||Vol. 4 No. 9 December 21, 2009
Madison Square Garden Honors 1950 CCNY Team
CCNY’s dual victories in the 1950 NIT (National Invitational Tournament) and NCAA national men’s basketball championships were recognized as the all-time top moment in Madison Square Garden college basketball history. The selection, made by a panel of local basketball insiders, including past and present sports reporters, broadcasters, coaches and game officials, commemorates 75 years of college basketball at "The World’s Most Famous Arena." "It’s rare a college team can captivate a city like New York," said a Madison Square Garden news release. "City College of New York did on the way to making college basketball history. The Beavers, led by head coach Nat Holman, won the NCAA and NIT titles in 1950 at Madison Square Garden, still the only team to get the double, something that can no longer be accomplished." Three surviving members of the 1950 team, Ron Nadell, Floyd Layne and Irwin Dambrot, were on hand when the selection was announced at a December 9 press event.
Statue by Sebastian Erected Along Amsterdam Avenue
City College’s campus was enhanced this month with a new statue by world renowned sculptor Sebastian. "Cinta Sebastina," the Mexican legend’s gift to CCNY, was erected December 4 on the campus’ North Academic Plaza, between 135th and 136th streets, along Amsterdam Avenue. The pyramidal sculpture, made of fabricated steel and finished in red paint, stands over 21 feet and weighs approximately 11,500 pounds. Its base lies next to a bed of "Heritage Roses" planted last October. CCNY Interim President Robert Paaswell applauded the gift from Sebastian and said the sculpture was an invaluable and welcome addition to the campus and the surrounding community. "Both our campus, with its lovely national landmarks, and this beautiful community we inhabit are richer because of this masterpiece." Sebastian announced the gift during the College’s 162nd Commencement ceremony in May 2008 at which he received an honorary doctorate degree. A formal dedication of the statue is planned for next spring. "Cinta Sebastina" contains all the elements that have defined Sebastian’s work internationally. His forte is the use of geometric shapes in large-scale, monumental sculptures. Sebastian is credited for merging the too-often separated worlds of art and science by applying his studies of geometry, topology and crystallography to his graphic and sculptural art.
CCNY Librarian Wins 2009 ‘I Love My Librarian’ Award
Seamus Scanlon, a librarian at The City College of New York (CCNY) Center for Worker Education (CWE), located in Lower Manhattan, has been selected as a recipient of a 2009 Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times "I Love My Librarian" Award. He and nine other librarians from around the country were honored at a reception held at the newspaper’s Midtown Manhattan headquarters Thursday, December 3. The award celebrates librarians who have had a significant impact on their communities or schools and recognizes their outstanding accomplishments in improving the lives of the people they serve. As an honoree, Mr. Scanlon received a $5,000 grant and a plaque for the library. "It is a great honor that the library service we offer to students and faculty was recognized by the Carnegie Corporation and the New York Times as a significant component of the learning environment at CWE," said Mr. Scanlon, who dedicated his award to Grace-Ellen McCrann, a CCNY librarian who passed away unexpectedly one week earlier. Mr. Scanlon, a native of Galway, Ireland, who moved to New York in 2005 and completed an M.F.A. in Creative Writing at City College in 2006, has been the librarian at CWE since 2007. More on this story.
Jazz Maestro John Patitucci Nominated for 4th Grammy
CCNY Professor of Music John Patitucci, a three-time Grammy winner, received a 2009 nomination in the Best Jazz Instrumental Album category for his 13th album, "Remembrance." The winners will be announced at the 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards, January 31, 2010, in Los Angeles. "I was surprised to be nominated again, and I don’t take this lightly," Professor Patitucci said. "My last four records have been nominated for either performance or composition and I was very thankful for that. This particular recording was something I wanted to do for a long time. I had been thinking of making a trio recording with Brian Blade and Joe Lovano for over seven years, and I am so happy we finally got to document this group." Music critics have hailed "Remembrance," released by Concord Records, as one of the John Patitucci Trio’s best releases. Featuring Joe Lovano on tenor saxophone and alto clarinet and Brian Blade on drums, the album comprises 11 mostly original tunes that pay homage to a host of jazz icons. More on this story.
