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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS Arnaldo Bernabe Jr. followed his father from Hostos and became a student of the world. Little did either of them know that the young man would eventually work toward his master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and International Development at the University College London.





CARRYING HOSTOS’ TORCH Longtime Professor Orlando Hernández is an ambassador for Eugenio María de Hostos, the man and the institution. Coming to Hostos in 1977, Professor Hernández grew into a professor that changed lives and became a world-renowned expert on the man the College was named after.




50 YEARS AND COUNTING It took a small army, and a help from an old friend, to make



TAKING A HELPING HAND   Hostos alumna Marlene Lantigua took advantage of her opportunities. Now, she is climbing the corporate ladder at Goya Foods, Inc.



DANIELLE ALLEN, HOSTOS’ CUNY FATHERHOOD ACADEMY PROGRAM director was born to help people reach the top. Learn more about her and the program in “10 Questions With …”





Hostos’ Golden Anniversary truly shine.









he start of a new school year is always a time of hope. New and returning students are eager to learn, to achieve, to make the most of themselves. Hostos faculty and staff are here to help them do that. In fact, it is exactly what the College has been doing for almost 50 years. The theme of this issue of the Caiman magazine is social mobility. It is a topic all of us here are deeply familiar with: we are committed to providing our students with opportunities for intellectual, social, and economic growth. A community college like Hostos can serve as a springboard into a four-year institution or a well-paying profession – into a better life. This reminds me of something Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said about her mother, who is one of Hostos’ earliest graduates:

“Seeing my mother get back to her studies was all the proof I needed that a chain of emotion can persuade when one forged of logic can’t. But more important was her example that a surplus of effort could overcome a deficit of confidence. It was something I would remember often in years ahead, whenever faced with fears that I wasn’t smart enough to succeed.” For half a century, Hostos has helped countless students overcome their fears and blossom into the change agents of tomorrow. As we celebrate the College’s golden anniversary, I hope you will celebrate with us and participate in the many events that will take place between now and 2018. Hostos was created in response to the needs of the South Bronx, and we cherish the deep roots we have in the community. Join us in marking all that has been accomplished in a halfcentury…and what lies ahead. I wish every member of the Hostos family – students, alumni, community partners and supporters – a pleasant and productive autumn. Keep dreaming. Keep achieving. We are here for you.

David Gómez, Ed.D. President




FALL 2017

Hostos’ golden anniversary would not mean anything if it were not for the incredible students who attended the College for the past 50 years. To ensure the latest class of Hostos students begin their academic journey on the right foot, “Welcome Day” was held on Sept. 7. The all-day series of events helped acclimate students to Hostos through workshops, networking opportunities and fun activities. Organized by the President’s Office and the Office of Student Activities, events were open to all new and all returning students to the college.

A Year of Celebration







OCTOBER WED | 3:30 P.M. TO 5:00 P.M. SAVOY MULTI-PURPOSE ROOM Academic Symposium - “Our South Bronx Today: Voices, Identities, and Changes.” Moderated by Hostos Professor Thomas Beachdel, this panel of community leaders and artists will discuss Hostos’ crucial role as a leader in urban education in the heart of the changing South Bronx.



Noche Flamenca performs “Tres Sueños: When Muslims, Jews, and Christians Dream Together.” performs this powerful work featuring Spanish, Hebrew, Ladino (Judaeo-Spanish language), and Arabic songs from Andalusía, Spain, spanning the 9th – 15th centuries — the “golden age” of philosophy and culture.

Panel Discussion on Puerto Rican Migrations. This timely discussion, moderated by show host, news anchor and producer Javier Gómez, centers on reviewing and analyzing the pattern of the Puerto Rican migration and its repercussions for the diaspora. With special guests.

Comité Noviembre. National Puerto Rican Artisan Fair & Book Expo. This signature cultural festival will feature nearly 100 artisans and authors from the United States and Puerto Rico. An annual, all-day event for all art lovers.


WED | NOV. 22 | 2:00 P.M. WED | NOV. 29 | 12:30 P.M. THUR | NOV. 30 | 2:00 P.M. Through THUR | NOV. 30 | 7:00 P.M. | DEC. 1 | 7:00 P.M. DEC 01 FRI BLACK BOX In Who’s in Charge? we are introduced to four

“Fear City” - Book Presentation. Acclaimed author Kim Phillips-Fein will visit the campus to speak about her new book and how she ended up with a chapter on Hostos Community College.




and Mr. Prune are conservatives, while Miss Pepper and Miss Forest Flower favor the liberal movement. In this comedy that very much resembles our political climate nowadays, Eugenio María de Hostos forces us es when it comes to selecting a leader.

HOSTOS GIVING TUESDAY Hostos again joins this international day of giving which allows EVERYONE to be a philanthropist by supporting the College during its 50th Anniversary. Get involved with #HostosGivingTuesday and help support the institution that has supported the South Bronx for half a century.

SIGNATURE EVENTS • 50th Anniversary Gala on Thursday, April 19 at Guastavino’ Guastavino’ss in Manhattan • Art Exhibits at Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos • Featured Concerts at Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture • Colloquiums, Panels, and Special Featured Speaker Events






When I think of social mobility, I think of making covers for my school books with my Mom from brown paper bags at the beginning of each school year and how proud she was when she was able to buy my brother and me an encyclopedia—well before the days of Google— so that we could study more at home. I think of how she instilled in me an appreciation for books and a love for learning, because she knew that a good education would be my ticket to a better life. And, that this country offered me the opportunities to succeed, if I did my part. Hostos Community College is full of examples of students doing their part. Many are the first to attend college, others are getting certified for a better job, some are now proud alumni who hold a bachelor’s degree (or higher) and own their own businesses, inspiring their children to go after their dreams. Hostos is a catalyst for those who seek intellectual, social and economic growth; its generations of families impacted by the work we do to support our students and help them succeed every step of the way. From the intergenerational story of our own Chief Arnaldo Bernabe and his son, to the success of the Two Gen program and Fatherhood Academy, to the teachings of Eugenio María de Hostos, this issue highlights the many ways we move our students forward toward a better life.


Division of Institutional Advancement VP for Institutional Advancement

Ana Martínez Orizondo

Art, Editorial Design & Production

José R. García

Designer & Illustrator

Alice Curiel Baldonado Contributing Writers

Ericka Douglas Richard Pietras  Copy Editors

Dolly Martínez Photography

Ericka Douglas Eduardo Hoepelman  Michael Young Francisco López  Romain Suinat  Magda J. Vasillov Caiman

The Caiman is the Hostos Community College official publication for students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the College. Published three times a year by the Division of Institutional Advancement. View the online version at Join the Conversation

Ana Martínez Orizondo Vice President Division of Institutional Advancement



Connect with Caiman magazine and the Hostos Division of Institutional Advancement. Share your story ideas, comment on what you read, submit news notes and expand on your thoughts in the online community. Letters and Story Ideas

Email to tell us what you think about the latest issue of Caiman magazine and to share your comments on the stories. Your letter may be published in an upcoming “Letters” section of the magazine. Letters to the editor, story ideas and contributions are welcome; they may be edited for clarity and length. This publication accepts no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or photographs. All submissions are subject to editing and are used at the editor’s discretion. Office

Division of Institutional Advancement 120 East 149th Street, Room D-214 Bronx, NY 10451 t. 718-518-6579 e. w.



FALL 2017



Prince Ruben @PrinceRuben ^^^ 16/22/17Anything is possible and she is only #45YearsOld #MomsBoy #SheGraduating @ HostosCollege Now She is going to (4-year) college #shedidit #Mom

Vanessa L. Gibson @Vanessalgibson Capital investments made to Building at @HostosCollege Additional classroom space & information technology for students! Congrats HOSTOS!




