Announcing 2015-2016 Fellows and Courses

We are delighted to welcome two new graduate fellows, eight faculty fellows, and five team-taught graduate courses to our program for the year ahead.

Graduate Fellows

Allison Guess is a doctoral student concentrating on critical (Black) geography in the program of Earth and Environmental Sciences at The Graduate Center. She comes to CUNY from the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned a double major in Political Science and Hispanic Languages and Literature. Allison has studied in Brazil, Cuba and Mexico. Additionally, Allison has extensive research and community development experience, most recently from her work with The Black/Land Project. Allison’s research interests include Black people’s relationships to land and place specifically as they relate to voluntary reverse migration of Black middle class millennials, capitalist structures, antiblackness and Black collective liberation.

Mike Rifino is a doctoral student in Human Development at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Drawing on cultural-historical activity theory and recent advances in Vygotskian scholarship, specifically, Graduate Center faculty member Anna Stetsenko’s notion of Transformative Activist Stance, his research interests focus on the transformative potential of critical theoretical teaching-learning in public secondary and post-secondary education in regard to student agency. Throughout his undergraduate journey, he has gained deep experience with peer mentoring, having worked as a research assistant for the Peer Activist Learning Community (PALC), as well as a mentor for a college readiness program for underrepresented students. He is currently researching how students and faculty in PALC collaboratively investigate and redefine student agency to create an activist learning community.

Faculty Fellows and Upcoming Courses

In the 2015-2016 academic year, we will expand our program to offer five team-taught courses in a number of different disciplines, reaching as many as 90 graduate students and 1,800 undergraduates. The courses will be taught by CUNY faculty based at the Graduate Center as well as Brooklyn College, City College, LaGuardia Community College, Lehman College, and Queens College. The focus across all of the courses will be Diversity, Access, and Equity Across the Curriculum. We are delighted that the faculty members listed below will be joining the program as Faculty Fellows.

Fall 2015

  • Kandice Chuh (Graduate Center, English) and Sujatha Fernandes (Queens College, Sociology) – “Encountering Cuba” –  Global race, postcoloniality, cultural expression
  • Ofelia Garcia (Graduate Center, Urban Education and Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages) and Carmina Makar (City College, Teaching Learning and Culture) – CUNY language diversity and global language learning policies

Spring 2016

  • Anna Stetsenko (Graduate Center, Psychology/Urban Education) and Eduardo Vianna (Social Sciences, LaGuardia Community College) – “Agency and Social Transformation: Increasing Equity in Education and Beyond”- Student-centered pedagogy, psychology
  • David Forbes (Brooklyn College, School Psychology, Counseling, and Leadership) and Gillian Bayne (Lehman College, STEM Education) – Mindfulness in STEM education
  • Cathy N. Davidson (Graduate Center, Futures Initiative and English) and William Kelly (Graduate Center, President Emeritus and University Distinguished Professor),  “American Literature, American Learning”


The Futures Initiative
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016-4309