I am sorry to inform you that Hurricane Irma has destroyed the Barbuda Archaeological Research Center (BARC), led by Dr. Sophia Perdikaris. Though I am relieved no Graduate Center staff or faculty were among those killed and injured, I am deeply concerned because many of the friends and colleagues who worked with them and maintained the field station on the island remain unaccounted for. I know we all hope emergency services locate everyone and they are all as unharmed as is possible in a disaster of this magnitude.
The Barbuda Council in collaboration with the City University of New York (CUNY), the Graduate Center, Brooklyn College, the Global Human Ecodynamics Alliance (GHEA), and the Human Ecodynamics Research Center (HERC) founded BARC in 2011. The intent is to serve the dual purpose of maintaining a multidisciplinary research station on Barbuda and ensuring community relevance and ownership of all research conducted there.
Our thoughts are with the loved ones of those killed in this storm and the over half of the 1600 inhabitants of the tiny island believed to be homeless. As was intended, researchers became part of the community on Barbuda. I know they are all in mourning. Dr. Perdikaris will travel to Barbuda on September 20 if it is possible to land a plane. I thank her for her continued commitment to Barbuda and this important project.
I am delighted to welcome everyone, faculty and students, to the fall semester, with a particular nod to the new students who are joining us for the first time at the Graduate Center. It is very good to see you all. I hope you had a rewarding and restorative summer.
As you enter the building, you will notice the impressively restored and beautifully mounted casts of the Parthenon frieze adorning the lobby and library. They came to us at no cost from City College, which acquired them as teaching aids in the nineteenth century in order to give their students access to artworks previously easily seen or visited only by the wealthy and well-off. Their arrival inaugurates a year of notable exhibits and performances in the gallery and other spaces around the building, as we move to make the arts more visible in our everyday lives at the GC.
To students with loved ones affected by Hurricane Harvey, please let us know if there is anything the Graduate Center can do to help you manage your studies as you cope with the effects of the storm.
There is much to say about the awful events in Charlottesville. For now, I will make just two comments. First, every single member of the GC community is welcome, always. Our diversity of origins, background, perspective, goals, and values broadens our understanding, enriches our research, and propels our discoveries. Second, we are privileged to work and study at CUNY, an institution committed to advancing the public good. We have -- and I know we will take -- every opportunity we possibly can to advance the public good through our research, teaching and mentoring, activism, public speaking and writing, or some mix of these – regardless of our fields of study.
I wish everyone a wonderful year.
Congratulations to Dr. Jennifer Furlong and our colleagues in the Office of Career Planning and Professional Development on their Next Generation Humanities Ph.D. Planning Grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for the 2016-2017 academic year. For planning themes, project updates and more visit the project website.
As part of the project, there will be a day of workshops and discussions around careers for PhDs and MAs in the humanities and humanistic social sciences on Thursday, May 4, 2017. This event will offer current students and recent alumni the chance to engage with alumni whose graduate training has enabled them to thrive in a range of careers. I strongly encourage everyone in our community, with the desire and opportunity to attend any or all of the sessions, including staff and faculty, to do so and get this great information (register here).