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Monday, August 4, 2014

Last Report From Cornell NYC Tech VP Cathy Dove - Introduces K-12 Education Director Diane Levitt, Community Engagement, Barging And Demolition & Says Goodbye To Roosevelt Island

 Image OF Cathy Dove Waving At 2014 Roosevelt Island Day

As previously reported, Cornell NYC Tech Vice President Cathy Dove

 Cornell VP Cathy Dove and President David Skorton Before April 2012 Roosevelt Island Town Hall Meeting

is leaving Cornell and Roosevelt Island to become President of Paul Smith's College. Below is her final report to the Roosevelt Island community:
I hope everyone is enjoying the summer! At Cornell Tech, we have had several great community meetings since we last checked in, most recently at our Cornell Tech Community and Construction Task Force meeting.

At the task force meeting, we were very pleased to introduce everyone to Cornell Tech’s Director of K-12 Education, Diane Levitt. Diane has great experience with K-12, and already is already making an impact at Cornell Tech and in the broader NYC educational community. Prior to joining Cornell Tech, Diane was the Director of Corporate Social Responsibility for Belkin, the global consumer electronics organization. She managed the company’s philanthropy, community engagement, employee volunteerism, and served as an advisor to the Chairman and CEO. She helped develop Belkin Education, products designed to maximize the learning opportunities technology offers and was deeply engaged in supporting the growth of high-achieving schools for low-income students in Los Angeles, including several STEM schools.

In the United States, there are 1.4 million computing jobs, yet only 400,000 computer science students. Implementing computer science programs in our schools is critical to our city and country’s future. Diane has been working closely with the principal, teachers and PTA at PS/IS 217 to identify programs that will enhance computational literacy learning in middle-school classrooms, to help students gain an understanding of software and hardware. This summer, a middle school math teacher is attending professional development on Bootstrap, a curricular module that teaches algebra and geometry concepts through computer programming. Diane is also working with the school to identify a coding/computational thinking curriculum for students, and looking for great tech-rich afterschool options for The Beacon Program. We hope to test new computing curriculum and professional development with PS/IS 217 teachers and students during the 2014-15 school year.

Cornell Tech and several of other Cornell organizations were pleased to participate in this year’s Roosevelt Island Day, I know we join many Islanders in thanking Urban American, RIOC and the many Roosevelt Island organizations and businesses who contributed to this day and made it so special. Everyone had something unique to offer the day. Among the many healthy food and fitness activities was the “smoothie bike” that Cornell University Cooperative Extension 4-Hers demonstrated – energy expended by the rider runs a blender that makes a smoothie. Participants got a little exercise and were immediately rewarded with a smoothie of their own making! It was amazing to see such enthusiasm among young and old alike who walked away wearing Cornell Tech pedometers and counting their steps to a healthier life. And I was one of many who took a lesson in hands-only CPR, sponsored by Weill Cornell’s Clinical and Translational Science Center and the Perelman Heart Institute. More than 100 people were trained in this life-saving technique. Hats off to the American Heart Association and the Roosevelt Island CERT organization for coordinating so much of this effort.

As demolition on the campus is well underway, I wanted to provide an update on our barging efforts. As you know, at the beginning of the year we launched the largest voluntary barging operation in New York City. I’m sure many of you have seen the barge arriving at and leaving the island, located on the east side of the construction site. I am very happy to report that through our aggressive use of barging, we have avoided over 1,500 truck trips to-date, and that number is growing every week.

Finally, on a personal note, it is with mixed emotions that I inform you that this will be my last column. Recently I accepted a position as president of Paul Smith’s College located close to Lake Placid in Upstate New York. I treasure the friendships I have made on Roosevelt Island, and will miss living here. But I’m not worried about our campus development - we have a wonderful team who is fully committed to Cornell Tech being a great addition to the Island. I will be watching their progress, and keeping abreast of all the Roosevelt Island news from afar. Many thanks to all of you for making me feel so welcome, and please look me up if you are ever in the beautiful Adirondack region.
During July 28 meeting of Roosevelt Island Cornell Construction & Community Task Force, Cornell NYC Tech Assistant Director of Government and Community Relations Jane Swanson reviewed Cornell's Roosevelt Island community engagement this summer. Here's what Ms. Swanson said.

During the same meeting, Cornell NYC Tech Director of Capital Planning Andrew Winters provided an update on the barging operation for the campus demolition

and construction.