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Over a Century of Service to CCNY & the Harlem Community

June 2014

What Lies Ahead The Future of CCNY CUNYworst Transition

Headaches with New Registration System

New Ground Broken

The Beginning of a South Campus

Alumni Spotlight A Life Long Learner

Honorable Sendoff

Graduating Staff Members Say Goodbye

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ccnycampus

@ccnycampus

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Table of Contents 3 NEWS

The New South Campus Christian Hernandez

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CUNYworst Michael Sanchez

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The Future of City College Anika Islam

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Editorial Team

Figuring It Out

Editor in Chief Louis Oprisa Managing Editor Rochelle Sterling Opinion & Feature Nikeeyia Howell Sports Jeff Weisinger Lifestyle Natalie Renteria Copy Chief Lucy Lao Copy Editing Esme Cribb & Rachel Finley

Rochelle Sterling

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Write First Then Edit Later Nikeeyia Howell

Business

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Business Manager Ashlee Schuppius

Life by my Own Design

Creative Directors

Liz Fonseca

Roberto Guzmán & Liz Fonseca

10 Alumni spotlight CCNY Student for 70 Years And Counting! Tatiana Herrera

Editor’s Note

The Campus salutes and congratulates the Class of 2014 with our semester-concluding Graduation Issue. This year, we feature 89 year old Harriet Levy in our Alumni Spotlight, who has been a City College student for 70 years. Meanwhile, as another academic year comes to a close, read about the upcoming changes CCNY has in store for the future. We conclude

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Becoming a Graphic Designer Roberto Guzmán

Multimedia

Web Manager Rachel Mines Social Media Manager Natalie Renteria Video Editor Kham Induangchanthy

Faculty Advisor Professor Linda Villarosa with the farewell -30- columns from our graduating members, Managing Editor Rochelle Sterling, Opinion & Feature Editor Nikeeyia Howell, and Creative Directors Roberto Guzmán and Liz Fonseca. We couldn't be prouder to have the influx of talent we've had this year, and we hope to see more students become involved in our publication as we draw closer to the fall semester.

Cover Image Roberto Guzmán

Join Business The Campus

News Magazine

Advertising

Internship experience - Sales experience - Commission! Contact the business manager for any questions - Ashlee Schuppius General@ccnycampus.org - Ads@ccnycampus.org Come to our meetings if interested Thursdays 12:30-2 pm Nac 1/119

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Team!


June 2014

The New South Campus What the upcoming science center means for CCNY By Christian Hernandez│ Photo: City College of New York

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his fall, CCNY’s south campus will give rise to the Advanced Science Research Center (ASRC). The ASRC (north of the Towers) and the CCNY Center for Innovation and Discovery (on Convent Avenue) will make up the Matthew Goldstein Science Complex. The ASRC, which costs $350 million to build and takes up 200,000 sq. feet, will be used to bring together and encourage collaboration between some of the most globally researched areas of science: nanoscience, photonics, structural biology, neuroscience, and environmental sciences. According to Robert Santos, Vice President for Campus Planning & Facilities Management, “the research conducted in the new building compliments and expands upon the interdisciplinary relationships of the research currently being conducted in the Sciences, Engineering and Psychology in Harris, the NAC, Marshak and Steinman.”

The ASRC will be available for use by the entire CUNY student body, and just about everyone else as well. Graduate students can participate in research projects alongside some of CUNY’s faculty members, and undergrad students will have the chance to use the ASRC as a resource for science literacy. Even high school and middle school students will be allowed to use the ASRC, but their access will be limited to the Science Discovery and Education Center located on the ground floor. The CCNY Center for Innovation and Discovery will be a hub for entrepreneurship, facilitating the process of taking new technologies from the ASRC to the marketplace. Together, the two buildings at the Matthew Goldstein Science Complex will conduct cuttingedge research while supporting the commercialization of emerging technologies. The opening of the ASRC and the Center for Innovation and Discovery is sure to generate more foot traffic

on campus, so how does this massive change affect the campus and student body? One faculty member, speaking under the condition of anonymity, expressed deep concern on the topic: “If you’re having two buildings of that magnitude where you will be bringing a lot of people onto the campus, then how do you provide the facilities that will be necessary to sustain all of them?” s/he wonders. “We have one cafeteria here [in the NAC], it can [barely] service the 16,000 of us here at various times throughout the day time; how will it manage with a lot more people coming?” Still, most believe the benefits the complex will bring to CCNY will make up for the extra bodies. According to Michael Samms, a science lecturer, “These new buildings will bring some prestige to the campus and may attract some of the better scientists in the country to seek employment here at City College.” n

