Rebuilding the Hostos Community: Inclusion, Belonging, Retention

Starting the semester with energy and enthusiasm is the motivation we all love to see in our students and faculty. Day Zero was created by the Center for Teaching and Learning with the support of the Office of Academic Affairs to offer the additional boost to setting the stage for a successful semester.

The last three years have been a test for humanity to learn to overcome difficult situations, reinvent ourselves and adapt to new realities.

Join us for a day to talk and share ideas on how we can tackle this goal together. The day will offer a student panel and breakout discussions.

9:30 am – 9:40 am

Nicole Wallenbrock


Nicole Wallenbrock
Assistant Professor


Greetings from:

Shiang-Kwei WangShiang
Provost and Vice President of OAA


Greetings from:

Daisy Cocco de Filippis
President, Hostos Community College

9:40 am – 10:05 am

Starting off on the Same Page – The Hostos Syllabus Template

A syllabus is the document we use to communicate expectations, resources, and practices to our students. It helps set the tone for the semester. We will review the Hostos syllabus template and how a common syllabus framework benefits faculty and students.


Andrea Fabrizio
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs

10:05 am – 10:20 am

Birds of Feather Session
What areas/topics/ideas/questions come to mind when we think about Persistence, Inclusion, Engagement, Retention, Belonging? Participants will respond to a virtual survey, and their responses will be used to define emerging themes for breakout rooms.


Amina Tajbhai
English Department

10:20 am – 11:20 am

PIERB Discussions
Breakout Rooms

Themes will emerge from the previous exercise and conversations will be facilitated by members of the CTL Advisory Council

Stacey Cooper, Assistant Professor, Behavioral & Social Sciences
Mayra Mojica, Adjunct Lecturer, Business
Silvia Reyes, Director of SP Projects and Student Engagement & CLIP, OAA
Sanjay Arya, Assistant Professor, Allied Health Sciences

11:20 am – 11:25 pm


11:25 am – 11:55 am

Connecting the Dots

This session will offer an opportunity to hear about the emerging themes and conversations at the breakout rooms sessions and draw conclusions and future steps.

Cynthia Jones, Lecturer, English, CTL Co-Director
Carlos Guevara, CTL Co-Director & EdTech Director

11:55 am – 12:00 pm


12:00 pm – 12:50 pm

Student Panel: Student Perspectives about Persistence, Inclusion, and Belonging

The purpose of this student panel is to provide a forum for students to share their perspectives and experiences, as well as to foster dialogue and understanding among students, staff, and faculty about the importance of inclusion and belonging and how these factors affect retention. The student panel will discuss topics such as: meeting students where they are; how to support their academic needs; effective tools, resources, and other types of assistance; a sense of community and belonging; student life and involvement opportunities; and faculty support and understanding.

Moderator: Dr. Asrat Amnie, Assistant Professor, Education Department

Jose Gonzalez – Kaplan Scholar
Kevin Dillon – HEAT Recipient
Jerica Isaroon – Honors Student

12:50 pm – 1:00 pm

Closing Remarks

Cynthia Jones, Lecturer, English, CTL Co-Director
Carlos Guevara, CTL Co-Director & EdTech Director


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