Queensborough’s 2024 Partners for Progress Gala Celebrates Distinguished Honorees Dedicated to Health Care and the Fine Arts

Published: May 17, 2024

Queensborough’s 2024 Partners for Progress Gala was held May 15 at Terrace-on-the Park in Flushing Meadows Park, Queens. Nearly 300 guests convened for the event including corporate, community and business leaders, alumni, faculty, staff, students, retirees, friends, and legislators.

Dr. Christine Mangino, President of Queensborough Community College gave the welcoming remarks.

"Partnerships are essential to an institution’s success, and it is a privilege to have each of you here as a partner as we celebrate our students, recognize our Honorees, and acknowledge our generous donors. Together, we support our students with access to life-changing educational opportunities in a caring environment."

The 2024 Partners for Progress Honorees are:

Community Partner of the Year
Talya Schwartz, M.D.
President and CEO of Metro Plus Health

Healthcare Partner of the Year
Ash Tewari, MBBS, M. Ch, FRCS (Hon.)
System Chair, Department of Urology
Mount Sinai Health System
Tisch Cancer Center at The Mount Sinai Hospital

Art Gallery Partner of the Year
Marlene Tseng Yu
Founder, Rain Forest Art Foundation

Among the evening’s highlights were Queensborough student speakers who shared their stories that recalled the paths they took that led them to pursuing their degree at Queensborough Community College.

Davia Willis, ‘24 Criminal Justice Major and Student Government President. Davia has a distinguished resume of accomplishments as a Delegate for Queensborough and as Vice Chair of the CUNY Senate for International Student Affairs to speak on behalf of students to make their academic life easier. She will continue her studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice where she will major in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science.

Jake Jacobo, Health Sciences enrolled in the summer of 2023. Jake, the first in his family to attend college, overcame a lot of barriers before he enrolled at Queensborough including family responsibilities, a full-time job, and a lengthy commute from Brooklyn. There were a couple of rough starts, but Jake has reaped the benefits of the many outstanding programs Queensborough has to offer such as the Global Leaders Program and the CUNY Research Scholars Program. Recently Jake applied to the fall 2024 Nursing program cohort.

Isabel Torres, Business Administration. Isabel, just elected incoming President of Queensborough’s Student Government Association, graduated from high school and was on track to pursue a career in the trades rather than college. She changed her mind after a brief time as a plumber’s apprentice and turned her eyes towards Queensborough. She enrolled in the fall of 2023, joined the women’s volleyball team, and continued her passion for community engagement as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, CUNY Spring Forward and Tools and Tiaras to inspire girls and women to pursue non-traditional careers in trades. This spring she joined Queensborough’s track team.

Diego Robledo, Digital Art & Design and QCC Art Gallery intern has gained valuable experience at Queensborough. Aside from working beside renowned faculty artists, his sketch of John Lennon was selected for display in the 2023 Juried Student Art Exhibit. He is also a QCC Art Gallery intern. “I am learning just as much in this internship, if not more, than art interns at galleries in Manhattan. Where else can you assist in curating all aspects of shows, be exposed to acclaimed permanent art collections, and learn to develop your own discerning eye for art.” Diego plans to graduate from Queensborough in the fall semester 2024, and then continue his education at Queens college where he will study digital arts.

The annual Partners for Progress Gala is hosted by the Queensborough Community College (QCC) Fund, Inc.

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).

Queensborough Community College is New York State’s highest-ranked community college and one of the best community colleges in the United States, according to a 2023 report released by WalletHub.com. It is the sixth year in a row Queensborough has been listed as a top institution of higher education by WalletHub for its education outcomes, career outcomes, and affordability. Queensborough was also ranked among the best community colleges in New York in 2024 by the on-line publication Intelligent, and number two in New York in 2024 by the on-line publication, Niche.




Alice Doyle

Tanisha Mallette


Contact:  Alice Doyle and Tanisha Mallette

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