Posted by: Gerry Martini | 27th Aug, 2014

Social Media at the GC + New Students Facebook Page

Looking to find Graduate Center (GC) colleagues on social media? For those students who are just starting at the GC, Isaac Overcast has created a Facebook group that you are welcome to join.

While we are on this subject, I should mention that the Office of Communications and Marketing has a few helpful pages for those of you who want to connect with your new community. First up, they have a list of Twitter and Facebook accounts for the departments, centers, and institutes at the GC. They have also put together a nice set of Social Media Guidelines as well as providing you with a list of Featured Social Media Accounts.

I hope to see you around the Twittersphere (you can find me at @TheGCGerry)!

Posted by: Gerry Martini | 6th Aug, 2014

General Orientation for New Students (and more!)

A few friendly reminders from Student Affairs:


General Orientation For New Students

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Graduate Center, CUNY

365 Fifth Avenue at 34th Street

New York, NY


On Tuesday, August 26:


Check-in and Student Organization Fair

9:15 to 9:45 a.m., Proshansky Auditorium Lobby, Concourse Level


Orientation Assembly

10 a.m., Proshansky Auditorium, Concourse Level


Welcoming Remarks

Matthew G. Schoengood, Vice President for Student Affairs

Chase F. Robinson, President


Keynote Address

Gregory Donovan, Assistant Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University (Lincoln Center Campus), Alumnus, Ph.D. Program in Environmental Psychology, the City University of New York Graduate Center


An Introduction to Graduate Center Student Life

Louise Lennihan,InterimProvost and Senior Vice President

Edith Rivera, Chief Diversity Officer and Title IX Coordinator

Amy Martin, Student, Ph.D. Program in French, and Co-Chair for Student Affairs, Doctoral Students’ Council


Introduction to Graduate Center Library Resources and Graduate Center Digital Initiatives

11 a.m.  to 12:30 p.m., Proshansky Auditorium, Concourse Level


Optional Activities:


Lunch Hosted by the Doctoral Students’ Council

Begins at 12:30 p.m., 5th Floor DSC Lounges


Housing Workshop

1:00 p.m., C203, Concourse Level

1:30 p.m., C203, Concourse Level


Strategizing for Your Professional Success Throughout Your Academic Program

Office of Career Planning and Professional Development

2:00 to 2:30 p.m., C204, Concourse Level


Managing the Transition:  Finding Your Way Into and Out of Doctoral Study

Wellness Center/ Student Counseling Services

2:30 to 3:15 p.m., C204, Concourse Level


Wellness Center/ Student Health Services

3:15 to 4:15 p.m., C204, Concourse Level


Additional Orientation Sessions:


International Students: Immigration Information, Living in New York, and Understanding the Graduate Center’s Academic System

(Duplicate sessions: attend only one)

– Monday, August 18 1 to 4 p.m., Room C201

– Tuesday, August 26 1 to 4 p.m., Room 9204


Students must check in with the Office of International Students as soon as they arrive in New York, and should plan to attend one session listed above.


MMR Immunization Clinic

Wellness Center, Suite 6422

Tuesday, August 12, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.


Dining Commons

Specially priced student meals are available (with CUNY I.D.) in the Dining Commons Cafeteria, 8th Floor, 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. during the semester and, on a limited basis, during the week preceding the start of classes.

Posted by: Gerry Martini | 30th Jul, 2014

Caffeine Makes the World Brighter

Welcome to New York. Now that you have gotten into school and have started looking at apartments, it’s time to talk about the serious issues that face an incoming student: where to get caffeine. Preferably tasty caffeine, in the form of coffee.

We’ll assume that you are trying to avoid Starbucks. Because you are not the sort of person who is in favor of union busting. Or of corporations who use their clout to manipulate world coffee commodities markets to keep poor coffee farmers poor. Or of a place that exaggerates its commitment to Fair-Trade coffee. But if you are the sort of person who isn’t bothered by those things, stick your head out the Graduate Center’s front door, walk in any direction, and your satanic thirst will be sated within minutes.

For the rest of you, let me offer my humble coffee-loving advice.

If you are looking for beans to make your own coffee, try Dallis Bros. Coffee, a Queens coffee roaster (now merged with a New Jersey roaster) that first opened in 1913. I have tried more than a dozen of their roasts so far, and while I definitely have a few favorites (one of which is the Red Den Blend—while most of their selection rotates seasonally, this one is always available), I have never had any cause for complaint. They generally have a few espresso roast choices too, including the Alphabet City Blend which I had for the first time at Ninth Street Espresso, which are very tasty. And though they no longer deliver to your door by horse-drawn cart, you generally only need a few days to receive your order.

