The Institute for Literacy Studies at Lehman College advances urban education reform by strengthening literacy and mathematics teaching and by supporting teachers as key educational decision-makers. We conduct professional development, program evaluation, and research projects in educational settings ranging from schools to colleges and community organizations.
Statement from CUNY Chancellor James B. Milliken on the Presidential Election
Dear Members of the CUNY Community,
We have just experienced a long, contentious campaign and what was to many a surprising outcome. I have spoken to many of our students about their reactions to the results, and many of those range from confusion to concern to a sense of vulnerability for themselves or their friends and classmates.
We cannot be certain about whether or how statements made in the midst of a hard-fought campaign will be translated into policies beginning in January. What we can be certain about are our own values and the critical mission of The City University of New York. CUNY’s mission is the same today as it was a week ago, and it will be the same next year. For nearly 170 years, CUNY has been committed to providing opportunity to immigrants and low income and underrepresented students. This will not change, and the city and the country will be much better for it. Our students bring ambition, talent and dreams and they contribute immeasurably to making New York the world’s greatest city. In fact, it’s obvious to anyone who has paid attention that New York is what it is today because of the very students CUNY has welcomed and educated for generations.
I know that all of my colleagues at CUNY join me in proudly embracing CUNY’s history and share my commitment to sustaining its vital mission in the years ahead.
James B. Milliken
Say “Hello” to our new team member! Gail Gray, Contract Administrator, brings extensive experience in business operations and administrative functions to the ILS. Having worked in both small business settings and corporate entities, she comes well versed in a variety of environments. Her strengths include identifying and improving efficiency with internal systems, personnel resource allocation and financial planning and budgeting. Gail’s experience includes contract negotiations, policy/procedure development and business planning. She has a track record of taking the initiative to foster relationships within an organization, with their client base and extended professional associations. Gail is a graduate of Brooklyn College and her wealth of experience will allow her to provide crucial support to the ILS and its affiliated projects. We welcome her to Lehman and the ILS!
We are pleased to announce that two students of the Adult Learning Center have been honored at this year's Peter Jenning's Awards. Kamar Ledgister enrolled at the ALC in 2013 after emigrating from a rural community in Jamaica. Determined to become an engineer, he spent two years preparing for the TASC, before passing and promptly enrolling at Bronx Community College in the fall of 2015. He has won a $2,000 Peter Jennings scholarship to support him in his studies. Eudy Lopez enrolled at the ALC in the spring of 2015, also in order to prepare for the TASC, which he passed in December of that year. A talented writer and visual artist, Eudy is looking forward to studying art and psychology at BMCC and he hopes to pursue a career as an art therapist. He has won a runner-up $200 gift card to Barnes and Noble. Congratulations to both Kamar and Eudy. We are so proud of you!
Since 2013, Suzanne Libfeld, director of the New York City Mathematics Project (NYCMP), has served as the Eastern 1 Regional Director of the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM). NCSM is a leadership organization that works to support and develop mathematics educators. Suzanne's NCSM service, in addition to the demands of running the Mathematics Project, shows a broad commitment to improving mathematics education, not just in New York City, but in diverse communities nationwide. We at the Institute would like to congratulate and thank Suzanne for this work. We are proud to call her our own.
After a year-long national search, Dr. Jaye Jones has been appointed as Director of the Institute for Literacy Studies (ILS). In her new capacity as the head of the Institute, she will provide leadership for and advance the work of three major programs—the Adult Learning Center, the New York City Mathematics Project (NYCMP), and the New York City Writing Project (NYCWP). Jaye began her work as Director on April 18, 2016.
The Institute and the Lehman College community welcome Jaye, whose background in literacy education and social work, practitioner’s knowledge of adult education, scholarship, perseverance, and vision for addressing the needs of learners of all ages—teachers and students alike—is exceptional. Dr. Harriet Fayne, Dean of Lehman College’s School of Education, notes, “Jaye brings a rare blend of experience and understanding of urban education in today’s world.”
Dr. Jones has served as Project Director of the ILS’s direct-service program, the Adult Learning Center, since 2012. In that capacity, she has also served on various ILS leadership teams, fostering fruitful collaborations with the NYC Mathematics and Writing Projects, the Institute’s two professional-development programs that provide services in schools throughout the metropolitan area. She presents regularly at local and national conferences, and has been invited to present in London at an international conference for educators this coming summer.
Jaye Jones received her Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Chicago, an M.S. degree from Columbia University’s School of Social Work, an M.A. in Women’s Studies from George Washington University, and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Iowa. While she was a candidate for her doctorate, she volunteered at Literacy Chicago, was eventually hired as a Senior Program Manager, and created an award-winning reading group that still exists today, helping adult learners explore classic literary texts. In 2006, she gained an international viewpoint on literacy and criminal justice when she volunteered as a basic literacy education teacher and developed a culturally-specific curriculum at the Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town, South Africa. Her work as a scholar and an educator focuses on how the impact of rapid socio-cultural and economic changes affects students’ lives. Her commitment to transdisciplinary reflection and action are compelling and translate into a kind of leadership that bridges the worlds of academe, public education, and broader communities.
We are pleased to announce that the Institute's 2014-15 Annual Report is now available. It features our accomplishments in the past year, and highlights how we develop teacher-leaders, help students of all ages achieve and build professional communities. Please read it here.