||Vol. 1 No. 6 September 12, 2006
Dean Ramona Brown to Head Student Affairs
President Williams has appointed Dr. A. Ramona Brown acting Vice President of Student Affairs, replacing Maureen Powers, who resigned to become Dean of Students at Stanford University. Dr. Brown, who also serves as Assistant Dean for Student Development in the Grove School of Engineering, has been at CCNY 19 years. The PRES (Program for the Retention of Engineering Students) program that she developed for the Grove School has become a national model for which President Clinton honored her in 1997. In addition, she is a consultant to the American Association for the Advancement of Science on increasing the pipeline of U.S. collegiate engineering and science students. Dr. Brown holds an Ed.D. in Organization and Leadership/Higher Education Administration from Columbia University, a Masters in Counseling and Guidance from Howard University and a B.S. in Elementary Education from Virginia State University.
First Students Move Into Towers Residence Hall
Some 300 CCNY students moved into The Towers residence hall August 25. The Towers is the first student housing ever built on a City University of New York (CUNY) campus. The 180,000 square-foot facility, located at the southeast corner of the campus, has 164 apartments and can accommodate 600 students and faculty members. Each apartment includes a kitchenette and private or shared bathrooms. Building amenities include floor lounges, a seminar room, laundry room and fitness center. The City College bus has been rerouted to pick up students. In addition to CCNY students, The Towers will be home this year to approximately 200 students from other CUNY campuses and non-CUNY schools. Several are visiting students from institutions as far away as Arizona, Oregon and France. “With the opening of The Towers, we can provide those students who want a residential college experience a unique, new alternative: on-campus living at a public college just minutes from Midtown Manhattan,” President Williams said in a statement. A dedication ceremony is planned for September 28. The Towers was developed through a public-private partnership involving Capstone Development Corp., Educational Housing Services Inc. (EHS), the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York and CUNY. More on this story.
CCNY Clean Fuels Institute Presents Strategy For Energy Independence
U.S. dependence on fossil fuels can be cut by 98 percent and carbon dioxide emissions reduced 97 percent using existing technologies, according to Drs. Reuel Shinnar and Francesco Citro, Director and Research Associate, respectively with CCNY’s Clean Fuels Institute. Their conclusions are contained in “A Roadmap to U.S. Decarbonization,” published September 1 in Science. Under their plan, the bulk of the savings– 72 percent – would come from replacement of fossil fuel use with electricity generated from alternative sources. However, they acknowledge expanded electricity usage would require substantial enlargement of the nation’s electrical transmission and distribution system. Another 26 percent of fossil fuel consumption could be replaced through use of synthetic gasses produced from biomass. Most of the technologies cited in the article are competitive with crude oil priced at $70 per barrel. They estimate that it would cost $170 - $200 billion a year over 30 years to replace 70 percent of U.S. fossil fuel consumption. A $40 - $50 per ton tax on carbon dioxide emissions could pay for the whole investment, based on current emission levels, and also provide incentives for implementing renewable technologies. More on this story.
CCNY Marks Fifth Anniversary of 9/11 Attacks
City College marked the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks with a remembrance ceremony in Lewisohn Plaza led by campus Chaplain Gregory Pope. Approximately 200 members of the CCNY community attended and received commemorative red, white and blue ribbons bearing the words “City College Remembers 9/11” from the Finley Student Center. Speaking in addition to Chaplain Pope was Jaime Espinosa, president of the Ecuadorian Students Association, plus other students talked about their remembrances and experiences from that fateful day. The program concluded with theplaying of “Amazing Grace” by trumpeter Keith Petwer. Dwayne D. Jones, Assistant Director for Co-Curricular Life, organized the remembrance.
