First Year Experience
The College welcomed New York City high school students and provided on-the-spot acceptance, NEW YORK, NY (December 13, 2022) – Over 100 high school students attended an Open House at Stella and Charles Guttman Community College on Saturday, December 3, 2022. During the event, students received information about admissions, learned about the College’s academic programs […]
Miyoko Wong knows that to get what you want from life, you have to take chances. They did just that when they took a leap and moved from Honolulu to New York City nine months ago to attend Guttman. In addition to making the thousand-plus mile trip, Miyoko has also been on a journey of self-advocacy and discovery. After a tumultuous time back home, New York City and Guttman have been offering Miyoko opportunities to grow and thrive.
Alexandra Hamlett, Information Literacy Librarian and Assistant Professor, Library Science and Information Literacy
As an information literacy librarian, Alexandra Hamlett helps students learn essential research skills, skills that include finding, evaluating, and using multiple information types in order for students to be able to access credible information for their academic and personal information needs. In 2015, she was thrilled to join Guttman College, where an innovative and creative pedagogy is embraced. Guttman’s founders outlined a non-traditional community college and developed a curriculum tied to student success. “I have been privileged to develop an information literacy program where I collaborate closely with faculty to embed information literacy skills across the First-Year Experience and the Programs of Study,” says Professor Hamlett.
“I truly believe everyone learns differently and expresses their knowledge in different ways. I love seeing a student solve a problem a new way or apply to knowledge to something new. My goal is to foster intellectual curiosity rather than memorization and to build relationships where students feel safe making mistakes and trying new things.”
Dr. Elizabeth Wentworth’s doctoral dissertation investigated the integration of music instruction in the high school mathematics classroom. Since beginning at Guttman in 2016, her focus has been primarily on teaching. “Now that I am in my third year as an assistant professor I am starting to plan for more research,” says Dr. Wentworth. “I intend to continue looking at interdisciplinary work’s impact on student success and motivation.” Prior to teaching at Guttman, Dr. Wentworth taught three years of high school mathematics and coached the high school mathematics team, as well as the Academic Decathlon team. Dr. Wentworth has an undergraduate degree from the University of Rochester with majors in mathematics, music, and English, and a minor in history. Dr. Wentworth’s master’s and doctorate are from Teachers College Columbia University where she specialized in mathematics education.
“I think it is important for students to understand that their ability to stick with tasks, goals, and passions is crucial for success. Perseverance demands effort and practice, which is the truest way to unlock our highest potential.”
Dr. Ayisha Sookdeo joined Guttman College in 2019. She came to Guttman because she was excited to get the opportunity to teach students in a college that truly emphasizes the importance of dedicated and compassionate instruction.
Doctor Saidiya V. Hartman, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and author of several publications, including the award-winning Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval (2020), will visit Guttman’s First-Year Experience (FYE) faculty and staff on Thursday, January 27th, to discuss the significance of Humanities research, writing, and teaching within American studies and beyond. Specific attention will be paid to identity and representation and linguistic and social justice as they relate to the FYE, including two new American Studies courses and a Composition sequence that focuses on these themes.
“Grounding a Community College Education in Social Justice and Civic Engagement,” an article written by Guttman’s Dr. Meghan Gilbert-Hickey, Area Coordinator, Writing Program; Dr. Daniel Collins, Program Coordinator, First-Year Experience; and Dr. Allyson Bregman, Director, First-Year Experience and Curriculum, was featured in the Fall 2021 edition of the Bringing Theory to Practice newsletter.
“I love and live off of the ‘aha’ moments students have in class when they suddenly understand or build a new understanding of a concept. That has always been what excites me about teaching, whether it’s in a math class or a seminar course.”
In addition to the value she places on new ideas that come into being for individual students, Dr. Grace Pai sees “a career in education as a means of alleviating poverty and bringing about social mobility and equality.“ She does not mince words about “a lack of equity that too often leads to social stratification” and the scope of this crisis: “I’ve always found it astonishing that in a ‘developed’ knowledge economy like the United States’ that stresses the importance of obtaining a college degree, we still have about 15% of students who don’t even graduate from high school.” Experienced as a counselor and math teacher in NYC public schools and holding a Ph.D. in international education and development with a specialization in applied statistics for program and impact evaluation, Dr. Pai is a powerful emerging voice in the critical areas of global learning, culturally relevant pedagogy (CRP), as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as they relate to race in America. During just the last turbulent year, beset by the global pandemic, the Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies has presented or spoken at over a dozen events on CRP, Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL), and racial justice.
Dr. Gholdy Muhammad Leads Workshop on Historically Responsive and Culturally Relevant Pedagogy during Guttman’s Assessment Days
As the featured guest during Guttman’s Fall II Assessment Days, author of Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy and faculty at Georgia State University Dr. Gholdy Muhammad led an interactive workshop virtually for our instructional staff. Having presented the HILL Pedagogy – Histories, Identities, Literacies, Liberation – to the entire Guttman community in a previous virtual event, Dr. Muhammad’s session delved deeper into her framework’s overarching goals of Academic Success, Cultural Competence, and Sociopolitical Consciousness, which encompass the skill-building that students obtain and practice in class; their personal and social identities and backgrounds, in conversation with those of others; and the knowledge they gain from lived experiences outside of the classroom. In the workshop, Guttman faculty participated in revising an existing or new assignment according to the more granular criteria Dr. Mohammad has elaborated: advancing Identity, Skills, Intellect, Criticality, and Joy. The activity was designed for faculty to intentionally reflect on their higher-stakes written course assignments and directly incorporate effective, equitable, and affirming premises. This effort demonstrates and furthers the work of First-Year Experience (FYE) and English faculty to “decolonize” the curriculum, under the leadership of Assistant Professor of English and Area Coordinator for Writing Dr. Meghan Gilbert-Hickey and FYE Program Coordinator and Professor of English Dr. Dan Collins. The College’s institutional investment in student-centered, culturally relevant and responsive pedagogy, and best practices focused on equity is well-documented within the digital Center for Practice, Technology, and Innovation (CPTI).