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Division Of Interdisciplinary Studies At The Center For Worker Education

Student Spotlight

Petey Goes to College

Yorkie Service Dog of ECE Student Beth Kraimer Becomes Great Addition to CWE


Fall 2012 marked the first time Petey attended college. The service dog of ECE student Beth Kraimer, the Yorkie has been deemed the unofficial mascot of the Center for Worker Education (CWE).  The nine-year-old Yorkie accompanies Kraimer everywhere she goes. “He has changed my life completely,” says Kraimer. “He’s my therapy dog and we volunteer at Beth Israel for many years.  Petey’s been featured in the hospital’s video campaign.”

At Beth Israel Hospital, the volunteer dog often gets recognized and stopped in the hallway. The same can be said at CWE. Petey has especially been known for his fashionable outfits and sporty footwear. Kraimer has at least 30 pairs of dog shoes for Petey to keep his paws clean. His wardrobe varies and on any given day be seen in tees and track suits to rain gear.

Kraimer, who for 30 years served as a licensed massage therapist, decided to pursue her lifelong dream of teaching children. Petey accompanies Kraimer to class. “He became an instant star,” says Kraimer. “Not only does he relieve the stress of everyone he comes in contact with, but he puts a smile on everyone’s faces too.”

Petey, like CWE students, works very hard. In addition to being a service dog, he models. Petey has been seen in Vogue and Cosmo.  He has modeled for Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Saks Fifth Ave,  Target, Juicy Couture, just to name a few.  Petey’s been featured on TV and has posed for five published books. He even is the inspiration behind a pet fashion line called Petey’s Closet.

Once class starts, it is all business. Petey maintains quiet with an occasional snore during class. “Everyone looks forward to seeing Petey at school, even the students we haven’t met yet all smile,” says Kraimer.  As Kraimer becomes more involved in her field of early childhood, she plans to write a book about her dog. She hopes “Petey’s Busy Day in New York City will one day be introduced into classrooms across the world so Petey can live on forever.   


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Christopher Nickerson


CWE Wins First Prize at the CUNY-Wide Annual Student Speech Contest
ECE Student Christopher Nickerson becomes first CCNY Student to Win

 City College Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Center for Worker Education sophomore Christopher Nickerson, 27, took top prize in the 2013 Student Speech Competition during the City University of New York (CUNY)-wide annual speech competition, marking the first time one of City College’s students has come out on top.

“Third-Party Candidates...: Freedom of Choice in America” was the title of Nickerson’s speech, which he gave at York College at the meeting of the CUNY League of Active Speech Professors (CLASP), which sponsored the competition. Nickerson attended the competition with his entire family and speech teacher Dr. Robin Levenson.

An Early Childhood Education (ECE) major, Nickerson gave a political persuasive speech discussing the reasons why the U.S. should have more than just the democratic and republicans debating during the presidential elections.  He stressed the importance of third-party candidates and offering choices when running for public office. Nickerson was the next-to-last contestant and blew everyone away with his presentation. He mesmerized the judges with his enthusiasm, persuasive powers, articulation, and use of language, voice and body in his well-documented and delivered speech.

“I was so proud to have coached him. We worked tirelessly outside of class this semester, and all our hard work paid off.  This top prize is quite a coup for Chris and CWE, as City College has never won the contest before,” said Dr. Robin Levenson, Adjunct Assistant Professor at CWE who sponsored and coached Nickerson for the contest. Nickerson’s speech came from a shorter version of a speech he had written during Levenson’s Foundations of Speech class given last fall. “We are so lucky to have him in our Department.”

According to Dr. Levenson, Nickerson practiced rigorously and was able to practice his speech in front of Prof. Andrew Aprile's Sociology of Education class.  Nickerson competed against top speech students throughout CUNY including LaGuardia, York, City Tech, Bronx Community College, Baruch and Queens College.

CWE students and faculty were invited May 8 to a special ceremony to congratulate Nickerson in winning First Place at the CUNY CLASP Speech Competition. All who attended were able to hear Nickerson deliver his winning speech. Nickerson’s engraved CLASP trophy will be on display at the Center for the year.