Greetings BMCC Family!
I am profoundly honored and humbled to have been selected as the President of Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC). Thank you to Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez, The City University of New York Board of Trustees, the search committee, and especially the BMCC family for granting me the privilege of joining BMCC as its next president. As part of the search process, I had the privilege and honor of meeting students, faculty, department chairs, Directors, members of the BMCC Foundation, Alumni, Cabinet and CUNY Central Office leaders, as well as the Chancellor and CUNY Trustees. I am touched by the outpouring of support, congratulations, notes, emails, and messages of excitement and encouragement – they all mean a great deal to me and have moved me deeply. I look forward to joining the BMCC team by September 1. I look forward to working closely with Interim President Karrin Wilks and campus constituents over the coming weeks to make the transition as smooth as possible.
BMCC is a uniquely special place. It is not just one of the largest community colleges in the country; it is a safe place for learning and exploration for our students. Under the very careful and caring guidance of our expertly talented faculty and staff, our students grow, flourish, debate, exchange ideas, prepare to become global leaders, and hone their skills to be socially minded change agents. BMCC has held up high, with great distinction, its mission and values which are evidenced time and again through the many awards, accolades, and exemplary student outcomes. I am proud, excited, and honored to join such a dedicated community of diverse, talented, committed people who are singularly focused on helping our students realize their goals.
In the face of unprecedented challenges, BMCC has demonstrated grit, determination, resolve, excellence, power, and focus on the future – the future of the institution, the future of our students, the future of our great city, and the future of our nation and the world. The work that has been poured into creating the draft strategic plan for 2020-2025, Designing for Success: Taking What Works to Scale, is to be commended. I look forward to reviewing the draft plan and weighing in. As a result of an unprecedented global pandemic, the world, as we know it has changed and will continue to do so. This is the opportunity for us, together, to continue the work of building upon what has been created and reimagine tomorrow, drive innovation focused on student success, and face the post-COVID world, with greater promise and opportunities for our students.
BMCC, rightfully, is known as a leader institution among institutions. This comes about by and through the hard work of a dedicated faculty and staff, with unwavering support from CUNY, our Alumni and Friends, partners, donors, business leaders, the community and so many others. In particular to note is the phenomenal commitment to research demonstrated by the faculty. The BMCC faculty have exemplified the highest level of scholarly activity and dedication to research that produces significant value on many levels. Thank you to each of you for believing in BMCC and thank you for supporting BMCC as we chart a path, together, that will take BMCC to new heights despite the current worldwide and national issues. Together, we will achieve great things for and with, our students.
As we prepare for the upcoming academic year, it will be different. It will look different, feel different, and will certainly not be the usual, the norm. It’s natural to have feelings of apprehension, anxiety, fear, trepidation, confusion, uncertainty, doubt – allow yourself to process those emotions and thoughts. Through it all, academic excellence and dedication to support our students and their ultimate success will remain our priority. Know that we are at a unique place to create a new, dynamic, exciting educational model and future for BMCC and our students. Let us, together, embrace this opportunity and retain our stature as the best practice among best practice models.
To our students, I say thank you for allowing us to partner with you in your academic journey. We are here for and with you. As a first-generation citizen, who was born and raised in the Bronx, and attended New York City Public Schools and CUNY institutions, I am committed to the great work at BMCC – providing an excellent, affordable, accessible, relevant college education and workforce training for everyone.
Together, we will continue building upon BMCC’s solid foundation and creating transformative opportunities for our students. Until we meet, stay safe and well.