Skip to main content Skip to footer content

Sense of Belonging Initiative


Special funding for departments and offices to develop/host student-centered activities that promote students’ sense of belonging in their department and at KCC. The call is open to any full-time member of the faculty or staff. Students regularly share with me how welcoming and helpful faculty and staff are and what an incredible place KCC is. We need to continue to ensure that we deliver not only excellent customer/student service but also that our actions show students that they belong here. It is this ability to cultivate a sense of belonging for our students that makes community colleges special and Kingsborough very special.

FALL 2023
Funded Proposals


Principal(s): Michael Palladino

This initiative will serve 4 purposes:
1. Build a sense of community through collaboration towards a shared ethos and goal
2. Allow students to tap into their creative side without judgement
3. Offer concrete applications of what students learn as "buzz" words: sustainability, upcycling. green practices and serving the community
4. Understanding how to activate the power to create change that is in each of us

The 3 R's Initiative will begin in Fall 23, with a larger footprint for spring 24.  This initiative has already gained traction among students outside of the Fashion Programs which will allow for greater student interaction outside of their course of study.   There is no expectation for a desired result.  The only stipulation is that students begin with something discarded, and by applying the 3 R's ( Reclaim, Reimagne, Repurpose) the newly recreated garment will have new value.  The student work will be available for purchase with all proceeds to go to Bottomless Closet.  BC is a not-for-profit agency that supports women as they re-enter the workforce through wardrobing and strategic workshops.  

The initiative will attract students from the Fashion Programs and beyond.  It has been my experience that creativity is in each of us. but often does not have a conduit or perceived outcome.
Participants will learn how to activate their creativity and apply it in a practical way to help others.  Fashion can be a catalyst for change and that power will be realized by participants.

Students will have the chance to unite in a common goal which will provide a sense of confidence among peers.  I also plan to have Bottomless Closet share with our students how this initiative will impact their clients as they strive for a path forward.  Students will be asked for feedback at the beginning and at the end of the process to understand their experience and hopefully a hands-on understanding of community service.

I hope to enlarge The 3 R's so that it's reach will beyond KBCC and perhaps be shared on other CUNY sites.  There is also the hope that if this continues to gain traction we can model it as student run on campus business with a physical location where student work can be sold.  I would like to see all receipts go to a student selected not-for-profit going forward.  I am beginning talks with B.R.A.G. (Black Retail Action Group) who thought this initiative a great idea.  This is all in early stages but B.R.A.G. has an active presence at LIM and FIT.   They don't have a relationship with a community college but are interested in what that could look like.   They do offer extensive networking opportunities, internships, professional events and scholarships.  In other words I am thinking hard on this last point.

Zero Waste Kingsborough; a 2024 PTK/AtD College Project


Midori Yamamura
Peter Santiago (Staff)
JoAnne Meyers (Staff)
Beth King (Professor)
Sara Rotkowski (Professor)
Javere Johson (Student)
Tanzeela Jahangir (Student)
Olga Shaidakova (Student)
Nawel Messaauid (student)

Reorganizing the school environment toward an eco-friendly place is crucial for establishing a sense of belonging for our healthy future. Zero Waste movement that we are establishing as a 2024 PTK campus project connects various academic disciplines and clubs with the topic of waste, led by the PTK students and the PTK/AtD advisors and committee members. AtD is our campus group that has been working hard to distinguish our students' strengths and eliminate the gaps among them. All four AtD student committee members, who also belong to the PTK, and some staff and faculty members attended the Oct. 19th Sustainability Council Meeting intending to do research and host an event on November 15, 2023, National Recycling Day. We plan to continue this effort in collaboration with the Career Center Marisa Joseph, start communicating with the local green businesses, involve professors teaching about Waste, such as Prof.s Colon and Ortiz, and involve the new Liberal Arts Committee members. With this grant, we will remove the silos among different groups and try to put a whole campus together with the efforts of students and their research and leadership. More specifically, the PTK members will determine and invite one speaker from the industry for the next Earth Day (April 2024), do research by inviting different professors from the campus to the PTC committee meeting to hear about their work, and write, design, and publish related promotional materials, with the help of English and Art (Graphic and UX Design) professors to strengthen the campus bonds and intensify and promote the sense of belonging that will culminate on the next Earth Day. 

The program will help provide a sense of community among our students (we plan to expand the Zero Waste movement by communicating with the student clubs) population, faculty members, and staff by hosting the study sessions, researching the local green business, designing, writing, and publishing the brochures to promote the Zero Waste and reorganize the KBCC environment.

The program will make the students, faculty, and staff members understand the impact of garbage in our environment and get them involved in a Zero Waste movement.

Professor Mary Ortiz is engaged in measuring the campus garbage distinction. We will ask Prof. Ortiz and her research group how the garbage reduction happened with their research data before and after the 2024 Earth Day. 

The budget might be a subject for change: Speaker fee ($500), Speaker transportation ($200), design and print of the brochure ($200), students activity fee ($600). The last item include their transportation, creating and printing the refillable aluminum water bottles, etc. It will depends on where the research will take the students. 

We just started the activity in October 2023. Currently, the funding is based on the staff members' pocket money (JoAnne Meyers contributed $50, and Prof. Yamamura wants to donate her research fund to a student not eligible for federal funding). Excepting one student, all the student AtD committee members are covered by the FWS for this semester. 

The Earth & Planetary Sciences Organization

Robert Schenck
Michael Weisberg
Jisun Park
Stephen Jaret

This is a new project for the Earth and Planetary Sciences Program students and majors in the Department of Physical Sciences. This program will help build a community of EPS students by providing a congregational space for students, hosting informal social events, and providing access and advice to faculty and staff for enrollment and registration. Approximately 800 students each year are registered in our EPS program courses. EPS students strongly mirror and reflect the demographic makeup of Kingsborough students in general, which is unusual for an Earth Science program, normally ES programs have a consistent under representation of most minority groups. 
We are proposing to have monthly meetings in our EPS labspaces and elsewhere, where EPS students and those interested in this science and technology can congregate. We will provide drinks and food during these meetings and faculty and staff will be available to talk to and coordinate with these students.  We are also asking for a canopy to set up outside in the warmer months for the same purpose.This will allow students to network with each other and also put them in contact with faculty and staff who can help interested students enroll; enrolled students plan their course of study; and help graduates learn about bachelors programs in the area. We will provide food and drinks and also will have hydroflask stickers made featuring the EPS program to hand out to students.
EPS students also traditionally use small magnifying hand loups/lenses as part of their field of study. In our labs we provide them for in class use. We are proposing that at the last meeting all EPS degree graduates be given a hand loup to carry with them to their 4-year program/senior college. This is something earth scientists use throughout their career and will nicely mark their physical belonging to the campus even after they have left it.

This program will allow EPS students to have a place to network and meet. Where they can potentially plan and organize new activities related to this area of study. Students will also be able to meet instructors and staff in order to plan out future course selections and registration.

This program will serve EPS students including majors and those interested in possibly majoring in EPS. EPS students demographically match the overall demographics of the college, which represents an unusual advantage of the program here. Most Earth Science programs have a well noted under representation of minority students. 
This program will impact our students by providing them with a physical space to belong to on campus, allow them to network with each other and faculty/staff, and promote learning and belonging within our program. We also hope that if this program continues, graduates will be able to return help promote a sense of community here.