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CUNY News

The Campus

Students Weigh In on the Disastrous CUNYfirst Mig By Michael Sanchez | Collage: Roberto Guzmán

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he City College community is still reeling from the switch to CUNYfirst, an integrated technology resource and website used by most of the other CUNY colleges. In April, staff and students depended on a smooth transition to the upgraded database. Instead, in the thick of registration season, CUNYfirst brought confusion, program glitches, and navigation difficulties to the City College community. The bewilderment spread to all areas of faculty, as registration dates bounced around and advisors sent request after request to the Registrar’s office. “I feel like CCNY didn’t prepare us to use CUNYfirst,” student Andrew

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Chao said. “It would’ve been better if this change was made earlier in the semester.” Though CUNYfirst technology assistants were placed around campus to assist, even they could not answer some of the students' registration questions. “My biggest complaint is a general lack of knowledge about it,” student Jasmine Boone said. “Even at the Bursar’s office, they didn’t know how to navigate it.” Two on-campus groups hold training sessions were held for students experiencing difficulty with CUNYfirst

operation. The office of Student Life and Leadership Development and the Center for Excellence in Technology for Learning (CETL) actively attempted to prepare students and staff in navigating the new system, but not much progress was made. “For the most part, people just don’t know how to work around the website,” Student Life associate SindyNuesi said. “We’ve been helping students for over a month now, and we’re always working, Monday through Saturday.” “We started CUNYfirst training for faculty about 2 months ago,” CETL


worst

June 2014

ration

Director Bruce Rosenbloom said. “We have offered a total of 50 CUNYfirst sessions in the past 2 months and will continue with these until the job is done.” The Office of Information Technology also tackled CUNYfirstrelated problems, overseeing project management, eSIMS data integration, and security provisions. They also administered the CUNYfirst Helpline, a resource that holds its own workshops to assists CUNYfirst users. The departments advertise their workshops through emails and signs around campus. Currently, however, the CCNY community has mixed views

about the training opportunities, or simply did not know that they existed. “The booths are around,” student Sharon Shaji said. “But I have class, I go to work, I’m trying to get an internship, I have finals, I don’t have time to stop by the booth.” “If I had a problem I wouldn’t know who to ask,” student Gracelyn Wolf said. “Usually the advisors can help with it. But seminars probably would’ve been helpful.” Even though so many City College departments are tying to assist with the CUNYfirst implementation, the website itself still has technical issues. Many students are facing problems

with registration blocks, mystery payments, and an e-Permit system that no department can seem to solve. However, Psychology Professor Brett Silverstein thinks it may still be too early to judge the program fairly. “I can only give a partial answer,” Silverstein said. “Over time I’ll know the best way, and then I’ll be able to tell if CUNYfirst is the problem, or if I just don’t know how to use it properly yet.” If you have questions, please contact the CUNYfirst Helpline at 212-650-8080. n

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Feature

The Campus

The Future of

City Co A Look at CCNY’s Top Five Problems and How to Solve Them By Anika Islam│ Photo: Roberto Guzmán

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ity College began the year with much to celebrate. We were once again featured in the annual Princeton Review college guide, The Best 378 Colleges. Forbes magazine named CCNY one of the top public universities in New York State and U.S. News & World Report called us one of the best in our region. At an unprecedented rate, our students are securing prestigious awards like the Truman, Goldwater, and Fulbright Scholarships as well as NSF Graduate Research Fellowships. To further build on this momentum, City College began a comprehensive strategic

