Development and study abroad program reunion

In commemoration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Hostos’ Professional Development and Study Abroad Program held a reunion and closing ceremony on September 20, 2019.
This year’s Professional Development and Study Abroad Program summer cohort included: Hector Amaya, Diane Caperon, Yolanda Casilla, Ernestina Castro Guillermo, Tara Weinstein, Michelle Cerritos, Evelyn Guillermo, Tracie Hodge, Ghislaine Tassou, Ivana Uquillas, Richelle Jurasek, Daniela León, Vanessa Lopez, Lissette Parra, Marilyn Del Carmen Ramirez, Rosenny Ramirez and Barbara Romero, as well as Principals Robert Mercedes, Adam Stevens, Juan Villar and Nancy Díaz. In addition Mr. Rafael Torres from Hostos’ Legal Affairs Office served as the official translator. During the reunion, the 2019 cohort of New York City educators presented their final curriculum development projects on strategies for teaching English Language Learners based on what they learned during the summer professional development immersion program. Dr. Ana Ozuna, Humanities Department Professor, moderated their presentations along with Hostos Associate Dean for Community Relations Ana García Reyes.
For 33 years, this self-sustaining exchange program has been a very successful collaboration between Universidad Autonóma de Santo Domingo (UASD); Instituto Superior de Formación Docente Salomé Ureña (ISFODOSU); and the Ministry of Education of the Dominican Republic. The program has expanded the knowledge of teachers, administrators, and students through curriculum building, peer review, and other activities that reflect the growing Dominican population in New York City public learning institutions and other English Language Learner students.
At the reunion, New York State Assembly Member Carmen De La Rosa and Vice Consul of the Consulate General of the Dominican Republic Carmen Ducase joined Dean García Reyes, the program’s longtime coordinator, to recognize and present certificates to the 22 teachers and administrators from across New York City who completed the program. The training included two weeks of instruction at the College and 10 days in the Dominican Republic. In line with the Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, Socorro Díaz, NYC DOE Director for English Language Learners and Field Support Center, who also assisted with the summer professional development training, brought greetings.

During her remarks, Dean García Reyes noted how much the program has grown and all the wonderful innovative curriculum and activities that have been created by the program’s participants. She added: “The enrollment keeps growing and our New York City educators continue to be recognized by the Ministry of Education and President of the Dominican Republic at the National Teacher’s Day, in the National Palace. Evelyn Fernández Guillermo and Lucy Ogando received the Meritorious Teacher Awards this year.”
Cohort member Marilyn Del Carmen Ramirez also spoke, reflecting on the program and its impact. “I know we must be cherishing all the wonderful memories and special moments created during our extended stay in la Bella Quisqueya,” she said. “I cherish the conversations and look forward to continue sharing my learned experience. I echo the accolades for Dean García’s hard work and dedication to keep this program running for so many years, which certainly exceeded the expectations of all the program participants. I feel privileged to have been part of something so special and significant as we impact lives both in New York, as well as in the Dominican Republic. So glad for the experience and look forward to more!”
The Teacher Training/Professional Development Program was possible thanks to the financial support of all the NYC DOE Teachers and administrators who joined the program. Special thanks to NYC DOE Administrator Socorro Díaz, Director for English Language Learners/Bronx Field Support Center; Andrea Eisen, ELA Instructional Lead/ Bronx Borough; and Dr. Ana Ozuna for assisting with the teacher training orientations. Thanks are also due to the Hostos Humanities Department’s Black Studies Unit; Dr. Ramona Hernández and Prof. Sarah Aponte of the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute; The Ministry of Education of the Dominican Republic; Mr. Ivan Dominguez of Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center; the Movearte School of the Dominican Republic; Monica Lochart, Consulate General of the Dominican Republic in New York; Michael Max Knobee of BronxNet Television; Assemblywoman Carmen de La Rosa; and Inka Cola President Liz Berman and her Assistant Melania Garcia. Additionally, thank you to El Instituto de Formación de Educación Superior Salome Ureña (ISFODOSU); El Centro de Atención Integral a la Discapacidad (CAID); and La Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo’s faculty and administrators for sharing their wonderful historical knowledge and services with the program participants.

We also acknowledge and thank Hostos Security Chief Arnaldo Bernabe for conducting the workshop on safety procedures, Rafael Torres for providing the official translations, and Ken Aquach and Gerson Peña for all their administrative assistance. Our special gratitude to the New York City Council for the small grant via Councilman Ydanis Rodríguez, which made possible this year’s publication, titled “Summer 2018 Professional development and Study Abroad Program: High Impact Teaching Practices For Dominican English Language Learners.”  Special acknowledgements are due to Associate Dean Ana García Reyes and Mr. Gerson Peña, Administrative Assistant for the coordination of this year’s successful program model.

Congratulations to all of this year’s program participants on their successful program of studies as part of the Hostos Professional Development and Study Abroad Program!

Save the date for next summer’s Professional Development and Study Abroad Program: June 22 – July 7, 2020. For additional information about enrollment in the Professional Development and Study Abroad Program, please contact Mr. Gerson Peña at or call 718-664-2752.