||Vol. 5 No. 3 April 6, 2010
Former Gov. Mario Cuomo to Speak at CCNY April 8
Former Governor Mario M. Cuomo will deliver the Samuel Rudin Distinguished Visiting Scholars Lecture at The City College of New York (CCNY) 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 8, in The Great Hall of Shepard Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public. Mr. Cuomo was the longest serving Democratic governor in the modern history of New York State, serving from 1983 to 1995. "The New York Times" called his tenure "one of the most celebrated governorships in history." In his 12 years at the helm of the Empire State, Governor Cuomo steered New York through two recessions, balanced 12 consecutive budgets and created more than a half million jobs. As governor, he launched the largest economic development initiative in New York history and created an unparalleled network of high-tech research facilities. He also built the country’s most extensive drug treatment network, its largest program of housing assistance for the homeless and a nationally recognized plan for AIDS prevention and treatment. In addition, he is widely admired for his oratorical skills. Governor Cuomo’s keynote address at the Democratic National Convention and his speech on the relationship of religion and politics at Notre Dame, both in 1984, helped define the progressive political landscape for two decades. More on this story.
CCNY Named to President's Community Service Honor Roll
CCNY has been named to the 2009 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. This is the highest recognition an institution of higher education can receive from the federal government for its commitment to volunteering, community service and civic engagement. CCNY was chosen for its service-learning academic programs as well as for student-led community service projects. "As a public institution serving a diverse community, community service and civic engagement are integral to our mission," said Interim President Robert E. Paaswell. "We’re delighted and grateful to be recognized by President Obama for what we are doing, and I congratulate the Colin Powell Center, our faculty and students for their efforts." Begun in 2006, the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognizes institutions of higher education for their commitment to, and achievement in, community service. The honor roll increases public awareness of the contributions that colleges and students make to local communities and the nation as a whole. Schools are placed on the honor roll based on an institution’s commitment to community service, the impact of its efforts in the community and the institution’s size and characteristics. More on this story.
Attorney to Discuss Controversial Affirmative Action Case
John Payton, Director-Counsel and President of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, has been the lead counsel in some of the most significant civil rights cases in recent times. The list includes the affirmative action cases Gratz v. Bollinger and Grutter v. Bollinger. Next Tuesday, April 6, he will visit The City College of New York (CCNY) to lead a panel discussion on the Grutter case, which resulted in a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision on law school admissions, and deliver The Skadden, Arps Lecture in Legal Studies. His lecture topic will be "Democracy & Diversity." Both events are in The Great Hall of Shepard Hall and are free and open to the public. The panel discussion begins at 4 p.m., followed by the lecture at 6 p.m. Mr. Payton’s co-panelists on the Grutter v. Bollinger discussion will include: Dennis J. Shields, CCNY Acting Vice President, Student Affairs and Dr. Lynda G. Dodd, Joseph H. Flom Professor of Legal Studies and Political Science in The Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom Honors Program at CCNY. Mr. Shields, then the assistant dean for admissions at the University of Michigan Law School, was a named defendant in Grutter v. Bollinger, in which the Supreme Court upheld the institution’s affirmative action admissions policy. More on this story.
Symposium April 23 to Explore Future of Physics
Five prominent physicists from leading U.S. and European universities, including Nobel Lauerate Dr. David Gross, will explore the future of their discipline at "Frontiers in Physics," a daylong symposium presented by the Physics Department at The City College of New York (CCNY). The event, Friday, April 23, at The Harmonie Club in New York, will serve as the occasion for the conferral of an honorary doctorate on Sy Sternberg, ’65 EE, former chairman and chief executive officer of New York Life Insurance Co. The principal speakers, representing high-energy physics, condensed matter physics, quantum computing/quantum information, biophysics and astrophysics, will assess the state of their fields and near-term and mid-range prospects. "A seminar of this nature has never been done on the East Coast before," said Dr. V. Parameswaran Nair, professor and chair of physics at CCNY. This is a good time to take a big-picture look at where physics is headed." The five fields covered by the speakers are the focus of most current research within the discipline, he noted. CCNY’s Physics Department has ongoing research in each of these areas, and several professors have received international recognition for their work, Professor Nair added. More on this story.
