Newsletter | Fall 2016


Port of Entry: The Graduates

The Port of Entry Program was established in 1980 as a unique intensive language development program designed to provide international students and new immigrants with the language skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to succeed in higher education and professional careers in the United States.

Stanley Jiuming Guan

Stanley Jiuming Guan, who immigrated to America from southern China in 2012, enrolled in the Port of Entry Program for five semesters. He has achieved academic excellence at each level and has been awarded two different scholarships. In Spring 2016 he continued his matriculation as a Liberal Arts major at QCC. Besides achieving a high GPA of 3.50, he has demonstrated strengths in job skills and social skills. He is among the few to be selected to work for the pro- gram. His future goal is to become a Health Education Professional.

“The Port of Entry Program helped me to acquire the necessary language skills for the college and my work.”

Juan Camilo Zapata Garcia

Juan Camilo Zapata Garcia, an international student and an excellent soccer player from Colombia, was recommended to the Port of Entry Program by QCC Head Coach Zef Kabashi. He is an outstanding student at the program and was awarded the Thomas Chen POE Scholarship in the summer of 2015. A soccer coach from Dalton State University spotted Juan at a game he played with a New York team in Chattanooga, TN and offered him a full scholarship to study Business Administration at Dalton State University in the Fall Semester, 2015. Juan Camilo maintains an above 3.0 GPA and hopes to continue his graduate study in Sports Manage- ment and join a professional soccer team in the USA or another country.


Katyousha Pournazaridezfoul, Diana Berkowitz and Zong Hua Tian of CLIP at QCC
Katyousha Pournazaridezfoul, Diana Berkowitz and Zong Hua Tian

CLIP provides intensive, full-time instruction (25 hours a week) in the English language to learners of English as a second language who are at a very low proficiency level based on their CUNY Skills Assessment Tests in reading and writing. The purpose for attending CLIP, therefore, is to bring their proficiency up to the highest level of college remedial classes in order to exit from remediation and start attending college credit courses. CLIP held its 51st graduation ceremony this year and 87 students completed the program. Over 70% of those will attend QCC while others will transfer to various CUNY and SUNY schools to continue their education.

Student Success Highlights:

Jelaini Lantigua, who went from CLIP to ASAP (Accelerated Study in Associate Programs) to the Dean’s List, was awarded a $4000 Guttman Tran- sfer Scholarship and a Sheila Polishook Endow- ment Award of $200 and attended the Salzburg Global Citizen Seminar through QCC. She will be transferring to Hunter College with a major in Glo- bal History with an emphasis in Roman History and a minor in Political Science.

Shirley Chen is transferring to SUNY New Paltz with a major in Visual Arts. She was also on the Dean’s List.

Haiyeng (Harry) Liu is transferring to Stony Brook with a major in Computer Science. He also went from CLIP to ASAP and has been on the Dean’s List.

Mei Liu is transferring to Baruch with a major in Business Administration and was on the Dean’s List.

Wen Xi went from CLIP to ASAP. He is transfer- ring to Baruch with a major in Business Admini- stration and was also on the Dean’s List.


On Thursday, June 9th, the Business Technology Early College High School (BTECH) held its first National Honor Society (NHS) induction at Queensborough Community College. Membership into the National Honor Society is dependent on excellence in four man categories: scholarship, leadership, character, and service. A student must be in the 10th grade or above with an 85% or higher average in order to become a candidate for NHS. In the invitation for candidates to apply, the BTECH NHS advisor states the following eligibilities, Students filled out an application that went under review by a faculty council. All teachers and staff at BTECH had the opportunity to evaluate the applicants performance in the four categories mentioned above. The faculty council made all final decisions. Nine inductees arrived on campus dressed in their best black and white attire. They were cheered on by friends, family, BTECH staff, and QCC staff as they recited their pledges and became official members of the NHS. Denise Ward, Vice President of the Division of Pre-College, Continuing Education, and Workforce Development was present to offer words of congratulations. The new NHS members will set the tone for future members by coming together as a group to plan fundraisers, community service, and other activities to build the school’s culture.

