International Voices Publication

Jun.16, 2014

International Voices is an award winning annual publication of Westchester Community College students. The creative works showcased here represent some of the diverse experiences and perspectives of the Westchester Community College community. This diversity and inclusive
spirit are at the core of the College mission, stemming from the belief that education should be accessible to all and that improving education levels brings benefits, both tangible and intangible, to the community at large.

Click here to view the lastest edition of International Voices


Teaming up with MasterCard

Jun.12, 2014

Responding to the changing demographics and economic opportunities in our county, Westchester Community College has launched a new pilot program to help encourage business development for new Americans. Supported by a philanthropic grant from the MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth, Entrepreneurship for New Americans is a pilot program that will offer immigrant entrepreneurs workshops on topics ranging from understanding legal aspects of starting a business, access to credit, English language through the college’s English Language Institute, and more.

Data compiled by the Kauffman Index shows that immigrant business development rose sharply in 2010 and continues to rise, with Latino and Asian immigrant business start-ups growing the fastest. However, immigrants face numerous barriers to starting a business, from access to credit to language and cultural differences. There are limited resources available in Westchester County that meet the needs of immigrant entrepreneurs, and Westchester Community College’s Gateway to Entrepreneurship program (G2E) has a unique opportunity to offer programming that fills this gap.

“At MasterCard, we are committed to connecting people and communities with opportunity and believe in the power of entrepreneurship as a path to full financial inclusion. We are excited to partner with the college on this pilot program,” says Patricia Devereux, Executive Director, MasterCard Global Philanthropy.

The G2E program is dedicated to supporting entrepreneurial education throughout the college and our community. Through its collaborations with partners, both the public and private sectors, G2E is a resource hub for entrepreneurial development at all stages, facilitating programs that respond to entrepreneurs’ needs and contribute to a vibrant local economy.

“Westchester Community College has always been about accessibility. We are committed to student success, academic excellence, workforce development, economic development and lifelong learning,” says Dr. John F. M. Flynn, Westchester Community College Interim President. “Partnerships in our community with business leaders, neighborhood non-profits, and other organizations serving our diverse populations, have played a vital role in achieving these goals, and we are proud to have the MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth supporting this important initiative,” he adds.

For more information on the college’s G2E program, please click here.

About The MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth

The MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth was created to foster collaborative relationships between academia, governments, nonprofits, the social design community, and the private sector. Through the advancement of research and strategic philanthropic investments, the Center will support and enable those historically excluded from financial services and serve as a catalyst for change.

Westchester Community College is the largest college in Westchester County, providing accessible, high quality and affordable education to meet the needs of a diverse community. The college is committed to student success, academic excellence, workforce development, economic development, and lifelong learning.

Pictured:  Eridania Camacho, Director, Gateway to Entrepreneurship and Westchester Community College Professor Scorpio Rodgers, (standing), are joined by MasterCard’s Elizabeth Liu, Program Manager, and Monica Chaves, Senior Program Officer, Global Philanthropy (seated, left), and students in the college’s new Entrepreneurship for New Americans program.


Congratulations Graduates!

May.28, 2014

Congratulations to the 2014 graduates! Here are a few pictures from the ceremony and our video.


Distinguished Professor – Dr. Lori Maida

May.27, 2014

In recognition of exceptional faculty merit, the SUNY Board of Trustees designates leading faculty members as Distinguished Professors. Please congratulate our own Dr. Lori Maida on this honor. See this Westchester Community College Sociology Professor at 2:34 on the video.


E.A.T. (Education Arts Technology)

May.13, 2014

We worked with ArtsWestchester to put together an exhibition and forum. The E.A.T. (Education Arts Technology) Forum was held on Tuesday, May 20 at the Arts Exchange of ArtsWestchester. 


Alumni Weekend

May.03, 2014

Please join us as Westchester Community College’s presents its Alumni Weekend!  The college’s Alumni Council has planned a fun, educational and community spirited event that promises to provide something for everyone to enjoy.

