Nominate a Political Science Major for This Award Honoring Soléi Spears

The Political Science Department at Baruch College welcomes nominations and self-nominations for the Soléi Spears “Excellence in Action” Award for the Advancement of Social and Racial Justice. This award recognizes a Political Science major who has advanced social and racial justice through (1) their academic work, (2) on-campus extracurricular activities, and/or (3) service/activism in the larger community outside of Baruch College. The award winner will be recognized and celebrated at the department’s Annual Reception and at the college’s Student Achievement Award Ceremony, both taking place in May 2022. The award also comes with a modest monetary prize.

The nomination form is here.

This award is named after and honors the life and legacy of Soléi Spears (’21), a beloved and cherished student in the Political Science Department, who was murdered (along with her sister and mother) in April 2021. Soléi had a passion for racial, ethnic, and gender justice, which served as the lens through which she approached her coursework. Her passion also fed a deeper mission and purpose to identify core injustices and to take action to make our world a better place, using Political Science tools to make that happen.


This competitive award recognizes a student’s talent and hard work in the classroom, on the Baruch campus, and/or in the wider community outside of Baruch to advance social and racial justice.

Nominated students must be Political Science majors who graduated in Fall 2021 or who will graduate in Spring 2022.


Eligible students are encouraged to nominate themselves; nominations can also be made by fellow students, Baruch staff, or Baruch faculty (in any department).

All nominations must be submitted online using this form, and they must include all of the following: (1) a statement explaining why this student nominee is deserving of The Soléi Spears “Excellence in Action” Award; (2) a current resume of the nominee; and (3) the name and email address of one Baruch faculty member (in any department) or a community member whom we may contact for a reference for the student nominee.

Nominations must be submitted by Saturday April 2, 2022, at 11:59pm EDT.

solei spears photo and quote
Soléi Spears

Questions? Please email Prof. Els de Graauw, Chair of the Student Awards Committee:

Elizabeth Minei Wins Award for Case Study on LGBTQ+ Workplace Challenges

Congratulations to Associate Professor Elizabeth M. Minei (Communication Studies), who has won the Sage Business Cases Editors Choice Award for 2022 for a case study she wrote called “‘The Policy is Nice but Not Really Written for Us’: LGBTQ+ Workplace Challenges.” The award recognizes “the best of the best in the Sage Case Collection for originality of concept, classroom utility, timeliness of subject, and quality of writing.”
Head shot Elizabeth Minei
Professor Elizabeth Minei
Minei has published three other articles this year. They are:

Minei’s award-winning article focuses on two problems at a fictional company:  the mistakes and assumptions made by an HR department concerning the policies and practices for their LGBTQ+ employees, and  internal communication issues that prevent feedback from frontline workers from reaching the decision makers in the organization. The case follows the HR director’s discovery that despite well-intentioned changes to the organization, the HR team has “missed” on crucial needs of the LGBTQ+ employees during the nomination process for a prestigious diversity and inclusion award. The case shows how  written policy and organizational practice do not always align, and how how well-intentioned diversity initiatives can fail when marginalized individuals can’t easily communicate with senior decision-makers.

Minei’s research interests include leadership, high-reliability organizations, small-group/team communication, entrepreneurial issues, globalization and glocalization, and cyberterrorism. She says she’s fascinated by the intersection between interpersonal and organizational communication, and frequently studies High Reliability Teams (HRTs), leadership, supervisor-subordinate communication, small business growth, and message framing processes.  She has received numerous other research awards, including the Stanley L. Saxon Applied Research Award for her work assessing the communication practices between firefighters, and again for the interactions between supervisors and subordinates concerning illegitimate tasks. She also won the Ragan-Kramer-Wieder Qualitative Dissertation Award for her work with small businesses.

She holds a PhD from the University of Oklahoma.

Mishkin Gallery Reopens to the Public, Two Years After Pandemic Shutdown

Baruch Weissman is thrilled to announce the public reopening of Mishkin Gallery on March 21, 2022, two years after the pandemic shutdown of New York City forced the gallery to close its doors.

