Final Director’s Update

NYCE 2013

NYCE 2013

Parents and Guardians,

The Final Banquet and the Awards Ceremony are now over. The first tears of goodbye have been shed, as students say farewell to new friends from the four corners of the world. Some students have already been picked up by parents. Other students have already left via railway and taxi. Our first bus to the airport has just pulled away from the front gates of Barnard College.

The Wednesday night coffeehouse, with its public speakers and poetry readers; the Thursday afternoon class exhibitions of CPR demonstrations, business pitches, and art exhibitions (among many others); and the musical theater performance (twenty-three songs back-to-back, complete with dancing!), were impressive examples of what these students have accomplished in their four short weeks here. They are an exceptionally talented group of young men and women, and the faculty and staff have been honored to be able to get to know them.

Thank you for sharing the summer with us. I hope that each and every student of NYCE brings the same energy that they felt here to their respective schools at home, as well as further afield. It was refreshing and inspiring for me, as an educator, to spend a month learning alongside them. I am sure that the friendships and connections formed this summer will have a memorable, lasting impact on all the students, as they will have on all of us here.

With warm regards,

Kevin Held
NYCE Director

Final Exhibits!

Art exhibits, psychology experiments, mock trials, crime scenes, business pitches, cpr and blood pressure instructions, economic presentations, journalism publications, financial investment advice and a musical theater performance! The final New York College Experience Final Exhibition was an amazing experience where students showcased not only what they’ve learned but also the fun that they’ve had on the journey!

Attached is the map of events once again.  *NYCE Exhibitions Map*

Student Coffeehouse & Debate

As the finale rolls near, students begin sharing all the amazing work they’ve done over the month. Today, it began with the Coffeehouse. Students showcased several pieces from the Creative Writing classes, enjoyed International Relations’ satire news reports, and heard heated orations from Public Speaking. The floor was also open to anyone to share poems, stories, original works and more while they supported fellow classmates. Creative writing also created and shared with all students a booklet complete with original work and included photography, artwork, short stories and poetry from other classes. Public Speaking also had a debate with a full panel of judges for the event.

Tomorrow, more classes will present what they’ve learned and worked on over their month in New York. The entire Diana Center will be full with art exhibits, psychology experiments, mock trials, crime scenes, business pitches, medical presentations and more! Attached below is a map and schedule of events for the New York College Experience Final Exhibition!

*NYCE Exhibitions Map*

“Without music, life would be a mistake.”

Raj Bhimani

A world-renowned concert pianist, Raj Bhimani’s performances have been lauded by the New York Times as “virtuosic, heartfelt and eloquent.” He performs regularly across North America, Europe and India, and has played on several occasions at New York’s famous Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. He not only performs for the students but also offers a history of the piano, with a close look at the mechanics of the instrument.

Elizabeth Weinfeld

Editor of the Met’s monumental “Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History” since 2008, Elizabeth manages the online content of the Museum’s collection and writes about historic musical instruments for publication. She is also The Chancellor’s Fellow in Music at the Graduate Center of the City College of New York. A classically trained musician and historic musicologist, Elizabeth is also the program’s Art History instructor. She put on a renaissance music concert in our lounge up in the sky with a beautiful view.

Director’s Update: Week 3

Coney Island

Parents and Guardians,

Three weeks have flown by here at the New York College Experience. Students have had the opportunity to visit Columbia University, NYU, Yale, Princeton, and UPenn. At each school, they met with current students and explored the campus. This third week was filled with fun, from the Tuesday trip to Coney Island to the ice cream sundaes on Friday with Oxbridge founder Professor Jim Basker.  After tonight’s Neon Glowing Dance, I am sure that many people will sleep late on Sunday morning.

Major and Minor classes continue to explore the “city that never sleeps” – as part of a class experiment, the entire psychology class, their teacher, and a program assistant stayed up all night to study the effects of sleep deprivation on the brain.  Cataloguing their reactions to various stimuli throughout the night, they also, as a group, experienced an all-night diner in Midtown and watched the sunrise at Battery Park. The journalism students got an inside look at the workings of the newsroom for Good Morning America and the New York Times. On the private tour of the Times offices, the students were taken into the “page one” conference room; through the newsroom; past the iconic red staircase; up to the Pulitzer Prize display; and even into the cafeteria and staff lounge for Times journalists. The Art History students enjoyed a private tour of the Northern European Renaissance tapestries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which was led by the curator of decorative arts; they were even allowed to pass behind the ropes into the Met’s period rooms, normally off-limits to all visitors.

This final week together is full of special events to celebrate the students’ accomplishments during the summer. A Talent Show on Sunday evening and an open-mic coffee house on Wednesday will showcase student performances, where creative writers, public speakers and others will share their work. On Thursday afternoon, the Art Gallery in the Diana Center will feature the creations that our Fine Arts students have produced over the course of the month, and each floor will feature class presentations where students have the opportunity to share their work with their peers.  The Final Banquet and Dance will take place on Friday night, and in the wee hours of Saturday morning, the first buses will depart Barnard College.