CCNY to Confer Honorary Doctorate on Sy Sternberg, ’65 EE
Sy Sternberg, ’65 EE, former chairman and chief executive officer of New York Life Insurance Co., will receive the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters from CCNY April 23. CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, ’63, and CCNY Interim President Robert E. Paaswell will confer the degree on him in a ceremony at 4:30 p.m. during the "Frontiers in Physics" symposium presented by the Physics Department. The honorary doctorate recognizes Mr. Sternberg’s "distinguished service to college, city and country," said CCNY Interim President Robert E. Paaswell. "A true ‘Son of City College,’ he has through his industry and extraordinary generosity fulfilled the Ephebic Oath he took 45 years ago when he graduated from CCNY to leave this City and The City College of New York better off than it was when it was handed to him." An electrical engineering major at CCNY, Mr. Sternberg made his mark in the insurance industry. He rose to become the longest-serving chairman of the board of New York Life Insurance. He was appointed chairman in 1997 and retired in 2009. He served concurrently as chief executive officer until 2008. More on this story.
Professor’s Musical Journey Down Hudson to Debut April 10
In addition to teaching in the Music Department at CCNY, noted jazz composer and pianist Mike Holober serves as artistic director and conductor of the Westchester Jazz Orchestra (WJO). On Saturday, April 10, he will lead the ensemble in the premiere of his composition "Flow: In Celebration of the Hudson River." The concert, at the Town Hall Theatre in Irvington, New York," begins at 8 p.m. Professor Holober will give an informal talk before the concert at 7:15 p.m. "Flow" is a three-movement suite inspired by locations on the river that Professor Holober, an avid outdoorsman and adventurer, has visited. It is his first commissioned composition for WJO, which he has served as artistic director and conductor since 2007. He has also produced 14 arrangements for the orchestra. The musical suite begins with "Tear of the Clouds," a passionate and dynamic tenor saxophone feature written around CCNY instructor Jason Rigby. It continues with "Opalescence," a slow jazz waltz that features trumpet legend Marvin Stamm, and ends with the bluesy Duke Ellington-inspired "Harlem," which features Scott Wendholt on trumpet and Jay Brandford on alto saxophone. More on this story.
Professor Emeritus Ron Carter Receives Top French Honor
Jazz bassist Ron Carter, a two-time Grammy winner and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Music at CCNY, has received the French Order of Arts and Literature Award. It is one of France’s top honors and was presented to Professor Carter in Paris by Frederic Mitterrand, that country’s Minister of Culture and Communication. It is given to persons who have distinguished themselves in artistic or literary creation and contributed to the spread of arts and letters in France and throughout the world. Professor Carter, who "The Washington Post" called "the most original, prolific, and influential bassist in jazz," expressed his disbelief at the honor with one word: "wow!" He was a member of the legendary Miles Davis Quintet and has performed with virtually every major jazz figure. Professor Carter won a Grammy for Best Original Composition in 1988 for "Call Sheet Blues" and in 1993 for Best Jazz Band Recording for "The Miles Davis Tribute Band." The Manhattan resident, who taught at CCNY from 1983 to 2002, has appeared on more than 2,000 albums.
CWE Lecturer Wins Cartagena Film Festival Award
A short film by Carlos Aguasaco, a Spanish lecturer in The City College of New York’s (CCNY) Division of Interdisciplinary Studies, has won for best video in the art category at the Cartagena (Colombia) International Film Festival. Mr. Aguasaco, who is also an alumnus of CCNY, wrote, produced and directed "Medialengua" ("Half Tongue"), a short story about a word in Spanish being confused with an English word. According to Mr. Aguasaco, the film’s plot deals with the confusion around the meaning of the Spanish word "embarazada" (meaning pregnant) and the English word "embarrassed;" words that sound similar. "Medialengua," the main character, enters in a semantic whirlpool that affects the life and work of her teachers. "This is a story of a semantic dispute and a girl searching for meaning," said Mr. Aguasaco, who holds an MA in Spanish from CCNY and a BA in literature from the National University of Colombia. Mr. Aguasaco wrote "Medialengua" as a short story in 2004. At the time, he was teaching high school in New York and going to graduate school at CCNY. More on this story.
