All posts by Michael Parascandola

Help Build a Resilient Macaulay Community

Through spring and fall, we will be exploring, co-creating, and piloting ideas for nurturing our shared community resilience.

  • What does resilience mean to you?
  • When have you felt welcomed and supported by community?
  • What is a skill or gift you’d like to share with your community?
  • What should be considered in designing community resources that are safe, accessible, and accommodating of students’ unique needs and preferences?

 

The Opportunity

Understand Phase (Spring 2024): Two representatives from each of our eight partner campuses will be invited into a leadership cohort of 16 students. With mentoring and support from Design for America, this cohort will receive specialized training in multi-stakeholder problem-solving and will lead this innovative initiative to build a shared understanding of the needs and hopes of the Macaulay student community.

This commitment takes place approximately March 8 – May 10 and requires 2-3 hours/week.

Members of the leadership cohort will receive a stipend of $600 for their service to Macaulay.

 

Interested?

Throughout February, Design for America will facilitate workshops open to all Macaulay community members where you learn more about the opportunity and participate in collaborative design activities.

 

 

Sign up here to attend a session and learn more about how to apply. (We highly recommend attending a workshop to get a feel for what the project will be like!) No commitment is necessary and you can join the Community Resiliency Lab as a participant even if the leadership role won’t be a fit for your interest or schedule.

Connect with other engaged Macaulay students, voice your concerns and hopes, and get a taste of collaborative problem-solving across multiple perspectives. All are welcome!

 

Timeline:

  • Feb: Attend Macaulay-wide workshops with DFA to learn more about the Community Resiliency Lab. All are welcome!
  • Late Feb: Apply to join the cohort.
  • Early March: Cohort members selected, and the Understand Phase begins.
  • March-April: Cohort members conduct the project (which everyone can still participate in).
  • May: Attend the closing Macaulay-wide Innovation Celebration to and prepare for the Create Phase (Fall 2024)!

About Design for America:

Design for America (DFA) the next generation of social innovators to tackle the challenges they care about. Students in our national network use design thinking and collaboration to take on real-world challenges in their lives and within their communities.

 

For more information, please contact Lisa.Brundage@mhc.cuny.edu

 

AI and the Future of New York: What Would You Ask a Supercomputer?

Dean Byrne has received a unique invitation to conduct research using one of the City’s fastest supercomputers and would like to share this opportunity with the college community.

Open to students, faculty, and staff regardless of discipline and experience with research. You are invited to contribute your ideas for harnessing the power of AI to make a positive impact on NYC.

Learn more about supercomputers:

 

How do you envision leveraging AI and a supercomputer to address and solve specific challenges faced by New York City?

  • Please provide a brief description of your proposed use case, highlighting the potential impact on the city.
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Making Restorative Practice Happen in 2024

Macaulay Announces the Creation of a Restorative Practice in Partnership with the New York Peace Institute

Jayla J. Allen to Lead The Macaulay Restorative Practice

Macaulay Honors College is thrilled to announce a new program that will strengthen bonds within our community, build trust, and help the entire campus community learn new skills for supporting each other during times of crisis: The Macaulay Restorative Practice.

Catalyzed by incidents of bias and conflict on American campuses, our students have identified the spread of hate as a leading threat to their academic environment. In addition, a recent Macaulay Climate Survey indicated that both students and staff yearn for more preventative measures, resources, and training to combat bias.

Jayla J AllenTo build on this groundswell, Macaulay welcomes Jayla J. Allen as Restorative Practice Program Coordinator. Jayla brings a wealth of expertise in creating and implementing programs for young adults, and has a deep background in providing academic, social, and emotional support to students. She holds an MA in African American-African Diaspora Studies from Columbia University, earned her BA in Political Science and Legal Studies from Prairie View A&M University’s Honors Program in Texas, and has been a social justice activist and community organizer since she was a teen.

Jayla will oversee the design and launch of the new Macaulay Restorative Practice Program.

“I can’t think of anyone more qualified to bring this new program to life,” said Dean Dara N. Byrne. “Her passion for supporting young adults to lead in challenging times will prepare Macaulay students for optimism in any uncertain future.”

