The 2013-2014 academic year at Eugenio María de Hostos Community College was one of continued growth and noteworthy accomplishments. As I complete my fifth year as president, I am thrilled to announce that Hostos graduated nearly 900 students, our second largest class to date.
Our students continue to receive awards and distinction. A prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship was awarded to one of our Hostos-Lincoln Academy of Science students, 18-year-old Dakota Marin. Dakota is eagerly looking forward to using this award to fast-track his studies at New York University’s Polytechnic School of Engineering, beginning in July.
Thanks to your support we are guiding the leaders of tomorrow. This year, Ameen Alhubaishi was selected as The City University of New York’s Student Leader of the Year by CUNY’s Division of Student Affairs for his extraordinary public service and exceptional academic achievement. His peer, Fevidaury Valerio Arias, joined him and received the 2014 CUNY Vice Chancellor’s Excellence in Leadership Award.
Our standout Radiologic Technology, Dental Hygiene, and L.P.N. students continue to shine on licensing and certification examinations, as Hostos looks to move into new and exciting territory with the development of a first of its kind associate degree program in Food Studies.
Our commitment to supporting students with remedial educational needs, as well as English-Language-Learners (ELL), continues to be a priority for the College. New support initiatives include the Student Success Coaching Unit, which provides every entering freshman with the necessary connections and tools to keep these students in school and on track. Hostos has also launched the Succeed@Hostos pilot program – an academic early warning system -- to identify students with academic challenges so they can receive the support they require for success.
We have also added some important partners who believe in our important mission. The College recently received $150,000 from the Ford Foundation for the “Bronx Corridors of College Success” project, aimed at revitalizing the South Bronx by increasing high quality post-secondary access and completion, particularly for formerly incarcerated individuals, immigrants, veterans, disconnected youth, and their families.
Through a $100,000 commitment from Citi Community Development, the “Summer Success 101: Student Financial Literacy and Retention” pilot program was initiated to support student financial empowerment and also to increase retention and educational attainment rates by encouraging summer class attendance.
Hostos was one of 150 community colleges selected from 1,500 community colleges around the country to submit an application for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. And now the College is one of 50 colleges that was interviewed as part of the process of selecting the top 10 colleges. This $1 million prize is awarded every other year to the community college deemed to be doing the best work in the United States.
We are also incredibly proud of our partnership with Montefiore Medical Center, the Department of Education and CUNY that conceived the Health, Education, and Research Occupations (H.E.R.O) High School. This past year the first cohort of 100 ninth graders began preparing for careers in nursing and community health workers. This progressive high school was highlighted in Mayor de Blasio’s State of the City address and also in several media outlets.
Building on that relationship, Phipps Neighborhoods, Montefiore Health System and Hostos Community College announced a $1 million grant from JPMorgan Chase to support the “Career Network: Healthcare partnership in the South Bronx.” The goal of this employer-driven program is to secure employment and/or education for young adults through training and career exploration geared toward a healthcare-related field. Hostos will offer an 11-week training program, providing career exploration and training designed to help participants establish long-term self-sufficiency. Upon completion of the program, Montefiore has guaranteed interviews to all students, who will be candidates for one or more of the Health System’s 1,500 existing vacancies.
As we continue to make a difference outside of our classroom walls though our Center for Bronx Non-Profits, we are thankful for seed funders, including the New York Community Trust and JPMorgan Chase, for their steady support. Over the past year, the CBNP’s efforts have been amplified under the guidance of its first Executive Director, Eileen Newman, who was hired in May 2013. Thanks to Eileen’s passion to make the Bronx a better place, the CBNP has strengthened the capacity of non-profit, faith-based, and community-based organizations serving the Bronx. Its programs focus on building its collaborators’ technical skills as well as helping them to identify opportunities, share resources, and address challenges confronting their organizations.
Our accomplishments were felt near and far, as we welcomed some important visitors, including Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and the Hostos Repertory Company was the only community college troupe invited to perform at the prestigious Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland.
