Teaching Day 2019 Recognizes Faculty Instruction and Service & Center for Teaching and Learning Initiatives

The instruction and service of faculty at Hostos Community College was recognized on “Teaching Day,” Tuesday, May 7, 2019 by the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) coinciding with National Teaching week. The day started with a poster display featured in the A-Atrium, followed by networking in the Hostos Café of faculty and students.

The CTL Initiatives were featured throughout the day and were also included in the program booklet, for instance, CTL faculty inquiry groups were listed, including Service Learning & Civic Engagement, Peer Observation Improvement Network for Teaching (POINT), Team-Based Learning, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), Writing Group, and Touchstone. Also included in the program booklet was an ad advancing zero textbook cost courses.

The day culminated with a program in the Hostos Café. Dr. Denise Cummings-Clay, Assistant Professor-Education Department, welcomed attendees to the event. Dr. Christine Mangino, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, made remarks highlighting the value of faculty teaching, service, and research toward advancing excellent student learning outcomes. The program continued with a “Teaching Day” song, composed by Dr. Cummings-Clay, and performed by the students enrolled in the course, EDU 109 – Music and Movement.

Service Learning & Civic Engagement at Hostos was addressed by Prof. Sandy Figueroa, Associate Professor-Business Department, Dr. Biao Jiang, Assistant Professor-Natural Sciences, and Dr. Cummings-Clay, Assistant Professor-Education Department. This presentation was followed by one presented by Dr. Sonia Maldonado, Assistant Professor-Education Department, entitled, “Connecting Sabbatical Experience & Service in Puerto Rico.”

The program also featured a focus on the “Hostos Reads” Initiative. Ms. Silvia Reyes, Title V Director, and Prof. Elisabeth Tappeiner, Associate Professor-Library Department) led attendees in a dialogue on the campus’ reading book, “How to Think” by Alan Jacobs. Ms. Nana Mukbaniani, Quantitative Reasoning Fellow-CTL, engaged attendees in an exercise of how to infuse QR/QL in teaching.

Prof. Cynthia Jones, Lecturer-English Department & CTL Co-Director, and Mr. Carlos Guevara, EdTech Director & CTL Co-Director made closing remarks.

The CTL Teaching Day Organizing Committee was comprised of Dr. Denise Cummings-Clay, Chair, Dr. Eddy Garcia, Lecturer-Business Academic Department, Dr. Andrew London, Instructor-Humanities, Dr. Terence Brenner, Associate Professor-Mathematics Department, and Ms. Nana Mukbaniani, Quantitative Reasoning Fellow-CTL.

The CTL Advisory Council consists of Cynthia Jones, CTL Co-Director & Lecturer-English Department; Carlos Guevara, CTL Co-Chair & EdTech Director; Luz Rivera, CTL Administrative Coordinator; Eddy Garcia, Lecturer-Business Academic Department; Jason Buchanan, Assistant Professor-English Department; Anne Rounds, Assistant Professor-English Department; Linda Miles, Assistant Professor, Library; Chanh Phan, Assistant Professor, Natural Sciences; Silvia Reyes, Title V Director, Office of Academic Affairs; Denise Cummings-Clay, Assistant Professor, Education Department; Andrew London, Instructor, Humanities; Sarah Hoiland, Assistant Professor, Behavioral & Social Sciences; Nana Mukbaniani, Quantitative Reasoning Fellow-CTL; and Terence Brenner, Associate Professor, Mathematics Department.

On May 8, 2018, Hostos Community College again joined with the nation to pay tribute to teaching and learning. Our 2nd Annual Teaching Day Program, “Hostos Stories from Faculty, Staff and Students,” entailed brief presentations by an impressive group of educators, students, staff, and alumni. Prof. Jones facilitated the proceedings by welcoming the assembled.

Nelson Nunez Rodriguez, Professor of Chemistry, Unit Coordinator in the Natural Sciences Department, and former Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning began the celebration providing a fond overview of his professional journey at Hostos. He reminded us of the importance of striving for excellence with passion. He shared a few anecdotes, which illustrated not only his love of teaching but his desire for learning. Professor Nunez Rodriguez delivered an inspirational talk that set a great tone for the day.

Denise Herrera, who shared that she is a 20 year-old Chicana, proud daughter of immigrant parents, an SGA Senator and the fall 2018 President of the SGA, gave an emotional reflection about her love of family and the family of Hostos. As an Honors student and student leader, she lives a student life of excellence that serves as a model to all; she is teaching all of us to be mindful of the importance of being the best self with resilience.

Mayra L. Mojica Butler, who has extensive experience in the accounting and finance fields, provided a snapshot of her experience teaching in the Business Department. It was apparent that she had respect and patience for students. Additionally, she exhibited the joy she derived from being in the classroom.

Joseph Kwame Gyan also teaches in the Business Department. Professor Gyan graduated with Honors and an A.S. in Accounting from Hostos Community College in 2010. He shared memorable moments from his student days and his teaching life. He is often seen walking the halls with a group of students.

Victor Pinnock shared his experiences as a former Hostos student, who received his A.A.S. in digital design and animation. He won an award for Best CUNY Animation in 2016. He is currently teaching in our College Now Program as an Adjunct Professor. It was clear that he is enjoying his teaching life.

Mercedes Moscat has served in various key positions in Hostos Community College since 1993. She has been involved with many initiatives throughout the college, which she detailed. As she shared her story, it was definitely obvious that she has and remains dedicated to the empowerment of students and co-workers. Her passion for excellence and love of the teaching and learning process was evident for all to see.

Our program was closed by our Chief Academic Officer, Vice President and Provost Christine Mangino. She ended by sharing her awe and appreciation of the shared Hostos stories.

On a bright afternoon recently, in the Atrium, faculty, students and administrators celebrated Hostos Teaching Day. The purpose of gathering, and for creating the posters which decorated the space, was to reflect on the practices and strategies that enhance student learning here at Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College. Additionally this semester, the Center for Teaching and Learning launched the Hostos Reads book project with a book, Just Mercy, which highlights the ongoing struggle for social justice–a struggle that is no stranger to the teachers, students,and administrators who make up the Hostos community. Social justice is about more than just equality; it is about equity–ensuring that all receive the resources they need in order to achieve their goals and fulfill their highest aspirations. The faculty and administrators, now more than ever, recognize the value of education in achieving equity for Hostos’ diverse student population.

The spirit of Eugenio Maria de Hostos was alive and well within the walls of the Atrium that afternoon both in the testimony of the faculty, who remain committed to the mission of the college, and of the students, who continue to overcome the most challenging obstacles in obtaining their degrees. Teaching Day was a day of celebration, reflection and community. For as long as there remains a struggle for justice and equality, Hostos humbly stands as a beacon for all those who are willing to fight. The spirit of Eugenio Maria de Hostos was alive and well within the walls of the Atrium that afternoon both in the testimony of the faculty, who remain committed to the mission of the college, and of the students, who continue to overcome the most challenging obstacles inobtaining their degrees. Teaching Day was a day of celebration, reflection and community. For as long as there remains a struggle for justice and equality, Hostos humbly stands as a beacon for all those who are willing to fight.

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