VOLUME 33, NUMBER 2 THURSDAY, September 6, 2001

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Letitia Thomas has been acting director of Cora P. Maloney College since July 2000. A UB staff members since 1993, she has served as coordinator of student services for the Collegiate Science & Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) and as coordinator for the Minority Academic Achievement Program (MAAP).

What is Cora P. Maloney College?

Cora P. Maloney College (CPMC), chartered in 1976, is a unique college that combines residential and academic programs to address the needs and concerns of UB students of color and residents in the City of Buffalo. The college is named after Cora P. Maloney, a Buffalo resident who was very active in community, educational and political affairs. Cora P. Maloney College (CPMC) was designed to provide students with academic experiences from a community perspective. CPMC focuses on the educational issues of excellence, minority achievement, cultural/social awareness and scholastic enrichment. Each year, CPMC offers elective courses grouped under three general and interrelated themes: individuals and their communities, cultural and ethnic studies, and the dynamics of creative imagery.


CPMC is the last of the residential colleges at UB. What were the residential colleges and why were they formed?

The residential college system was formed during the 1960s to provide UB students with living and learning environments. Students lived in various residence halls with faculty mentors and participated in a variety of academically and socially relevant learning experiences.

Why is there a need for a program such as CPMC at UB? How do students benefit from being a part of CPMC?

CPMC houses a number of student support-service programs, including the Collegiate Achievement Program (CAP), Collegiate Science & Technology Entry Program (CSTEP), Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program (McNair), Minority Academic Achievement Program (MAAP), Public Service Internship Program (PSIP), Student Support Services Program (SSS) and State University of New York Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (SUNY LS AMP). Through the collaborative efforts of these programs, CPMC sponsors tutoring, academic workshops, inspirational speakers and events for the university community. Students who take full advantage of CPMC programs thrive in a supportive atmosphere, realizing their educational, career and personal goals. Each program coordinator offers students advisement for academic concerns, assists them in locating graduate school programs and financing options, helps with career planning and any other service requested. Our office works in conjunction with other advisement units on campus to provide students with an additional resource for information and much needed services.

Can you describe some of the internship, honors and achievement programs within the college?

The Public Service Internship Program (PSIP) encourages students to perform community service in exchange for academic credit as part of their regular coursework. Students get assistance in realizing their career objectives and are encouraged to become involved in programs that benefit the community and improve their own lives as well. This past academic year, PSIP provided 195 juniors and seniors from all disciplines the opportunity to gain direct exposure and practical experience from a diverse range of public, private, government or community-service agencies and businesses. The Collegiate Achievement Program (CAP) works with the Office of Admissions to provide a student-support program that offers a variety of services to assist underrepresented students—African-American, Latino/a and Native-American—in attaining their academic goals. Major areas of service include academic advisement, monitoring and evaluation, referrals to campus offices and specialized workshops. The Collegiate Science & Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) is a student-support services and enrichment program that assists historically underrepresented students in pursuing careers in the technical and licensed professions. CSTEP offers tutoring, internships, and travel to conferences and workshops, all designed to assist students in realizing their goals within technical and health-related disciplines that lead to state licensure, such as nursing, medicine, engineering, accounting and law. CSTEP-UB is one of the largest and most comprehensive of the 43 programs in New York State. The Minority Academic Achievement Program (MAAP) is an individualized program for academically talented, underrepresented minority students. Each year in collaboration with the admissions office, MAAP selects 20 to 30 students for the program. To make the experience more personal, student mentors often are assigned to these first-year students. MAAP participants also receive the SUNY Empire State Minority Honors Scholarship, preferred housing in the Governors complex and a specialized university experience course. The SUNY Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (SUNY LS AMP) is a student-enrichment and support-services program sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The goal is to improve the academic performance, and retention and graduation rates of historically underrepresented minority students in the areas of engineering, computer science, mathematics and the natural sciences. SUNY LS AMP offers programs and services at UB and Buffalo State College during the academic year and summer sessions, including internships, a summer research program and tutoring services. The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program is an extensive, two-year academic and summer research scholars program named after the pioneering African-American astronaut who died in the 1986 Challenger space shuttle explosion. It is designed to develop students' analytic and research skills and ultimately prepare them for post-graduate study. Additional benefits include GRE preparation; stipends; opportunities to conduct research with a faculty mentor; travel to local, state and national conferences and graduate schools; seminars and related educational and cultural activities. The Student Support Services Program (SSS) offers academic assistance to first-generation and low-income students, and/or students with disabilities. SSS provides a variety of support services to students, including tutorial services, academic advising, computer access, peer and professional mentoring programs and academic internships. It also sponsors cultural events.

What kinds of workshops and seminars do you offer?

Our biggest offering for the fall will be the statewide Graduate Awareness Conference on Oct. 20. The conference is designed for students of color interested in graduate study and will feature workshops, a motivational keynote speaker and a graduate-school fair with nearly 50 graduate-school representatives. We also plan to offer a "Guaranteed 4.0" workshop for our program students that advises them on how to get a 4.0 G.P.A. by using a prescribed study plan. A variety of tutoring services also are offered during the semester through the CSTEP, SSS and SUNY-LS AMP programs. The Public Service Internship Program (PSIP) serves as the educational partner for the Walt Disney World College Program Internship Program and is the primary source of placements for UB students interested in performing paid Disney internships in Orlando, Fla.

What question do you wish I had asked, and how would you have answered it?

I wish you had asked me who was Cora P. Maloney? I would have told you that she was a strong advocate of educational equality and excellence, and community awareness, becoming the first African-American woman elected to the Masten District of the Buffalo Common Council in 1957. She was the first Democrat ever to be elected in the district and the first African-American to be elected in in 20 years. She was president of Buffalo Intro-Club Council for two years, as well as president of the Democratic Business and Professional Women's group, which she founded. Mrs. Maloney's many accomplishments and the exemplary way she lived her life make us proud to honor her legacy by attaching her name to our department.

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