||Vol. 2 No. 2 March 1, 2007
CCNY Appoints Richard Metz VP for Finance and Administration
City College has appointed Richard S. Metz, a veteran administrator with over three decades of experience in academia, Vice President for Finance and Administration, CCNY President Gregory H. Williams announced. “The City College is privileged to welcome an administrator of Richard’s quality and experience on board,” said President Williams. “He is an invaluable addition to our staff as it continues on its mission to make CCNY the leader in public education in the nation.” Mr. Metz will report to President Williams and serve as the College’s chief financial officer. He will be responsible for the planning and day-to-day management of all financial and administrative functions at CCNY. He joins CCNY from California State University, East Bay, where he spent 11 years as Vice President for Administration and Business Affairs. Mr. Metz previously served as Vice President for Administrative Services at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Md., from 1987 to 1995. From 1979 to 1987, he was Director of Auxiliary Services at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. Mr. Metz graduated from Ohio State University in 1969 with a B.S. in Education and earned a Master of Administrative Sciences, with an emphasis in finance and management, from The Johns Hopkins University in 1976. More on this story.
Professor Xiao Awarded $400,000 CAREER Grant from NSF
Jizhong Xiao, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering, has been awarded a five-year, $400,000 CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation to support his ongoing research into developing mobile robots that can climb walls and run along ceilings. He intends to use the award to investigate planning, control and coordination issues pertaining to robots that operate in the three-dimensional environment. To do this, he plans to deploy a two-module version of the “City Climber,” the wall-climbing robot he developed at CCNY. “Most of the existing planning and control methods for multi-robot systems are no longer valid in the three-dimensional environment,” he says. “A new framework is needed to deal with the hard, yet previously unexplored, research domain involving wall-climbing robots.” Possible applications for the device include surveillance, counter terrorism and automated building inspection. In addition to supporting Professor Xiao’s research, the grant will provide funds for initiatives to integrate his research into CCNY’s engineering curriculum. Currently, 13 CCNY faculty members have prestigious CAREER Awards, which are given to early-career faculty “who most effectively integrate research and education within the context of the mission of their organization.” More on this story.
This just in: As 138@Convent went to press, we learned that Ilona Kretzschmar, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, has received a CAREER Award, as well, bringing to 14 the number of CCNY faculty with active grants. Details to follow in the next edition.
Novelist Nelly Rosario Named CCNY Kaye Artist in Residence
Novelist Nelly Rosario, the award-winning author of the evocative Song of the Water Saints, is the Kaye Artist in Residence at City College for the Spring 2007 Semester. Ms. Rosario is teaching a fiction workshop in the English Department’s M.F.A in Creative Writing program and will participate in public events at CCNY while she works on her second novel. Ms. Rosario is the third Kaye Artist in Residence at CCNY. Previous Kaye Artists were renowned installation artist Sarah Oppenheimer (Spring 2005) and groundbreaking independent film producer Christine Vachon (Spring 2006). The Kaye Artist in Residence program is funded through a $3.5 million grant made to the College four years ago by the Kaye Foundation to “support young people pursuing new frontiers in humanities and arts.” One of the most talented young voices in literature, Ms. Rosario, a Dominican-born and Brooklyn-raised author, was named “Writer on the Verge” by The Village Voice Literary Supplement in 2001. A year later, she won the PEN Open Book Award for Song of the Water Saints, her debut novel, which traces the lives of three generations of Dominican women. More on this story.
Archivist Sydney Van Nort Produces CCNY Pictorial History
The City College of New York (CCNY) began in 1847 as an educational and political experiment to provide access to higher education for bright young men – and later women – from working class and immigrant families who could not afford private college. Now 160 years later, the story of America’s first municipal institution of higher education is told in a pictorial retrospective by CCNY Archivist Sydney C. Van Nort. “Sharing the story of this modest educational idea and how it aided students to achieve their dreams, may guide others in gaining the tools needed to achieve their goals,” said Professor Van Nort. Her 128-page book, The City College of New York, was released February 27 by New Hampshire-based Arcadia Publishing as part of its Campus History series. Arcadia Publishing is the leading publisher of local and regional history in the United States. The City College of New York explains the history of City College from its founding by Townsend Harris, a prominent New York merchant and America’s first ambassador to Japan, to the present. Its images not only reflect the College’s influences and changes but also its celebrations and student life on a commuter campus. More on this story.
