On March 24, student authors were celebrated during the annual Adrienne Weiss Women's History Month Essay Contest. First-place winners were: Yolanda Thorton, Rafik Michaeel, and Antara Chowdhury. Runners up were: Alexandra Rivera, Chelsea West, Mauritius Jackson, Ladi Adoba, and Raisa Valerio.
Dr. Jerilyn Fisher, Hostos English Professor of English and Coordinator of Women's and Gender Studies, said the event was a nice way to wrap up Women’s History Month at Hostos.
“Our 2015 celebrations of Women's History Month came to a meaningful, inspiring closure with the Award Ceremony for winners of the Adrienne Weiss Women's History Month essay contest, Dr. Fisher said. “Honoring the prize winning students' achievement were family members and friends, students in their classes, and their professors. Winners were proud and rightly so: the competition this year was intense with many submissions for each level of award. After reading from their essay, students were asked what it felt like to win, and many reported first feeling surprised, even doubtful that the message, "You've won" was real, and then screaming with excitement. We hope that they now know that they each have, what student Yolanda Thornton called, ‘the spark within.’"
The guest speaker for the essay contest, author and Bronx native Dahlma Llanos Figueroa, read a chapter from her acclaimed novel, Daughters of the Stone. She commented on the experiences in that chapter, telling our students not to give up their yearning to tell their own stories from the barrio no matter what stands in the way. Having been discouraged from writing by a critical professor during her college years, only to later succeed brilliantly against the hostile reception she first encountered, Llanos exhorted our emerging writers:  "Don't let anyone tell you can't write. If you want to write, write, damn it!"
Other events for the month included: two films, North Country and Anita: Speaking Truth to Power, followed by a Q&A with attorney Marjorie Mesidor, a highly successful litigator of sexual harassment cases in NY.
Hostos also hosted activist/educator/performer Ben Atherton-Zeman, where two different shows emphasized the importance of men working within themselves as well as within community organizations to prevent violence against women.
During the last week in March, the campus gave tribute to author Nicholasa Mohr in recognition of the 40th anniversary for the publication of the influential, El Bronx Remembered. Poets and writers who have been the beneficiary of Mohr's legacy gave readings from her work and from their own, inspired by this first novel by a Puerto Rican author to have been issued by a US mainstream publishing house.
Finally, during the last weeks of this month of stimulating activity, Hostos was treated to robust and multi-talented performances of I am an Emotional Creature, written by Eve Ensler author of The Vagina Monolgues. The play was directed by Professor Natasha Yannacañedo, and produced by Hostos Professor Ángel Morales. Every performance was standing-room-only and included a lively Q&A afterwards. 
About Hostos Community College
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College is an educational agent for change that has been transforming and improving the quality of life in the South Bronx and neighboring communities since 1968. It serves as a gateway to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility, as well as a point of departure for lifelong learning, success in professional careers, and transfer to advanced higher education programs. The College’s unique "Student Success Coaching Unit" provides students with individualized guidance and exemplifies its emphasis on student support services.
Recently named one of the top 10 finalists for the 2015 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, Hostos offers 27 associate degree programs and two certificate programs that facilitate easy transfer to The City University of New York’s (CUNY) four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions. The College has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education & Workforce Development that offers professional development courses and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. Hostos is part of CUNY, the nation’s leading urban public university, which serves more than 500,000 students at 24 colleges.