||Vol. 4 No. 7 October 27, 2009
Robert E. Paaswell Becomes Interim President of CCNY
Dr. Robert E. Paaswell, a Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering in The Grove School of Engineering, has become Interim President of CCNY as of October 15. Dr. Paaswell will lead CCNY while CUNY conducts a search for a permanent successor to Dr. Gregory H. Williams, who resigned to become President of the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Paaswell, who has extensive executive leadership experience in the public sector, was appointed by CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein; the CUNY Board of Trustees approved his appointment at its September meeting. “It is a great honor to be chosen to serve as City College’s Interim President, and I thank Chancellor Goldstein and the CUNY Board of Trustees for giving me this opportunity,” Dr. Paaswell said. “I look forward to strengthening City College’s tradition of excellence and building upon its many accomplishments.” Recognized internationally as an expert on transportation operations, management and planning, Dr. Paaswell has led the nation’s second largest public transportation agency and served as director of two CUNY research institutes. President Paaswell’s official biography.
CCNY Dedicates Spitzer School’s New Home
CCNY held a ceremony and reception to dedicate the new home of The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture Wednesday, September 16, in the building’s atrium gallery. The facility, the first new academic building on the CCNY campus since 1982, opened for classes at the start of the fall 2009 semester. The naming of the architecture school in honor of Mr. Spitzer, a member of CCNY’s Class of 1943, and his wife was approved by the CUNY Board of Trustees April 27, 2009. The Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust had given a $25 million gift to City College for the architecture school’s benefit. The invitation-only event recognized Mr. and Mrs. Spitzer as well as others who have supported development of the architecture school. Attendees included: CUNY trustees and officials, elected leaders, college presidents and architecture deans and City College architecture faculty, students and alumni. More on this story.
NSF Funding Surge Accelerates Research Growth at CCNY
CCNY is experiencing a surge in funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Since August 1, members of the College’s faculty have received 22 grants from NSF totaling $8.9 million. The rise reflects an increase in proposals submitted by faculty members, according to Regina Masterson, Director of the Office of Research Administration. In addition, several new faculty members brought grants with them that had been awarded to them at their previous institution, she noted. "We are experiencing unprecedented funding levels, with $30 million from all sources for the first few months of the 2009-10 academic year," Ms. Masterson added. The new NSF grants will accelerate the College’s drive toward its strategic goal of $65 million in funded research by 2012 as it strives to become a research university. Last year, research funding increased by 21.5 percent to $55.2 million. Five of the grants were funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The ARRA funding will support research and administrative positions at CCNY and provide orders for businesses that supply scientific equipment to the College. More on this story.
NSF Grant Teams CCNY, U. of Chicago to Define New Field
It is not often that a group of scientists gets to define a field of study. But, that is what Dr. Jeffrey Morris, Professor of Chemical Engineering in The Grove School of Engineering at The City College of New York (CCNY), and colleagues at CCNY and the University of Chicago are attempting to do. Professor Morris is principal investigator on a new, five-year $3 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant that establishes a Partnership in Research and Education in Materials (PREM) at CCNY in collaboration with the University of Chicago’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Center. The "overarching goal of the partnership is to develop methodology for description of material dynamics" as an emerging branch of materials science. "While materials science usually looks at substances in a static state, material dynamics examines them while in a state of flow during the manufacturing process," he explains. The field has application to the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, petroleum-based products, chemicals and personal care products such as shampoo and cosmetics. The grant was funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. More on this story.
Engineering Society Picks Weinbaum for Diversity Award
Dr. Sheldon Weinbaum, CUNY Distinguished Research Professor of Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering in The Grove School of Engineering, has received the National Biomedical Engineering Society’s Inaugural Diversity Award. The award honors exceptional contributions to improving gender and racial diversity within biomedical engineering. Professor Weinbaum was chosen for his long-standing efforts to integrate women and under-represented minorities (URM) into engineering and, more recently, into biomedical engineering as co-founder of CCNY’s Biomedical Engineering Department. "I have worked towards equality for all my 42 years at CCNY, so this award signifies recognition of how much I have been able to change the social fabric of the College and The Grove School of Engineering since I became an activist," Professor Weinbaum declared. Creation of CCNY’s Biomedical Engineering Program, in partnership with colleagues Distinguished Professor Stephen Cowin and Professor Susannah Fritton, gave Professor Weinbaum the opportunity to build a program focused equally on excellence and diversity. Biomedical engineering at CCNY began as a research consortium with major medical centers in New York City, the New York Center for Biomedical Engineering. It has since grown into a full-fledged department of The Grove School offering bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees. More on this story.