We’re going to ask students who they personally know in the program at the start and then again at the end of the program. We will compare these pre and post program networks. We will also track EPS degree graduates on which 4-year programs they enroll in and expect to see that Kingsborough graduates will  grouping in other programs they’ve become aware of through these interactions. Through interviews and surveys we will gauge how the program affects students and could be changed.

We  be searching through 2yr Earth Science organizations such as the NAGT and Serc-Carlton for continuing funding. We hope that the student meetings will help develop future activities that can meet the requirements for further external funding, such as field trips, invited talks, etc.

Be A Part


Michael Rodriguez
Damani Thomas

This program, tentatively called “Be A Part …" is being organized in the framework of underrepresented student groups at Kingsborough, specifically African American males. This project will focus on identifying, engaging, and supporting to these groups. All student population will be invited with an emphasis and care towards Men of Color. 

The project will be implemented as a Fraternal order event featuring several Divine 9 fraternities. It is proposed that the event would open with a stepping demonstration or a fraternal stroll to illicit excitement and engagement. The 2nd part of the event will be a panel discussion from representatives from several fraternities and sororities. The panel would highlight the importance of community services, academic excellence, and the benefits of brotherhood/sisterhood. The 3rd part of the event will be the opportunity for student participants to learn more about Divine 9 frats/sororities and as well as services Kingsborough Community College offers, e.g., Career Services; Men’s Resource Center, Athletics, KCC Farm and other areas. 

Be A Part” is an event organized by The Men’s Resource Center and the Office of Student Engagement with the intention to bring Men of Color together in a non-formal way promoting services which can enhance their college experience. Exposing them to fraternal orders will increase their awareness of the importance of adhering to a strong ethical code, as well as moral and professional standard. Additionally, Be A Part will expose students to service opportunities based at Kingsborough Community College. 

This program is primarily targeting men of color. This program will impact our target population by strengthen the sense of community among moc while exposing them to the importance of community service. 

A post event mix method survey will be sent to all attendees to gain feeback and measure impact. 

Validating Linguistic Diversity 

Principal(s):  Faith Fogelman

Validating Linguistic Diversity  A different language is a different vision of life - Federico Fellini

The welcome banners on high display along the KCC post office corridor reflect the linguistic diversity of the KCC community. Native speakers of the represented foreign languages might feel a sense of belonging, if only for a minute, as they look up and see a welcome greeting in their native tongue. As students are the greatest sector of the KCC community, is there something more that the college can do for students whose native language is not English in order to improve their sense of belonging, validate linguistic difference, and embrace them into KCC’s social fabric? 

Unless they are asked, student experiences among those who are not native English language speakers will remain unknown. Each experience may be discrete, but there may also be collective trends. Validating Linguistic Diversity will be an opportunity for non-native English speakers to tell their story and identify what they need for stronger connections to the college. They may need a conversational mentor with whom to practice English or a club comprised of students who speak a host of languages as they all practice English together, which would satisfy socialization needs, too. 

In lieu of guessing and planning initiatives for students who are not native English speakers, this project will provide the college with more solid information. Validating Linguistic Diversity will be a first step to minimize belonging gaps. When the college validates students, they feel less stressed and more understood. This student subset may share other student demographics, such as low-income, first generation, disability, even immigrant status, and so on, but this project will focus on their status as non-native English speakers.

As an expansion and variant of last year’s This Forum Belongs to Us, the project will coordinate a focus group series comprised of students who grew up speaking and feel more comfortable engaging in a language other than English. The forums will provide a safe, non-judgmental place to share and receive reassurance that KCC is invested in their progression. At the end of the series, the principal will submit a report to administration summarizing what students need as non-native English speakers for an improved sense of belonging. If their socialization - and progression needs - are appropriately addressed, so might their persistence rates and degree of comfort on campus.  

If the aforementioned quote by Fellini is correct, the college should improve appreciation of the KCC experience of non-native English speakers. In light of his statement, and with administrative sanction, KCC will identify a designated day to celebrate each language represented at the forums. Whether it is Spanish Day (Día del Español) or any other language celebration, native speakers will distribute flyers on campus to inform how to say basic greetings in that language. Students will write a text for a Communications email accompanied by an English translation. Instead of students stretching to communicate in English, this will be the day when the college will stretch to communicate in their language, reinforcing respect for linguistic diversity, and providing reinforcement for a better sense of belonging.

The challenges faced by students whose native language is not English will be recognized and supported. The feeling of belonging will be strengthened for this student subset as no individual will have to shout to be heard or feel overwhelmingly linguistically challenged, discouraged, or embarrassed to come forward. The aforementioned report will be a communication vehicle so that students will be collectively heard and expressed needs can be addressed, when appropriate.

Eligible students who participate will be reassured that the college cares about their discrete challenges. The project estimates that between 30-50 students representing a host of diverse languages will participate in the focus groups after receiving a college-wide e-mail. Word will spread, both internally among other students in this subset and externally among potential students, that KCC is a welcoming place for students who speak other languages, triggering positive publicity. Individual students might gain greater confidence to assume leadership roles in the face of linguistic challenges, even with imperfect English. As refenced in the project description, when the college provides validation, students feel less stressed and better understood. We matter; we count.

The evaluation will be both formative and summative. The principal will conduct focus in winter and early spring 2024. In late spring, the principal will re-convene the focus groups to assess quantitative differences (increased participation in KCC functions, making more friends without consideration of linguistic differences, greater integration with student government) and qualitative differences (how students assess their sense of belonging).


Your Words Matter: Writing/Speaking Your KCC Experience

Principal(s): Pittershawn Palmer

A sense of belonging begins with shared language; the words we use to express ourselves and communicate our place in the world. Our words tell others who we are, why we perceive ourselves the way we do, and what we believe in and stand for. This program would provide a framework for students to learn how the written and spoken word can be powerful tools used to fearlessly establish a sense of belonging. 

This is a new project aimed at increasing student self-esteem and confidence toward the goal of positive and authentic self-expression. Writing and public speaking can be used therapeutically to help position students positively in their chosen educational, social or professional spaces. It can encourage self-expression so their sense of self can be fully realized. This realization leads to increased actualization of dreams and aspirations, leading to a sense of belonging at KCC and in the world. After finding their voice, students will become more invested in their education and future through increased feelings of empowerment.

This program will serve all students seeking a sense of belonging in the spaces they occupy. Not only will this serve the students, but it will increase morale in the overall college community. As a sense of belonging increases, so will the spirit, energy, and voice of the students and college. Strong, united, engaged voices cannot be silenced. They build nations.

Students will sign in and be tracked to see how the project has helped them in establishing a sense of belonging. 


HereAreOurStories: International Students

William Park
Gavin Ireland
Ishrat Rahman

5 international students (selected by International Student Affairs) with diverse backgrounds will each have 8-10 minutes to share their unique journey of choosing, studying, and acclimating at Kingsborough. Their stories may include topics of culture shocks, adjustment difficulties, overcoming challenges, and future goals or dreams. This will be similar to a TED Talks format held in COVE/101A. dent speakers should prepare presentation slides with pictures (limit of texts) only to aid their stories while presenting. There will be a 30–45-minute Q & A session where the attendees of the event (which may include students, staff, and faculty) can ask questions to each student at the end of students’ presentations. This session will be also recorded as a video for future resources.  

