Fourteen BMCC faculty members will participate in the inaugural Faculty Leadership Fellows Program at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY). The program has been made possible through a grant from the American Express Foundation and will begin with an intensive seminar, January 9-13, 2017.
The goal of the Leadership Program is to develop faculty leadership and strengthen the participants’ ability to contribute to BMCC’s vision of becoming a leading community college. Through a series of workshops and panel discussion, participants will learn from nationally recognized experts and leaders about some of the major challenges facing community colleges across the country.
“As BMCC becomes a more visible leader among community colleges nationwide, it is important for us to support the leadership of our faculty — who on a daily basis address emerging issues vital to the continued success of our students,” said BMCC President Antonio Pérez. “Participants in the Faculty Leadership Fellows Program will develop knowledge and skills relevant to campus leadership, and optimize their roles as advocates for community colleges, both locally and on a national scale.”
Leadership cohort contributes to strategic priorities
“Faculty leadership is essential to achieving our strategic priorities to improve student success and institutional effectiveness,” said Karrin Wilks, BMCC Provost and Senior Vice President. “We are committed to supporting faculty leaders in formal organizational roles as well as informal and equally critical roles as leaders in pedagogy, scholarship, creative activity, and communityengagement. We look forward to working with our inaugural faculty leadership cohort.”
February through May 2017, the Fellows will attend sessions, work with a leadership and writing coach, and meet with President Pérez and Provost Wilks to assess their progress. Each Fellow will develop a portfolio of work related to leadership competencies. They will also write and submit a paper on faculty leadership to a peer-reviewed journal.
“I look forward to working with peers and colleagues to address special challenges community colleges face and to apply strategies across disciplines and departments," says Leadership Fellow Lesley Rennis, Chair of the Department of Health Education. "Being a leader in academia is different than being a leader in a corporate setting. For example, in a college setting, a person in a leadership role might be grappling with a changing dynamic such as motivating faculty who were once peers. It will be good to have a dedicated time and space to focus on these things.”
Leadership Fellow Sangeeta Bishop, who is both Chair of the Social Sciences, Human Services and Criminal Justice Department and Chair of the BMCC Academic Senate, says, "I believe a faculty leader must look ahead and over the horizon for the entire department, and that the department does not operate in isolation but in a much larger campus and community. I hope that my participation in this new program will help me strengthen my role to make these connections between the talents and interests of my faculty with the resources and needs of the community."
The BMCC Faculty Leadership Fellows Program is supported by the American Express Foundation, and “the BMCC Foundation is deeply grateful for this generous two-year grant,” said Doris Holz, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the BMCC Foundation. “We appreciate our ongoing partnership with American Express, which is helping us to further strengthen our College’s leaders from among our faculty and staff to assure excellence at BMCC.”
Faculty selected to participate in the inaugural class include:
Margaret Barrow, Associate Professor, English;
John Beaumont, Associate Professor, Academic Literacy & Linguistics;
Sangeeta Bishop, Chair, Social Sciences;
Francisca Campos, Assistant Professor, Business Management;
Vincent Cheng, Associate Professor, Speech Communications;
Leslie Craigo, Assistant Professor, Teacher Education;
Kathleen Dreyer, Chair, Library;
Judy Eng, Chair, Nursing;
Janet Esquirol, Assistant Professor, Media Arts & Technology;
Eva Kolbusz-Kijne, Chair, Speech Communications;
Abel Navarro, Associate Professor, Science;
Thaddeus Radell, Associate Professor, Music & Art;
Lesley Rennis, Chair, Health Education and
Brenda Vollman, Assistant Professor, Social Sciences.