Post-Compost: The Wastewater Wetlands Project

Check out our new video documenting the partnership of Dr. Amy Berkov and Partners-for-Change fellow Rebecca Panko with the Lower East Side Ecology Center. Over the last year, they’ve taken the first major steps to transform a composting lot in East River Park into an artificial wetland for wildlife and wastewater management.

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There’s just so much good work being done by service-minded CCNY faculty and student fellows that we decided it was about time to capture some of the action in living color. Check out our new video documenting the partnership of Dr. Amy Berkov and research assistant Rebecca Panko (also a Partners-for-Change Fellow) with the Lower East Side Ecology Center. Through the Center’s Community-Based Participatory Research fellowship program, Dr. Berkov and the team have taken the first major steps in the last year to transform a composting lot in East River Park into an artificial wetland for wildlife and wastewater management.

From a Crossroads, a New Path

On May 14, Partners for Change Fellow Jamiela McDonnough, served as one of two guest speakers for the Colin Powell Center’s End-of-Year Celebration. Jamiela, a senior majoring in biology with a minor in studio art, offered the following excerpted remarks to her fellow students, family members, Center staff, and guests.

It’s the end of another academic year. The Center is winding down for the semester and it’s my turn to graduate. Now for as long as I have been waiting for this moment, it feels different than I expected. I feel happy and excited, of course. But I feel a little sad and sentimental, things I thought I’d never feel at graduation.

jamiela_talk1On May 14, Partners for Change Fellow Jamiela McDonnough, served as one of two guest speakers for the Colin Powell Center’s End-of-Year Celebration. Jamiela, a senior majoring in biology with a minor in studio art, offered the following excerpted remarks to her fellow students, family members, Center staff, and guests.

It’s the end of another academic year. The Center is winding down for the semester and it’s my turn to graduate. Now for as long as I have been waiting for this moment, it feels different than I expected. I feel happy and excited, of course. But I feel a little sad and sentimental, things I thought I’d never feel at graduation. I’ve had my share of challenges at City College not unlike most of you. A little over a year ago, I would have sold a kidney to graduate early. But looking back on things now, I realize that everything happens for a reason. The rocky path I chose has led me to some great opportunities including being here to speak with you all. And I wouldn’t change that for anything.

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Teaching Health-Care Rights to Empower Patients

Health-care march. Photo by Neil Parekh/SEIU Healthcare 775NW; courtesy Creative CommonsBy Nur Afsar

I worried that even 25 seats would be too many. But as people flooded through the doors, I saw that my worry was unwarranted: We quickly put out more chairs for what was to be an amazing learning experience.

Last week on May 2, my Partners for Change colleagues—Salma Asous, Syed Haider, Jamiela McDonnough—and I led a health-care rights workshop for parents of children enrolled in programs at the New Apartment Settlements’ College Access Center in the Bronx. In the presentation titled “Know Your Rights,” we outlined patients’ rights to language access, financial assistance, emergency treatment, and accommodations for disabilities within the health-care system. Many of the parents were Spanish-speaking, so we brought a translator with us. After going over basics, we gave out colored cards corresponding to true and false and quizzed our audience, who answered most questions correctly. I could see my feelings of joy and pride mirrored on my fellow facilitators’ faces: We were making ourselves understood!

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Colin Powell Center becoming Colin Powell School!

With a decade behind us of creating service-learning and public scholarship opportunities for students and faculty, the Center’s mission—to build leaders for the common good, strengthen connections between campus and communities, and promote civic engagement at City College and beyond—will continue to be the core mission of the School.

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It’s official! With the CUNY Board of Trustees’ green-lighting on April 29, City College’s Division of Social Sciences is now the Colin L. Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership.
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