As a new member of the alumni council I will focus on continuing the existing momentum to rebuild, and strengthen the relationship between the association and the administration. However, this must happen while maintaining the association’s integrity and dedication to the desires of its constituents – my fellow alumni. I believe this should remain at the forefront of our goals as an Association because we can only effect change within the Cooper Community by maintaining a strong working relationship with its other members and bodies.
While still a student at Cooper, I was engineering student council representative to the Alumni Association for two years and to the Board of Trustees for one year. This afforded me the opportunity to gain an understanding of the inner workings of these organizations and to build relationships with the Association’s leaders, several members of the administration, and key members of the Board of Trustees. I view the knowledge gained from these experiences and relationships as a means of facilitating the association’s maintenance of a good working relationship with each of these groups, while advocating opinions and working towards goals that they do not agree with.
Both as an individual and as an elected representative of the alumni, I will rally behind any efforts to move back towards a realistic, sustainable, tuition-free model, and I am hopeful for the outcome of the pending lawsuit. The current members of the administration have been the target of a lot of criticism and blame over the last few years, but I do not believe that working towards the replacement of these individuals is the most worthwhile effort at this time. Rather, we should work towards identifying and implementing additional checks and balances within the administration and the Board of Trustees in order to limit their power and maintain transparency. If the proper policies were implemented, they would supersede any individuals who may hold these positions, now, and in the future, to protect the institution indefinitely.
On a lighter note, I also have a lot of experience organizing successful events. During the years that I attended Cooper, I organized the annual NSBE Charity Date Auction, which earned over $1000 each year. I also led the engineering student council’s “Fun Committee,” which is responsible for coordinating all student council sponsored events. In addition to social events, I put together the 2013 “Why Cooper” rally, located on the steps of City Hall, in the attempt to draw media attention to the financial crisis; the rally included the display of student projects, and speeches from students and alumni on why Cooper provides a worthwhile free education. I look forward to applying these experiences to future alumni council events and efforts.
Ciera is a 2014 Cooper Union graduate with a degree in Chemical Engineering. During her tenure at Cooper Union she spent four years as an active member of the Student Council, in addition to serving as the president of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) during her senior year. She also maintained an internship with Enso Financial, a financial services firm that provides data analytics to many of the major hedge funds in the Untied States and Europe, during her final semester at Cooper. Upon graduation, Ciera transitioned from her internship to a full-time analyst position within the Product Development department of the firm. Currently she is an active member of New York City’s NSBE alumni chapter and gives back by tutoring middle school and high school students in math and chemistry.