LUTE Honors Reception: May 18, 2017

On Thursday, May 18, 2017, education candidates who demonstrated excellence throughout his/her program were recognized and presented with awards at the School of Education LUTE (Lehman Urban Transformative Education) Honors Reception. They were applauded by deans, department chairs, faculty, staff, cooperating teachers, candidates, family and friends. Tributes to the awardees were made by: President José Luis Cruz (via video), Interim Provost Niki Fayne, and Master of Ceremony and Interim Dean Deborah Shanley. During this special evening, Dr. Yasmin Morales-Alexander was presented with this year’s Lehman Urban Transformative Education (LUTE) Award recognizing her outstanding contribution to urban education, early childhood education and long commitment and relationship to Lehman College.

Please download and enjoy the full LUTE Honors Reception program (PDF).

Lehman Urban Transformative Education (LUTE) Award 2017: Dr. Yasmin Morales-Alexander
Special LUTE Award: Victor Morales
Excellence in Student Teaching Awards: Carissa Benitez (MHSE), Natasha Moore (ECCE), Kiomarie Torres (CLLSE)
Special LUTE Service Award: Naliza Sadik
English Education Awards: Sheema Alamari, Katherine Cray, Rebecca Watkins
Aspiring Educational Leader Award: Eileen T. Cruz
Ronald Ellis Award in Graduate Science Education: Nelson Caro
Excellence in Social Studies Education Awards: Phoebe Nolan, Corey Sapp
Excellence in Literacy Education Award: Brenda Schoenfeld
Graduate Research/ePortfolio Awards: Eden Antalan • David Asuo • Nelson Caro • Millicent Della Posta • Alicia Heinemann• Shivani Lall • Tina Lewis-Elserafy • Cassandra Lynch • Doreen Manzella • Joseph Wolff

Counselor Education students were inducted into Chi Sigma Iota, Tau Chapter, International Counseling and Professional Honor Society.

The LUTE ceremony organizer extraordinaire behind the scenes: Karen Fairclough




Community Engagement & Impact: School of Education Retreat

00-gaoyin-deb-img_7438School of Education Retreat: Community Engagement & Impact

Thursday, January 19, 2017
9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.


Building Partnerships with Our Institutes, Centers and Professional Development Schools
Panelists: Jaye Jones (ILS), Traci Palmieri (School College Collaborative)
Iwan Notowidigdo (Bronx Institute) & Bonnie Boltax PDS School Liaison, PS 304
Moderator: Elvani Pennil


Relationship Between Teacher Leadership and School Climate: Findings From a Teacher-Leadership Project
Presenters: Serigne Gningue and Roger Peach


Building Success for Lehman’s Students Using RTI (Response to Interventions)
Presenter: Jennifer Van Allen

Learning Mathematics with Grandpa: Digits
Presenters: Orlando Alonso and Paloma Alonso


Restorative Practices and Mindfulness – Supporting Students’ Social, Emotional, Intellectual and Creative Learning

Presenters: Sherry Deckman, Sunyata Smith and David Fletcher

The Critical Need for Emotional Intelligence Training in Pre-Service Teacher Education

Presenters: Janet Pickard Kremenitzer, Danielle Magaldi-Dopman and Christy Folsom

Collaboration Opportunities For Teacher and Leader Educators in Implementing School Counseling Programs in K-12 Schools
Presenter: Stuart Chen-Hayes

Who are we? Creating Models of Helpful Communities
NYACTE/NYSATE Conference Debrief and Discussion

Panelists: Immaculee Harushimana, Abigail McNamee, Janet Pickard Kremenitzer, Aliex Ross, Dan Stuckart Andrea Zakin
Moderators: Deb Shanley and Nancy Dubetz

School of Education Remain Champions in Raising Funds for Lehman Student Leaders!