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planning process last February. The purpose of comprehensive strategic planning is to take a pause and: • Collectively assess the college’s current standing • Reach a consensus on its goals for the future • Develop policies to reach those goals While such assessments are commonplace in academia, this is the first strategic planning process to be undertaken since President Lisa S. Coico and Provost Maurizio Trevisan assumed their positions. Under their guidance, four committees—

academic prosperity, student success, financial health, and culture of excellence—spent close to a year looking at the college’s strengths and weaknesses. The committee members represent a diverse array of departments, divisions, and disciplines, from Elizabeth Matthews, who works for the Center for Worker Education housed in the financial district, to Fred Moshary, an electrical engineering professor at CCNY. Here's our take on the strategic planning committee’s preliminary report and an examination of five of City College’s problems and how to fix them:


June 2014

ollege

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Feature

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City College is falling apart. Students and faculty are all too familiar with failing infrastructure and dilapidated conditions on campus. The elevators are unreliable. The roofs leak. Classrooms are dirty. Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems are poorly maintained. The Wi-Fi sucks. Shepard Hall is perpetually under reconstruction. All this contributes to a lowered student experience. Proposed Solution The culture of excellence committee recommends developing a “campus physical master planning effort.” This includes examining maintenance schedules, staffing levels and funding, and effectiveness and efficiency of services. What we think The decrepit conditions do not go unnoticed by students. “A window in room 109 of Harris Hall has been broken all semester with a warning note taped to it but there's no indication of it being attended to,” notes Ria Malhotra, a student in the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education. A transfer student from NYU, she also notes that City College lacks facilities that are commonplace in other universities such as a clean library and laptops for rent. The college needs to take greater and faster action than a simple assessment of our infrastructure needs.

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The Campus

We have serious financial problems. Financially, City College is in a rut. In 2014, after taking into consideration the $470k the college will receive in resources from CUNY, our college still faces a $4.1 million deficit. Proposed Solution To overcome these financial difficulties, the financial health committee suggests increasing transparency, decreasing inefficiency, and developing new revenue streams. For example, identifying underperforming academic and administrative units and building in accountability criteria into the budget system can increase transparency. To generate more revenue, the committee recommends offering courses and activities outside of the existing academic programs. There is a growing middle class abroad; City College can create courses to teach English and U.S. culture to foreign students and train educators from other countries. The college could also offer more professional certifications and adult education. Although there are no talks of raising undergraduate tuition, higher tuition for expanded graduate programs is being discussed, specifically “master's degrees in branding and integrated communications, STEM areas, business, architecture and urban history.” Finally, the committee suggests seeking contributions from current City College students and alumni. Marta Bengoa, associate professor of Economics and chair of the financial health committee, contends that allowing students to contribute small gifts to the college is less about revenue generation and more about creating a culture of giving and a sense of community. “It’s about changing the culture,” she says. “It’s about having the idea that we are a community and we want this school to be better and aim higher. It’s about engaging.” What we think Students are very skeptical about the idea of making contributions to

the college while still in school and struggling to cover tuition and other bills. “The financial rut is too extensive for us to expect students from average backgrounds to bear the burden,” says Malhotra. “Instead, the alumni network should be relied on more heavily, as well as a better budget plan to use the resources we may already have.”

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Too many of our students lack the academic preparation to succeed in college. City College has historically served the underserved and continues to propel students from modest backgrounds to success. Nonetheless, many incoming students, through no fault of their own, do not possess the writing, math, and analytic skills necessary for collegelevel work. Because City College offers little in the way of remedial education, these students are set up for failure from the get-go. Down the line, many fail to graduate in four to six years, if at all. Our cohort six-year graduation rate is currently 42.0%. This speaks poorly of student success and the school’s reputation. Proposed Solution The academic prosperity committee suggests either increasing resources to help at-risk students or raising admission standards. The former includes pre-matriculation bridge programs and specialized bridge courses. The Freshman Inquiry Writing Seminar (FIQWS) requirement, which combines a particular subject with intensive writing, is an example of a course that can satisfy major requirements as well as provide remediation. The latter can take the form of giving greater weight to high school grade point averages and letter of recommendations. Talks of raising


admission standards currently do not include higher SAT requirements. What we think Students seem to be in favor of higher standards. “I'm not sure how much the required classes would help but, I do support raising admission standards,” says rising junior Joshua Bunnell. “The New York education system is such a mess right now but I think the best way to restructure and look for optimal outcomes is to start at the basics: Set high standards, ensure that the proper focus will be set on meeting those standards and move forward from there.” However, like the committee members, students also believe in being mindful of the nonacademic responsibilities most City College students have. “I do think that CCNY students often have a lot more than academics on their plate and that’s why it might take us a little longer to graduate and pass classes, but at the same time we should always be striving for excellence,” says rising senior Gargi Padki.

