By Professor Rajan Menon, originally published by the Christian Science Monitor on July 28, 2016
Speculation about Donald Trump’s soft spot for Russian President Vladimir Putin and general pro-Russian attitude has been waxing for several months, helped along by moves such as Mr. Trump’s hiring of campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who represented the Russian-backed former Ukrainian president for a decade. And there’s his recent comments praising Mr. Putin as “a better leader” than Barack Obama.
The flirtation of sorts between the two leaders – Mr. Putin too has praised Trump – became the focus of media attention Wednesday when Trump called for Russia to locate emails allegedly missing from Hillary Clinton’s home email server.
Continue reading “What Trump’s flirtation with Putin signals to Europe”
If you’ve never been to a CCNY graduation, you should come.
All graduations are joyous events; all graduations affect transitions between years of preparation and a world rife with new possibilities. And, I’ll admit that it’s been years since I’ve attended a graduation that did not take place on a CUNY campus—but I still think our graduations are different.
I think they’re different because they’re filled with young people rewriting their entire family history. When you wander around after a Colin Powell School graduation ceremony, you’re surrounded by parents who’ve sent sons and daughters into a world they didn’t understand and couldn’t explain to their children. For many it may feel like a huge gamble: will their children grow unfamiliar to them, alienated from home and culture? Will the embrace of an education build walls, or create ladders? Will a child’s opportunity be a family’s loss? Despite the risks and doubts, or perhaps because of them, students and families arrive at graduation day as to a new continent they never thought they’d reach. The air is spiced with their joy.
Continue reading “On Graduation”
From the Facebook Page of General Colin L. Powell, July 2, 2016:
Elie Wiesel, one of the greatest humanitarians of our time and a dear friend of mine has died. Holocaust survivor, Nobel Laureate, brilliant author, conscience of the world lived by the code “to forget the dead is akin to killing them a second time.”
He also faithfully served on the Board of Visitors of the Colin Powell School at the City College of New York. He loved youngsters. He will be missed, but his spirit will live on.
Alma and I offer our deepest condolences to his wife Marion, son Elisha and their family.
To learn more about the life of Dr. Wiesel, please visit:
The Elie Wiesel Foundation
by Vince Boudreau, Dean, Colin Powell School
Over the past week, we received news that in 2016-17, the state of New York will fund CUNY to the tune of $1.6 billion dollars. On the surface, that seemed like very good news, particularly given the threat of a $485 million dollar cut to the system that loomed over the annual budget talks. Nevertheless, the news is not all good. We’re currently preparing for a budget cut next year that may reach as high as 2%, once one factors inflation into the equation, meaning that even when we’re supposed to be holding steady, we’re losing ground.
As CCNY becomes an increasingly tuition driven institution—with student payments approaching 70% of our operating budget this year—any plan to fix things needs to begin by eradicating barriers that continue to lie between students and their financial aid. As I’ve written in the past, diminutions in state support to places like CCNY are matched, virtually dollar for dollar, by increases in financial aid that go directly to students. Helping students access that money is now essential both to their prospects of finishing school, and our own business model.
Continue reading “Closing the Gap on Financial Aid”
Meet Michael Busch, Associate Director in the Office of Student Success at the Colin Powell School.
At the heart of our vision for the office of student success lies a vast expansion in the idea of what advisement should be. Narrowly conceived, advisors guide students through the classes they need to graduate. Properly expanded, student success connects young people to the requirements, opportunities and capacities they need to succeed on campus, and after they leave.
Michael Bush, Associate Director of the Office of Student Success, immediately grasped the possibilities inherent in this expanded definition of student success. As a teacher on this campus he’d spent years working with students on research papers, nurtured countless rough ideas into fully formed research papers. But in the world outside the classroom, student papers needed to speak to a broader audience.They needed to refine and struggle with first and second drafts, and to determine more precisely the need to which their work spoke. To prepare students to better shepherd their ideas, Michael devised the concept of the Annual Colin Powell School Undergraduate Student Research Symposium.
Continue reading “Meet Associate Director, Michael Busch”
Each issue of our newsletter includes an interview with a current student or member of our alumni network (which spans the globe). This issue features Sara Arcia, class of 2016 and president of the Sociology Department’s Student Club, the SocioLights.
Sara, tell us a little about yourself and what brought you to the Colin Powell School:
Sara: I am the youngest of three children and the first to go to college immediately after high. I was raised by a single mother and have an older brother and sister, who are all super supportive of me. I come from a working class family and was raised in the Bronx. College was really tough for me at first because I didn’t have anyone around who I could get advice from on what college would be like or how to navigate the application process. I wasn’t extremely confident when I sent my college applications because I didn’t have anyone to give me pointers on what was most important. When I came to City College for my campus visit, I really enjoyed the campus feeling and immediately felt a connection and started to imagine myself attending classes here.
Continue reading “Five Minutes With: Sara Arcia, Graduating Class of 2016 and president of the SocioLights, the Sociology Department’s Student Club”
Rajan Menon, the Anne and Bernard Spitzer Chair in Political Science, and the author of new book, The Conceit of Humanitiarian Intervention, recently spoke with Carnegie Corporation’s Eugene Scherbakov about recent Russian actions in Syria, the state of U.S.-Russia relations and the way forward in Ukraine.
What are Russia’s strategic intentions in Syria?
Putin intervened because he concluded—as did Iraq and Iran, which together with Hezbollah allies were already helping Syria’s army—that Assad’s state was on the verge of collapse. By the fall of 2015, the Islamist resistance—which is the strongest component of the opposition, not moderates and secularists—had made major inroads into Aleppo and Idlib province and had also begun to move into the coastal zone, the homeland of the ruling Alawite minority. Had Assad fallen, Syria, as Putin saw it, would have eventually been ruled by Islamists bent on creating a caliphate. This he was not prepared to let happen. The Syrian war has already attracted thousands of fighters from Russia’s war-torn North Caucasus, so the possibility of a caliphate in Syria had internal ramifications as well for Russia.
For the full interview, please visit: Carnegie Corporation: Five Questions