Hilary Ballon was formerly the Deputy Vice Chancellor of NYU Abu Dhabi, and a founding member of the team that conceptualized the design, curriculum, and campus of NYUAD. She was also a faculty member at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, where she taught courses on urbanism and architecture.
She was prolific in her work and research, having curated multiple exhibitions and written numerous books. She has been honored by NYU faculty for excellence in teaching and scholarship on the intersection of cities, politics, architecture and social life.
Before her death, she established the Hilary Ballon Scholarship Fund, which provides support to first-generation students and community college transfer students who plan to study the arts, humanities and social sciences. Her impact and legacy continues as her family and those impacted by her work generously contribute in her memory.
The University's Prison Education Program (NYU PEP) recently received a $1 million, three-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. NYU PEP is a university-wide initiative that offers college learning credits leading to an NYU Associate of Arts Degree in Liberal Studies to incarcerated individuals at the Wallkill Correctional Facility in upstate New York.
The goal of the program is to acknowledge the injustices and inequalities that frame the educational environment. By integrating an education system within prison, NYU PEP seeks to remove the barriers to higher education for incarcerated people and their families, and to provide its graduates with the proper tools to navigate life after incarceration.
"We are grateful for the generous support from the Mellon Foundation—its backing will allow the program not only to fulfill its educational mission, but also to expand its promise." - Nikhil Singh, faculty director of NYU PEP
To date, 112 students have taken college credit classes, 42 courses have been taught, and 5 students have graduated from its inaugural class. The grant from the Mellon Foundation enable programs like NYU PEP to continue its work and commitment to reshaping ideas about incarceration and higher education. Learn more about NYU's Prison Education Program.
Marina Zurkow is a professor at the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at the Tisch School of the Arts. She is a media artist focused on technology, environmental issues, and life sciences.
She recently spearheaded Climoji, a project exploring the realities of climate change through daily conversation, along with graduate students Viniyata Pany and Richard Lapham, and the SustainableITP committee. They received a Green Grant through the NYU Office of Sustainability, which is awarded to faculty, students and staff who aim to improve the university's operational environmental performance. Support to projects like Climoji demonstrates the commitment toward educating the NYU community and beyond about the importance of sustainable practice.
"Funding is obviously important so people have some financial support. Art-making is labor, on the one hand. But in the current value-system, funding is also a primary signifier of cultural, creative and intellectual worth." -Professor Zurkow
The group designed a set of visual emojis ranging from auto emissions, toxic fuels, and plastic bottles. These emojis address the negative effects of climate change through SMS conversations and hopes to change common discourse surrounding ideas about the environment and daily life.
To download Climoji and learn more, visit https://climoji.org/
Dr. Mary Leou leads the Jane Wallerstein Children & Nature Project, an initiative that enables children and their teachers to explore, and connect to nature in the urban environment. The program provides hands-on activities in partner schools, and allows children to connect to nature through field trips and expeditions to natural areas. Classes visit areas like Inwood Hill Park, Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Central Park, the New York Botanic Gardens or even Black Rock Forest in Millbrook, NY, where they discover wildlife and experience the variety of habitats in our local environment.
“Our Children & Nature program opens doors to nature and provides opportunities for children to explore the outdoors in a variety habitats, from parks, gardens, rivers to streams. These expeditions foster a sense of wonder and curiosity and help create lasting connections to nature in the city. Teachers are then empowered to continue explorations and develop environmental service learning projects at their schools and local communities.“
NYU Silver Clinical Professor Dr. Susan Gerbino is the founder and director of the School’s Zelda Foster Studies Program in Palliative and End-of-Life Care (PELC), which encompasses a range of initiatives designed to develop and mentor PELC social work leaders at all stages of their careers.
The program honors the legacy of Zelda Foster, a pioneer in the development of the hospice movement in the US, which has grown to include a four-year MSW Fellowship for NYU Silver students, an 18-month national Post Master’s Leadership Fellowship, a week-long summer institute in primary palliative care, and a new program in PELC with Deaf, Deaf-Blind, and Hard of Hearing clients, in addition to the original Post-Master’s Certificate program.
Dr. Gerbino explained, “As more Americans are living with serious and chronic illnesses, there is a growing need for well-trained social workers who can advocate for the needs of patients with serious illnesses and their loved ones. Social workers are a vital part of the interdisciplinary team, helping to give voice to vulnerable patients in order to improve quality of life, ensure access to adequate pain and symptom management and attend to the emotional needs of patients and their caregivers. Your contributions have helped NYU Silver fill this gap. Ours is one of the leading programs in the country that is developing a cadre of social work clinicians and leaders with the knowledge and skills to support patients and families as they negotiate the trajectory of illness, end-of-life care and bereavement.”