CCNY Soccer Stars Tour South Africa
“A semester in two weeks.” That was how Juan Gomez, midfielder on City College’s CUNYAC champion soccer team described a 14-day goodwill tour of South Africa by a squad comprised of CUNY’s best. Juan and defender Roger Gonzalez represented CCNY along with Coach Osborne Carter. The all-CUNY team played four matches – two in Cape Town and two in Johannesburg – winning one, losing two and playing to a draw in the fourth. The results aside, it was the trip’s purpose that left the three CCNY envoys enthralled. The team held coaching clinics for young players, visited AIDS patients and handed out gifts. They also learned about South Africa and its peoples. Juan, a senior majoring in Electronic Design and Multimedia, was amazed after visiting historical sites, including Soweto township, Nelson Mandela’s old home and a national game park: “It’s totally different from the perception I had. They have so much resources, so much stuff, it can be a great country. Roger, a sophomore studying Political Science, concurred. “My perception of Africa was totally different. Life there is not as negative as portrayed.” Added Coach Carter, “It was a worthwhile trip. South Africa is a modern country.”
September 21 Reception Honors “Tony” Rogers’ Retirement
The college community is invited to a retirement reception in honor of William “Tony” Rogers, who is stepping down as Vice President, Urban and Government Affairs, 5:30 – 8 p.m. Thursday, September 21, in The Great Hall. Several local public officials are expected to attend, including U.S. Rep. Charles B. Rangel, state Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright and City Councilwoman Inez E. Dickens. Tony, a Harlem native who grew up across the street from CCNY and was graduated in 1976, has been with the college since 1982. In addition to his role as the school’s primary liaison with the external community, he also is principal administrator for the Holcombe Rucker Center for Physical Culture, an after-school program for at-risk teenagers sponsored by CCNY. He also serves as Vice President for Strategic Planning of the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce and as a Director of the Harlem Visitors and Convention Association. Please call 212-650-6400 to RSVP for the reception.
Professor Herman Cline of Cohen Library Dies
Professor Herman Cline, a reference librarian at City College for nearly 40 years, died September 6 in New York. Professor Cline joined the Cohen Library as a cataloger in October 1966 and moved into the Reference Division in 1971. He was an enthusiastic organizer of library orientations for new students and will be remembered for the entertaining tours that he gave of the library. In addition, he had an early interest in Latin American bibliography and acquisition of Latin American library materials. He also pursued an interest in bilingual education and in 1989 published an Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) document entitled “The English Only Movement and Its Hidden Agenda.” Professor Cline was a long-time member of the American Library Association and was active in the Library Association of the City of New York and the Library Association of the City University of New York. A graduate of the University of Washington (B.A., M.L.S.), he held M.A. degrees from New York University and Hunter College.
Marshak Improvements Near Completion
Several initiatives to improve environment conditions in the Marshak Science Center have been completed recently or are nearing completion, according to Richard Slawski, Assistant Vice President of Facilities. In addition, a new 5,000 square foot vivarium being built behind Marshak along St. Nicholas Terrace is expected to open by year’s end. Construction of the vivarium began in mid-May. Refurbished offices for the athletic department were opened in early summer and new heating and ventilation for Holman Gymnasium were completed over the summer as well. Additional gymnasium improvements, including a new floor, new bleachers, new retractable folding gym walls and new basketball courts, backboard and nets are scheduled to be done by mid-October. In coming weeks, roof rehabilitation and mold remediation work and the retrofitting of the building’s fume hood system will be finished, as well, Mr. Slawski said.
CCNY Volunteer Emergency Squad Granted First Response Status
City College’s student-run Volunteer Emergency Squad (VES) has earned Basic Life Support (BLS) “first response” status from the Regional Emergency Medical Service Council (REMSCO). As a result, it has been placed on a Congressional register of emergency units in New York and could be asked to respond to major disasters throughout the metropolitan area. “We’re really happy. It means that we’re recognized by the City and State and that is a great honor for us,” said Wai Khoo, a sophomore majoring in computer science and certified American Red Cross instructor who is the VES director of training. REMSCO is the New York State Department of Health agency charged with setting up protocols that all emergency medical units, including FDNY, must follow. The CCNY community will benefit from VES’ new status more directly, according to its director, Maria Rosa, a senior majoring in biology and English. “It gives us the right to give CPR and use automatic external defibrillators on campus,” she said. A part of the Health and Safety Institute (HSI), which was founded by students in 1983 to offer health services on campus, VES currently has 17 members.
