President Raab testifies before the NYC Council. Urges final approval for new Science & Health Building.
On September 16, President Jennifer Raab joined Hunter faculty and students in testifying in front of the New York City Council to urge final approval for our new Science and Health Professions building. The testimony came on the heels of unanimous approval from the City Planning Commission and is one of the the final steps in the pre-construction process.
The project, a unique partnership between Hunter and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), will provide Hunter with a truly state-of-the-art science and nursing facility to train our students and further advance faculty research. This building, to be located on E. 74th St, will house our School of Nursing, science research labs, and physical therapy program, which are currently confined to outdated facilities inconsistent with Hunter's outstanding and growing reputation in these fields. A new research building for MSK will be built alongside it, allowing for further collaborations between our institutions.
In her testimony, President Raab noted that Hunter's record of training science professionals, particularly women and minorities from the New York City public school system, is nothing short of extraordinary, and includes two of the only four American-born women Nobel laureates and countless trailblazers in the science disciplines. Hunter currently receives the highest amount of National Institutes of Health funding among all New York State educational institutions without a medical school.
"We are creating pipelines for the next generations of women and minority scientists," said President Raab. "Hunter's science faculty - one of the most diverse in the nation - are rightly celebrated for their long history of training record numbers of women, minorities, and other groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences. They are role models for students of every background and provide opportunities that many students never imagined."
Echoing and adding to the chorus of voices supporting this project were biology professor Dr. David Foster and School of Nursing professor Dr. Donna Nickitas. Both emphasized how important this new building will be to the future of scientific training and research here at Hunter.
"It is hard enough to compete for the scarce funds available today when you have a modern facility," noted Dr. Foster. "It becomes next to impossible when you do not have the facilities to compete when granting agencies are insisting we do things that cannot be done in antiquated facilities. With this new building, that will never again be the case."
While the project awaits final approval from the full City Council, yesterday's outpouring of support from the Hunter community signaled to our elected officials that the building will be an invaluable addition not just to Hunter but to the entire Upper East Side medical and research corridor.