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CUNY Dominican Studies Institute

Announcing CUNY DSI's New Website

Message from Dr. Ramona Hernández

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 May 6, 2011

Queridos y Queridas,

I am very pleased to announce the launch of the Institute's new website! But first, allow me to share a personal reflection about the story it tells.
 
People still ask me about the Institute's first website even though we have gone through many revisions since. They remember that site because it told a story, in a very brief series of photographs, about Dominican migration to New York. It was a romantic story that began in a lush, green countryside, on a burrito.
 
We love those images; they evoke memories, nostalgia, and pride. But today, nearly half a century and three generations after that journey began, we find ourselves committed to telling the continuation of that story—the piece that sees Dominicans in the United States as a rooted people and honors their contributions in every aspect of life in this country.

Our new website--sporting a new design, new and updated content, and easier navigation--will help us tell that story; a story the Institute is best positioned to tell because of the unique role it plays in documenting the Dominican experience in the United States.
 
A New Idea
 
I am particularly excited about the new "Alumni" section of the site and what it will showcase. The idea is to expand a campaign we began in 2007 with the gala honoring CUNY alumni of Dominican descent and Don Oscar de la Renta. Our goal now is to reach out to all college and university graduates of Dominican ancestry who have graduated from institutions of higher education in the United States to build the Dominican Alumni Network.

The Dominican Alumni Network will be a space for all of us to celebrate extraordinary educational achievements that we rarely hear about from any other source. From time to time, we will post alumni profiles so that their stories can be an inspiration to new generations and all of us can take pride in all that we have accomplished as a people. As often as we can, the Institute will invite the community to a grand celebration of our college and university graduates of Dominican ancestry.
 
If you are a graduate of any college or university in the U.S., we want to hear from you! Please visit our website and click on “Send us Your News” in the "Alumni" section. Tell us how you are making your mark in the world.

What Else is New

Beyond content and substance, the site redesign achieves a number of strategic objectives for CUNY DSI, including: establishing a strong brand identity; integrating with our growing number of friends on Facebook and our new sites on Flickr and YouTube; and, most importantly, facilitating your online donations to support the Institute’s growth and expansion.

As important, but invisible to you the reader, the Institute now has complete administrative access to the content management system, making maintenance and updates that much easier.
 
A Team Effort
 
This redesign is many months in the making and engaged a terrific team of professionals led by our consultant Altagracia Diloné Levat who has extensive experience managing creative teams to produce print and Web collateral for higher education and nonprofit organizations. Altagracia led the team of graphic designer Kathi Georges and in-house designers Pablo Rodríguez and Javier Pichardo; web developer Colin Lange of Monaco Lange; and the Institute’s senior staff, Assistant Director Anthony Stevens-Acevedo, Head Librarian Sarah Aponte, and Chief Archivist Idilio Gracia Peña, who were consulted during the process to insure internal consensus on design, usability, and content. In addition, the team used a site survey to solicit comments from the entire CUNY DSI staff, a very helpful process highlighting the importance of viewing these projects from the user’s perspective. I thank them all for their contributions to this project.
 
Give us Your Opinion
 
I hope that you agree with all of us that this iteration of the Institute’s website is a significant step forward in our effort to communicate who we are, what we do, and where we dream to go.
 
Please visit the new site and let us know what we can do to make it even better.
 
Click here to visit the site www.ccny.cuny.edu/dsi
Click here to Join the Dominican Alumni Network
Click here to tell us what you think about the new website
 
Abrazos,
Ramona