Macaulay has also forged a unique partnership with New York Peace Institute to support the creation of the Restorative Practice Program. The organization is a nationally recognized leader in conflict resolution and prevention, training people to be mediators and coaches. These are perfect roles for our student leaders, and integrating them into the process will help the program to succeed. Two students will serve as Restorative Practice Fellows, contributing to the design of the program; and eight students will serve as Restorative Practice Mediators, facilitating workshops and building community at their home campus.  

Part of the mission of Macaulay Honors College is to empower students to advocate for change that will benefit the academic community and the world beyond. “We believe that establishing a restorative practice at Macaulay is an important step in strengthening belonging, re-building trust, and coming together to solve problems, especially during challenging times,” said Dean Byrne.

The Macaulay Restorative Practice is made possible by generous funding from GS Humane Corp.

Collaborative Wellness Project at Macaulay Honors College

Macaulay is launching a student-led initiative to assess wellness needs across our community and implement supportive programming in partnership with the JED Foundation. We are seeking 16 students to help us with this project, which will be led by Program Manager and alum Sara Louie, during the Spring 2024 semester.

All students interested in assessing campus needs, helping to map current services across the campuses, and support creation of wellness offerings are encouraged to apply using the form below.

The powerpoint from the Information Session with the Dean Byrne via Zoom on Thursday, January 18th at 4pm is available here.

 

The Program

The first phase of the Collaborative Wellness Project focuses on creating a wholistic assessment of wellness needs and services at Macaulay and home campuses. An interdisciplinary task force will be working with the JED Foundation to conduct the assessment through intentional surveying, focus groups, and conversations with students, advisors, staff, and other community members.

We will use these findings to inform the creation of wellness offerings at Macaulay in subsequent semesters.

 

The Opportunity

16 students will receive a $1250 stipend for the spring semester, with an expected average workload of 6-8 hours per week (hybrid format).

As part of the inaugural student cohort of the Collaborative Wellness Project, students will explore the different facets of wellness and how they intersect with the Macaulay college experience. Students will attend periodic trainings and meetings as a cohort, in-person and virtually. Working both independently and in groups, students will be involved in:

  • Conducting research for the wellness assessment by collecting data, administering surveys, and leading focus groups
  • Representing their peers at monthly meetings with JED Foundation and Wellness Task Force
  • Supporting the creation and implementation of wellness offerings (i.e.: resources, virtual and in-person events)
  • Completing an individual or group semester project of choice, with support from the program manager
  • Additional work as it arises

All students interested in wellness, regardless of major(s)/minor(s), are encouraged to apply. We are looking to develop a cohort that will represent the diverse student population at Macaulay.

Please note that this is not a peer counseling program. Future scope of the Collaborative Wellness student program will be subject to change semesterly, based on findings from the initial assessment phase.

Any questions? Please contact Program Manager Sara Louie at sara.louie@mhc.cuny.edu

 

Important Dates

    • Info Session with the Dean via Zoom: Thursday, January 18th at 4pm (view powerpoint here)
    • Application Close: Friday, January 26th by 5pm
    • Interviews (30 minutes via Zoom): conducted on a rolling basis until January 31st
    • Students selected will be notified by first week of February
    • Launch Date: Mid-February 2024

 

Application

Apply by January 26th at 5pm

Sorry. This form is no longer available.

Introducing the Macaulay Honors College Class of 2027

Meet the Class of 2027

Academic Excellence: Average high school GPA of 95.5
First-Generation Students: 32%
Multilingual Scholars: 53%
Diverse Backgrounds: 63%

The Class of 2027 is characterized by its academic excellence, innovation, and diversity. This cohort, comprising 32% first-generation students, 53% speakers of at least two languages, and 63% originating from minority communities, marks the commencement of an exciting academic journey at Macaulay Honors College. Welcome to the Class of 2027!

 

Our incoming class recently embarked on their academic journey with a dynamic orientation at John Jay College. Organized by the Office of Student Development, Academic Affairs, and Macaulay student leaders, the orientation focused on community building, skills development, and class bonding.