Mishkin reopens with Lamin Fofana: BLUES, the same exhibition that was up when the March 2020 shutdown hit. BLUES features work by the Sierra Leone-born, New York-based musician and artist Lamin Fofana.

“We are excited to physically welcome Baruch and New York back to the Mishkin Gallery for the exhibition Lamin Fofana: BLUES,” said  Alaina Claire Feldman, Mishkin’s director and curator. “The exhibition deeply resonates with the concerns of our students: those of racial and social justice, diaspora and displacement, and most importantly, how art and music is a conduit for coming together. The exhibition was forced to close after just one day in 2020 due to COVID-19, but we are thrilled to recommit to the artists involved and to this particular kind of artwork.”

The gallery describes Fofana’s music as “a conduit for engaging” with issues involving Blackness, migration, displacement, and race through collective listening. The exhibition centers on a trilogy of sound works along with texts by Sylvia Wynter, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Amiri Baraka, and videos and photographs by Fofana and his collaborators Jim C. Nedd and Nicolas Premier. Mishkin Gallery will be the main site of the exhibition, with additional elements such as posters, sounds and events spiraling outwards through the College campus and into the city.
Man silhouetted in a darkened structure backlit by natural light
BLUES installation view, Mishkin Gallery, 2020

Aiming for both physical and emotional resonance, the works attempt to challenge authoritative forms of representation and communication while drawing upon the artists’ personal experiences of diaspora, the coming and going of communities. Throughout the exhibition, Mishkin will hold live music performances, talks, readings, and listening sessions to collectively think through what Black studies scholar Christina Sharpe calls “wake work,” living with and attending to the paradoxical history of slavery and its afterlives.

A booklet with contributions by Feldman, Fofana, Dino Dinçer Şirin, and excerpts of primary source texts will accompany the exhibition. A zine including recent writing by the artists will account for and reflect on the past two years since the exhibition had initially opened.

Mishkin Gallery is located at 135 E. 22nd St., Monday–Friday, 11 am-6 pm.  Admission is free. It’s closed on days when classes are not in session.

The exhibition was made possible by the Baruch College Fund and the George and Mildred Weissman School of Arts and Sciences. Additional support was provided by Hedwig Feit and the Schindler-Lizana Fund for Latin American Arts and Culture, and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.

Events: Crime Fiction, Nonprofit News, Entrepreneurial Arts, ERA, Harman Writer, Climate Justice

Six terrific events of broad interest are taking place at Weissman in the next few weeks. Take a look!

CRIME FICTION: “Perspectives in Crime Fiction: Navigating the Past.” The renowned Belfast crime fiction writer Sharon Dempsey will be interviewed by Elizabeth Mannion, who teaches English at Baruch, in conjunction with the US release of Dempsey’s latest book, Who Took Eden Mulligan? Co-hosted by Baruch’s English Department and the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s University Belfast, March 25, 1-2:15 pm ET. Register here.

EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT: “The Long Struggle for Gender Rights: The 50th Anniversary of the Congressional Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment and its Legacy.” A discussion featuring women’s and gender studies faculty and Jay Berman, (Baruch Class of 1959 and Baruch College Fund Trustee), who served as aide and Chief of Staff for the late US Sen. Birch Bayh, who authored both the ERA amendment and Title IX legislation. Also on the panel: Baruch Black and Latino Studies Chair Shelly Eversley; Baruch/CUNY Graduate Center Presidential Professor Emerita of History Carol Berkin; Baruch/CUNY Graduate Center Professor of Economics Ted Joyce. Introduction by Baruch History Professor Katherine Pence, Director of Women’s and Gender Studies. March 28, 5 pm-6:30 pm ET. Register here.

