ESS faculty member Brian Rosa of Queens College is a 2017 recipient of the Henry Wasser Award for CUNY Assistant Professors from the CUNY Academy for the Humanities and Sciences. Congratulations Professor Rosa!
As an interdisciplinary urban researcher, Rosa draws on his training as a city planner (MRP Cornell, 2009) and human geographer (PhD Manchester, 2014). Through an examination of the changing built environments of cities, Rosa explores the interwoven social, cultural, political, and economic contexts of urban (re)development, particularly in the context of post-industrial urban spaces and sites of contested urban heritage.
His current research deals with the relationship between urban infrastructures, urban political economy, and the way “left-over” spaces of the city are re-appropriated. He is currently working on a book entitled The City Below: Infrastructural Landscapes and the Post-Industrial Imaginary in London and Manchester, which explores the implications that transport infrastructures have on the production and perception of the urban built environment, explored through a case study of railway viaducts in Manchester and London, England.
The Henry Wasser Award:
The CUNY Academy’s Henry Wasser Award is presented each year to assistant professors or newly appointed associate professors in recognition of outstanding research, or potential for such, in the humanities or sciences, including the social and life sciences. Any faculty member who is an assistant professor at any unit of CUNY and whose field of expertise covers an area of the humanities or sciences is eligible to be considered for one of these awards. Recipients who present their work at the ceremony receive an honorarium and a plaque.
About Henry Wasser:
The Henry Wasser Awards are named in honor of one of CUNY’s most devoted educators. Henry Wasser earned his BA and MA from Ohio State University and his PhD from Columbia University in 1951. Most of his teaching career in English, with a specialty in American Studies, was at City College (1946-1966). In those years he was awarded Fulbright professorships at Thessaloniki and Oslo. He was one of the first City College faculty members to obtain a Fulbright award in the years when McCarthyism labeled City College as a den of unpatriotic Americans. Dr. Wasser’s publications include The Scientific Thought of Henry Adams as well as a long list of works on American studies and higher education.
In 1966 Henry Wasser left CCNY to become the founding Dean of the Faculty at CUNY’s new, experimental, upper-division Richmond College (after 1976, the College of Staten Island). As dean, he recruited a young and enthusiastic faculty, and he invited them to shape a system of college governance that maximized faculty-led decision-making. Richmond College faculty members created a community of scholars, encouraged by Henry, which saw itself as the source of college policy.
In 1973, Henry left Richmond to become Vice President for Academic Affairs at California State – Sacramento but then returned to CUNY to serve as the Director for European Studies at the Graduate School and Chair of the University Faculty Senate (1980-86). Under his leadership, the Senate supported the creation of the CUNY Academy of the Humanities and Sciences, and after 1986, he served as President and Executive Director of the Academy.
The CUNY Academy was created to support the work of young faculty members, to provide an opportunity for them to present their research, to organize conferences and feature overseas scholars. The Academy fostered a Higher Education Seminar, another of Henry’s ideas, to address the drastic changes that saw the exponential growth of administrators and their authority in higher education. His concern extended to his international involvement in higher education conferences, notably those held in Turkey. Ever-present was his concern for the central role of faculty in governance. The Henry Wasser Awards are a fitting tribute to this devoted colleague and spokesperson for faculty authority and achievement.