CCNY Campus on Hamilton Heights Reaches Centennial
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the completion of City College’s campus – the five original buildings designed by George B. Post – on Hamilton Heights. CCNY acquired the site along Convent Avenue between 138th and 140th Street in the late 19th Century to replace the aging and overcrowded Free Academy building. The College broke ground for the new buildings in 1903. The buildings designed by Post, who also designed the New York Stock Exchange, are Shepard Hall, Townsend Harris Hall, Wingate Hall, Baskerville Hall, and Compton Hall. Post also provided the College with a complete environment that included interior furniture and decorations, electrical fixtures, millwork, landscaping and entrance gates. In the mid-1980s, the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York began an extensive restoration project. It included rebuilding the main tower of Shepard Hall and replacing the terra cotta trim on all buildings with new, molded ornamental elements made from glass-fiber-reinforced concrete. As this is written, the restoration is largely complete, save for a few sections of Shepard Hall’s exterior along St. Nicholas Terrace. The City College Office of Communications and Public Relations is producing a website about the campus’ history.
City College Pledges to Go Green
President Williams has signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, making The City College of New York a charter signatory to this important compact. “This action is far more than a statement of our deep concern about the scale and speed of global warming and its potential consequences,” he said in a statement. “It is a pledge, on our part, to not only take positive steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also an initiative to exercise leadership in the community and society through the example we set.” As a signatory to the Climate Commitment, CCNY pledges to develop a comprehensive plan for achieving climate neutrality as rapidly as possible. Michael Rogovin, Deputy to the President, is organizing a steering committee that will be charged with guiding the development and implementation of the plan. “We recognize that this effort will result in short-term challenges,” President Williams added. “However, exercising leadership in addressing climate change will not only help us to stabilize and reduce our long-term energy costs, but also help us attract excellent students and faculty, identify new sources of funding and increase support from alumni and the community.”
45 Full-Time Members Join CCNY Faculty
The fall semester begins with 45 new full-time members joining The City College faculty. In the Division of Humanities and Arts: Amy Kratka joins as Lecturer in Jewish Studies; Chela Bodden and Devid Paolini as Lecturers in Languages; Carlos Riobo, Vanessa Valdes and Ya-Chen Chen as Assistant Professors of Languages; Tom Thayer and Megan Foster as Lecturers in Art; Ray Gallon as Lecturer in Music; Chad Jenkins as Assistant Professor of Music; Brandon Judell, Kathleen Potts and Julio Agustin Matos as Lecturers in Theatre and Speech; Antonio Tibaldi as Assistant Professor of Film and Video; John Gilloly as Lecturer in History, and Pamela Laskin, Grazyna Drabik, Doris Barkin and Richard Braverman as Lecturers in English. In the Division of Science: Ruth Stark joins as a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry; Marco Ceruso and Issa Salame, ’97 B.S., as Assistant Professors of Chemistry; Ricardo Zayas as Assistant Professor of Biology, and Johnny Luo and Marco Tedesco as Assistant Professors of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences. In the Division of Social Science: R. L'Hureux Lewis joins as Assistant Professor of Sociology and Sonia Oreffice joins as Assistant Professor of Economics. In the Division of Worker Education: Mary Lutz has become a full-time instructor and advisor to students interested in social work; Martin Woessner was named the Patai Fellow and Carlos Aguasaco has joined as a Spanish Lecturer. In the School of Education: Gregory Borman joins as Substitute Lecturer in Secondary Science; David Crismond as Associate Professor of Elementary Education; Soyong Lee as Assistant Professor of Bilingual Education; Heidi Bach as Assistant Professor of Special Education; Jennifer Strycharz as Lecturer in Educational Theater, and Hazel Carter as Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership. In the Grove School of Engineering: Sihong Wang joins as Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Huabei Liu, Hansong Tang and Tan Yang as Assistant Professors of Civil Engineering; Sang-Woo Seo and Aidong Shen as Assistant Professors of Electrical Engineering and Nicholas Madamopoulos as Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering, effective October 1. In the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, Maria Felice Ghilardi joins as Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiology & Pharmacology and Emilia Medina-Colon as Medical Lecturer and Clinical Coordinator for the Physicians Assistant Program.