The program will help provide a sense of community among F-1 international including the out-of-state population of students by hosting a unique student-centered TED Talks-style and Q & A program. The program will bring greater awareness and understanding of KCC International Students and their experiences to other students, staff, and faculty who had little to no interaction and/or knowledge of international students. As a result, that will promote diversity in the KCC campus environment and foster intercultural understanding from one another. 

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Dr. Denise B. Maybank said the following words at the CUNY Board of Trustees Committee on Student Life on October 2. “When we think about CUNY, all too often, we focus specifically on New York City, and we don’t think about our reach so far beyond. CUNY has a reach that goes across the waters of this world and pulls in the world.”  

Our diverse group of KCC international students hail from over 50 countries and travel across the ocean and continents to study at Kingsborough Community College. Some have waited for over a year to have the opportunity to study in the U.S. due to visa delays and gathering financial support in order. These students are among the most resilient, high-achieving, courageous, and dedicated full-time students at Kingsborough, who chose to step outside their comfort zones to pursue their education in a foreign country. In addition, English is often not the first language for many international students. International Students make up 3 to 4 percent of the entire KCC student body population. They face unique struggles and challenges inside and outside the classroom. Compared to the majority counterparts of in-state students, many international students mentioned feeling isolated, out of place, and not fully understood by fellow students, staff, and faculty.  
The KCC International Students need an opportunity to have a space and platform to share and educate the Kingsborough community as a whole. Most importantly, international students need to see students like them actively participating and narrating their own stories at Kingsborough. 

The learning objectives of the program would be to appreciate out-of-state/international student students’ stories in the U.S., Kingsborough, and understand the value that they bring not just to the classroom, but to the overall educational experience; to provide attendees and speakers the chance to reflect, empower, share, and narrate their own unique stories and experiences. 

The program will also empower and inspire international students who are speaking and attending the event to become active participants in classes and extracurricular activities at Kingsborough. Most importantly, international students would learn that they are not alone in experiencing particular challenges and hardships.  

This program will encourage and inspire to further increase international students’ involvement, persistence, and sense of belonging on our campus.  

The video recording of this event could also be played at the new student orientation or First-Year-Experience (FYE) courses to bring awareness about international students. 

The quality of the program depends on how well selected international students prepare and present their presentations.  

Our ISA staff have reviewed, assisted, and recommended numerous KCC scholarship applications such as Kann & Southpole Foundation Scholarships for our international students. Students who were awarded these scholarships already have written and articulated their journeys, challenges, accomplishments, and dreams at Kingsborough.   

The programming event will have 3-4 draft deadlines for selected students to submit their outline, draft, and final work of the presentation and receive detailed suggestions and feedback to enhance their stories and presentations.  

The attendees of the program will need to do a short qualitative and quantitative survey before the event starts to measure their knowledge of international students. The attendees will do the same survey after the event to measure and compare the attendees' responses. 

Based on how well the programming event executes and received, we hope to have it annually in the middle of the Spring semester. We will then select new international students to speak at the event.

As for future funding or budget, we hope to continue to receive the funds or donations allocated to this international student-centered event. We hope to collaborate with other departments such as the Office of Student Life, Student Wellness Services, and/or Student Union and Intercultural Center.

The Kingsborough Collaborative Research Bootcamp (K-CORE): creating a research community for our students

Principal(s): Laura Spinu

Authentic research activities and community colleges have long been perceived as incompatible with each other, a view that a growing body of research has strongly challenged in recent years. Unfortunately, many community college students continue to espouse this view, often beginning college with weak quantitative skills and reduced scientific literacy. Research experiences of various kinds have been identified as some of the best ways to recruit students into STEM majors and support their persistence to graduate with a STEM degree. However, community colleges typically lack a culture of research. Bridging this gap requires creating opportunities for community college students to engage in a variety of research experiences that meet their needs. The overarching goal of the current proposal is to expand K-CORE, a campus-wide undergraduate research program that allows students to engage in STEM research projects of different types. 

K-CORE (Kingsborough COllaborative REsearch Bootcamp) provides mentorship and specialized training to students from all majors at KCC. Students are trained to conduct collaborative experimental research projects and present them at conferences, acquiring STEM exposure and hands-on experiential training. To date, 24 students have participated in the first two cycles of the program, resulting in 4 publications first-authored by students (notably, one of these in a volume at Cambridge University Press) and over 30 presentations (virtually and in-person) at professional conferences. Please see for pictures and details on students' conference participation over the years.

In the past decade (2020, 2018, 2012), the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology has reported a STEM educational crisis, with the number of current jobs in STEM fields exceeding the number of qualified candidates to fill them. Suggested solutions include providing students with access to more trained educators, educational content that is engaging and hands- on, and pathways to discover a multitude of STEM-related job opportunities enabling them to see a clear professional future. All of the approaches suggested by PCAST in order to solve the STEM educational crisis have been actively included in K-CORE's development, and will continue to be emphasized going forward. Thus, students receive (1) access to highly trained educators through the PI's network within CUNY (facilitated by my role as doctoral faculty at the Graduate Center - a joint appointment with my primary KCC position) and more generally through my network of domestic and international collaborators providing enhanced psychosocial support for students through faculty encouragement, empathizing, and serving as a role model, (2) engaging and hands-on educational content through personalization or anchoring of research topics in current affairs, e.g. one of our recent studies incorporating NY Times' popular game Wordle, and (3) pathways to STEM-related professional trajectories through  participation in professional conferences.

K-CORE's proposed outcomes are as follows:

1. Create a community of undergraduate student researchers: the program has already established a supportive community for students through collaborative work on joint projects, but also across projects by providing peer feedback, exchanging ideas, commenting on each other’s work, and sharing resources on various media, such as the What's App and LinkedIn groups we have been maintaining. Notably, students have traveled in pairs or groups to present their posters at domestic conferences (in San Diego, CA, Nashville TN, Chicago IL, Denver CO, and NYC). Despite substantial overlap with the Covid-19 lockdown, K-CORE students initiated regular Zoom meetings, joined the LinkedIn and What’s App closed groups where they often socialized, and later pursued in-person social activities together. To further deepen the sense of community, I am developing a central support website (CUNY Academic Commons) bringing together past and current K-CORE participants. As an exciting new development, employing physical space (shared with colleagues) on our campus (i.e. the COMM department's Speech Lab) will further strengthen the students' sense of belonging and the number of collaborations stemming from participation in the program.

2. Train students in a well-defined set of skills, resulting in a more STEM literate undergraduate student body: upon completion of the program, students will have learned how to develop a research question, formulate a hypothesis, identify primary sources to support their work, conduct a research protocol, analyze data, visualize research data in a form commonly used in science, create a research poster and present their findings at a professional conference.

3. Produce a quantifiable number of student-led research projects presented at local/international conferences (TARGET: 3-5 presentations/year, engaging 12-15 students). 

Students from any major are welcome to participate, as long as their projects address a speech/language-related topic. Engaging in research that can make students excited about the discovery process plays a crucial part in their decision to major in or pursue graduate degrees in a STEM field.There is agreement in the literature that college students who receive mentoring have improved success in terms of their grades, retention, satisfaction with college and social integration into academic settings. Furthermore, students learn more rapidly, retain knowledge longer, and develop more sophisticated critical thinking skills when they are actively engaged in the learning process, particularly in the process of “discovery guided by mentoring”. 