The orientation extended into Day #2, during which students had the opportunity to meet Macaulay staff, campus advisors, and representatives from the Macaulay Scholars Council and various student organizations.

Students also actively participated in virtual workshops, such as “Next Steps: GRWMacaulay,” offering insights into essential online resources, and “Time Management & Studying Strategies,” addressing common challenges like procrastination while providing practical guidance on organization and accountability.

The Macaulay Class of 2027 is already showcasing their remarkable innovation, diversity, and thoughtfulness. Our newest Macaulay scholars bring with them the promise of a very bright future.

 

The Macaulay Restorative Justice Practice – Faculty/Staff

Over the last few weeks students from across Macaulay have shared their concerns about the need to combat the spread of hate across the university while also being more intentional in how we support each other during our most difficult times. Based on this feedback, Macaulay Honors College is partnering with experts at the New York Peace Institute to help us collaboratively and empathetically build solutions that will move us forward. But we need your help to make it a reality.

 

The Program:

Students, faculty, staff, and college leadership will work side-by-side to build an inclusive Restorative Practice. We believe that establishing a Restorative Practice at Macaulay is an important first step in strengthening belonging, re-building trust and collaboratively problem-solving during times of crisis. Restorative Practices include implementing a practice of community-building circles, increasing skills around responding to harmful experiences, conflict resolution, and facilitating difficult conversations.

 

The Opportunity:

Macaulay is in the process of hiring our first ever Restorative Justice Coordinator who will work with the New York Peace Institute, students, faculty, staff, and college leadership to develop this program. We need faculty and staff volunteers to participate in the training and program design conversations with the Restorative Justice Coordinator and our students. We hope to have representation from across the consortium to help student mediators facilitate workshops and community-building circles on their home campuses.

 

The Commitment:

Faculty and staff will participate in training during January Academy week (1/16, 1/17, 1/18) and in April; and attend monthly meetings with the program coordinator. Additional participation in programming for trained faculty and staff is estimated at about 1 hour per month.

 

Apply by December 20th

 

The Macaulay Restorative Practice

Over the last few weeks students from across Macaulay have shared their concerns about the need to combat the spread of hate across the university while also being more intentional in how we support each other during our most difficult times. Based on this feedback, Macaulay Honors College is partnering with experts at the New York Peace Institute to help us collaboratively and empathetically build solutions that will move us forward. But we need your help to make it a reality.

 

The Program:

Students, staff, and college leadership will work side-by-side to build an inclusive Restorative Practice. We believe that establishing a Restorative Practice at Macaulay is an important first step in strengthening belonging, re-building trust and collaboratively problem-solving during times of crisis. Restorative Practices include implementing a practice of community-building circles, increasing skills around responding to harmful experiences, conflict resolution, and facilitating difficult conversations.

 

The Opportunity:

Macaulay is in the process of hiring our first ever Restorative Justice Coordinator who will work with the New York Peace Institute, students, and college leadership to develop this program. Two students will serve as Restorative Justice Fellows to work closely with the Restorative Justice Coordinator on the design of the Macaulay-wide program and learn how to train others. Eight students will serve as Restorative Justice Mediators to help facilitate workshops and community-building circles at their home campus.

 

The Commitment:

Restorative Justice Fellows (2) will receive $1000 per semester (Spring 24 & Fall 24) to work with the Restorative Justice Coordinator to organize 2 workshops per semester; to participate in training during January Academy and in April; to attend monthly meetings. We expect that fellows will dedicate about 2-3 hours per week in programmatic responsibilities, with flexible hours.

Restorative Justice Mediators (8) will receive $500 in Spring 24 to participate in training during January Academy and in April; to attend monthly meetings with the program coordinator and help facilitate a workshop at their home campus. We expect that mediators will dedicate about 1-2 hours a month in programmatic responsibilities, with flexible hours.

 

Apply by December 15th

The application is no longer available.

Giving Tuesday Alumni Happy Hour

Evalyn’s Taphouse
263 Butler Street, Brooklyn, NY
WebsiteView on Google Maps

Get together with fellow alumni in an informal way and cheers to the past, present and future of Macaulay on this community building day. Happy hour specials until 7pm.

