Rss

Police arrested a suspect early Wednesday in the attempted rape of a young girl in a New York City building over the weekend. Authorities say the 14-year-old victim was waiting in the hallway of a building on Foster Avenue in Brooklyn last Sunday when the suspect approached her and exposed his genitals. The young girl tried to run away but...

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Personal Touch employee (left) distributes meal to Towers resident.

The Foundation for City College/ Benny’s Food Pantry has received a $16,000 grant to immediately support City College efforts in combating food insecurity for the CCNY community and the West Harlem neighborhood.

The West Harlem Development Corporation (WHDC) released Special COVID-19 Impact Grants to fund MCD9-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. The intent of the grants is to assist recipients with projects to address specific issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic in West Harlem.  WHDC’s grants address the following priority areas: Direct Health & Human Services, Workforce Services, Economic Development Services, Housing Services, and Education Services.

The CCNY monies will be used for Benny’s Food Pantry, students in The Towers residence hall, as well several senior citizen homes, a church, and CCNY community partner Living Redemption Youth Opportunity Hub (LRYOH).

Each of these centers will receive food deliveries for Thanksgiving, and another delivery for the upcoming holidays around Christmas. Benny’s Food Pantry is a campus resource open to anyone in the City University of New York community — student, staff or faculty at a college within the CUNY system — to visit whenever they or those they care for are in need.

A total of 700 meals will be served. Personal Touch food service brought 100 meals to the CCNY Towers early Thanksgiving week. Cafe One, a Harlem café and CCNY neighbor, will deliver 600 meals to Greater Harlem Baptist Church, Living Redemption, PSS Manhattanville, and Wilson Major Morris Community Center.

About the West Harlem Development Corporation 
West Harlem Development Corporation (WHDC) was born from the need to implement the deliverables and expectations of the May 18, 2009 Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) between Columbia University and West Harlem Local Development Corporation. WHDC functions with the vision of building collaborations and leveraging resources to enhance the lives of the residents of West Harlem beyond the term of the CBA.

About the City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high-quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. CCNY embraces its position at the forefront of social change. It is ranked #1 by the Harvard-based Opportunity Insights out of 369 selective public colleges in the United States on the overall mobility index. This measure reflects both access and outcomes, representing the likelihood that a student at CCNY can move up two or more income quintiles. In addition, the Center for World University Rankings places CCNY in the top 1.8% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. Labor analytics firm Emsi puts at $1.9 billion CCNY’s annual economic impact on the regional economy (5 boroughs and 5 adjacent counties) and quantifies the “for dollar” return on investment to students, taxpayers and society. At City College, more than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself. View CCNY Media Kit.

 

Susan Konig
p: (212) 650-8437
e:   skonig@ccny.cuny.edu

Rss

Public health officials are sounding alarms and urging Americans not to travel and limit gatherings this holiday season amid a new surge in coronavirus cases

Rss

A newly published Science journal paper reveals that water can exist as two liquids of differing density.

Brooklyn College Associate Professor Nicolas Giovambattista, chair of the Department of Physics and a member of the physics and chemistry Ph.D. programs at the CUNY Graduate Center, was part of an international team that helped prove that water has multiple liquid states, which has potential implications in low-temperature chemical and biochemical processes in aqueous environments. Their findings were published in the journal Science on November 20.

You can read the paper here.

“What our study shows is that when water reaches approximately -63 degrees centigrade it can separate into two liquid states, with one liquid being 20 percent more dense than the other,” Giovambattista said. “This is a fundamental finding that explains naturally many of the anomalous properties of water at low temperatures.”

The possibility that water could exist in two different liquid states was proposed approximately 30 years ago, based on results obtained from computer simulations, Giovambattista added. This counterintuitive hypothesis has been one of the most important questions in the chemistry and physics of water, and a controversial scenario since its beginnings. This is because experiments that can access the two liquid states in water have been very challenging, due to the apparently unavoidable ice formation at the conditions where the two liquids should exist.