Participation in the first cycles of K-CORE resulted in a significant perceived increase in research and collaborative skills (F(1,64) = 92.3, p < .001). I will continue to evaluate the success of this educational activity in four ways: (1) employ subjective measures such as entry and exit questionnaires; (2) administer performance-based assessments such as pre- and post-program knowledge and skill tests; (3) track the number of presentations to domestic and international student and professional conferences delivered during each cycle; (4) keep records of the rates of student retention and transfer to senior colleges, overall GPA, number of fellowships, internships, graduate school admissions, and the time taken to enroll in a graduate program or start professional employment in students' field of specialization, comparing their likelihood to be retained in a STEM discipline or to graduate with a STEM degree to that of non-participating peers.

The program has had several iterations since 2019, funded with generous support from our Provost, the Coordinated Undergraduate Education initiative, an enhanced PSC-CUNY grant awarded to the PI, funds from the CUNY Research Scholars Program and most recently, the CUNY Kingsborough Fostering Excellence in Teaching Award. As program director, I continuously and proactively seek funding for K-CORE every year and also teach my students to follow this model by applying for various awards and travel funds for their conference expenses (with many successful such applications to date). These efforts will continue in the foreseeable future. Please note I am also in the process of preparing an NSF grant proposal for "IUSE: Innovation in Two-Year College STEM Education" which, if awarded, would provide ample opportunity for K-CORE to become established and self-sustaining. 

Surgical Technology Outreach Program for New York City High Schools ( Surgical Technologist Futures)

Beata Monsanto 
Awilda Montes
Dana Donovan 
Samantha Vecca
Senior ST student 

The proposed program, titled "Surgical Technologist Futures," is a new project designed to educate high school students in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Bronx, and Manhattan about the surgical technology program at Kingsborough Community College. By offering informative sessions and mentorship opportunities, we aim to bridge the gap between high school education and advanced surgical technology training. In addition to help graduate students with job placement in NYU Langone Health, Northwell ,Mount Sinai, Memorial Sloan, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, HSS after completing the program at KCC.  

The "Surgical Tech Futures" program will:

1. Host interactive workshops and information sessions in high schools, introducing students to the field of surgical technology and the educational opportunities available at KCC.

2. Facilitate mentorship programs, connecting high school students with experienced surgical technologists and professors to guide them throughout their academic journey.

3. Arrange transportation for students to visit KCC's modern surgical technology lab, offering hands-on experience with the latest surgical technologies.

**Stated Impact:**
This program primarily serves a younger generation of students who intend to attend college and are interested in pursuing a career in allied health, specifically surgical technology. The impact of this program is twofold:

1. Increased awareness and interest in the surgical technology program at KCC among high school students, potentially leading to a more diverse and motivated applicant pool.

2. Educating students about the surgical technologist program in allied health, thus aiding in their career exploration and decision-making process.

**Proposed Outcomes:**

The "Surgical Tech Futures" program will:

1. Host interactive workshops and information sessions in high schools, introducing students to the field of surgical technology and the educational opportunities available at KCC.

2. Facilitate mentorship programs, connecting high school students with experienced surgical technologists and professors to guide them throughout their academic journey.

3. Arrange transportation for students to visit KCC's modern surgical technology facilities, offering hands-on experience with the latest surgical technologies.

**Stated Impact:**
This program primarily serves a younger generation of students who intend to attend college and are interested in pursuing a career in allied health, specifically surgical technology. The impact of this program is twofold.

We will evaluate the program's effectiveness through:

1. Pre- and post-event surveys to assess changes in students' knowledge and interest in surgical technology.

2. Feedback from participating high school teachers and administrators.

3. Collection of participant names and emplids for follow-up and assessment of program retention and engagement.

Digital Family Oral History Project 

Principal(s): Lili Shi 

I'm preparing for a digital oral history project for my new course "Family Communication" that contribute to the Tenement Museum's digital exhibit/archive "Your Story Our Story". Students will do research and interview a senior family/community member around a piece of family history or a family object, and present a narrative story digitally, engaging concepts we learn from class. The key readings that frame this project highlight themes of immigration, transnationalism, multi-racial and LGBTQ families. The objective of this project is to invite students who are not from traditional American heteronormative middle-class families to become historians of their own family experiences from a communication perspective, and to make it visible that their stories and belonging matter to New York City and American History. I already registered a group page for my course at the "Your Story Our Story" project site of the Tenement Museum ready to students' entries. 

Kingsborough is a gateway community for many immigrant students as well as non-traditional students of diverse family structures and backgrounds. It is our OWN space of rich stories of New York and American family histories that deserved to be developed into a meaningful pedagogical and archival space. To create a digital exhibit of Kingsborough family histories at the Tenement Museum’s digital archive is to recognize and celebrate students’ belonging and cultural citizenry to the city. 

Tenement Museum's digital exhibit/archive "Your Story Our Story":

Kingsborough SPE19 Family Communication Group Page at “Your Story Our Story”:

By exhibiting students' family histories in a digital space, this project will help provide recognition and belonging for students who are not from traditional American heteronormative middle-class families. Kingsborough students from immigrant, transnational, multi-racial and LGBTQ families become historians of their own family experiences and draw connections to the larger framework of New York City and American Histories. 

Students' digital oral family histories will be available at my course's group page of the "Your Story Our Story" project site of the Tenement Museum. (All identifiers will be removed.)

Once the course is established and known to students. I won't worry about enrollment and will use previous KCC students' digital oral stories from the Tenement Museum archive to run the course and solicit more stories. 


KCC Library Silent Book Club


Julie Turley
Caroline Jedlicka.

Two KCC faculty librarians propose hosting a Silent Book Club event for students.  A silent book club is an event where attendees gather, bringing their own book or reading material.  Attendees spend an hour reading together silently, and then have the option to socialize and/or participate in an informal discussion about what they’re reading.  Silent Book Clubs are spaces for low pressure engagement, socialization, and relaxation. Attendees have no obligation to prepare; their reading presence is the central component of a Silent Book Club Community. 

The KCC Library Silent Book Club would include a visually-appealing book cart of books selected from the KCC Library’s Leisure Collection.  The Kibbee Library has a robust Leisure Collection that’s continually being updated and has been carefully curated to include new books, best sellers, and diverse voices and perspectives. These mobile book carts will be brought to a designated space within the library determined to be appropriate for and conducive to the goals of silent reading. Care would be taken to set up a comfortable place for students to be and read: a priority of the event is relaxation and low stakes social exchange. Librarians would facilitate the event.  Snacks and drinks would be offered.  

The KCC Library has traditional seating for studying and computer carrells. However, the KCC Librarians hope to enhance the book club space to ensure that students feel that the library is welcoming and comfortable–a space where they feel that they belong. Scholarly literature has indicated that many first-generation college students find academic libraries to be somewhat intimidating and anxiety-inducing spaces.  The KCC Library is exploring ways in which the library could be reimagined as a more comfortable space addressing a range of student needs.  Anecdotal student data indicates that one of these needs is rest and relaxation, which is part and parcel of student wellness.  In light of this, the Kibbee Library has a need for more comfortable seating and spaces where students can relax and reflect.  The Kibbee Library envisions that a Silent Book Club could be part of a bigger vision of making our KCC Library spaces as welcoming as possible to students.

The event would be promoted via the KCC Library’s social media outlets and flyers hung around the college.  The promotional materials would include a QR code that students could scan to RSVP for the event.  Students would also have the option to suggest book titles or genres of books that the library could purchase (if they’re not already in the collection) to have on-hand for reading at the event. Students would be welcome to provide their own book or choose a book from the library’s collection. 