CWE to Mark 25th Anniversary with Two Days of Events
Educators, union members, politicians, activists, independent scholars, and students will convene March 23-24 at The City College of New York (CCNY) Center for Worker Education (CWE) to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Center’s founding. The 25th Anniversary celebration kicks off with the debut of a CWE historical exhibit and documentary, which tells the story of the Center, its ties to union members and its special relationship with City College. It was directed by CCNY alum Octavio Warnock-Graham (MFA ’06) and produced by Professor of Film and Video Production Andrea Weiss. CWE will also host its 25th Anniversary Gala and one-day Women and Work Conference, “Women and Work: Myths, Realities, and Representations,” both on March 24. The conference will have 20 panels, roundtable discussions, and workshops, addressing such topics as women and the labor movement and women’s rights in the global economy. Participants can also screen films, such as Transnational Tradeswomen, and visit the all-day “unseen america” exhibit, sponsored by the 1199/SEIU Bread and Roses Cultural Project. Cocktails, dinner and dancing will bring the evening to a close at 25 Broadway, CWE’s new state-of-the-art facility. For additional event information and conference registration, visit www.ccny.cuny.edu/cwe. More on this story.
Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen to Deliver Mumford Lecture
Nobel Prize-winning economist Dr. Amartya Sen, Lamont University Professor at Harvard University, will present the Fourth Annual Lewis Mumford Lecture on Urbanism at City College, 6 p.m. Thursday, March 15, 2007. Professor Sen’s topic will be “The Urbanity of Calcutta.” The lecture, which is sponsored by the Graduate Program in Urban Design of the School of Architecture, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture, will take place in The Great Hall of Shepard Hall. It and is free and open to the public. Dr. Sen was awarded the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economics for his contributions to welfare economics. His research has ranged over a number of fields in economics, philosophy and decision theory. They include: social choice theory, welfare economics, theory of measurement, development economics, public health, gender studies and the economics of peace and war. Dr. Sen is in his second tenure as Lamont University Professor. In 2004, he returned to the position he held at Harvard between 1988 and 1998, having served during the interim as Master of Trinity College in Cambridge, England. More on this story.
Cardinal Egan to Speak in Great Hall March 29
City College President Gregory H. Williams invites members of the City College community for a lecture by Edward Cardinal Egan, Archbishop of New York, 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 29, in the Great Hall of Shepard Hall. His Eminence will speak on “Education in Religion as a Force to Bring People Together in the 21st Century.” The event is free and open to the public. RSVP to (212) 659-6145 or events @ccny.cuny.edu. Cardinal Egan was appointed Archbishop of New York on May 11, 2000, by Pope John Paul II and elevated to the College of Cardinals in 2001. He was consecrated a bishop in May 1985 and served from 1985 to 1988 as Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar for Education of the Archdiocese of New York. In 1988, Pope John Paul II appointed him Third Bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport (Connecticut). Cardinal Egan earned a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Saint Mary of the Lake Seminar and completed his seminary studies at the Pontifical North American College in the Vatican City, where he was ordained in 1957 and earned a doctorate in Canon Law “Summa Cum Laude” in 1964.
Sara Williams Stages Mrs. Dally Has a Lover in Aaron Davis Hall
Sara Williams brings her longtime passion for theatre to the CCNY stage, presenting a sold-out production of William Hanley’s 1962 drama, Mrs. Dally Has a Lover, Thursday, March 1, in Aaron Davis Hall. The production, in honor of Stanley A. Waren, ’38, CUNY Professor Emeritus of Theatre, stars Lynette Braxton and Marcel Torres and is directed by Jocelyn Mendez, with CCNY Theatre Department Chair David Willinger as advisor. Mrs. Dally Has a Lover is a pre-feminist domestic drama about a smart, attractive working class woman trapped in a marriage whose romance has faded. In a review for The New York Times of a 1988 revival that starred Judith Ivey, Stephen Holden called it the “sort of talky “kitchen sink” drama that gives actors a chance to bite down on hard roles.” Ms. Williams, who is the life partner of CCNY President Gregory H. Williams, stumbled upon the play in her college library while a student and suggested the production to Professor Willinger.
Film Grad’s Slave Folklore Wins Texas Black Film Festival
Polish immigrant Piotr Kajstura was working on campus when he heard an African folktale from a fellow student at CCNY about magic and its uplifting effect on a group of slaves in the antebellum South. A film major with a strong interest in magical realism, Mr. Kajstura was captivated. The tale became the inspiration for his M.F.A thesis project, “When They Could Fly,” which won the Best Short Film and Best Overall Film awards at the Texas Black Film Festival in Addison this month, beating out entries by Hollywood stars Queen Latifah, Bruce Willis and Vanessa L. Williams. Set on a cotton plantation before the Civil War, the 28-minute period piece was shot in 18 days on location in South Carolina, and stars Nigerian-born actress Folake Olowofoyeku, a 2006 graduate of City College’s Theatre Program. Other CCNY students were involved in the project as crew members. As one of the prizes for winning in Addison, Mr. Kajstura’s production qualified for the American Film Institute’s (AFI) Dallas International Festival, one of the biggest in the country, March 22 – April 1. More on this story.
