||Vol. 1 No. 10 November 22, 2006
Five CCNY Students Win at Minority Research Conference
Five CCNY science majors garnered awards, including one travel grant, at theAnnual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), which was held November 8 – 11 in Anaheim, Calif. The winning students, their categories and mentors are: Colleen Achong, Chemical Science, Professor George John; Oluwaseun Adeosun and Zachariah Olushoga, Cell and Developmental Sciences, Professor Jerry Guyden, and Beicer Tapia, Quantitative Sciences, Professor Maryilyn Gunner. In addition, Rosa Mino, who works in Professor Tadmiri Venkatesh’s laboratory, was awarded a travel grant to attend a student Cell/Molecular Biology research conference in Cancun, Mexico in February. All of the students are members of the City College Academy for Professional Preparation (CCAPP), a program providing academic support to science, engineering, architecture and pre-med majors. The ABRCMS conference is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and is held to spotlight its MARC (Minority Access to Research Careers) and RISE (Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement) programs and student researchers nationwide. This year’s conference drew 2,600 participants, with 1,400 students chosen to present their research and compete for the 120 awards that were given out.
Octavio Warnock-Graham, MFA ’06, Wins Top Film Award
“Silences,” City College graduate Octavio Warnock-Graham’s poignant M.F.A. thesis film about the search for his African-American father, won the Outstanding Documentary Award at the prestigious 2006 Angelus Student Film Festival in Los Angeles. The film, which also won for Best Documentary in Cityvisions 2006, CCNY’s annual festival for graduate students in media arts production, was selected from a field of more than 500 submissions from 28 countries. It was the only winning entry from the Tri-state area. Sponsored by Maryknoll Productions, the Angelus Award comes with a $3,000 cash prize. It was presented in late October. “It’s a huge honor,” said Mr. Warnock-Graham, who graduated from CCNY last spring with an M.F.A in Documentary Writing and Producing. “You operate in a vacuum and have no sense how it is going to resonate to a large audience and then you have a prestigious festival like Angelus grant you an award – it is a very gratifying feeling.” More on this story.
Arms Control Expert Randall Forsberg Appointed First Spitzer Chair Professor
Dr. Randall C. Forsberg, an internationally recognized authority on arms control and security issues, has been appointed CCNY’s first Bernard and Anne Spitzer Chair Professor of Political Science. Dr. Forsberg, who joined the faculty at the start of the Fall semester, is Founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Defense and Disarmament Studies (IDDS), a policy research and advocacy center that studies military policies, defense spending, arms control and advocates for alternatives to war. The institute has relocated to the City College campus from Cambridge, Mass. Her plans include establishing a research and writing program at City College to engage students in the study of security issues. “Defense is the largest component of the federal budget, and, yet, no one is working on security issues,” she pointed out. The Spitzer Chair was established last year through a $2.1 million gift from Bernard Spitzer, ’43, a prominent New York real estate developer, and his wife, Anne, a Professor of English Literature at Manhattan Marymount College, to attract a national leader in political science to City College. Their son, Elliot, was elected Governor of the State of New York earlier this month.
CCNY Hosts Two European Fulbright Scholars
CCNY is hosting two 2006-2007 Visiting Fulbright Scholars, Dr. Justo J. López Sarrión, a Spanish physicist, and Dr. Alexander Alexandrovich Mikhalev, a Russian mathematician. Both are at CCNY to conduct fundamental scientific research. “Our faculty includes many internationally recognized experts, and the arrival of Dr. López Sarrión and Dr. Mikhalev bolsters our research strengths in physics and math,” said CCNY Provost Zeev Dagan in welcoming the two Scholars to City College. “I look forward to their contributions to the world-class research being conducted here.” Dr. López Sarrión has joined the high-energy group led by CCNY physicists Alexios Polychronakos and V. Parameswaran Nair. He is a graduate of La Universidad de Zaragoza, where he received a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics in 2004. Dr. Mikhalev, who is at CCNY for the Fall 2006 semester, is an expert in combinatorial properties of free algebras and their automorphisms. In addition to doing research, he has been giving presentations on algebra and computer algebra at seminars at City College and institutions around the country. More on this story.
Sophie Davis School Appoints Vaccine Pioneer John Robbins Honorary Professor
Dr. John Robbins, M.D., whose groundbreaking research indeveloping vaccines for diseases prevalent among infants and children has saved millions of lives around the world, is joining CCNY’s Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education next month as an honorary Professor in the Microbiology and Immunology Department. A member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, Dr. Robbins retired recently from the National Institutes of Health. At CCNY, he will write review articles on vaccine development for pediatric illnesses and teach in a course offered to biomedical students at Sophie Davis, said Dr. Paul Gottlieb, Associate Professor in the School’s Microbiology and Immunology Department. Dr. Robbins and a colleague developed a vaccine designed to eradicate bacterial meningitis caused by Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib), a deadly and debilitating infectious agent and the leading cause of acquired mental retardation in children. The vaccine is now used throughout the world. His vaccine development research has also targeted typhoid, pertussis, and other diseases. Among the honors Dr. Robbins has received are the 1996 Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Research, the World Health Organization’s Pasteur Award and the Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal.
Adult Ed. Teams With Professional Schools
With a day-long seminar on “Building Sustainable Environments” held Saturday, November 18, CCNY’s Adult and Continuing Education (ACE) Program kicked off an important new initiative to offer professional development seminars in collaboration with the College’s professional schools. The seminar, approved by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) drew 18 attendees, according to Adult and Continuing Education Director Oilda Martinez. “The courses we are developing with the professional schools are intended to meet the continuing education needs of licensed professionals.” Future plans call for three additional courses developed and presented by faculty members from the City College School of Architecture, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture (SAUDLA), including one on the new New York City building code. “City College is one of just a handful of venues in the New York metropolitan area that offers AIA-approved professional development classes,” noted SAUDLA Dean George Ranalli.