Following the reading session, students would have the option to discuss what they’re reading and socialize.

The Silent Book Club will provide a welcoming and comfortable space for students where they can read, snack, and socialize.

The event will convey that librarians are friendly and accessible to students.

The event will make students aware of the library collection and convey that the library welcomes student feedback on the collection.

The event would be open to all KCC students who wish to attend.  Targeted populations include: students who enjoy reading; students who might not see themselves as leisure readers or book group participants, but are curious about the event; students who are looking for community; library users; and students who are introverted or enjoy social events without a lot of social pressure.

The librarians envision the Silent Book Club as an early step in the process of intentional community building in the library.  This event will present the library as a welcoming space where students feel like they belong.  To maintain contact with attendees, librarians will keep track of the students who attend and send them invitations to future related library events and new additions to the collection.  Librarians will make students aware of library social media outlets where students can also stay in the loop on what’s new in the library.

Librarian facilitators will employ varying modalities to gather student feedback.  Immediately following the event, librarian facilitators will seek out verbal feedback from student attendees.  Librarians will also provide a QR code to a brief survey where students can provide feedback and indicate whether they’d like to attend future events.  From student email on the event sign-in sheet, librarians can email the survey and keep students informed of future Silent Book Club and related events, as well as new book acquisitions.  In addition to gathering feedback and assessment date, librarian facilitators will use the modalities to build an intentional community around the Silent Book Club.

The librarians would like to continue hosting Silent Book Club events, if students express interest in attending future clubs.  The Bean Bag Chairs could be used for future book club events, as well as other student-facing events.  For future book clubs, the library would likely have some limited funds in the budget for snacks and drinks.


Novice Nursing Student Identity Formation Bootcamp

Principal(s): Karen Colombo 

Kingsborough nursing program is a rigorous academic program. Once the program prerequisites are completed the student is accepted and begins their journey to become a registered nurse.  I have identified a gap in the student’s knowledge base regarding the role of the professional nurse in todays’ health care settings. This two day program will introduce the student to the world of contemporary nursing and the interdisciplinary teams in a variety of settings, while modeling the role of the professional nurse and allowing students to get to know their peers in a enjoyable interactive setting. The students will begin to form friendships and bonding, promoting a sense of belonging both to the profession and to each other. 

This bootcamp program will lay the foundation for establishing a sense of belonging and a community of nursing scholars.  The newly accepted nursing student will be introduced  to contemporary nursing practice, learn teamwork and collaboration with each other and the interdisciplinary team, and begin forming their identity as professional nurses. 

This program will benefit the newly accepted nursing student after successful completion of their prerequisites.  Many of our students come from challenging backgrounds and have multiple responsibilities outside of their academic lives. This program will facilitate the formation of a scholarly community and strengthen peer bonding for lasting positive effects through the nursing program. 

Evaluation of the proposed program will take place through student evaluations and surveys, as well as the successful progression and retention in the nursing program through graduation. 

Ideally this would be a continuing program to be offered each semester (Fall and Spring) to incoming accepted nursing students. 

Once a KCC Student, Always a KCC Alumni

Nancy Sanchez Badillo
Aba Agolli,
Maria Patestas

The “Always an Alumni” workshop will feature KCC alumni that represent our diverse student body. We plan to have three speakers, and they will be providing their experience of going to KCC, graduating, and then ending up where they are today. They will also provide information on the skills necessary to succeed beyond Kingsborough. This workshop will also provide professional headshots done by our very own Multimedia Specialist. Additionally, we will be providing food and refreshments for this event. A KCC portfolio will be provided to students that sign in and complete the workshop series.

Institutional Advancement is looking to build a sense of community and continuity through the cohort model of this program.   We are looking to cultivate the next generation of alumni.    The program will provide structure for students to build comradery through a workshop with insight on post-graduation as well as professional resources. College can be intimidating, and especially at commuter institutions, student engagement is an ongoing challenge to navigate. While traditionally Alumni’s are only brought into the fold post-graduation, we are utilizing the concept of “Always an Alumni”, where students are going to be brought into the collective while they are an active student. The “Always an Alumni” workshop will enable students to feel as part of a contingency, and will ultimately disperse feelings of loneliness or being left out. 

This workshop will serve any and all KCC students. One of the major areas where KCC students request support is career/professional advice and we will be providing access to that information.  Participants will also receive a portfolio holder which will provide a professional edge to wherever they may need to use it. Equally important, attendees will gain insight onto the potential of previous students just like them, while also gaining the first-hand experiences on how to navigate the world after Kingsborough. Students will be obtaining invaluable professional insight from previous KCC graduates while also creating connections with other students, again eliminating the notion that they are alone in their respective academic or professional journeys. 

Participants will complete a survey and submit a reflection at the end of the series to receive the completion certificate.

Banned Books and Art Making

Ivana Espinet
Katherine Gordon
Chico Knight

We propose to host a banned books and art making event for education students, alumni, and other KCC students who are interested in working in fields related to education.
Across the nation, book bans that affect schools and libraries have escalated in tandem with the proliferation of legislative efforts to restrict teaching about topics such as race, gender, history, and LGBTQ+ identities.Overwhelmingly, book banners continue to target stories by and about people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals. (See report by Pen America , and NY Times article Florida at Center of Debate as School Book Bans Surge Nationally) 
These book bans have impacted what teachers are allowed to teach and the books that schools and libraries are able to share with students.  Many of the books that are on the banned list have characters that represent the intersectional identities of KCC students.  We believe that our students and their histories belong in children’s books that should be part of every classroom, so they can all experience what the scholar Rudine Sims Bishop calls the mirror and the window: they can see themselves reflected in the literature, while also learning about other cultures and peoples not present in their classroom.
Art making, printmaking in particular, has been essential in shaping and conveying messages for a variety of protest movements throughout history. German artist Käthe Kollwitz depicted the suffering of mothers losing their children in WWI as a form of protest, working in etchings and woodcuts in order to create multiples to share. American artist Faith Ringgold created posters advocating for the rights of women, and in defense of the Black Panthers. Beyond the capacity for multiple copies for dissemination, printmaking is also vital to bookmaking, meaning that we can also begin to create the books ourselves that we need in our classrooms to accurately and positively portray our rich and diverse cultures.
Our students learn to use children’s literature for pedagogical purposes in a variety of courses. This event would help bring awareness to an issue that will affect them as educators and provide a forum to learn and exercise advocacy thorough art making. 
For this event, student and alumni would:
·      Learn about the implications for educators of book bans across the country.  
·      Read and analyze some early childhood and childhood picture books that have been banned.
·      Create artwork in response to the book bans that would be displayed in the KCC education program wing (and perhaps the library?) and social media to bring awareness to this issue. 

This program will also support students’ understanding of their role as advocates within our KCC community and  the larger community of educators.
This event would help provide a sense of community between current and former students who are working in the field of education.

This program will serve students and KCC graduates of the education program and students from other programs who want to work or are working in education related fields (e.g. students from the liberal arts concentration, speech pathology, etc.).
The impact for this event is twofold: 
·      In working and collaborating with alumni, current students would learn about the experiences of former students in the field.
·      Students will be able to create art to collectively advocate for educational issues that affect them (in this case, the banning of books that reflect many of their communities and histories).

At the end of the event, we will distribute a survey to all the participants with questions about each activity. 

