QC Research Highlights: Local Context

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QC Research Highlights is a monthly blog series featuring work from Queens College (QC) authors in CUNY Academic Works. Fascinating, important research is happening here at QC and we want you to know about it! Sometimes (but not always) this series may feature several works on related topics; other times it will simply feature a few works of interest. 

All the works featured in this series are available to read and download for free from CUNY Academic Works. 


Local Knowledge, Universal (?) Applicability

Welcome to the November edition of QC Research Highlights! This month, I wanted to feature some articles that consider how things learned locally might be of interest both inside and outside that local context – and especially when we are learning about our local context, New York. 

In “Education Faculty as Knowledge Brokers: Competing for Access to New York State Print Media and Policy Influence,” Nakia Gray-Nicolas (Education and Community Programs) and co-authors consider how education researchers can reach a larger public, thus influencing public debates about educational policy and practice. This article focuses specifically on the media in New York State. This article considers the reasons it’s so difficult for academics to get access to the media.  

Communicating in different contexts is important to students as well as faculty. “Workin’ Languages: Who We Are Matters in Our Writing” is a book chapter by Sara Alvarez (English), Amy Wan (English), and Eunjeong Lee (formerly a member of the English department, now at the University of Houston).  In this chapter, Alvarez, Wan, and Lee consider how to ensure that students’ rich linguistic diversity is valued in the writing classroom. The authors suggest strategies for supporting students as they recognize their own work as “language architects” and come to understand that their language strategies are valuable in an academic context. 

We should all be interested in how the built environment of New York affects those who live and work here. Kara Schlichting (History) and coauthor Melanie Kiechle (Virginia Tech) consider how heat and ventilation can post health threats to city dwellers (and New Yorkers specifically) – during COVID, but also long before.  Their article, “Invisible Inequalities: Persistent Health Threats in the Urban Built Environment,” considers the history of health reform in New York City through the lens of environmental inequality, with a reminder to think of cities as collections of people and not just landscapes. This perspective allows for a larger-scale structural look at how urban planning and public health are deeply intertwined. 

Of course, New York is not just a built environment but also a natural one. César Castillo (Biology) worked with coauthors from the New York Botanical Garden and the US Department of Agriculture to describe a plant naturalized to New York in “First Report of Mummenhoffia alliacea (Brassicaceae) for New York.” This report includes information on how to identify this plant – one key is the scent!  

A little further afield, Fred Cadieu (Physics) examines rocky planets in his article “A Consistent Model of Terrestrial Planet Magnetospheres and Rotations in Our Solar System.” In this article, he explains how the presence or absence of magnetospheres has affected the atmospheres and tectonic behavior of the four terrestrial planets of the solar system – Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars – and perhaps exoplanets as well.  

Having taken us from New York all the way into the depths of space, I wish you all a happy and productive November! 

Thanks to all the authors featured here for sharing their work in the repository!


This is one of a series of blog posts featuring faculty publications in CUNY Academic Works. Academic Works is a service of the CUNY Libraries dedicated to collecting and providing access to the research, scholarship, and creative and pedagogical work of the City University of New York. In service to CUNY’s mission as a public university, content in Academic Works is freely available to all. 

If you would like to share your research in Academic Works, please see this guide to Academic Works, or contact Nancy.Foasberg@qc.cuny.edu.  

QC Research Highlights: Master’s Theses and Capstones at Queens College

This edition of QC Research Highlights features some of the important, fascinating research done by graduate students at Queens College. Academic Works, CUNY’s institutional repository, has a small collection of master’s theses and student capstones completed at Queens College.   This collection is still growing! See below if you’d like to participate. 

Social Sciences 

Thanks to our partnership with the History department, we have been able to add theses showing some of the breadth of this discipline, from anarchist education to the business of baseball to the history of environmentalism and ecofascism.  

Eric Anderson’s thesis, The Anarchist Classroom: A Test of Libertarian Education and Human Nature at the Modern School in New York and New Jersey, 1911-1953, examines the history of radical education in the early twentieth century, specifically in the “Modern School” movement.  

Patrick Spranger writes about the role that gentrification and white flight played in the former Brooklyn Dodgers’ move to Los Angeles in his thesis, Sadness in Brooklyn: The American Housing Act of 1949 and the Brooklyn Dodgers Move to Los Angeles.  

Santiago G. Lozada’s thesis, From Green Pastures to Scorched Earth: German Environmentalism and Ecology, C. 1800S-1945, outlines the history of environmentalism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and its complicated relationship to the rise of Nazism. 

