VALHALLA, N.Y. -- Professor George Keteku knows what the community in Westchester Community College is all about. Since joining the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences in 2006, not a day has gone by that Keteku hasn’t been in awe of the diverse student body in his classrooms.
“In a typical class, I have students from many countries, different racial and ethnic backgrounds, returning veterans, aspiring law enforcement officers, lawyers, nurses, doctors,” says Keteku.
He has taught courses in history, political science and introduction to social/behavior science.
A resident of Westchester County and graduate of SUNY Binghamton via Africa and Europe, Keteku says he has come to appreciate the importance of building and contributing to communities. That has led him to frame his educational philosophies and practices to embody all that Westchester Community College represents.
In addition to his position as a professor, Keteku is also a mentor, a soccer coach and director of the Black and Hispanic Male Initiative program. Originally organized as Black Male Initiative in 2003, the program was expanded to include Hispanic males and other underrepresented groups in 2011.
“With the backing of the administration, faculty and staff, and two prominent residents of the county, Mr. James Cobb and Dr. Julius Ford, the program is steadily working to assist student who seek to achieve academic excellence, and we are working toward even higher retention and graduation rates.”
The program is about more than just grades on tests and accolades. The group forms relationships with the participating students, keeps in contact with them year-round, and provides support in every aspect of academic life. The group doesn’t want its students to merely succeed but to also thrive and attain excellence, even beyond their time at Westchester Community College.
More information about the Black Hispanic Male Initiative can be found at the college's website.