“In addition to the academic requirement, there are standards in leadership, service and character. Leadership requirements include demonstration of leadership in school, as well as outside of school. Service requirements include involvement in service projects beginning with the start of the applicant’s high school career. Character requirements include integrity, positive behavior, ethics, cooperation, reliability both in and out of school, and classroom maturity…”

Stephon Kumar, Bill Leung, Hector Cuazitl, Kayleen Verdejo, Rachel Ishak, Tia Wright, Tony Jackson, Bryant Lock, Nhoj Plummer
Stephon Kumar, Bill Leung, Hector Cuazitl, Kayleen Verdejo, Rachel Ishak, Tia Wright, Tony Jackson, Bryant Lock, Nhoj Plummer


IDEA - From QCC to Entrepreneurship

Suveer Seemangal was born in Guyana and immigrated to the United States in 1997. His mother works as a teacher, and his father makes deliveries for a small filter company. Suveer went to Queens Vocational and Technical High School, located in Long Island City where he majored in Business. He started trading on the stock market during his sophomore year after being introduced to the stock market game. He traded on the equity markets for four years, and in the past two years switched asset classes and started trading the currency markets. He began his entrepreneurial journey one month after graduating from high school by starting a cleaning company named Cleanster NYC. After that venture he started a consulting firm, Blubase Consulting, to help entrepreneurs and startups get funding and essentially start up a business.

EKATERINA MANAFEEVA: You participated in QCC’s Career Cluster - Dual Credit program (now Connect2College) and completed three business courses (BU500, BU906, and ET710). How did these courses and the skills you gained help you excel professionally and personally?

SUVEER SEEMANGAL: I started taking the dual-credit program (formerly called Career Clusters) when I was a sophomore. I believe by taking those courses so early, it gave me a strategic advantage in both my professional and academic careers. For starters, by the time I began college, I had enough credits to be able to graduate in three years instead of four years. Secondly, taking these college courses afforded me the opportunity to understand real-life business situations in depth, at such an early age. These courses I would say definitely set my resume apart. Though I chose the entrepreneurship route, I still use some of the skills and material I learned in those courses to assist with my day to day endeavors at BluBase Consulting.

Suveer Seemangal presenting in the Oakland Building at QCC

EM: What advice would you give to High School students enrolling in the Connect2College – Dual Credit program?

SS: My advice to high school students pondering whether or not they should be a part of the dual-credit program, currently called Connect2College, is to - JUST DO IT. Having been a high school student I know how easy it is to walk out after that last bell and not look back twice. I advise them all to take a good look at where they would like to be 4 to 5 years from their current position. Would you rather still be trying to finish up that last class while your friends have already graduated? Or would you like to get a jump start on your career by dedicating an extra ten hours a week to your education? By taking these classes early, you’re only adding assets to your name which in the long term makes you more valuable to companies, not to mention having the jump on someone who’s relatively older than you feels pretty cool.

EM: What advice in terms of promotion/ recruitment and course offerings would you give to High Schools, guidance counselors, and Connect2College administrators?

SS: I would advise counselors to highlight some of the success stories for current high school students. I remember when I was in the beginning months of my sophomore year, I wasn’t really thinking much about what college I wanted to go to or a potential career choice. In some cases, the younger generation is very motivated by seeing people who are successful as a result of the programs offered. Maybe hosting a Q&A session at the high schools or at QCC will be a help. I have no problem being an ambassador for it.

EM: Where do you see the parental involvement, if any?

SS: I see parental involvement as minimal as possible. Maybe every now and again send a flyer or email to parents. I say this because, as a student, it’s one thing to have your teachers suggest you do something at school, but then it’s taken to a whole other level once parents are on the student’s case at home. Naturally, when people are told to do something - especially high school students, their initial reaction is to rebut what’s being said. So I would just make parents aware not to stress it too much.