If you are at the GC and need a hit of caffeine, I would recommend Stumptown Coffee Roasters. Their Manhattan location is on 28th St between 5th and 6th   Ave, adjacent to the Ace Hotel. This establishment—brought to us by those coffee zealots out in Portland,OR—serves a mean cup of coffee. Or cappuccino. Or iced coffee. Or really anything that I, or anyone I know who has been there, has had. Also your purchase of a beverage from Stumptown allows you to ask the concierge at the hotel for their wireless password, so you can hang out, do some work, people watch, or just drink your coffee, all in the Ace’s lobby (just FYI—there is also a bar in the lobby). It’s not a bad place to study—if you can find a spot to sit. One thing to remember: go to the ATM first because it’s cash only. Or “forget” that it’s cash only and go with someone who you know is loaded and let them pay.

Another great choice for coffee in the area is Culture Espresso, which you will find at the corner of 38th St and 6th Ave. The vibe is similar to Stumptown (bespectacled, tattooed, and vest-wearing baristas will serve you, many with suspenders) though there is no big lobby to hang out in. However you can pay with a credit card here, so you don’t have to have remembered to hit up a cash machine before getting your latte.

Sometimes a walk doesn’t fit in the brief time between classes. In that case, just go to the café in the GC lobby. It’s relatively cheap, the coffee is better than average, and the beans are all bought from Pura Vida, who aim to provide environmentally and economically ethical and sustainable coffees. For the cost and convenience, this is a good buy.

When you move into your new neighborhood, ask around as to where the best coffee is (or ask the New York Times, who has this nice good-coffee-finding map). You will likely be spending the next several years with too little sleep, cramming too much into too little time. So it’s good to know where locally you can find a nice cup of coffee to rely on for your coming ordeals.  Remember my motto: caffeinate early and caffeinate often.

Posted by: Christina Katopodis | 12th Jul, 2014

Ten Things to See Your First Week Exploring the City

When you come to visit New York as a tourist, it’s important to see the big historical sites like the Statue of Liberty and the September 11 Memorial, or you might want to eat at famous restaurants like Ess-a-Bagel and Carnegie Deli. When you come to live in New York, however, you’re probably looking for local favorites that are less crowded than Times Square. Here’s a list of ten things to do that you might consider your first week getting acquainted with the city.

  1. Walk around the Reservoir in Central Park and visit the Metropolitan Museum then walk uptown on 5th Ave to see the Guggenheim or the Museum of the City of New York.
  2. Walk through Fort Tryon Park and visit the Cloisters.
  3. After an orientation event at the Graduate Center, walk downtown on 5th Avenue to get a burger or a milkshake at Shake Shack in Madison Square Park, then walk across the street to the Eataly market. If you’re in the mood for dumplings, walk down 5th Ave from the Graduate Center to 32nd Street and take a right into Korea Town to go to Mandoo Bar. If you like craft beers go to Rattle N Hum on 33rd Street between 5th Ave and Madison for delicious sliders and 30+ taps.
  4. Cross the Brooklyn Bridge and get dumplings in Chinatown on the Manhattan side or a slice at Grimaldi’s on the Brooklyn side, then hop on the subway to get to Prospect Park and walk around Park Slope.
  5. Visit Chelsea, go to the Chelsea Market and walk along the High Line. If you’re interested in Chelsea’s night life try the Gotham Comedy Club and Trailer Park Lounge.
  6. Go to the New York Public Library on 5th Avenue, get your library card and have a look around.
  7. Get off at the Spring Street or Astor Place stop on the 6 train, walk above ground and take in the East Village and Lower Manhattan. Go to S’Mac for macaroni and cheese, Cafetasia for Thai food, 10 Degrees for wine and cheese, McSorley’s for beer, or Swift for your local pub fare with a literary twist. Then see a show at the Public Theatre.
  8. Go to Union Square and see people playing chess, playing music, or a dance group performance. Familiarize yourself with Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, and hop into a bar or restaurant you’ve never been to before.
  9. Walk around Hell’s Kitchen and pop into the Amish Market or grab some Ethiopian food at 47th Street and 10th Ave or a delicious brunch at 44 ½.
  10. Walk uptown from the Graduate Center to take in Grand Central station on 42nd Street and Park Avenue. Enjoy the breath-taking ceiling and atmosphere and then walk through the market to get fresh vegetables, artisan cheeses and baked goods.