Russian Students See Professors as ‘Truth-Givers’
More than 15 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia’s higher education system remains rigid, with professors perceived as “truth-givers” and students reluctant to challenge or criticize them. So contends CCNY Professor of History Judith Stein, who held the Nikolay V. Sivachev Distinguished Chair in United States History at Moscow State University from February through May. While students at the prestigious school are well trained, disciplined and fluent in English, they are reluctant to rock the boat, said Professor Stein, who traveled to Moscow as a Fulbright Distinguished Chair. To get students to understand that one’s nationality need not determine one’s historical conclusions, in one class she taught on the Cold War, she assigned a pro-U.S. piece written by a Russian author and a pro-Soviet piece written by a U.S. writer. Russian nationalism is commonplace, she noted. “Students didn’t mourn the collapse of communism, but they do mourn the end of the Soviet Empire – Russia’s lost status as a superpower.” Nevertheless, she was able to introduce new sources, books and ideas that will not cause a revolution tomorrow, but will complicate the way they see the United States and the world.
Dominican Studies Institute Hosts Carnival Exhibition
An opening reception for the multimedia exhibit "The Artistry of Dominican Carnival" will be held 6:30 p.m. Thursday, September 14, in the City College Archives Gallery, Cohen Library 5th Floor. 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 Dominican carnival in the United States. The opening reception will feature a carnival dance with the masked devils (Lechones). The exhibition will be on view in the City College Archives Gallery 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, September 11 through November 10. The exhibit is organized by the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Library, the Juan Pablo Duarte Foundation, the City College Library and the Presidential Council for Dominicans Abroad. More on this story.
New Mechanism May Ease Drug Delivery Control
A team of researchers led by George John, CCNY Associate Professor of Chemistry, has demonstrated an enzyme-triggered drug release mechanism from a substance found in the pits of peaches and other fruits and used the mechanism to deliver a drug used to treat cancer and HIV. The findings were published earlier this summer in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The substance used by the researchers, amygdalin, is a sugar derivative and industrial byproduct. The researchers converted the amygdalin into an amphiphile, meaning it can be dissolved in water, but, like soap, also can attach to molecules that are not soluble in water. Professor John and his team produced a water-soluble gel from the amygdalin amphiplile and used it to encapsulate curcumin, a well-known anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer drug that is resistant to being dissolved in water. Then they used hydrolase enyzyme to break down the gel and release the drug. By varying the temperature and enzyme concentration they were able to control the speed at which the curcumin was released. According to Professor John, the process could provide an alternative to drug delivery control systems that rely on external mechanisms to change Ph levels in the body.
Four Sophie Davis Freshman Receive $25G Lois Pope Scholarships
Freshmen Akia Caine, Christopher Bandera, Sheena Dorvil and Jason Grant will receive the prestigious Lois Pope Annual LIFE Unsung Hero Scholarship Award at City College for 2006. The four students, newly enrolled in the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, will be presented with $25,000 scholarships by Lois Pope, a Florida-based philanthropist and President of Leaders in Furthering Education (LIFE), at a ceremony in the Faculty Dining Hall 11:30 a.m. Thursday, September 14. This is the ninth year that Mrs. Pope will present scholarships to incoming Sophie Davis freshmen who demonstrate academic excellence and selfless community service. Ms. Caine, a Staten Island resident, is a graduate of Stuyvesant High School. Mr. Bandera, a graduate of Regis High School, resides in Woodside, Queens. Ms. Dorvil, a resident of Elmont, Long Island, is a graduate of Sacred Heart Academy. Mr. Grant lives in Brooklyn and graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School.