CCNY Team Pursues Green Power from Piezoelectrics
Piezoelectric materials are crystalline substances that produce tiny amounts of electricity when subjected to pressure. They are commonly used to ignite gas stoves and outdoor grills. A team of mechanical engineers in The Grove School of Engineering at The City College of New York (CCNY) has developed a method for using these materials to generate green auxiliary power for automobiles and other vehicles. In a wind tunnel, graduate student Dóĝus Akaydin created a vortex by passing air over a cylinder set at a 90 degree angle to the airflow. This vortex caused a thin, piezoelectric strip that was attached to a rod and two lead wires and placed perpendicular to the cylinder to vibrate and produce voltage, explained Dr. Yiannis Andreopoulos, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Mr. Akaydin’s co-advisor. Professor Andreopoulos, his colleague, Dr. Niell Elvin, and Mr. Akaydin presented their findings at the American Physical Society meeting held last month in Minneapolis. Their work was singled out of 1,600 entries for press release to the general public. More on this story.
CCNY Professor Foresees Rising Antarctic Snowmelt
The 30-year record low in Antarctic snowmelt that occurred during the 2008-09 austral summer was likely due to concurrent strong positive phases for two main climate drivers, ENSO (El Niño - Southern Oscillation) and SAM (Southern Hemisphere Annular Mode), according to Dr. Marco Tedesco, Assistant Professor of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences at The City College of New York. Professor Tedesco added that Antarctic snowmelt levels should revert to higher norms as one of the drivers, the SAM, subsides as the damage to the ozone layer is repaired. His conclusions, which are based on space-borne microwave observations between 1979 and 2009, were reported in "Geophysical Research Letters" earlier this fall. "The study’s goal was not only to report on melting but also on the relationship between melting and the climate drivers, El Niño and the SAM," he explained. Low melt years during the 1979-2009 satellite record are related to the strength of the westerly winds that encircle Antarctica, known as the Southern Hemisphere Annular Mode (SAM). More on this story.
Teens’ Mural Brings Pride, Beauty to Harlem Neighborhood
Over a seven-week period last summer, a small group of local teens transformed a nondescript Chinese food takeout shop in Central Harlem into a source of pride and beauty for their community. The effort, which resulted in an 8’ x 15’ mural with Chinese motifs painted on the storefront, was a pilot project for the Harlem Youth Project, a City College of New York (CCNY) initiative supported by UNICEF to create a child and youth-friendly neighborhood. The Project, which is modeled on a worldwide framework to create child-friendly cities established by UNICEF, is organized around seven themes: education, health and nutrition, human rights, access to cultural enrichment and building global citizenship, access to play and recreation, neighborhood beautification and policy development. The goal of the three-year Project is to encourage Harlem’s young people to finish high school and go on to college, said Dr. Jean Krasno, Project Director and Lecturer in Political Science at CCNY. The mural was produced as part of the Harlem Youth Project’s neighborhood beautification initiative, and involved eight students in the Harlem 40 program. The Luck Joy restaurant, which received the mural, is located at the corner of Frederick Douglass Boulevard and W. 142nd Street. More on this story.
Sophie Davis PA Students Win Medical Jeopardy Championship Miguel Santiago, Ifeanyi Nwobi and Patricia Nelson, students in the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education Physician Assistant program, along with trainer David Lau, have won the New York State Medical Jeopardy Championship. A trophy for winning was presented to the team by the New York State Society of Physician Assistants (NYSSPA) at a December 4 reception on The City College campus. The competition, modeled on the eponymous television game show, is held annually at the NYSSPA Fall Continuing Medical Education Conference, which convened earlier this year in Saratoga Springs. It is meant to bring together physician assistant students in a fun and competitive way for networking in a relaxed but viable environment. "The NYSSPA Medical Jeopardy Award comes with more than just a trophy and plaque; it comes with bragging rights and coveted job offers," said Mr. Santiago. During the first round, the Sophie Davis team squared off against Stony Brook University. In the second round, the team took on Wagner College. They defeated last year’s winner, St. John’s University, in the final round with a score of 5201 to 0. More on this story.
