KCC Department of Allied Health, Mental Health and Human Services at their June meeting. Prof. Richard Fruscione, currently program Director for Surgical Technology, was elected by the members of the newly-formed Department of Allied Health, Mental Health, and Human Services to serve as interim chair for the 2019-2020 academic year.
Last month, I also attended the Hate in our World, Hate in our City Summit sponsored by the Interfaith Alliance for Safer Communities and the New York Board of Rabbis. The Summit aimed to increase awareness of the challenges posed by hate crimes and the roles that faith leaders play in combatting them. There were a number of law enforcement, policy makers and faith leaders in attendance.
With regards to enrollment, as of July 1st we are at 41.5% of our enrollment target (11,422) which represents an increase of 3.7% enrolled students over last year at this time.
Senior staff working with advisors and members of the Bursar, Admissions, Financial Aid, Registrar, IT and Testing (BARFIT) staff continue to review enrollment data, and procedures to ensure seamless and effective processes at work toward meeting our enrollment goal.
I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Johanna Rivera as the Interim VP for Enrollment Management. Dr. Rivera comes to KCC from Hostos Community College where she has served as the Associate Dean for Student Development and Enrollment Management since 2015. During this period, she also held interim positions as Registrar, Director of College Discovery and Admissions. Prior to Hostos, Dr. Rivera served as the Executive Director of Enrollment Management, and in the Registrar’s Office at Medgar Evers College, City College and Brooklyn College. Her positions have included experiences with all aspects of training and leadership. She has also participated in activities around strategic planning, staff training, development, systems thinking, and operational effectiveness to enhance the overall stability and structure of previous college enrollments teams.
Also joining my senior leadership team is Dr. Simone Rodriguez-Dorestant as the Interim Vice President for Workforce Development and Strategic Community Partnerships. Dr. RodriguezDorestant brings with her over 20 years of expertise in various managerial and executive capacities working in CUNY. She currently serves as the Associate Dean for Success Programs at Bronx Community College, and has held the prior roles at Medgar Evers College as the Dean of the School of Professional and Community Development, Associate Provost, Executive Director, Student Development and Student Services, and Executive Director of Academic Affairs and Planning. Dr. Rodriguez-Dorestant has extensive developing and nurturing relationships with external entities including community-based organizations; non-profits; business and industry; and governmental and granting agencies. In addition, she has successfully secured and managed a number of grants. She has strong relationships throughout the borough, region and beyond which will help to the college to both establish and expand its workforce and strategic partnerships footprint.
This past month, we had the pleasure of hosting Deputy Mayor J. Phillip Thompson who oversees the Pre-K for All and the Young Men’s Initiative. His portfolio also includes the Office of Workforce Development, and the Department of Youth and Community Development. DM Thompson discussed a number of workforce and partnership opportunities that are available in New York City. I am looking forward to Dr. Rodriguez-Dorestant continuing discussions with DM Thompson, and pursuing opportunities that will benefit the College.
I hope you have an enjoyable summer.