Professor Change-Rodríguez Publishes Simultaneously in U.S., Peru
Dr. Raquel Chang-Rodríguez, Distinguished Professor of Hispanic Literature and Culture, had a book she edited about Inca Garcilaso de la Vega and La Florida del Inca published simultaneously in English and Spanish. La Florida del Inca, which was published in 1605, is considered a central text in the history and culture of the Americas. Garcilaso, the son of an Inca princess and a Spanish conquistador who was born in Cuzco, Peru, offers in the book a unique rendition of Hernando de Soto's 16th expedition into the vast territory known then as La Florida. Professor Chang-Rodríguez’ book, titled Beyond Books and Borders: Carcilaso de le Vega and La Florida del Inca, is a compilation of presentations from a November 2003 symposium on Carcilaso, sponsored by City College and the CUNY Graduate Center, plus additional essays, an introduction, chronology, general bibliography and 55 images. It was published in English by Bucknell University Press and in Spanish by Catholic University of Peru.
Bass Great John Patitucci Releases 12th Album
Associate Professor of Music John Patitucci, acclaimed as one of the best jazz bassists of our time, last month released his 12th album, Line By Line on Concord Records. It features 10 original compositions, several of which meld classical influences with jazz. On one number, “Theme and Variation for Six-String Bass and Strings,” a string quintet accompanies him and the other members of his trio, drummer Brian Blade and guitarist Adam Rogers. Tenor saxophonist Chris Potter is heard on a few numbers, as well. Other tracks include a cover of Thelonius Monk’s “Evidence” and “Jesus is on the Mainline,” a spiritual that incorporates a Mississippi Delta feel. Professor Patitucci, who performs on both acoustic and electric bass, has a repertoire that includes blues and Brazilian music, as well as jazz. Growing up in an Italian household, opera was an important influence on his music, he says. In addition to teaching at CCNY and performing and recording with his trio, he tours with the Wayne Shorter Quartet, which recently conducted a 2½ - week tour of Europe. Earlier in his career, the two-time Grammy winner toured for 10 years with Chick Corea.
Kenneth Forde,’54, Appointed Trustee of Columbia University
Dr. Kenneth A. Forde, ’54, has been appointed a Trustee of Columbia University, where he is Professor Emeritus of Clinical Surgery at Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Forde, who joined Columbia’s Board of Trustees October 4, earned his M.D. at Columbia in 1959. Dr. Forde has been on the Columbia faculty since 1996 and from 1997 to 2006 he held the José M. Ferrer Chair in Surgery. A pioneer in the use of endoscopy as a diagnostic and surgical tool, he was in the national spotlight in 2000 when he performed a colonoscopy on Katie Couric that was aired on “The Today Show,” which she co-hosted at the time. Dr. Forde has received numerous honors and awards including the Townsend Harris Medal from CCNY in 2004. In 1996, Columbia established the Kenneth A. Forde Professorship in Surgery to honor his academic contributions to colorectal surgery. In addition, he is a past president of the New York Surgical Society and The Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons.
Cancer Experience Inspires Alumna Carol Lyons’ Art
When artist Carol Lyons, B.S. Ed. ’56, M.S. Ed.’61, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997, her immediate reaction was, expectedly, one of shock. Later, after successful surgery, she decided to do something upbeat and went shopping for a new pair of shoes. There was a small bandage over a section of the breast and as she bent down, she thought to herself, “I hope nothing falls out.” That became the inspiration for her woodblock print “Survivor Shampoo Lady II,” that recently became part of the Eli Lilly-sponsored “Oncology on Canvas” international art tour. Lyons’ work will be on display at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Manhattan, December 6-8, following a four-day exhibit at London’s Royal College of Art earlier this month. “Because of the change in my life, I wanted to try something entirely different, a new direction from my 35-year watercolor career. Woodblock printing was what I embarked on. The idea of “Survivor Shampoo Lady” bending down reminded me, not only of the shoe-buying experience, but has much to say about my attitude and journey as a survivor: “Go for it!” says Lyons. The Metropolitan Pavilion is located at 125W 18th St. Call (212) 463-0071 for more information.
CCNY/Memorial Sloan-Kettering Partnership Hosts Symposium
The City College of New York/Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Partnership is sponsoring a symposium on the Biology of Cancer, 1:00 – 5:30 p.m. Friday, December 1, at the New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Avenue. The 11 presentations, including seven by CCNY faculty, are intended to initiate discussion around research interests that will lead to funded collaborative cancer research projects. Presenters from CCNY include: Paola Bellosta, Assistant Professor of Biology; Karen Hubbard, Associate Professor of Biology; Ronald Koder, Assistant Professor of Physics; Mahesh Lakshman, Associate Professor of Chemistry; Maria Luisa Tasayco, Associate Professor of Chemistry, and Tadmiri Venkatesh, Associate Professor of Biology. The CCNY/MSKCC Partnership was established in 2002 with funding from the National Cancer Institute to encourage and support basic and applied cancer research by promoting collaborations between researchers from both institutions. Other partnership goals include: encouraging and supporting research on health disparities and cancer burden in minority populations, implementing joint education and training opportunities to attract minority students to careers in cancer research, and developing innovative health outreach initiatives to reduce the impact of cancer in medically underserved communities.
From the President
Once again, it is a great pleasure to recognize the remarkable breadth and range of the achievements of our students, faculty and alumni – from science to film to literature and music. And it is a particular pleasure to formally welcome Dr. Randall Forsberg, the Bernard and Anne Spitzer Chair Professor of Political Science, who brings such a significant policy research center to our campus to explore realistic alternatives to armed conflict.
I hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday.
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