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CCNY Garners Roosevelt Institute Best New Chapter Award

Emily Williams, president of The City College Roosevelt Institute student chapter, and its Chair Mohammed Alam with a bust of President Franklin D. Roosevelt awarded to CCNY for Best New Chapter of the Year.

Following an initial year in which it published several award-winning public policy papers and worked on models to implement its recommendations, The City College of New York Roosevelt Institute student chapter has been awarded the Institute’s Best New Chapter of the Year award for 2012-2013. The Roosevelt Institute cited the CCNY chapter for its rapid growth, functionality, excellent papers and participation in policy events.

Chapter co-founder and Chair Mohammed A. Alam and President Emily Williams received the award August 4 at the Institute’s annual Hyde Park Summit, held at the Franklin D. Roosevelt estate and presidential library in Hyde Park, N.Y. The Roosevelt Institute is a nonprofit organization devoted to developing progressive ideas and bold leadership for America with 90 student chapters and approximately 10,000 student members nationwide.

Mr. Alam, a senior majoring in political science, paid tribute to the chapter’s nearly 40 members, and said the award highlighted a year of hard work and dedication by a group of brilliant individuals. “We were up against a handful of new and competitive schools so it’s a great honor for The City College and our chapter to receive this recognition from this prestigious Institute,” he said.

The chapter was on the radar in the public policy domain this spring after four out of six policies its members drafted were published in the Roosevelt Institute’s annual “10 Ideas” journal. One of the papers, “Engaging in Grassroots Diplomacy through Globalized Education,” was nominated for the Best Policy of the Year, and was awarded the best policy under the Defense & Diplomacy category.

Further recognition of the chapter’s dynamism came when the Institute picked Mr. Alam to narrate the CCNY group’s rapid development in a recruitment video aimed at increasing membership in other chapters around the nation.

The chapter does not plan to sit on its laurels in its second year. Members are currently engaging community organizations, schools, and non-profits to create “think impact” projects, according to Mr. Alam.

“These are models to try and implement some of the policies we have written. Such as trying to work with the U.S. State Department to implement our defense and diplomacy policy, and working with nearby schools to create a work-study mentoring program as proposed in our education policy,” he explained.

The highly regarded “Engaging in Grassroots Diplomacy through Globalized Education” is the chapter’s policy for Defense and Diplomacy. It argues that promoting grassroots diplomacy through education could help break social and cultural barriers as well as improve the quality of American civil society by forging it with civil societies abroad.

In addition to this, the CCNY chapter plans policy workshops, professional development meetings and a guest speaker series.

This is the chapter’s second major honor its rookie year. Shortly after it was founded, the group was named the November 2011 Chapter of the Month. This followed its participation in the northeast regional conference, where the chapter showcased its plans for the year, including recruitment, workshops and lectures.

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Jay Mwamba
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