Dean Juan Carlos Mercado Spring 2020 Town Hall

Office of the Dean

March 3rd, 2021

Dear CWE Community,

It has already been one year since the Covid-19 pandemic started. As you remember we thought that after a few months of quarantine everything would be back to normal, but we were wrong.  Through this long year of suffering, devastation and death, for the most part, we're still living the same situation but now with hope and looking forward to a better future.

With the growing supply of vaccines and prevention measures being taken, the infection rate is going down.  Welcome news indeed.  The College is preparing for a reopening of about 25%-50% of all activities for the Fall but as you know, everything depends on how the pandemic evolves.  This goal implies a monumental effort and participation of staff, faculty and students. The Provost has assembled a re-opening committee which will release their recommendation in the next few weeks.

CWE will follow the general recommendations of the College; but being off campus means we'll have our own policies related to the re-opening in conjunction with the Building administrators. We will start working as soon as possible to upgrade some of the classrooms, especially the big rooms (the auditorium and the 2 classrooms with partitions).  We'll see how many students can be accommodated while maintaining social distance. I would like to reaffirm that your health is the most important thing, so everything will be done taking this into account.

As I have mentioned earlier, I want to remind you of some of the exciting academic activities we are planning for this year. Here's a summary with more detailed information to follow.

  • In May there will be an extraordinary seminar on “Global Narratives of Crime, War and Justice”, by Luis Moreno Ocampo, Founder and Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.  Moreno Ocampo, in conjunction with us, are providing 30 scholarships for CCNY students. Please share this information with your students.
  • On March 24 at 6:30pm we have a fascinating and relevant lecture on “Fronteridades: Cultural Representations on Migrancy, Grievability and Deportability in the North American Borderlands” by Professor Javier Duran.  Duran is a specialist in cultural and interdisciplinary studies along the US-Mexican border at Arizona State University.  
  • On April 22, as part of the Human Rights Forum, a lecture by Cynthia Miller-Idriss, Professor at the American University in Washington, DC.  She currently directs the Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab in the Center for University Excellence. She has testified before the U.S. Congress, has briefed the U.N. Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee, and frequently serves as a keynote speaker and expert panelist on trends in white supremacist and far-right extremism to global academic and policy communities. Miller-Idriss will talk about Hate in the Homeland, the New Global Far Right
  • On April 28 to 30 we'll also have the Sixth International Conference on Historical Links between Spain and the Americas. Due to the pandemic, this year the Conference will use videoconference technologies. Six keynote speakers will be presenting. 
  • Please also check out Prof. Danielle Zach’s Rights Talk Episode 14: “Asymmetric Warfare, Collateral Damage, and Technology with CCNY Prof. Bruce Cronin”:

I will say again that during this difficult time, you have been doing exceptional work, and I strongly believe that the future will be better.  Individuals can make a huge difference across so many areas and for so many people - so just think what we can do collectively.  Especially with this wonderful team. Empathy is key. Let’s remember to be kind, flexible, and to take a moment to consider what our colleagues, students and neighbor might be going through.

Thank you again for all that you continue to do.

Juan Carlos Mercado, PhD

Dean, Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at CWE

The City College of New York/The City University of New York

25 Broadway, 7 Floor

New York, NY 10004

Ph. 212-925-6625, ext. 246


Check your CCNY Email for Zoom Link information.

Dean Mercado Town Hall 3.17.21