Close up of bee covered in pollen

The Buzz on Bees in NYC

Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development

“It’s very important for [people] to realize that even a small flowerpot on a windowsill can help a pollinator survive another day,” says Mary Leou, clinical professor of environmental education. In August 2018, Steinhardt’s Wallerstein Collaborative for Urban Environmental Education and Sustainability, for which Leou serves as director, won a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to partner with the Queens Botanical Garden, New York City Audubon, National Wildlife Federation, the Natural Areas Conservancy, and PS 110 in Greenpoint for the Bees Alive! Project.
     The initiative will install and maintain pollinator gardens in the city (most significantly the Lentol Garden in Greenpoint, Brooklyn) and provide professional development for schoolteachers, as well as class field trips to the gardens. “It’s a citizen science experiment to see, if we build more habitat that is conducive to pollinators, will they come?” Leou explains. “Will we be able to develop this interrelationship between the community and wildlife?”
     Bees and other pollinators are crucial in the production of food; Bees Alive! intends to enrich urban pollination opportunities and to make kids aware of humanity’s impact on natural habitats. “Understanding how the world works and making the choices that we need to make about how we consume, how we garden, how we protect open spaces—that’s everybody’s responsibility,” Leou says.
—Kirsten Frances O’Regan (GSAS ’14)
(Photo: Jlgutierrez/iStock)

Photos of Bryan Stevenson and the Equal Justice Initiative building

Bringing Equal Justice to Death Row

School of Law

As a student, Bryan Stevenson traveled to the American South, meeting with condemned prisoners. Four years after earning his law degree, he started the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit in Montgomery, Alabama, that provides legal services for the disenfranchised, particularly condemned inmates. “Meeting people on death row literally dying for legal assistance motivated me to want to do this work,” Stevenson says. Now he’s preparing future lawyers to do the same: the professor of clinical law has, for 20 years, run the Equal Justice and Defender Clinic, an externship that has given 148 NYU School of Law students the opportunity to work at EJI. They become part of the legal team for death row prisoners and help the organization work to, as Stevenson puts it, “change the narrative about our nation’s history of racial inequality.” He recalls that lawyers paved the way for black kids like himself to attend public schools. “These issues are decades, generations in the making,” Stevenson says, “and it’s going to take a multigenerational commitment to make the kind of just society that I believe in so deeply.”
—Kirsten Frances O’Regan (GSAS ’14)
(Photos from left: Rick Lewis/Alamy Stock Photo; Stefanie Keenan/Getty)





“It’s going to take a multigenerational commitment to make the kind of just society that I believe in so deeply.”

Tuition Is a Thing of the Past for Future Doctors

School of Medicine

“Somebody asked me whether applications were up this year, and I said, ‘A little,’ and then she said, ‘Just a little?’ And I said, ‘Well, 47 percent,’ ” reports Rafael Rivera with a laugh. The assistant professor of radiology and associate dean for admissions and financial aid is recounting the effect of her school’s decision to offer tuition-free education to all students, effective since the summer of 2018. The university also announced the creation of a new three-year medical school on the NYU Winthrop Hospital campus in Mineola, Long Island, which will offer full-tuition scholarships to all MD degree program students regardless of merit or financial need. Medical school debt helps to determine which specialties future physicians choose and even where they practice. In eliminating tuition costs, “our expectation is that it will allow students to more freely distribute themselves in areas [both medical and geographical] that have need,” Rivera says. “The lower costs and larger pool of applicants also ensures more socioeconomically diverse classes.”
—Kirsten Frances O’Regan (GSAS ’14)




According to Forbes, in 2017, the acceptance rate for NYU’s School of Medicine was 1.6 percent, making it one of the most selective in the nation.

Dental exam room with a special device that allows a wheelchair to tilt back like a dental chair

Oral Health Gets More Inclusive

College of Dentistry

For those with physical, developmental, or cognitive issues, finding a practitioner who has expertise in treating people with their challenges is difficult enough, but then there is the question of access: dental offices and treatment spaces often can’t accommodate patients in gurneys or wheelchairs who may require sedation, so they can wait months for treatment in a hospital. The new Oral Health Center for People with Disabilities occupies the eighth Floor of the Weissman Building on First Avenue. The space boasts nine dental operatories and two operating rooms—in addition to a cutting-edge multisensory space. Charles N. Bertolami, dean of Dentistry, says the center aims to become the “dental home” for these patients, treating them for life. With more than 9 percent of America’s dentists educated at NYU’s dental school, Bertolami hopes it will produce a generation of dentists who will treat disabled people with compassion, confidence, and competence.
—Kirsten Frances O’Regan (GSAS ’14)
(Photo © NYU Photo Bureau: Roemer)




Entrance sign for the NYU Dentistry Oral Health Center for People with Disabilities