||Vol. 2 No. 7 August 28, 2007
Folake Olowofoyeku, ’06, Wins at Canadian Film Festival
Folake Olowofoyeku, a 2006 graduate of CCNY’s Theatre Department, won the Best Actress Award at the ReelHeART International Film Festival in Toronto. She was selected for her emotive performance in the hit student short “When They Could Fly,” which was written and directed by fellow 2006 graduate Piotr Kajstura. The Nigerian-born Ms. Olowofoyeku played “Bella,” the female lead, in the 28-minute period piece about magic and its uplifting effect on a group of slaves in the antebellum South. “A lot of hard work went into it,” she said. “I, for one, fasted to get into character because it would be hard for anyone these days to imagine the physical and emotion burden that slaves had to endure.” A Manhattan resident, her acting credits include The Classical Theater of Harlem’s “Trojan Women” and NBC’s “Law & Order.” “When They Could Fly,” Mr. Kajstura’s thesis project in the M.F.A. in Media Arts Production program, has garnered a raft of awards including Best Short Film and Best Overall Film at The Texas Black Film Festival and first place in The Top Ten Films In America Film Festival in Fries, Va.
Council, Borough President OK $1.9 Million for Capital Projects
Recently approved appropriations from the New York City Council and Manhattan Borough President’s office will provide over $1.9 million to fund capital projects on the CCNY campus in 2008, according to Karen Witherspoon, Director of Urban and Government Affairs. The funds are above and beyond support for the College provided through taxpayer levy funds, which are used to cover operating expenses, Ms. Witherspoon noted. The largest appropriation, $760,000 from Borough President Scott Stringer’s office, will be used to complete renovations to the WHCR-FM’s studios and offices, including installation of state-of-the-art broadcasting and editing equipment. When complete, the station will be able to provide hands-on training in current broadcast technology to the College’s, she noted. Other appropriations will pay for laboratories and smart classrooms at the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education and the Center for Worker Education and renovating library space for the planned Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service. Besides Mr. Stringer, funding was allocated by City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and Council Members Inez Dickens, Robert Jackson, Alan J. Gerson, Miguel Martinez and David I. Weprin, Ms. Witherspoon said.
Marilyn Gunner Named Acting Dean of Science
President Williams has appointed Professor of Physics Marilyn Gunner Acting Dean of the Division of Science. She will serve in that role while the College conducts a search for a permanent dean to succeed Maria Tamargo, who is returning full time to teaching and research after serving six years as Dean of Science. Dean Gunner joined the CCNY Physics Department in 1992 and served as the department’s Deputy Chair for 2006 – 2007. A past Chair of the American Physical Society Division of Biological Physics, she received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 1997. She holds a Ph.D. from University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. from Binghamton University. In announcing the appointment, President Williams praised Dr. Tamargo, a Professor of Chemistry, for her “excellent service” to The City College as Dean, noting that she had “done much to enhance the Division’s status as CUNY’s flagship science program.”
Kundakci to Head IT; Morena Named Security Chief
President Williams has announced two senior administrative appointments. Vace Kundakci was named Assistant Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer and Pasquale A. Morena was appointed Director of Public Safety and Security. Mr. Kundakci comes to CCNY from Columbia University, where he spent 26 years in a variety of information technology positions. Most recently he was Columbia’s Associate Vice President, Technology Infrastructure, with responsibility for that institution’s central academic and administrative information systems and services. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Columbia. Mr. Morena (shown above) is a retired Captain of the New York Police Department. His last post was as commanding officer of the Brooklyn South Gang Squad. He has a B.S. in management from St. John’s University.
Summer Honors for SAUDLA Students
Three students from City College’s School of Architecture, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture (SAUDLA) won awards this summer for scholarship and design work done last spring. Queens resident Jennifer Jeffrey, a third-year student, won a scholarship from NEWH/The Hospitality Industry Network, for Architecture/Design. She received a $4,000 stipend. Fourth-year student Clement Sjauw of Elmhurst, Queens received a $5,000 stipend in this year’s Eleanor Allwork Scholarship Grant program. The Allwork Scholarship is administered by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) New York Chapter and the New York Foundation for Architecture. Selma Antoine of Elmont, N.Y., who graduated magna cum laude last June, won $500 in the 1st Storefront/Control Group Awards. She competed against students from Harvard, Penn State and Cornell. Said SAUDLA Dean, George Ranalli: “These awards continue to be a testament to the progressively more successful transformation that has taken place in the School over the past eight years.”
Class Combines Computer Programming, Art and Science
Two City College professors have teamed up to create a class that gets students to master computer programming skills by creating artwork to illustrate molecular structures and other scientific concepts. The course, “Math Art, Programming and Molecular Graphics,” was in the 2007 Summer Bioinformatics Workshop and was developed with support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. It is taught by Dr. Peter Brass, Professor of Computer Science, and Dr. Yuying Gosser, Director of the Pathways Bioinformatics Center. “The main purpose is to use visual arts to stimulate student interest in programming, which is an indispensable skill in data visualization of molecular sciences,” explained Dr. Gosser. “Professor Brass was very enthusiastic in generating mathematical art images with programming and I was interested in expressing scientific themes in an artistic way, so we combined math, art and science.” Students learned three programming languages – PovRay, Postscript and Perl – and studied protein structures and gene bank databases in another summer workshop class. In addition to programming and computer graphic skills, the class examined concepts of symmetry and taught analytical skills, Dr. Gosser noted. Students generated images of various crystal lattices, tiling, trees, spirals, carbon nano-tubes, DNA double helix, virus structures and cell membranes, etc. Their creative artworks were presented at the end-of-class poster session at CCNY and at the New York Structural Biology Summer Symposium at New York Academy of Science.
Jeffrey S. Flier, ’68, Named Dean of Harvard Medical School
City College alumnus Jeffrey S. Flier, M.D., has been named Dean of Harvard Medical School. Dr. Flier received a B.S. in Biology from The City College of New York (CCNY) in 1968. “Dr. Flier’s appointment as Dean of Harvard Medical School puts him on a growing list of City College alumni who have climbed to the pinnacle of their fields,” noted CCNY President Dr. Gregory H. Williams. “The undergraduate education he received here provided him with a foundation for achieving excellence. We congratulate him on this noteworthy achievement and wish him continued success.” Dr. Flier joined the Harvard Medical School faculty in 1978 after spending four years as a clinical associate with the National Institutes of Health. Prior to being appointed Dean, he served as Harvard Medical School Faculty Dean for Academic Programs and Chief Academic Officer for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), a Harvard teaching affiliate. He received his M.D. from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in 1972. More on this story.
Slain Police Officer Remembered as Talented Student at CCNY
His professors remember Russel Timoshenko, a former CCNY student who joined the New York Police Department and was killed in the line of duty last month, as an “incredibly talented and pleasant student.” Timoshenko, a CCNY student from 2003 to 2005, was shot July 9 allegedly by occupants of a vehicle he and his partner had stopped and died from his injuries five days later. He had a “great sense of humor and a certain old-world charm that made him stand out,” said Maria Binz-Scharf, Assistant Professor of Management. “He was a great student and a real nice guy,” added Ross Weiner, Assistant Professor of Economics. Leonard Trugman, an Adjunct Professor in Economics and Management who taught Mr. Timoshenko in three classes described him as “extremely bright and very entrepreneurial. I thought he’d go on to get his M.B.A.” Mr. Timoshenko’s teachers added that they were “surprised” by decision to leave CCNY and become a police officer. “There was no way you could talk him out of it,” said Professor Binz-Scharf. “He really was on a mission.”
Pocono Film Festival Honors Alumnus David Saperstein, ‘59
City College alumnus David Saperstein, ’59, a novelist, lyricist, scriptwriter and film director best known for the book Cocoon, which was made into a blockbuster film in the 1980s, received the Daniel Pearl Multimedia Award at the Fifth Annual Pocono Mountains Film Festival, held earlier this month at The Shawnee Inn in Tannersville, Pa. The award is given in memory of Mr. Pearl, a Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped and murdered in 2002 by terrorists linked to Al-Quaeda, “Daniel Pearl’s life and work, promoted cross-cultural understanding through journalism, music and communications,” said Bridget O. Davis, the Festival’s Founder and Chief executive officer. The Festival honored Mr. Saperstein for expressing “diverse cultural understanding” through his professional work and his involvement with the Bert Saperstein Communications Scholarship Fund, which helps students at CCNY and other institutions obtain degrees in film, television, video, music, dance, drama, and advertising. Besides Cocoon, Mr. Saperstein has written nine novels, screenplays or stories for 28 films, scripts for 20 television series or specials, three librettos and lyrics for more than 80 published songs. In addition, he is a 1998 Townsend Harris Medal recipient.
CCNY’s Dominican Carnival Art Exhibit Now Online
“The Artistry of Dominican Carnival,” a colorful exhibit of masks and costumes that was on display at City College last fall, is now available online courtesy of Cohen Library. “This exhibit serves as the virtual complement to the original exhibition organized by the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Library, the City College Libraries and the Juan Pablo Duarte Foundation, which was on view in the Cohen Library Archives,” said Pamela Gillespie, Assistant Dean and Chief Librarian. The exhibition features a radiant display of traditional masks and costumes typically used during carnival in different provinces of the Dominican Republic, but created for the Dominican carnival in the United States. The materials, in vibrant tropical colors, were designed by children and young adults who live in Washington Heights. They were supervised by a crew of dedicated individuals from the Juan Pablo Duarte Foundation who are committed to sharing Dominican culture and its customs with the community. The exhibit also features posters and photos that display the richness of “El Carnaval del Boulevard” celebrated in Washington Heights in July. To view it and other CCNY online exhibitions, go to: http://www.ccny.cuny.edu/library/onlinexhibits.html
Philosophy Professor Abraham Edel Dies at 98
Abraham Edel, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at City College, passed away June 22 in Manhattan at age 98. Professor Edel taught at CCNY from 1931 to 1973 and was an eminent thinker known for his study of moral philosophy. His work focused on the role of philosophy in connection with the social and natural sciences. Professor Edel was a prolific scholar and author whose works included such noted philosophical texts as Ethical Judgment, Aristotle, Method in Ethical Theory and Ethical Theory and Social Change: The Evolution of John Dewey’s Ethics, 1908-1932. Born in Pittsburgh in 1908 and raised in Yorkton, Canada, Professor Edel received B.A. and M.A. degrees from McGill University (1927, 1928); a B.A. from Oxford University in England (1930) and a Ph.D from Columbia University (1934). In addition to teaching 42 years at CCNY, he was a distinguished professor at the CUNY Graduate Center from 1970 to 1973. After retiring from CUNY in 1973, he spent years as a faculty member at The University of Pennsylvania and held visiting appointments at a number of academic institutions including Columbia University and The University of California, Berkeley
From the President
The 07-08 academic year is upon us. Welcome back!
Admissions, the Registrar’s Office, Financial Aid, Student Affairs, the Honors Center, virtually every divisional office, and the Bursar’s Office have been exceptionally busy during the dog days of August, and I want to offer them the thanks of the entire college community for helping to keep things running smoothly.
And the news from these offices is really very good. From a survey filled out by the incoming honors freshmen at orientation on Monday (completed by 54 of the 80 new freshmen in the Honors College and Honors Program, we learned that seven of them were valedictorians and two were salutatorians at their high schools. And Registrar Johanna Rivera tells me that we currently have 13,785 registered students – that’s 1,288 more than we had at this time last year!
It promises to be a very good year.
Gregory H. Williams
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