PROVOST BOOK EVENT: A conversation with Provost Linda Essig about her new book, Creative Infrastructures: Artists, Money, and Entrepreneurial Action. With Professors David Milch (director of Weissman’s MA in Arts Administration), Lilia Ziamou (Zicklin, Marketing), and John Casey (director of Marxe’s MPA). March 31, 11 am-noon, in person, Room 750, Baruch Library Building. RSVPs preferred:

NONPROFIT NEWS: “The Role and Vision of Nonprofit News.” Speakers: Susan Chira, editor-in-chief, The Marshall Project; Akoto Ofori-Atta, co-founder and chief audience officer, Capital B, written by and for Black people; Mazin Sidahmed; co-founder and co-executive director of Documented, covering NYC’s immigrant community. Moderator: Professor Gisele Regatão (Journalism). March 31, 5:30-7 pm. Register here.

HARMAN WRITER: Reading and conversation with the Spring 2022 Sidney Harman Writer-in-Residence Ersi Sotiropoulos. All members of the Baruch community are invited to this in-person meeting, Thursday, April 7 at 6 pm, in Room 750, in the Baruch Library Building. A reception will be held at 5 pm, followed by the reading at 6. Sotiropoulos is an award-winning Greek novelist.

CLIMATE JUSTICE: “A Conversation about Climate Justice” with Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs, author of Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals. The conversation with Dr. Gumbs will be led by students from the Black and Latino Studies capstone course “Climate Justice is Racial Justice.” This event is presented by the Department of Black and Latino Studies, the Department of English via Globus Lectures, and the Dean’s Office at Baruch’s Weissman School of Arts and Sciences. April 14, 1 pm. Register here.

Meet BPAC’s New Director, Howard Sherman

The longtime director of the Baruch Performing Arts Center, Ted Altschuler, has stepped down. In his place BPAC welcomes Howard Sherman as interim director.

Howard Sherman, BPAC's new director
BPAC Interim Director Howard Sherman

Sherman is an arts administrator, writer, and advocate. He has been executive director of the American Theatre Wing and O’Neill Theatre Center, managing director of Geva Theatre, general manager of Goodspeed Musicals and public relations director of Hartford Stage, as well as interim director of Inclusion in the Arts. He is the US columnist for The Stage in London and author of the 2021 book Another Day’s Begun: ‘Our Town’ in the 21st Century. He has been honored by the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund for his efforts combating theatrical censorship.

“Ted Altschuler’s leadership has built BPAC into a thriving resource for Baruch, for CUNY, for neighborhood and the New York cultural community,” Sherman said. “I hope to build on the incredible foundation he created. It is essential that the work on our stages reflects the diversity of Baruch’s students, faculty and staff across the range of artistic disciplines. I’m committed to exploring new ways for BPAC to be a home for expressive and innovative entertainment in the heart of Flatiron, speaking to and about the city and the world.”

BPAC hosts its first visiting production since the pandemic shutdown April 20-23, the Joshua Beamish/MOVETHECOMPANY 2022 New York Season World & New York premiere, at the Rose Nagelberg Theatre; tickets here.

She Took Seven Suitcases Across the Ukraine Border

Khrystyna Melnyk graduated from Weissman in 2017 with a degree in biological sciences. She’s now a third-year medical student.

Last week, she posted on Facebook: “So, I felt like a secret agent this weekend. Specifically I was at the Polish-Ukrainian border where I crossed into Ukraine and brought 7 suitcases of aid.”

The Police Department in Ukraine’s Ternopil region thanked her for bringing them medicine, tactical gloves, and other protective equipment and supplies to help “fight the Russian occupier,” adding: “We thank you Khrystyna Melnyk for your civic position, for lifting the spirit of every Ukrainian! You are our Angel! You are a part of us!”

Melnyk was born in Ukraine and immigrated to the US with her family in 1998. “I still have very close family there and many friends,” she said. “My 83-year-old grandma is there as well as many, many uncles, aunts, cousins and so on.”

You can see her posts and images here and follow her plans on Facebook for other efforts. Her former professor, Pablo Peixoto (Natural Sciences), said that reading her posts filled him “with pride, inspiration, and a bit of worry.”

montage of images showing suitcases, gloves and other supplies, and 5 officers posing
Supplies brought to Ukraine by a former Baruch student, and the recipients

Mental Health Awareness Week

Baruch’s inaugural Mental Health Awareness Week will be held Monday, March 7, through Friday, March 11, 2022. Events include yoga, mindfulness, depression screening, a “body positivity” celebration, suicide prevention, and more. Details here:

This year’s theme is “Self-Care and Care for Others.”

