Westchester Community College Foundation’s Annual President’s Forum

Nov.16, 2014

Westchester Community College Foundation’s

Annual President’s Forum

Global Chaos–Challenging American Security 

Sunday Afternoon November 23, 2014
2:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Reception 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Westchester Community College, Hankin Academic Arts Building
75 Grasslands Road
Valhalla, New York

Click here to download invitation.

For the past couple of decades the world has been defined by an ever-increasing chorus of chaos and turmoil.  Choose any part of the world and you will find an assault on international order that threatens to create a perpetual military response.  What was once limited to well-defined state sponsored aggression has now evolved to nebulous organizations which seem to be created on a daily basis.  Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah and Hamas top the list of more than 60 designated terrorist organizations tracked by the US government.  While not limited to the Middle East, it is the area of the world that currently has captured the world’s attention because of the emergence of the latest threat – the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, known as ISIS.

Our panelists have been on the front lines of all that is today’s Global Chaos. Their perspectives on the ongoing conflict define the debate raging in capitals across the world.  The United States has taken a leadership role in bringing the world community together but are we doing enough?

AMBASSADOR RICHARD MURPHY- Former Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Syria and Philippines. Was posted in Beirut, Lebanon, Aleppo, Syria, Jedda Saudi Arabia and Amman, Jordan.  He served as Assistant Secretary of State for Near East and South Asian Affairs.  An expert on Syria’s foreign policy that most concerns the United States. He is three time recipient of the State Department’s Superior Honor Award.

TRUDY RUBIN- The foreign affairs columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer who travels abroad frequently to South Asia and the Middle East. Her “Worldview” column appears twice weekly in the Inquirer and runs regularly in many other U.S. newspapers. She has special expertise on Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, the Israeli-Palestani issue, international terrorism and U.S. foreign policy. A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in commentary, she is winner of the Edward Weintal Prize for international reporting.

MARGARET WARNER- Chief Foreign Correspondent for the PBS NewsHour. She is also the lead correspondent for the NewsHour’s Overseas Reporting Unit, which has taken her over the past two years to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia, France, Britain, Germany, China, Kenya and Iran. Winner of the Emmy Award for her coverage of the turmoil in Pakistan.

PAUL B. STARES- The General John W. Vessey senior fellow for conflict prevention and director of the Center for Preventive Action at the Council on Foreign Relations. Besides overseeing the center’s series of Contingency Planning Memoranda and Council Special Reports on potential sources of instability and conflict, he is currently writing a book on how the United States can make preventive action the centerpiece of a new security strategy for the 21st century.

Look for your invitation in your mailbox shortly. If you would like to purchase tickets online, please click here. www.mysunywcc.org/presidentsforum or download response card here.

The Westchester Community College Foundation was established to meet College and student needs that are not met by public funds. As part of its mission, the Foundation works to develop support from individuals, local businesses, corporations, and foundations to provide scholarships for incoming, continuing, and graduating students. Your support of President’s Forum helps the Foundation fulfill its mission to the College and its students.

The program will be held in the recently renovated Academic Arts Theater. The theater is now equipped with a T-Coil Hearing Loop System made possible by the generosity of the late Dr. Kathryn W. Davis.

If you have questions, please contact Heather Shank in the Foundation Office at 914-606-6558.


Dr. Belinda S. Miles selected as new President

Nov.08, 2014


Dr. Belinda S. Miles was appointed to the position of President of Westchester Community College in November. The State University of New York Board of Trustees voted to make the appointment official during their meeting in New York City, approving the Westchester Community College’s Board of Trustees proposed selection of the new president. Miles is currently provost and executive vice president of Access, Learning, and Success at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C). This nationally known academic leader will start in her new position as the leader of Westchester Community College in January. Miles has nearly three decades of experience in higher education, primarily at the community college level.

“I am looking forward to this opportunity to engage with students, faculty, staff, and the community to advance a comprehensive learning and success agenda. Together we will work to expand Westchester Community College’s role in helping students achieve their academic and career goals,” says Miles.

