Queensborough’s 2019 Partners for Progress Gala Celebrates Distinguished Honorees Dedicated to Community Service and the Fine Arts

Published: April 17, 2019

Queensborough’s 2019 Partners for Progress Gala was held April 11 at Terrace-on-the Park in Flushing Meadows Park, Queens. Approximately 500 guests convened for the event including corporate, community and business leaders, alumni, faculty, staff, students, retirees, friends and legislators.

Queensborough student Monique Fisher, Executive Vice President of the Student Government Association, gave the opening remarks:

“I attended a specialized high school for the performing arts and am trained as an opera singer however, over time I have discovered how much I enjoy helping and working with children.” Monique will graduate next month with an A.A. degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences and will transfer to a senior college in fall 2019 to study psychology. She said that, “Ultimately, I would like to be a child psychologist.” 

Biotechnology major Mateo Sáenz shared stories of his remarkable journey as a student at Queensborough. “What I am most proud of is my participation in the CUNY and Capital One Community College Innovation Challenge. I developed my business hypothesis, Eagle-I, an autonomous robot designed to help emergency responders by using biotechnology sensors and artificial intelligence to find survivors and save lives.” He continued, “I worked with the College’s amazing faculty mentors in the 3D Printing Lab on my Eagle-I project, which was selected as one of the winning pitches presented at the fall 2017 CUNY and Capital One Community College Innovation Challenge.

Mateo’s major accomplishment was his $50,000 grant awarded by the National Science Foundation. The grant allowed Mateo to travel the country, conducting more than 100 interviews to hear first-hand what the biggest challenges are for emergency responders. He traveled to California during the massive wildfires where he spent days with firefighters, FEMA, the LAPD and the Air Force. “Eagle-I is now one step closer to applying innovation to the very problems that inspired the creation of this project in the first place.”

Mateo, whose goal is to one day become an oncologist, hopes to transfer to Stanford, said “I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Professors Christine Mooney {Business} and Michael Lawrence {Engineering Technology} for their guidance, and the many wonderful opportunities they made possible for me.” 

Criminal Justice major Michael Green, a recipient of the Southpole Foundation academic merit scholarship. Michael will transfer to John Jay College of Criminal Justice in the fall of 2019. He plans to join the NYPD Cadet Corps. “I have always been drawn to the field of criminal justice. Even as a young child, I was the brother who was stickler for fairness.”

Timothy G. Lynch, Ph.D., Interim President of Queensborough, expressed deep gratitude for the ‘generous support of all our donors who make it possible for Queensborough to continue to transform lives through rigorous and competitive academic programs’.

The 2019 Partners for Progress Honorees are:

Norman Louis Hill, ’70

Alumni Partner of the Year

Memorial Tribute

My father’s passion for electronics was fueled by his values of hard work and education. At heart, he was a STEM guy, a teacher, mentor, and problem solver, qualities that Queensborough helped spark in him, and that lasted his entire life. He believed that Queensborough was a leader in vocational training and community college higher education.” Eddie Hill, son of Norman Lewis

Community Partner of the Year

Judy Ng

Senior Vice President

Flushing Bank, Director of Asian Market Segments

Queensborough empowered me to master English, an essential communication skill which has broken many barriers for me. Now I want to give back so that others have the same opportunities to reach their goals and change their lives.”

Corporate Partner of the Year

Salvatore J. DiMartino

First Senior Vice President,

Director of Investor Relations & Strategic Planning at New York Community Bancorp Inc. 

“Though my career is rooted in finance, I also love theatre and music and believe that arts education is an essential part of the broader curriculum. Queensborough demonstrates this mission through its first-class, accredited art programs that offer students a wide range of opportunities in these fields.”

Art Gallery Partner of the Year

Zhuo Huai, S. W. Sang

Owner and Founder, Golden Jade Jewelry

 “I am very impressed by the collaboration between Queensborough’s Art Gallery and the Department of Art and Design at Queensborough Community College. This partnership provides exceptional opportunities for students to see world-class exhibits, meet renowned artists and display their own works, so crucial to developing creativity and self-confidence.”

All funds raised by the Gala will be used to support student success initiatives with the goal of increasing student retention and graduation rates, giving them an extra edge to find a career and earn a living wage. Funds will also be used to enrich the student learning experience by supporting faculty development, the Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center and Archives (KHRCA), the QCC Art Gallery and the Queensborough Performing Arts Center (QPAC).

The annual Partners for Progress Gala is hosted by the Queensborough Community College (QCC) Fund, Inc. The officers of the QCC Fund, Inc. are Chairman Mark Kupferberg,  Kepco, Inc., Vice Chair Charlene Prounis, ʼ76,  Flashpoint Medica  who also serves as Chair of the foundation’s Edge for Success Campaign,  Treasurer Charlotte Biblow, Esq. , Farrell Fritz, P.C., and Secretary Patricia Tiffany,  Flushing Bank who also served as Chair of this year’s Gala.

The QCC Fund Inc. celebrates distinguished honorees and pays tribute to Queensborough’s generous donors at its annual Partners for Progress Gala. Patricia Tiffany, Senior Vice President, Director of Marketing for Flushing Bank, served as Gala Chair.

Queensborough Community College of The City University of New York (CUNY) is one of the most diverse campuses in the nation. Students come from 129 different countries, speaking 78 different languages, and 34 percent speak a language other than English at home. Queensborough is a critical gateway into higher education for many students who are the first in their families to attend college. The College is committed to open-admission access and provides a comprehensive educational experience for students through its rigorous academic programs, outstanding faculty-led research opportunities, and a personalized advisement program.



Campus Cultural Centers

Kupferberg Holocaust Center exterior lit up at nightOpens in a new window
Kupferberg Holocaust Center Opens in a new window

The KHC uses the lessons of the Holocaust to educate current and future generations about the ramifications of unbridled prejudice, racism and stereotyping.

Russian Ballet performing at the Queensborough Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window
QPAC: Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window

QPAC is an invaluable entertainment company in this region with a growing national reputation. The arts at QPAC continues to play a vital role in transforming lives and building stronger communities.

Queensborough Art Gallery exterior in the afternoonOpens in a new window
QCC Art GalleryOpens in a new window

The QCC Art Gallery of the City University of New York is a vital educational and cultural resource for Queensborough Community College, the Borough of Queens and the surrounding communities.