Spitzer Chair Inaugural Lecture Slated for October 16
Dr. Randall C. Forsberg will deliver The Anne and Bernard Spitzer Chair Inaugural Lecture 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 16, in The Great Hall. Dr. Forsberg, who is the first Anne and Bernard Spitzer Chair Professor of Political Science at CCNY, will talk on “The Transformation of War.” The event is free and open to the public. The Spitzer Chair was established through a gift from Bernard Spitzer, ’43, a prominent New York real estate developer, and his wife, Anne, Adjunct Professor of English Literature at Manhattan Marymount College. Their son, Eliot, is Governor of the State of New York. Professor Forsberg has for 40 years been one of the most prominent thinkers, writers and speakers on peace and disarmament. In 1980, she founded the Institute for Defense and Disarmament Studies (IDDS), a think tank for research on ways to reduce the risk of war. She brought IDDS into CCNY as a project of the Department of Political Science when she joined the faculty in the fall of 2006.
Sheldon Weinbaum to be Feted on 70th Birthday
Collaborators, former and current students, family, friends and colleagues will gather Friday, October 5, to celebrate the 70th birthday of Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biomedical Engineering Sheldon Weinbaum. The all-day event, which includes presentations by students and collaborators, a luncheon, reception, dinner and remarks by Professor Weinbaum, runs from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. with sessions in Room 95 of Shepard Hall and the Faculty Dining Room. Professor Weinbaum, who joined the CCNY faculty in 1967, retired from teaching at the beginning of the Fall 2007 semester. However, he continues to advise students and conduct research at the College, supported by five grants from the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health. Professor Weinbaum and a colleague, Distinguished Professor Stephen Cowin, established CCNY’s biomedical engineering department, which has become a “national urban model for minority biomedical engineering education.” He also holds the distinction of being just one of six living Americans holding memberships in the Academy of Science, Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine. His collaborators, from both CCNY and other institutions, will discuss their work in wide-ranging fields where Professor Weinbaum has helped advance knowledge, including atherogenesis, bone fluid flow, renal transport, bioheat transfer, microvascular exchange, cellular mechanotransduction, red cells, skiing and the design of a new train track, and vulnerable plaque.
CCNY Celebrates Hispanic & Latino Heritage Month
The City College Office of Student Life & Leadership Development (formerly the Finley Student Center) is celebrating Hispanic & Latino Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 through October 15, with student events on four consecutive Thursdays. On Thursday, September 27, the Office has arranged for an exhibition from the Latino Heritage Museum that explores the history of Latino contributions at 12 noon in the North Academic Center (NAC) rotunda. On Thursday, October 4, there will be a presentation on the influence of Latino culture in the United States at 12:30 p.m. in the NAC ballroom. CCNY’s observance of Hispanic & Latino Heritage Month concludes Thursday, October 11 with Batanga: a showcase of products for Latino college students at 12 noon on the NAC Plaza. The celebration kicked off Thursday, September 20, with a musical performance, food and giveaways.
NSF Awards 2 Professors $2.4 Million for Elementary Science
CCNY Professors Gary Benenson and James Neujahr have been awarded $2.4 million over five years from the National Science Foundation to come up with new methodologies based on design/technology for teaching physical science in urban and other disadvantaged settings. “Design provides a rich context for learning science, but it is rarely done in American schools, especially in the elementary grades,” noted Professor Benenson, who teaches Mechanical Engineering and is the principal investigator. The program, which is entitled “Physical Science Comes Alive: Exploring Things That Go,” intends to produce four curriculum units on Force & Motion and Energy Transformation for the K-2 and 3-5 grade bands. Each unit will focus on the design and testing of kinetic toys or the development of strategies for playing games that invoke principles of mechanics and electricity to achieve successful outcomes. Professor Neujahr, who teaches Science Education and is co-principal investigator, has responsibility for the pedagogy and design of the professional development component. The curriculum development process will be guided by a significant research component conducted by Dr. Richard Lehrer, an expert on cognitive research related to data analysis and modeling at Vanderbilt University. More on this story.
Four Sophie Davis Freshmen Named 2007 Pope Scholars
Freshmen Irene R. Gaines, Sergio Galeano, Ashley Parks and Jennifer Y. Tom, all aspiring physicians in the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education at The City College of New York, are this year’s 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), will present the awards, which each carry a $25,000 stipend, at a ceremony 11:30 a.m. Thursday, September 27, in the Amsterdam Room of the CCNY Faculty Dining Hall. The four recipients were selected for their academic excellence and selfless community service in high school. Ms. Gaines was a top student at Staten Island Technical High School, where she graduated with a 96 G.P.A. Mr. Galeano was an outstanding student at Regis High School, where he mentored incoming students. Ms. Parks graduated from St. Francis Preparatory School in Fresh Meadows with a 97 G.P.A. and numerous top honors. A Flushing native, Ms. Tom attended Benjamin Cardozo High School, where she was a member of the Da Vinci Math & Science Program. She graduated with a weighted G.P.A. above 100 % and ranked fourth out of a class of 958. More on this story.
