The year 2019 has been an outstanding one for Hostos Community College. As we prepare to embark on a New Year and decade, we invite you to look back at some of our highlights.

At a time when the field of science strives to fill the minority gap, Hostos’ commitment to STEM has not only grown – it’s flourished. After five years of not giving up, Hostos faculty earned a major National Science Foundation grant for the Hostos Engineering Academic Talent (HEAT) scholarship program. The award swung the pendulum for the first HEAT cohort of high-achieving, low-income Hostos students with demonstrated financial need and commitment to the STEM field.

Moreover, Hostos STEM students took home three first-place awards at the 27th Annual CSTEP Statewide student conference in April. Recent graduate Elayne Blancas attended the MIT 2019 Summer Program in Biology and Neuroscience. Engineering alumnus Dane Christie, Ph.D., returned to the College to give an inspiring talk, and students in the Hostos’ animation department created a 1-minute animated video to help spread the word about TED-Ed’s Student Talks initiative. The hands-on project introduced 14 talented animators to the world of professional animation. Hostos students presented at the SACNAS 2019 National Diversity in STEM Conference in Hawaii this fall, and student Brittany Lozano received a Vanguard Award nomination for pursuing a non-traditional major for her gender in sound engineering. From Proyecto Access to Science Week, STEM achievements at Hostos are profoundly impacting students’ lives. They indicate that the South Bronx will change the future of science, technology, engineering, and math for years to come.

But that is not all! Read on for this year’s list of incredible accolades, achievements, recognitions, celebrations, and historic firsts for the College.


  • Hostos partnered with the Bronx Children’s Museum to host the 10th Annual Dream Big Day, for which U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and actor Kerry Washington visited the College to inspire local elementary school students to read more and to pursue their dreams.
  • Hostos’ women’s basketball team are back-to-back national champions! In March, the Caimans successfully defended their NJCAA Division-III title after a 73-63 win over the Owens Community College Express (Ohio) at the Arthur L. Scott Center at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, PA.
  • Hostos was ranked best community college in New York State by Stacker, a data-driven media company. Stacker’s list utilized statistics compiled by Niche.
  • Hostos' 49th commencement ceremony broke a record. On May 31, CUNY Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez and U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer joined President David Gómez and the Hostos family as we cheered a record 1,375 graduates.
  • The Teagle Foundation awarded English professors Andrea Fabrizio and Gregory Marks a $275,000 grant, which will support the implementation of Core Books: A Multi-Campus CUNY Humanities Proposal, an initiative inspired by Hostos’ application of Columbia University’s core curriculum.
  • Provost Christine Mangino was featured in Women in Higher Education, where she discussed enhancing Hostos students' experiences and reflected on her own academic and professional journey. Provost Mangino also appeared in a piece in Diverse Issues in Higher Education, which highlighted the importance of community colleges.
  • Hostos students became eligible to join the CUNY Service Corps. The first-ever Hostos CUNY Service Corps cohort gathered in Brooklyn this fall for an official launch event where they participated in various training and icebreaker activities, developed a Hostos chant, and gained the tools necessary for a successful internship experience.
  • The College hosted CUNY’s first-ever organized wheelchair basketball practice in August. Joining several wheelchair athletes were recent Hostos graduate Destini Mitchell-Murray, who helped make the team a reality; head coach Ryan Martin, a National Wheelchair Basketball Association all-star; Zak Ivkovic, CUNYAC Executive Director; and Christopher Rosa, CUNY Vice Chancellor for Student Inclusion Initiatives.
  • The Second Annual Alma Matters Awards Luncheon was held in November and recognized the contributions and accomplishments of alumni employees.
  • Adjunct Professor Pamela Stemberg was featured in The New York Times piece about the use of technology in the classroom titled "Screens in the Classroom: Tool or Temptation?"
Hostos students, faculty, staff, and administrators also received well-deserved accolades and recognition, and many traveled near and far this year. 

