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Interdisciplinary Studies Committee Promotes Inclusive Excellence

Dean Juan Carlos Mercado presents poster from the "Be Your Best Self" diversity awareness campaign to Lestiel Lopez.
Division of Interdisciplinary Studies students and faculty gather with Xiomara Cintrón following her lecture and dance workshop.

Sponsors events tied to national heritage month celebrations, World AIDS Day

The Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at the City College Center for Worker Education (CWE) has established a Divisional Committee on Inclusive Excellence (DCIE) to work in conjunction with the President’s Council on Inclusive Excellence. The Committee seeks to implement President Coico’s mission to “encourage inclusiveness in hiring: fairness in faculty retention, tenure, and promotion, and provision of equal opportunity for all faculty and staff to rise, on their own merits, to leadership positions.”

Carlos Aguasaco, assistant professor, Latin American cultural studies/Spanish, serves as chair. Other members include Vicki Garavuso, associate professor, Early Childhood Education; Justin Williams, assistant professor, history; Deborah Edwards-Anderson; academic advisor and program manager, early childhood education, and Elena Romero, academic advisor, communications coordinator and adjunct assistant professor.

“The Divisional Committee on Inclusive Excellence brings to CWE the vision developed by President Coico in regard to the need to embrace and celebrate our exceptionally rich cultural and academic community,” said Professor Aguasaco. “At CCNY, inclusion and excellence go hand in hand. In other words, you cannot be excellent without being inclusive, and inclusiveness requires excellence.”

DCIE will promote diversity awareness through a series of federal heritage month celebrations and related events and an awareness advertising campaign.

It plans to sponsor events for Native Indian Heritage Month (November), Black History Month (February), Women’s History Month (March), Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (May), Gay and Lesbian Pride Month (June), Hispanic Heritage Month (September-October) and Universal Human Rights Month (December).

In addition, it will sponsor several events related to World AIDS Day in December. These include a discussion on HIV/AIDS, November 21; a ribbon-making event with a focused conversation on the AIDS Memorial Quilt, the global AIDS pandemic and local issues, November 25, and a 15-panel exhibition of the quilt, December 2 – 4.

DCIE introduced itself to the CWE community during Hispanic Heritage festivities at the center. It unveiled its first diversity awareness campaign, “Be Your Best Self,” September 26.

The poster campaign highlights current students and alumni who best promote academic and social inclusiveness across campus. It features:

  • Liberal arts student Lestiel Lopez, a volunteer at the Harlem Vet Center and member of the City College Veterans Association;
  • Early childhood education student Christopher Nickerson, who won the 2013 CUNY-wide annual speech competition;
  • Alumna Michele Sweeting-DeCaro, who currently is the director of the CWE Writing Center and a member of District 13 Community Education Council (CEC);
  • Alumna Angie Peng, operations manager for North America at Mesh.

DCIE-sponsored Hispanic Heritage festivities at the center included:

  • A photo exhibit by The Historical Memory Project (HMP) entitled “September 11, 1973 to Today: Commemorating 40 Years since the Military Coup in Chile;”
  • A three-hour lecture and dance workshop staged by actress and dancer Xiomara Cintrón, September 26;
  • Serving as a site for the Latin American Poetry Festival NYC 2013, October 9 and 10.
  • Hosting “Agriculture and People: Subsistence Practices of Hispaniola,” a photo exhibit showcasing works by Eladio Fernandez, a Dominican conservation photographer, naturalist and illustrated-book producer. The exhibit, sponsored by GFDD and FUNGLODE, is on display through October 31.

Division of Interdisciplinary Studies Contact
Elena Romero, 212-925-6625 x258,

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. More than 15,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture; the School of Education; the Grove School of Engineering; the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, and the Colin L. Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership.  

Set on a striking, 35-acre hilltop campus in upper Manhattan, CCNY has produced more Nobel laureates than any other public institution in the United States. The College has been touted as one of America's Top Colleges by Forbes, one of the Best Colleges in the United States as well as one of the Best Value Colleges by the Princeton Review, and ranks among U.S. News’ top regional universities.



Ellis Simon
p: 212.650.6460