2-18-14 Message from Interim President Robinson

Dear Colleagues,

Midway through the academic year, the beginning of the spring semester offers a useful vantage point: we can look back at fall's achievements and forward to Commencement.

It is a great pleasure to welcome new faculty members. David Joselit, Distinguished Professor in Art History, comes to the GC from Yale, and Peter Eckersall, a specialist in Japanese literature and dramaturgy, has joined the Theatre program from the University of Melbourne. Branko Milanovic, formerly lead economist at the World Bank and renowned scholar of income inequality, has come to the GC as Visiting Presidential Professor and Visiting Senior Scholar at the Luxembourg Income Study Center. I'm also delighted to congratulate Joan Richardson on her appointment as Distinguished Professor of English. I had the privilege of introducing David and Joan to the Board of Trustees on the occasion of their appointment as Distinguished Professors in January, and we can all take pride in their achievement.

Joan’s appointment is one of many distinctions that our faculty and students have received this year. Ruth Wilson Gilmore, of Earth and Environmental Sciences, was honored by the Association of American Geographers for her work in antiracism research and practice. Two of our students in the Economics program have gained recognition for their work: Alice Zulkarnain received an award from the National Bureau of Economic Research for her dissertation proposal on the topic of labor studies and aging, and Luz Salas was awarded $150,000 from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to study savings and entrepreneurship among children and youth in China. Stephen E. Harris (Biology) and Marissa Bellino (Urban Education) won theScience Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Science for their work on incorporating DNA barcoding in secondary and undergraduate science curricula. Meanwhile, faculty and alumni have published over 35 books in a wide range of disciplines over the last six months.

The research carried out at the GC is both individual and collective. Here I note the continued growth of the Advanced Research Collaborative (ARC), which is hosting fifteen Distinguished Visiting and CUNY Fellows. Selected from a large pool of applicants, they are conducting research in such fields as inequality, immigration and religion. Their work testifies to the inspired leadership of Don Robotham, Professor of Anthropology and ARC Director.

Critical to our success in these and other initiatives is the financial support the GC receives from its many generous donors. Last November, Jay Golan joined us as Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the Graduate Center Foundation. An experienced development officer, Jay has helped such landmark New York City institutions as Carnegie Hall, The New York Public Library, and New York Public Radio reach their fundraising goals. We welcome him to our community. 

Commencement will take place on June 3rd in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center. The event culminates the academic year and celebrates our students’ determination, originality, and creativity. We shall also have the opportunity to recognize the many contributions of Dr. Eugene Goodheart, Mr. Leonard Lauder, and Dr. Jan VilĨek, each of whom will be nominated to the Graduate Council and the CUNY Board of Trustees for honorary degrees in Humane Letters. I could not be more pleased that Uday Mehta, Distinguished Professor of Political Science, has agreed to deliver the Commencement address.

Kind regards,

Chase F. Robinson
Interim President

Submitted on: FEB 18, 2014

Category: President's Office - Community Message