This program views New York City as a text to be investigated. Students in the Communities & Organizations in NYC: The Study of a Modern Metropolis Program meet in a classroom at Manhattan Marymount College each Saturday, and after some classroom time, are led by a faculty director to continue class in significant cultural and social places throughout New York.
Students explore communities and institutions, visit numerous museums as part of the study of the city, and examine the history of institutions and their impact. New York City as an entity is a major focus of the program, as is creative, cultural, personal and professional exploration.
Each student in the program should expect to spend at least one additional day per week in New York City (or about six additional hours per week) in order to complete required course assignments. Students participating in the optional 1-4 credit course will intern or complete an independent study on their own time. The program comprises two required, three-credit courses and one optional course (1-4 credits).
Scott Gratson is director of undergraduate studies and director of the Interdisciplinary Communications program. He advises nearly 600 students and coordinates several of the SMC’s undergraduate, curricular and student affairs initiatives. Gratson teaches in the Department of Strategic and Organizational Communications. His courses include Argumentation, Campaigns and Movements, Persuasion, and Public Speaking. He also originated a course titled New York as Text, which employs New York City as the backdrop of the classroom. In addition to his work in the School of Media and Communication, Gratson also works with Temple’s Trial Advocacy LLM Program. He earned his doctorate at the University of Denver while working as a full-time debate coach and instructor at the Metropolitan State College of Denver.
Combining his love for New York City and history, Dr. Gratson has volunteered for years as a docent and had helped to coordinate the College Outreach Program for the New-York Historical Society (NYHS), where he also serves on the Friends of The NYHS Board. He has also serves as the archivist for New York City’s Hetrick-Martin Institute, the home of the Harvey Milk High School and the nation’s oldest and largest LGBTQIA educational services organization. Gratson has been studying the history, culture and impact of New York City since 1988. He is an avid patron of the city’s museums, is proud of his family’s history in Brooklyn and enjoys being a Yankees fan.