Make sure you bring cash with you everywhere because you’ll find that many places do not accept credit cards and only take cash. Also, bring a subway map with you—not only to navigate the subway but also to help you navigate neighborhoods. You can use Google Maps or HopStop on your phone for help with directions, but most people on the street are kind and helpful if you ask them for directions. Find another pedestrian like yourself who isn’t in a hurry on the sidewalk or perhaps stopped and waiting for the light to change at a crosswalk. Whether you’re interested in walking or biking outside in a park or doing something indoors on a rainy day, there’s always something to do in New York City. Part of the fun is getting lost and finding a hole-in-the-wall with great food and good people.

Christina Katopodis
First Year English PhD Student
Posted by: Marisa Panzani | 2nd Jul, 2014

Blogging with CUNY Commons

We’d like to take the time to encourage you to join the CUNY Commons (the site that is hosting this blog.)  As soon as you have registered for classes in August, you will be assigned an email address which will allow you to join the Commons and either become a contributor to an existing blog or group or begin your own blog or student group.

Interested in why you should blog?  Take a look at From Tweet to Blog Post to Peer-Reviewed Article: How to be a Scholar Now by GC’s own Jessie Daniels or take a look at The Virtues of Blogging as a Scholarly Activity at The Chronicle.

Some active blogs on the Commons (that you can read now even though you aren’t yet a Commons member) are:

GC Students of Anthropology –

GC English Students blog –

Le Hub (French students’ blog) –

GC Marxist Reading group –

Collaborative Seeing Studio –

Zines at the Brooklyn College Library –


Posted by: Bethany D. Holmstrom | 30th Jun, 2014

Seeing theatre in NYC on a budget…

Here’s some advice on seeing affordable theatre in New York: find out a show’s rush/discount policies before going, and always carry your student ID when going to the box office.

Student rush tickets demand both some flexibility (because there are no guarantees) and pre-planning. Many Broadway and off-Broadway shows will sell student rush tickets for $20-40 on the day of performance, typically limited to 1 or 2 tickets per student id. Be sure to carefully review the policies before you go: some box offices demand cash only, others let you use a debit/credit card. Rush tickets might be available when the box office opens in the morning, or might not be available until a few hours before the show ( see the Broadway theatre policies here:, and the off-Broadway offerings, here: Typically you have better luck scoring rush tickets on week-night shows (particularly for Broadway theatre) during the school year.

A few theatres provide discounted tickets throughout the season: Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and the Signature Theatre have $25 tickets for many shows with limited availability, so you are encouraged to book early. Other theatres ask that you join a mailing list/club online for student ticket prices, like Roundabout’s HipTix ( Unfortunately, many of the online/list programs have age restrictions (usually 30 or 35). Keep your eye on the Village Voice, Time Out, and discount mailing programs for upcoming shows and ticket deals.

Even the “hottest tickets” on Broadway, like The Book of Mormon, can be seen on a student budget (with a fair amount of luck, since Book of Mormon relies on a lottery system). You are in the best city for theatre in the entire country, and even on your paltry student budget that makes all your non-PhD-pursuing friends laugh (and then, if they are really good friends, buy you a pity drink—these good friends are the same ones that greatly appreciate it when you offer them the second discounted rush ticket you got, by the way), you can see a lot of amazing performances.

Posted by: Bethany D. Holmstrom | 23rd Jun, 2014

Cheap eats near the GC…

The GC is right near a couple of good and cheap food neighborhoods—Korea Town (K-Town) and Curry Hill. The Indian restaurants in the 20s on Lexington and 3rd have very affordable lunch buffets. If you’re willing to venture a bit closer to Bryant Park, try Kati Roll Company (two flat bread rolls with Indian-inspired filling for around $10)—it’s an incredibly popular lunch spot for the suits in the area too, so expect a line. Many of the K-Town spots have lunch specials as well: Mandoo bar (10 good-sized dumplings for around $10) and the Godbol Bi Bim Bab at Han Bat (a screaming hot clay pot with rice, egg, beef, and vegetables that get a heat-crust-cake-thing going as you eat, $11.95 for lunch) are some of my favorites.

A little further away: the *very* tasty thin crust pizza at Vezzo (Lexington & 31st) is part of a ridiculous lunch special: 2 plain slices (marinara and cheese) with a drink for $5, or a slice and salad with drink for $6. There’s always Shake Shack  (Madison Square Park) if you feel like getting a bit further from the building, where you can sit and enjoy the park while eating. Italian food mega-emporium Eataly is also down by the Flatiron (5th Avenue between 23rd & 24th): grab a slab of focaccia with toppings from the bakery for a few bucks (or a panini for a few more) and head out to eat in the park. Of course, there are $1 slices and other grub sources around too, but ask around your program (and others!) to find the local favorites.