Accolades and Achievements

  • Professor Linda Anderson is one of three authors and clinical psychologists whose book, “Silent Agreements:  How Unspoken Expectations Ruin Our Relationships,” was released internationally by Crown Publishing Group.
  • Assistant Professor Sarah Hoiland was selected as a 2019 Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellow for her work titled “Righteous Sisterhood: Constructing a Feminist Biker Identity in a Misogynist Subculture.”
  • The CUNY TV program “EdCast,” hosted and written by Hostos English Professor Linda Hirsch and produced by her and Jerold Barnard, won two more Telly Awards for excellence in cable broadcasting for 2019.
  • Hostos Public Safety Corporal Clara Albino received the Teamsters Local 237 President’s Award in recognition of her outstanding leadership skills and commitment to her colleagues, making her the first Latina in CUNY to receive this recognition.
  • Hostos faculty and administrators co-authored “Developing Educational Technology at an Urban Community College,” a book chronicling efforts to create and enhance educational technology at the College.
  • Award-winning filmmaker and Hostos adjunct lecturer Joelle González-Laguer was celebrated by his hometown, Isabela, Puerto Rico, during the bicentennial of the town's founding in August. Earlier in the year, Southern Connecticut State University presented a retrospective of González-Laguer’s work as part of the 9th Annual Latino & Native American Film Festival (LANAFF), and González-Laguer was invited by the School of Psychology and the Gender Commission at the National Autonomous University of Mexico to showcase his latest documentary, “ChakalMex,” in October.
  • Several Hostos professors had their work featured on SUM, a digital platform dedicated to bringing the research, scholarship, and creative work of faculty and students at CUNY to the world. This year SUM featured Professor Sean Gerrity’s work shedding new light on the 19th century novel "Blake;" Sarah Hoiland’s research on the history of women bikers at the Hollister Riot; Diana Macri and Katie Wolfe examination of how oral health professionals view transgender patients; and Professor Maria Subert’s look at the motives and context for violence in Hungary against the Roma.

Around the World

  • Students Alex Gutiérrez and Christopher Reynoso participated in the CUNY Service Corps—Puerto Rico initiative over the summer break, restoring homes that were damaged almost two years ago during Hurricane María and forging bonds with fellow CUNY and SUNY student volunteers — including one another.
  • Professor Yoel Rodríguez delivered a plenary lecture on his research on bromodomains at the Joint Meeting on Medicinal Chemistry (JMMC) in Prague in June, and he presented on the same topic in July at the Medicinal Chemistry Institute of the Spanish National Research Council in Madrid, Spain. 
  • Recent Hostos graduate Thalia López headed to Scotland in August to work behind the scenes at the 2019 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
  • Food Studies faculty members and administrators traveled to Anchorage, Alaska, this summer to join an international discussion on food issues at the Association for the Study of Food and Society and the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society 2019 Conference.
  • Students visited Washington, D.C., where they represented the United Arab Emirates at this year's National Model United Nations Conference.
  • Members of the Hostos family also attended the RISE 2019 conference at the University at Albany, SUNY this November. The three-day conference brought together universities and colleges from across the nation to explore how higher education can strengthen preparedness, response, and recovery in the face of growing threats posed by a changing climate and extreme weather.
There was never a dull moment this year with the many incredible events and celebrations occurring at the College. The extended Hostos community had plenty of reasons to come together in 2019.


  • During the spring 2019 semester, the Hostos Repertory Company presented "In Real Life,” a provocative play by Stacie Lents that deals with the political tensions that surface when technology reaches every corner of daily life. In the fall, they presented “The Shout,” a play that explores the connections and disconnects between two best friends who are protesting the killing of an unarmed black man and the cop tasked with keeping them in line.
  • Longtime BronxWorks executive director Carolyn McLaughlin presented her book “South Bronx Battles: Stories of Resistance, Resilience and Renewal” at the Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos in October.
  • In November, Hostos, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and The City College of New York—in collaboration with the School of Visual Arts—presented “LA HABANA at 500: A New York Salute to a Timeless City.” The weeklong series of events celebrated the 500th anniversary of the city of Havana and included seminars, walking tours, and a concert.