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Eight Black Male Initiative Students Awarded Teachers as Leaders Project Scholarships

The City University of New York Black Male Initiative (CUNY BMI) Teachers as Leaders Project, supported by the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation and the Schott Foundation for Public Education, has awarded eight participating City Tech students with scholarships for the fall 2009 semester. The recipients are Salim Arfaoui, Marlon Bailey, Andrea Emmanuel, Gemma J. Hyacinth, Travion K. Joseph, Mark McCalmont, Sherma A. Soodeen and Michael Taiwo.

Each will receive a $2,500 scholarship award for the semester to cover tuition and education-related expenses.  After the scholarship award is applied to the students' tuition accounts, any remaining funds will be refunded directly to the students to assist them with other expenses. The BMI program at City Tech was launched in 2006 and is under the direction of Dean for Curriculum & Instruction Sonja Jackson and Physics Professor Reginald Blake.

For its visionary Black Male Initiative (BMI) program at City Tech, the College was named one of nine U.S. Model Replication Institutions (MRI) in 2007 by the National Science Foundation. It was recognized by both NASA and NSF for implementing proven strategies to increase participation, retention and graduation rates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) academic disciplines for students underrepresented in those fields.

“BMI is about equal education opportunity and fundamental fairness,” Elliott Dawes, CUNY BMI executive director, said at the time of the MRI designation. “The key is mentorship,” Dawes continued, “not just a buddy system, but a highly structured program, including peer, faculty and administrative mentorship.” Mentoring has already positively impacted the numbers of CUNY BMI students who return the following year.

BMI, a CUNY-wide program to increase enrollment and success of underrepresented students, particularly African-American male students, is funded by the New York City Council. City Tech has targeted its BMI efforts on increasing enrollment and success in STEM fields for underrepresented students, such as African-American men, other students of color and women.

“We are extremely proud of this fall’s eight scholarship winners,” says Dean Jackson, “and wish them well in their academic pursuits. The BMI program serves two vital functions: to provide academic support to participating students and to help the College better understand the needs of under-represented students, including women, in STEM and to fashion strategies to
increase their success.”


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