Humanities Alliance Coordinators

Simona Prives
Humanities Alliance Coordinator
SPrives@hostos.cuny.edu

Bio

Simona Prives

Simona Prives is an Assistant Professor of Art and Design at Hostos, City University of New York (CUNY) as well the Coordinator of the Digital Design & Animation branch of Humanities. Having received her MFA from Pratt Institute, Prives is a visual artist who creates animated collages that incorporate a variety of themes and materials. Her multi-media work is about locating ourselves in the built and natural environments at this particular moment in history. She has been awarded multiple residencies and fellowships, including at Harvestworks, Vermont Studio Center, Santa Fe Art Institute, Scuola Internazionale di Grafica di Venezia and 4Heads. Prives’ work has been shown in galleries throughout New York and the United States, as well as at China Arts Museum in Shanghai and in Tokyo, Japan. Simona Prives’ artwork, “EVEN WHILE THE DUST MOVES” is currently featured with MTA Arts & Design throughout the three levels of Fulton Center in lower Manhattan.

Thomas Beachdel
Humanities Alliance Coordinator
TBeachdel@hostos.cuny.edu

Bio

Thomas Beachdel

Coordinator of the non-Eurocentric Global Humanities Unit that he developed, Thomas Beachdel, PhD is an Associate Professor of Art and Architectural History at Hostos, City University of New York (CUNY). His primary academic work focuses on landscape aesthetics/ideologies between the seventeenth and twentieth centuries, particularly the sublime. Emphasizing the notion of the hybrid as a methodological approach, his interdisciplinary research interests cross chronological and geographic boundaries to focus on the relationship between aesthetics and scientific inquiry, the formation of political and scientific thought, and the relationship between human and environment in the Anthropocene. His current book project is titled “Wrecks, Ruins, and Eruptions: The Visual Culture of the Sublime in the Long Eighteenth Century,” and he is concurrently working on an edited anthology, “Landscape of Disaster.” Dr. Beachdel also maintains a very active role in international contemporary practice as curator and lecturer. His book on the intersection of landscape and portraiture with artist Marie Tomanova, New York New York, was recently released in 2021 with Hatje Cantz.

Humanities Alliance Graduate Fellows

Portrait of Angela

Angela Dunne
Humanities Alliance Graduate Fellow
ADunne@hostos.cuny.edu

Bio

Angela Dunne

Angela Dunne is a Ph.D. student in the Urban Education Program at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Since 2015, Angela has worked to develop curriculum and has taught in a collaborative course in the First Year Experience Program at Guttman Community College, CUNY. Their academic interests center on collective agency, social identity, and the impact of community college policies & practices with a focus on the historical, present, and potential role of community colleges within the university system in New York City. As a Humanities Alliance fellow, Angela will join the Learning Communities project at Hostos Community College.

Portrait of Jay

Jayson Castillo
Humanities Alliance Graduate Fellow
JCastillo@hostos.cuny.edu

Bio

Jayson Castillo

Humanities Alliance Graduate”Jayson Castillo is a New York native of Salvadoran and Dominican descent and is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Urban Education at the CUNY Graduate Center. As a budding researcher, Jayson is focused on the challenges facing immigrant communities in New York City, especially as they are shaped by the intersections of immigration, language, and education. Specifically, Jayson is passionate about the community struggles for equitable education Latinx communities engage in, both in the past and present.”

Portrait of Mehrnaz

Mehrnaz Moghaddam
Humanities Alliance Graduate Fellow
SMoghaddam@hostos.cuny.edu

Bio

Mehrnaz Moghaddam

Mehrnaz Moghaddam holds an MBA, an MA in Economics, and a BA in Industrial Management. She is currently a Ph.D. student in the Cultural Anthropology Program at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, where her research focuses on the political economy of labor migration, intersection of im-migration and violence, and the intersection of economic and political processes of racialization in the Middle East. Mehrnaz has taught classes in Economics and Management at the City College of New York. As a Humanities Alliance fellow, Mehrnaz will join the Learning Communities project at the Hostos Community College.

Learning Communities (LCs) consist of relatively small cohorts of students who are enrolled together in two or more courses that are linked through themes, concepts, and/or assignments. They promote deep conceptual links across disciplines and strengthen connections to faculty, peers, and the college.

Historical and Theoretical Foundations of Learning Communities

Fink, J. E., & Inkelas, K. K. (2015). A History of Learning Communities Within American Higher Education. New Directions for Student Services, 2015 (149), 5–15.

The authors lay out the historical evolution of learning communities in the United States from the early colonial colleges through the 21st century. They recognize John Dewey and Alexander Meiklejohn as the foundational educational reformers of the 20th Century who laid the foundation for learning communities. The article brings together the many historical experiments, institutions, national reports, and grants that have contributed to the contemporary learning community movement.

Jessup-Anger, J. E. (2015). Theoretical Foundations of Learning Communities. New Directions for Student Services, 2015 (149), 17–27.

The authors map the historic theoretical roots of learning communities in the United States. They recognize John Dewey and Alexander Meiklejohn for providing the structural foundation of contemporary learning communities. Dewey is credited with envisioning the pedagogical foundations and Meiklejohn with the structural contribution. The article also provides a survey of the cognitive and human ecological theories in support of learning communities.