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Our academic standards have become too low. A culture of low academic expectations persists at City College. Policies allow multiple repetitions of courses. Students are permitted to stay in a major despite continual struggling and failure. Adjuncts, and some professors as well, are culprits of failing to establish standards and expectations clearly early on and not enforcing them later. Proposed Solution The student success committee urges faculty members to set standards high and enforce them. Additionally, they recommend increasing accountability among faculty by making “student

outcomes criteria for evaluation of instruction and curricula.” Other policies being considered: limiting students from retaking failed courses, institutionalized midterm grades, and more full-time faculty members teaching lower division courses. What we think Students agree that the college needs to enforce higher standards and make faculty more accountable. “The academic standards are definitely significantly low at City College compared to many of the other universities we attempt to compete with,” says Malhotra. “A major issue is the large disparities within departments at this school. Some students with 'Easy A' professors will get passed on with little to no knowledge of the subject while others will suffer and still perform badly. Thus, course syllabi and professor hiring needs to be more standardized so that all students are at a level playing field. “Moreover, the overall lack of drive that exists in the student body, at its roots, indicates that students don't always understand why they must strive to do well in their courses or what they would ultimately get out of doing so,” Malhotra continues. “Thus not only should faculty be more persistent, but advisors should also foster stronger relationships with students.”

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professors than full-time faculty. This is not a problem solely at City College; it’s part of a larger national trend. The traditional academic structure steers professors to focus on their own disciplines and independent research. In turn, there is little incentive to teach lower level classes or engage in interdisciplinary work. So part-time, low-paid adjuncts fill in the gap. Proposed Solution With respect to adjuncts, Provost Trevisan maintains, “In order to have full-time faculty teach all the courses, we would have to have three to four times the budget and that’s impossible, especially at a public institution like ours.” Furthermore, he argues that adjuncts enrich the City College community with outside knowledge and networks. Still, he contends, “We are exploring exactly what should be the ideal ratio between full-time faculty and adjuncts in our teaching.” What we think Adjuncts are integral to the college but they cannot be placeholders for fulltime professors. “From my experience with both adjunct professors and fulltime professors, the learning experience I attain from both are invaluable but some adjuncts have voiced their opinion of not having the same resources and authority as full-time professors in their department,” says rising junior Sadiq Rahman. “As a student, I want my professor to have as many options as possible to broaden the horizons of his or her class. A more reasonable adjunct to full-time professor ratio should be discussed and achieved under the school's budget.”

We have too many part-time adjuncts and not enough full-time professors. Since 2010, the number of adjuncts has grown faster than the number of full-time faculty. As of 2013, there are 1,294 part-time faculty members at City College compared to 512 full-time faculty members. This means students spend more face time with adjunct

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Spotlight

The Campus

CCNY Student for 70 Years and Counting Meet Harriet Levy, a life-long learner in the truest sense By Tatiana Herrera │ Photo: Tatiana Herrera

Levy at City College in 1947 and at the beach with her husband, Bennett, the same year.

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aving good-bye to her friends from the Jewish Studies Department in the NAC building, Harriet Levy assured them she would get home safe. “C’mon, I can take a cab,” she said, dismissing their concerns. Levy was on campus registering for her second class with Professor Amy Kratka this fall. Levy is right; her friends need not worry about her. At 89, she is fit and strong and knows CCNY better than anyone. That’s because the vibrant and feisty great-grandmother has been a City College student for over 70 years. Levy first registered as a secondary

