Guttman Community College Foundation Board of Directors Welcomes Three New Members



January 10, 2023 | Advancement, President's Office

Additional Directors Will Support College’s Continued Growth During 10th Anniversary Year and Beyond

Guttman Community College AtriumNEW YORK, N.Y. (January 10, 2023) – The Guttman Community College Foundation Board of Directors announces three new members of the Board, elected Wednesday, December 14, 2022. Board Chair Andre D. White and Board Directors Dr. Eva M. Fernández and Jeffrey Gu bring a shared interest in higher education and will serve in support of the College and its mission.

“I am delighted to welcome our new Foundation Board members, and I look forward to serving alongside them to continue advancing the important work of Guttman Community College. The new directors’ combined expertise will provide additional leadership during a pivotal time at the College,” said current Board Director Susan Butler Plum.

Andre D. White is elected board chair and director of the Board. White is recognized as a national leader in the field of youth employment with nearly two decades of public service, currently serving as executive director and CEO of Phipps Neighborhoods. As deputy commissioner of Youth Workforce Development at the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development, White managed $220 million in annual public and private funding for youth employment, internships, training and high school dropout prevention services. He also oversaw the Summer Youth Employment Program, which is the nation’s largest summer jobs initiative. A City University of New York alumnus, White received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Master of Arts in Political Science, Urban Policy and Administration from Brooklyn College.

Dr. Eva M. Fernández, new Board director, is the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Mercy College, a private, nonprofit institution serving historically underserved communities. Before beginning her tenure at Mercy, Dr. Fernández spent over two decades at CUNY, where she served as a member of the faculty and took on progressively more complex administrative roles, culminating in associate provost for innovation and student success at Queens College and, at Guttman, interim vice president for academic affairs and provost. Fernández earned doctorate and master’s degrees from the CUNY Graduate Center and a Bachelor of Arts degree from New York University.

Also elected Board director is Jeffrey Gu, the co-founder and policy director of Make Us Visible, an organization that establishes preventative measures against anti-Asian American violence by activating and empowering local communities to advocate for the inclusion of Asian American and Pacific Islander history in the K-12 curriculum at state and local levels. MUV has passed five laws in three states within one year and consists of 12 active state chapters. Jeffrey also serves as the Policy Director of the New York GOP’s Asian American Caucus and is a member of the Asian American Bar Association of New York’s Anti-Asian Violence Taskforce.

White, Fernández and Gu will join Plum as well as Jim Cochran, Vik Gupta, Susan Butler Plum, Alejandra Soto, Mark LaVorgna and Guttman President Larry Johnson to secure funding and supporters for the College.

Stella and Charles Guttman Community College is CUNY’s first new community college in more than forty years. Reimagining what community college can be, Guttman opened its doors in Manhattan in August 2012 to create a research-based, innovative model focused on moving students efficiently toward graduation. Offering associate degree programs in a nurturing environment, the College’s three-year graduation rate consistently surpasses the national average, and most graduates transfer to senior colleges. Guttman is federally designated as a Hispanic-serving institution and minority-serving institution with more than 85% of the student population identifying as Latine or Black/African American. The College was named the best community college in America in 2020 and the top community college in New York State for 2020, 2021 and 2022 by and other ranking agencies.