Learning Center Director Retires

Ms. Maria Williams, the long-time Director of the York College Learning Center, retired at the end of August after twenty-nine years of service to the College. Maria first joined the Learning Center in 1986 as a part-time Adult Basic Education instructor. In 1990 she was appointed to the position of coordinator of the JCAP GED program, which was funded by the Department of Employment and later in that year became the coordinator of the Learning Center's HSE (GED) program. In 1993 she left the Learning Center briefly for the CUNY Central Office where she led the University's HSE (GED) program across 12 campuses. In 1994 she returned to the York College Division of Adult and Continuing Education as director of programming and was appointed Director of the Learning Center later in that year.

A superb manager, grant developer and writer, Ms. Williams guided the Learning Center through several periods of fiscal instability and uncertainty, each time helping the center to emerge on course in pursuit of its mission: delivering outstanding educational and support services to the diverse pre-collegiate populations of southeast Queens.  English Language Civics Education; Adult Literacy Education; and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) are among the many programs which Maria helped to secure funding support to expand and to continue to flourish.

Under her leadership the Learning Center remained responsive to the needs of the local community, especially its youth, by securing funding support from the Department of Labor to provide Adolescent Vocation Education (AVE) services to over 600 youth over a six-year period.  The Learning Center was also one of three CUNY campuses to secure GED for Jobs funding, which enabled the center to partner with the Queens Workforce One and Career Center (One Stop) to help prepare local residents to obtain a HSE while preparing for the job market.   She also established a partnership with the Queens Family Court to provide homework assistance as well as college and career counseling to adolescents known to the courts, in lieu of incarceration. 

Throughout her 21 years as director, Maria demonstrated boundless energy, passion and attentiveness to student and staff success and to continuing the Learning Center’s legacy as a leader in the development of pedagogy. 

On behalf of President Keizs and the entire York College community, we thank Ms. Williams for her many years of service and extend our best wishes to her and family in retirement

Acting Appointment

I would also like to take this opportunity to announce the appointment of Ms. Linda Ribaudo to the position of Acting Director of the Learning Center, effective September 1, 2015.  A search for a permanent director is underway.