CCNY Student Engineers Discuss Water Projects At U.N.
Since 2005, the City College chapter of Engineers Without Borders (CCNY-EWB) has been working to bring fresh water to small villages in rural Honduras. Last month, chapter leaders Svetlana Fisher and Joanna Bonfiglio gave a presentation on their efforts to a panel on water issues held at the United Nations as part of Rotary International Day. Later that day, CCNY-EWB was feted at a fundraiser cocktail party held by Rotaract at the United Nations, a young professionals division of Rotary. Rotary International is a worldwide service club with over 33,000 chapters. One of the goals of all its chapters is to bring clean water to developing areas of the world, explained Ms. Bonfiglio, a mechanical engineering major who serves as the chapter’s project manager. Several Rotary and Rotaract chapters in Brooklyn, Long Island and Manhattan have helped support CCNY-EWB’s projects. In their 15-minute presentation, Ms. Fisher, a civil engineering major who is the chapter president, and Ms. Bonfiglio discussed CCNY-EWB’s two projects. The current project is in Las Chicas, a community with just 32 homes. There, the existing water system needed waterproofing of the storage tank, a new lid and pipe repairs. More on this story.
CCNY Junior Receives Advertising Club Scholarship
Yi Qiang Chen’s dream of a career as a graphic designer received a big boost when the City College of New York (CCNY) junior was awarded The ADVERTISING Club’s 2009 Digital Action Scholarship, December 1. The award, which rewards academic excellence, comes with a $5,000 stipend that Mr. Chen, an Electronic Design & Multimedia major with a 3.76 G.P.A., plans to use to purchase equipment to use in his coursework. "I’ve always been interested in art from when I was a child in China and this scholarship makes it easier for me to pursue my dream," he remarked. "The scholarship will help me buy stuff I need for my classes like digital cameras, an Apple Mac computer and design software." In addition to the money, Mr. Chen, whose family emigrated from the Chinese city of Guangzhou in 1995, also received a one-year membership in The ADVERTISING Club (AD). He is the second City College student to receive the Digital Action Scholarship, which is given to provide access to careers in new media to ethnically diverse New York undergraduates. Zohar Avgar received it in 2008, the first year it was given. More on this story.
CCNY, One Club Film Event Promotes Diversity in Advertising
The advertising profession is challenged to achieve a level of diversity that reflects the demographics of New York. The City College of New York (CCNY) Media & Communication Arts Department and The One Club teamed to hold a special event to address this issue, especially on the creative side. They jointly screened the documentary "Art & Copy," which portrays the work and wisdom of some of the most influential copywriters and directors of our time, December 1, in CCNY’s Great Hall, and garnered an audience of over 300. The showing, the film’s first screening at a college in New York, was followed by a panel discussion / Q&A entitled "How Do I Get a Foot in the Door?" led by advertising industry professionals from various backgrounds. "The goal of this event is to expose students at CCNY, one of the most diverse colleges in the nation, to opportunities on the creative side of advertising for copywriters, art directors and other professionals," said CCNY Professor of Advertising Nancy R. Tag. CCNY offers the only undergraduate advertising/public relations major within CUNY; and, with over 400 declared majors, it is a fertile source of future creative talent from groups currently underrepresented in advertising, she noted. More on this story.
