You’ll be impressed and inspired by the student research presented at Baruch’s Undergraduate Research and Creative Inquiry Expo. You can see the presentations online here.
Take a look: There’s a wide range of work across the humanities, arts, sciences, social sciences and public affairs, including projects on topics like Dada, Afrofuturism, COVID vaccines, medical devices, NYC parks, and urban heat islands.
Other projects included Florence Uritsky’s use of computational methods to study the biosynthetic pathways leading to cannabidiol (CBD) in Cannabis sativa plants; Jahanghir Hussain’s presentation on Ramadan charity for Bangladesh orphans; and pictured below, Juan Diego Ramírez and Ashley Méndez’s study of gender, social class, and cultural and racial identities in two short stories set in New York City, “La llamaban Aurora” by the Dominican writer Aida Cartagena Portalatín, and “La noche que volvimos a ser gente” by the Puerto Rican author José Luis González. Their literary study was for Professor Elena Martinez’s upper level Spanish class, “The City in Latin American Literature.”
Baruch’s Journalism Department presents, in collaboration with the Harman Writer-in-Residence Program, a reading and conversation with student winners of the “What Is Home?“ essay contest. The event takes place in person on May 24, 12:30 pm to 2 pm at the Mishkin Gallery, 135 E. 22nd St. Lunch will be served. RSVP email@example.com.
The contest was judged by Professors Bridgett Davis and Gisele Regatao and prizes were funded by Baruch alumnus David Shulman.
The winners are:
First Place: ($1500) Brianna Hobson — “Gangster’s Paradise”
Second Place: ($1000) Sven Larsen — “Unidentified Dying Objects”
Third Place: ($500) Tamanna Saidi — “Even in My Despondence, There Is a Telepathy Between Hearts”
Honorable Mentions: Fannie Davis Prize ($200 each)
Kenia Torres — “Mis Querencias“
James D. Reilly — “The Flood”
Siddrah Alhindi — “If These Walls Could Speak”
Winning essays will be published online in Dollars & Sense.
Weissman alumna Tiannis Coffie ’19 has won a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) award to work in Brazil while serving as a cultural ambassador.
She earned a BA at Baruch in corporate communication with a minor in journalism and is pursuing an MS in environmental policy and sustainability management at The New School.
Coffie taught herself Portuguese during the pandemic. “Brazil is said to possess ‘the body of America and the soul of Africa.’ As an American-Ghanian, an ETA position in Brazil presents an opportunity to embrace a culture that mirrors both of my identities,” Coffie said. She’s also “eager to learn about Brazilian approaches to climate and social justice issues. I hope my experiences in Brazil will equip me with diverse approaches for generating solutions for solving the climate crisis.”
Coffie also expressed gratitude for support from Baruch professors and mentors Laura Kolb, Gisele Regatao, Elena Martinez, and Adriana Espinoza.
Three Baruch Weissman professors have received Presidential Excellence Awards, which include $1,000 honoraria. The award is conferred upon outstanding faculty for distinguished teaching, scholarship and research, or service. This year’s recipients from Weissman are Professor Lisa Blankenship, who got the English Presidential Award for Service;
Professor Hagop Sarkissian, who won the Philosophy Presidential Award for Teaching (full-time); and Professor Heather Gittens, who won the Communication Presidential Award for Teaching (adjunct).
The City University of New York Board of Trustees has voted unanimously to confer upon David Gruber, PhD, the title of CUNY Distinguished Professor. Distinguished Professorships are the highest honor that the university confers on faculty.
Dr. Gruber also serves on the faculty of the PhD Program in Biology at the CUNY Graduate Center and the CUNY Macaulay Honors College. He is an Explorer for National Geographic, a Research Associate in Invertebrate Zoology at the American Museum of Natural History, and an adjunct faculty member at the John B. Pierce Laboratory of the Yale School of Medicine.