The usual “liquid” state of water that we are all familiar with corresponds to liquid water at normal temperatures (approximately 25 degrees centigrade). However, the paper shows that water at low temperatures (approximately -63 degrees centigrade) exists in two different liquid states, a low-density liquid at low pressures and a high-density liquid at high pressures. These two liquids have noticeable different properties and differ by 20 percent in density. The results imply that at appropriate conditions, water should exist as two immiscible liquids separated by a thin interface similar to the coexistence of oil and water.

Water is a ubiquitous liquid with many highly unique properties. The way it responds to changes in pressure and temperature can be completely different from other liquids that we know, and these properties are essential to many practical applications and, particularly, to life as we know it. What causes many of these anomalies has long been a source of scientific inspiration with many potential theoretical explanations. This research proved that water can exist in two different liquid states, which can explain many of water’s anomalous properties. The team used complex experiments and computer simulations, which Brooklyn College Associate Professor Nicolas Giovambattista worked on, to support their findings.

Because water is one of the most important substances on Earth—the solvent of life as we know it—its “phase behavior” plays a fundamental role in different various fields, including biochemistry, climate, cryopreservation, cryobiology, and material science, and in many industrial processes where water acts as a solvent, product, reactant, or impurity. It follows that unusual characteristics in water’s phase behavior, such as the presence of two liquid states, can affect numerous scientific and engineering applications.

“It remains an open question how the presence of two liquids may affect the behavior of aqueous solutions in general, and, in particular, how the two liquids may affect biomolecules in aqueous environments,” Giovambattista said. “This motivates further studies in the search of potential applications.”

The international team was led by Anders Nilsson, professor of chemical physics at Stockholm University, Sweden. The experiments, described as “science-fiction-like” by Giovambattista, were performed by colleagues from Stockholm University, Pohang University of Science and Technology and Pohang Accelerator Laboratory X-ray Free Electron Laser in Pohang, South Korea, and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, California. The computer simulations were performed by Giovambattista and Peter H. Poole, professor at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. The computer simulations played a very important role in the interpretation of the experiments, as these experiments are extremely complex and some observables are not accessible.

 

Rss

Lines stretched across New York City on Saturday as thousands waited in line to ensure turkey would be on the table for Thanksgiving dinner. Food insecurity is not a new struggle for many New York families, but the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has left millions more without employment and resources stretched thin. Hundreds of turkeys will be handed out to families...

Rss

Hashmiru Sesay, a second-year producing student at the Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema, is COVID health and safety manager at “Saturday Night Live.”

When New York State first went into quarantine last March, Hashmiru Sesay, then a first-year producing student at the Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema, lost his job at a production company, and most of the other film projects he was working on fell through.

“Between no work and remote school, I was sitting at home not feeling good at all,” he says.

But as the city opened up over the summer and productions resumed, the former nurse—who had left the field about a year earlier to put an all-out effort into his dream of becoming a filmmaker—found work on a Facebook commercial as a set medic. He was mostly helping a friend and earning a little pocket change, he says, but it led to a chance meeting with another medic who realized his combination of production experience and medical training made him perfect for a position she was looking to fill.

“She said, ‘Would you mind if I sent your résumé to the president of health and safety at NBC Universal?’” Sesay recalls.

A week later, he’s talking to the network executive, and a week after that he became the COVID health and safety manager, charged with overseeing social-distancing and other pandemic protocols for the cast and crew of all pre-recorded skits for the 46th season of “Saturday Night Live.”

“It was quite surreal when I was offered the position,” says Sesay, who was especially nervous because he was the first to hold the job for the comedy show. “Frankly, it’s a dream. I finally feel like I’ve been given a shot, so I am laser-focused on maximizing this opportunity.”

Now six shows in, Sesay is getting into his stride. He interfaces with all areas of production, analyzing set builds, managing maximum occupancy, reporting unsafe events, recommending remedial and preventative actions, and developing safety plans for a cast and crew that is upwards of 75 people on any given week. It’s a full-time position that begins anew each Tuesday when they first get the script, through Saturday morning when most of the pre-produced material is wrapped up. Fridays, when the bulk of the shoots are done, are his favorite.

“There are so many logistics and nuances you have to take into account to make sure everyone is being as safe as possible,” says Sesay, who had picked up an eight-week stint working on the COVID floor of Manhattan’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center last spring; he had the skill set and the city had the need. “Enforcing the policies has been the hardest part. It’s not in my nature to correct people constantly. I think the universe put this position in my lap so that I could gain certain skills.”

He’s also meeting people in the industry and building relationships. The fanboy in him keeps it professional, but he says the entire cast is “so down to earth.” Chris Rock was “pretty cool,” but Dave Chappelle was inaccessible—he didn’t have any pre-recorded skits, so Sesay never got to meet him.

“It’s been a great learning experience. It is my first time working on a TV show and seeing how hard everyone works and the intense pace of everything,” he says. “I’m just excited to move forward with the season. We can be a shining example of how a huge production can go on.”

Rss

Three Giants players have tested positive for COVID-19, the team announced Friday morning. The team was informed of the positive test results Thursday night and the players were notified to self-isolate. According to the team, the contact tracing process is underway. Because the team is on a bye week, the Giants office is currently closed, with players and coaches expected...

Rss

BMCC students running for exercise

BMCC students at the 5K run near campus, before the onset of the pandemic.

 

Before Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) transitioned to distance learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rob Gizis, a web designer in the Public Affairs office, would ride a Citi Bike four miles from his Prospect Heights, Brooklyn apartment to his office at Fiterman Hall in lower Manhattan.

In addition to taking in majestic views of Manhattan as he crossed the Brooklyn Bridge, Gizis said his commute was invigorating.

“Generally speaking, when I do ride, I’ve not only got more energy, I have a bit more bounce throughout the rest of the day,” said Gizis.

But now that Gizis is working at home, it’s been challenging to carve out time for a bike ride either before or after work—and he is not alone. The daily routines of thousands of BMCC faculty, staff and students were upended by the COVID-19 pandemic. The sense of isolation from working and attending class at home can result in added stress and anxiety. One healthy stress coping mechanism is to make the extra effort to keep physically active.

Exercise is an anxiety buster

“One of the worst things you can do right now, is stay in the house staring at the walls or a computer screen,” said Michael Cullen, a certified trainer who oversees BMCC’s fitness center and recreation programs. “The best thing you can do for yourself is to get up and say, let’s go take a walk or maybe a light jog.”

The payoffs of exercise are tremendous. Numerous scientific reports show that keeping physically active has health benefits beyond improving muscle tone and putting pep in a person’s step.

Exercise in almost any form not only reduces stress it can enhance mood. Being active boosts feel-good neurotransmitters or endorphins. And any physical activity that takes a person away from sitting at a desk all day long can serves as a healthy distraction from anxiety.

Cullen says he and his wife have gone out for daily walks—a minimum of 2.5 miles daily— since the onset of the pandemic. The wear and tear to the ankles and knees from walking, which is an aerobic exercise, is minimal, he said. Over time, the cumulative impact on the body from daily walks is very good for the body and mind.

“A nice walk through the park looking at the trees or other sites in your neighborhood will get your blood circulating, your heart and lungs pumping and improve your mood and your spirit,” said Cullen.

For the more ambitious, bicycling and running as well as weight and resistance exercises such as yoga, martial arts or Pilates are all beneficial to mind and body.

“If you need more muscle to compensate with the physical activity you’re undertaking, the body will build new and stronger muscle mass that can push or pull greater amounts of weight and endure for longer periods of time,” said Cullen. “But if you don’t exercise at all, the body won’t maintain the existing muscle mass you’re not using.”

The same is true for the heart and lungs.  If a person is not in motion, the heart, lungs and circulatory system function at a lower level, and eventually, they get used to it, says Cullen.

“They won’t be accustomed to delivering blood and oxygen to the muscles and brain at a higher rate,” said Cullen.

When a person exercises, the body demands natural hormones and steroids which has a psychological effect. But, when a person stops exercising, they might be more susceptible to mood slumps.

Explore your exercise options

“There are ways to add spice to exercise routines and fight the slumps by switching things up. One way is to seek out a partner to walk, ride or workout with,” said Cullen.

Another tactic is to try out new ways of exercising. Maybe ride a different bicycle or stop biking and switch to running or vice versa. Walkers can choose a different path or street and take in new sights and scenery.

“I’m also a big proponent of martial arts,” said Cullen. “You can do beginner martial arts exercises at home by yourself. It’s as simple as going to You Tube and finding a beginner level course where you can learn katas, forms and patterns.”

Fundamentally, it’s all about staying active in one form or another according to Cullen.

BMCC Health Education Professor Jason Bravo concurs, adding that in addition reducing stress and increasing metabolism, exercise provides a sense of resilience and accomplishment that can carry over into other aspects of a person’s life.

“I’m a huge proponent of people exercising every day, for at least a brief period,” said Bravo. “It facilitates better circulation, improved delivery and utilization of ingested nutrients, improved range of motion, improved digestion and an immediate sense of well-being that eventually comes to fruition, with consistency.”

Bravo said people should try to incorporate some light resistance exercises into their routines, as the consistent, full contraction of muscles can trigger a cascade of anabolic hormones that improve the performance and integrity of muscles, along with potentially decreasing joint friction.

“In simple terms, squeezing your muscles leaves tone in your muscles which can improve spinal and bone alignment and in general, will make you feel better,” said Bravo.

Search for free or reduced-price yoga classes online

Teacher Education Professor Cara Kronen has been teaching yoga for 15 years. She first discovered the ancient Indian practice when her mother took her to a class after a bad car accident. At first, Kronen wasn’t the biggest fan of the practice.

“Despite hating yoga classes at first, I kept going back,” said Kronen. “I could tell this was something my body and heart really needed and slowly I could see the profound changes in my mental health and overall well-being.”

Since coming to BMCC, Kronen has been offering Yoga for Teachers as a professional development program for K-12 educators in New York City. She says there is more to yoga than stretches, poses and physical postures.

“Yoga practices can include focus on mindful meditation, breath, selfless service, and ritual cleansing, amongst other things,” said Kronen. “Yoga teaches us to focus on the present, be in the here and now, not the past or the future. When you’re not focused on what was or will be, you let go of anxiety and fears. The physical practice is what helps keep your mind focused on the present moment.”

Although yoga has been mass marketed in the United States and has become pricey and exclusionary, most yoga studios offer community classes for free or at reduced rates, says Kronen.

“Living in the age of COVD has pushed many teachers to offer yoga classes online for much lower rates or for free, on YouTube or Facebook Live,” said Kronen. “You just have to be committed and open-minded.”

This article is included with resources on the BMCC Resilience, Health and Wellness website, which provides inspiration and support for students, faculty and staff navigating life in the age of COVID.

The BMCC fitness center offers free online workout videos.

For fitness questions regarding fitness or an exercise routine, reach out to BMCC Fitness Center’s Michael Cullen at mcullen@bmcc.cuny.edu.

For a free downloadable map of New York City bike lanes click here.

New York City Parks maps of hiking trails are available here.

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The commissioner’s office said Canó, who was previously penalized 80 games for a positive test in 2018 while playing with Seattle, tested positive for the anabolic steroid Stanozolol

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Brooklyn College Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema distinguished lecturer Julia Solomonoff’s documentary, The Illusion of an Everlasting Summer, has won a Sundance Institute Documentary Fund Grant. Solomonoff teaches directing at Feirstein and is head of the Directing Program.

Co-produced by Solomonoff and Lúcia Reis, the documentary chronicles the photography work of Alessandra Sanguinetti, which over 20 years is an intimate portrait of two girls, their everyday lives, fantasies and dreams, as well as inequalities growing up as women in rural Argentina. Sanguinetti’s photographs also were shown at distinguished museums, including MoMA and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes.

