Rotterdam Scholars Visit Guttman to Collaborate on Youth Participatory Action Research



February 17, 2023 | Academics, Alumni

Rotterdam Scholars post with Guttman Students, Alumni and FacultyNEW YORK, N.Y. (February 16, 2023) – Scholars from the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences (RUAS) visited Stella and Charles Guttman Community College on Monday, February 6, to discuss an oral history project. The scholars selected Guttman to acquire skills and greater cultural awareness by collaborating with marginalized, mostly migrant youth.

By partnering with Guttman students and alumni, RUAS hopes to glean from their experience with participatory action research new strategies to influence local policies. In turn, Guttman students and alumni learn from RUAS’ experience with practice-based social design research.

“Multicultural experiences are critical to ensuring that students have diverse sets of opinions and ways of solving issues. Our curricular approaches across our six majors are grounded in this principle and we are proud of how students are shaping their experiences and voices at Guttman,” stated Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Nicole Blake.

RUAS scholars selected Voices from the Heart of Gotham: The Undergraduate Oral History Collection at Guttman Community College to be one of the projects with which to collaborate during their visit to New York City. These scholars met Guttman alumni, students, and faculty to discuss the project and potential joint endeavors in the future. Guttman student and alumni researchers Shaday Barrett, Elhadji Diagne, Samantha Hernandez, Bashir Juwara, Sadaf Majeed, Holliday Senquiz, Hermanica Thelusca, and Ariadna Villeda joined Professor Samuel Finesurrey in an introduction to the multiple formats of oral history work engaged in by Guttman students over the past five years. With the input of visiting scholars Kitt Bosman and Diana Van Dijk, plans were drawn for future binational collaborations whereby Guttman students and alumni would train aspiring Dutch teachers and youth workers on ways to engage with marginalized communities in Rotterdam in participatory oral history projects.

The scholars were able to visit the College on an Erasmus Grant, a European Union grant that enables participants to study, train, gain experience and volunteer abroad.

Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences has more than 39,000 students and about 4,000 employees. There are a wide variety of programs to choose from across all educational sectors, with the exception of the agrarian sector. RUAS’ education is closely connected to developments in the metropolitan region of Rotterdam.

Stella and Charles Guttman Community College was CUNY’s first new community college in more than forty years. Reimagining what community college could 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.