First Pope Scholar Omolara Thomas Still an Unsung Hero
Sophie Davis alumna Omolara Thomas, M.D., who at age 15 won the first Lois Pope LIFE Unsung Hero Award in 1997, is showing her selflessness once more by joining a year-long mission to treat children with HIV and AIDS in Africa. Nigerian-born Dr. Thomas, who became a pediatrician after completing her medical studies at NYU Medical School, left last month for Malawi, one of four doctors to take part in the Pediatric AIDS Corp, a program sponsored by Baylor College of Medicine, UNICEF and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. HIV has infected 14% of Malawi’s population, including an estimated 83,000 children with full-blown AIDS. Dr. Thomas, who did her pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital in Boston, is hopeful of making even the slightest of differences. “Historians will look back at our society and say it was defined by AIDS,” she said. “I want to be able to say I tried to do something while these children were dying. It’s my calling to do this.” The Lois Pope LIFE Unsung Hero Award, a prestigious scholarship endowed by philanthropist Lois Pope, is given annually to four freshmen in the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education at The City College who have demonstrated academic excellence and selfless community service in high school.
Five Undergrads Named City College Fellows
Five CCNY undergraduates have been named City College Fellows for 2007-2008. The City College Fellowships provide financial stipends, faculty mentoring and pre-graduate school advising to talented undergraduates interested in careers in advanced research and college teaching. The new City College Fellows are: Tyleen Kelly, an English and Theatre major who graduated from the acting program at Circle in the Square Theatre School; Mariya Shcheglovitova, a biology and mathematics major who works part time as an instructor at the Staten Island Zoo; Kerry Sipe, a mathematics major whose interest in patterns and numbers lead her to switch from studying art; Kimberly Paige Young, a Canadian-born English major whostudied acting at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy before coming to City College, and Zhe Xu, a biology major who came to CCNY two years ago from Shanghai.
Seven Undergrads Named Mellon Mays Fellows
Seven CCNY undergraduates have been named Mellon Mays Fellows for 2007-2008. The Mellon Mays Fellowships, which are supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, provide financial stipends, faculty mentoring and pre-graduate school advising to talented undergraduates from groups traditionally underrepresented in graduate education. The new Mellon Mays Fellows are: Miriam Charles, a History major who is doing research on female slaves and black southern landowners; Ana King-Garcia, a Spanish and Philosophy major born in Brooklyn and raised in the Dominican Republic; Angela Perez, a History major born and raised in Colombia who is also a Colin Powell Leadership Fellow, a Kaye Scholar and a Harvard University Galbraith Scholar; Wendell Ramsey, a CUNY Honors College student and an English major whose interests include the effects of science on the African-American’s perception of society; Elena Sandoval, a Music major born in Mexico, who is also a Super-Kaye Scholar and a Peter Vallone Scholar; FelicityTsikiwa, an Art major born in Zimbabwe who has interned for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s African curator and aspires to earn a Ph.D. inart history with a concentration in African art, and Micah Wittner, a native New Yorker and music major who is doing research on the Africanization of American music.
Ruby Dee to Receive Finley Award at Alumni Dinner
Emmy Award-winning actress Ruby Dee will receive the 60th John H. Finley Award at the Alumni Association of The City College of New York’s 127th Annual Dinner, Thursday, October 18, at The New York Marriott Marquis. The award, named for CCNY’s third President, is presented annually to New Yorkers who have given exemplary service to their city. Ms. Dee, an iconic figure in the performing arts, has lent her powerful voice to various movements in the quest for human rights. In addition, the Alumni Association will confer Townsend Harris Medals on eight distinguished alumni for outstanding post-graduate achievements: Dr. Zeev Dagan, M.E. ’77, M.M.E. ’78, CCNY’s Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs; Roy Eaton, ’50, international concert pianist; Barry H. Garfinkel, ’50, an acclaimed lawyer who heads the international litigation and arbitration practice for Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; New York Times columnist Clyde E. Haberman, ’70; Carol J. Weissman Kurth, B.S. Architecture ’80, B.ARCH. ’81, a prominent architect; award-winning structural engineer Matthys P. Levy, ’51; Dr. Harold L. Newmark, ’39, a renowned researcher in pharmaceutical sciences, nutrition and cancer prevention, and Martin R. Pollner, ’57, a distinguished lawyer who served several U.S. Presidents. More on this story.
