||Vol. 5 No. 2 March 15, 2010
CCNY Student Entrepreneurs Develop Social Network Site
A group of students at The City College of New York (CCNY) have developed a social networking website that its founder describes as a combination of "Craigslist and a more sociable Blackboard for CUNY students." Called "InYourClass.com," the site combines the features of online bulletin boards with mini social networks for 20 of the 23 colleges and professional schools in the CUNY system. A preliminary version of the site launched February 2. "We wanted to create a social platform for CUNY students, faculty and staff," said InYourClass founder Arber Ruci. "The CUNY community has more than 480,000 members, yet there is no social network designed with us in mind." For each individual college or site, InYourClass offers bulletin boards where members can post and respond to messages in 16 categories, including activities, tutoring jobs, research opportunities, news, book exchange and arts and music. The "classes" category includes a complete list of classes offered by an institution during the semester, each with its own bulletin board and forum. "There is no real student information system at CUNY," said Mr. Ruci, a senior from Queens, majoring in management. He explained that while Blackboard, CUNY’s course management system, allows students to access information related to their classes, it lacks a social element that would allow students to post comments and get to know their classmates as well as what’s going on in their campus. More on this story.
Three from CCNY Win in CUNY Nobel Science Challenge
Three undergraduate students at The City College of New York (CCNY) earned prizes in the 2009 CUNY Nobel Science Challenge. Freshman Hyeondo Hwang took first place in the Chemistry category. Sidra Javed, a fourth-year student in The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, and Elaine Cheng, a fifth-year Sophie Davis student, took second and third prize, respectively in the Physiology or Medicine category. The awards were presented at a ceremony Thursday, February 25. The CUNY Nobel Science Challenge invites CUNY undergraduate students to submit essays of 1,000 – 1,500 words that described the science behind one of the year’s Nobel Prizes. Essays were received from 110 students and judged by panels of CUNY faculty members. Mr. Hwang wrote about the research by Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Thomas A. Steitz and Ada E. Yonath on the structure and function of the ribosome and the impact it may have on society in the future. Both Ms. Javed and Ms. Cheng wrote about the discovery by Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase. More on this story.
CCNY-Led Team Wins One Club Competition
A creative group of students from The City College of New York (CCNY) and Brooklyn College teamed to win The One Club’s "Creative Boot Camp" competition in January. The team, Nadine Charles, Sherifa Gayle, and Ricardo Paredes from CCNY, and Chanie Kaminker from Brooklyn College, worked on an advertising campaign for a new laptop developed by Hewlett-Packard. They will attend The One Show in May in New York City in honor of their win. "Winning the competition gave me a feeling of pride and a ‘can do’ attitude," said Boot Camp winner Nadine Charles, a CCNY senior from Brooklyn who is a BFA student in electronic design and multimedia. "This competition made me realize that there is so much I am capable of doing, and that ‘team work makes a dream work.’" The competition, held January 19 - 22 for CUNY students, involved nine teams of four students chosen at random. Chanie Kaminker, a junior majoring in marketing at Brooklyn College, said "The Creative Boot Camp really showed me what a job in the industry would entail, and I’ve learned a lot about the creative process. I would recommend this program to anyone who wants to learn more about advertising as a career." More on this story.
Honors Senior Sam Glickman Presents at Ornithology Meeting
Sam Glickman, a senior biology major in the Macaulay Honors College at The City College of New York (CCNY), presented a poster at the joint meeting of the American Ornithologists Union, Cooper Ornithological Society and Society of Canadian Ornithologists, held last month in San Diego. He was one of only eight undergraduates nationwide to win a travel award from the societies. His poster, "Molecular phylogeny of the Motmots (Coraciiformes; Momotidae) based on complete sequencing of the ND5 mitochondrial gene," was based on work done for his undergraduate honors thesis in collaboration with Jeff G. Groth at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), and sponsored at CCNY by Associate Professor of Biology Robert P. Anderson. Motmots are a family of birds found mainly in neo-tropical woodland areas in the Western Hemisphere. They are known for the barbless (featherless) sections on their central tail feathers and typically have green, blue and russet plumage with a black facial mask and black breast spot. More on this story.
Two Professors’ Programs Receive Nine Emmy Nominations
Three programs produced by Jerry Carlson and Andrzej Krakowski, professors in the Media Arts Production Program at The City College of New York (CCNY), are vying for nine prizes in the 53rd Annual New York Emmy® Awards. The winners will be announced April 18. “Nueva York,” a series for CUNY-TV produced by Professor Carlson, was nominated in four categories: Arts: Program Feature/Segment; Politics/Government: Program Feature/Segment; Magazine Program, and Promotion: Program Promo – Campaign. Another program produced by Professor Carlson for CUNY-TV, “Canapé,” was nominated in the Historical/Cultural: Program Feature/Segment category. “We Are New York,” a series produced by the Mayor's Office of Adult Education and CUNY, for which Professor Krakowski served as executive producer, received nominations in the following categories: Writer, Program; Photographer: Program; Craft Specialty: Musical Composition/Arrangement, and Crime Programming. More on this story.
