Congrats to Our Grads and Thank You

May 23, 2022

President's Office Email Header

Dear Graduate Center community,

As we close the academic year, please join me in celebrating the many achievements of our students and faculty.

First, congratulations to all of our spring 2022 graduates. I look forward to honoring them and many of the students who graduated in 2020 and 2021 at our in-person Commencement on June 9. We are proud of all they have accomplished and excited about the many and varied opportunities that await them. Some have accepted postdoctoral and faculty appointments at Georgetown, Wesleyan, the University of Toronto, Boston College, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Villanova, while others will pursue amazing opportunities at tech and pharmaceutical companies. Many of our master’s students plan to continue their graduate studies in top Ph.D. programs at places such as Cornell, Penn, and Stony Brook. Others have accepted new positions or will continue their careers at New York University Press, Prudential, The New York Times, and tech companies such as Google and ASML. We wish each one of them the very best.

The Dissertation Showcase last week highlighted the fascinating research and career-readiness of 11 of our doctoral graduates and candidates. The presenters captivated an audience of nearly 300 by distilling the highlights of their research into three-minute stories. Please join me in congratulating the two 2022 Dissertation Showcase award-winners: George Annor from the Biochemistry program, who won the Presidential Prize for Public Communication, and Karen Okigbo from the Sociology program, who won the Audience Choice Award. Graduate Center master’s students have presented their research in similar showcases, and I commend them as well. In the year ahead, we plan to expand opportunities for students at all levels to receive training and practice communicating their work to general audiences, an essential skill for any career.

Many of our faculty members have received well-deserved recognition for their achievements in research and scholarship. Congratulations to our three new distinguished professors: Herman Bennett, Helena Rosenblatt, and Andrea Alù, who was also named the 2021 Blavatnik National Awards Laureate in Physical Sciences and Engineering. Congratulations also to Professor Kristina L. Richardson for winning the Dan David Prize, akin to a MacArthur “genius grant” for historians; to Professor Marvin A. Carlson on being elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences; and to Distinguished Professor Dennis Parnell Sullivan for winning the 2022 Abel Prize for Mathematics, the world’s highest honor for mathematics. Please see the new Graduate Center website for more news about faculty accomplishments and contributions.

We are looking forward to the next academic year with great optimism. Approximately 600 new students will join us in the fall. They include the first students in our new Astrophysics master’s degree program, which is designed to expand access to STEM doctorates and careers. A $4 million grant from the Simons Foundation makes the program tuition-free for all students.

Next semester, 90% of our lecture, lab, and seminar courses will be conducted in-person or in hybrid formats. Education thrives on exchange and interpersonal connection, and returning to the classroom and the lab is essential for sustaining our community and mission. Chance encounters, informal interactions, and conversations over coffee provide energy and inspiration, and often catalyze enduring collaborations and friendships. If you haven’t yet been back to the Graduate Center, we look forward to seeing you soon.

We are planning to return to in-person public events and programs. In late August, the James Gallery will host an exhibition of works by Ukrainian artists. I am also happy to announce that a new $1 million gift from the Baisley Powell Elebash Fund will endow global music programming that will bring diverse performers and scholars to campus for concerts, talks, and festivals. More live events will be announced in early fall.

We are gaining momentum through our commitment to excellence in public graduate education and research, grounded in our concern for the community and the world we serve. Thank you for making a difference through innovative, world-class scholarship, teaching, and mentoring. I look forward to collaborating with you to advance the Graduate Center and its mission in the year ahead.

With very best wishes,

Robin L. Garrell