Eljymajarbath #flashbackfriday SOUVENIR COLLEGE @hostoscommunitycollege FOLLOW MY YOUTH CLUB TEAM

“I use photography as a means of expression to communicate and document the beauty and hardship of the world around me. My goal is to capture a moment, an expression, a mood, a feeling. I always want the viewer to form an emotional connection when they see my work. Recently, I have focused on creating images that capture mood through light, texture, and composition. I am inspired by so many great photographers like Gordon Parks, Robert Frank and Irving Penn. Other forms of inspiration are music, architecture, the weather and the candid fleeting moments in life. I want to create imagery that makes you feel a part of my experience and gives you a front row seat to the world the way I see it.”

BIO: Michael was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He is a portrait street photographer, whose love of light and composition fuels his passion for creating his imagery. He’s been published in “Natural Hollywood Magazine,” as well as “Black+White Photography Magazine.” His work has also been featured in “The Bronx X Bronx” exhibit at the Bronx Documentary Center, as well as the “Speak Out” exhibit at The Bronx Art Space. Michael’s images were also on display at the temporary gallery at the Roberto Clemente Plaza construction site on 149th and Third Avenue (“The Hub”), and he was one of the featured photographers in the “Artist in the Noir Defining the Melodrama” exhibit at the Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos. He currently resides in the Bronx with his wife Kenya and daughter Nya.

s4shostoscc our summer is about showing potential students how AMAZING #hostoscommunitycollege is!! Our SSL Tani did just that today!! She provided a great tour for students of The Door-Bronx Youth Center!! Looking forward to having you start here this fall!! #cunys4s #hostoscommunitycollege #thedoorbyc #bronxyouthcenter

Cjthebestseller I might have held different titles at @hostoscollege, but the smile remains the same. Dreams only come true with faith, hard work, guidance from others, and belief in yourself. God bless. #thebestisyet2come

livecloe-About to give a brief speech to our CFA Cohort 3, gradution class at @hostos! This is kelvin and his Family. Kelvin just found out he passed the TASC exam. He got his HSE! Congratulations Kelvin! Keep soaring higer and higher, we are so proud of you! #yougmen #youngdads #hse # freeged #proudmoment #highere education #believeinyourself

ABOUT PORTFOLIO: In each edition of the Caiman, an artist will showcase his/her work. Visit our YouTube channel to view a behind the scenes video of Michael Young



# HOSTOSGIVINGTUESDAY Hostos Community College

Benefiting the Bridge Tuition Support Assistance Emergency Fund for Students Facing Adversity.

“Be the Bridge to Graduation” Join us on Social Media: c HostosCC d HostosCollege f HostosCollege


On #HostosGivingTuesday, November 28th

Support Hostos students On the verge ... of success. Some students are a few credits away from graduating, a heartbeat from achieving their degree. Then--a crisis strikes. It’s a costly bill. Their child needs medication. They lose their job. The Bridge Tuition Support Assistance (BTSA) scholarship helps students facing financial hardships, who are nearing graduation. The fund pays for books, MetroCards, food, and other essentials. During an emergency, BTSA empowers students to continue their dreams.

BE THE BRIDGE. Support student success on #HostosGivingTuesday, November 28th.


STEM pathways at Hostos

Hostos Community College offers Associate in Science (AS) degrees in Civil, Chemical, Electrical, Mechanical and Environmental Engineering.

ax2 + bx + c x2 y

MATHEMATICS ASSOCIATE DEGREE The Associate in Science degree in Mathematics consists of courses which allow students to pursue further education and careers in Mathematics, Statistics and Mathematics Education. The program is a traditional science and mathematics program designed to articulate with any baccalaureate degree institution, CUNY or private. The proposed program includes the course work required in the first two years of a baccalaureate degree in mathematics.



The requirements for the Associate in Science Degree makes it a versatile and appealing field of study for students planning to enter professions in the sciences, including Medical, Health or Science Education programs. The concentration provides students with the first two years of study required to enter science related majors and or minors at the senior college level.

The Associate in Science (AS) degree in Science for Forensic Science is a joint dual admission program with the existing Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. This is a growing field as science and technology are essential resources in the criminal justice sector.

These majors are jointly registered, dual admission programs with the existing Bachelor of Engineering (BE) degrees at The City College of New York’s Grove School of Engineering (CCNY’s GSoE) of CUNY. The engineering majors have been designed to meet the licensure guidelines of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and provide Hostos students with the same curriculum as the first two years of the licensure qualifying program required at The City College of New York. Upon successful completion of the lower division at Hostos, students have a seamless transition to the upper division of the baccalaureate program at CCNY.

Dual Degree Programs Division of Academic Affairs


HOSTOS TURNS TO A MASTER STORYTELLER TO TELL ITS HISTORY “The story of Hostos is the story of a lot of things and people, among them marginalized communities — immigrants, Puerto Ricans, African-Americans, Asians and Pacific Islanders, Central Americans, Africans, and multi-lingual and bilingual people.”





ow do you present the story of a place that has changed the lives of countless people for the better … and for the better part of half a century? You form an army of Hostos historians comprised of the people who live it every day, that’s how. In April of 2018, Hostos Community College turns 50, and to celebrate its golden anniversary, a year-long trip down memory lane was started this past April in the gymnasium. There, faculty, staff and students learned more about the planning and preparation from Hostos President David Gómez and a host of others who have been busy for well over a year. Realizing telling Hostos’ history would be a massive undertaking, the 50th Anniversary Management Team was formed to delve into the archives, brainstorm ideas, create a new website, schedule events, prepare media outreach, and much more. The Management Team, comprised of close to 20 Hostos faculty, administrators and staff actually began brainstorming in Fall 2016 to plan the projects, initiatives and events that are sure to help put Hostos’ history into the proper perspective and serve as a roadmap to the past, present and future. From its first classes being held in a converted tire factory in 1968, to the acquisition and renovation of the three main campus buildings, to the opening of the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture, to an Allied Health and Sciences Building Complex on the horizon, Hostos’ past is packed with important dates and people, whose academic and professional dreams have been realized within its walls. Ideas came from everywhere as the College reached out to students, longtime supporters and community partners. It was no doubt a family affair. To lead this immense effort, Hostos turned to one of its own: Soldanela Rivera. “Sol,” as she is popularly known, is many things — dancer, teacher, tour manager, publicist, artist. But, perhaps above all else, she is a master storyteller. Born in Puerto Rico in 1970—and the daughter of famed singer Danny Rivera—Sol carved out her niche in the entertainment world early. Working with artists like Tito Puente, Rubén Blades, “The Queen of Salsa” Celia Cruz,

and many, many others, she became immersed in promoting and supporting the arts in New York City and abroad. As a production coordinator and publicist, she worked closely with many artists and organizations, including the Pregones/PRTT. When the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture opened its theater doors in the early 1990s, she was working with the many artists that performed there. That is also when she met the Center’s longtime former Director Wallace Edgecombe. It blossomed into a friendship that spanned years. After taking the advice of a colleague at El Diario La Prensa, Sol applied and was hired as an adjunct professor teaching Public Speaking at Hostos in 2010. Her performance and stage experience served her well, and she soon fell in love with the College that has become a family for so many since opening its doors in 1968. When the College was looking for someone to assist with its 45th anniversary celebration, the administration approached Sol for guidance. Leading the charge through dynamic publicity projects, performances, as well as community service initiatives, Sol helped turn that anniversary into something special. Her communication and publicist skills were on full display, and Hostos was on its way to reaching a wider audience than ever before. When the College was expanding its Division for Institutional Advancement around that same time, Sol was hired as the Director for the Office of Communications in 2011. With a growing team, she was again at her best, pitching stories, creating new and dynamic initiatives that helped attract even more positive attention. However, tragedy struck in 2015, when Sol’s soulmate and husband Dan Larson passed away from cancer. The couple had just recently married, and Sol had to step away from the College that had become her home. But, as they say, Hostos is family, and when the College was again looking for the perfect person to help manage the promotion of its 50th anniversary, Sol seemed the perfect choice. Recharged and reenergized, she jumped at the chance. Sol said she had a lot of motivation and good reason to take on the challenge. “Dan was a journalist, who earned a master’s degree from the Columbia School of Journalism. He worked a lot in radio, and interviewing was his life,” Sol said. “He was a storyteller who wanted to teach me his craft. While he left us too soon, he instilled in me a desire to explore that world a little more. It was like he was telling me to go on and pointing me in this direction.” Her husband’s years in radio and broadcasting rubbed off on Sol. She launched her own podcast series, Notes From A Native Daughter, which brings the work of popular Latino artists, public figures and influential change agents to the forefront. This became the inspiration behind what became a centerpiece of Hostos’ 50th Anniversary effort, the Hostos 50 Oral History Collective, a living archive featuring former Hostos Presidents, faculty, students, alumni, staff and friends of the College. “When Hostos contacted me to help with the 50th anniversary, the first thing I thought about was materials—materials that can be repurposed,” Sol said. “Also, at that same time, I had just started my own podcast show and the relatively easy set up To learn more about our Oral History Project, please visit:

for oral stories was right in front of me. The possibility seemed practical, economical, and a great way to capture narratives for stories, books, ads, radio spots, voiceovers, posters, and more. I knew Hostos had a story to tell and this was the moment to do it.” In addition to the podcasts and anniversary planning, Sol also led the task force in the launch of the 50th Anniversary website (, which is home to the podcast, a timeline, an event calendar, and more celebratory materials. For Sol and Hostos, it’s been a wonderful trip. “The story of Hostos is the story of a lot of things and people, among them marginalized communities — immigrants, Puerto Ricans, African-Americans, Asians and Pacific Islanders, Central Americans, Africans, and multi-lingual and bilingual people. It is also the story of communities, urban decay, urban resurgence, urban myth, strength, what people can achieve when they have access to education, intersectionality, occupy, civil rights, and on and on,” Sol said. “Hostos has a voice for all of that and more. There’s this humanity here…I can’t really explain it. There’s this something; the walls have a memory. The Grand Concourse has a memory of those who fought for the future. People who work here, for the most part, want to be here. They know who they are serving and they want to serve.”



Soldanela Rivera López Project Manager Esther Rodríguez-Chardavoyne Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration Dolly Martínez Deputy to the President & Assistant Vice President for College Affairs, (Co-Chair) Ana Martínez Orizondo Vice President for Division of Institutional Advancement William Casari Professor, Hostos Library Nydia R. Edgecombe Director of Alumni Relations José R. García Brand and Communications Associate Melanie García-Torres Executive Assistant to the VP for Division of Continuing Education and Workforce Development Johanna Gómez Assistant Dean of Student Life

Brenda Linen-Paulin Executive Assistant to the Senior Vice President John Macelwee Director of the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture Mary Manning Professor, Dental Hygiene Unit Peter Mertens Assistant Dean for Workforce Development and Continuing Education Ángel Morales Professor and Coordinator, Visual and Performing Arts Unit Victor Santana IT Assistant Pearl Shavzin Administrative Coordinator Shimyia Sinclair Communications Coordinator Emily Tenzer Santoro Communications and Publications Design Specialist

Diana Kreymer Director of Events Management



Photo by Michael Young





HOSTOS THE MISSION If you want to be a complete human being, put all your energies and soul into all your life’s actions. — Eugenio María de Hostos


fter Nasry Michelén was appointed the first president of “Community College No. 8” in the South Bronx some 50 years ago, the institution needed a permanent name that would capture the life-changing power of the fledgling institution. It was around that time Michelén had an epiphany: Why not name the College after Eugenio María de Hostos? Here was a man who spent the latter part of the 19th century advocating for educational opportunities—a man entwined with the College’s mission. The decision was made, and since that time, “Hostos” of The City University of New York and Eugenio María de Hostos, the man born in 1839 in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, have walked hand in hand. As the College turns toward its 50th anniversary celebration, the mission of moving people up the social mobility ladder shared by Eugenio María de Hostos and Hostos Community College has lived on through a very special professor.

A BROTHER IN ARMS Perhaps no person on campus has carried the torch for the Latino icon Eugenio María de Hostos longer or higher than longtime Humanities Professor Orlando Hernández. And, perhaps few have as much in common with the influential patriot, sociologist, educator, writer, and philosopher. Also born in Mayagüez, Hernández’s mother worked as a teacher for 27 years in the small town of Moca, Puerto Rico, where he was raised. During his college years, a younger Hernández learned about Brazilian educator and philosopher Paulo Freire—a leading advocate of critical pedagogy—and Saul Alinsky, another powerful social thinker. After earning a José Padín Scholarship, Hernández came to the mainland in 1969 to study at Haverford College, a Quaker institution outside of Philadelphia. The year after he graduated, he participated in a research trip to Latin America and returned to the U.S. for graduate school at New York University. The research he did in places like Perú, Argentina, and Brazil from 1973-74 on Freire’s work concerning literacy method and his philosophy of empowering people through education feuled his interest. The man who had traveled and studied in the same places as Hostos immersed himself in Latin American Studies and Literature— on his way to earning an M.A. and Ph.D. with a double-major in Spanish and Political Science at Haverford College—became fascinated with exploring social and political change in Latin America. “I found that the forces for change in these countries were gaining ground, but there were also terrible setbacks, like the military coup in Chile in 1973 and in other South American countries after that,” Hernández recalled. “I remember that I spent New Year’s Eve at the foot of Machu Picchu, with Pablo Neruda’s poem, “The Heights of Machu Picchu,” in hand. I felt I needed to know the deepest cultural expressions of pre-Columbian Latin America.” The seed had been planted, and soon Hernández would become fascinated with another advocate for social change, Eugenio María de Hostos.

Visit our Oral History Project to learn more about Orlando Hernández




HOME AT HOSTOS “Hostos facilitated the creation of community organizations that could bring change from the bottom up. So he was ahead of his times, a visionary who anticipated the key role of the emerging civil society.”

Official artwork for Hostos175 (2014)


ormer Hostos student Wendyam Tiendrebeogo took Professor Hernandez’s Spanish Latin American Film and Literature class in 2013 and 2014, respectfully. She called him one of the best teachers she has ever had. “He shows a lot of love and passion in his teaching, and makes sure that the subject is clear for every student because he does not want anyone to fail his exams,” Tiendrebeogo said. Tiendrebeogo said she enjoyed learning about Eugenio María de Hostos and his activism and fight for human rights and the independence of places like Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Cuba. “I learned from Professor Hernández that Hostos had become an exile from his native country to get away from the tyrannical government and continue his fighting to liberate his nation. Somehow, we should all be grateful to him otherwise we would not be here enjoying what our school offers us,” Tiendrebeogo said. “The education that I acquired at Hostos was a new beginning in my life because it has changed the way I used to limit my vision of things, it opened my mind and opened me to a lot of opportunities in my life. I owe a lot of that to Professor Hernández.”