Four Sophie Davis Freshmen Receive LIFE Scholarships
Freshmen Daniel Asemota, Mohammad Sadat, Maha Salama and Chantal Strachan, all aspiring physicians in the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, were chosen as 2009 recipients of the prestigious Lois Pope Annual LIFE Unsung Hero Scholarship Awards at CCNY. Mrs. Pope, the Florida-based philanthropist and President of Leaders in Furthering Education (LIFE), presented the awards, which each carry a $25,000 stipend, at a ceremony and luncheon at the College, Wednesday, October 7. The scholarships go to incoming Sophie Davis freshmen who have demonstrated academic excellence and selfless community service while in high school. Calling the four honorees heroes, Mrs. Pope said they were all worthy recipients. "All of you have demonstrated super academic achievement but more important have given of yourself selflessly," she said. "It’s an honor for me to help you on your journey." Mrs. Pope established the LIFE Unsung Hero Scholarship program as an extension of her vision for rewarding and encouraging young people who put extraordinary effort into helping others. LIFE is guided by a firm belief that young people are society’s most valuable resource and that hands-on community service offers important and lasting ways to educate, to motivate and to improve community life. More on this story.
CCNY Volleyball Star Taisiya Zuyeva a Coach at 22
In her three years at City College, Taisiya Zuyeva was a volleyball ace. She helped lead CCNY to the 2008-2009 CUNY Athletic Conference (CUNYAC) title and earned Scholar-Athlete and conference All-Star honors. Not long after she graduated from CCNY last May with a degree in education, cum laude, Medgar Evers College hired her at the tender age of 21 to lead its women’s volleyball program. She became the youngest coach in the program’s history and the youngest coach in CUNYAC. Her coaching debut on September 6, five weeks after her 22nd birthday, saw the Evers "Lady Cougars" defeat Yeshiva University 3-0. "I’ve always wanted to coach and I love this job," said Zuyeva, who said she was surprised to get the nod. More on this story.
U.S. Debut Set for Professor Krakowski’s New Film
Professor Andrzej Krakowski’s feature film, "Looking for Palladin," will make its U.S. theatrical debut October 30, when it begins a two-week exclusive East Coast engagement at New York’s Cinema Village, located at 22 E. 12th Street in Manhattan. One week later, it will open at Laemmle’s Music Hall Cinema in Beverly Hills, Calif. Professor Krakowski, who teaches in CCNY’s M.F.A. program in Media Arts Production, is a Hollywood veteran with over 50 credits as a director, producer, and/or writer. "Looking for Palladin" is the story of a Hollywood talent agent, Josh Ross (David Moscow), who is sent to Guatemala to locate an Oscar-winning actor, Jack Palladin (played by CCNY alumnus Ben Gazzara), who happens to be his estranged stepfather. The cast also includes Talia Shire, Vincent Pastore, Pedro Armandariz Jr., Angelica Aragon, and Professor Krakowski’s faculty colleague, Professor Jerry Carlson. It has won awards for: Best Feature Film at the Queens International Film Festival; Best Feature Film and Best Ensemble Cast at the Orlando Hispanic Film Festival, and Best Production Company at the Napa/Sonoma International Film Festival. More on this story.
Researchers Study Collaboration in Age of Internet
An interdisciplinary team of CCNY professors is studying how virtual organizations, where people work in different locations, sometimes halfway around the world, change and affect the production of scientific knowledge. They are supported by a new grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) of $368,210 over three years. The investigators hope to identify the conditions under which virtual organizations can enable and enhance scientific production and innovation. "It used to be that collaboration took place mainly within one laboratory, but now you can collaborate with people you don’t even know, said Dr. Maria Binz-Scharf, Assistant Professor of Management and Principal Investigator. "The question is: How does greater access to shared data, new collaborators and information across time and space help improve the production of scientific knowledge, if at all?" The CCNY team includes, in addition to Professor Binz-Scharf, Dr. Leslie Paik, Assistant Professor of Sociology and the project’s co-Principal Investigator, and Dr. Avrom Caplan, Professor of Biology and Associate University Dean for Research. They will focus their research on biologists, Dean Caplan among them, who study molecular chaperones, which are proteins that are part of a process called cellular quality control that promotes destruction of damaged proteins. More on this story.
