Welcome with Fall Updates

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 www.gc.cuny.edu/qrcc. 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 careerplan@gc.cuny.edu 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,


Submitted on: SEP 17, 2018

Category: Provost's Office