||Vol. 3 No. 10 December 16, 2008
David L.V. Bauer Named Rhodes Scholar
CCNY senior chemistry major David L.V. Bauer has been named a 2009 Rhodes Scholar. The award to Mr. Bauer, a Macaulay Honors College student who won First Prize in the Intel Science Talent Search in 2005 while a student at Hunter High School, culminates a string of prestigious national scholarship competitions he has won that also includes a Harry S. Truman Scholarship earlier this year and a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship in 2007. As a Rhodes Scholar, Mr. Bauer plans to conduct research in clinical medicine at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics (WTCHG) at the University of Oxford, where he worked during his junior year at CCNY. “The word ‘extraordinary’ seems almost an understatement to describe David Bauer’s accomplishments at CCNY,” President Williams said in congratulating Mr. Bauer. “Many people have helped me along the way,” Mr. Bauer said. “I am grateful to all of them, especially my mentor at CCNY, Professor Kevin Ryan, and my group leader at Oxford, Dr. Kalim Mir.” Mr. Bauer is the second CCNY student awarded a Rhodes Scholarship in the past four years. In 2004, Lev Sviridov, ’05, who also majored in chemistry, was selected. More on this story.
Ten Students Awarded Sophie Davis Scholarships
Ten fourth-year students in the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education have won $20,000 Sophie and Leonard Davis Scholarships for their last two years at Sophie Davis and their two clinical years at cooperating medical schools. The recipients, announced by Dr. Stanford A. Roman, Jr., Dean of the Sophie Davis School, are: Kamara Aseme, Vladimir Barayev, Giuseppe Cruciata, Angie Hernandez, Helen Huang, Martha Ksepka, Jeny Ng, Fayola Peters, Stanton Shek and Howa Yeung. The Sophie and Leonard Davis Scholarship selections are based on academic excellence, financial need and for demonstrating those qualities of compassion, empathy and professionalism requisite for the “good physician,” who is committed to making a meaningful contribution to the field of medicine. “Through the generosity of Sophie and Leonard Davis, we are honoring their spirit and commitment to education by recognizing ten outstanding young men and women,” Dr. Roman said. Mr. and Mrs. Davis, whose original gift of $1.2 million was instrumental in establishing the School, also bequeathed a gift of $6 million to endow the “The Sophie and Leonard Davis Scholarships” to defray the costs of four years of medical school education.
3 Students Receive Grants to Attend Biogeography Meeting
Three students in the laboratory of Assistant Professor of Biology Robert P. Anderson have received travel grants to attend and present posters at the International Biogeography Society’s biennial meeting January 9 – 11 in Merida, Mexico. The students are Aleksandar Radosavljevic, a second-year graduate student, Mariya Shcheglovitova, a fourth-year biology and mathematics major, and Darla Thomas, a second-degree student majoring in biology. All reside in Manhattan. Mr. Radosavljevic will present his research on the transferability of species distribution models between regions and across time. Ms. Shcheglovitova will demonstrate use of the jackknife statistical technique to evaluate the performance of distribution modeling techniques for species with few known localities. Ms. Thomas will report on efforts to use spatial filtering techniques to fine-tune species distribution models. All three projects have important implications for application of these modeling techniques to conservation biology, Professor Anderson noted.
Martin Nolan Wins ASHRAE Scholarship
Martin Nolan, a second-degree student majoring in mechanical engineering in The Grove School of Engineering, was awarded the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Frank M. Coda Memorial Scholarship for 2008. The scholarship, named in memory of a former ASHRAE executive vice president, carries a $5,000 stipend and is for one year. Mr. Nolan, who grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, was a certified public accountant before he chose to study engineering at CCNY. At the College he has worked as a research assistant in Professor Maribel Vazquez’ laboratory and is an active member of Engineers Without Borders, having served as fundraising and publicity chair and project manager for the club’s water system project in Nueva Suiza, Honduras. He has written articles about the Engineers Without Borders project for several trade journals. In accepting the award, he praised ASHRAE for being a “great bridge” between the school and the profession.
Dominican Studies Opens Expanded Archives and Library
The CUNY Dominican Studies Institute (CUNY DSI) at City College officially opened its expanded archives and library December 10. Among the participants in a well-attended ribbon cutting ceremony were President Williams, CUNY DSI Director Dr. Ramona Hernández, CUNY Trustee Dr. Hugo Morales and New York City Council Members Miguel Martínez and Diane Reyna, who led the effort to obtain a $1.4 million grant from the city for the facility in 2004. President Williams called CUNY DSI one of CCNY’s “crown jewels,” adding “we are delighted that its archives and library, which are invaluable resources for academic researchers and members of the community alike, now have first-class facilities worthy of a center of national stature.” The new archives and library feature three distinct subdivisions aligned as interconnected rectangular spaces with specific functions. These include: a multi-purpose room that can be used for research, conferences, video screenings, lectures or exhibits; staff offices and a materials processing area. More on this story.
