Nicholas Bloom, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies, and Director of the Core Curriculum
Department: Social Sciences School: College of Arts and Sciences Campus: Manhattan
Member of NYIT Since: 2003
Growing up in Baltimore shaped Nicholas Bloom's future as an urban historian.
"Baltimore was a dynamic place to grow up because it was falling apart," Bloom says. "For everything you need to understand about the city, and why it is so fascinating, just watch the HBO TV series, The Wire."
Bloom is an associate professor of social sciences, chair of interdisciplinary studies, director of the core curriculum, and the recipient of a Ford Foundation grant to curate the 2014 exhibition, "Standing Tall: New York's Century of Affordable Housing," at the Museum of the City of New York. The grant will support the public exhibition, a companion book, and a program series to acquaint more than 125,000 visitors with the extent and complexity of the many efforts to provide affordable housing in New York City.
He is the author or editor of five books about urban development, including American Tourism: Constructing a National Tradition, a collection of critical essays by leading historians about iconic U.S. tourist destinations. Bloom, who lived in Boston as a doctoral student, contributed an essay on one of the most famous places in the cityFaneuil Hall Marketplace.
In addition, he is working on two more books for leading academic presses: Bad Altitude: How JFK International Became New York City's Airport and Public Housing Myths: Beyond Victims and Villains.
As chair of interdisciplinary studies, Bloom has seen first-hand how students benefit from diverse coursework in preparation for careers in the global workforce. He also served on a faculty team that revised NYIT's core curriculum to create more choices for students to explore underserved academic subjects, including gothic literature, gender identity, and environmental history and economics.
"I have seen enormous progress at NYIT over the years since I've arrived," he says. "Our physical space, faculty, the core, and student support services have all definitely improved over time. I'm excited about these changes."
As director of NYIT's core curriculum, Bloom ensures that courses introduce critical thinking and research skills and emphasize interdisciplinary applications. He hires energetic faculty members to teach these classes and provides assessment and review for the two courses taken by all students: Foundations of Inquiry and Foundations of Scientific Process.
"Both courses push students to look beyond their technical knowledge," Bloom says. "The people who are successful today have a broader view outside of their fields and can work with teams across disciplines."
IN THE MEDIA
Listen to Bloom's commentary for the popular four-part news segment, "Housing Generations," aired in December 2012 on New York Public Radio.
Watch an interview with Bloom as part of a segment on public housing for Brian Lehrer.TV, which aired on CUNY TV in November 2012: