Hostos unveils new research center funded by $15M gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott

Ribbon-cutting ceremony at the opening of the Hostos Research Center.
Hostos President Daisy Cocco De Filippis and other project leaders at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the opening of the Hostos Research Center, funded by a $15 million grant from MacKenzie Scott.
Photo courtesy Kriz Lazarz

The Hostos Community College Research Center (HRC) has opened its doors, bringing to the campus a dynamic new learning laboratory for students and enhancing the college’s capacity to produce academic and community-based research.

CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez joined Hostos President Daisy Cocco De Filippis and elected officials for a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday.

Funded by a generous $15 million gift from MacKenzie Scott, the HRC has a range of goals focused on improving student success. The new research center aims to promote research on teaching that advances high-impact educational practices and increase students’ access to professional experiential activities. Established in 2022 as an innovative and collaborative community-focused research endeavor, the center is also meant to have an impact beyond the Hostos campus by bringing together faculty of all levels to collaborate on projects that serve the South Bronx.

“It fills me with joy to inaugurate this space, which is a dream come true for all involved, who are passionate about research, community-building, and the success of our students, faculty, and staff,” said De Filippis. “I look forward to seeing the wonderful things that will be created here, at the Research Center, where many of our hopes and ideas will flourish.”

Research Programs Director Sofia Oviedo said, “This is a significant contribution that will place our college at the forefront of advancing community-based research that can generate solutions and bring about a beacon of hope to the complex challenges of the South Bronx.”

Under the supervision of De Filippis, Oviedo and Professor Yoel Rodríguez, the HRC chair, grants totaling $77,525 have also been awarded to faculty to pursue research ideas via the college’s ADELANTE (ADvancing Excellence in Liberal Arts, ScieNces, Technology and Engineering) project.

A notable example of funded ADELANTE ideas was an innovative internship, “Other Possible Games,” which exposed seven students to the professional world of gaming and game design. Those students will now be able to meet at the HRC to strategize and present their project with Hostos faculty while earning credit toward the Associate in Applied Science Game Design degree. Hostos is the only CUNY college to offer the degree.

“The HRC is an enterprise that will yield transformative experiences, individually and collectively, and advance the quality of education delivered by two-year institutions,” said Rodríguez. “It will be a place to share and disseminate the most up-to-date research findings in all disciplines via seminars, exhibits and discussions, and will be a focal point on campus for brainstorming about research and need-based projects.”

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