The latest cohort of grantees was announced at the end of October and comprise 23 nonfiction film projects from 21 countries of production. Unrestricted grant support, totaling $540,000, will benefit the projects across various production stages from development to post-production. Grants are made possible by The Open Society Foundations and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

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Police arrested a suspect early Wednesday in the attempted rape of a young girl in a New York City building over the weekend. Authorities say the 14-year-old victim was waiting in the hallway of a building on Foster Avenue in Brooklyn last Sunday when the suspect approached her and exposed his genitals. The young girl tried to run away but...

Rss

Personal Touch employee (left) distributes meal to Towers resident.

The Foundation for City College/ Benny’s Food Pantry has received a $16,000 grant to immediately support City College efforts in combating food insecurity for the CCNY community and the West Harlem neighborhood.

The West Harlem Development Corporation (WHDC) released Special COVID-19 Impact Grants to fund MCD9-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. The intent of the grants is to assist recipients with projects to address specific issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic in West Harlem.  WHDC’s grants address the following priority areas: Direct Health & Human Services, Workforce Services, Economic Development Services, Housing Services, and Education Services.

The CCNY monies will be used for Benny’s Food Pantry, students in The Towers residence hall, as well several senior citizen homes, a church, and CCNY community partner Living Redemption Youth Opportunity Hub (LRYOH).

Each of these centers will receive food deliveries for Thanksgiving, and another delivery for the upcoming holidays around Christmas. Benny’s Food Pantry is a campus resource open to anyone in the City University of New York community — student, staff or faculty at a college within the CUNY system — to visit whenever they or those they care for are in need.

A total of 700 meals will be served. Personal Touch food service brought 100 meals to the CCNY Towers early Thanksgiving week. Cafe One, a Harlem café and CCNY neighbor, will deliver 600 meals to Greater Harlem Baptist Church, Living Redemption, PSS Manhattanville, and Wilson Major Morris Community Center.

About the West Harlem Development Corporation 
West Harlem Development Corporation (WHDC) was born from the need to implement the deliverables and expectations of the May 18, 2009 Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) between Columbia University and West Harlem Local Development Corporation. WHDC functions with the vision of building collaborations and leveraging resources to enhance the lives of the residents of West Harlem beyond the term of the CBA.

About the City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high-quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. CCNY embraces its position at the forefront of social change. It is ranked #1 by the Harvard-based Opportunity Insights out of 369 selective public colleges in the United States on the overall mobility index. This measure reflects both access and outcomes, representing the likelihood that a student at CCNY can move up two or more income quintiles. In addition, the Center for World University Rankings places CCNY in the top 1.8% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. Labor analytics firm Emsi puts at $1.9 billion CCNY’s annual economic impact on the regional economy (5 boroughs and 5 adjacent counties) and quantifies the “for dollar” return on investment to students, taxpayers and society. At City College, more than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself. View CCNY Media Kit.

 

Susan Konig
p: (212) 650-8437
e:   skonig@ccny.cuny.edu

Rss

Public health officials are sounding alarms and urging Americans not to travel and limit gatherings this holiday season amid a new surge in coronavirus cases

Rss

A newly published Science journal paper reveals that water can exist as two liquids of differing density.

Brooklyn College Associate Professor Nicolas Giovambattista, chair of the Department of Physics and a member of the physics and chemistry Ph.D. programs at the CUNY Graduate Center, was part of an international team that helped prove that water has multiple liquid states, which has potential implications in low-temperature chemical and biochemical processes in aqueous environments. Their findings were published in the journal Science on November 20.

You can read the paper here.

“What our study shows is that when water reaches approximately -63 degrees centigrade it can separate into two liquid states, with one liquid being 20 percent more dense than the other,” Giovambattista said. “This is a fundamental finding that explains naturally many of the anomalous properties of water at low temperatures.”

The possibility that water could exist in two different liquid states was proposed approximately 30 years ago, based on results obtained from computer simulations, Giovambattista added. This counterintuitive hypothesis has been one of the most important questions in the chemistry and physics of water, and a controversial scenario since its beginnings. This is because experiments that can access the two liquid states in water have been very challenging, due to the apparently unavoidable ice formation at the conditions where the two liquids should exist.