EM: What influenced your decision to come to QCC?

SS: The tuition prices at QCC is what sold me to come to QCC. I actually did the college application process incorrectly. I applied to many out of state schools, with the intent that I would be able to afford them. The harsh reality of the situation was that my grades weren’t high enough for scholarships, and my family’s total income was just high enough for me to not qualify for financial aid. I remember vividly that it was a week before the fall semester started and I still hadn’t been accepted to any school in CUNY, so I just did a direct fall admission to QCC, where I spent the next year and a half.

EM: What entrepreneurial advice would you give to someone thinking of starting a business?

SS: Some advice I would offer to up and coming entrepreneurs is find something you love to do, and find a way to make it make you money; business is built around peopleso sharpen up your people skills; adopt a growth mindsetalways strive to be learning something new; every “no” brings you closer to a “yes”; and, DON’T EVER GIVE UP.

EM: Define three aspects that had the most impact on your business success:

SS: I would say people skills, business knowledge, and natural curiosity led to the success of BluBase Consulting.


Applied Technology and Cybersecurity Courses

Queensborough Community College – CUNY Pre-College, Continuing Education and Workforce Development Department delivers a first of its kind cutting edge course for NYC DOE select high school students to prepare “the workforce of tomorrow for careers in applied technology and cybersecurity”. As part of a workforce development initiative, 22 students were given hands on training for the A+ Technician certification beginning last fall. This certification requires the successful completion of 2 exams that measure a student’s ability to know technician essentials, device maintenance, and customer service. This course provides real world, in demand, cybersecurity training and career information through projects, reports, and research assignments. The cybersecurity course kicked off with an “National Security Agency (NSA) Day of Cyber” where the students (picture below) signed on to the NSA portal, were given briefings on Cyber jobs within the agency, and provided with college and career information and insights. They completed a resume and upon completion were awarded a certificate. Industry subject matter experts provide an overview of what it takes in day-to-day operations. A data center visit is planned to provide the students with a view of the ‘cyber front line’ and internships will provide students with experiential learning. These students have distinguished themselves in developing their skills and knowledge over a series of technology classes held at Queensborough. Their efforts will result in the award of 2 college credits, along with an opportunity to attain A+ Certification, an IT industry standard certification.

Profile in Excellence: Soraya Alli

Soraya Alli

Soraya Alli, current senior at Hillcrest High School and participant of the WDI (Workforce Development Initiative) funded program, Introduction to Information Technology and Cybersecurity, at Queensborough Community College, has become the proud recipient of the Generation Google Scholarship. She was also a finalist for the nationally recognized QuestBridge Award which connects the world’s brightest low-income students to America’s best universities and opportunities. Soraya was recently named a Gates Millennium Scholar, distinguishing her as a Leader for America’s Future ™ and providing her with full undergraduate and graduate school funding. She has also been awarded with the New Visions Scholarship. In addition to her individual achievements, Soraya is a firm believer in helping others. She is a Co-Founder/ President of Scholars on Point at Hillcrest High School which is a support system for juniors being mentored by seniors in the top 10% of their graduating class. As Coordinator and Head of Graphic Design for Girl Up at Hillcrest High School, she has taken part in a United Nations Foundation Campaign that raises funds and awareness for the education of girls in underdeveloped countries. In the fall, Soraya will be attending the Macaulay Honors College at CUNY - John Jay College of Criminal Justice. There she will major in Computer Science and Information Security (with a focus on cybersecurity and digital forensics). Denise Ward, Vice President of Pre-College, Continuing Education, & Workforce Development at Queensborough Community College through which the WDI funded project is administered, offers her congratulations to Soraya and is so pleased that the college had an opportunity to further her education in the field of cybersecurity technology. QCC’s work with thousands of pre-college students in preparing them for college and the workforce is truly rewarded when students such as Soraya demonstrate such hard work and success.

