Queens College launches ‘Big Ideas’ online video series highlighting faculty research on impactful topics

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Courtesy of Queens College

A new online video series, “Big Ideas at Queens College,” is spotlighting faculty research being conducted at the CUNY school through in-depth interviews.

The series, conceived by Queens College President Frank H. Wu, will introduce viewers to faculty members who are conducting a wide range of research on impactful topics such as racial disproportionality in special education; monitoring COVID-19 in New York City’s wastewater; exploring the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on maternal health; studying historic climate trends to predict future hazards; and more.

A trailer for the new series will premiere on Thursday, Feb. 11. Season one episodes will air on Thursdays at 7 p.m. through May 6 — with the exception of April 1 — on the college’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.

“Here at Queens College, our faculty are at the forefront of creating knowledge of great importance to our community and to society,” Wu said. “In our new series, ‘Big Ideas at Queens College,’ we are highlighting outstanding educators and their amazing research. Our vision for the project was to create a means to communicate this work to a worldwide audience — it presents opportunities to engage other researchers, spurring the development of new collaborations; inspires bright young minds to pursue a course of study with these professors; and provides local and global communities with an understanding of why the work we do at Queens College is so vital to the greater good.”

Upcoming episodes will feature the following guests:

  • Professor Lenwood Gibson, special education, School of Education, discusses combating racial disproportionality in special education
  • Professor John Dennehy, biology, School of Math and Natural Sciences, discusses his project monitoring the presence of SARS coronavirus in NYC wastewater
  • Professor Yoko Nomura, psychology, School of Math and Natural Sciences, discusses how the health of mothers plays a major role in the overall health of children, and further, how disparities in the health of expectant mothers infected with COVID-19 are based on racial and socioeconomic categories
  • Isabel Cuervo, psychology, School of Math and Natural Sciences, discusses involving domestic cleaners in a study of their workplace hazards
  • Professor Francesc Ortega, economics, School of Social Sciences, discusses estimating and quantifying the importance of undocumented workers to the U.S. economy
  • Professor Daniel Kaufman, linguistics, School of Arts and Humanities, discusses his project documenting and preserving the world’s endangered languages
  • Professor Natalie Bump Vena, urban studies, School of Social Sciences, discusses how the aging NYC infrastructure will continue to deteriorate and cause more damage to those who face environmental racism
  • Professor Maral Tajerian, biology, School of Math and Natural Sciences, discusses understanding the limits of brain plasticity as it relates to pain
  • Professor Sebastian Alvarado, biology, School of Math and Natural Sciences, discusses how epigenetic processes and molecular plasticity contribute to evolution via a dialogue between genes and the environment
  • Professor Stephen Pekar, earth and environmental sciences, School of Math and Natural Sciences, in a special Earth Day presentation, discusses understanding our future by studying past climate change
  • Professor Desiree Byrd, psychology, School of Math and Natural Sciences, discusses the importance of diverse representation in psychological studies
  • Ying Zhou, executive director, Tech Incubator at Queens College, discusses how the incubator helps accelerate the economic development of Queens and New York City by building a collaborative ecosystem to support entrepreneurs seeking to develop sustainable ventures.