Arts and Humanities 

In his thesis, Sacred Music in Colonial Era Hispaniola: The Evangelization of the Taino PeopleTito Gutierrez discusses how sacred European music became a tool of colonialism and conversion on the island of Hispaniola. 

Natural Sciences 

Finally, we’re delighted to share some of the scientific research being done by Queens College graduate students! Both these theses are in Earth and Environmental Sciences.  

Azlan Maqbool’s thesis, Investigating Distribution of Legionella pneumophila in Urban and Suburban Watersheds, assess the presence of the aforementioned bacteria – the cause of Legionnaire’s Disease – in New York City street water. These bacteria are indeed common in street water and increase in wet weather, and this is the first study to document that. 

Lisa Hlinka studied magma and explosivity in her thesis, Top-Down Control on Eruptive Style at Masaya Volcano Inferred from Melt Composition. Using the Masaya volcano in Nicaragua, Hlinka shows that explosivity is caused not by volatile contents, but pressurization from temporary sealing of the conduit. 

Help our collection grow! 

Thanks to all the authors featured here for sharing their theses in the repository! Thanks, also, to Grace Davie, David Lahti, Emily Wilbourne, and other faculty who have assisted in facilitating student deposits.  

The master’s theses in Academic Works currently represent only a small portion of the important research done by QC graduate students! If you’re interested in sharing your thesis, please see this Guide to Theses and Capstones in Academic Works.   

The library also holds many master’s theses in print. You can search for these works in OneSearch and, once you have the call number, request access by emailing the Borrowing desk

QC Research Highlights: Queens College and the Pandemic

Welcome to QC Research Highlights!  

QC Research Highlights is a monthly blog series featuring work from Queens College (QC) authors in CUNY Academic Works. Fascinating, important research is happening here at QC and we want you to know about it! Sometimes (but not always) this series may feature several works on related topics; other times it will simply feature a few works of interest. 

All the works featured in this series are available to read and download for free from CUNY Academic Works. 


Queens College and the Pandemic 

In the midst of the long public health emergency of COVID-19, scientists and scholars from all disciplines have done important research to help us better understand both the virus itself and the social effects of the pandemic. CUNY faculty have been very active in these efforts.  

CUNY Academic Works, CUNY’s institutional repository, has a collection highlighting COVID-19 research by CUNY Authors.   

Important research has been carried out across CUNY, but for the purposes of this blog post, I would like to point out some research by Queens College (QC) authors in particular. 

Medicine and Public Health 

John Dennehy (Biology), led a team of researchers developing a protocol to detect COVID-19 in wastewater, which was adopted by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection to monitor the prevalence of COVID in New York City. Aside from John Dennehy, authors credited in these articles included QC graduate and undergraduate students Kristin Cheung, Anna Gao, Sherin Kanoly, Michelle Markman, and Kaung Myat Sun, as well as other researchers from across CUNY. This research was also featured in QC’s Big Ideas series, and the library has created a guide to further resources

Or, you can check out the articles here: 

Hongwei Xu (Sociology) worked with collaborators to study the relationship between the SARS outbreak in the early 2000s and the health behaviors of adults in China. This research has implications for the study of health behavior around COVID. 

Social Effects of the Pandemic 

QC faculty have also examined the social and economic effects of the pandemic.  

Cliff Chen (Education and Community Programs), along with graduate students Elena Byrne, and Tanya Vélez studied the impact of the pandemic on families with children, showing the greater impact of the pandemic on lower-income families and families of color: 

Daisuke Akiba (Division of Education) has written about anti-Asian racism in schools during the pandemic, recommending some steps schools can take to protect Asian-American students. 

The tech industry has profited during the pandemic. ShinJoung Yeo (Media Studies) examined the relationship between tech companies and health care in the context of COVID-19: 

Teaching and Learning during the Pandemic 

Of course, QC faculty have also spent the pandemic teaching.  

Bradley W. Bergey (Secondary Education and Youth Services) addressed remote pedagogy during the pandemic in: 

The library’s own Leila Walker wrote about how remote instruction combines the classroom with more private spaces in: 

Annie Tummino, also of the library, worked with partners at the Queens Public Library to host virtual events on social justice, including a roundtable on xenophobia during COVID-19. Together, they created a poster about this experience: 


This is one of a new series of blog posts featuring faculty publications in CUNY Academic Works. Academic Works is a service of the CUNY Libraries dedicated to collecting and providing access to the research, scholarship, and creative and pedagogical work of the City University of New York. In service to CUNY’s mission as a public university, content in Academic Works is freely available to all. 

If you would like to share your research in Academic Works, please see this guide to Academic Works, or contact Nancy.Foasberg@qc.cuny.edu.