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education teaching major at City College in 1939 during World War II. She attended the college because it was the only school that accepted her. Women were not allowed into many universities at the time. “One of the reasons I got in was because a lot of the men were in the army,” she says. Levy attended the downtown City campus, which is now Baruch. “The uptown campus was only men,” she adds. Levy has juggled her personal and professional lives throughout the span of her academic career, but it was sometimes difficult to strike the perfect balance that also allowed her to stay in school. She left CCNY to work for the

Chinese government in Washington during the bombing in Hiroshima in 1945. She then returned to New York, fell in love and got married and had children. She calls her biggest accomplishment “being married to and in love with the same man for over 60 years!” While her children, Mark Levy and Meryl Smith-Green, were still young, she re-enrolled at CCNY. Taking 5 to 12 credits at a time, she finally earned a Masters degree in Education in 1970. “That’s persistence,” she says. After a successful career as a teacher for 29 years at P.S. 70 in the Bronx, she retired and went right back to learning. Since 1988 Levy has audited over 50


June 2014

classes throughout CUNY with her husband. She has taken art, music, and many Jewish studies courses. One of her more recent favorite classes was a two-semester film course with Professor Jerry Carlson, who directs the cinema studies program. Along with teaching, Levy takes pride in her years of activism. She was an advocate for other educators with the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) and was also involved in the Civil Rights movement. She recalls hearing Dr. Martin Luther King speak at the march in Washington D.C. in 1963, and she took part in the anti-Vietnam War effort.

She worries that current students lack the activist spirit of her generation. “We were politically involved in trying to make a better world,” she says. “People were more involved then. In those days you took action, you went on marches.” As she speaks, she runs her fingers over a necklace she’s wearing which she made; it's a collection of little faces of all shades. They are the faces of her mixed-race grandchildren and great-grandchildren, a rainbow coalition representing several races and cultures. Levy, who even ran for public office, is still involved in social and political activism. She currently serves on the

board of her Upper West Side building, where she invited members of the City Council to come and speak to tenants during the last election. Levy will celebrate her 90th birthday in June with a big party, and some of her CCNY friends from over the years will attend. Part of the last graduating class to attend CCNY tuition-free and among the first women to enroll, she says she will continue taking classes and has no plans to slow down. When reminded that her story will inspire current CCNY students, she laughed and said, “I could be their grandmother.” n

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The Campus

Figuring it Out Embracing the Unconventional Path

By Rochelle Sterling │ Photo: Roberto Guzmán I started out at a community college because my advisor in high school told me not to bother with senior college. So began my pursuit of an Associate’s degree in Business Administration. I didn’t have a clue what I’d do with it, but I thought Hey, a degree is a degree is a degree, right? WRONG. I spent three semesters trying to pass accounting before deciding to pursue what I really wanted–a degree in journalism. I transferred to Queens College in a last-ditch attempt to settle on a career path. But I wouldn’t find it at Queens College, where the Media Studies program was more geared towards film studies and broadcast journalism. I ended up on academic probation–I was a real stand-up girl.

As it turned out, academic probation was the best thing for me at that time. I went back to finish my A.A. and was pretty much done with school. I took about a year off and continued my retail job before making the decision to get my Bachelor’s degree. In the fall of 2009, I became an undeclared, part-time matriculated student at CCNY. In Spring 2011, I took Professor Villarosa’s Reporting and Writing class and had a handful of articles published on ccnycampus. org. I was encouraged to join The Campus newsmagazine, and declared journalism as my minor before giving a thought about my major. Until I joined The Campus, I was the definition of a commuter student. I set my classes around my work schedule, showed up just in time (sometimes late) for class and couldn’t get back to the train fast enough. I felt no connection to the college or the Harlem community. Being a reporter/writer for the school’s oldest publication, I had a newfound interest in the campus. I engaged in conversations with students and faculty, attended events and sought out information on CCNY. Eventually, I moved up the ranks from writer to Opinions Editor, then News Editor, and now-outgoing Managing Editor. How apropos that my first article published in print was “The 8-Year Plan”, about students much like myself whose path towards a degree has been less than glamorous. Three years later, I sign off by saying that without The Campus and a wealth of support from friends and family, I may never have completed this degree. I am eternally grateful to have been a part of this talented, enthusiastic team. n