This campus-specific week was developed within Baruch’s Suicide Prevention Taskforce and is offered in partnership with the Jed Foundation, a nonprofit organization that collaborates with schools and colleges to help protect the emotional health of, and prevent suicide in, student populations. The concept was expanded to include faculty and staff so the entire Baruch community can get to know the resources that are available to you, as well as the people around the College who are here to assist.

The Counseling Center and the Office Human Resources have planned events that are designed to help you manage stress, recognize warning signs in yourself and others, and more. Some events require registration.

Women’s History Month at Baruch

The Office of Student Life at Baruch has collaborated with partners throughout the College to curate a calendar of events around the national Women’s History Month theme of “Providing Healing, Promoting Hope.” Please visit the Women’s History Month webpage for the full list.

Here’s a sample of some events.

Project Period Drive

March 3 – March 31
We have Partnered with Project Period to collect female & hygienic products for women. We have partnered with The Bowery Mission Tribeca Campus, this is where our donations will be sent to at the end of the drive.

Items include: Pads, Tampons, Panty Liners, Sanitary Wipes, Menstrual Cups, Personal heating/Hot water pouches. Other hygiene products are also accepted.

Letters for Change

March 10, 2022
12:50 PM – 2:00 PM
Join us to write and send letters to our senators regarding the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment! Learn more about the ERA, how to draft a letter and how you can send it directly to your senator.

Women in the Arts

March 15, 2022
4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
A virtual panelist event to hear from Baruch’s own women faculty about their experience in the Arts. Panelists have worked in publishing, New Media Arts, Photography, and graphic design. Panelists will display examples of their art, speak on the inspiration behind it, and how they got started as a woman in their field. Students will get the opportunity to ask their own questions to any of our panelists. Panelist Participants include Jenna Westra, Katherine Behar, Anika Sarin.

With Love, Me

March 17, 2022
12:30 PM – 2:00 PM
Join B&B and WHM and learn how we can use journaling and creative writing to empower ourselves. We will be writing inspiring letters to our present or future selves. Passcode: 738486.

Women in Vietnamese History and Healing Practices, Lady Lotuses in Bloom

March 17, 2022
12:50 PM – 2:00 PM
Throughout history, Vietnamese women have been an embodiment of strength, beauty, confidence, and change. In Vietnam, there are two holidays dedicated to honoring Vietnamese women. However, we know that it is everyday where we celebrate our women! In honor of March being Women’s History Month, we invite you to join us in learning more about the contributions made by resilient Vietnamese women. Let’s learn not only how we can care for ourselves but others.

WHM Alumni Panel

March 18, 2022
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Women’s History Month celebrates both the women of our past and present. In both the past and present, Asian-American women continue to challenge stereotypes, fight to uplift their communities, and pave the way for future generations. Come join us to hear the stories of FUSION’s alumni about their struggles and successes of being a Filipino-American woman.

Living Creatively

March 24, 2022
12:30 PM – 2:30 PM
We aim to have an open, safe, and creative space for members of the Baruch community to speak with women who are highly involved in the creative field. They will share their experiences from their respective fields and give us a better understanding on how we can incorporate creativity into our lives. Passcode: 390090

Equity and Equality: Visionary and Resilient in Corporate America

March 24, 2022
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Let’s have a discussion on equality in the workplace. Hear from our empowering guest speakers on their journey and what women’s history means to them.

Student RSVP

March Spill the Tea: These Violent Delights

March 31, 2022
12:30 PM – 2:00 PM
We will be hosting our Monthly Book of the Month Discussion in collaboration with WHM 2022 on our monthly read. We will spill the tea of all our likes and dislikes about our book of the month as well as discuss the importance of strong women protagonists and how women are represented in the writing/publishing industry. Passcode: 592219