Learning Communities as High-impact Practice in Community Colleges

Engstrom, C.M., & Tinto, V. (2008). Learning better together: The impact of learning communities on the persistence of low-income students. Opportunity Matters, 1, 1 – 17.

The authors describe the shifting patterns in higher education to account for the growing population of low-income students and report on the efficacy of learning communities for the academic success of this population. The article concluded that learning communities provide benefits such as increased motivation and confidence with recommendations for restructuring learning them to a foundational skills model to best meet the needs of these students.

Fogarty, J., Dunlap, L., & Dolan, E. (2003). Learning communities in community colleges . Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education.

The authors explain the historical and ever-shifting role of two-year and community colleges in the United States. The two-year college as both a technical and general education institution, the attempt to build community on mostly commuter campuses, and a host of other contradictory pressures present challenges for student motivation, academic success, and retention. They suggest that learning communities are an effective way to counter many of these challenges. 

Romero, E. (2012). Participation in learning communities as a predictor of student success at a community college. Journal of Applied Research in the Community Colleges, 20 (1), 36–43.

The author presents a study that explores the relationship between student success and participation in a learning community within a community college setting. The scope of the definition of student success in this article includes completion of the student’s own educational goals, transfer to a four year institution, and degrees & certificates earned. The results of the study support the effectiveness of learning communities. 

Smith, B. L., & MacGregor, J. (2009). Learning communities and the quest for quality. Quality Assurance in Education, 17(2), 118-139.

This article contextualizes learning communities as a major reform effort in US higher education. The authors suggest several interventions to contribute to the successful scalability of learning community programs and initiatives. 

Learning Community Resources

National Learning Communities Directory

A searchable tool that provides information about learning community programs in the United States including institution, program information, type of learning community, region, contact information and website links.

Learning Communities Association

Membership to this association is free and includes a listserv where over 700 learning communities practitioners from across the US pose questions and offer advice.

Atlantic Center for Learning Communities

Regional professional network dedicated to the study and advancement of learning communities. They also hold an academic and professional conference every year (postponed due to the pandemic). 

MDRC

Founded in 1974 as the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation, “MDRC” became the official name of the organization in 2003. They have conducted critical research on the efficacy of learning communities at two-year institutions. 

Washington Center for the Improvement of Undergraduate Education

Public service center at The Evergreen State College, is a national resource to two‐ and four‐year higher education institutions intent on creating equitable learning opportunities for all students through the strategic use of learning communities and other evidence-based practices.

“In its simplest form, experiential learning means learning from experience or learning by doing. Experiential education first immerses learners in an experience and then encourages reflection about the experience to develop new skills, new attitudes, or new ways of thinking.” — Lewis and Williams (1994).

Foundational Literature on Experiential Learning

Chickering, Arthur W. “Experience and Learning. An Introduction to Experiential Learning.” (1977).

This book provides us with an understanding of experiential learning from different aspects. Dr. Chickering discusses different standpoints in which experiential learning can be viewed: such as its purposes, applications, institutional support, potentials for students and their educational effectiveness, and potentials for faculty and institutions.

Keeton, Morris T. “Experiential Learning: Rationale, Characteristics, and Assessment.” (1976).

An interesting read to learn about the history of post-secondary education in the U.S., and the role of experiential learning in its improvement.

Kolb, David A. Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. FT Press, 2014. [1984].

Kolb models the underlying structures of the learning process based on the latest insights in psychology, philosophy, and physiology. Further, he offers a systematic and up-to-date statement of the theory of experiential learning and its modern applications to education, work, and adult development.

Implementing Experiential Learning in Higher Education Pedagogy

Cantor, Jeffrey A. Experiential Learning in Higher Education: Linking Classroom and Community. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report No. 7.

This report reviews the literature and research on the use of experiential learning in higher education, focusing on classroom-community linkages.

Kolb, Alice Y., and David A. Kolb. “Learning styles and learning spaces: Enhancing experiential learning in higher education.” Academy of management learning & education 4.2 (2005): 193-212.

The concept of learning space is introduced as a framework for understanding the interface between student learning styles and the institutional learning environment.

Kolb, Alice Y., and David A. Kolb. “Experiential learning theory as a guide for experiential educators in higher education.” Experiential Learning & Teaching in Higher Education 1, no. 1 (2017): 7-44.

The latest thinking about core concepts of Experiential Learning Theory—the learning cycle, learning style, and learning space— is examined and some exemplary applications from the many disciplinary applications of experiential learning in higher education are highlighted.

Experiential Learning Resources

CUNY's plan to increase experiential learning opportunities throughout the university. This initiative was driven by legislative provision in Governor Cuomo’s 2015 Executive Budget.

The existing experiential learning initiative at Hostos Community College. This page provides definitions for experiential learning at CUNY.

This resource provides an example of an experiential learning initiative in the arts at CUNY. Designed collaboratively by an interdisciplinary group of CUNY Graduate Center PhD and MA candidates (see sidebar) as part of a 2017-2018 Focused Inquiry Group at the Teaching and Learning Center, this website offers individual activities and model lesson plans that professors can use to integrate key museum pedagogies in the higher ed classroom. 

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