The initiative to transform doctoral education for the public good

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Message from the Provost

Joy Connolly, Photo by Jessica Lehrman

Greetings once again to everyone, early in the fall term!  

To all students, faculty, and staff new to the Graduate Center, I am especially pleased that you have joined us: thanks for bringing your energy and talent to the GC.  To those of you involved in our Middle States accreditation review, special thanks for contributing your time and thoughts to this important work.  

It’s been a busy summer, and I’d like to update you on four areas of special interest in the Provost’s office where we’ve made significant progress: more to come soon.

We are opening up space for innovation and change in doctoral education.  The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded us $2.265 million late last spring to support our new initiative, “Transforming Doctoral Education for the Public Good.”  The grant’s work revolves around two goals: through curricular innovation, to blaze a path for graduate schools all over the country in preparing humanities PhDs for a variety of careers inside and outside academia; and to continue the GC community’s historic efforts to dismantle the walls separating the academy from the world, by fostering publicly oriented scholarship in the new PublicsLab.  The grant will make available to everyone at the Graduate Center skills in public writing and speaking as well as advice on choosing research topics with a view to advancing the public good.  My own personal hope is that everyone depositing a dissertation this year will also “deposit” a two to three minute video summarizing their research for a general audience, which we will archive on our website.  

We are ramping up services for students.  Our work never ceases on improving funding and support for students.  This past year Vice President Matt Schoengood hired additional staff in disability services and the Wellness Center. The Quantitative Research Consulting Center, very ably started up last year by GC Linguistics PhD Christen Madsen II, offers statistical and research design consultations for all interested students, faculty and post-docs.  We’ve now formally established QRCC (pronounced “Quark”) in its space on the third floor. Humanists, social scientists, and scientists asking questions at all levels are equally welcome.  Make an appointment or learn more about the QRCC at We are also expanding our capacity to help students express themselves in scholarly writing with eloquence and ease.  Both QRCC and the Writing Center to be established this academic year will report to Dr. Jennifer Furlong in the Center for Career Services and Professional Development. Students who wish to use this service can email or call 212-817-7425.

You’ve likely heard a great deal about the growth of master’s programs at the Graduate Center over the past year, with six new degrees opening their doors this year.  These degrees diversify our curriculum and student community, offer our faculty new opportunities to teach, and help students advance in career or education or both.   With our new Dean for Master’s Programs, Professor Julie Suk, who joined the Provost’s Office and the Sociology PhD Program this summer from Cardozo Law School, I’m working to integrate all master’s students into the fabric of the GC.  This involves a range of projects, including establishing master’s study lounges, providing administrative support and advising for new programs, creating internships, and helping students meet faculty, choose the right courses, and enjoy the company of fellow students.  

Science at the Graduate Center entered a new era when the Advanced Science Research Center joined us in 2017.  Led by Dean for Science Josh Brumberg, the ASRC is almost fully staffed and is welcoming four new faculty this year, two each in Photonics and Neuroscience. We are looking to further facilitate ways in which the ASRC can advance the research goals of CUNY scientists, both faculty and students.  GC Science was selected as a finalist for a Clare B. Luce Fellowship to increase gender equity in the quantitative sciences: we are hopeful our submission will be selected in the final round as we continue to focus on the all-important issue of equity and diversity in the sciences.  

You’ll hear more about additional projects in the near future: the Object Library, starting with the bright new flooring by artist Richard Woods along the Mina Rees Library frontage, and which is kicking off a GC participatory art project in mid-October; urban studies, now established in the Advanced Research Collaborative and soon to receive a boost in the form of a new fellowship opportunity; growth in the Digital Fellows program; the arrival of the new School for Labor and Urban Studies in the University Center; our effort to establish an array of paid internships; and a new approach to interdisciplinary study we are informally calling “pods.”

Until then, see you in the Dining Commons, a committee meeting, or (when I can find a spare moment) in the Segal Theater or at a colloquium or workshop.

Best wishes for the start of term,

Joy signature
From the Provost - Archive
Gods and heroes depicted in the Parthenon frieze

Provost Joy Connolly

Joy Connolly is the Provost and Senior Vice President at the Graduate Center. As the institution’s chief academic officer, she ensures the quality and performance of all degree-granting programs.  Her current priorities include opening up the Graduate Center to larger numbers of the public, including masters students, who seek access to the GC’s intellectual strengths; developing creative non-degree programs; strengthening global partnerships; lifting the GC’s distinctive public-facing profile; and fostering innovation and experimentation in graduate education.  

Before joining the Graduate Center in August 2016, Connolly was the Dean for the Humanities and Professor of Classics at New York University, where she was responsible for about 400 faculty in close to 30 departments, programs, centers, and institutes. Previously, as the Director of NYU’s College Core Curriculum, she put in place a post-doctoral program that featured workshops for graduate students on pedagogy and practical preparation for the job market. Earlier in her career, she taught at the University of Washington and at Stanford.