IUSL Holds CUNY Laser Intellectual Property Event April 21
The year 2010 marks the 50th birthday of the laser and 40th year since the discovery of the supercontinuum, a light having both high spatial coherence and broad spectral bandwidth. These anniversaries will be observed at CUNY Laser Intellectual Property Day, an open house event for laser companies and scientists, to be held Wednesday, April 21, by the Institute for Ultrafast Spectroscopy and Lasers (IUSL) at The City College of New York (CCNY). "In the 40 years since the discovery of the supercontinuum, IUSL has conducted extensive research and development of supercontinuum laser sources as well as tunable lasers for a wide range of applications," said Dr. Robert R. Alfano, Director of IUSL and CUNY Distinguished Professor of Science and Engineering. "We are holding this special day to highlight laser technology available for licensing by laser companies." The event, which is supported by the Office of CCNY Provost Zeev Dagan, will include: presentations from CUNY Vice Chancellor for Research Gillian Small, the CUNY technology transfer office, faculty members, companies and inventors; a tour of City College’s laser and crystal-growing facilities, and discussions with inventors and the technology transfer officer. More on this story.
CCNY Hosts Citywide Student Environmental Network Meeting
In the lead-up to the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, students from campuses around New York City came together to form the Amp Up Network. The first Amp Up Student Summit was held at CCNY Saturday, March 27 in the North Academic Center Ballroom. The grassroots Amp Up Network serves to connect environmental student activists on college campuses throughout the five boroughs. Those who attended the meeting at CCNY shared skills, information and resources that will enhance their organizing abilities. "I think an active citywide environmental network is something that has been needed for a long time, and I am glad to see it come to fruition," said Megan McNally, one of the principal organizers from Columbia University. "The Amp Up is the first step in increasing the energy and enthusiasm in the student environmental movement. By coming together and problem-solving and skills-sharing, we will be stronger and more effective leaders of today and tomorrow." The event is being held at CCNY because of the strong commitment to environmental activities among its student body. In addition to working on citywide Earth Day activities, CCNY students are planning an Earth Week celebration on campus later this month. More on this story.
Graduate Student Advocates for CCNY Student Parents
Getting a college degree is hard enough, but when academic obligations are juggled with the responsibility of raising a child, the challenge can be daunting. As a graduate student and parent attending The City College of New York (CCNY), Sarah Adams lived that challenge. While fortunate to have had a strong family support network, she saw many of her fellow student parents struggling to keep up. Last fall, the New York Life Graduate Fellow established the CCNY Student Parent Group to provide a support base for all students who are parenting their own children while attending college. It is estimated that as many as 1,000 students at CCNY are parents. Hoping to further that agenda, Ms. Adams, who will complete her MA in history in May, and the CCNY Child Development Center will co-host a conference on student-parent issues. It will take place 4 – 6 p.m. Thursday, April 22, in the CCNY Faculty Dining Room located in the North Academic Center. Sherill Mosee, author of "Professor May I Take My Baby to Class?" which chronicles the stories and experiences of student parents, will be the keynote speaker. More on this story.
From the President
Spring always ushers in the most exciting time on a College campus, and this one is no exception. The array of up-coming events, including the presentations by John Payton and Mario Cuomo, combined with the outstanding activities of our faculty and students continue to make City College the great place to be.
I would be less than honest, though, if I didn’t admit to a special fascination with the largest questions of physics, and a particular pride in the April 23 Physics Symposium, The Frontiers of Physics – which brings together not only a Nobel Laureate but very possibly some of the young physicists who will hold that title in the future. I hope you will join me at that symposium, and certainly for our conference of the honorary degree to one of our great supporters, Sy Sternberg, followed by a public lecture that will be accessible to non-physicists.
Robert E. Paaswell
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