“It is an honor to approve Dr. Miles’ appointment as the next president of Westchester Community College,” says SUNY Board Chairman H. Carl McCall. “The SUNY community colleges were founded on providing unlimited access to quality, affordable higher education and job training to all New Yorkers, and Westchester Community College has done this with widespread success for nearly 70 years. I am confident that the college will continue to prosper under Dr. Miles’ experienced leadership.”

“Dr. Miles is a passionate leader with precisely the right balance of academic and leadership experience, and she shares in many of the core values expressed in our strategic plan for SUNY,” says SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “I look forward to working with her as Westchester Community College and all of SUNY continues to increase access, completion, and success for students.”

Westchester Community College Board of Trustees Chair David Swope says, “We look forward to working with Dr. Miles to usher in a new era here at the college. Her national standing as a leader in the field of community college administration, her awareness of the role of technology in higher education, and her knowledge of the changing role of community colleges will be important as we continue to expand our resources and add new educational offerings to the community.”

“I am very pleased to welcome Dr. Belinda Miles as the new President of the college,” says Michael B. Kaplowitz, Chairman of the Westchester County Board of Legislators. “Westchester Community College is among the best public educational institutions in the country and Dr. Miles will uphold that standard. It is essential that we have an experienced, talented and dynamic leader for the Westchester Community College community, someone who has a clear vision for the college. I’m confident we’ve found that leader in Dr. Miles. The Board of Legislators looks forward to a long and productive partnership with Dr. Miles”.

The nation’s longest serving community college president, Westchester Community College President Dr. Joseph Hankin, led the college since 1971. He announced his retirement last year. Interim President John F.M. Flynn, Ph.D., the college’s former Vice President of Academic Affairs, has been serving as the Interim President since January 2014. Flynn will stay on in this role until Miles begins leading the college in January.

The new president of Westchester Community College has had a distinguished career, primarily in the area of community college leadership.  Her record as a passionate advocate for the promotion of community college accessibility, an administrator who challenged and supported students through high quality academic programs, and a leader focused on improving student success and completion outcomes, was built primarily in Cleveland, Ohio.

She became provost and executive vice president of Access, Learning, and Success at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) in 2011 with oversight of four campuses and multiple extension sites in Cleveland and surrounding suburbs. The institution annually serves 48,000 students in a wide scope of career and transfer degree programs.

Miles previously served Cuyahoga as president of the Eastern Campus, dean of Academic Affairs, and assistant dean of Liberal Arts. She has been affiliated with the institution since 2000. Her prior positions in higher education from 1986 to 2000 include faculty and administrator roles at other institutions including LaGuardia Community College, Nassau Community College, and Columbia University.

Among other accomplishments in Cleveland, she led her team’s effort to secure more than $10 million for college readiness, success and completion, and coordinated STEM initiatives in her role as provost. She completed a $47 million campus master plan physical expansion, and helped achieve Cuyahoga’s second consecutive designation as an Achieving the Dream Leader College and their recent reaffirmation as a League for Innovation in Community Colleges board member based on demonstrated student success outcome improvements.

Miles has served on the faculty at the Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) Summer Institute for Women at Bryn Mawr College, the Lakin Institute for Community College Leadership, and as a member of the Chair Academy’s International Presidential Advisory Board. Her community service includes leadership roles with the St. Joseph Academy girls’ school, a position on the Board of Directors for the YWCA of Greater Cleveland, and past board chair roles with Cleveland Center for Dialysis Care and the Warrensville Heights Chamber of Commerce.

A graduate of Leadership Cleveland, which strives to build a continuum of civic leaders committed to community’ and civic engagement, Miles has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Ohio Diversity Council’s Woman of Power and Influence Award (2013), the Education Award from the Ohio Coalition of National Council of Negro Women (2011) and the YWCA’s Woman of Professional Excellence award (2007).