FALL 2017


aving already worked as an adjunct professor at NYU and Borough of Manhattan Community College in the mid-1970s, Hernández was looking for an institution of higher learning where he could share his knowledge full time. It was around that time that longtime Hostos faculty member Dr. Juan Rivera alerted Hernández about an opening at the College, and a decades-long obsession with Hostos the institution and Hostos the man was born. Joining the Humanities Department in 1977, Hernández was an open and brilliant lecturer, while at the same time, a fervent researcher. But while he was born in the same town as Eugenio María de Hostos and knew of his legacy, he was far from an expert. That all changed in 2003 when the two Latin American cultural and social intellectual giants, Eugenio María de Hostos and José Martí, crossed paths, if only figurately, during the centennial of Hostos’ death and the sesquicentennial of Martí's birth. Events were being held in the U.S. and throughout the Caribbean, and fearing Hostos the institution would be left behind, Hernández worked with a new Hostos Provost, Dr. Daisy Cocco de Filippis. She also had a keen intellectual interest in promoting and disseminating the writings and works of these historic Latino leaders. Hernández’s relationship with Dr. Cocco de Filippis would span years. They worked with others on campus, including longtime Director of the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture, Wallace Edgecombe, on a series of events that became, “Hostos and Martí in New York City." The intellectual, cultural and philosophical series included four master lectures, concerts, theater productions, and a major international conference in November of 2003. Those events, and all the work and research that went into them, hooked Hernández on Hostos for good. “I knew about Hostos and had taught about him in my classes on a very basic level,” Hernández said. “However, I was so taken with the intellectual, political, literary, and educational vision, that I decided to create the course and have developed a keen interest in Hostosian scholarship ever since.” The course, "Hostos and Martí: Trailblazers of Freedom and Progress in the Americas," is still taught as one of Latin American and Caribbean Studies offerings within the Humanities Department. His obsession didn’t stop there. In 2005, as an outgrowth of that celebration, Hostos’ Head Librarian Dr. Lucinda Zoe and Hernández received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to host a 5-week seminar on Hostos and Martí for scholars from around the nation. Flash forward to 2014, Hernández partnered with Hostos History Professor Ernest Ialongo to bring Hostos to the masses again on what would have been his 175th birthday. “Hostos 175” grew into a year-long celebration of the man who was committed to the social, political, and cultural development of society, and to the goal of justice and equality for all. A forum at that event titled, “Hostos, The Man, The College, The Bronx” was sponsored by the Center for Teaching & Learning and the Library Department. It included Professor Emeritus Gerald Meyer, who discussed the history of Hostos Community College; Archivist William Casari, who examined the College’s connection to the Bronx; and Hernández, who discussed Hostos’ accomplishments as an activist and author. “For Hostos Community College, at this moment, the most

Photo by Michael Young

important aspect of his intellectual and moral legacy is his conceptualization of education,” Dr. Meyer said during his lecture. “Hostos implied that, regardless of gender or class, all students needed a liberal education, which would prepare them for a life as a citizen of a republic. We have inherited his legacy, and therefore, have a responsibility to ensure its implementation." Ialongo, who began his Hostos career in 2008, said he learned a lot about both Hernández and Hostos during the planning and organizing of that celebration. “I found Orlando to be incredibly generous with his time and expertise during the planning of those events,” Ialongo said. “He has been a bridge between the history of Hostos Community College and Eugenio María de Hostos for years. And, it is obvious that students reacted well to his teachings. It became evident to me that Orlando’s course on Hostos and Martí was having a pronounced influence on his students' world views.” Ialongo added that thanks to those projects and initiatives, Hostos’ work became available to a variety of faculty, from History, to English, to the Arts, and beyond. Both Hernández and Ialongo believe Eugenio María de Hostos’ fight against racism, as well as his advocacy for women’s rights, built strong motors to drive people up the social mobility ladder. These same principles resonate more than a century later in the hallways of the College. Perhaps more specifically, Hernández explained that around the same time Hostos was establishing the first teachers school and spearheading educational reforms in the Dominican Republic, he

helped give birth to the “League of Citizens” — a group that could be considered one of the first Community-Based Organizations (CBOs). “In 1898, after the Spanish-Cuban-American War, Hostos founded the League of Puerto Rican Patriots in New York City and in his native country, Puerto Rico, one of the first non-governmentalorganizations (NGO) in this hemisphere,” Hernández said. “It was a non-partisan initiative that would promote schools, newspapers, and economic and social development in a way that included citizens’ participation.” “In 1900, when he moved to the Dominican Republic for the last time, he strongly supported the League of Citizens, which was also an organization of young Dominican intellectuals that fostered civic engagement. So, Hostos was moving in the direction of developing community institutions that would empower citizens through education and by promoting their participation. This was transformative and truly democratic: to facilitate the creation of community organizations that could bring change from the bottom up. So he was ahead of his times, a visionary who anticipated the key role of the emerging civil society.” This concept to inspire groups to bring about social change and transform communties through civic, non-partisan organizations became an important part of Hostos’ legacy. Fast forward to the birth of the College, and it is not hard to see how these early CBOs inspired the Puerto Rican and African -American residents of the South Bronx who fought during the 1970s for Hostos’ creation and well-being.




DR. ORLANDO HERNÁNDEZ: A LASTING LEGACY OF LEARNING “Hostos is not only for Latinos. He is really for the world to share.”

Portrait of Professor Hernández (1979) by Magda J. Vasillov, part of a series titled “Faces of Hostos.”

Professor Hernández with Professor Emerita Velázquez and students, circa 2002.



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hile he will retire this fall, Hernández is hardly ready to put down his Hostos torch anytime soon. He has also already retrieved a good number of unpublished and uncollected texts by Hostos that will be published soon and remains dedicated to translating Hostos' writings into English. “It’s important that everyone is exposed to his work and his brilliance,” Hernández said. “Hostos is not only for Latinos. He is really for the world to share.” Currently, Hernández is busy preparing a onevolume comprehensive, English-language anthology of Hostos’ writings, which involves selecting and translating the texts into that language. This anthology is research-based, will incorporate diverse critical views on Hostos works and will include the larger part of his political, educational, and intellectual endeavors. The last anthology of his work, América: “The Struggle from Freedom” is out of print and, while it was a significant publication, its selection is narrow in scope. If that is not enough, he is also working on the research for a book on politics about Hostos’ return to Puerto Rico in 1898, a timely subject that is near and dear to his heart. “Eugenio María de Hostos is relevant in many ways, but above and foremost, because he promoted equality intellectually and personally,” Hernández said. “Some of his most important writings deal with the recognition of basic human and civil rights for everyone, and his keen awareness that education is one of the most powerful ways that a society can deliver on its promise of equality. At stake are rights and values that are fundamental to diversity, inclusion, and democracy. “To put it plainly, Hostos is an inspirational intellectual figure, an activist, a nationalist and an internationalist, a humanist who believed in freedom and in improving people's socio-economic conditions through civic engagement. He did all of that 150 years ago. For me, the founders of the College could not have chosen a better name for this institution.” And the College could not have found a better faculty member to carry Hostos’ torch. Inmaculada Lara-Bonilla is an Assistant Professor and the Coordinator for Latin American & Caribbean Studies at Hostos. She already knew of Hernández’s distinguished reputation as a multidisciplinary intellectual and writer before she arrived on campus in 2013. Since then, she has found him to be a valued colleague. “I have seen him support each of us, his colleagues, with true generosity, sincerity, and grace. His contributions to Hostos are immense, from much needed courses, to sage guidance, to thoughtful discussions on research. I also had the opportunity to witness the dedication and gentleness he uses with his students, as much as his tireless, warm disposition to work for and with fellow professors and staff. “Last, but by no means least, Orlando’s love for the institution itself cannot be overstated. He fought for the survival of the college in the 1970s, and in that regard, justly honored his beloved Eugenio María de Hostos and Jose Martí. I can only imagine how hundreds of students and dozens of faculty and staff members feel extremely thankful that they have gotten to work with and learn from Orlando over the past four decades.”


elissa Díaz graduated from Hostos in 2010. The writer and comedian called taking Professor Hernández’s José Martí/Eugenio María de Hostos course one of the most memorable experiences during her time at Hostos Community College. “He's a wonderful instructor, very down to earth and extremely intelligent,” she said. “He picked a topic that fit in seamlessly with the context and history of the college, guided it expertly and yet gave us ample freedom to explore through discussion and reading on our own, which is the mark of the best type of professor, someone who gives you the tools and the sense of wonder you need to always be more aware of the context of where and who you are for the rest of your life long after the lesson is over. That's exactly what professor Hernández did, and I'm very grateful to have had the opportunity to meet and learn from him.”

