February 2, 2022

Graduate Center 60 Years

Dear Graduate Center Community,

Welcome to the new semester! All of us at the Graduate Center have worked hard to reach the goal set by the chancellor of offering 70% in-person classes, and to supporting our continued success in providing outstanding graduate education, enabling cutting-edge research, and supporting creative endeavors. In collaboration with CUNY, we are taking every precaution to maintain everyone’s safety. You will find information on COVID and campus reopening on our website.

We are looking forward to launching the new Graduate Center website on February 15. The website has been designed to evolve over time, with flexibility to incorporate necessary improvements and enhancements. This project belongs to all of us. The new website will allow our community to tell the story of the Graduate Center, showcase our programs, and more effectively promote our research and achievements.

Graduate Center students and alumni continue to make an impact. Over the break we learned the exciting news that doctoral student Nantasha Williams (Social Welfare) has been elected as a new member of the New York City Council, representing District 27 in southeast Queens. Williams is a community leader, social justice advocate, and political organizer who joins alumnus and District 4 councilman and majority leader Keith Powers (M.A. ’13, Political Science). Congratulations also to Angélica Negrón, a composer and D.M.A. candidate in the Music program, who was awarded the Hermitage Greenfield Prize. The prize includes a $30,000 commission to create a new work for the Hermitage Artist Retreat in Florida.

I am also delighted to share that on Monday the CUNY Board of Trustees appointed history professors Herman Bennett and Helena Rosenblatt as distinguished professors. Please join me in congratulating them on this singular achievement.

Next month, we will share the results of the Student Experience Survey. I echo Provost Steve Everett’s thank you to all the students who shared their feedback, which we will use to inform plans for improving programs and student support services.

Our spring public programs underscore the breadth of creativity and research at the Graduate Center. Two renowned alumnae authors will be featured. Maggie Nelson (Ph.D. ’04, English), a MacArthur “genius” grant recipient and author of The Argonauts and On Freedom, will be in conversation with Distinguished Professor Wayne Koestenbaum (English) on Thursday, March 10. And on Wednesday, May 25, Grace Cho (Ph.D. ’05, Sociology), a 2021 National Book Award Finalist for her memoir Tastes Like War, will discuss her work with Professor Patricia Clough (GC/Queens, Sociology). We will celebrate the achievements of our 2022 graduates with the annual Dissertation Showcase on Wednesday, May 18, so please save the date. More information on these programs is on the way.

Thank you for your dedication to providing great education at the Graduate Center. I look forward to seeing many of you on campus, and to a bright and rewarding semester.

With best wishes,

Robin L. Garrell