Excellence at Hostos was recognized in many ways. We were particularly proud of Chief Arnaldo Bernabe, our Director of Public Safety, who was named by the Fund for The City of New York as one of six public servants who received the Sloan Public Service Award for 2014. Chief Bernabe is the first Hostos Community College employee to win this award and the first CUNY-wide Public Safety Officer (in the civil service rank) to receive this honor.
Other important faculty accomplishments included Hostos Assistant Professor, Dr. Sonia Maldonado, being appointed to the Simón Bolívar Foundation Advisory Board, which works to provide medical care and related support to people who suffer from the severe backlash of poverty throughout the Americas, including Venezuela. Another member of our faculty, Professor Sherese Mitchell, was recently appointed to the Executive Board of the National Association of Community College Teacher Education Programs (NACCTEP).
Along with Hostos’ accomplishments in the world of higher education, we are helping the Bronx work better.
Our Division for Continuing Education and Workforce Development (CEWD) continues to work and adapt to the needs of area businesses to support their training needs and to help our students find employment. In Spring 2013, we partnered with the National Supermarket Association (NSA) for a development program that works with employees in NSA stores in the Bronx to help improve managerial and customer service skills. And as part of another exciting partnership, the Division for Continuing Education & Workforce Development teamed up with Zaro’s Bakery to provide on-site English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes to its employees.
Realizing that supporting veterans has become a national priority, the CEWD Division recently received a $300,000 grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation to launch a veterans support program called “Hostos Community Heroes.” This two-year pilot program is designed to support veterans as they pursue non-degree CEWD certifications, remedial courses and related training programs.
Perhaps one of our biggest accomplishments, which came as a result of a wonderful coordinated effort from our faculty, staff, and students, was the launching of our new website
. Launched in 2014, our new website is easier to navigate and allows us to share all of the news and important information about Hostos Community College in a dynamic new format.
Many of the important milestones, events, and achievements from this year were covered by the media. As a way of saying thank you for your continued support, we have collected an “Hostos Top 10” from our busy year.
Please enjoy them and share them with your friends.
Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, Ph.D.
The New York Times
July 3, 2013
HOSTOS ONLY COMMUNITY BECOMES COLLEGE IN U.S. TO PERFORM AT EDINBURGH FESTIVAL FRINGE IN SCOTLAND
The Wall Street Journal
May 15, 2014
HOSTOS PRESIDENT HELPS PUSH FOR POSITIVE CHANGE ALONG THE SOUTH BRONX WATER FRONT
New York Daily News
January 30, 2014
HOSTOS HOSTS CITY COUNCIL SPEAKER MELISSA MARK-VIVERITO'S INAUGURATION
January 15, 2014
HOSTOS PRESIDENT SELECTED FOR IMPORTANT WHITE HOUSE SUMMIT
July 9, 2014
HOSTOS DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC SAFETY WINS PRESTIGIOUS SLOAN PUBLIC SAFETY AWARD
News 12 Bronx
February 20, 2014
BRONX BOROUGH PRESIDENT RUBÉN DÍAZ JR. DELIVERS STATE OF THE BOROUGH ADDRESS
June 6, 2014
HOSTOS' H.E.R.O. HIGH STUDENTS WORKING HARD TO MAKE THE BRONX HEALTHIER
New York Observer
January 28, 2014
HOSTOS PRESIDENT FELIX V. MATOS RODRIGUEZ NAMED TO MELISSA MARK-VIVERITO'S TRANSITION TEAM
News 12 Bronx
April 22, 2014
EBRAHIM RASHEED IS FIRST HOSTOS STUDENT TO DIRECT COLLEGE REPERTORY COMPANY PRODUCTION
December 2, 2013
NEW HOSTOS CENTER FOR BRONX NON-PROFITS AIMS TO STRENGTHEN COMMUNITIES