The title of Distinguished Professor designates an exceptional scholar with a national and international reputation for scholarly and/or research excellence, whose outstanding accomplishments enrich the university’s academic environment. Dr. Gruber already holds the title of Presidential Professor of Biology and Environmental Sciences at Baruch College. He is believed to be the only faculty member from the Department of Natural Sciences at Baruch’s Weissman School of Arts and Sciences ever to receive the Distinguished Professor honor. Other Distinguished Professors at Baruch Weissman are Alison Griffiths (Communication Studies), Gail Levin (Art History), Arthur Apter (Mathematics), and Grace Schulman (English).
“I am honored to partake in the University’s mission to provide a public first-rate education to all students, regardless of means or background; and am humbled to be serving in this mission alongside many amazing CUNY undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff,” Dr. Gruber said. “Supporting and mentoring students and then witnessing them achieve toward their dreams of working in environmental research or in medical and health professions has been a joy.”
“David Gruber’s research and scientific contributions are truly thrilling,” said Baruch Weissman Dean Jessica Lang. “He is creative in his approach, asks big questions that captivate a global audience, and has advanced scientific discovery on so many fronts. His dedication to environmental science and awareness inspires our students in the classroom and in the field. The Weissman School of Arts and Sciences is proud to celebrate this wonderful recognition of Professor Gruber’s many accomplishments.”
Dr. Gruber holds a PhD in biological oceanography from the Rutgers University Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences and served as a postdoctoral fellow at the Brown University Division of Biology and Medicine, working to develop fluorescent proteins into modulatable probes with neurobiological and medical applications. He also holds master’s degrees in coastal environmental management from Duke University and in journalism from Columbia University.
His interdisciplinary research pertains not only to marine biology, biofluorescence and bioluminescence, but also to genomics/transcriptomics of uncharacterized marine organism, deep-sea ecology, photosynthesis, and climate change.
Dr. Gruber’s deep-diving scientific diving teams have discovered scores of unique biofluorescent compounds, several of which have been developed into tools to find better cancer drugs. A former tropical forester for the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Dr. Gruber’s research utilizes Remote Operated Vehicles, extended-range SCUBA and soft robotics (in collaboration with the Harvard Microrobotics Laboratory) to investigate corals, sponges and delicate forms of marine fauna.
Dr. Gruber is passionate about utilizing modern technology to view the underwater world from marine creatures’ perspectives. In this vein, his group developed a “shark-eye” camera to gain a shark’s perspective of their marine environment. Gruber also led the first study to apply advanced deep machine learning techniques to better detect and classify Sperm Whale bioacoustics.
He serves as a scientific advisor and producer for WNYC Studio 360’s “Science and Creativity” series. His writing has been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Nature Medicine and The Best American Science Writing. He is the co-author of Aglow in the Dark: The Revolutionary Science of Biofluorescence (Harvard University Press).
From 2017-2018, Dr. Gruber was a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and he will be a 2022-2023 Visiting Scholar at Harvard’s John A. Paulson School Of Engineering And Applied Sciences.
The Baruch High School Journalism Program has received a grant from the Revson Foundation.
The grant provides $1,000 honoraria to support and encourage teachers who launch newspapers in New York City public high schools that don’t already have them. The money is to be used to support and encourage these news enterprises and student journalists.
The grant also provides honoraria to recognize teacher-advisors at high school newspapers that win Baruch’s “Newsies Best In NYC Public High School Journalism Awards” in the categories of best online newspaper, feature writing, illustration/comics/political cartoon, multimedia news reporting, national/world news with a local lens, opinion/editorial writing, photojournalism, school news, and sports writing.
The Baruch High School Journalism Program promotes journalism education, school newspapers, and news literacy in underserved New York City high schools. It’s directed by Baruch Weissman Journalism Professor Geanne Belton with support from other Baruch faculty and students and Press Pass NYC.