Shaken Balls Take on Crystal-Like Properties As They Slow
In an investigation with ramifications for pharmaceuticals and other products, researchers at the Benjamin Levich Institute have demonstrated that when shaken tiny balls take on the characteristics of crystals as they become denser. The findings were reported June 30 in Physical Review Letters. “We were struck by how this is similar to fluids, which become ice when condensed,” said Mark Shattuck, CCNY Associate Professor of Physics. “The major difference is that in the case of water energy is consumed, but if you stop shaking the balls they stop moving.” Professor Shattuck said the investigation is a “first step” toward understanding systems that require energy input to maintain a steady state. “If these systems can be controlled, we would be able to process granular materials like we process fluids,” he added. A key application would be the mixing of pharmaceuticals, which requires precise measurements. “If a drug can be made in crystal form, we could set up a system to manufacture pills in perfect uniformity.” Other applications could come in food processing and energy. As a next step, Professor Shattuck plans to shear homogenous granular fluids to observe how they respond to external forces.
Admissions Seeks Student Ambassadors
The admissions department plans to enlist students to augment CCNY’s recruiting efforts by establishing a new Student Ambassador program, according to Director of Admissions Joseph Fantozzi. The program, separate from one now operated by the Finley Student Center, will deploy the Ambassadors to assist with open houses, conduct campus tours and participate in on-campus events with high school guidance counselors. In addition, they will be asked to visit their high school alma maters to talk about their CCNY experiences, said Senior Admission Counselor Wenddy Zepeda, who heads the initiative. Ms. Zepeda hopes to launch the program with a cohort of around 15 Ambassadors and is looking for referrals from faculty and staff. “We are seeking strong students who can communicate well, have had positive experiences here and want to promote the college,” she said. The program, which will be run in conjunction with Student Affairs, will provide leadership experience opportunities, added Mr. Fantozzi, who said he plans to take a more proactive approach to recruiting this year. One planned initiative is a partnership with Urban Assembly School for Performing Arts that will give students at that Bronx high school opportunities to participate in student life at CCNY.
El Salvador Teaching Stint Opens Eyes for CCNY Undergrads
Undergraduates Rachel Kaplan, Jessica Raatz, Rothana Ry and Samuel Shearer spent a month teaching English to college-level students in Chalatenango, El Salvador over the summer. Their trip was part of an International Studies teaching abroad program now in its second year. “We each had our own classes, approximately 12-23 students in each class and we taught five days a week for four weeks, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. It was a great experience,” said Ms. Ry, a senior and the only Education major in the group. Mr. Shearer, an International Studies senior with a focus, like the rest of the group, on Culture and Communication, called the trip his most rewarding experience as a CCNY student. “We had several opportunities to get to know, and become friends with our El Salvadoran ‘students,’ who were more like our good friends and teachers of El Salvadoran culture,” he added. Ms. Kaplan described the experience as eye opening. “Hearing and studying about world politics and culture does not make sense until you become a part of a different culture,” she pointed out. Erja Vettenranta, ’05, now an adjunct lecturer in Spanish, served as group leader.
From the President
I want to welcome all of you back to campus – and to extend a special welcome to our new readers, as this is the first issue of 138th and Convent to also go out to our alumni. My particular thanks goes to Elena Sturman, the wonderful executive director of The City College Fund, for making that possible.
We’re starting on a very high note, with our reputation and our enrollment continuing to rise. US News and World Reports has ranked CCNY in the first tier in terms of academic reputation. That is surely one of the reasons we have topped the 13,000-student enrollment mark for Fall 2006 for the first time since 1996 – the last year before we retrenched such popular programs as nursing. And; we have 1,500 new freshmen; the entering class that is larger than we have seen in at least 15 years! I want to congratulate all of you on your contributions to this success – and to reiterate how much I am counting on all of you to do your part to make sure that these students succeed in their quest for a world-class education.
Also, I want to tell you that we are looking forward to a terrific schedule of special events on campus this fall, beginning with a major policy lecture by Dr. Andrew Grove on Tuesday, September 19, at 5:30 p.m. in The Great Hall as part of the celebration of the new Grove School of Engineering. Please RSVP, as we believe that the place will be packed. We are also looking forward to “A Celebration of the Life and Work or Kenneth Clark” on October 3, which will include tributes by John Hope Franklin and Vernon Jordan, among others, and a discussion of Eugene O’Neill by Arthur and Barbara Gelb, leading authorities on one of the world’s most distinguished playwrights, on October 19.
Gregory H. Williams
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