Photo by Michael Young






SOCIAL MOBILITY THE IMPACT OF HOSTOS Being a native New Yorker, I knew about all the educational opportunities here. I never realized that those trips past Columbia really stuck in his mind the way they had. But looking back, I am glad they did. — ARNALDO BERNABE SR.



undays always meant family dinners at abuela’s apartment in the Lower East Side. On the way back to the Bronx, Arnaldo Bernabe Sr. made sure to make a special detour off towards the Upper West Side, purposely passing Columbia University. “You see that?” Arnaldo Bernabe Sr. would ask his son, “That’s Columbia University.” His son, Arnaldo Bernabe Jr., was just a teenager at that time, but looking back, he says it was pretty prophetic. “I remember driving past that campus; the buildings massive like a barricade,” Bernabe Jr. said. “They were just buildings, but I felt like there was an opportunity there and this was my father’s way of giving it to me… like planting a seed.” Bernabe Sr. said he was doing just that.

“Being a native New Yorker, I knew about all the educational opportunities here. I never realized that those trips past Columbia really stuck in his mind the way they had. But looking back, I am glad they did.” Little did his father know the little detours would eventually catapult his son to the Ivy League and then across the Atlantic Ocean, where he is completing his master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and International Development from University College London (UCL) Institute of Education, the world’s leading university for educational research. But before his educational journey would extend itself to Europe, it would begin at Hostos Community College in the South Bronx, where the young man found family, friends and a stepping stone to his future.




Bernabe Jr. with his fath

Bernabe Jr. at Ho

stos graduation

with his family.



orn in Spain, where his father was serving in the United States Marine Corps, Bernabe Jr. eventually landed in New York City with his family at the age of 2. During the course of his adolescence, Bernabe Jr. moved around with his mother, living in Chicago and Virginia Beach, but the Bronx, New York was always home. No other place offered the feeling of family and familiarity as New York did, and by high school, he knew exactly what direction to take next. “I knew I was more than my environment and when my high school guidance counselor in Virginia recommended I take up vocational schools, I told her I had decided on university instead. Both my mother and father supported my decision.” Having always felt at home in New York City, Bernabe Jr., set his mind on moving back to NYC, and saw CUNY as his opportunity to pursue a dream and make his parents proud. That being said, he didn’t need to look too far for inspiration. After being honorably discharged as a non-commissioned officer at the U.S. Naval Station in Rota, Spain, in 1986, Bernabe Sr. still wanted to protect and serve. He began what turned into a decorated career in public safety, first serving as a member of the Division of School Safety Mobile Task Force Unit created under Mayor David Dinkins’ “Safe Streets, Safe City” program from 1989 to 1992. Later moving on to CUNY, and specifically Hostos Community College, he found a true home base. Starting at Hostos, he moved to Borough of Manhattan Community College as an Assistant Director of Public Safety in the mid-1990s, only to return in 1997, where he rose to the rank of Director in Hostos’ Public Safety Department in 1998. “Chief,” as he is affectionately known, has served admirably, winning several University Meritorious Duty awards and commendations, including the prestigious Sloan Public Service Award in 2014. The award recognizes city employees at all ranks and levels of government and is widely regarded as the “Nobel Prize” of city government. Chief Bernabe was the first Hostos employee to win the award and the first CUNY-wide Public Safety Officer to receive the honor. But before he could reach his full potential, he realized something important was missing. “I always knew I needed a college degree to truly get ahead and climb that ladder. That was pretty apparent to me very early on.”



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The ex-Marine, who also graduated from the F.B.I. National Police Academy in 2006, hit the books and earned his Associate’s Degree in Public Administration from Hostos in 2001, Bachelor’s Degree in Security Management from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a Graduate Certificate in Public Administration from the School of Professional Studies. The lifelong learner is currently enrolled at the CUNY School of Professional Studies, pursuing a Graduate Degree in Public Administration. And when his son was looking to begin his climb up the higher education ladder, his father couldn’t think of a better place for him to start. “I truly believe that Hostos has served as a catalyst for myself and many other students and employees,” Chief Bernabe said. “During my 24 years of service at the College, I have personally witnessed the transformation in the lives of many students. I have seen and read about the many success stories of people who have gone on to earn their Ph.D.'s, started their own businesses, entered politics, education, entertainment and community service. Why couldn’t it do the same for my son?” Chief Bernabe also knew of another transformative initiative, the “Serrano Scholars Program.” Launched in 2002 by Hostos and Columbia's School of General Studies and School of International and Public Affairs, with the support of Congressman José E. Serrano, the program prepares non-traditional students for careers in foreign affairs. The program also works as a bridge between Hostos students and Columbia University. “I knew my son always loved writing, and I knew the Serrano Scholars was a global studies program, so we thought maybe he could potentially graduate with the skills to affect positive change on a governmental level.” Aside from his personal story, Chief Bernabe has been around campus long enough to watch Hostos work wonders on the neighborhoods around the College. “I have definitely seen a difference in the South Bronx, and Hostos has been a large part of the transformation. When the city started seeing what its investment was doing through Hostos, you saw infrastructure improve and more upgrades in the community. When you see people take advantage of their opportunities and improve their lives, the entire region becomes more viable.”


tes from Columbia

Bernabe Jr. gradua


Hostos’ Chief of Public Safety Arnaldo Bernabe poses with his children. In 2014, Chief Bernabe was honored with the distinguished Sloan Public Service Award .


Bernabe Jr. in London



ernabe Jr. remembers visiting his father at work on Hostos’ campus as a young boy. “I just thought, ‘WOW! This place is huge,’ ” the now 33-yearold recalled. “It was also filled with Puerto Rican culture and so many intellectuals. It seemed like everyone knew my dad. I felt comfortable right away.” Years later, he entered his first Hostos classroom in 2002 and met people like Professor Ramón Albino, who taught Communications and Public Speaking. It was the first Puerto Rican who had earned a doctorate degree that the young Bernabe had ever met. “Professor Albino had a huge impact on me. It made me realize that I could have a Ph.D., just like him.” Bernabe Jr. had flashbacks about driving past Columbia in his parents’ car as a child. He knew his intellectual odyssey had begun. Professor Albino is still an Adjunct Associate Professor in Hostos’ Humanities Department and remembers the young and enthusiastic student well.



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“While he was younger than most of his classmates, Arnaldo demonstrated excellent communication skills and an uncommon intellectual maturity when it came for him to argue social and political issues in class discussions and speech presentations,” Albino said. “He was smart, dedicated to his studies, and a freethinker. I knew I was going to hear great things about Arnaldo, sooner or later, and I am not surprised he set out to make meaningful contributions to his country and community.” Meeting more and more people who shared his culture, Bernabe Jr. began to realize Hostos’ inclusiveness and diversity was the rule and not the exception. He also began to realize how much, and how well, he could put pen to paper. “This is where my writing began to really take off,” Bernabe Jr. said. “I was encouraged to write and to be critical. Hostos really ignited this fire to go after higher education.” Becoming more and more drawn to English and Humanities courses, Bernabe Jr. embraced the campus and his fellow students. He even tutored English as a Second Language (ESL) students and taught ACT Writing workshops at the Academic Learning Center. “Hostos is so many things to so many people. It opened my eyes to the power of education—how it can truly be a source for not only intellectual growth but an engine that drives communities,” Bernabe Jr. said. “For me, it is holy ground. I was raised speaking English, but for a lot of students, it is a second language. That the Bronx has a place like Hostos to help people improve their lives, no matter their cultural background, is a tremendous thing.”



