A Message from Former Program Manager George Smith

About nine years ago, after a decade of academic administration work at other colleges, I became an administrative assistant to the first Director of CCNY’s brand newSustainability in the Urban Environment program. I thought of the position as temporary, and had plans to return soon to freelance writing—something I’d done years earlier. But the program started to grow, one thing led to another, and a full-time Program Manager position emerged. Looking back, I’m glad I’ve been able to helpa series of program Directors (Latif Jiji, David Rumschitzki,Alan Feigenberg, and now of course Hillary Brown) to ensure that a farsighted new academic program would be securely rooted at City College.

It’s a great relief to know that the Program Manager responsibilities are now in the extremely capable hands of Katherine. It has been inherently satisfying to be part of a program with a positive long-term vision. And much more than I’d anticipated, it has been a pleasure to get to know the students in the program and to vicariously experience their enthusiasm, fresh ideas, and wide- ranging career trajectories.

My own trajectory? I’ll always have NYC as a home base. At some point I may go back to the free-lance writing that I was so willingly “sidetracked” from nine years go.But first, I’m ready for some free-lance roving—to placesI’ve been before, and new places. I hope to spend more time outdoors. And do plenty of reading/studying, especially on forces shaping our long-term future, e.g., genetics, machine learning, space exploration, new ideas for energy generation and biosphere management.

Not to mention literature and poetry. Speaking of which, I’ve always liked that classic poem by Tennyson— Ulysses. Assuming one can overlook a few Victorianisms, it powerfully conveys—in a way that anyone can tap into—the inner dynamics of a resolve to embark on a new phase. At the moment, it certainly works for me.