  • The weekend tees off on Friday, June 6 with Divots for Dollars – a golf outing to raise money for Westchester Community College Athletics and the first Foundation-sponsored Athletic Scholarships.  If golf is not your thing, join us for dinner after the event.

  • Saturday, June 7  features more than 20 workshops to satisfy the most demanding person.  From Tai Chi to Wine Tasting and Sea Turtles to Salsa Dancing, you’ll find a reason to join us. Children are welcome as our Arts students host an Arts and Crafts Workshop and our renowned dance company hosts Danceworks for Children.  Take a break at lunch time and enjoy the campus with a barbecue prepared by the the Great American Barbecue Company.

Check out the website (, click on the links, and chose how you would like to spend the weekend with us – like we said, there’s something for everyone over the entire Alumni Weekend!


Grant received by College’s Consortium for Immigrant Education

May.01, 2014

The Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education (CCCIE), a national network of community colleges based at Westchester Community College, has been awarded a highly coveted $125,000 grant from The Kresge Foundation.

This general operating grant to CCCIE will allow the organization to engage in an 18-month strategic planning process to help build CCCIE capacity, determine its core organizational priorities, integrate CCCIE’s expertise and work on immigrant education issues into broader national reform initiatives supporting the national college completion agenda. The grant period will culminate in a five-year strategic plan to guide CCCIE’s future growth and progress toward advancing college success for immigrant students.

CCCIE is focused on increasing educational opportunities for immigrant students, and as part of its planning process under this new grant, will engage in various activities such as strengthening its infrastructure through exploration of diversified funding and revenue streams, solidifying its collaboration with existing partners, and aligning its work with other national network organizations focused on college success and workforce development initiatives.

The Kresge Foundation is a $3 billion private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and investing in arts and culture, education, work in the environment, health, human services and community development efforts in Detroit. Fostering greater access to and success in postsecondary education for low-income, minority and first-generation college students is the focus of Kresge’s education grantmaking.

This particular grant will be administered through the Westchester Community College Foundation.

Immigrants and their children are vital to the future of the American workforce, yet many face challenges in attaining a postsecondary education and entering careers in this country. The nation’s 1,200 community colleges play an integral role in the linguistic, civic, and economic integration of our country’s immigrants and are among the largest providers of English as a Second Language instruction in many states and communities, including Westchester County.

However, across the country, college completion rates for the immigrant student population are lower than for the general population. “The Kresge Foundation grant offers CCCIE a major opportunity to strengthen its capacity to help community colleges serve a fast-growing immigrant population, as well as engage with other national reform networks focused on college completion and skills enhancement. With this grant, the impact of CCCIE’s work will be far reaching,” said Teresita B. Wisell, Executive Director of CCCIE and Associate Dean of Continuing Education and Workforce Development at Westchester Community College.

Established in 2008, with major and continued support from the J.M. Kaplan Fund, CCCIE ( is committed to strengthening and expanding programs and services for immigrant students and leveraging the special role community colleges play in the immigrant integration and education ecosystem. CCCIE is a national initiative led by Westchester Community College, an institution committed to serving a county where one in four residents is foreign born.

“The opportunity to lead CCCIE has been very important to Westchester Community College and to our Foundation and affirms our strong dedication to immigrant education in our community and nationally. This generous grant from The Kresge Foundation will allow Westchester Community College to continue its support of CCCIE and the important work it is doing to raise immigrant education on the national agenda,” said David Swope, Chairman  of the Board of Trustees of Westchester Community College. “We are grateful to The Kresge Foundation for its support and recognition of the important role that community colleges working together can play nationally in advancing immigrant student success.”

CCCIE is guided by a Blue Ribbon Panel that includes community colleges—both urban and rural—from a dozen different states, representing traditional gateway destinations as well as newer destination states. CCCIE’s major activities include action-based research and exchange of promising practices, thought leadership through conference planning and presentations, technical assistance to community colleges and other key stakeholders, and strategic partnerships to expand its policy reach and influence the field of immigrant education.

