Noted & Quoted

Citizenship Now! Does it Again

citnowThe CUNY-New York Daily News Citizenship Now! weeklong call-in did it again in April, fielding more than 14,000 calls from people with immigration questions and helping 377 of them resolve their immigration status.

For the seventh year, CUNY teamed up with the Daily News to provide thousands of New Yorkers and other callers with expert immigration advice. The University's Citizenship Now! Project, which has carved out a unique role providing immigration information and legal services to New Yorkers and others year-round, provided 422 trained volunteers -- including 154 from CUNY -- speaking 48 languages from Creole to Urdu, to staff the phones at the News' West 33rd Street headquarters.

Many city and state leaders, including Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, stopped by during the call-in. Senior Vice Chancellor Jay Hershenson and Daily News Editor in Chief Martin Dunn -- who together conceived the immigration hotline seven years ago -- were also on hand to discuss and support the project.

The popular immigration hotline has fielded calls from more than 84,000 people since its inception seven years ago. As in past years, the phones rang nonstop with callers seeking explanations, technical information and guidance about visa rules, green cards, procedures and other matters.

Among them was a caller from Ireland who had a green card but had been out of the United States for three years, which is considered abandonment of permanent resident status.

Based on the fact that his mail had been received by his daughter, a U.S. citizen, lawyer Allan Wernick, the Baruch College professor who directs Citizenship Now!, advised him to apply for a Special Immigrant Returning Resident Visa, and to contact CUNY's Immigration center at Medgar Evers College for further help.


CSI New Master Plan Is a Group Effort

The College of Staten Island, the city's largest college campus, has a new master plan calling for an estimated $257 million in building projects including a new Interdisciplinary High Performance Computational Center, library expansion, new housing, mixed-use research and academic buildings and other enhancements. The plan, approved by the Board of Trustees April 26, is the first major CSI revision in more than 20 years, designed to address anticipated growth over the next decade. Led by New York architectural and urban design firm Cooper, Robertson & Partners, it was developed during a three-year process involving University facilities planning offices as well as CSI faculty, students and staff. The campus -- comprising 204 acres, 25 buildings, athletic fields, a tennis structure and park-like open space -- serves nearly 14,000 degree students, a number expected to rise to 18,000 by 2019.


Lehman College Launches All-Digital Multimedia Center

Lehman College's $16 million Multimedia Center -- which will provide a new home for New York City filmmakers, digital artists, producers and musicians -- is officially open for business.

"Inside these facilities, our borough's future journalists, audiovisual creators and digital-media producers will develop the skills required to become leaders in these fields," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. during the center's dedication ceremony last month.

Among the features of the state-of-the-art center: an all-digital newsroom where students will produce an online, Bronx-focused newspaper; an eight-room editing suite for sound, graphic and audio productions; graphic workstations and classrooms for Lehman's digital-art program; and a music recording control room with a multi-track Euphonix digital soundboard and separate isolation booth for overdubbing.

In the fall, Emmy award-winning composer Michael Bacon, who has scored dozens of film and television productions, will join the faculty to teach film composition in a specially designed classroom. Courses are already offered in television production, newswriting and digital animation.

The center is located on two floors in the college's main classroom building. All-digital and tapeless, the 22,000-square-foot facility was designed by FXFOWLE Architects. A broadcasting studio occupies the largest part of the space.


University Newsmagazine, TV series Win Awards

CUNY Matters, the University's newsmagazine, and two CUNYdeveloped television series -- "Nueva York" and "We Are New York" -- garnered prestigious awards in May recognizing their outstanding quality. The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) awarded CUNY Matters a Silver 2010 Circle of Excellence Award in its Print Internal Audience Tabloids and Newsletters category. CASE is an international professional association serving educational institutions and their communications, marketing and development professionals. "We Are New York" and CUNY TV's "Nueva York" each won two 2010 Emmy Awards, which were presented by the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences at the 53rd Annual New York Emmy Awards. "Nueva York," a 30- minute Spanish-language magazine show, explores the rich textures of Latino society in New York City, focusing on politics, art, culture and traditions. The program airs on CUNY-TV, Channel 22 in Mexico, and Channel 11 in Panama. "We Are New York" is an innovative English as a Second Language dramatic series developed.