April 8, 2010
Freshman Academy for STEM - at a Glance
Faculty Coordinator:
Moni Chauhan
Faculty Coordinator:
Robert Kueper
Freshman Coordinator:
Scott Beltzer

Areas of Study:
Liberal Arts and Sciences (Mathematics and Sciences), Science for Forensics, Engineering Science, Engineering Technology (Computer, Electronic, Laser & Fiber Optics, Mechanical)
New Media and Telecommunications Technology

Academy Office:
Science Bldg 332;
Phone 718-281-5340

Number of Enrolled students
(spring '10 semester):
approximately 250

"Students like the idea of a positive first point of contact—someone who is prepared to listen to all kinds of issues, not just academic. In fact students are so appreciative of the guidance they receive that they often drop by just to say things are going well.  -  Scott Beltzer, Freshman Coordinator

"I felt motivated to return to school, in part because of Scott who answered all of my questions and followed me through on everything."  -  Anthony Boston, STEM Academy student

Dr. Martì on the
Freshman Academies

Visit the Freshman Academies web page

Past Issues of FAQ

Read the Q&A's

Providing each Student with a Strong Foundation in Mathematics and Science

The Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Academy is known for both its complexity and size -- it encompasses four major areas of study.

For these reasons, the individualized attention and guidance that are hallmarks of the academy structure is especially beneficial as students navigate the vast choices among the degree and specialized certificate programs, pre-requisites and demanding course loads within the STEM academic departments. Under the large umbrella of STEM, students may choose to major in Engineering, Science and Mathematics programs, Technology programs, Engineering Science, Liberal Arts and Sciences (Mathematics and Sciences), the John Jay Dual/Joint Associate in Science for Forensics degree program, Computer Engineering Technology, Laser and Fiber Optics Technology, and more. While the opportunities within the STEM Academy are rich and varied, the common denominator for all programs is a strong foundation in mathematics and science.

"Math is the keystone to all STEM courses," says Scott Beltzer, Freshman Coordinator of the STEM Academy. "In fact, students need pre-calculus just for the general Chemistry classes."

Read more... 
Meet Faculty Coordinator, Dr. Moni Chauhan,
Associate Professor of Chemistry

A Researcher Takes on a New Role and Makes a Startling Discovery

As an instructor, scholar, mentor, and researcher, Dr. Moni Chauhan—now in her new role as Faculty Coordinator for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Academy— finds that the structure of the Freshman Academies is a revelation to her.      

"While monitoring students’ academic progress has always been an important component of my teaching, it was not until I became involved in the Freshman Academies that I realized it is a daily necessity,” explains Dr. Chauhan. “Now, instead of seeing students five weeks into the semester, I meet with them beginning on the first day they arrive at Queensborough."

Dr. Chauhan, who has taught and studied all over the world, was drawn to the academies because of her natural ability to relate to students of varied ethnicities as well as her passion for research.

"The combination of my own background and the fact that research requires constant collaboration and communication, has made my experience as a Faculty Coordinator particularly satisfying," said Dr. Chauhan. Read more... 

QCC Alum and Faculty Coordinator, Robert Kueper
Draws on Life Experiences to Help Students

Professor Kueper, Faculty Coordinator, prides himself on providing academic and career mentoring to STEM academy students. As an icebreaker at the beginning of the fall semester, he gathered the STEM students into a large room and, gesturing to the STEM curriculum written on a blackboard, asked them to find a classmate in their program of study and exchange contact information. "The point of the exercise is to jump-start the relationship, paving the way for an academically-focused peer experience, an important facet of the academies," he explains. Read more... 
Getting to Know Freshman Coordinator, Scott Beltzer
Reaching Out, Making a Difference

In 2008, Freshman Coordinator Scott Beltzer was working at the main office for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in Manhattan, processing claims for veterans, when he realized that he wanted to "help people more directly, and spend less time doing paperwork".  In October of the same year, he became Assistant Project Coordinator of the Veterans Center at Queensborough, informing Queensborough veterans about services, GI Bill benefits, personal counseling, as well as priority advisement and registration. He also created the successful Queensborough Student Veterans Association. In January of 2009, he learned of the available position in the Freshman Academies and was hired as the Freshman Coordinator for the STEM Academy shortly thereafter. Read more...