2007-2008 Funded Projects

The City University of New York Black Male Initiative

Summary of Funded Projects, 2007-2008

With a third consecutive grant from the New York City Council, The City University of New York (CUNY) has established projects to support the enrollment and retention of students from underrepresented groups in all five boroughs of New York City, at all senior, comprehensive and community colleges, the Graduate Center and the CUNY School of Law. Though targeted towards African American males and other underrepresented groups, these projects do not discriminate based on race or gender and will serve as models for improving educational outcomes of all students. All programs and activities of the Black Male Initiative are open to all academically eligible students, faculty and staff, without regard to race, gender, national origin or other characteristic. It is expected that the entire University will benefit from what is learned from efforts with this target population. For general information about the Black Male Initiative, please contact Elliott Dawes at Elliott.Dawes@mail.cuny.edu or (212) 650-8294. To find out about specific projects funded under the BMI, please contact the CUNY campus representatives listed below.


Project Description

Bernard M. Baruch College

Penelope Terry, Director of Admissions
646 312 1375

The College will continue its work in developing a stronger connection to diverse communities to increase awareness of the institution among Black, Hispanic and Asian communities in NYC. Market penetration efforts begun with the first round of funding are being gradually institutionalized and will be more focused in the coming year on initiatives that realized high impact. A mix of media, campus visits, direct mailings, and connections with high schools and community college personnel will enable the college to build further momentum and results.

Additionally, the College will create a structured mentorship program for Baruch College undergraduates. The structured mentorship program will be open and available to all students, faculty, administrators at Baruch College, particularly students from populations that are severely underrepresented in higher education including African American males.

Borough of Manhattan Community College

Michael Haynes, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
212 220-8323

Funds will be used to establish a Leadership Academy, which will provide a broad array of services aimed at empowering participants to achieve academic success. The Academy will establish high benchmarks aimed at identifying talented students and provide expanded and individualized academic support services as well as a wide range of activities (including cultural activities, mentoring and leadership training) aimed at preparing them to serve as future leaders, contributing to their communities and serving as role models for others.

Additionally, this year, CUNY BMI adds teacher education as a targeted category of the program. BMCC has been selected as one of five (5) campuses to participate in the first year of the CUNY BMI Teachers as Leaders project.

Bronx Community College

Bernard Gantt
Dean of Enrollment Management & Executive Director of the Black Male Initiative
Program Office: (718) 289-5887
Fax: (718) 289-6488

The program will identify, train and employ a cadre of high-performing college students to mentor, advise and tutor high school students with the goal of increasing their enrollment at BCC. Additionally, the project will provide similar forms of support to BCC college students to increase their retention. Focus groups will be used to identify common problems and possible solutions, and select administrators, faculty and staff who will be brought together with prospective students to discuss risks, barriers, and motivating success stories.

Brooklyn College

George Cunningham, Professor
718 951-5350

The College will continue to work to foster retention through academic success and to implement new and more aggressive strategies to recruit underserved populations in the coming year. Proposed activities include recruiting 30 high school students, providing a week-long summer institute during which cohort groups will be formed, expanding on themes during semester seminars, and offering a tutorial program.

City College of New York

E. Maudette Brownlee, SEEK Director
212 650-7955

This project will continue to offer college students different types of learning experiences within the context of supportive relations in order to strengthen students' commitment to college and motivation to succeed. A new component will target pre-college students to develop an applicant pool for admission to the College.

City College of New York
The High Performance Learning Center

Dr. Karen Hubbard, Project Director and Professor of Biology, CCNY
212 650-8566

Rodney Dotson, Project Coordinator and HPL Institute Program Director
Center for Quality in Urban Education, Inc.
Department of Chemistry, CCNY
212 650-6606

Based at CCNY, the Institute for High Performance Learning (HPL) is a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) talent development program aimed at increasing the participation of underrepresented talented urban youth in STEM-related careers paths. Thirty-six (36) pre-college students of demonstrated high ability and leadership will work with twelve (12) educators (in-service and pre-service), CUNY faculty, mentors and adult volunteers to create a service corps that showcases talent in the STEM disciplines in addressing projects and scientific research confronting issues relevant to urban communities. Teachers and students are selected from a list of partner sites and through an open application process.

City College of New York
Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education

Jerrold Erves, Associate Director of Admissions
212 650-7706

This new project is, The Medical Career Success Program, proposes to enhance the academic performance and retention of students in the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education and also in the pre-med program of The City College. The program is divided into career enhancement efforts and support services programs. Career enhancement will include monthly Skills Development Workshops, facilitation of professional networking opportunities and exposure to medical professionals.