Book Co-Authored by June Williamson Receives AAP Award
A book co-authored by June Williamson, Associate Professor of Urban Design in the Bernard & Anne Spitzer School of Architecture at The City College of New York (CCNY), has received a 2009 PROSE Award for Excellence from the American Association of Publishers (AAP). "Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs," co-written by Ellen Dunham-Jones and published by John Wiley & Sons, won in the architecture and urban planning category. The book explores an area that has received little attention from urban designers – suburbia. In it, the authors present case studies of conventional suburban building forms, e.g. shopping malls and office parks, which have been retrofitted to new forms and uses. They also advocate a strategy of incremental metropolitanism in which urbanized nodes are developed along a region’s "corridors of strength," often at the location of a failed shopping mall or other large site. More on this story.
CCNY Web Director Builds Site for Teaching with Technology
Strategic languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Hindi and Farsi that are important to national security and competitiveness are not commonly taught in elementary or secondary schools. In addition, teaching resources for them are limited. A new instructional website designed by Angela Gunder, Director for Web-based Communications at The City College of New York (CCNY), is providing educators across America with access to instructional technology that can support learning of these and other languages. The site, called NOVASTARTALK Online, http://novastartalk.nvcc.edu/, is the first resource of its kind for teachers of critical languages. It is an online version of Northern Virginia Community College’s (NOVA) face-to-face language workshop for teachers in Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. It combines technology tools and 21st century standards-based language teaching to promote targeted language use and proficiency-based methodologies. "The idea is to present some of the technological tools and software out there, show the teachers how they’re applicable in the classroom and how they can support student learning outcomes," said Ms. Gunder, who came to CCNY from NOVA in 2006. She has served as technical lead for the NOVASTARTALK project in her spare time. More on this story.
MIT Professor to Deliver Katz Lecture March 15
Dr. Arup Chakraborty, Robert T. Haslam Professor of Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, and Biological Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will deliver the Annual Katz Lecture in Chemical Engineering at The City College of New York (CCNY) 2 p.m. Monday, March 15, in the Steinman Hall auditorium. His topic will be "Understanding Adaptive Immunity: A Crossroad of the Physical, Life, and Engineering Sciences." A faculty member at MIT since 2005, Professor Chakraborty was previously at the University of California at Berkeley. He holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware and did postdoctoral work at the University of Minnesota. In addition, Professor Chakraborty is a founding member of the Ragon Institute of MIT, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard University. The Ragon Institute, officially established in February 2009 and supported by the Phillip T. and Susan M. Ragon Foundation, creates a singular opportunity and environment to engage scientists, engineers and clinicians in challenging medical research. More on this story.
Breast Cancer Pioneer Delivers Genetics Lecture March 16
Dr. Mary-Claire King, American Cancer Society Professor in the Departments of Genome Sciences and Medicine at the University of Washington, will deliver the annual Louis Levine-Gabriella de Beer Lecture in Genetics at The City College of New York (CCNY), 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 16, in The Great Hall. Her topic will be "Every Unhappy Family is Unhappy in Its Own Way: Genetic Heterogeneity in Human Disease." The lecture, which is presented by CCNY Interim President Robert E. Paaswell and The City College Fund, is free and open to the public. Dr. King was the first to prove that breast cancer is inherited in some families as the result of mutations in the gene that she named BRCA1. In addition to inherited breast and ovarian cancer, her research interests include genetics of hearing loss, the genetic bases of schizophrenia, genetics of systemic lupus erythematosus, and human genetic diversity and evolution. She also pioneered the use of DNA sequencing for human rights investigations, developing the approach of sequencing mitochondrial DNA preserved in human remains, and then applying this method to the identification of kidnapped children in Argentina and subsequently to cases of human rights violations in six continents. More on this story.
3K Race/Walk March 20 Promotes Colon Cancer Awareness
Colorectal cancer kills 1,400 New Yorkers every year, according to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Black and Hispanic New Yorkers have lower rates of screening, putting them at greater risk. To increase awareness and prevention of the disease during Colon Cancer awareness month, The City College of New York’s Black Male Initiative (BMI) is organizing a 3K race/walk around Harlem, Saturday, March 20. The second annual "March in March" hopes to attract up to 300 participants from the College and surrounding community. All proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society. "March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, and our goal, in addition to raising money to fight this scourge, is to increase awareness and inform the public that colon cancer can easily be prevented, starting with a conversation with your gastroenterologist," said Troy A. Urquhart, the event’s creator and organizer. The race starts at 8:40 a.m. (registration begins at 8 a.m.) outside CCNY’s Nat Holman Gym at 138th Street and Convent Avenue. The course takes participants north to 145th Street then east to Lenox Avenue. From there, they will head south to 135th Street, where they will turn west and cross the finish line at St. Nicholas Avenue. More on this story.
