March 18, 2009
This e-newsletter provides details and addresses your questions about the implementation of the Freshman Academies. Each issue of FAQ is topic-specific and will address such topics as organizational structure and staffing. Questions about each topic, as well as suggestions for future topics, are encouraged. Answers will be provided in subsequent issues and will be added to the Q&A that will reside on the QCC website.
Questions can be emailed to:

In This Issue:
Meet the Freshman Coordinators
High Impact Learning Activities Have a New Coordinator
What is the Role of the Freshman Coordinator?
Freshman Academies Librarians
Answers to Questions Posed from the March 4 Issue

Read the
March 4 Issue of FAQ

Read the Q&A's

High Impact Learning Activities Have a New Coordinator!
Congratulations and welcome to Susan Madera, who has been hired as Acting Administrative Coordinator of High Impact Learning Activities for the Freshman Academies. Susan has been the Coordinator for the MDRC Learning Communities Study for the past several years, and has been highly successful in her work on random assignment for the study, which bridges both Academic and Student Affairs.

Dean Michele Cuomo, to whom Susan reports, comments, "Susan has learned a lot from her experience with the learning communities and MDRC, and she has a lot to teach us in the process."

Susan has already met with Faculty Coordinators and Freshman Coordinators to help define, articulate and promote the relevance of the high impact learning activities. Susan explains, "With the academies, the challenge is that we have to think beyond single disciplines, and even look at Gen Ed in a different way. I hope to work with faculty to show them the value of working across disciplines to bring a better experience to their students. In my experience with learning communities, I have had to make these connections."

Essentially, Susan is going to help in the implementation of the high impact learning strategies. She will be working with the many resources that we have right here on campus to help Faculty Coordinators design these special learning experiences for students. Susan will also meet with the Freshman Coordinators to ensure that the various experiences are relevant to students, and she will train Freshman Coordinators to understand and promote high impact learning activities with their students. The resources of Service Learning, the QCC Art Gallery, QPAC, the ACC, the Kupferberg Center, among many others, are ready and available to act as platforms to deliver high impact learning activities to academy students. "We have so much right here that the students can take advantage of, we are going to utilize the resources of the College as much as possible," says Dean Cuomo.

Undoubtedly, because of her experience with recruiting for the MDRC Learning Communities, Susan seems energized by the implementation challenges ahead of her, "In the end it's all about delivery. We have all these resources at our fingertips; what we have to do is raise awareness, bring people together, and deliver a better learning experience for the students."

Susan graduated from Queensborough Community College with an AA degree in 2003.  She moved on to Queens College where she received her BA in 2005, with English as her major and Secondary Education as her minor.  She is the recipient of various awards and scholarships and is a proud member of both Phi Theta Kappa and the Golden Key Society. Susan is also an accomplished author. Her narrative essay "One Voice" is published in Across Cultures, edited by Sheena Gillespie and therefore part of the curriculum for English Composition classes both here at Queensborough and at other colleges across the country.
FOCUS: Meet the Freshman Coordinators and
Welcome them to Queensborough!
On March 3, all ten Freshman Coordinators for the six Freshman Academies began their first day at Queensborough. You will see from their photos and brief professional profiles that these are ten individuals that have the energy and experience to significantly advance the goals of the Freshman Academies: to provide focused and coordinated student support to our first-time, fulltime freshman during their first two semesters and guide them to success at Queensborough.

Liberal Arts Academy
Kay Ann Montaque, a recent CUNYCAP student with the Offices of Admissions and New Student Enrollment Services, just completed her masters in computer science at Queens College after receiving her bachelors degree from York. We are glad you're with us, Kay Ann!
Alexandra Pyak joins us from her alma mater, LaGuardia Community College, where she worked as a peer mentor, academic advisor, and has experience in LaGuardia's First Year Academy program. Alexandra received her bachelor's degree in Sociology from Queens College (with a 3.9 GPA!).  Welcome to Queensborough, Alexandra!
Kaman Cheong-Lau was a student affairs assistant in the Office of Vice President for Student Affairs at Stony Brook University, where she worked in programming and coordinating First Year Program events. Kaman graduated with Honors from Stony Brook with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Kaman, we are thrilled to have you join us at Queensborough!
Rebecca Ann De Jesus left a position as an assistant projects coordinator and academic advisor at Queens College to join our Freshman Academy.  Rebecca graduated from Nassau Community College and holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Queens College. Welcome, Rebecca!

Health Related Sciences Academy
Gail Patterson comes to Queensborough with ten years experience at several educational/school based programs. She was the Training Manager for the New York City Job Corps Centers where she worked with allied health trainees among other areas. Gail is currently enrolled in a master's program in Counseling and Guidance at the College of New Rochelle.  Your experience will be a real bonus for the academy, Gail!

Visual and Performing Arts Academy
Kimberly Brooks has already served sixth months as VAPA's Freshman Coordinator.  She is a graduate of Nassau Community College and Hofstra University where she was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.  Before joining VAPA, Kim worked in the College's Academic Advisement Center and New Student Enrollment Services.  Great to have you on board, Kim!

Education Academy
Andrei Lee has been the Freshman Coordinator for the Education Academy for six months. He joined us from the New York City Board of Education in Special Programs and Recruitment. Andrei holds a BA in English Literature from Binghamton University and was an educational intern with the Binghamton City School District. We are so happy to have you with us, Andrei!

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Academy
Scott Beltzer is the Acting Freshman Coordinator for STEM.  He is a familiar face on campus through his recent work in the College's Veterans Services Center. Scott graduated from Suffolk Community College and Adelphi University and is currently enrolled at CWPost/Long Island University in an MS program in Mental Health Counseling. Enjoy your new role in the STEM Academy, Scott!

Business Academy
Natalie Roopchand, a Queensborough alumnus, is Acting Freshman Coordinator for Business. From Queensborough, she transferred to Baruch College and received her Bachelor's degree in Business. Natalie has also worked in Queensborough's Admissions Office and the Campus Learning Center as a tutor and administrative assistant. Welcome back, Natalie!
Kimberly James, also Acting Freshman Coordinator for Business, brings four semesters of experience as a CUNYCAP student in Queensborough's Academic Advisement Center to her Acting Freshman Coordinator position. Kim holds a bachelor's degree and masters in Secondary Education and English from Queens College. Glad to have you here, Kimberly!

What is the Role of the Freshman Coordinator?
The Freshman Coordinators are entry-level (Assistant to HEO) student personnel professionals who will actively guide freshmen from the point of admission through the first two semesters of their college experience.

Reporting directly to Susan Curtis, the Director of New Student Enrollment Services, and working collaboratively with the Faculty Coordinator for their academy, they will participate in the advisement, registration and orientation activities and will act as a bridge for academy freshmen to support services including tutoring, financial aid, counseling, and career services.

The Freshman Coordinator is also a resource to faculty. They will assist faculty in the planning of academy-specific activities and new student events and are available to provide more in-depth follow-up to any student concerns that the classroom faculty identify. It is the responsibility of the Freshman Coordinator to research concerns, contact the student and recommend appropriate follow-up, whether that be tutoring, counseling or other issues that can be assisted through the College's support services and staff.

The average "case load" per Freshman Coordinator is expected to be 200 freshmen in the fall, with additional freshmen allocated for the spring semester. Therefore, the interaction among the Freshman Coordinator, the Faculty Coordinator and the offices of Student Affairs is critical to the delivery of services to all freshmen.

The Freshman Academies Librarians
The library can be an intimidating place, and Queensborough offers course-related sessions to help students overcome "library anxiety" and learn to find, evaluate and use information effectively and ethically. All Queensborough librarians have liaison assignments, usually related to their subject specialization (all of the librarians have either a subject masters or a doctorate, in addition to their library degrees.) Building on these ties, the Library faculty will assist the discipline faculty in a Freshman Academy by integrating information literacy into the work of the academy.

The librarians who have been assigned to the Freshman Academies are:

Prof. Devin McKay – for the Liberal Arts Academy
Prof. Barbara Bonous-Smit – for the Visual and Performing Arts Academy
Prof. Constance Williams – for the Health Related Sciences Academy
Prof. Susan Sciammarella – for the Education Academy
Prof. Sheila Beck – for the STEM Academy
Prof. Jeanne Galvin – for the Business Academy

The academy librarians can handle requests for library materials or the creation of online tutorials to assist academy-specific students in learning to find and use information that is pertinent to their academy. Additionally, students in an academy may come to the academy's librarian for assistance in research assignments.

Answers to Questions Posed from the March 4 Issue of FAQ
Question: What is the role of academic support services/tutoring in the academies, and what are the mechanics for how Faculty Coordinators and Freshman Coordinators will interact with tutoring centers/academic support programs?

 One of the most important objectives of the Freshman Academy initiative is to ensure that students become aware and take advantage of the instructional support services on campus which will help them succeed in their studies at the College. 

Individual Faculty members should continue to refer their students to appropriate Learning Centers, including the Campus Writing Center, The Campus Learning Center, The Basic Skills Learning Center and the Math & Science Learning Center, as student need arises. If faculty members feel that more intervention is needed, they may ask the Freshman Coordinators to walk students over and introduce them to the staff and tutors at the center.

Additionally, Faculty Coordinators have been charged with raising awareness among faculty members in the disciplines of their academies about instructional support services.

The Freshman Coordinators will also be proactive in referring students to the Learning Centers, and follow up with tutoring center staff, when appropriate, on the progress of their students.

 Why should/could academic support/tutoring be considered one of the academies' "high impact activities"? 

 The High Impact Activities are all pedagogical experiences in a classroom. Tutoring continues to serve to enhance the identified High Impact Activities. For example, the Campus Writing Center supports WI and Cornerstone (i.e. EN 101) experiences and e-portfolio tutoring supports e-portfolio experiences. 
Please address your questions or suggestion for a future topic to: Your question will be answered via email and will be included in the next issue of FAQ.