The School of Education, along with help from members of School and College Collaboratives/College Now, the Provost’s Office and the Budget Office raised $1,315 for Lehman L.I.F.E. Leaders who will be volunteering in Louisiana and Tanzania during the 2017 spring and summer breaks. This record breaking fund-raising effort, with more than 50 staff, faculty and administrators participating, keeps the Turkey Trot Trophy in the hands of the School of Education. Wearing crazy hats, a large crowd of us also walked a mile around the track. Great to be out with our students, great camaraderie!

The Turkey Trot and fundraiser is organized by The Office of Community Engagement and Student Programs to benefit Lehman L.I.F.E. (Leaders Involved For Everyone). The School of Education & Friends are proud to support the Office of Community Engagement and Student Programs, our colleagues and Lehman leaders each year.

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White House Recognition of Strengthening STEM MINDS on Active Learning Day!

The Strengthening STEM MINDS© project involves the use of a four-pronged approach that synergistically blends methodologies steeped in racial empowerment to optimally set the stage for youth of the African Diaspora to flourish in their academic pursuits. Drs. Gillian Bayne, Mary Phillips and Sunyata Smith, three Lehman College professors, have synchronistically orchestrated the enactment of practices, which are grounded in their areas of expertise.


Gillian Bayne, Ph.D.


Mary Phillips, Ph.D.


Sunyata Smith, Ph.D.









Their expertise areas are science education, Africana Studies, and microbiology respectively. The professors’ involvement in the project is geared towards mediating the teaching and learning of STEM so that it is specifically and carefully aligned to the lived experiences and lifeworlds of marginalized youth. Their plan includes training STEM teachers to use the approach as a means to empower both students and teachers as teaching and learning experiences unfold in their learning environments.

The faculty’s dedication to equity in STEM is underscored on the White House Web Site announcement on Active Learning Day, October 25, 2016 under the Higher Education Response to Active Learning in STEM Call to Action link:

New Book by Lehman Professor, Immaculée Harushimana, About African-born Students in American Schools

African Immigrants’ Experiences in American Schools: Complicating the Race Discourse
By Shirley Mthethwa-Sommers and Immaculee Harushimana

Immaculée Harushimana is associate professor of TESOL and English education at Lehman College, City University of New York. Her new book, written with colleague Shirley Mthethwa-Sommers, focuses on African-born students in American schools.African Immigrants' Experiences in Schools

As the number of African-born students in American schools increases, it is important that schools enlarge the circle of diversity to include African-born students who are rendered invisible by their skin color and continent of origin. African Immigrants’ Experiences in American Schools: Complicating the Race Discourse is aimed at filling the gap in the literature about African-born students in American schools. This book will not only assist teachers and administrators in understanding the nuanced cultural, sociological, and socio-cognitive differences between American-born and African-born students; it will also equip them with effective interpersonal teaching strategies adapted to the distinct needs of African-born students and others like them. The book explores in depth salient African-rooted factors that come into play in the social and academic integration of African immigrant students, such as gender, spirituality, colonization, religious affiliation, etc. The authors examine American-rooted factors that complicate the adaptation of these students in the US educational school system, such as institutional racism, Afrophobia, Islamophobia, cultural discontinuities, curricular mismatches, and western media mis-portrayals. They also proffer pedagogical tools and frameworks that may help minimize these deleterious factors.


Shirley Mthethwa-Sommers is associate professor of social and psychological foundations of education at Nazareth College in Rochester, New York, where she also serves as director of the Center for Urban Education.

Immaculée Harushimana is associate professor of TESOL and English education at Lehman College, City University of New York.