Health Aide student training on assisting a patient in a wheelchair

Free Home Health Aide Training with Job Placement!

Queenborough Community College has partnered with NYACH, NYC Small Business Services, Workforce and a partner home care agency to provide free Home Health Aide (HHA) training with job placement. Selected students begin the pre-employment process with our partner agency prior to enrollment, to ensure smooth transition from training to employment. During training, students also receive free scrubs, shoes and blood pressure kits! Graduates of this training begin employment immediately and many have the option to receive further tuition funding through union membership. HHA’s have gone on to positions such as Patient Care Technicians, Medical Assistants and Hemodialysis Technicians.

Career Direct Program

The Career Direct program specializes in assisting current degree students and graduates of Medical Office Assistant (A.A.S), Business Management (A.A.S.) and Office Administration and Technology (A.A.S.) programs with career counseling, resume writing and job search strategies. Our mission is to empower students to become advocates of their own professional aspirations and to optimize their personal and professional potential, through direct connections with potential employers leading to experiential learning, internships and employment opportunities.

Miatta (Mimi) Weisel, MBA Program Manager, Career Direct Veenadai (Vanessa) Ramjas, MSOB, MSM Adviser, Career Direct Josephine Troia, MsEd. Adviser, Continuing Education
FROM TOP: Miatta (Mimi) Weisel, MBA Program Manager, Career Direct; Veenadai (Vanessa) Ramjas, MSOB, MSM Adviser, Career Direct; Josephine Troia, MsEd. Adviser, Continuing Education

With a successful year behind us, Career Direct is excited to announce the addition of two new A.A.S. degree programs; Computer Information Systems (CIS) and Internet and Information Technology (IIT). The Career Direct team will continue to offer individualized services through counseling and employment in support of our students’ professional development.

The Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation Awards QCC a Prestigious Grant to Expand and Redesign Health Career/ Education Pathways

Queensborough Community College is the recipient of a one-year, $133,000 grant from The Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation. As a result of driving changes in federal and state legislation, the grant will allow the College to expand and redesign its health career/education pathways by revising degree, non-degree and non-credit certificate programs for Medical Office Assistants. Through local and regional research with service providers it will also help the college redefine the new skills and competencies required for Medical Assistants and leverage the existing curriculum in place in the Queensborough Nursing, Public Health and Health Sciences programs that might support the new skills. In addition, the funding will help define the demand for not only Medical Assistants but also for new roles being driven by the legislation such as Care Coordinator and Healthcare Navigator.

“Coordinating care for these services, providers and facilities will be absolutely necessary,” said Denise Ward, Vice President of Pre-College, Continuing Education and Workforce Development at Queensborough. “This grant presents us with a wonderful opportunity to research and study the current and future needs of the local health care industry, and to redesign and implement new workforce design programs and curricula.”

Queensborough has enrolled some 300 students annually in their degree and non-degree Medical Office Assistant (MOA) programs over the course of the last three years. This grant serves to further increase enrollment by providing lasting benefits for degree and non-degree students into the foreseeable future, both academically and for career advancement.

Campus Cultural Centers

Kupferberg Holocaust Center (KHC)Opens in a new window
Kupferberg Holocaust Center Opens in a new window

Using the lessons of the Holocaust to educate current and future generations about the ramifications of unbridled prejudice, racism and stereotyping.

Queensborough Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window
QPAC: Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window

QPAC is an invaluable entertainment company in this region with a growing national reputation. The arts at QPAC continues to play a vital role in transforming lives and building stronger communities.

Queensborough Art GalleryOpens in a new window
QCC Art GalleryOpens in a new window

The QCC Art Gallery of the City University of New York is a vital educational and cultural resource for Queensborough Community College, the Borough of Queens and the surrounding communities.