Building Inclusive Syllabi for Sense of Belonging in Freshman Writing

Principal(s): Hope Parisi

Offering an inclusive syllabi is a primary yet often overlooked means for establishing sense of belonging for entering college students. Freshman Composition, or ENG12 (and ENG24), is a course at Kingsborough with power to convey a great deal about student to instructor, and student to student, relationships, whether inclusive or off-putting, welcoming or distant. I request a Sense of Belonging grant that will coordinate and strengthen my role as Faculty Mentor of the English Department specifically to offer three part-time instructors a series of three 2-hour workshops in mainly Winter 2024 (and concluding in Spring 2024) on the syllabus as a means for fostering sense of belonging in Freshman Composition. The first two workshops, during the winter module, would discuss selected readings in syllabus design targeting inclusiveness and belonging; review sample syllabi that have been posted online as the outcomes of similar workshopping at other university teaching and learning centers; and provide assistance for participants to redesign their syllabi for inclusiveness in three specific goal-oriented ways they select. A third workshop would take place Spring 2024 at which participants will share their revised syllabi and discuss ways these impacted teaching and instruction during the semester.

Goal-oriented topics to be covered in the workshops will include: personalizing the syllabus; acknowledging and valuing diversity; validating resilience;  anticipating student needs; setting reachable and adaptable standards and expectations for learning and classroom discourse; widening the range and definition of participation; incorporating interest and choice; conveying accessible communication policies and practices; emphasizing the classroom as a space for community and community-building. 

The program will introduce three part-time faculty members to inclusive syllabus design in the interest of sense of belonging. Each participating part-time faculty member will commit to all three sessions.

Participants will revise their syllabus for three specific changes derived from the proposed list of goal-oriented workshop topics.

Participants will be able to articulate their choices for both short- and long-term goals for teaching.

Participants will use the new syllabus and take notes on changes and shifts in their teaching that emanate from the new syllabus.

Participants will express a new appreciation for sense of belonging and the importance of the syllabus to peer-participants in the concluding (third) session of Spring 2024.

Ultimately, this program will impact the students of the courses these faculty will teach in the spring, presumably three classrooms of ENG12 or ENG 24 students. These students will experience a sense of belonging as conveyed by the syllabus and the changes and shifts in teaching that follow from it. 

Plan for evaluation:

1. First workshop: What did you learn about sense of belonging and the syllabus? What three goals from among our goal-oriented topics for the workshop are you choosing to incorporate in your syllabus and why? (To be queried by Google Forms)

2. Second workshop: Think of the three main changes you’ve selected to incorporate in your syllabus. For each one, what does it mean to focus on that particular goal as per your syllabus? How is it impacting your thinking about the syllabus and your teaching? (To be queried by Google Forms)

3. Third workshop: Were you able to incorporate the changes to your syllabus that you selected based on our first workshop? For each one, how did that change impact your syllabus? How did it impact your teaching this semester? (To be queried by Google Forms)

The model for this workshop focus itself is replicable. I would like to think further on sustainable funding. Generally, workshops for part-time faculty in English are not offered in the winter through my Faculty Mentor role. This program would provide a link between winter planning and spring teaching that part-timers usually are not fortunate enough to experience as a KCC-ENG sponsored activity.



FALL 2022 Funded Proposals

The Art of Play 

An interdisciplinary, multi-generational community event hosted by the Education Program students and faculty. This event will showcasee the arts in education to young children through play and creativity. We plan to invite students from local public schools and UPKs.

This event will be co-organized by fieldwork students who have experience developing curriculum and planning arts activities for young children.

Proposed arts stations:

Storytelling: Prof. Julia Morris
Music & Movement: Prof. Sue Carpenter
Recycled Art: Prof. Kay Gordon

STEAM: Prof. Barbara Frawley
MultiCultural Culinary Arts: Prof. Ivana Espinet
Urban Gardening: Prof. Denise Farrelly

Proposed location: On the patio by the KCC beach

Hot dogs fries and chicken fingers to be served!

Budget Request: $1,000

Materials for recycled art creation: $100
Materials for musical instruments creation: $100
STEAM materials: $200
Gardening materials: $100
Food: $500

Let's Build a Community through the Community Farm and Urban Garden

One of the unique feature in our school is the former Urban Farm. It can be used to teach about nutritious food, environment, the issues of waste, racism tied to land ownership, and grassroots land activism. Inviting the urban farmer Karen Washington, students will form a community through engaging in farming, and nurture their sense of belongings to KBCC. If there are vegetables, we will end this gathering with a meal sharing. The event simultaneously make students aware of the critical issues surrounding the land ownership and foster the KBCC community. Inviting the faculties, staff, and students, students will meet professors and staff in casual circumstance and strengthen their bond. Various faculty members, who are using the farm as their teaching platform will introduce their classes. By so doing, students will learn  how in colleges, they need to shift their learning from following the textbook into research and creativity. This will not be a single event. Students will be invited back to engage in farming as many times as they want to.   
Please see the youtube Ted Talk of the guest speaker, Karen Washington:            


Partial funding will be paid as an honorarium for Karen Washington. If we cook food, the remaining will be used for hiring the chef and/or buying ingredients.

The S.T.E.A.M. Talent Show Let's show off the Artistic side of STEM!

The STEM Peer Mentors in the Health Science & STEM Academy propose hosting a talent show, open to all members of the college community, but particularly focused on those students who are in an Allied Health or STEM major. Many of our STEM students have artistic talents and abilities that they don't always get to show off in the classroom, and so we are hoping to give them a chance to share what they do, and have a little fun!

We would call this the STEAM Talent show, because A stands for Arts, and the arts would be in the middle of STEM. Our intention is to encourage our STEM students, who are very driven and determined to excel in their Science and Math careers, to explore, share, and connect with each other in a different way than usual, and to build a sense of community amongst themselves.

We propose to hold this event in the MAC Playhouse or in the PAC, sometime early in the Fall semester. Students who wish to participate in the talent show would sign up in the weeks prior to the event, and would be competing for one of three top prizes (gift cards to the bookstore or Amazon). We would have two categories they could enter in: Performance or Visual Art.

The entries for the Visual Art category would be displayed in the lobby of the event space the day of the performance. At the performance, the student STEM Peer Mentors would host the event, acting as the MCs and introducing each act. Staff from the Health Science & STEM Academy would be the judges, and would announce the winners in both categories at the end of the show.

We would also want to have snacks for the audience (cookies and beverages from Panda House), and would also want shirts for the event, to be given to all entrants, Peer Mentors, and Staff.

Budget Request: $890

$240 - for 6 Gift cards to Amazon or Bookstore for First ($60), Second ($35), and Third ($25) prizes in both categories (performance and visual art)

$450 - for event shirts for all participants and Peer Mentors

$200 - Snacks


Lock-It-In Early Registration

Activities and prizes during the first two weeks of Spring 2023 continuing student registration to help promote the retention and early registration of continuing students. This is an initiative that was started by academic advisors for the current Fall 2022 registration period, where we were able to reach over 200 in-person students to encourage early advisement/registration, but access to this grant will allow us to broaden our reach to even more students.         

Budget Request: $1,000

$200 for the purchase of gift cards to be used as raffle prizes for students that register/schedule appointments during the first two weeks of Spring 2023 registration;

$800 for the purchase of giveaways and programming that will be used to attract student attention in the week prior to the event and during the weeks of the event. This will include Kingsborough branded items as well as snack bags for students.


