May 2nd, 2021
Dear CWE Community,
I hope that you and your family are doing well. Here we are again, more than one year from the time that this nightmare started, but what a difference a year makes. We are all still cautious knowing that we're not yet out of full danger but can see light at the end of the long tunnel.
The College and University are working hard on how to implement the partial opening of the Institution in the Fall. The situation is changing every day but the college plan is to have a limited number of in-person classes and the rest online. Here at 25 Broadway, the situation is different and our limitations in terms of space and logistics must also be coordinated with Brooklyn College, Quest and the Building. Meanwhile, we are working to implement three classrooms with state-of-the-art technology: the Auditorium as well as two big classrooms. These three venues will allow us to have a good number of students together and maintain social distancing. However, let me reaffirm that I do not see any major change in the way that we deliver education from what we're doing today. My idea is to reopen slowly and in a safe manner for everybody. I am working with staff right now to move in that direction.
Now a few words on the Division activity. We've been advancing new programs, articulations, accelerated programs, a new Podcast in house with amazing conversations and interviews, a Human Rights Forum, Lectures, Conferences, the International Film Festival with record setting attendance and the list goes on. I would like to underline an extraordinary seminar we had on “Global Narratives of Crime, War and Justice” by Luis Moreno Ocampo, Founder and Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. Some of our students took advantage of it and they were impressed by the instructor as well as the classmates. In addition, a few weeks ago we had, in collaboration with the University of Alcala (Spain) and the Cervantes Institute of New York, the Conference on Historical Links between Spain and the Americas; we can boast of a record number of participants hearing from six major scholars in different areas of research. As of this writing, we are in the last phase of the planning process for the Americas Film Festival of New York in June, so stay tuned for more details.
During this difficult time, you all have been doing exceptional work in the classrooms, in the different committees at the Divisional level as well as the College and University levels. The last 14 months have been an extraordinary time and one that we’ve had to confront on many levels; it’s been difficult for most of us and devastating for many who have lost friends and loved ones. And we all know someone who has lost their job. All of this has stretched us to the limits, but we have been able to bring out our best to deal with these trying situations. I have said this numerous times but it merits repeating...to see what you, the faculty, staff and students, all working together, have been able to accomplish during this year is simply amazing.
And to end on an upbeat note, I'd like to invite all of you to our Prizes and Awards Ceremony and the Virtual Salute to our 2021 Graduates; check your citymail account for more informatio. To the members of these Committees my recognition and appreciation.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Prof. Kathy McDonald for her extraordinary service as a Chair during four terms, and to welcome the new Chair, Prof. Carlos Aguasaco as he keeps the Department moving with positive momentum.
Thank you again for all that you continue to do.
Juan Carlos Mercado, PhD
Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at CWE
The City College of New York/The City University of New York
25 Broadway, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10004
Ph. 212-925-6625, ext. 246