UNY has placed signs throughout the New York City subway system that read: Propelling 6 times as many into the middle class and beyond as all the Ivy League schools combined. And, Hostos has been proud to contribute to that phenomenon. In fact, a January 2017 study published in The New York Times proved Hostos boasted the highest “intergenerational social mobility rate” of students among fellow CUNY community colleges. Hostos also placed 33rd in the nation with 6.5 percent of students who come from the bottom 20 percent in household income and achieve incomes in the top 20 percent after degree completion. Hostos President David Gómez said of that study: “This data proves the true value of a community college education. There are higher education opportunities for all students, regardless of their class, location, or ethnicity. Hostos is proud to serve a diverse population and offer each student the tools to improve their lives and the lives of their families.” Both Bernabes can attest to Hostos’ transformative power. And, keeping true to his Serrano Scholars commitment, Bernabe Jr. enrolled at Columbia University, an Ivy League college, in 2008. He majored in English Literature and took a minor in Race and Ethnicity. As his writing continued to improve, the younger Bernabe began to see the connection between how language and education can lift and transform entire cultures. The concept that he could use his knowledge, pass it along to others, and help them grow into change agents themselves became his passion. But that passion also took a small detour. “I worked as a business account executive after graduating from Columbia,” Bernabe Jr. said. “It was what ‘I thought I was supposed to do’ with an Ivy League degree. But, I was so depressed. I had gone from doing teaching work at both Columbia and Hostos, to Madison Avenue. I was a bit lost.” Thankfully, he kept a promise to himself that he made a long time ago: expand his wings and travel throughout Europe. From 2010 to 2014, he moved to Spain and worked as a teacher. He gained knowledge and perspective, working his way up to a coordinator position in the English Department in a university in Spain. But he longed for more learning. He wanted a master’s degree. He searched for a program that could combine his passion for teaching with socioeconomic development. “I instinctively looked back at New York, but, again, I remembered that promise I had secretly made to myself while still an undergraduate at Columbia. See the world without borders and so I did and thus found my next opportunity.” Somewhat shocking his family, who all thought he would enter the graduate program at Hunter College, Bernabe Jr. spread his wings even farther and enrolled at the University Collge London in 2015. The TESOL and International Development curriculum examines educational development and the role of education and learning in the development process, while exploring contemporary policy issues regarding education in low- and middle-income countries. He is currently finishing his master’s thesis entitled, “The Role Visit our Oral History Project to learn more about Arnaldo Bernabe Sr.

that Language has on the Socioeconomic Mobility of the Latino Community in London.” “Having already studied linguistics and having this love of education, coupled with my experiences at Columbia and Hostos, this curriculum is fascinating,” Bernabe Jr. said. “The main issue I hope to address through my dissertation is how English affects the experiences of a currently invisible Latin American community in London and the positive role that the Mayor’s office and UCL can assume. Studying at the best institution for educational research in the world will allow me to make a real difference.” He is already doing just that, through field work in China, Japan, and other places around the globe; he has trained teachers and assessed school curriculums, while also setting up other educational programs. “Hostos instilled the belief that I could do anything. On a daily basis, you always had someone you knew you could count on. I find that to be a rarity,” Bernabe Jr. said. “I would love to give back and contribute to Hostos down the road. Perhaps I could help develop a program geared toward international students who want to come to the United States to study, but English is not their first language.” “The Chief” has seen first-hand how Hostos helped his son create a path. “I never really thought he would have such a deep interest in what he is doing now. I think Hostos definitely influenced him in a positive way—being able to sit in classrooms with other minority students who also did not come from high economic status and grow together. That really opened his eyes and triggered something from the start. At some point, he realized that through language and education, you could really connect people.” As for the rest of his family, Bernabe Jr. was able to surprise them recently during their summer vacation in Puerto Rico, his father included. While he misses them dearly, he wouldn’t change his journey for anything. One that he began, running the halls at Hostos as a young boy.

I instinctively looked back at New York, but, again, I remembered that promise I had secretly made to myself while still an undergraduate at Columbia. See the world without borders and so I did and thus found my next opportunity.






t all started with a simple question: “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” The question was asked of teenager Marlene Lantigua, a bright Bronx native, whose family hailed from the Dominican Republic. It was asked by Ryan Wolfington, one of the producers of the film, “Bella,” after a coincidental meeting outside of a theater that was screening the film. The time was 2006, and little did Lantigua know that the chance encounter would lead to a successful career at one of the nation’s largest food distribution companies. She is an Hostos success story, similar to so many others, because she took advantage of an opportunity and ran with it. And, because someone cared enough to help her along the way. Lantigua was just in high school when she was introduced to Goya President Bob Unanue and the company’s Director of Public Relations, Rafael Toro. They both saw her potential and brought her into the company as an intern in the Public Relations Department. Under Toro, she found a mentor. Through her mentor, she found Hostos Community College. Toro, a New York City native who earned a Master’s Degree in Education from Cambridge College in Massachusetts, knew that Hostos could help his young intern grow into all that she could be.



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“I was familiar with the mission of Hostos,” Toro said. “I knew when I met Marlene that she could benefit from the supportive and inclusive environment, so I urged her to start there and build her foundation. She needed help to get to that four-year college. Simply put, Hostos is a place that makes people equal.” Fast-forward 10 years, and she is currently working as Goya’s Logistics Associate, helping to handle U.S. Customs & Border Protection regulations among others, as well as providing support in the scheduling, coordinating and troubleshooting of shipments from all over the globe for the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the nation. She credited Hostos for helping her realize her full academic potential that helped her get where she is now. “I am the first of my family to graduate from college,” the 27-year-old said. “I found Hostos thanks to Rafael. The College started me on my way for sure. Being from the Bronx, I knew about Hostos, but I honestly hadn’t seriously considered enrolling. I knew it offered classes for ESL students and had a great nursing program, but I wasn’t sure it was for me. Once I got onto campus, I realized how special Hostos is to so many different types of people.” While studying Business Administration at Hostos, she found the professors to be extremely supportive and helpful. She also felt comfortable in the smaller classrooms. Knowing her professors, classmates, and Goya had her back, Lantigua was able to continue thriving and working, while she studied toward her associate’s degree. Earning her Hostos degree in 2011, and realizing the power of education, she was a panelist at the Latina Leadership Forum produced by the Westchester Chapter of 100 Hispanic Women in October of that same year. The theme of the Forum was “Transformation Through Education,” and she was one of five participants who spoke of their experience as Latinas pursuing higher education degrees. Her belief and commitment led to a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Baruch College. And, through it all, Toro was there, attending both her high school and Baruch graduations. Never satisfied, she would like to move into project management on the information technology end of Goya. Toro calls Lantigua a “fantastic employee” who is responsible and smart. He knew that with the right mentorship, she could grow into a valuable employee, great co-worker and proud Latina leader. “Marlene is a perfect example of what can happen when you add a bit of nurturing to a substantial amount of perseverance and dedication,” Toro said. “She is well on her way to becoming an exceptional professional and most importantly, an outstanding person. She is truly a role model for all young Latinas AND Latinos. I am so proud of her and God bless her.”

“I knew when I met Marlene that she could benefit from the supportive and inclusive environment, so I urged her to start at Hostos and build her foundation. She needed help to get to that four-year college. Simply put, Hostos is a place that makes people equal.”

— RAFAEL TORO Director of Public Relations Goya Foods, Inc.

