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Chapter highlights its ‘unsung heroes’

CLTs who lead and inspire

Teeshavi Acosta, a CLT at John Jay, is one of this year’s honorees.
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The PSC College Laboratory Technicians Chapter announced the 2022 winners of the Unsung Heroes Awards during its Unity Day event, a hybrid in-person and virtual ceremony in June attended by dozens of members. CLTs across CUNY were nominated by their colleagues and students for going above and beyond the call of duty.

Alfredo Cifuentes, the chief college laboratory technician in the natural sciences department at LaGuardia Community College, was one of this year’s honorees. Members said that since LaGuardia’s reopening, he’s never worked remotely and motivated his fellow CLTs during difficult times.

HELPING STUDENTS

Mohammed Jahed Sarwar, a library systems administrator at York College, was hailed by his colleagues for being an “inspiring person” and having an “extraordinary commitment to students.”

Teeshavi Acosta, a CLT who specializes in toxicology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, was cited for her exceptional handling of potentially hazardous chemical waste and aiding students. Acosta was inspired to become at CLT after receiving her master’s and bachelor’s degrees from John Jay College. She is now pursuing a PhD in toxicology at St. John’s University and is an adjunct instructor at John Jay. As a CLT, she’s responsible for setting up lab sessions and ensuring that all the equipment students need for their lessons is available.

“I fell in love with teaching, and watching the students grow into these independent scientists is so fulfilling,” Acosta said.

INSPIRING WORK

The other winners were Jodi-Ann Douglas, a CLT in the department of radiologic technology and medical imaging at City Tech; Sharif Elhakem, a chief CLT in the chemistry department at Lehman College; and Joi Jones, a senior CLT in the department of middle and high school education at Lehman College.

Amy Jeu, a cross-campus officer on the PSC Executive Council and a CLT in the geography and environmental science department at Hunter College, said, “Feeling genuinely appreciated lifts people up. At the most basic level, it is energizing and makes us feel safe, enabling us to do our best work and has the potential to unify and unite us all.”

She added, “This is an award that exemplifies the spirit of the profession.”