The usual “liquid” state of water that we are all familiar with corresponds to liquid water at normal temperatures (approximately 25 degrees centigrade). However, the paper shows that water at low temperatures (approximately -63 degrees centigrade) exists in two different liquid states, a low-density liquid at low pressures and a high-density liquid at high pressures. These two liquids have noticeable different properties and differ by 20 percent in density. The results imply that at appropriate conditions, water should exist as two immiscible liquids separated by a thin interface similar to the coexistence of oil and water.

Water is a ubiquitous liquid with many highly unique properties. The way it responds to changes in pressure and temperature can be completely different from other liquids that we know, and these properties are essential to many practical applications and, particularly, to life as we know it. What causes many of these anomalies has long been a source of scientific inspiration with many potential theoretical explanations. This research proved that water can exist in two different liquid states, which can explain many of water’s anomalous properties. The team used complex experiments and computer simulations, which Brooklyn College Associate Professor Nicolas Giovambattista worked on, to support their findings.

Because water is one of the most important substances on Earth—the solvent of life as we know it—its “phase behavior” plays a fundamental role in different various fields, including biochemistry, climate, cryopreservation, cryobiology, and material science, and in many industrial processes where water acts as a solvent, product, reactant, or impurity. It follows that unusual characteristics in water’s phase behavior, such as the presence of two liquid states, can affect numerous scientific and engineering applications.

“It remains an open question how the presence of two liquids may affect the behavior of aqueous solutions in general, and, in particular, how the two liquids may affect biomolecules in aqueous environments,” Giovambattista said. “This motivates further studies in the search of potential applications.”

The international team was led by Anders Nilsson, professor of chemical physics at Stockholm University, Sweden. The experiments, described as “science-fiction-like” by Giovambattista, were performed by colleagues from Stockholm University, Pohang University of Science and Technology and Pohang Accelerator Laboratory X-ray Free Electron Laser in Pohang, South Korea, and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, California. The computer simulations were performed by Giovambattista and Peter H. Poole, professor at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. The computer simulations played a very important role in the interpretation of the experiments, as these experiments are extremely complex and some observables are not accessible.

 

Rss

Lines stretched across New York City on Saturday as thousands waited in line to ensure turkey would be on the table for Thanksgiving dinner. Food insecurity is not a new struggle for many New York families, but the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has left millions more without employment and resources stretched thin. Hundreds of turkeys will be handed out to families...

Rss

Hashmiru Sesay, a second-year producing student at the Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema, is COVID health and safety manager at “Saturday Night Live.”

When New York State first went into quarantine last March, Hashmiru Sesay, then a first-year producing student at the Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema, lost his job at a production company, and most of the other film projects he was working on fell through.

“Between no work and remote school, I was sitting at home not feeling good at all,” he says.

But as the city opened up over the summer and productions resumed, the former nurse—who had left the field about a year earlier to put an all-out effort into his dream of becoming a filmmaker—found work on a Facebook commercial as a set medic. He was mostly helping a friend and earning a little pocket change, he says, but it led to a chance meeting with another medic who realized his combination of production experience and medical training made him perfect for a position she was looking to fill.

“She said, ‘Would you mind if I sent your résumé to the president of health and safety at NBC Universal?’” Sesay recalls.

A week later, he’s talking to the network executive, and a week after that he became the COVID health and safety manager, charged with overseeing social-distancing and other pandemic protocols for the cast and crew of all pre-recorded skits for the 46th season of “Saturday Night Live.”

“It was quite surreal when I was offered the position,” says Sesay, who was especially nervous because he was the first to hold the job for the comedy show. “Frankly, it’s a dream. I finally feel like I’ve been given a shot, so I am laser-focused on maximizing this opportunity.”

Now six shows in, Sesay is getting into his stride. He interfaces with all areas of production, analyzing set builds, managing maximum occupancy, reporting unsafe events, recommending remedial and preventative actions, and developing safety plans for a cast and crew that is upwards of 75 people on any given week. It’s a full-time position that begins anew each Tuesday when they first get the script, through Saturday morning when most of the pre-produced material is wrapped up. Fridays, when the bulk of the shoots are done, are his favorite.

