Welcome to the 2013-2014 Marks of Excellence, our annual showcase of outstanding achievements by faculty and students at BMCC. This year's issue highlights projects in fields such as accounting, art and education, as well as cutting-edge science research.

These accomplishments are exemplary for many reasons. As is true for all community colleges, we don't have post-doctoral or graduate students to work alongside faculty in our labs. It's also true that community college students sometimes face more day-to-day challenges than those at traditional research universities.

That said, we have many things in place, to cultivate scholarship at our college. BMCC is home to students who welcome the rigorous expectations of ongoing, highly relevant research. And we are proud of our faculty who share a life-long passion for their fields, making complex theories accessible to students who are often the first in their families to attend college.

Our professors not only guide students in universal lab protocols, they pique their curiosity and engage them in hands-on, scientific inquiry, easing their transfer to four-year colleges where they continue their research endeavors.

We also understand that student engagement and growth doesn't only happen in a biology lab. It happens within our sports teams, where respect for academics ranks as high as winning games. It happens in the sculpture studio and art foundry, where new artists balance vision and technique. Student success takes root in our nursing labs, which employ the latest technology in human patient simulators, and it takes place in communities where our students, led by the seasoned social scientists on our faculty, study human behavior in a systematic, evidence-based manner, gaining insight into the critical social questions we face today.

"Diversity" is a word inexorably linked to the history and mission of BMCC. Our students hail from over 150 countries and all five boroughs of New York City. Diversity broadens the perspective of our classroom discussions and prepares our students for the increasingly global context of their prospective careers. At BMCC, we celebrate the diversity of our students with the diversity of opportunity you will see reflected in the 11 faculty and student stories presented in this issue.

Best regards,
Antonio PĂ©rez
Antonio Pérez