The program started 19 years ago. It has served as a high school-to-college pipeline, with some participating high school students later enrolling at Baruch and taking on leadership roles in campus publications like Baruch’s student-run newspaper, The Ticker.
Did you know that since 2011, Baruch students have a first-time acceptance rate of 68% to medical and dental schools? In contrast, the national average is below 50%, according to Baruch Weissman Chemistry Professor and Health Professions Advisor Keith Ramig.
“We know our students are just great, so that is undoubtedly a factor in the high acceptance rate,” Ramig said. But just as important, Baruch has dedicated professors and small class sizes that allow faculty to get to know every student. That enables professors to write effective recommendations to graduate schools.
One alumnus, Dr. Hanen Yan, put it this way in a recent thank-you note to Natural Sciences Chairman John Wahlert: “The Department of Natural Sciences really helped set the foundation and prepared me for the hardships of medical school. Part of my success during my pre-med days was due to the supportive atmosphere of the faculty and students. To this day, my foundational classes in biology, chemistry, physics, and microbiology are applicable to my daily life.”
Katsiaryna (Kate) Milashevich (’21), who just won a Salk Scholarship for her scientific research, plans to go to medical school in Fall 2022. She said that the small size of Baruch’s Natural Sciences Department creates a family-like atmosphere where “the students all know each other and gather to study in groups allowing for different opinions and resources to coexist and flourish. The faculty know each student and are more than accessible and considerate. They reach out to you with your best interests in mind, to ensure no opportunity evades you.”
Katherine Chemas ’20, who’s now studying to be a veterinarian at Cornell University, credited her success in science to Baruch’s small class sizes.”You’re never going to have more than 20 to 30 students,” she said in a video testimonial, “which is really an advantage when you need to seek out help from your professors.”
Dr. Mark Smiley, who practices emergency medicine in North Carolina, had only taken one science class in his life before entering Baruch. But within 15 years of his time at Baruch, he was practicing medicine. He credits CUNY’s SEEK program with supporting his goals, and he earned a Jack Cooke Kent Graduate Scholarship to fund his studies at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School, where he also earned an MBA.
Baruch Weissman’s Journalism Department is known for launching students into top-flight careers in the field. Our alumni are working at places like The City, The Washington Post,Politico,The New York Post, Insider, The Wall Street Journal, Viacom, NBC, and many other major media outlets. They’re winning awards, covering the biggest stories of the day, and often doing investigative work on issues like social justice.
Our journalism students typically have several internships during their years at Baruch, and those real-world experiences are vital to building their careers. But there’s another important pillar to our journalism grads’ success, and that’s the dedication of our journalism faculty. Our professors not only bring distinguished newsroom resumes to their teaching, but many of them also continue to put in time as working journalists while teaching at Baruch. They’re modeling a commitment to the practice of journalism, and their work in the field inspires and informs what happens in the classroom.
Two cases in point:
Professor Gisele Regatão is working with Spotify as executive producer of three podcast pilots by U.S. Latinx creators who are part of their Sound Up initiative. Spotify says the goal of the project is to “raise up the next generation of podcasters through education, workshops and support” and “create a space for new voices, stories and perspectives in podcasting.”
CUNY has given the Feliks Gross and Henry Wasser Award recognizing outstanding research by assistant professors in the humanities or sciences to Professor Steven Swarbrick (English). Swarbrick was also honored by the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment as the April 2022 Scholar of the Month.
Swarbrick specializes in early modern literature, literary and cultural theory, and the environmental humanities. He is the author of the forthcoming book, The Environmental Unconscious: Ecological Poetics from Spenser to Milton, which he says “brings psychoanalytic theory to bear on ecological problems and asks why, despite our current fluency in new materialism, we are still unable to address environmental catastrophe.” He’s working on two new book projects: Destituent Ecology: Libidinal Politics for the Environmental Left and Negative Life: The Cinema of Extinction (coauthored with Jean-Thomas Tremblay).