CUNY Law School
Mary Lu Bilek, Associate Dean and Professor of Law
718 340-4519

The CUNY School of Law Pipeline to Justice Program is designed to give a second chance at law school admission and preparation for academic success in law school to college graduates from groups traditionally underrepresented in the profession. The Pipeline to Justice Program is a three-part, non-credit course for denied CUNY Law applicants with low (below the 50th percentile) LSAT scores who come from communities underrepresented in the profession whose applications evidence the abilities and habits necessary to do academically challenging work and the ability to overcome obstacles and thrive under adverse circumstances. The program is designed to: (1) raise their LSAT scores, (2) improve their critical reading, analytic thinking, and professional-level writing skills, (3) provide individualized non-academic counseling focused on test anxiety, self-esteem, and managing the complex life circumstances that contributed to lack of undergraduate success and poor standardized test performance, and (4) provide consistent, individualized academic counseling, structured cohort support, and mentoring throughout the three years of law school to those who succeed in the program and are admitted to law school.

CUNY Office of Academic Affairs
Adult Literacy Mentoring Program
Leslee Oppenheim, Director of Language and Literacy Programs
212 794-5437

Three campus-based adult literacy programs, at Brooklyn College, Bronx Community College and Lehman College, will develop new structures and processes designed to reach out to, and support students, with college potential who are at risk of dropping out of CUNY GED programs, in order to increase the number of students from under-represented groups, in particular Black males, who complete their course of study at these programs, receive their GED diplomas, and continue their education at CUNY. The project, built around a mentoring structure at each of the three programs, will serve as a pilot that can be extended to other CUNY literacy/GED programs in the future.

CUNY Office of Academic Affairs
Creative Arts Team (CAT)

Linda Zimmerman, Executive Director
212 652-2830

Keith Johnston, Program Director
212 652-2835

This new project, Success by Degrees, will provide students with the opportunity to examine, interactively, issues related to success in school and in life. Under the guidance if CAT’s professional actor/teachers, they will engage in a range of performance-based activities.

Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College

Daniel Voloch, College Now Coordinator
718 518-6750

This continuation project includes a faculty-student mentoring program, open to all HCC students; a male mentoring group which pairs college students with faculty mentors and in which the students serve as mentors to high school and middle school male students; a new component to provide similar services to female students; and a Young Men's Leadership Institute for 9th and 10th grade students in schools partnering with College Now at Hostos.

CUNY Graduate School and University Center

Julia Wrigley, Acting Associate Provost
and Dean for Academic Affairs
212 817-7282

Dr. Anthony Lemelle
Interim Executive Officer, Office of Educational Opportunity and Diversity Programs (OEODP)
(212) 817- 7540

M. Chantale Damas
Director of Program Development, OEODP Research Associate

This new project, Widening the Doors of Academia, is designed to address the severe under-representation of the target population in graduate programs at CUNY. Recruitment visits by promising applicants traveling from other regions will be sponsored and two events will be hosted to recruit promising undergraduates attending local colleges to the Graduate Center.

Hunter College

Marcia Cantarella, Associate Dean
of Student Opportunities
212 772-4825

Last year's effort was a collaboration by several departments to develop a framework to successfully recruit, retain and graduate high achieving Black male students. This continuation project focuses on recruitment efforts and on nurturing and developing students from underrepresented groups in their freshman and sophomore years. Recruitment activities will include a scholarship program, small media campaign, community outreach. Retention and success activities will include access to weekly meetings with peers, faculty or staff; academic counseling; a buddy program; a mentor; leadership development; tutoring; parent and special events.

Additionally, this year, CUNY BMI adds teacher education as a targeted category of the program. Hunter College has been selected as one of five (5) campuses to participate in the first year of the CUNY BMI Teachers as Leaders project.

John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Rubie Malone, AVP Strategic Planning
212 237-8810

This continuing project will further develop partnerships with high school administrators, counselors and students to target outreach to underrepresented groups and encourage them to use college support programs. Goals include understanding student perspectives, research, creating a web of support, development of special instructional programs, and developing a mentoring program. A second continuing project will enhance existing college support programs to specifically target and meet the needs of underrepresented groups. A network of "first responders" from faculty, staff and counselors will work with at risk students, and a career development component will be incorporated. The goal is to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups who successfully complete a degree program at the college.

John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Jodie Roure, Professor, Department of Puerto Rican and Latin American Studies and Coordinator of the Ron Brown Pre-Law Program

The Ron Brown Pre-Law Program is a collaboration between the Departments of Puerto Rican/Latin American Studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the Ron Brown Summer Law School Prep Program at St. John’s University School of Law. It is designed to help increase the presentation of underrepresented groups in legal education by providing eligible John Jay students (see guidelines below) with an intensive summer program in the study of law at St. John’s University School of Law. Students from Medgar Evers College and York College are also eligible to participate in this intensive pre-law program that features, among other benefits, LSAT preparation.
Kingsborough Community College

Stuart Suss, Provost
718 368-5661

Harry L. Franklin (718) 368-5864

This new program is designed to enroll and retain students from under-represented groups through a series of targeted interventions, including a focused recruitment effort, pre-enrollment counseling and support, involvement in a pre-freshman academic program and registration into a learning community appropriate to their program of study in their first semester. The program will also continue to expand activities of a pilot group.

Fiorello H. LaGuardia Community College

Renee Butler, Senior Administrator for Student Affairs
718 482-5292

This new project will expand a program that addresses under-represented student populations in terms of participation, satisfaction, and critical outcomes (e.g., retention and GPA). Tutoring and counseling services will be provided to students from under-represented groups who are identified as "at-risk" for not passing their courses and persisting in their programs of study. The goal of the project is to both identify those barriers which may impede the students’ success and to enhance those experiences that involve, engage and connect students to the College.

Lehman College

John Holloway, Associate Dean
718 960-8242

This new project is a collaboration between Student Affairs and Academic Affairs to assist full-time first-time freshmen in transitioning from high school to college. Activities include a mentoring program that assigns each participant both a faculty/staff mentor and an academically successful upper-division student mentor , a modified freshman seminar, a service learning project, a speaker series, formation of a club, support from an affinity group composed of alumni and friends of the college and sophomore assistance.

The College Initiative
A University-wide program based at Lehman College
Benay Rubenstein, Director
Cheryl Wilkins, Associate Director of Programs
Kirk James, Associate Director of Administration
Dwight Stephenson, Admin Assistant

The College Initiative (CI) is a reentry education project for men and women retuning to the New York City area who want to begin or continue higher education upon release. At its every core, CI is dedicated to easing the transition from prison by welcoming prospective students to become part of a vibrant learning community. There is no other program in the New York City area open to all men and women who want to begin or continue higher education upon release whether or not they have had prior college experience. CI features a free twelve (12) week Bridge to College program to prepare students for the CUNY placement examinations.

Medgar Evers College
Male Ladders Educational Initiative
Targeted GED Program

Andre Lake, Vice President of Professional and Community Development
718 270-6414

Educational Ladders Initiative will develop an educational pathway for students from underrepresented populations with academic deficits in order to prepare them to pass the GED and enroll in higher education.

New York City College of Technology

Sonja Jackson, Dean of Curriculum and Instruction
718 260-5560

Dr. Reginald Blake, Assistant Professor, Physics
(718) 260-8582

This continuing project is a coordinated initiative to attract, retain and graduate students in STEM disciplines. In addition to student success, campus climate issues will be a focus of the program and will be addressed through a series of faculty development seminars. Activities will take place at various levels: institutional, departmental, and student, and outreach and recruitment to high schools will be enhanced.

Additionally, this year, CUNY BMI adds teacher education as a targeted category of the program. City Tech has been selected as one of five (5) campuses to participate in the first year of the CUNY BMI Teachers as Leaders project.

Queens College

June Bobb, Acting Assistant Provost
718 997-5780

Penny Hammrich, Dean of Education/Director of Equity Studies Research Center
718 997-5220

Excellence, Equity and Inclusion: A Collaborative Approach to Ensuring Success for Black Males and Underrepresented Students - Working with academic departments, programs and support services dedicated to promoting excellence in undergraduate education and student success, this new project is designed to address issues of equity and inclusion and to mobilize the College community to put in place strategies and practices to address problems of enrollment and retention, and to create a climate of access.

The Community Scholars Program at Queens College – An outreach program for high school students, particularly high school juniors at John Bowne High School, who are interested in pursuing careers as educators.

Queensborough Community College

Christina Johnson, Director of Sponsored Programs
718 281-5385

This continuing project will provide support services for its initial cohort as well as recruit, enroll and support the success of a new cohort of students through a variety of activities, including personalized outreach, parent involvement, a summer immersion/enrichment program, formal and informal faculty contact, a mentoring program, and e-portfolios.

The College of Staten Island

Debra Evans-Greene, Director of Minority Access programs
718 982-2638


This project will increase the number of students from underrepresented groups who enter college by providing tutors, mentors and teachers who are themselves members of underrepresented groups and will function as role models. Intervention begins in high school, continues through college, and is enhanced by a number of existing related projects.

Additionally, this year, CUNY BMI adds teacher education as a targeted category of the program. CSI has been selected as one of five (5) campuses to participate in the first year of the CUNY BMI Teachers as Leaders project.

York College

Jonathan Quash, Men's Center Director
718 262-2248

This continuing project is designed to increase enrollment and assist students to develop and achieve the academic, personal and professional skills that are needed to succeed in college and beyond. Activities include focused recruitment of freshmen into the college's flagship programs of study, recruitment of transfer students from CUNY community colleges, various retention activities, tutoring opportunities, offering of a credit-bearing Student Development course, and creation of a Men’s Center that will provide services including counseling, mentoring, internships and job placements, career and personal development seminars. Partnerships will be promoted with alumni and public and private organizations.

Additionally, this year, CUNY BMI adds teacher education as a targeted category of the program. York College has been selected as one of five (5) campuses to participate in the first year of the CUNY BMI Teachers as Leaders project.