Connolly’s research focuses on Roman ideas about aesthetics, communication, ethics and political action, particularly as they relate to the 18th century and the contemporary world. Her first book, The State of Speech (Princeton, 2007), examined the role of communication in Roman ideals of citizenship. The Life of Roman Republicanism (Princeton, 2014) analyzed key themes in Roman thought: freedom, recognition, antagonism, self-knowledge, irony, and imagination. Connolly is also the author of Going on the Market, a handbook available on line that helps students navigate graduate school as well as the job-application and post-doctoral fellowship processes. Along with scholarly articles and book chapters, she has written reviews for the Times Literary Supplement, The Nation and The New York Times Book Review.
Connolly earned her AB from Princeton University and her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. She first studied classical literature and culture at Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts, and is a member of the School’s board of trustees.

Phone: (212) 817-7229

Associate Provost and Dean for Academic Affairs David Olan

Reporting to the Provost and serving as deputy, the Associate Provost and Dean for Academic Affairs assists in supervising a variety of administrative and fiscal areas, including all doctoral and master’s programs, interdisciplinary studies, the certificate programs, students’ professional development, the Graduate Assistant Programs, annual dissertation awards competition, oversight of the CUNY Performance Management Process (PMP) annual reports for GC goals and outcomes, and the Language Reading Program.  The Associate Provost and Dean for Academic affairs also plays a key leadership role in the Humanities, Social Science and Science Discipline clusters, and is a significant partner in the implementation of the Graduate Center’s Strategic Plan.

Phone: (212) 817-7205

Dean for the Sciences Joshua Brumberg

Reporting to the Provost, the Dean for the Sciences oversees all of the science doctoral programs (including the health science programs).  The Dean for the Sciences also monitors admissions and the 5-year student fellowship packages offered by the joint doctoral degree programs in the bench sciences, and plays a leadership role in the Science Discipline cluster.  

Phone:  (212) 817-7215


Dean for Master’s Programs Julie Suk

Julie UskJulie Suk is dean for master’s programs and professor of Sociology. Prior to joining The Graduate Center, she was a tenured law professor at the Cardozo Law School of Yeshiva University, and taught as a visiting professor at Harvard University, Columbia University, the University of Chicago, and UCLA. She has held research fellowships at Princeton University, the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, and LUISS-Guido Carli in Rome. She is a leading scholar of comparative law and society, having published dozens of law review articles and book chapters, primarily on discrimination and inequality in employment and constitutional law in the United States and Europe. She has chaired the Association of American Law Schools sections on Employment Discrimination Law and Comparative Law, and founded its section on European Law. Dr. Suk received her A.B. summa cum laude in English and French Literature from Harvard University, her M.Sc. and D.Phil. in Politics from Oxford University, and her J.D. from Yale Law School.  She is passionately committed to interdisciplinary research and CUNY’s public mission as an engine of opportunity.  She is excited to bring her experience of interdisciplinary teaching and research in the professional school setting to strengthen master’s education at The Graduate Center. 

Phone:  (212) 817-7251


Provost's Office Staff Directory

Bazan, Margarita
Associate Director for Academic Operations
Rm 8113.07
(212) 817-7238

Brumberg, Joshua
Dean for the Sciences
Rm 8111.03
(212) 817-7215

Joy Connolly
Provost and Senior Vice President
Rm 8113.03
(212) 817-7200

Doneger, Myra
CUNY Administrative Assistant
Rm 8111
(212) 817-7288 

Ellis, Anne
Director of Graduate Assistant Programs/
Special Assistant to the 
Associate Provost and Dean for Humanities and Social Sciences
Rm 8113.09
(212) 817-7284

Ellis, Edward
CUNY Administrative Assistant
Rm 8113
(212) 817-7244

Fish, Barbara L.
Director of Faculty Administration and Academic Information Systems
Rm 8113.06
(212) 817-7228

Gayle, Tamra L.
Administrative Executive Coordinator
Rm 8113
(212) 817-7205

Jiménez, Olga
College Assistant
Rm 8113
(212) 817-7239

Kinger, Mansha
CUNY Office Assistant
Rm 8113
(212) 817-7237

Maldonado, Rosa A.
Academic Operations Specialist
Rm 8111.05

Modica, Stacy
Assistant to the Provost
Rm 8113.15
(212) 817-7229

Olan, David
Associate Provost and Dean for Academic Affairs
Rm 8113.11
(212) 817-7205

Peterson, Brian
Dean for Academic Initiatives and Strategic Innovation
Rm 8309.03
(212) 817-7252

Sponzo, Rachel
Associate Director of Student Research Fellowships
Rm 8113.14
(212) 817-7282

Suk, Julie
Dean for Master's Programs
Rm 8309.02
(212) 817-7251

Tiongson, Stacie
Executive Director of Academic Affairs
Rm 8113.04
(212) 817-7226

Wong, Steven
Assistant Director of Faculty Administration and Academic Information Systems
Rm 8110
(212) 817-7286