October 2022 Winners

Faculty

A friendly face!

Photo of Dr. Emily Tai

Dr. Emily Tai

Professor
History

“I remember an occasion not long ago when I addressed my colleagues and was reminded of several things all at once: that intellectual work continues to challenge us in new ways; that it’s crucial to understand a range of ever-evolving ideas beyond your own area of expertise and that communicating the value of emotional resilience and encouragement makes for a student-ready College,” said Dr. Emily Tai, Professor, History.

“Emily’s collaborative and inclusive relationships with her colleagues and her students aligns with Queensborough’s commitment to develop students holistically in a nurturing and diverse environment that prepares them to successfully continue their education or directly enter the workforce.” said Queensborough President, Dr. Christine Mangino.

Dr. Phil Pecorino, Professor of Philosophy, who nominated Dr. Tai for the Queensborough Community C.A.R.E.S. award agrees. “Emily is dedicated to students in her classes but also those in the honors society and who engage in work with the Food Pantry.”

For Tai, the Food Pantry has been a passion and priority for many years.

She is extremely active, along with other members of the Committee for food insecurity, volunteering during the week and bringing in her Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) students to help unpack and distribute food. “To my students in the PTK Fellowship I ask, how can your gift help others? This is the essence of a culture of care, the building blocks for leadership, fellowship, and service.”

Tai, a full-time faculty member at Queensborough since 1997, is a champion of her colleagues too. She points out that “Queensborough is a collegium of distinguished faculty devoted to scholarship and innovation and all of us are interested in supporting one another. We encourage teamwork—all working together to reach our personal best.”

At Queensborough, Tai says she has some students who want to take their history studies to the next level, but that she stresses to all her students that, “history can be helpful in any way you want it to be. This knowledge base allows them to make that sharp pivot from one area of study to another.”

Emily Sohmer Tai received her B.A. from Queens College, CUNY, in history and classics (1982), and her A.M. and Ph.D. from Harvard University in Western European Medieval History (1996). Her research focuses on the history of piracy in the medieval and Early modern Mediterranean, while her teaching has also taken her into the fields of world history, women's history, and the history of religion. She has been the recipient of a Fulbright-Hays Research Fellowship (1989-1990), and, more recently, of grants from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation (2004), the PSC-CUNY Research Foundation (2001-2005), and the National Endowment for the Humanities (2004), for which she also served as a mentor in the development of curriculum in the history of Islam for an NEH/ Community College Humanities Association grant, Bridging Cultures: Strengthening the Humanities at Community Colleges, between 2012-2014.

Staff

How can we help?

Photo of Karen Alleyne and Belodine (Bella) Perry

Karen Alleyne and Belodine (Bella) Perry

Enrollment Coordinator, Administrative Assistant
New Student Engagement

Bella Perry and Karen Alleyne work side by side in the Office of New Student Engagement where they provide resources and tools to new students, from the time of their acceptance through their first semester.

“We put ourselves in their shoes,” said Perry, who has been at the College for more than 15 years. “Students need to feel a sense of belonging before they enter a classroom for the first time. We are a one-stop shop with an open-door policy for whatever a student may be looking for, even just a friendly face.”

Alleyne, at the college for 5 years, added that “pre-covid there was a reliable structure in place to help students connect with the resources they need to begin their academic career at the College and also to connect with each other.”

Now, she said, things are different.

CUNY mandates all students taking in-person and hybrid classes get vaccinated and upload proof of vaccination in CUNYfirst. “This new system can be confusing,” she continued, “and students who do not meet the upload deadlines are dropped from their classes.”

To save students from being dropped unnecessarily, Perry and Alleyne joined creative forces to facilitate a “Vaccination Upload Day” Zoom Room. They proactively reached out to the Covid Liaison to request the names and phone numbers of students who had not yet uploaded proof of their Covid vaccination and invited these students to join the forum of 20 breakout rooms to ask questions and receive real-time guidance. They encouraged students not to give up and stayed on the phone with them no matter the challenge, providing them with the technological and caring support they needed so they could make it to campus for the first day of classes.

As a result, some 80 students successfully uploaded their vaccination cards!

Bella added, “It was such inspiring teamwork, not just between us, but with the students as well. We all had a common goal—to help one another succeed.”

“Bella and Karen routinely work behind the scenes to ensure students have a full understanding of their schedules, and they have worked evenings and weekends to support populations that traditionally do not have regular support. Their approach and demeanor with students are how we should aspire to be. They truly epitomize the CARES award,” said Dr. Brian R. Mitra, Vice President of Student Affairs & Enrollment Management.

Alleyne said, “I always talk about QCC, our sense of community and care—we want students to feel valued by people who genuinely want to see them succeed. It is a rewarding feeling to know they will have a seamless and positive experience when they arrive at the front gate for their first class!”

Perry and Alleyne expressed their gratitude to their project partners from the Office of Information Technology and Academic Computing Center.

Nominees

Faculty

  • Marilyn Katz, Business
  • Jody Resko, Social Sciences

Staff

  • Jeffrey Ballerini, Center for International Affairs, Immigration, and Study Abroad
  • Rosanna Fernandez, ASAP
  • Ashley Kwok, Office of Educational Technology
  • Ray Perez, Academic Computing Center / Media Services
  • Aradhna Persaud, Office of Educational Technology
  • Ralph Romanelli, Office of Information Technology

Campus Cultural Centers

Kupferberg Holocaust Center exterior lit up at nightOpens in a new window
Kupferberg Holocaust Center Opens in a new window

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

Russian Ballet performing at the 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 Gallery exterior in the afternoonOpens in a new window
QCC Art Gallery

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.