Originally from Queens, New York, she attended public schools including the City University of New York’s York College, earning a B.A. in Political Science. She attained an M.A. in Educational Psychology and an Ed.D. in Higher Education Organization and Leadership Development from Columbia University Teachers College. She and her husband, Keith, will relocate to Westchester County. Their son Gordon recently graduated from Tuskegee University with a B.S. in Engineering and is employed in this field.

Westchester Community College is more than just the county’s largest educational institution. It is a living, breathing part of Westchester that goes beyond the influence of a typical college and affects the lives of all who enter its doors. Our faculty serve as a community of scholars for an increasingly diverse population of students; as the county has evolved, so has the institution, and our award-winning faculty members educate both new immigrants and longstanding members of the community. Our instructors serve a wide range of students from nearly 200 countries, ranging from teenagers to mature adults.

A State University of New York institution, the college is sponsored locally by the County of Westchester and is governed by the college’s Board of Trustees. Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, this educational institution educates more than 13,000 credit students and more than 13,000 non-credit students through day, evening, and weekend courses at various locations and online.


Texting added to closing/delay notification system

Nov.02, 2014

If you have your mobile phone information in MyWCC, you will get a text. If you wish to add or update your cell phone number with the college, please email registrar@sunywcc.edu with “Updated Cell Phone” in the subject line.  Include your student ID number, full name, and cell phone number in the body of the email.  The email must be sent from your MyWCC email account.

If you wish to remove yourself from receiving text messages, email registrar@sunywcc.edu with “Text Opt Out” in the subject line.  Include your student ID number and full name in the body of the email.  The email must be sent from your MyWCC email account.  Please note, by removing yourself from receiving text messages, you will not receive security alerts or announcements of college delays or closing in the form of text messages.



Tobacco-free program recognized

Oct.30, 2014

Our Tobacco-free program was featured in the October issue of “Go Tobacco-free Campus Spotlight”. http://www.sunywcc.edu/cms/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Go-Tobacco-free-Campus-Spotlight-October-2014_Update.pdf


The White House has honored Teresita Wisell

Oct.23, 2014


The White House has honored White Plains resident Teresita Wisell, a Westchester Community College administrator, for her role as a “Champion of Change” for promoting citizenship in the workplace. Wisell was recognized at a ceremony at the White House yesterday.

“It is such an honor for me to receive this White House Champion of Change Award on behalf of the work that we do at Westchester Community College to support citizenship education of our employees, students and their families,” she says. “Community colleges have the power to positively impact the lives of thousands of individuals on a daily basis in a variety of ways. It is a privilege for us to be part of the National Immigration Forum’s New American Workforce project and play a part in the pathway to citizenship for so many of our local residents.”

Wisell is Vice President and Dean of Continuing Education and Workforce Development at Westchester Community College. In that role, she oversees the Gateway Center, a facility opened in 2010 to expand educational programs and services to the local community. Among other offerings and resources, the facility hosts English language classes, entrepreneurship and financial literacy programs, and citizenship and civic education. Since 2011, the college has offered free civics education to over 250 residents of the county. Of those participating, 60% have applied for citizenship, and 96% of those who have applied have been naturalized.

She was among five “New American Workforce” Partners for Promoting Citizenship in the Workplace individuals honored at the ceremony. Westchester Community College Welcome Center Director Eileen McKee, was instrumental in helping to coordinate the citizenship education program with Wisell.

project of the National Immigration Forum, New American Workforce (formerly known as The Bethlehem Project) works with businesses to assist eligible immigrant employees with the citizenship process in seven cities with high concentrations of legal permanent residents: Los Angeles; San Diego; San Jose; New York City; Miami; Washington, D.C.; and Houston.

According to the White House, “These champions have strengthened their businesses and the American workforce by helping eligible immigrants navigate the naturalization application process. These champions recognize that citizenship is an asset for businesses, workers and their families, strengthening our overall economy.” The program featured remarks from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Small Business Administration Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.

New American Workforce is made possible in partnership with New Americans Campaign, The Knight Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Irvine Foundation, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.