Semiconductor Research at CCNY
Molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) is a technique for producing thin films of ultra-pure semiconductors by depositing single crystals of an element on a substrate material. Because it offers the highest degree of control and flexibility among semiconductor production techniques, MBE is essential to research and development applications. At CCNY, two professors conduct research using MBE. Dr. Maria Tamargo, Professor of Chemistry, and Dr. Aidong Shen, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering, have three MBE chambers between them. In Professor Tamargo’s laboratory, two of the chambers are connected by an ultra-high vacuum tube that enables them to be used in tandem or separately. Both professors played pivotal roles in the 2009 North American Molecular Beam Epitaxy Conference held in August at Princeton University that drew more than 200 representatives from academia and industry and produced more than 110 papers. Professor Tamargo served as conference co-chair and Professor Shen is editing the proceedings, which are to be published next spring in the "Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology B." More on this story.
CWE Becoming Lower Manhattan Cultural Destination
With visiting and permanent exhibits and public lectures throughout the school year, CCNY’s Center for Worker Education (CWE) is rapidly becoming an artistic and cultural destination in Lower Manhattan. The Center, located at 25 Broadway, is home to the College’s Division of Interdisciplinary Studies, which sponsors the exhibits and lectures, which are free and open to the public. Currently on display at the Center is "Dominicans in New York: An Exhibit from the Dominican Archives & Library Collections," funded by the New York Council for the Humanities. The exhibit, which will be on display until December, highlights the experiences and contributions of the New York Dominican population. Viewing hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. "We are now in a time of milestones, transitions and changes at the Center," said Juan Carlos Mercado, Dean of the Division. "We look forward to showcasing various works of art at CWE for students, faculty and the downtown community to enjoy." Several exhibits next spring are intended to bring together students of the arts, the Lower Manhattan business community, emerging artists, and curators so as to engage a contemporary and trans-cultural dialogue on the arts, he added. More on this story.
New Book on Edwin Blashfield Features CCNY Mural
"The Graduate," the Edwin Howland Blashfield mural that adorns the stage of City College’s Great Hall, is featured in a new book about the painter that was released September 28. In addition to a write-up about the mural, which was painted on The Great Hall’s curved front wall, a color photo of the painting appears both inside and on the book’s rear jacket. "The Great Hall mural is considered one of Blashfield’s major works," says Mina Rieur Weiner, editor and one of four writers who contributed to "Edwin Howland Blashfield: Master American Muralist," (W.W. Norton 2009). "It was done at the height of his power and combines many of his oft-used techniques." Among the key features she cites are the outlining of characters, the combining of real and symbolic figures and the dramatic use of light and dark. "Even if you don’t know who the characters are, the painting conveys a sense of awe and elevates ‘the graduate.’" "The Graduate" is one of only two Blashfield murals in New York City; the other is in the Appellate Court House. In addition, the only other college or university with a Blashfield mural is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. More on this story.
Irving Kristol, ’40, Neoconservative Icon, Dies
Irving Kristol, ’40, a political thinker, essayist and scholar whose writing transformed American conservatism, died September 18. He was 89. Mr. Kristol was hailed as the intellectual father of neoconservatism, and helped promote new ideas such as supply-side economics. This was a radical transformation from his student days at CCNY, when he considered himself a socialist. Mr. Kristol and classmates Daniel Bell, Nathan Glazer and Irving Howe would debate pro-Stalinist students in the Alcoves of Shepard Hall. Their activities, which led to them becoming the first important group of social policy critics from America’s working class, were chronicled in the 1998 documentary "Arguing the World." Mr. Kristol’s conversion from socialist to conservative occurred during the Cold War. He was influenced by Leo Strauss and other writers and his passionate loyalty to the United States. During his career as a public intellectual, Mr. Kristol founded three magazines: "Encounter," "The Public Interest," and "The National Interest." He served as Henry Luce Professor of Urban Values at New York University, was a distinguished fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a columnist for "The Wall Street Journal." George W. Bush, awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor bestowed on American civilians, in 2002.
From the President
It is a great pleasure to share with you the on-going good news about CCNY, the institution that I have called home for the past two decades. As I have said on many occasions over the past month, The City College of New York is one of this city’s great icons, not only for its unparalleled history and its remarkable current achievements, but also for its unlimited potential.
I am particularly proud of the multidisciplinary research and scholarship that members of our faculty are producing, and of the talent and ambition of our students. I look forward to continuing to showcase this remarkable work as our national reputation grows.
Robert "Buz" Paaswell
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