Welcome to the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) that supports the mission of the School of Labor and Urban Studies, as it strives to offer an educational environment that embraces access, diversity, and social justice. The Office of Academic Affairs promotes excellence in teaching, research, scholarship, professional service, and community engagement. The Office is responsible for supporting the work of the faculty, whose teaching, scholarship, and service are the foundation of the intellectual community that is the cornerstone of student success.

The mission of Academic Affairs is to remain faithful to the mission of the School of Labor and Urban Studies. Academic Affairs thus seeks to provide an environment in- and outside the classroom that is resolutely committed to the principle for creating “a unique partnership between the City University of New York, organized labor, worker centers, and community-based organizations for the purpose of: Expanding higher education opportunities for workers and those interested in studying about labor, and poor and working- class communities; and Serving as a resource for students, scholars, those in organized labor, and allied organizations seeking a deeper understanding of work, workers, and urban issues.” This is the real promise we offer our students: If you have the ability and training to see the value of education and apply it, you will find the creative power to directly engage the world. And this will have a direct bearing on all you wish to accomplish.

Dr. Gladys Palma de Schrynemakers
Interim Associate Dean, Chief Academic Officer

In a prolific academic career, Dr. Gladys Palma de Schrynemakers has made it her mission to ensure that all New York City students receive fair and equal access to an education. She has secured over 18 million dollars in grants and awards for her institutions, including those for the Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP), the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (C-STEP), Gear-Up NYC, and the Predominantly Black Institution Masters. Frequently and prominently, she has published research on practice of constructivist theory, urban education, teaching with technology, and assessment.

Dr. Schrynemakers earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Saint John’s University; three masters’ degrees from City College, Long Island University, and Teacher’s College Columbia University; and a doctorate from Teachers College Columbia University. Her career in higher education began at Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus (LIU/BC), where in partnership with community organizations she helped establish LIU/BC first extension programs for women in Bushwick, East New York, and Williamsburg. During her 22-year tenure, she rose to the position of Associate Provost, overseeing critical aspects of university business, including chairing Middle States Review, core curriculum revision, and STEP and C-STEP campus participation.

As Assistant Vice President/Associate Provost of Medgar Evers College, she served on the Middle States decennial leadership team that helped ensure the campus was fully accredited with commendations on all 14 Standards. Additionally, she worked with faculty to develop the first CUNY-approved Honors program in affiliation with the National Honors Collegiate Council. In her four years at the College, she helped create MEC’s first ever BFA (in Digital Technology), as well as two AA degrees (in Literature of African Diaspora and English Composition respectively), and the College’s first fully online degree program, a BS in Financial Economics.

For ten years, she has served on several Accreditation Teams for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and for the New York State Department of Education. Likewise, she serves on the national board for the Alliance for Excellent Education and the Brookhaven National Laboratory Inclusion and Diversity Initiative, both of which are committed to helping traditionally underserved student populations prepare for and succeed in higher education.

Melanie Marie Martinez
Interim Executive Assistant to Associate Dean

Melanie comes to the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies from Medgar Evers College, where she worked as Academic Coordinator for the Office of Academic Affairs. She holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from Long Island University, where she also worked as an academic and professional writing tutor in the Writing Center.

In her professional career, Melanie has worked as Commencement Coordinator for four commencement ceremonies at Barclays Center, hosting prolific keynote speakers such as Donna Brazile and Hillary Clinton. She assisted in coordinating the 2018 CUNY Coordinated Undergraduate Education (CUE) Conference at Medgar Evers College which included development of a conference app, development of the conference program, logistics, and putting together the conference proceedings journal. In 2019, she assisted in the designing, writing, and compiling of a research publication for Medgar’s Office of Academic Affairs. Recent Conference presentations include: “Strategies for Effective Writing in Your Major” and “21st Century Social: Blogging for Business.”