By this time next Saturday, all the students will be on their way home to all the four corners of the world. However, we still have one last week to share the magical experience that is NYCE 2013.

Kevin Held
NYCE Director

James Basker: Guest Lecture & Ice Cream Social

“Nothing can be realized that hasn’t first been imagined.”

Founder of Oxbridge Academic Programs, Professor James Basker visited the students today for a guest lecture as well as a fun ice cream social!

The Richard Gilder Professor of Literary History at Barnard College, Columbia University, Professor Basker studied at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar where he completed his doctorate in English literature, and at Cambridge where he earned his MA.

Professor Basker gave a lecture on a topic he is quite passionate about, How Poetry Helped End Slavery. After the lecture, and answering off topic general questions about studying in various great institutions, he invited the students to an ice cream social which in this mid summer heat was a huge hit!

International Business: Wall St. & the World

International Business students have made full use of the resources available in New York City, one of the world’s greatest financial hubs. Busy with visits to Wall St., a marketing specialist perspective private tour of Macy’s, participating in the opening and closing bell ceremonies of Nasdaq, the world of business has become a live first hand experience. Students visited the Museum of American Finance and toured the United Nations to give context to the complexity with international trade laws and business.

From creating business plans, focus marketing, and understanding the intricacies of international business, it is no wonder real entrepreneurs have visited the class to pitch their business proposals to the students who gave in depth critique and advice!

Science of the Future Class: Traveling New Worlds, Energy, & the New Humankind

The Science of the Future students split into groups constructing miniature robotics in an attempt to discuss how these marvels of the current age pave the way in space exploration, energy manipulation, robotics interfacing, and bio-mechanics for the future of “humanity.”

Student groups built a 4 legged moon walker and an all terrain rover as part of the Traversing New Worlds segment. Rockets with fully functioning engines were part of a segment on Propulsion, Energy, and Space travel. Finally, a robotic arm was the focus of From Machinery and Tools onto The New Human.

Journalism Class: New York Times Headquarters

The Journalism students were given a rare glimpse inside the most famous news room in the world, The New York Times headquarters. On the private tour the students were taken by the “page one” conference room, through the newsroom, past the iconic red staircase, up to the Pulitzer Prize display, and even into the cafeteria and staff lounge where chair massages were being offered to the Times journalists! The tour ended with a question and answer session with an employee of the New York Times.

Here they are conducting “Man on the Street” interviews in Grand Central Terminal. After watching and discussing examples of MOS interviews that ranged from Jimmy Kimmels “Lie Witness News” and Jay Leno’s “Jay Walking” to local news stations covering the political campaign, the students set out in busy Grand Central to conduct their own MOS interviews regarding 4th of July plans.


Spaceships, Roller Coasters, and College Visits?


Parents and Guardians,

We have reached the halfway point in our program; students have successfully completed two weeks of classes. Science of the Future students went to the Math Museum, Art History students explored the beautiful Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Medical Science students were thrilled to watch an open heart surgery.  I was amazed to learn that the Medical science students were able to speak to the doctor via a monitor during the surgery. One of our German students even chatted with the doctor in German!

To celebrate this two week midpoint milestone, all students were able to swap Major and Minor classes for today only. The purpose of swap day is to allow students to get a taste of the other subjects and meet some of the other teachers of the NYCE.  It was a great chance for friends to see what their peers were studying. Fine Art students were able to produce some pretty impressive two point perspective drawings; the Math and Finance students played numerical games; and many students had the chance to explore the eternal philosophical questions through the lenses of Anthropology, Psychology, and Human Rights.  Class Swap Day is fun for both the faculty and student body.

The activities directors have done well to find unusual offerings only possible in the Big Apple. Last Tuesday, students had the chance to eat their way through the plants around Central Park with naturalist, Steve Brill. If foraging was not their idea of fun, groups of students also ventured to the Intrepid Museum, the studios of NBC, and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Thursday night, after a long day of traveling and visiting an Ivy League University; students came home to bake delicious treats for anyone and everyone that felt hungry. That same night, students had the opportunity to learn how to knit iPod covers.  Next Tuesday, many students are looking forward to escaping Manhattan for the thrills of Luna Park, Coney Island, home of the 1927 wooden roller coaster named the Cyclone. If Tuesday does not leave them tired, there is a tour walking across the Brooklyn Bridge on Wednesday– students who make the trek will be rewarded with some of NYC’s most delicious pizza, Grimaldi’s.

As mentioned, Thursday, all students attended admissions information sessions and tours at Yale, Princeton, or UPenn.  Many students have been wearing apparel from those schools. Next week, they will be boarding buses again to tour another hallowed hall of Ivy.  In addition to the college tours, our own AD Phoebe (and former college admission ambassador for NYU) will give her insider’s view of the college admissions process.

This next two weeks will fly by quickly!

Kevin Held
NYCE Director