First five attendees will receive a Macaulay hat!

Macaulay Hat

 

RSVP:

All graduates and guests are welcome. Free to attend.

 

Giving Tuesday Happy Hour Planning Committee:

Chris Cali ’18 (Brooklyn)
Sara Louie ’17 (City)
Suha Chaudhury ’23 (City)

A Call to Action: Increased Engagement for our Graduating Seniors

The Dean’s Office at Macaulay Honors College awards grants to enhance community-building and collaborative learning for graduating seniors. Projects and activities must contribute to our college mission by providing students with a powerful, memorable, experiential learning event, exemplifying Macaulay’s approach to engaged, real-world, collaborative pedagogies, encourage seniors to identify and plan elements of their Macaulay education that they will continue into their future educational and career plans, or introduce them to a new status—that of Macaulay alumni who are connected to the college, committed to its future, and cognizant of the advantages it has provided to them.

Grants may fund activities that involve groups of seniors and are not limited to in-class events. Given the vast impact of the pandemic on the social and emotional wellbeing of our seniors, we are especially interested in creative and engaging community experiences. Activities that include some element of experiential learning or mentoring with alumni or special guests are welcomed. Though not required, we encourage applicants to explore opportunities for cross-campus collaborations and will increase budgets accordingly if submitted by two or more campuses.

 

All Macaulay Honors Directors, staff, and faculty are eligible to apply, regardless of whether your job function is related to your proposed idea. Awards cannot be used to fund equipment unless of direct benefit to the graduating senior experience you are proposing.

The Dean’s Office will award up to $20,000 in the Spring 24 award cycle, either as a multi-campus award or as several smaller awards, depending on the applicant pool. The goal is to distribute these resources across the community. As such, we recommend budgets of up to $2500 if the proposed activity does not involve a multi-campus collaboration. Awards will only be granted for activities that take place in Spring 24.

Enhanced Activities for Graduating Seniors Information Form

Deadline: November 18, 2023
Questions? Contact Dara Byrne, Dean, at dean@mhc.cuny.edu

Enhancing Career Support through Data-Driven Solutions

 

Dear Alumni,

We hope you are well and thriving. As part of our ongoing efforts to better understand the impact of our educational programs on alumni success and how we can better prepare current students for successful careers, we are excited to announce a new initiative – Enhancing Career Support through Data-Driven Solutions.

In collaboration with a trusted third-party vendor, as part of this initiative, we will be collecting public information to provide valuable insights into the accomplishments and successes of our esteemed alumni community. This initiative aims to identify and celebrate your achievements, learn from your experiences, and strengthen our educational offerings for current and future students.

We want to assure you that your privacy and data security are of utmost importance to us. The third-party vendor we have partnered with is committed to adhering to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations, ensuring the confidentiality and protection of the limited personally identifiable information permitted by FERPA that is involved in the project (including birthdate, gender, ethnicity, major, and graduation date). They will also destroy all records at the conclusion of this project.

 

Here are additional details on the project:

Data Collection: The third-party vendor will collect publicly available information, such as professional accomplishments, awards, publications, and public profiles.

Purpose: The insights gained from this data will be used to identify how a Macaulay education impacted success among our alumni, and will help us enhance our career support programming to ensure current students are primed for success in a highly competitive post-pandemic labor market.

FERPA Compliance: The third-party vendor is well-versed in FERPA regulations and will handle the data collected in strict compliance with these laws. Your data will be securely stored, processed, and used only for the intended purpose.

Data Security: Our vendor employs robust data security measures to protect your information from unauthorized access, breaches, and misuse, and will destroy records at the end of the project.

We are excited about the positive impact this initiative will have on our educational community and look forward to sharing insights gleaned from the data and how we are enhancing our career programming based on the data collected. Thank you for your continued support of Macaulay Honors College. Should you wish to speak to Alumni Relations about how this project will help enhance career programming at Macaulay, please contact us at alumni@mhc.cuny.edu.