This myth-dispelling call-to-action belongs in the lap of every teacher of African-born students. But its pervasive Ubuntu philosophy, comprehensive illumination of the multiple dimensions of the African immigrant experience, and prescriptions for best practice in instruction will inspire and guide all educators. Theoretical and practical in equal measure, it lays the foundation for a richer, more diverse, and therefore stronger democracy in America. I know that I will be quoting it and stealing ideas from it in my work. Using proverbs to help students grasp science concepts: Priceless!
— Dale Worsley, Education Consultant

A long-overdue, meticulous analysis of the invisibilization and marginalization of African-born students in the US, with a comprehensive set of suggested pedagogical solutions. A must-read for education professionals working with this population.
— Otieno Kisiara, Nazareth College

Mthethwa-Sommers and Harushimana have filled a void in the literature with their elucidation of the lived experiences of African immigrants. This significant book illuminates the experiences of a population that has been rendered invisible within schools in the US. It is essential reading for educators as it provides insights into the vast cultural and linguistic differences among students categorized as Black and the implications of these differences for providing equitable education for all students.
— Zaline Roy-Campbell, Syracuse University

Dr. Morales-Alexander wins the 2016 Outstanding Dissertation Award

Yasmin3_smallDr. Yasmin Morales-Alexander, an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education, has won the 2016 Outstanding Dissertation Award of the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators (NAECTE) in recognition of her excellence and the potential to have a positive impact on the field of early childhood education.

Dr. Morales-Alexander received her Ed.D in Curriculum and Teaching with a focus on multicultural and urban education from Teachers College, Columbia University, in 2016. Drawing upon sociocultural theory and a “funds of knowledge” framework, her dissertation research explored the family engagement practices of Mexican immigrant families living in a New York City neighborhood. Her research interests include young children’s development and family engagement within sociocultural contexts, and pre-service teacher development.

Beginning with her own education, as both an undergraduate and graduate student at Lehman College, Dr. Morales-Alexander has over 25 years of experience in the early childhood field. Her expertise was born from her work as a group teacher in various daycare settings; as an Early Head Start/Head Start administrator in a large social service agency in New York City; as a program evaluator, program specialist, and technical assistance provider for the Office of Head Start; and as an adjunct instructor at both Brooklyn and Lehman Colleges.

For Dr. Morales-Alexander, who ardently believes in “paying it forward”, coming back to Lehman College on a full-time basis brings her professional journey full circle. “I am excited and look forward to working with a new generation of early childhood practitioners. To provide them with the support and nurturing that was given to me in this very institution is meaningful and empowering.”

Congratulations and Farewell to Pedro Baez, New Deputy Director for CUNY K-16 Initiatives!

Pedro_smallPedro Baez (Center for School/College Collaboratives) has accepted a position as Deputy Director for CUNY K-16 Initiatives. He will provide leadership and support to a range of programs that aim to improve the college readiness, high school-to-college transition, and academic success of young people in New York City. Reporting to the Dean for K-16 Initiatives, Pedro will oversee College Now, College Focus, and the New York City Science & Engineering Fair.

Pedro Baez began his work at the Lehman College Center for School/College Collaboratives in 1989 as the Project Director of the Liberty Partnerships Program funded by the New York State Education Department. His leadership of the program, Phoenix 1000, in partnership with South Bronx High School, was one of the most successful LPP programs in New York State. His strength of purpose, persistence, commitment to student success and collaboration with principals, staff and teachers changed the school and student outcomes to an extraordinary degree. With the experience gained in LPP, Pedro continued to serve the College and the community through federally, state and city funded college access/success programs.

Pedro’s belief in students and his approach to helping them succeed with, as he often stated, “an iron fist in a velvet glove” has been the secret to his successful leadership and the extraordinary success of students fortunate enough to be in his programs. Also central to his success is his ability to collaborate with others by engaging them in identifying potential problems and finding solutions to avoid them.

Pedro was tapped to be the College Now Director at Lehman. The additions, improvements and enhancements to the College Now program in the years of his directorship resulted in a cohesive set of experiences designed to take high school students from College Now into college and beyond. This past summer, Pedro took on the responsibility of getting the Lehman Teaching Fellows program up and running. It was an intense summer for all, but with his collaborative approach to leadership, he assembled a team and launched a successful learning experience for all involved.

Pedro Baez will be sorely missed at Lehman. Our loss is CUNY Central’s gain. We wish him well.