Mindfulness Meditation Training Pilot Program

President Schrader recently interviewed me in connection with the meditation group I've been leading on campus since 2007, after which she attended our weekly meditation, and then published a glowing article about it in her column in the Bay News. I think the college should begin an outreach effort to get our students using this self-management technique and a roadmap to develop a formalized program through which the college can facilitate widespread adoption of this self-supporting practice for the majority of our students.

I envision a pilot study exposing a cohort of 20 students to a meditation training program, in which students will attend sessions two hour per week, for a total of 4 weeks (a total of 8 hours), broken down into segments for lecture, instruction, meditation practice, journaling, and discussion. Two measures will be used to track impact: the Toronto Mindfulness Scale (TMS), a multi-variate validated survey instrument employing a Likert scale to track changes in attitudes toward mental contents and mental states, and a Pre- and Post-Course (PPC) survey I designed, also employing a Likert scale to track changes in students' views about their own understanding of knowledge, reality, self-control, how they handle stress, and related items. Each survey takes about a minute to complete, at most. The TMS will be administered immediately after each meditation, and the PPC will be administered only at the start of the course and at the very end of the course, to gauge impact.

I ran a similar pilot on this years ago, with positive results, but while the PSC-CUNY grants supported the research, the larger CUNY Collaborative Grants and the national grant institutes (NEH, NIH, etc.) were not receptive to this sort of research then. However, society as a whole has completely embraced meditation now, in science, psychology, medicine, etc., so the prospects of receiving large grants to do this sort of work are much more promising now. I am also a co-founder of the CUNY Contemplatives Network, which is currently investigating ways of bringing meditation more widely to students throughout CUNY, who are all under increasing stress due to COVID, inflation, political polarization, and related factors.

I'm hoping the college will use its resources (e.g., via counseling, the website, email blasts, etc.) to recruit the 20 students for the pilot. If the research results are positive, as I predict they will be again, this will provide some empirical data to justify seed grants that can be used to attract larger grants on the national level. One example would be a grant to research the difference between student performance on exams, say, in STEM courses, comparing students who took the training and students who did not. Another potential next step would be to develop a meditation instructor training program leading to an accredited certificate that our students could use to get jobs teaching meditation in health care settings. Another potential next step would be encouraging a contemplative component in various existing courses. And yet another would be a KCTL winter workshop teaching faculty how to employ a meditation component into various courses.

Finally, I am the editor of the Routledge Handbook on the Philosophy of Meditation, to be published May 17, 2022, and I am currently in negotiations with Routledge / Taylor & Francis about the creation of The Journal of the Philosophy of Meditation, for which I would be the editor-in-chief, and which promises to be quite successful, since one of the most successful journals in the past few years is the journal, Mindfulness. The CUN Y Contemplatives Network envisions a CUNY Center for Contemplative Studies as a longer-term goal, which could conceivably be homed at Kingsborough, if I were to be the principal researcher receiving significant grants towards its development.

Budget Request:$750-$900

Estimated cost of 20 meditation cushions (20 x $30 = $600) and one meditation singing bowl bell ($150-$300), for a total of $750-$900, plus the college's willingness to use our Office of Institutional Research resources (labor hours) to task its staff and/or other staff members on campus to enter data from surveys of the pilot into an appropriate, searchable database, e.g., Excel, and to then analyze the survey results and draft an official summary report that could be used to then apply for a seed grant and a larger grant from the NEH, NIH, etc. Ideally, a room on campus could be set aside as a meditation-only space that students could use solely for this purpose during the pilot, if not on an ongoing basis.

This Forum Belongs to Us

KCC explores academic and career options with students, facilitates progression through the offering of services and interventions, and validates the cultural and ethnic heritage of all students, both collectively and individually. Additionally, KCC complements a sense of belonging - and beyond – with student investment. Students know that the college is on their side, wants them to succeed, and shows investment by listening to student voices - an opportunity afforded by This Forum Belongs to Us. Educated guesses based on student needs from yesteryear cannot replace hearing from current cohorts about needs regarding academic requirements and options, extra-curricular activities, scholarship and leadership opportunities, among a host of other items, especially Covid issues.

This Forum will be a Student Town Hall in reverse. Town Halls feature college administrators who present, inform, and then respond to student questions. This Forum will feature students from TRiO and other student affairs programs who will self-select to participate in open focus groups, held on campus and simultaneously on Zoom, with the college community in attendance. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions at the end of each forum.

This Forum will provide students with the chance to fully express needs for progression, not in response to the content of those conducting Town Halls, but in response to open ended focus group questions so that they can tell their story in full. Deeper needs, surpassing those which are already known, may not be expressed at Town Halls if students feel rushed and stressed to articulate their points. This Forum will provide time, space, and a respectful environment for students to express needs beyond those on the surface.

The rationale for This Forum is twofold: to reinforce among students that the college is invested in hearing and responding to their needs, thereby enhancing a sense of student belonging, and to provide the campus with information heretofore unknown in order to remain a responsive institution. This Forum, commencing in Fall 2022 with 10 focus groups, 6 students per group, will afford the opportunity for the campus to learn from students as they fill in the gaps for improved reception.

Budget Request: $1,000

Towards the end of December, the $1,000 grant will be applied to an appreciation dinner for focus group participants and their guests, complete with an appreciation certificate to reinforce that the students belong at KCC and the college is appreciative of their input. They have helped us help them.

$900 Food

$100 Certificates


Creative Cafeteria Table Decals

It would be great to use the tables in the cafeteria as surfaces to adhere prints of student art work, historic photographs of campus and other creative uses. The Art Department used repositionable adhesive prints in the UnHomeless NYC exhibition and would like to purchase material to print on to use for creating artwork to share on the tables in the cafeteria.          

Budget Request: $500

$500 for roll of adhesive material:


Intuitive eating and African movement for EveryBODY  

Students will get a crash course in intuitive eating, an approach to food and African movement that helps to get rid of diets once and for all and learn how to listen to thoer body's cues to eat and move in a way that works long-term. Previously all three presenters had successful workshops with our student during Wellness Festival, April 26-th, Spring '22         This workshop will consist of six consecutive biweekly sessions organized  by Wellness Center throughout Fall '22 semester.  Six sessions will consist of combination of registered dietician(s) and body movement specialist presenting and teaching intuitive eating and body movement to enhance students own awareness and offer practical tools to improve overall health and wellness.

Budget Request: $1,000

Budget for the 6 sessions will consist of the fees 6 hours X $150.00=$900.00. Additional $100 for materials and preparation miscellaneous.   

Advisement Never Goes Out of Season

Seasonal advisement events will focus on promoting deadlines and important topics trending in that semester. Proposed events will help reach students who are not typically motivated to seek academic advisement. The goal is to establish an advisor/advisee relationship early, thus “establishing a home base”. These events will focus on building a sense of community and belonging, providing resources and holistic planning for their academic career at Kingsborough CC and beyond. These interactions will provide an opportunity to enhance campus life while establishing students' relationship with advisement that extends beyond course selection.


4 events per academic year (We kindly request an increase in budget due to 4 events proposed. To maximize student outreach, we hope to host 2 days for each event.)

Spring Semester: Seeds of Success (Seedlings & Plants giveaway)

Summer Semester: Pop-up Advisement with Ice Pops

Fall Semester: Pep Talk & Popcorn

Winter Semester: S'more Advisement (S'mores & Hot Cocoa)


It’s Not Just WHAT You Know, It’s WHO You Know: The Importance of Relationship Building 

Students who experience a sense of community will likely remain connected to the college, or at the very least have someone to talk to when times get tough. That “someone” can connect them to a staff or faculty member who will have potential solutions to help the student address their struggles. However it is important to communicate the importance of building those relationships and seeking out those supportive services up front, before the student begins facing insurmountable adversity.