Photo by Michael Young






Danielle Allen, Hostos’ CUNY Fatherhood Academy Director, was born to help people recognize their full potential. Before she came to Hostos, she was already doing life-changing work in the South Bronx at BEGIN Managed Programs as a case manager. Now, she is helping student-fathers be all they can for themselves, their families and their communities. Her outgoing and no-nonsense attitude is contagious, and she energizes everyone she meets. Learn more about this change agent that is helping to lift young fathers up the socioeconomic ladder in “10 Questions With …” Where are you from? I am a proud New York City native, born in Queens. When did you arrive at Hostos? I started working at Hostos two-and-a-half years ago. I have always worked with community-based organizations that specialize in helping people live up to their potential through education and training. So, I started as a Case Manager for Hostos’ Clinical Medical Assistant (CMA) program within the Division of Continuing Education and Workforce Development. That grant-funded program offered case management, childcare, transportation assistance, examination preparation courses, tutoring, enhanced career-focused internships, and job placement and retention assistance. I have a B.A. in Sociology and Communications from SUNY Cortland and also achieved my Master’s Degree in Public Administration from John Jay College, so I have been wellprepared for this type of career. I enjoy being an advocate for pathways to success. What attracted you to Hostos? I had been working at BEGIN Managed Programs on 149th Street and Third Avenue in the heart of the South Bronx, so I always knew about Hostos. It was my first job out of college, and I worked as a case manager and employment specialist. It was probably the similar mission of both places that attracted me to Hostos — helping people climb the socioeconomic ladder. What is the Fatherhood Academy? The Academy is part of New York City’s Young Men’s Initiative. We offer a free, 16-week high school equivalency and college preparatory program for fathers ages 18 to 28. Our work is focused on making young fathers better parents and citizens. It is a starting point that can lead to a ripple effect when they start to reach their full potential. And, when the children see how hard their father is working, these young men become much stronger role models.



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How do you feel the Fatherhood Academy supports social upward mobility? Our mission is not only to help our students become better fathers, but we also want to guide them to become better citizens. We want our students to be better “co-parents” and have access to everything from better communication workshops to vocational training. This holistic approach has an enormous effect on building confidence as our young fathers look to improve their lives and the lives of their children. Again, the “ripple effect”— it is well-documented here and something we are extremely proud of. What is the best success story you have seen at the Fatherhood Academy? Our best success stories come from the students who didn’t pass the first time around. One main priority is focused on helping our fathers prepare to take and pass the Test Assessing Secondary Completion™ (TASC) exam. Some of our students need more than one try, but they are also the students that we feel possess the most passion to succeed. They come back sometimes more than twice, but they are always eager to succeed. It is something wonderful to be a part of. This is not just a 16-week program; we build lasting relationships. We offer post-program services, too, including tutoring and even MetroCards, so we see a lot of our participants even after they pass their TASC test.


TO DO THE JOB The Division of Continuing Education & Workforce Development offers: 30 Certificate Programs leading to careers and professional advancement in various industries, English for Speakers of Other Languages, High School Equivalency Diploma (HSE) Prep, College for Kids and personal enrichment courses.

What do you do when you are not working at Hostos? I teach a Food Safety Class at Rikers Island so the formerly incarcerated can re-enter the workforce. The training can lead to jobs in restaurants, vendor services or distribution hubs including Hunts Point. Helping people help themselves is something I have always been interested in, because in the end, you are helping to improve your community. What is your favorite movie or book? “The Pursuit of Happyness.” I love this film. I just think it is a compelling story about “The American Dream” and how it can be achieved. What do you see yourself doing 10 years from now? I think I will always work with people, probably in a very similar field. I am a “people person,” and I also like to work with people and institutions that affect change. How can people learn more about the Fatherhood Academy? You can learn more about the CUNY Fatherhood Academy at Hostos by calling 718-518-6831. We are also active on Facebook (@HostosCFA) and Instagram (@Hostos.CFA).

Register Now! Call 718-502-6576 or visit Tel 718-518-6656 Fax 718-518-6744 560 Exterior Street, Bronx, New York 10451





On August 24, Hostos President David Gómez joined other prominent Bronx “Influencers” who were recognized by City & State’s Bronx Event at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. Borough President Ruben Díaz Jr. and Senator Ruben Díaz, were among those at the recognition event, which highlighted City & State’s “Borough Series: The Bronx.” The publication acknowledged the “Top 25 Influentials” in five key sectors whose work has contributed to the borough’s success. President Gómez was selected for his contributions to education.

HOSTOS SALUTES ALUMNI On September 7, the Alumni Speakers Bureau Recognition Reception hosted by the Division for Institutional Advancement and the Alumni Relations Office, showcased some of the best graduates Hostos has to offer.

“It’s always great to have graduates return to my class to talk about how Hostos has helped them get ahead in their professional lives” Longtime Hostos Business Professor Sandy Figueroa received an award for her ongoing work engaging Hostos alumni to give in-classroom presentations.

Provost Christine Mangino with Professor Sarah Church and Professor Jacqueline Disanto.

Profesor Emeritus Gerald Meyer and Saudy Tejada, Hostos Class of ‘04.

President David Gómez with Saddiq McSween and VP Ana Martínez.

“I never tried to hide my past… I came here as an ex-felon with the plan of changing my life for the better. Hostos Community College gave me the foundation necessary for me to achieve my goals.”



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Class of 2012 Saddiq Terrance A. McSween, now a Registered Radiologic Technologist, returned to the College received the Alumni Speakers Bureau Award for Outstanding Service to the Community.

Adam Meyer, Alumni Speakers Bureau Coordinator.

Majory Marekera, Hostos Class of 2013 and Vitalis Nijimen.




Hostos50•Oral History Collective



LEGACY OF LAS TRES HERMANAS HONORED From left to right: Kim Streger, Paul Mondesire, Mrs. Elba Cabrera, Dany Antonetty, Rafael Lopez, Antonio Kim Streger, Paul Mondesire and Carmen Mondesire

MANY THINGS HAVE CHANGED SINCE 1968, but not the power of a good story. The men and women who helped make Hostos a reality and those who keep the dream alive today have a wealth of stories to tell. The Hostos Oral Collective currently features the testimony of more than 100 people, reflecting the experiences of alumni, community members, faculty, former College presidents, friends, staff and students from the past halfcentury. Hear history in the making!

On Sept. 14, a reception opening for the exhibition of Las Tres Hermanas: Art, Education & Activism brought the community to the A-Atrium at Hostos to pay tribute to Elba Cabrera and her two late sisters, Evelina López Antonetty, and Lillian López, who profoundly changed the cultural and political landscape of New York – especially the Bronx – through literature, literacy, the visual and performing arts, and political advocacy. Hosted by Malín Falú, the heartfelt reception was attended by Elba Cabrera, a longtime supporter of the College and member of the Hostos Community College Foundation Board. An emotional Elba Cabrera stole the show, as she brought up many members of her family to thunderous applause. The original exhibition was conceived by Christine Licata and Elena Martínez and produced by the Bronx Music Heritage Center. The curators are Martínez and widely published photographer Joe Conzo, Jr. The Hostos Exhibition Researcher and Curator was Nydia R. Edgecombe and includes new artwork by two Hostos graduates, Andre Velóz and Alice Curiel, and Hostos employee, Pat Mabry, a quilt artist.

Mrs. Elba Cabrera, President David Gómez and his wife Dr. Diana Gómez and the evening’s Mistress of Ceremonies Malín Falu.

VP Ana Martínez Orizondo surprising Mrs. Elba Cabrera on the occasion of her birthday.

Visit and re-live the history of Hostos.

Professor Colón with Malín Falu and Professor Thelma Ithier, singing Verde Luz by Antonio Cabán Vale a.k.a. "El Topo." Hostos Student Success Coach and Poet Ms. Karina Guardiola López reading one of her poem See The Silhouettes?



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TRIBUTE TO DISTINGUISHED COMMUNITY LEADERS On September 18, Hostos officially kicked off its Hispanic Heritage Month series of events by recognizing key Latino leaders and celebrating some special students.

