Guttman Celebrates Success at Global Scholars Achieving Career Success Conference   



May 30, 2023 | Events, Scholarships, Student Engagement

NEW YORK, N.Y. (May 30, 2023) – Students from five courses across Guttman Community College presented at the Global Scholars Achieving Career Success (GSACS) conference to nearly 500 attendees on Monday, May 15, 2023.

Guttman professors Jihyun Kim, Nicole Kras, Jinzhong Niu, Karen Williams, and Luis Zambrano led courses in partnership with students from the Middle East and North Africa in semester-long projects aimed to highlight their courses’ respective research on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations #6 Clean Water and Sanitation and #10 Reduced Inequality.

Professors Kim and Zambrano partnered with classes from Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST) to respectively explore water pollution in their cities through the testing of drinking water to determine its safety. Professor Kras also worked with a course from JUST to interrogate the unique inequalities and stigmas that exist in seeking mental health care in Jordan and in the United States. Professor Williams conducted a GSACS partnership for the second time, leading her students in a study with undergraduates at Abdelmalek Essaadi University in Tangiers, Morocco, on how gender inequality is experienced in the U.S. and Morocco. Finally, Professor Niu partnered with a class at Palestine Ahliya University in Bethlehem to study opportunities for women in New York City and the Palestinian Territories in which students built websites to present their research results.

This is the final conference in an extremely successful series of projects conducted over the past two years as CUNY classes joined forces with Palestinian, Jordanian, Egyptian, and Moroccan students to conduct important research on UN SDGs #6 and #10. Guttman professors Kim, Kras, Niu, Williams, and Zambrano successfully guided students in original research through this initiative, joining former GSACS faculty fellows from Guttman — Kristina Baines, Cassandra Barnes, Samuel Finesurrey, Anya Spector and Alia Tyner — in this work. The success of these partnerships across the board exposes the distinctive strength of faculty-student collaboration at Guttman and a deep commitment to transnational knowledge and student-led inquiry.

GSACS is implemented by LaGuardia Community College of the City University of New York and is supported by the J. Christopher Stevens Virtual Exchange Initiative (JCSVEI). JCSVEI  is a U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs program administered by the Aspen Institute.

The Stevens Initiative is an international leader in virtual exchange, which brings young people from diverse places together to collaborate and connect through everyday technology. Created in 2015 as a lasting tribute to Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, the Initiative invests in virtual exchange programs; shares research, resources, and promising practices to improve impact; and advocates for broader adoption.

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) builds relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through academic, cultural, sports, professional, and private exchanges, as well as public-private partnerships and mentoring programs. These exchange programs improve foreign relations and strengthen the national security of the United States, support U.S. international leadership, and provide a broad range of domestic benefits by helping break down barriers that often divide us. Visit

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world.  Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit

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.