In June 2016, Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) conferred associate degrees to the largest graduating class in the college’s history — more than 4,200 students. Seventy-five percent of those graduates will transfer to a four-year college or university, with about half staying in the CUNY system. The rest will transfer to more than 120 non-CUNY colleges within New York City and beyond.
Nathanael Alexander just completed his associate degree in Studio Art at BMCC, and is a recipient of the Loretta Lee Scholarship, making it possible for him to transfer to Alfred University in Upstate New York this fall and begin studies for his bachelor’s degree in Drawing, Painting and Photography. Without the scholarship, he says, “I would not be able to continue my education. It is definitely helping!” BMCC Professor of Art Thaddeus Radell, he says, inspired him to “seriously consider painting as a profession. He even introduced me to Alfred University and helped me get into the school.”
Bintou Kone is a member of the POISE (Pipeline Opportunities for Inter-College STEM Education) program at BMCC. She just received her associate degree in Science and earned an Excellence in Science award at the 2016 BMCC Honors Convocation. Bintou is from Burkina Faso, West Africa. “I was the only one in my family to come to the United States,” she says, having won the U.S.-sponsored Visa lottery. “My physics professor Danila Bogdan was my mentor at BMCC in an honors project in physics, and is still a great support to me.”
Bintou, who aspires to become a cardiologist, will transfer to New York University (NYU) in Fall 2016 along with fellow POISE members Kristen-Kaye Barnaby, Diandra Williams and Ricardo dos Santos Almeida Nunes, as well as Christoni Mbiada Fongue, who earned an associate degree in Mathematics at BMCC. “My Linear Algebra Professor Lucio Prado had a huge impact on me and he was my mentor in the Honors Project I did last semester,” says Christoni. “My major at NYU will be Mathematics and Economics, and my ultimate career goal is to become an actuary.”
Jacqueline Darfour earned her associate degree in Liberal Arts. She is considering her options, having been accepted at both St. Joseph’s College and Long Island University, which is offering her a transfer scholarship. At BMCC, she says, Professor of English Claire Pamplin “gave me amazing and supportive lectures to help me excel at BMCC. She is amazing!”
Christina Escobar earned an associate degree in Liberal Arts and won the Vice President for Academic Affairs Award at the 2016 BMCC Honors Convocation. She will enter Brooklyn College in Fall 2016 and major in Health and Nutrition Sciences, she says, thanks to the Guttman Transfer Scholarship. “The person who has motivated me the most is Bipasha Dey, an Academic Advisor at BMCC,” Christina says. “I thank her for her support in helping me transition from high school to college, and providing all the information I needed to graduate from BMCC. She would tell me, ‘Pace yourself and take each day one step at a time. I believe you will be absolutely fine’.”
Maddiul Chowdhury earned an associate degree in Liberal Arts at BMCC, and will enter Boston University in Fall 2016 as a mechanical engineering major, with a concentration in aerospace. “My ultimate career goal is to work in a good company, earn a substantial salary and contribute something positive to the field,” says Maddiul, who received a tuition scholarship from Boston University to make those goals a reality.
“A lot of people have influenced my experience at BMCC,” says Liberal Arts graduate Esi Panyin Asmah, “but I’m truly grateful to have known Ms. Sussie Gyamfi.” Esi won the Gillespie Scholarship for Kindness at the 2016 BMCC Honors Convocation, based on her volunteering activities. “Ms. Sussie was the one I ran to whenever I needed help with applying for scholarships and programs on and off campus,” she says. “She’s the most resourceful person I’ve ever met!” Esi will enter Northeaster University in Boston in Fall 2016 and major in marketing, thanks to a $54,000 scholarship from Northeastern University. “I will continue my studies as a business major with a concentration in marketing,” she says. “I plan to build a volunteering organization in Ghana and other parts of the world.”
Biki Gurung remembers Computer Science Professor Yan Chen as someone who made an impact on his experience at BMCC. “I was doing an Honors Project with her in Computer Science,” he says, adding that in addition to learning course content from Professor Chen, “I think it has been a remarkable journey for me at BMCC because of skills she taught us, like time management.” In Fall 2016, Biki will enter Stony Brook University, The State University of New York (SUNY), in Long Island, New York. He plans to major in Computer Science and is considering a double major with statistics. Eventually, he says, “I want to become a software architect and entrepreneur. Through computer technology, I want to find some way to raise the standard of living for people in disadvantaged countries around the world.”
Geovanny Alvarez earned an associate degree inLiberal Arts at BMCC. “Every staff person I met with at BMCC, helped me in some important way,” he says. “I am privileged to have met such wonderful and dedicated people. They guided me to volunteering opportunities, leadership retreats and other resources.” Geovanny plans to attend Baruch College, CUNY in Fall 2016 and major in Accounting with a minor in Finance. “My ultimate goal is to start my own Real Estate or Financial Service Business,” he says. “I will never forget the lessons learned and the connections I made at BMCC. Start Here, Go Anywhere!”