“There are so many logistics and nuances you have to take into account to make sure everyone is being as safe as possible,” says Sesay, who had picked up an eight-week stint working on the COVID floor of Manhattan’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center last spring; he had the skill set and the city had the need. “Enforcing the policies has been the hardest part. It’s not in my nature to correct people constantly. I think the universe put this position in my lap so that I could gain certain skills.”

He’s also meeting people in the industry and building relationships. The fanboy in him keeps it professional, but he says the entire cast is “so down to earth.” Chris Rock was “pretty cool,” but Dave Chappelle was inaccessible—he didn’t have any pre-recorded skits, so Sesay never got to meet him.

“It’s been a great learning experience. It is my first time working on a TV show and seeing how hard everyone works and the intense pace of everything,” he says. “I’m just excited to move forward with the season. We can be a shining example of how a huge production can go on.”

Rss

Three Giants players have tested positive for COVID-19, the team announced Friday morning. The team was informed of the positive test results Thursday night and the players were notified to self-isolate. According to the team, the contact tracing process is underway. Because the team is on a bye week, the Giants office is currently closed, with players and coaches expected...

Rss

BMCC students running for exercise

BMCC students at the 5K run near campus, before the onset of the pandemic.

 

Before Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) transitioned to distance learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rob Gizis, a web designer in the Public Affairs office, would ride a Citi Bike four miles from his Prospect Heights, Brooklyn apartment to his office at Fiterman Hall in lower Manhattan.

In addition to taking in majestic views of Manhattan as he crossed the Brooklyn Bridge, Gizis said his commute was invigorating.

“Generally speaking, when I do ride, I’ve not only got more energy, I have a bit more bounce throughout the rest of the day,” said Gizis.

But now that Gizis is working at home, it’s been challenging to carve out time for a bike ride either before or after work—and he is not alone. The daily routines of thousands of BMCC faculty, staff and students were upended by the COVID-19 pandemic. The sense of isolation from working and attending class at home can result in added stress and anxiety. One healthy stress coping mechanism is to make the extra effort to keep physically active.

Exercise is an anxiety buster

“One of the worst things you can do right now, is stay in the house staring at the walls or a computer screen,” said Michael Cullen, a certified trainer who oversees BMCC’s fitness center and recreation programs. “The best thing you can do for yourself is to get up and say, let’s go take a walk or maybe a light jog.”

The payoffs of exercise are tremendous. Numerous scientific reports show that keeping physically active has health benefits beyond improving muscle tone and putting pep in a person’s step.

Exercise in almost any form not only reduces stress it can enhance mood. Being active boosts feel-good neurotransmitters or endorphins. And any physical activity that takes a person away from sitting at a desk all day long can serves as a healthy distraction from anxiety.

Cullen says he and his wife have gone out for daily walks—a minimum of 2.5 miles daily— since the onset of the pandemic. The wear and tear to the ankles and knees from walking, which is an aerobic exercise, is minimal, he said. Over time, the cumulative impact on the body from daily walks is very good for the body and mind.

“A nice walk through the park looking at the trees or other sites in your neighborhood will get your blood circulating, your heart and lungs pumping and improve your mood and your spirit,” said Cullen.

For the more ambitious, bicycling and running as well as weight and resistance exercises such as yoga, martial arts or Pilates are all beneficial to mind and body.

“If you need more muscle to compensate with the physical activity you’re undertaking, the body will build new and stronger muscle mass that can push or pull greater amounts of weight and endure for longer periods of time,” said Cullen. “But if you don’t exercise at all, the body won’t maintain the existing muscle mass you’re not using.”

The same is true for the heart and lungs.  If a person is not in motion, the heart, lungs and circulatory system function at a lower level, and eventually, they get used to it, says Cullen.

“They won’t be accustomed to delivering blood and oxygen to the muscles and brain at a higher rate,” said Cullen.

When a person exercises, the body demands natural hormones and steroids which has a psychological effect. But, when a person stops exercising, they might be more susceptible to mood slumps.

Explore your exercise options

“There are ways to add spice to exercise routines and fight the slumps by switching things up. One way is to seek out a partner to walk, ride or workout with,” said Cullen.