Event at CCNY to Help Soldiers Become Students
The armed services often send recruiters to college campuses to interest students in joining the military. Now, The City College of New York (CCNY) is inviting soldiers onto its campus to interest them in becoming students. On Friday, January 8, CCNY will welcome some 300 members of the famed "Fighting 69th" Infantry Regiment, a unit of the New York Army National Guard, to a "Veterans’ Social," 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in The Great Hall. The event, which will be attended by student veterans from CCNY and other CUNY colleges, as well, is part of a CCNY initiative to reach out to servicemen and women eager to continue their education after military life. "The purpose of this "social" is to introduce the soldiers of the 69th Regiment and their families to City College, its history and legacy, and to the educational benefits available here through the new GI Bill," said Robert Rodriguez, CCNY Assistant Vice President, Student Affairs. City College’s veteran population has experienced a surge since the legislation took effect, and Mr. Rodriguez says he expects the figure to climb to 240 from 200 for the Spring 2010 semester. More on this story.
CCNY Philosopher Sees ‘Great Awakening’ In Middle East
Western media often portray Middle Eastern societies as rigid and resistant to change. However, Dr. Lou Marinoff, CCNY Professor and Chair of Philosophy sees a "great awakening" taking place in that part of the world. Professor Marinoff’s view is based on observations from a trip last month to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, where he was a speaker at the Third Biennial Festival of Thinkers held for students at the Higher Colleges of Technology. The event was organized under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nayhan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. It attracted leaders from business, academe, government, the arts and athletics, including 15 Nobel Laureates and basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. "Abu Dhabi is a model for modernization in the Islamic world," Professor Marinoff said. "They have a conservative culture, with a tolerant outlook. They want to grow, but not to abandon Islam." He described the people he met as "friendly, open and curious." The students, he added, are very inquisitive and "have a lot in common with City College students. They view education as a passport to a meaningful and contributive life." More on this story.
Filtered Water Now on Tap in Marshak
A new fountain inside the Marshak Science Center is providing chilled, filtered tap water free of charge for use with refillable containers, while helping to reduce CCNY’s carbon footprint. The unit, the first of several planned for Marshak, is located in the corridor leading from the north entrance on Convent Avenue to the rear of the building. Plans call for similar units to eventually be installed throughout the campus as part of CCNY’s strategy for meeting its PlaNYC and Presidents’ Climate Commitment obligations. "We want to encourage people to use refillable bottles by providing a source of water comparable to commercially bottled water," says Robert Santos, CCNY Vice President of Facilities and Planning. Using refillable water bottles can reduce CCNY’s carbon footprint by lowering the amount of plastic waste that gets transported to landfills, which produces methane, one of the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Mr. Santos says he is looking for user feedback on the new units so they can be adjusted as they are deployed. Send comments to email@example.com.
CCNY Librarian Grace-Ellen McCrann Dies
Professor Grace-Ellen McCrann, a member of The City College library faculty for nine years, died suddenly November 30 of natural causes. She was 66. Interment took place December 7 in the family plot at St. Gertrude’s Cemetery in Colonia, N.J. "From the first day that Professor McCrann joined CCNY she made an impact," said Pamela Gillespie, Assistant Dean and Chief Librarian of the Cohen Library. "Her outsized personality and total dedication to user services constantly pushed us all to upgrade both physical and virtual collections and the pathways to their use." Professor McCrann was well known in cyberspace for her resource collections series, "Government Views of…,"which includes web pages on the Iraq war, SARS, the Rosenberg Spy Case and D-Day. Hundreds of libraries, government agencies and educational institutions have linked to the site. Professor McCrann also authored numerous articles and book chapters on the use of government information in research, as well as its management and preservation. Professor McCrann was a graduate of Seton Hall and North Carolina Central University, where she earned her M.L.S. Among the institutions where she worked prior to joining CCNY were the New Jersey Historical Society and the District of Columbia Public Library.
From the President
As we close a mightily successful Fall 2009 semester, I would like to wish all of you a happy holiday and express my hope that - whether you stay in New York or leave the city - you will find rest and renewal with family and friends. And as I complete my first two months as interim president, I would like to thank all of you for your critical support and gracious counsel. I knew this job would be interesting, challenging, and mostly fun. What I didn't know was just how much my respect for my colleagues and our students would grow with every passing day. However you celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another, I wish for all of us peace and prosperity in the new year.
Robert "Buz" Paaswell
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