The 3rd Annual event welcomed (fromt left to right) Cira Ángeles, Hostos Foundation Board Member; Isaac Goldemberg, Hostos Distinguished Professor and celebrated author; The Hon. Marcos Crespo, New York State Assembly Member; Rafael Álvarez, President and Chief Executive Officer of ATAX, Mayra Linares-Garcia, CUNY Board of Trustees Member; Ana García Reyes, Associates Dean; Jaime Lucero, Business Entrepreneur; and Dr. David Gómez.

Dean García Reyes and Victor Rivera, Vice President of Local 1199SEIU Five students also received scholarships, thanks to Local 1199SEIU.

Cira Ángeles and Edward Cuesta, National Executive Director of Dominicanos USA

Dr. Marcos Charles, Soldanela Rivera López, Acting Director of Presidential Initiatives and Dolly Martínez, Deputy to the President & Assistant VP for College Affairs

Guillermo Linares, President of HESC. and Melissa R. Quesada, Esq; Dir. of Latino Affairs Office both from Governor Cuomo’s Office presented President Gómez with a proclamation, congratulating the College on all the great work it does within the Hispanic community.

Melania García from Inka Cola and Alejandro Fréas Assistant to the Deputy Commissioner of the Dominican Rep. Ministry of Culture in N.Y.

Alfred Placeres, Lawyer and Migelina Concepción, Deputy Commissioner of the Dominican Rep. Ministry of Culture in NY.

Milady Báez, NYC Dept. of Education Deputy Chancellor, Yecenia Cardoza, Principal of Gregorio Luperon High School and Gilbert García from NYC Department of Education

José R. García, Brand and Communications Charles I. Drago, Professor and Associate, Maria Cano, Director of CUNY HOPE and Chairperson of Allied Health Sciences Jason Libfeld, Student Leadership Coordinator

Visit our Facebook page to enjoy more photos of this event.





ARE YOU AN HOSTOS GRADUATE? Do you have an Alumni I.D. Card?

ALL ABOUT STUDENTS ACCOLADES Hostos Celebrates Graduates at 46th Commencement President Gómez with students from this year graduating class.

VP Nathaniel Cruz with graduating honors President Gómez with Sonia Manzano, SVP Esther students. Rodriguez-Chardavoyne and VP Carlos Molina.

Benefits + Services: Career Development Library Services Access to Hostos Athletic & Recreational Facilities Academic Computing Center

To get your Card Contact:

Alumni Relations Office 120 E. 149th St. Room D-214 Office: 718-518-4180 Fax: 718-518-4240



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Provost Christine Mangino with Valedictorian Jasmine Rodríguez and faculty members.

Just over 1,100 Hostos graduates received their diplomas on June 1, 2017, at the United Palace in Washington Heights—the first time the event was held at this New York City landmark. Hostos’ 2017 Valedictorian was Jasmine Rodríguez. Born and raised in New York City, Jasmine studied Liberal Arts and Sciences at Hostos and graduated with a 4.0 GPA. Evelyn T. Capellán served as Salutatorian. Serving as keynote speaker was actress and author Sonia Manzano, who played the popular character of “María” on Sesame Street. She received the President’s Medal, the highest honor bestowed by Hostos.

Two Gen Program Continues to Lift Student-Parents The 4th annual “Two-Generation Student Retention and Degree Acceleration Program” achievement ceremony was held on August 7. President Gómez with Two Gen Program student Stacey Almena and her child and NYC Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson. 

Hostos’ Director of Health and Wellness Fabián Wander welcomed the attendees and spoke about the holistic support program, which provides for student-parents to work toward degree completion, while their children participate in the College For Kids Summer Academy, all free of charge. Wander described the program as a marvelous “collaboration” between students, children, faculty, and staff members. He thanked Corporate and Foundation Relations Manager Susan Bronson for her exemplary fundraising efforts in securing generous support from The Lucius N. Littauer Foundation.

Highlighting the event were the stories shared by the program’s participants. Stacey Almena talked about how she successfully overcame anxiety and doubt before reaching her goals. She introduced Haide Manila, Milkee Anazco, and Rosa Herrera, who also related their experiences as student-parents.

Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson with NYC Council Member Rafael Salamanca President Gómez with student Rosa student Haide Manila. Herrera. Jr. with student Milkee Anazco.

Solomon Picou, Hostos Student Tilsa Pattee, Parent Advocate Coordinator Success Coach.

Freddie Escobar, Singer

Hostos Celebrates Student-Fathers

On July 20, the CUNY Fatherhood Academy at Hostos (CFA) recognized the hard work and sacrifice of its latest cohort of student-fathers. In total, 20 fathers were celebrated in a special event held in the Hostos Café attended by administrators and staff, and most importantly, the families, friends and other supporters who helped the program’s participants reach this milestone.

The CFA Spring Class of 2017: Abraham Kennings, Anthony Walker, Brandon Carrasco, Corey James, Dakota Wilson, Daniel Emmanuel, Daniel Batiz, Donovan Gordon, Julius Stewart, Jeremy Gordils, Guy Heyward, Jaccob Serrano, Jean Ortega, Jose Montijo, Justin Anthony, Kelvin Guzman, Leroyal Lee, Nile DeCastro, Tyrone Shine, and Wilder Nuñez. 





How has your Hostos education impacted your life? Elvis Lockward MAJOR:




Imane El Omari MAJOR:


CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF BIOMART & CO Being an Hostos alumna has had a huge impact on the person that I am today. Not only did it shape me to be a young entrepreneur but it also changed how I think. Every class, seminar, and club meeting helped me learn about myself and my surroundings. Being an Arab woman, I was reluctant to become part of the Hostos community. However, it’s a fairly diverse student body and the staff made me feel comfortable, and I felt as though I belonged to a strong community. I remember being very involved as a student; the love I had for the community has pushed me to excel in my classes, while being part of many clubs and extracurricular activities. I was also part of the Student Leadership Academy (SLA), where I learned many important things about how to be a successful leader. I am currently the CEO of my own company, BIOMART, which is a globally operated retail and wholesale supplier of natural and green cosmetic ingredients based in Morocco. Working with my community is one of the most important things I do in my company.



FALL 2017

I am not sure if I could ever be able to find the words that can significantly describe what receiving my degree from Hostos Community College means to me. It opened all types of doors, both in my professional and personal life. It provided me with an opportunity to significantly contribute and give back to my community. It is the place where I learned to speak English. I am, and will always be, eternally grateful for what I have accomplished, none of which would have been possible without Hostos.

Aboudoubaki Boukari MAJOR:




Leandra Carter

Receiving my Associate’s Degree in Accounting from Hostos has impacted my life in many ways. Although I didn't get a chance to move directly into the workforce with that degree after graduating from Hostos, my degree gave me the opportunity to transfer to Baruch College, where I earned my Bachelor's Degree last year. That degree helped me to land a job at BronxNet Television as Marketing Assistant. I believe that without the time I passed at Hostos I would not be where I am today. Thank you, Hostos, for everything.




FOUNDER OF CARTER TUTORING Receiving my degree from Hostos started me on my path to success. Hostos gave me the tools I needed to continue to further my education and reach my career goals. I am very thankful to the professors and staff at Hostos who all helped to mold me into the diligent, hard worker that I am today. I attribute lots of my educational and career successes to my beginnings at Hostos!

Melissa Díaz MAJOR:



FREELANCE WRITER/COMEDIAN/ACTOR Hostos provided me with a sense of community that I had never experienced before. From every facet of student life — to the faculty, staff, to the honors program and the global scholars, to the artists from all over the world who showcase their talent, to its rich history of political activism — I’m extremely fortunate to have found this college when I did. Hostos allowed me to build on not only a strong academic foundation, but the bedrock of my Latino heritage and confidence in what makes me unique and what I can contribute to the world.









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Caiman Magazine, V2, N5  

Fall 2017 Volume 2, No. 5

Caiman Magazine, V2, N5  

Fall 2017 Volume 2, No. 5