The Graduate Center of The City University of New York (CUNY) is a leader in public graduate education devoted to enhancing the public good through pioneering research, serious learning, and reasoned debate. The Graduate Center offers ambitious students more than 40 doctoral and master’s programs of the highest caliber, taught by top faculty from throughout CUNY — the nation’s largest public urban university. Through its nearly 40 centers, institutes, and initiatives, including its Advanced Science Research Center (ASRC), The Graduate Center influences public policy and discourse and shapes innovation. The Graduate Center’s extensive public programs make it a home for culture and conversation.
Beyond Acceptance: Documenting the Experiences of Queer Youth and Their Families
The guests for this Pride Month episode of The Thought Project include Mica Baum Tuccillo, a student in the Psychology Ph.D. program (Critical Social/Personality Psychology training area) at the CUNY Graduate Center and a research fellow in its Publics Lab. She supported and facilitated the Beyond Acceptance Research Collective, a queer youth research project under the auspices of the Graduate Center’s Public Science Project. Tuccillo worked with co-researchers Tess/Audre and Leo Lipson, student artists who just graduated from high school. Tess/Audre will start at City College in the fall. Lipson will attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. They contributed drawings and zines to the Beyond Acceptance project.
The three guests discuss the work of the Beyond Acceptance Research Collective, which involves youth and adults in documenting the family relationships and experiences of LGBTQ+ and gender-expansive youth.
The Beyond Acceptance Research Collective was funded and supported by the New York City Unity Project and the City of New York’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
To Stop Anti-Asian Racism, First Remedy Ignorance and Nationalism
On this episode of The Thought Project, Manu Bhagavan, professor of history at Hunter College and The Graduate Center, CUNY, and Vivian Louie, professor of urban policy and planning and director of the Asian American Studies Program and Center at Hunter College, discuss the spike in hate crimes around the world, particularly the hatred and violence that have been directed toward Americans who are of Asian and Pacific Islander descent.
Bhagavan frames the hate in the context of the global rise of nationalism and of strongmen leaders who play on “majoritarian sentiments in their countries on racism, on xenophobia, on misogyny.” He links these trends to “increasing waves of hate crimes in country, after country, across the globe.”
Louie, who recently spoke at a Stop Asian Hate rally in Bergen County, New Jersey, offers a remedy. “We need education that teaches us about the historical and civic contributions of Asian Americans, and about our nation's own immigration history of exclusion and inclusion,” she says. Louie may get her wish. Just last month New York State Senator John Liu introduced a bill requiring New York State public elementary and high schools to provide instruction in the history and civic impact of Asian Americans. The bill seeks to raise awareness of Asian Americans by directing the Board of Regents to develop a course of study incorporating the contributions, struggles, and accomplishments of Asian Americans throughout U.S. history.
Listen in to this timely discussion.
Racial Justice and President Biden’s First 100 Days
Rosa Squillacote and Milo Ward, students in the Ph.D. Program in Political Science at The Graduate Center, CUNY, share an interest in studying the New York City Police Department and policing in the U.S. Squillacote researches the limits of diversity within the NYPD and is an organizer for Mott Haven Families, an organization that aims to promote community safety through social support rather than policing. For his dissertation, Ward is analyzing political theory as it relates to policing. Specifically, he studies the political thought of James Q. Wilson, who is known for his broken windows theory of policing that the NYPD adopted in the 1990s when it sought to tamp down minor violations and restore order as a way to deter violent crimes.
Squillacote and Ward join The Thought Project podcast to talk about President Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office and what’s ahead. What can the Biden administration do to address racial injustice? How has this issue been acknowledged in the first 100 days? What should be the next steps by the Biden administration with respect to racial justice in the second 100 days and throughout the first year of his administration?
Listen in as we address these questions.
Hope for Newtown Creek in an Unusual Collaboration
New York’s Newtown Creek is notorious as one of the most polluted waterways in the U.S., the site of a massive oil spill and industrial pollution stretching back to the 19th century. Restoration is underway, though, and three CUNY faculty members, Peter Groffman, Monica Trujillo, and Erika Niwa, are collaborating to help. They have teamed up to rehabilitate the estuary’s ecology and improve the quality of life around the former Superfund site. Groffman and Trujillo join The Thought Project to discuss their work and its impact.
They explain the benefits of working across disciplines and the importance of partnering with people in the community to restore Newtown Creek’s ecology and abundancy.
Groffman is a professor with the Environmental Science Initiative at the Advanced Science Research Center of The Graduate Center, CUNY. Trujillo is a professor of microbiology in the department of Biological Sciences and Geology at Queensborough Community College, and Niwa, who is not on the podcast, is a professor of psychology at Brooklyn College and The Graduate Center.
Graduate Center Scientists Study the Effects of the COVID Pandemic on Long Island Sound
For over a year Dianne Greenfield, a professor at Queens College and the Environmental Science Initiative at the Advanced Science Research Center at The Graduate Center, CUNY, and Maria Tzortziou a professor at City College and the Earth and Environmental Sciences Program at The Graduate Center, have been researching how the COVID-19 pandemic’s forced shutdown has affected water quality in the Long Island Sound, an estuary bordered by New York and Connecticut.
Long Island Sound is the most urbanized estuary of North America, home to more than four million persons who live in the coastal communities along its shorelines. It is considered one of the most important and valuable estuaries in America in terms of its ecological value and rich biodiversity, according to Professor Tzortziou. More than three decades ago, Congress designated Long Island Sound an estuary of national significance.
The Sound is a rich ecosystem that contains thousands of invertebrates, fish, and migratory bird species. The waterway also supports a variety of industries, including fishing, transportation, and outdoor activities that stress and impact the Sound’s ecosystem in various ways. During this Earth Day podcast we talk with Greenfield and Tzortziou about their research to sort out how cessation of these activities has impacted this critical estuary and the life it supports.
A Green Approach to Bluer Water: Jennifer Cherrier on The Thought Project
New York City has a water runoff problem that’s leading to the contamination of its lakes, rivers, and marine waterways. The city’s paved streets lower the amount of rainwater that can be absorbed, which leads to greater runoff. That runoff in turn causes local floods and overwhelmed sewer systems that bring effluent into the city’s many waterways, such as the Hudson River. Scientists expect these problems to intensify with higher seas and more intense storms that accompany climate change.
In this episode of The Thought Project, Jennifer Cherrier, a professor of environmental sciences at The Graduate Center and Brooklyn College, discusses her efforts to counteract the devastating effects of stormwater runoff and help New York remain a leader in water resource management.
Cherrier has created and patented EcoWEIR, a technology designed to filter and reduce levels of carbon and nitrogen and other contaminants in large water systems. The system is currently being tested as a solution to Prospect Park’s problem with algae bloom.
She describes how EcoWEIR combines green solutions, such as dirt and soil, with gray infrastructure, such as filters and pipes, to clean contaminated water. She also discusses her collaborations with fellow scientists and the city to plan for and mitigate the effects of climate change, and her work to prepare CUNY students for the green jobs of the future.
demystifies what others are doing at the GC