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June 2014

Write First then By Nikeeyia Howell│ Illustration: Nikeeyia Howell

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rt imitates life all the time (take, for instance, the snazzy illustration of me that accompanies this article). Newsmagazine publishing is no different. At The Campus, the stories, photographs, and illustrations that fill our pages reflect the lives and

realities of our students. Interestingly enough, it has taken me three years at The Campus to fully appreciate the parallels between my life and the publishing process. Every month, students write articles and I edit them. The concept is simple: they write first and I edit later. Funnily enough, over my college career, I have sacrificed countless hours late at night pondering: What career path should I chose? Did I pick the right major? Was cereal really the best choice for dinner? I was so busy micromanaging every moment of my life that I failed to realize that I was attempting to edit my life's story before I had begun to fully write it. The Campus and the overall publishing process have taught me to live first and make sense of it all later. I've worn a lot of hats at The Campus: those of an illustrator, writer, and section editor. Outside of The Campus, the list goes on: I've been a research fellow, intern, and burnt-out college student. As varied as these roles are, the one thing that connects them is community. At The Campus, I've met many talented writers, editors, artists, and designers who have taught me a great deal. I've also gained a lot of insight from our amazing faculty advisor, Prof. Villarosa. As a member of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, I found an amazing community of student scholars and caring faculty mentors. The program's director, Prof. Besse, pushed me to realize my own potential. I am forever thankful for my CCNY family. College is far from easy, but being in good company has made it all worthwhile. n

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The Campus

Life by my Own Design

Deciding What's Best for Myself and Sticking With It By Liz Fonseca│ Illustration: Liz Fonseca

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hen I graduated from high school, I thought of either studying law enforcement or medicine. I was torn between going to John Jay or City College and for several reasons (including an easier commute) I went with City College. After coming to City, I was still stuck with the “I-don’t-havea-clue-of-what-I-want-to-do-for-myfuture” situation. Without realizing it, I began to take paths that I didn’t choose for myself. I was taking English courses because my sister and I enjoyed English classes, but I soon realized that this was not my aspiration–it was hers. Then, I started to consider switching schools in order to follow what my parents wanted (my aspiration at the time was for them to feel proud of me by choosing a career of their choosing). It’s easy to tell others how easily swayed you are by others, but it’s so hard to notice when it happens to you. At that moment, you are torn between their personal desires and your own doubts. For those who can relate, my message

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to you is this: don’t let yourself get caught up on others, choose what you want to do. After walking in circles, I finally found my escape from limbo. I realized that I had to choose something that I could nerd out on to no end. After my epiphany, I realized that art was something I really liked doing. I'm not a paintbrush enthusiast, but I got drawn into graphic design, illustration, and typography. Toward the end of my college years, I discovered my interest in publication design. I got involved with The Campus after a redesign project I had for an art class. This hands-on experience taught me so much of what may, could, and will happen in a real-world publishing environment. I am really thankful to The Campus for the feedback, teamwork, and all the times we got to design together while brainstorming in the office. I’m glad I was part of this magazine and a part of this college journey. n


Becoming a Graphic Designer A Journey of Learning and “Constructive Criticism” By Roberto Guzmán │ Design: Roberto Guzmán │Portfolio: be.net/rguzman

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hen I came to City College, I wanted to major in either architecture or film/video. However, I didn’t find these majors interesting beyond what I was reading about them. Don’t get me wrong; I love them but not enough to be part of it. Still searching for a major I would love and not hate, I decided to take my first design class. I took Typography 1 with Professor Francis and it was

a revelation. I surprised myself with the projects I made. Thanks to my typography projects, I was able to get into the Electronic Design and Multimedia program. And so, my journey toward becoming a graphic designer began. Two semesters ago, I made it my mission to change the look of The Campus. While my time at The Campus has been short, I have accomplished a lot of things. I had always wanted

to join The Campus but didn’t think I was ready. Looking back, I made the right choice by joining in my last two semesters of college. While not all my decisions were the correct ones, I learned a lot from my mistakes. Design is a combination of talent, intuition, and experimentation. I put my heart and soul into every single issue because I care about it. It was always about making The Campus great. n

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Congratulations Class of 2014


June 2014