‘Our World 2030’ Conference Rescheduled for March 24
"Our World 2030: Preparing a New Generation for a Sustainable Future," a conference sponsored by the New York Life Endowment for Emerging African-American Issues and organized by the Colin Powell Center for Policy Studies at The City College of New York (CCNY), has been rescheduled to 4:30 – 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 24. It will be held in The Great Hall, Shepard Hall, on the CCNY campus. Originally scheduled for February 10, the event was postponed due to severe weather. All original speakers and panelists are reconfirmed for the new date. For additional conference details, please visit http://www1.ccny.cuny.edu/ci/powell/news/news_ourworld_jobs.cfm.
Spring Poetry Festival to Take Place May 14
The 38th Annual City College Poetry Festival will take place 9:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, May 14, in Theater B of Aaron Davis Hall at W. 135th Street and Convent Avenue on The City College campus. Dubbed "the Woodstock of the Spoken Word," the festival is an all-day, all-verse event that has become New York’s longest-running, most established and democratic poetry celebration. This year’s featured guest poets are L.S. Asekoff and Kimiko Hahn. They join a long line of celebrated poets who have appeared at the festival that includes: singer/songwriter Paul Simon, Allen Ginsberg, Gwendolyn Brooks, Muriel Rukeyser, Jayne Cortez, Adrienne Rich, Marie Ponsot, Marilyn Hacker, Philip Levine, Charles Simic, Colette Inez, Stanley Kunitz, Billy Collins, Alicia Ostriker, Elaine Equi, Barry Wallenstein, Major Jackson and , most recently, Stanley Moss. "The Poetry Festival celebrates the free voices of the young people of New York City's public schools," said Professor Barry Wallenstein, former director of the Poetry Outreach Center. "These students, who show their natural creativity in expressive language, are from every grade level, from all boroughs, and from an ever-growing range of schools." More on this story.
Greek’s Luncheonette Forced to Close after Rent Dispute
The Greek’s Collegiate Food Shop, a landmark luncheonette at 139th Street and Amsterdam Avenue that has fed generations of City College students, faculty and staff, closed its doors earlier this month. The business, established in 1925, was the victim of a rent dispute between owner George Kakomanolis and his landlord, Perseus Management, which sought to triple the rent when the lease expired last April. Although he received an extension through the end of 2009, Mr. Kakomanolis could not negotiate a new lease, and he was instructed to vacate the premises and turn in his keys when he arrived to open the restaurant March 8. As news of the restaurant’s threatened closing spread, members of the City College community rallied in support of the owners. They contacted the landlord and local officials and formed a "Save the Greeks" Facebook group with over 200 members. In January, Robin Villa, director of the Honors Center, presented Mr. Kakomanolis and his staff with CCNY jackets and other mementos donated by the Alumni Association. CCNY alumnus and Budget Director Ira Blumenreich, a regular at the restaurant for 30 years, told the "Daily News" "It’s going to be really difficult because there isn’t a place like this here in the neighborhood."
Henry Wittenberg, ’40, Olympic Wrestler, Dies at 91
Henry Wittenberg, a member of the CCNY Class of 1940 and former New York City police officer, who became one of the greatest amateur wrestlers of all time and later coached wresting at his alma mater, died March 9 at his home in Somers, NY. He was 91. Mr. Wittenberg earned a gold medal in the light heavyweight category in 1948 and a silver medal in 1952. Until he lost to Wiking Palm of Sweden in the finals of the1952 Olympics, he had amassed over 300 consecutive wins in amateur competition. After retiring from competition he coached wrestling at Yeshiva University and, later, CCNY. He also coached the U.S. Olympic team in 1968. Mr. Wittenberg, whose interest in wrestling began at CCNY, would train for his collegiate matches by running to the top steps of Lewisohn Stadium, according to a "New York Times" obituary. He is a member of the Wrestling Hall of Fame and National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
From the President
Thank goodness spring is just about here. Not only is the ground thawing but we are getting word that the job market may be finally defrosting, as well.
That’s welcome news for members of the Class of 2010 about to enter the "real world" uncertain about their prospects. The strong participation in our Career Center’s Spring Career Fair earlier this month certainly was encouraging.
Career counselors often stress the importance of networking in a successful job search. It is my hope that alumni will be receptive when fellow alums and graduating seniors reach out to them. As you can see from the articles in 138@Convent, we continue to produce bright and ambitious students.
Even if you don’t know of anything in your organization, you may be able to introduce a talented and eager young man or woman to someone who knows someone who knows someone who has the perfect position.
CCNY alumni have always "reached back" to help our students. I hope and believe this tradition will continue and grow.
Robert E. Paaswell
138@Conventis produced by the Office of Communications of The City College of New York. We welcome your comments and suggestions for stories; please email firstname.lastname@example.org