4 Film Grads Now Work at CUNY-TV for Former Professor
“Being their boss is easier,” says Professor Jerry Carlson of four former graduate students who now work with him on “Nueva York,” a Spanish-language magazine program carried on CUNY-TV. “Now, I work with them collaboratively, helping them develop their ideas.” It was timing that enabled Professor Carlson, who teaches in CCNY’s M.F.A. in media arts production program, to hire his former students. In 2005, CUNY-TV Executive Director Bob Isaacson asked Professor Carlson to serve as senior producer for the then-new program, which would showcase Latino life and culture in New York. Four recent graduates, Gisela Sander Alcántara, Sarah Foudy, Wilson Reyes and Mario Rosales, were looking for work and happened to be bilingual. Another member of the CCNY community, Distinguished Lecturer Carmen Boullosa, an acclaimed Mexican writer, is the program’s co-host. “Nueva York” was created to extend CUNY’s outreach to Spanish-speaking communities in New York and beyond,” says CUNY-TV General Manager Bob Isaacson. “It brings content that cannot be found anywhere else and magnificently portrays the cultural richness and diversity of New York’s Latino communities.” He describes the former students working with Professor Carlson as “brilliant, hard-working and creative. It’s a joy to see we are producing talented students like these and sending them out into the world.”
CCNY Gets Bi-Weekly Jazz Night In Harlem
An exciting jazz series will present CCNY jazz students, alumni and faculty in a series of concerts in the Harlem community. The Big Apple Jazz Boutique and EZ’s Woodshed Café is hosting a bi-weekly City College of New York jazz night. The next program is 8:30 - 11:30 p.m. Thursday, March 8. For each gig, Professor Scott Reeves will assemble a completely different quintet, comprised of CCNY’s best jazz alumni, current M.A. and B.F.A. jazz majors and jazz faculty. The Big Apple Jazz Boutique and EZ’s Woodshed Cafe is located at 2236 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd., between 131st and 132nd streets. The club is an easy walk from campus, and bus service is also available. The Big Apple Jazz Boutique is a very hip jazz boutique and coffee house, which has featured some fantastic live jazz events. In addition to the music, they sell CD’s, jazz memorabilia, coffee and snacks. They also host a jazz radio show on the internet. There will be a $10 cover charge, which will go, in part, to support the student and alumni performers.
Ranalli Design for Kiss Star Featured on Sundance Channel
Back in 1980, George Ranalli, Dean of CCNY’s School of Architecture, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture, produced several award-winning drawings for a dream house designed for former Kiss lead guitarist Ace Frehley. The house, which was to be situated in a canal in Stratford, Conn., was never built, but the drawings – both interior and exterior – will be featured in a segment of “Big Ideas for a Small Planet,” a new a 13-part documentary series that debuts April 17 on the Sundance Channel. “My office did the design for the building and won lots of awards,” said Dean Ranalli. “They’ve been published in a lot of books on drawing and architecture around the world.” Dean Ranalli added. Among the honors the drawings garnered was the prestigious Progressive Architecture Award (1980) from the eponymous publication. “Big Ideas for a Small Planet” presents forward-thinking designers, products and processes that are on the leading edge of a new green world. It is the lead-in for THE GREEN™, a weekly programming block on environmental topics presented by Robert Redford.
From the President
The National Science Foundation’s CAREER Grants are one of the most prestigious awards made to early-career faculty members. They are given to “those teacher-scholars who most effectively integrate research and education within the context of the mission of their organization.”
Did you know that 14 CCNY faculty members have active CAREER awards? In New York State, only four institutions – all large, private research universities – have more.
This is a remarkable achievement for a school of our size. We are truly fortunate to have so many young faculty members in a broad range of fields who not only are successful researchers but can bring their work into the classroom to give our students an advantage in preparing for their future careers.
Earlier this week, I joined in a tribute to a senior faculty member whose accomplishments as a researcher and teacher are unmatched, Robert R. Alfano, CUNY Distinguished Professor of Science and Engineering. Professor Alfano holds 93 patents and has written countless journal articles, book chapters, conference presentations, abstracts and reports.
However, as the guiding force behind City College and CUNY’s Photonics Initiative, he has been at the forefront of our efforts to broaden participation in science and engineering, especially among underrepresented groups. It’s easy to see why I am so proud of all of Bob’s accomplishments over his 35 years at The City College of New York.
On another note, please join us to hear another great scholar – albeit one from the “City College of the Bourgeoisie” – Nobel Laureate in Economics Amartya Sen deliver the Fourth Annual Mumford Lecture, 6 p.m. Thursday, March 15, in The Great Hall. Dr. Sen, who is Lamont University Professor at Harvard, is an internationally recognized expert on welfare economics, social choice theory and development economics. It should be an enlightening evening.
Gregory H. Williams
138@Convent is 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.