This workshop will introduce students to resources on campus, communicate the importance of developing relationships and normalize asking for help. Allowing oneself to be vulnerable, and engage with professionals for the purpose of seeking help is a learned skill. Hearing from relatable guest speakers who have successfully navigated that experience will demonstrate to students that it is possible to do so safely, and productively.

We propose hiring an inspirational / motivational speaker who will discuss and emphasize the importance of relationship building, leveraging contacts and normalizing asking for help (in the context of using campus resources to address and overcome academic and personal challenges). The workshop will also include an overview of campus resources and how to access them. The workshop will be available in person and via zoom.

Budget Request: $1,000

$750: speaker fee
$250: refreshments

In order to secure an influential speaker who will draw students to this workshop, we are requesting $1000 to pay an honorarium for a guest speaker, and provide light refreshments for the in-person attendees.

Student Facing Language for Workshop Description:

Having a hard time staying on top of your assignments? Looking for a new part time job to help pay the bills while you are in school? Need connections to basic resources like food, clothing or shelter? Feeling sad or stressed about an argument you had with someone in your life? There are people on campus who can support you discretely and confidentially while helping you stay on track with your academics. Learn about our community of supportive professionals waiting to meet with you.

Whether you are enrolled in a college degree program, or continuing education/workforce training program, relationships matter. Relationships with fellow students, staff and faculty can make your academic experience more rewarding and productive. Equally important is knowing how and when to ask for help, and that it is OK to ask for help.

Balancing a course load, while managing a personal life can get overwhelming. That’s why knowing the right people to reach out to when times are tough is critical. You wouldn’t buy a shovel in the middle of a blizzard, right? You would have it accessible for when it is needed. It is the same for campus resources - you won’t need to reach out to every office on campus all the time, but it is important that you know who is available to help when and if the need arises. We are invested in your success. You made it to college - let us help you get closer to the finish line.

Everyday Superheroes - Soar Into Your Career

A Superhero themed Open House Event for the Career Center. The event will focus on constructing your "superhero" through career development. Students will learn about developing their superhero strength (professional skills), superhero knowledge (how to construct resumes, job search, & ace interviews), and superhero training (internships & volunteer work). Students will be introduced to different careers and all of the center's services. Staff will dress the part and there will be games and prizes.

Budget Request: $800
$500 - prizes & treats,
$300 - decorations

The ABCs of Tutoring: Access, Benefits, Cost-free

The Kingsborough Learning Center offers content and writing-based tutoring. We seek funding to host a myriad of student-centered activities in collaboration with Student Life, primarily in the library corridor. During national tutoring week from October 3-7, we will host a series of student games, tutoring trivia questions, and Q &A with a writing or content tutor. We have a new tutoring signup software and will have live demos to show students how to sign up. Activities better suited in enclosed spaces will be conducted at our Academic Student Lounge located at L-219. We aim to deliver three 25 mins workshops on time management, effective studying habits, and note-taking during club hours. The student will get a chance to tour the center and view tutoring cubicles and leisure reading space.

Funding will be used to purchase giveaways during all activities. Giveaways will be center-branded pencils, folders, and stress stars purchased from the 4imprint company. A breakdown of giveaway items is below.

Budget Request: $1,021.28

Budgeteer Pencil- Royal Blue: (item # 318) Unit price $0.28|Quantity 576 |Cost $161.28

Stress Reliever Star- Red: (item # 18034)  Unit price $1.47|Quantity 150 |Cost $ 220

Legal size two pocket folder- white: ( Item # 144162) Unit price $2.56 |Quantity 250| Cost $ 640
Total request =1021.28

The KCC Resilience Project: Digital Storytelling by Second Language Learners to Promote Students’ Sense of Belonging



"The American Psychological Association defines resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity or significant sources of stress. Our students at KCC  understand what it means to be resilient, and their stories should be told. A Promoting Students’ Sense of Belonging Grant would allow us to explore what resilience means to some of our most vulnerable students at the college: English language learners. What does it take for recent immigrants studying at KCC to face their challenges as college students? How does KCC honor their development as an active process of becoming and belonging? How might students build resilience as they develop their identity as students within our College community? By asking our students these questions and recording their answers in a multimodal format, our aim is to showcase their voices so that other students can hear them, and tell their own resilience stories in return.

Professors Kahn (English) and Bartolomeo-Maida (Behavioral Sciences) have been linking in ESL Learning Communities for nearly a decade. In recent years, our integrative work with students has focused on the theme of resilience. As part of this work, students prepare a digital story assignment, which asks them to reflect on personal resilience while making connections to psychological concepts learned and applied from their readings throughout the semester. It is clear from watching these stories over the years that many of our Second Language learners have faced extremely challenging situations to arrive at KCC. Students have shared narratives about being nervous about entering college, failing some subjects in high school, and traumatized in their home countries due to political upheaval. Many students did not get a chance to study what they planned to in their home countries due to rigid gender norms and cultural values that limited them. We have always known these stories to hold valuable lessons and insights about overcoming adversity: the importance of emotional well-being, reflection, exercise, positive outlook, sense of control, perseverance, mental flexibility, social support, and faith/ spirituality.

Our digital story project takes place in students’ first semester at KCC, and we would like to expand the scope of these stories by investigating them in the context of students’ broader KCC education. This grant would allow us to interview students who have graduated from our ESL Learning Communities, and ask them to deepen their stories by considering the development of their resilience as Kingsborough students. Doing so would allow us to create a new digital story, The KCC Resilience Project, that highlights excerpts from these interviews and other collected artifacts that we could then share with other student populations at the College. It is our hope that this mini-grant could serve as a foundation for a broader storytelling project on campus where all learners could be invited to share their stories of resilience as college students. Psychologists tell us that a critical factor for resilience is contributing to a goal bigger than oneself; to see the purpose in something larger. We see the sharing of students’ resilience stories as potential tools for strengthening our learners as individuals and contributing to their sense of community at Kingsborough. While resilience has always been critical for the success of college students, the exploration of this topic is more important than ever due to the hardships so many of our students have faced during the pandemic and the resulting social isolation they have experienced. The creation of a KCC Resilience Project aims to promote students’ sense of belonging at the College through story.

Budget Request: $1,000

With the monies from this grant, we envision a project that we as faculty members would help steer but that our ESL students would lead. We would use Summer and early Fall 2022 to flesh out the details for gatherings with ESL Learning Community participants in which they would explore their resilience experiences as college students. We will solicit the assistance of another student with expertise in video creation to compile highlights from these sessions which will be titled: The KCC Resilience Project. In future semesters, this video might be played at new student orientation or other college-wide events, as well as shown within our linked classrooms. It could also be used an educational tool for faculty teaching within the learning communities, or for faculty of stand-alone courses to develop their understandings of how students’ sense of belonging at the college might play a role in their resilience and success.

We are projecting the budget below based on approximate costs as of this time of writing:

Student Technology Assistant: $15/hour for 50 hours = $750

Stipends for Student Participants: $25/each for 10 students = $250

Any excess funds would be used to host a resilience workshop on campus to show the KCC Resilience Project video and explore students’ reflections and insights.