Once again, I have the pleasure and privilege of introducing Marks of Excellence, BMCC's annual journal of outstanding academic achievement.
This third edition comes at a special time in BMCC's history as we continue to celebrate the reconstruction and reopening of The Miles and Shirley Fiterman Hall. Just as the original Fiterman Hall transformed our campus and brought us into the 21st century, the new Fiterman Hall will take us further, ensuring BMCC's future as an incubator of curiosity, innovation and accomplishment.
Those three attributes characterize each of the 11 individuals profiled in these pages. There are aspiring scientists and artists, entrepreneurs and healthcare professionals. Some have set and achieved ambitious goals in the face of daunting obstacles. Every one is a self-starter who has followed his or her own path to excellence.
But they'll be the first to tell you that the support, advice and encouragement they received from faculty and staff mentors kept them going through hard times and was critical to their success. Accounting major Odette Geraldino, who graduated this year with a 4.0 GPA, is now pursuing a bachelor's degree in accounting at Baruch College. Her mentor, professor Corinne Crawford, "sold me on the accounting dream like nobody else," she says. "But she told us it was hard, and not for everyone."
Year after year, producing a publication like Marks of Excellence involves difficult choices. The reality is that space is limited and many BMCC students who exemplify academic excellence at its highest level cannot be featured. But they too deserve our acknowledgment and applause.
It wasn't that long ago that community colleges were valued primarily for their role in vocational training. To be sure, they play a more vital role than ever in workforce development and economic growth.
But community colleges today are also a locus of academic excellence, no less than our most prestigious four-year colleges. You'll find the proof in our classrooms, labs and studios on our main campus at Chambers Street, at our other sites including Murray Street, Fiterman Hall — and, of course, in these pages.