Another tactic is to try out new ways of exercising. Maybe ride a different bicycle or stop biking and switch to running or vice versa. Walkers can choose a different path or street and take in new sights and scenery.

“I’m also a big proponent of martial arts,” said Cullen. “You can do beginner martial arts exercises at home by yourself. It’s as simple as going to You Tube and finding a beginner level course where you can learn katas, forms and patterns.”

Fundamentally, it’s all about staying active in one form or another according to Cullen.

BMCC Health Education Professor Jason Bravo concurs, adding that in addition reducing stress and increasing metabolism, exercise provides a sense of resilience and accomplishment that can carry over into other aspects of a person’s life.

“I’m a huge proponent of people exercising every day, for at least a brief period,” said Bravo. “It facilitates better circulation, improved delivery and utilization of ingested nutrients, improved range of motion, improved digestion and an immediate sense of well-being that eventually comes to fruition, with consistency.”

Bravo said people should try to incorporate some light resistance exercises into their routines, as the consistent, full contraction of muscles can trigger a cascade of anabolic hormones that improve the performance and integrity of muscles, along with potentially decreasing joint friction.

“In simple terms, squeezing your muscles leaves tone in your muscles which can improve spinal and bone alignment and in general, will make you feel better,” said Bravo.

Search for free or reduced-price yoga classes online

Teacher Education Professor Cara Kronen has been teaching yoga for 15 years. She first discovered the ancient Indian practice when her mother took her to a class after a bad car accident. At first, Kronen wasn’t the biggest fan of the practice.

“Despite hating yoga classes at first, I kept going back,” said Kronen. “I could tell this was something my body and heart really needed and slowly I could see the profound changes in my mental health and overall well-being.”

Since coming to BMCC, Kronen has been offering Yoga for Teachers as a professional development program for K-12 educators in New York City. She says there is more to yoga than stretches, poses and physical postures.

“Yoga practices can include focus on mindful meditation, breath, selfless service, and ritual cleansing, amongst other things,” said Kronen. “Yoga teaches us to focus on the present, be in the here and now, not the past or the future. When you’re not focused on what was or will be, you let go of anxiety and fears. The physical practice is what helps keep your mind focused on the present moment.”

Although yoga has been mass marketed in the United States and has become pricey and exclusionary, most yoga studios offer community classes for free or at reduced rates, says Kronen.

“Living in the age of COVD has pushed many teachers to offer yoga classes online for much lower rates or for free, on YouTube or Facebook Live,” said Kronen. “You just have to be committed and open-minded.”

This article is included with resources on the BMCC Resilience, Health and Wellness website, which provides inspiration and support for students, faculty and staff navigating life in the age of COVID.

The BMCC fitness center offers free online workout videos.

For fitness questions regarding fitness or an exercise routine, reach out to BMCC Fitness Center’s Michael Cullen at mcullen@bmcc.cuny.edu.

For a free downloadable map of New York City bike lanes click here.

New York City Parks maps of hiking trails are available here.

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The commissioner’s office said Canó, who was previously penalized 80 games for a positive test in 2018 while playing with Seattle, tested positive for the anabolic steroid Stanozolol

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Brooklyn College Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema distinguished lecturer Julia Solomonoff’s documentary, The Illusion of an Everlasting Summer, has won a Sundance Institute Documentary Fund Grant. Solomonoff teaches directing at Feirstein and is head of the Directing Program.

Co-produced by Solomonoff and Lúcia Reis, the documentary chronicles the photography work of Alessandra Sanguinetti, which over 20 years is an intimate portrait of two girls, their everyday lives, fantasies and dreams, as well as inequalities growing up as women in rural Argentina. Sanguinetti’s photographs also were shown at distinguished museums, including MoMA and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes.

The latest cohort of grantees was announced at the end of October and comprise 23 nonfiction film projects from 21 countries of production. Unrestricted grant support, totaling $540,000, will benefit the projects across various production stages from development to post-production. Grants are made possible by The Open Society Foundations and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.