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QCC sets up advisory panel of Asian leaders

Queensborough Community College, armed with a new plan to reach out to its Asian neighbors, introduced the 12 members of the Asian Community Advisory Board, who come from the Flushing business and civic communities and the college.

“The board is composed of select leaders from the Asian community who were appointed by President Diane Call in consultation with the Flushing Chinese Business Association,” said Jeffrey Chen, director of workforce and professional development. “The board’s mission will be set in due time. Suffice to say, this is an opportunity for Queensborough Community College to consult with members of the Asian community on events and projects in pursuit of a joint benefit for the college and the community.”

Chen suggested the board may advise the college on professional workshops and educational opportunities, such as assisting associate degree candidates who may have difficulty navigating the CUNY system due to less-than-proficient English-speaking abilities.

“The reason that this partnership works so well is that we happen to be tenants of a pretty large space for the CUNY Center for Higher Education set in downtown Flushing,” Chen said.

Located in the Prince Center at 39-07 Prince St., the center offers information and guidance on the CUNY admissions process in Chinese, Mandarin, Korean and Portuguese. Both the Flushing and Bayside locations offer the Port of Entry Program — an intensive language-development program designed to provide international students with language skills, knowledge and experience in order to navigate both higher education and professional careers.

Chen added that 25 percent of the college’s student body is Asian. “We accept people of all backgrounds irrespective of documentation,” he said. “It’s one of the benefits of being a community college.”

President Diane Call, who appointed the members, said she hoped the board would “advise us so we can understand how to meet the needs of the Flushing community.”

Call said it is important for students to have roll models on both the advisory board and in the college’s faculty.

“We have a growing number of faculty from Asia: China, Korea, Bangladesh, India — all part of the Pacific Rim,” she said.

Speaking through an interpreter, board Chairman and President of the Flushing Chinese Business Association Liu Tee Shu said that as a successful businesswoman she appreciated what the United States had offered her, and she wished to return something to the community.

Co-chairman Peter Tu, executive director of the FCBA, said he would like to see the percentage of the college’s Asian student body increase. He added that places such as China and Taiwan do not have community colleges, and that the board could assist in introducing the model to foreign countries.

Other members of the board include Co-Chairwoman Rosemary Sullivan Zins, vice president for institutional advancement at the college, and Margaret Liu, founder of the American Asian Ladies Association.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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