CCNY Alum Writes Social History of New York Cabbies
As a student at CCNY, Graham Hodges, BA ’73, MA ’74, supported himself by working nights as a cabbie. At Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y., where he is George Dorland Langdon Jr. Professor of History and Latin American Studies, he has made the life of New York’s cab drivers an area of study. His new volume, Taxi! A Social History of the New York City Cabdriver [The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007], is the first book-length history of New York City cab drivers and the community they comprise. “Cab driving was a formative experience for me,” Professor Hodges said. “It was a lot of fun and I made more money than any job I had before.” In those days, a wide range of people were cab drivers, including young hippie-types and older men who were frustrated by their status. While he never met anyone like Travis Bickle from film Taxi Driver, Bickle’s ill-fated relationship with a New York socialite was realistic, Professor Hodges said. “Many drivers longed for someone several classes above them.” He added that many of his dispatchers were even meaner than Louis DePalma from the TV series “Taxi.”
250 New Citizens Sworn In During Great Hall Ceremony
CCNY’s Great Hall was the setting for a swearing-in ceremony organized by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for 250 of America’s newest citizens September 17. One could not attend: Juan Alcántara, a Dominican-born corporal in the U.S. and Washington Heights resident who was awarded U.S. citizenship posthumously after being killed in action in Iraq August 6. In welcoming remarks, CCNY President Williams told the new citizens, who came to the United States from 51 different countries that “for 160 years, CCNY has been a college for immigrants and new Americans.” He cited as examples Andrew S. Grove, ’60, who was born in Hungary and became a co-founder of Intel Corp. and one of Silicon Valley’s leading luminaries and Gen. Colin L. Powell, USA (ret.), ’58, the son of Jamaican immigrants, who became the first African-American Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State. U.S. Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., the event’s keynote speaker, cited Cpl. Alcántara’s sacrifice, saying “the spirit of what he lived and died for must be kept alive by those of us that live on.”
Mayan Photo Exhibit Makes U.S. Debut at CWE
The Survival of the Mayas, a 45-piece photographic exhibition produced by Spain’s Fundación Sophia, is having its U.S. debut at the Center for Worker Education’s Lower Manhattan campus at 25 Broadway, 7th floor. The exhibit, which opened with a reception September 17 and runs through October 31, is part of CWEs commemoration of Hispanic & Latino Heritage Month. Photographed by Enrique Bauer, The Survival of the Mayas (La Pervivencia de los Mayas in Spanish) highlights the endurance of the rites, traditions and customs of present-day Mayan Quichés, heirs of the ancient Maya. “It facilitates a great opportunity for exchange of dialogue and cultural learning,” said Juan Carlos Mercado, Acting Dean of the Division for Working Education. Theinaugural reception, co-sponsored with Casa del la Cultura Guatemala en Nueva York drew a crowd of Latino cultural enthusiasts and dignitaries to CWE. Guests included Ambassador Rosa María Mérida de Mora, Consulate General of Guatemala in New York. To see select photos from the exhibit, visit www.mayasurvival.com.
Writer, Activist Grace Paley Was CCNY Visiting Professor
Grace Paley, the celebrated writer and social activist and a Visiting Professor of English at CCNY during the 1980s, died August 22 at her home in Vermont at 84. Ms. Paley taught a graduate fiction workshop, according to Professor Linsey Abrams, Director of the M.F.A. Creative Writing Program. “She was a close friend and inspiration for many of us in the faculty and we deeply mourn her.” Ms. Paley’s short stories were known for exploring the struggles of ordinary women “in precise, pungent and tragicomic style.” Her output included some four dozen stories in three volumes: The Little Disturbances of Man (Doubleday, 1959); Enormous Changes at the Last Minute (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1974), and Later the Same Day (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1985). The daughter of exiled Ukrainian Jewish socialists, she was born Grace Goodside in the Bronx in 1922 and attended Hunter College and New York University. She later studied with W.H. Auden at the New School for Social Research. Auden’s social concern and his heavy use of irony is often cited as an important influence on Ms. Paley’s early work, particularly her poetry.
Memorial for Professor Edel October 20
A memorial gathering for Abraham Edel, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at City College, will be held 4 p.m. Saturday, October 20, at the New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 W. 64th St., New York. Professor Edel, who taught at CCNY from 1931 to 1973, passed away June 22 in Manhattan at age 98. For additional information, call Sima Szaluta at 212-874-6056.