Posted by: Angela Dunne | 19th Jun, 2014

Develop the Mind; Don’t Spurn the Body.

Although our beloved CUNY Graduate Center does not have a gym, the Wellness Center does offer free fitness classes to registered graduate students. The courses consist of Yoga and Pilates for beginner and expert alike. The instructors that I’ve had are extremely friendly and accommodating to all levels. The courses do fill up fast, so be sure to visit the website and be aware of the registration dates.

In the case that you don’t get a spot or are looking for something a little more on the cardio side, there are other free fitness options in this city. The NYC Parks and Recreation Department has a program called Shape Up NYC that offers free fitness classes at various recreation centers in all five boroughs. The classes include Yoga, Zumba, Aerobics, African Dance, Kickboxing, Self-Defense and other body shaping activities. You don’t have to belong to a recreation center to attend these classes but in the case that you wanted a membership it costs only $25 a year for people 24 and under (unfortunately, a lot of us have missed the boat on that one).

As a CUNY Graduate Student there is also the possibility of membership to the Baruch Athletics and Recreation Complex and the John Jay College Cardiovascular Fitness Center. However, the annual fee for the ARC is $100 and for John Jay is $275, which are definitely not bad but I’d take advantage of the cheaper/ no cost options- at least until you’ve established how much time for fitness you will actually have as a grad student.

Another great option for free fitness is taking the stairs at the Graduate Center, instead of the elevators. I’m serious. Why not?

Posted by: Gerry Martini | 16th Jun, 2014

Loving the Libraries!

As a grad student, you will not only conduct research, but you will frantically search for your sources, whether those sources are books on 19th century Talmudic commentaries, articles on Puerto Rican feminist punk music, or photographs of Minoan wall paintings. The good news is that you can find everything in New York. The bad news is that you won’t necessarily find it as quickly as you want.

If you’ve already visited the Graduate Center, you probably noticed that Mina Rees Library seems pretty small for a university library. It is. However, through the Mina Rees Library you have access to all of the materials at all CUNY libraries and a large number of libraries across the United States. Through CLICS, you can request books from all other CUNY libraries and have them delivered to you at the GC. And if that isn’t enough, you can request articles, chapters, and books from other university libraries through the Interlibrary Loan program.

Another important research tool is the New York Public Library. The NYPL includes the Stephan A. Schwarzman research center (conveniently only eight blocks from the GC), the Science, Industry and Business Library (conveniently right behind the GC), and all of the local branches (convenience levels vary). To access the NYPL, you’ll need an NYPL card. If you live in New York, all you’ll need to do is present proof of residency (bank statement, photo identification, etc.). If you have the misfortune to live outside of New York, you’ll still be able to get a card through your affiliation with CUNY.

There are also lots of private libraries in New York, which thankfully have their collections linked to WorldCat. These include museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Morgan Library and Museum, as well as organizations such as the American Numismatic Society. Access varies, but your search might be well rewarded if you look off the beaten track.

Posted by: Vincent De Luca | 11th Jun, 2014

A message from the Office of the Registrar

Fall registration for newly admitted students will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, August 20.  You will receive an email in early August with detailed information concerning registration so please be sure to notify the Office of Admissions if you change your email address.

All registrations are done on-line so it is possible to register anywhere there is an internet connection.

Here’s what you will need to know in advance of registration;

  1. Your Banner ID.  This ID number was in your admission letter and it will also appear in the registration email you will receive in early August.
  2. Your PIN.  If you have already visited student self-service system you have already changed your PIN to a password of your choice. If you have never logged into our self-service system your PIN is set to your date of birth expressed mmddyy (in other words, if you were born on February 1, 1970, your PIN was set to 020170). If it is the first time you log into to the self-service system you will be required to change your PIN to a password of your choice

3.         An advisement PIN may be required in order to register for courses in Web for Student. Your academic program may have required that you enter a second PIN in order to access the registration page in Web for Student. This PIN is known as an advisement PIN.  If you were assigned an advisement PIN, you will be notified in the registration information letter sent out by the Office of the Registrar.  The advisement PIN will be issued to you by your academic adviser and you should contact your  program as soon as possible to make an appointment with your adviser.

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