SenGupta, Gunja

Dr. Gunja SenGupta is a professor and former chair of the History Department at Brooklyn College. She is a past director of the Macaulay Honors College at Brooklyn College. Her expertise lies in 19th-century United States and slavery/abolition in the Indian Ocean; sectional conflict; and African-American and women’s history. She is the author of, among other works, two books, For God and Mammon: Evangelicals and Entrepreneurs, Masters and Slaves in Territorial Kansas (University of Georgia Press, 1996) and From Slavery to Poverty: The Racial Origins of Welfare in New York, 1840–1918 (NYU Press, 2009).

Sama, Linda

Dr. Linda M. Sama is Associate Dean for Global Initiatives and Joseph F. Adams Professor of Management in the Peter J. Tobin College of Business (TCB), St. John’s University. In 2009, she founded the GLOBE (Global Loan Opportunities for Budding Entrepreneurs) microloan academic program at TCB, a student-managed micro-credit fund and experiential learning initiative. The program has introduced students to microfinance as practiced in some of the world’s most impoverished communities and earned her the Academy of Management’s Innovation in Entrepreneurship Pedagogy Award in 2012, and the AACSB 2017 Entrepreneurship Spotlight Challenge award. She also was instrumental in St. John’s decision to become a signatory of the U.N. PRME (Principles for Responsible Management Education) initiative in 2011 and serves as the university’s PRME liaison. As an outgrowth of that initiative, she launched the TCB Center for Global Business Stewardship, and acts as its Executive Director. Dr. Sama earned her Ph.D. from Baruch-CUNY. Her doctoral dissertation addressing the twin impact of governance mechanisms and strategic slack on corporate social response strategies earned her the 1999 Lasdon Dissertation Award. Her research has resulted in over 90 publications that address issues of corporate social responsibility, business and the natural environment, and global business ethics dilemmas in the new economy. Most recently, her research has focused on the connections between micro-lending and women empowerment, sustainability, religiosity, food security, and post-conflict resolutions in the developing world’s Base of Pyramid (BoP) markets.

Traver, Amy

Amy E. Traver is a professor of sociology at Queensborough Community College of the City University of New York. Her research interests include student success in community colleges, as well as intersections of agriculture, adoption, race/ethnicity, religion, and gender in American family life. Traver has published in numerous peer-reviewed journals and coedited three scholarly volumes on teaching/learning in the community college. Her research was recently recognized by a 2019–2020 Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellowship.

Friday, July 9, 2021

TOPIC 1: Measurable and Immeasurable: How conceptions and images of poverty affect our students

Guests on Friday, July 9

Arlene Torres, Associate Professor of Africana, Puerto Rican & Latino Studies, Hunter College
Helen Saldanha, Community Leader and Former Executive Co-Director, Vivat International, NYC
Linda Sama, Associate Dean for Global Initiatives, Joseph F. Adams Professor of Management and Executive Director, Center for Global Business Stewardship, St. John’s University, NY
Moderator: Mahatapa Palit

Schedule (in outline)
Friday, July 9 — 9am – 2pm

9:009:15Greetings and check-in with Faculty Fellows
9:1510:15Presentation by Arlene Torres
10:1511:15Presentation by Helen Saldanha
11:3012:30Presentation by Linda Sama
12:301:00Lunch Break
1:002:00Round table discussion with all participants


On Friday guest speakers Torres, Saldanha, and Sama will give presentations and all participants will engage in discussion of readings, presentations, and key questions. On Tuesday Fellows and Team will continue to reflect on Topic 1 and will participate in a pedagogy workshop facilitated by Institute co-directors Palit and Warren. Small groups will consider one resource and imagine how they might incorporate it into their teaching.

Key Question

  • How is poverty defined and who is counted as poor?
  • How do we and our students face/interact with poverty?
  • What does it mean to “fight” poverty?
  • How does education in the humanities support people in their fight against poverty?
  • How do different texts express dimensions of poverty?
  • What do we want to achieve by teaching about poverty?

Topic 1 – Required Readings and Resources

Initials in parentheses indicate the name of the Guest Speaker who is requiring each reading.


Topic 1 – Additional Readings and Resources Folder

Navigate to topic 1 for an evolving list of readings and resources, links, and (when possible & time-permitting, downloadable pdfs and documents)

Tuesday, July 6, 2021



Bill Prinzivalli, C.E.O. and Founder of Conscious Based Improv
Moderators: Project Team (Sangeeta, Christine, Cara, Mahatapa, Jamie)

Schedule (in outline)
Tuesday, July 6 — 9am – 2pm

9:009:15Greetings & Pre-Institute Survey
9:1510:45Brief Introductions, Discussion, & Road-Map of the Institute
11:0012:00Group A – Improv Experiential Workshop with Prinzivalli
Group B – Lunch break
12:001:00Group B – Improv Experiential Workshop with Prinzivalli
Group A – Lunch break
1:002:00Discussion – What do we want from the Institute?


Our first day will be spent getting to know each other and learning about what we each want from the Institute. Institute co-directors: Sangeeta Bishop, Christine Farias, Cara O’Connor, Mahatapa Palit, and Jamie Warren will share information about how to access readings and materials, and we will offer some poetic material to reflect upon and discuss. Bill Prinzivalli will guide us through an experiential workshop focusing on deep listening, authenticity, and team building.

Key Questions

  • What do each of us want from the Institute?
  • What can we do to foster community and trust during these weeks together?