Anderson-Cusack-Smolar Ticket

Anderson-Cusack-Smolar for CUAA 2015

Back to FREE:

1. Nils Folke Anderson will be a principled and effective member on the Board, advocating for why FREE is necessary and why the Alumni are part of that
2. Nils Folke Anderson will vote on the Board for a new President that believes in a FREE Cooper Union
3. Fundraise to support the REAL Mission of The Cooper Union
4. Reconstitute and sustain an ONGOING Working Group to propose and analyze solutions, all groups invited
5. Publicize clearly what the school IS and is NOT doing to move towards free, to all alumni


1. Mentoring, networking, and career advice for students & young alumni for ALL THREE schools
2. More prominent advertisement of alumni openings, events, & crowdfunds to support YOUR individual endeavors
3. Better opportunities, volunteering & community relationship-building in NYC

Back to BASICS:

1. A welcoming & open gender-friendly environment for ALL volunteers
2. A DEFEDERALIZED Council with much better delegation & involvement for all
3. Sean Cusack will report on Council and Committee meetings in a TIMELY and transparent manner
4. Kelly Smolar will ensure that future nominations are representative of the FULL Cooper community


Personal Statement

Cooper was designed to be free and must reclaim free and beyond. The alumni deserve a community that is self-driven, that determines our own services and social events, supports the students and the school in each individual’s own way as well as collectively, and furthers the expectations of our founder. We owe these things to ourselves and to Peter Cooper for our gift of free education.


To reclaim our free meritocracy that was torn from us, the path is clear to me. (1) We step up and create our own means to support free education, via an independent fund to make the scholarship 100% again bit by bit. (2) We repeatedly and clearly protest to the Board that they, too, are to step up with cost cuts and whatever is necessary to chip away at their end. And (3) we proclaim publicly and loudly the progress, or lack thereof, to all that will listen. Bit by bit we will close the gap. First we will be full-need again. Then we will be full-scholarship again. Then we can be really, truly free in a way beyond even the original days of Cooper Union. Then, we can offer stipends and be the only school in the world that arms our students not only with a unique education, but hands them all immediate financial ability to do good for their community, just as Peter Cooper would love and hope.


By strengthening our own community, we unify our voice, tighten the bonds of our kinship under Peter Cooper’s gift, and collectively focus on going out to change the world, both abroad and in our on back yard. I believe that we need to gather as many people under the tent of “service for the school and our fellow alumni” as possible (“service for the school” does not automatically mean agreeing with the Administration on their current course). We should provide networking and reference services for alumni and for students. We should collectively work on public service projects to reach out locally and for our educational nesting ground of New York City. We should give public talks and run public events at the school and beyond. We should gather and disseminate the history of Peter Cooper, Cooper Union, and our fellow alumni, to shout to the world about the benefits that our gift have brought to the world. And we should gather, locally more often and yearly at Founder’s Day, to remind ourselves of who we are, and how we all have a Cooper family.

That strength will generate its own social returns in a louder and clearer voice for all that we want to accomplish. For the school, for our community, for ourselves, and for the world.


As Secretary-Treasurer, I will make sure that videos and reports by the Council and Committees are presented clearly and accurately on the website, so that you know what we’re doing and what we’re saying as your elected representatives. I will also make sure that our finances, as we move towards being a 501c3 and increasingly financially independent from the school, are also clearly documented. You deserve to know what is being said, and what is being spent in your name.

I voted to unequivocally support the Mission, I voted to support the Working Group Report, I did not vote for the CUAA to support the Save Cooper Union lawsuit officially because I do not believe that the CUAA should take a side when alumni are suing alumni but I did vote that the CUAA supports alumni in fighting for what they believe individually. I signed the petition of no confidence in President Bharucha and then-Chair Mark Epstein even though it might have cost me my job. I did give generously to the lawsuit as an individual, and I continue to give generously to the CUAA. I gave my first 8-9 years of my entire adjunct paycheck at Cooper back to the Cooper, but I now give $18.59 per year until I see some financial transparency and a clear direction to work back to free.


Initially compiled with great thanks to friend and fellow alumna Sangu Iyer CE’99:

Sean Cusack graduated from The Cooper Union in 1998 with a BSE degree. He has worked on software infrastructure for 15 years at Bloomberg LP, Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, Jefferies & Co, and Deutsche Bank. For three years, Sean worked as a scoutmaster with children at the Icahn House West homeless shelter. His experiences with these kids got him thinking about how to create fun learning environments for different grade levels. Combining his passions of teaching, programming and video games, Sean started Learnosaurus, Inc., a service that will convert grade level K–5 homework into educational games. The company ran from 2009-2015.

At Cooper, he wears many hats. He currently serves as a council member of the Cooper Union Alumni Association and is Chair of the Nominating Committee, and runs most of the technology for the Council and committees, including making sure that there are livestreams of Council meetings available. As a member of the “Gang of Six” he helped found the advocacy group known as The Friends of Cooper Union. For The Cooper Union, Sean has served as an adjunct professor since 2003 teaching the “Introduction to Computer Science” course. In addition, in 2012, he taught a course open to all three schools on Web and App development and project management, and in the summer of 2012, he organized Cooper App Camp, a workshop open to both students and alumni. Together with a number of students and faculty, Sean also started the Cooper Union Entrepreneurship Society that later morphed into the student-run create@cooper.

In the fall of 2011, accepting President Bharucha’s challenge to form a taskforce for solutions to the tuition crisis, Sean initiated, a resource to share information, news, and research on what was happening at Cooper Union. The site’s landing page continues to be the host for recordings of important Cooper Union events and forums, which Sean was often livestreaming and live-tweeting. As an active member of Friends of Cooper Union, he helped to bring the various stakeholder groups of the Cooper Union community together. As Co-Chair of the Communications Committee, Sean administers social media for the organization, and writes articles articles for the CU Alumni Newsletter and website. Going forward, he extends a warm invite for more contributors to the Newsletter and ideas on how we can build a stronger community.

Sean is a strong proponent for a free Cooper Union and is inspired by the notion of the school being, in the words of The Cooper Union graduating class of 1871, an “everlasting protest against that avarice and ambition which rear overshadowing fortunes for mere personal gratification.” Communication is the key to the strength of any organization, and Sean has been recognized for his efforts to make information accessible and available, which has helped grow and build our Cooper Union community over the past few years: at Founder’s Day 2014, Sean was awarded Alumnus of the Year for his contributions to the CUAA.