Meet Charuta Kulkarni, the Commons Survey Raffle’s Lucky Winner

Last month, we invited the entire CUNY Academic Commons Community to give us feedback by responding to a survey. We would like to thank those of you who responded giving us a great deal of information that we will put to work making the Commons even better. Please stay tuned for the results of that survey, which we will share with you in the near future.

The Academic Commons Team is excited to announce that we have randomly selected a raffle prize winner from among the 481 survey respondents.  Charuta Kulkarni is that lucky winner of a brand new iPad Mini. A Doctoral Candidate in Earth and Environmental Sciences, she is an enthusiastic Commons user and she graciously agreed to share her thoughts about the commons in an interview, which follows.

Charuta Kulkarni with her raffle prize

Charuta Kulkarni with her raffle prize, an iPad mini.

Tell us about your work and/or study at CUNY
I am a geologist, archaeologist and paleo-ecologist by training. Integrating knowledge from these disciplines, my doctoral work at CUNY investigates transformations of European landscapes over the past millennium and climatic and human influences that are responsible for these transformations. Understanding how nature and culture shaped landscapes in the past is useful today because assessments of past human-climate-ecosystem interactions help us to recognize the fate of future human societies at the onset of present-future global climatic changes. This is an idea central to the field of sustainability which highlights the necessity of quantifying causalities for better policy making. At the Earth and Environmental Sciences (EES) Doctoral Program at the CUNY Graduate Center, my colleagues and I explore various quantitative and qualitative avenues that contribute towards assessing sustainable socio-ecological systems.

Can you please describe one or more of the ways in which you use the Commons?
For me, the most promising use of the Commons is that it keeps me connected with the entire CUNY community. I like being part of CUNY as it is extremely diverse in all respects and has a 2016-05-21_12-23-09lot to offer to everyone through its events, activities, professional development opportunities, and university-wide education initiatives. However, most of this information is disseminated through CUNY, GC or respective college websites which makes it difficult to access when
needed. The Commons brings all this information together on a single platform in interactive ways such as announcements, posts, and public groups, keeping me informed about events that I am interested in. Also, through Commons public groups (e.g. Quantitative Reasoning across CUNY, CUNY Women in STEM, EES Community), I am able to interact with people of similar interests discussing ideas, issues, and solutions towards common goals.

How would you describe the Commons to colleagues who haven’t used it before?
I would say, as its name suggests, it is a CUNY-wide “common” platform for all! It is a CUNY Social Network which permits the exchange of knowledge among colleagues with shared interests, problems and solutions. The Commons provides easy access to digital and other resources that are useful for collaborative research and effective teaching within CUNY as well as outside.

What is your favorite feature on the Commons? Why?
I always liked the way the Commons displays my Public Portfolio; it is both professional and aptly vivid for one’s global digital presence.

Are there any particular sites or groups that you especially like? If so, can tell us which one(s) and why?
Owing to the fact that I am about to graduate, I follow two sites more frequently than others – Graduate Center Library Blog, and the Office of Career Planning and Professional Development. The GC Library Blog keeps me up-to-date about enhancement of existing library resources and addition of new databases, which are both crucial for my thesis writing. Similarly, following the Office of Career Planning and Professional Development site has allowed me not to miss some excellent workshops and webinars, which are equally important for my career management.


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