Food for Fines Event Held at Library and Academic Support Center

Oct.10, 2014

Food Bank of Westchester

The Harold L. Drimmer Library is sponsoring a “Food for Fines” drive.  For every nonperishable food item donated through December 23, the library will waive $1.00 of a patron’s outstanding fines. Donations are accepted at the library’s circulation desk and in the Academic Support Center and will benefit the Food Bank for Westchester.

Suggested food items include: canned soup/fruits/vegetables, hot or cold cereals, canned tuna/salmon/sardines, juices in plastic bottles or cans, packaged dry noodles, powered or canned milk.

This program applies to existing fines only. Fees for lost books and course reserve materials are not eligible. For more information about this program, contact Towanda Mathurin at towanda.mathurin@sunywcc.edu or (914) 606-8086.


Common Read

Oct.04, 2014

The book selection for 2014-2015 is Running For My Life by Lopez Lomong. The college community will be reading this book about the author’s rise from his youth as a barefoot “Lost Boy” of the Sudan to his successes as a U.S. Olympian.

In tandem with our reading of Running for My Life, we are holding a one-mile run/walk/roll on Thursday, November 6. Benefits go to the Foundation Scholarship Fund for Student Veterans. The event will start here at the college at the gym at 4:00 p.m. For details, visitwww.mysunywcc.org/fye

Students, faculty and their classes, and staff members are all invited to a special presentation by the author himself on November 13.




Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman will speak at the college on October 17

Oct.01, 2014

Paul Krugman, 2008 Nobel Prize winner for Economics, New York Times columnist, and professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, will speak to members of the college community on Friday, October 17 at 1:00 p.m. Krugman will discuss “Poverty: Misconceptions and Realities.”

Academic Arts Building Theatre

Parking available in lot # 4



Building renamed Hankin Academic Arts Building

Sep.18, 2014

The Academic Arts Building has been renamed the Hankin Academic Arts Building, in honor of retiring President Dr. Joseph Hankin. Here are some images from the naming ceremony held in honor of Dr. Hankin, who led the college for more than forty years.


Ebola Update: Travel Restriction Recommendations for the WCC Community

Sep.09, 2014

The members of the WCC community continue to share the international concern about the outbreak in West Africa of Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever (Ebola), a severe, often fatal, viral illness.  Despite a handful of imported cases and two U.S acquired cases of healthcare workers, the risk of Ebola transmission in the U.S and more specifically the risk to the WCC community remains low.  However, we are constantly monitoring the CDC, The Westchester County Department of Health and SUNY advisories.

All travelers returning from affected countries are required to contact their local/state public health departments on arrival at their final destinations.  The local health departments will contact the traveler daily for three weeks to assess health status including temperature checks. In addition, Nancy Zimpher, SUNY Chancellor is requesting all campus to take additional precautionary measures as well. One of those measures involves travel surveillance.

In preparation for the winter break and given the situation in West Africa and our responsibility to protect the health of the community, Westchester Community College is requesting:

  • All staff, faculty and students follow the CDC travel restriction warnings. Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone have been classified as Level 3 (non-essential travel restriction) and Mali as Level 2 (Practice enhanced precautions).  Updates will be ongoing and can be followed at: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/diseases/ebola or http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/advice-for-colleges-universities-and-students-about-ebola-in-west-africa
  • Advise any students, staff or faculty who return to campus after travelling to an Ebola affected area or who have been exposed to active cases of Ebola to contact the WCC Health Services Office at 914-606-6610. Although surveillance/screening measures are in place at JFK and Newark International Airports, WCC Health Services should also be notified for our own surveillance purposes.  Additionally, the Health Office will confirm the exposed individuals are connected with their local health departments and offer education and support for self-monitoring.
  • Engage in conversations with students who report that they will be travelling home to countries of concern. Please ensure they are knowledgeable about the risks in their home country and discuss alternative options. Feel free to refer them to WCC Health Services.
  • The Office of International Students is monitoring and communicating with students registered with their office and who are from any of the countries of concern.

Please share this communication broadly.  If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact Janice Gilroy at Westchester Community College Health Services: 914-606-6610.