The CCCIE host college, Westchester Community College, offers integrated programs and services for immigrant and U.S. born students, such as a welcome center to help new students navigate the campus; the English Language Institute, serving 5,000 ESL students annually; comprehensive student support services; and community-based and employer partnerships that support workforce advancement.

For more information on CCCIE, visit Click here for a complete list of CCCIE’s Blue Ribbon Panel members.


Spring Open House will be held on May 20

May.01, 2014

Tuesday, May 20, 2014
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Visit academic and student services tables, participate in a campus tour and information session. Speak with faculty, staff and students about academic programs, student services and career and transfer opportunities.

Click here for more information.


Foundation will hold annual fundraiser on May 7

Apr.26, 2014

The Westchester Community College Foundation’s annual fundraiser is May 7. We will celebrate President Joseph Hankin and Board of Trustees Chair David Swope at Tappan Hill, raising thousands of dollars toward student scholarships.


Foundation pays tribute to four donors

Apr.10, 2014

While the spring is typically a time of renewal, this season has been a time of loss and remembrance.  Four exceptional individuals, known for their kindness and generosity to the college and our students, recently passed away.

Please join us in honoring their good works as we celebrate their lives.

lanza1Mrs. Patricia Lanza, a great friend and supporter of the college, passed away on April 4, 2014. Through her generosity, Mrs. Lanza established the Lanza Family Personal Development & Special Incentive Awards. These awards have been made to continuing students who demonstrate merit and need, and who succeed in college in spite of significant personal challenges. Over 100 students have benefited from these awards. Additionally, Mrs. Lanza created several other awards through the Westchester County Women’s Hall of Fame that were specifically for women veterans who were attending Westchester Community College.

Mrs. Lanza’s kindness touched thousands of lives, here and across the world – she wanted opportunities to be available to everyone regardless of economic status.  In addition to education, her other passions included feeding the hungry, providing for the homeless, and medical research. She was an extraordinary person – she loved life, loved helping people, loved “her students,” and gave generously and selflessly from the bottom of her heart. We are honored to have been able to call her a friend.




Foundation Board member Bob Kirsch passed away on Friday, April 11. Bob joined the Board in 2004 and was truly an unwavering and eloquent advocate for Westchester Community College. He and his wife Abby established the Abigail Kirsch Food Services Scholarships, which are presented to students in the restaurant management program who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, service, and economic need. Over the years, the Kirsch’s have also employed several students.

Bob was also a wonderful business partner to the college. He never hesitated to associate the reputation of the outstanding company he built with his wife—Abigail Kirsch Catering Relationships—with numerous college events, making them nothing short of first class.

The family has asked that memorial gifts be directed to the Westchester Community College Foundation.  Donations in memory of Bob will go toward building a permanent endowment fund for the Kirsch Food Services Scholarships.




Mrs. Margaret (Peggy) Rice, long-time friend and supporter of our students, passed away on Wednesday, April 16.   We are honored to have been able to call Peggy our friend for so many years.   Peg was an early supporter of the college’s Virginia Marx Children’s Center.  She was also an advocate for our students through the creation of the Rice Family Foundation Scholarships.  These awards have made an extraordinary contribution to the lives of hundreds of our students entering the nursing and technology fields.  Since the awarding of the first group of Rice Family Scholarships in the 1989/90 academic year, the dreams of over 500 students have been realized through Peg’s generosity.



Foundation Board member Robert (Bob) Beshar passed away on Wednesday, April 16.  Bob joined the Board in 1993.  He gave generously to the Gateway Campaign and our Radiologic Technology Programs.  He was instrumental in the development of the Foundation’s very successful Celebrity Salons series, and hosted many in his historic home, The Stone House, in Somers.  He loved writing letters with new ideas and sending congratulatory messages to the college president on the institution’s many achievements.
We are sincerely grateful for all of his contributions over many years of service.