CCNY Study Cited Among Top Optics Papers for 2008
A paper by Henry Sztul, a Ph.D. candidate in physics, and his mentor, Dr. Robert R. Alfano, CUNY Distinguished Professor of Science and Engineering at CCNY, was cited as one of the most exciting research developments in optics for 2008 by “Optics and Photonics News.” Mr. Sztul and Professor Alfano explored the propagation dynamics of Airy beams, which are laser beams that travel in a curved rather than straight path. They found that as the beam travels along its arc its main lobe, or brightest part, is consistently pointed at a 45 degree angle to the X axis. However, the Poynting vector, which describes the magnitude and direction of the energy flow from the Airy beam’s tail, points in a negative Y or negative X direction. This indicates the energy in the tail is flowing toward the beam’s main lobe. Mr. Sztul and Professor Alfano also found that while the net angular momentum around the Z-axis was always zero, the spatial distribution of the angular momentum had changing values. “The study shows the spatial evolution of the Airy solution to the paraxial wave equation,” Professor Alfano said. “While momentum is changing, energy and momentum are conserved.”
Falk Hopes New Book Inspires Support for Children
In the age of “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB), educators struggle to teach children from a variety of backgrounds without sacrificing support for their developmental needs or their diverse ways of learning. In her newest book, “Teaching the Way Children Learn,” [Teachers College Press, 2008] Dr. Beverly Falk, a critic of high-stakes testing and accountability policies, shows how some teachers are successfully meeting those needs while coping with new demands placed upon them. “I hope these images will inspire teaching that supports children to reach their full potential and instills in them the courage to realize their dreams,” said Professor Falk, who is Director of the Graduate Early Childhood Education Program in CCNY’s School of Education. The book, Professor Falk’s fifth, is garnering much praise among education leaders. University of Massachusetts Professor Emerita Sonia Nieto called it “a powerful antidote to an educational climate based more on the punitive consequences of rigid accountability than on the possibility for real learning.” “There’s never been a more timely book,” added education reformer Deborah Meier. Professor Falk, who also edits "The New Educator" journal, earlier this year was commencement speaker for Brandeis University's teacher education program and a guest lecturer at Yale University's Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy.
‘CCNY Project’ Garners Another Film Award
Adding to its growing list of awards ahead of its theatrical release next March, “Looking for Palladin” won “Best Feature Film” at the Sixth Queens International Film Festival November 9. Written and directed by Andrzej Krakowski, Professor of Film & Video in City College’s M.F.A. program in Media Arts Production, “Palladin” beat out 17 films. Jeremy Joffee, a 2007 CCNY graduate whose M.F.A. thesis film, “The Bronx Belletomane” was nominated in the best comedy category, accepted the award on behalf of Professor Krakowski. “Palladin,” which Professor Krakowski calls “a City College project” because of the CCNY roots of its cast and crew, also won Best Film and Best Ensemble Cast awards at the Orlando Hispanic Film Festival last October. The film stars Ben Gazzara, who attended CCNY in the 1950s, and includes two of Professor Krakowski’s faculty colleagues in key roles: Professor Jerry Carlson is a cast member and co-producer, and Professor Babak Rassi was editor and co-producer. Several CCNY students participated in the production, as well. Shot in Antigua and Guatemala, “Palladin” is about a young and arrogant Hollywood talent agent , played by David Moscow, who is sent to Guatemala to find retired Academy Award-winning actor Jack Palladin (Mr. Gazzara).
Six Undergrads Gain Lab Experience at Swedish University
Six CCNY undergrads, all members of groups underrepresented in engineering and science, traveled to Sweden this past summer for laboratory experiences in chemical engineering and material science at Stockholm’s Royal Institute of Technology (KTH). Four of the students, members of Assistant Professor Ilona Kretzschmar’s laboratory, were funded through a NSF International Research Experience for Engineers grant that supplements her CAREER Award. Two others were supported through the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation. All of their projects related directly to Professor Kretzschmar’s CAREER Award investigation into Molecularly Directed Assembly of “Patchy” Particles, or involved skills that are transferable to it. “KTH and CCNY are very similar in terms of the type of student body they serve,” she noted, adding that the institution also has strong research overlap with CCNY through its investigation of interfacial phenomena and surface science. Amara Enemuo, a computer engineering major, admitted she “was nervous about carrying out research in chemistry” and spent the first week “learning the basics of my project.” However, by the fourth week she began doing experiments on her own. Other students who went to Sweden were: chemical engineering majors Julius Edson, Charlie Corredor and Diana Castillo, and chemistry graduate students Ayanna Moses and Terrance Burks.
Study Abroad in Spain Quadruples in Three Years
Three years ago, CCNY established a summer program of a month of study at Spain’s University of La Rioja (UR) in Logroño. Just 13 students enrolled. Last summer 58 students participated, not only from CCNY, but also Lehman College, Queens College, Hunter College, Brooklyn College and the Fashion Institute of Technology. They spent four weeks at UR studying culture, language and history with world class faculty such as Dr. Claudio García Turza, regarded as the most renowned medieval Spanish philologist in the world. The group was led by Dr. Dulce García, CCNY Associate Professor of Spanish, who helped develop the program. “The most exciting moment for me was visiting a monastery from the 5th Century. I loved it because I could actually touch and see what had I learned about the Middle Ages at CCNY with Prof. García,” said Cindy Vera, a Spanish literature major. At the end of the program, CCNY undergraduates Meenakumarie Guptar and Rodolph Malabanan Santander received one-year scholarships to study at UR.
CCNY Economist Foresaw Big Three Woes
Months before the CEOs of Detroit’s Big Three went to Congress seeking multibillion dollar handouts, CCNY Professor of Economics Dr. Yochanan Shachmurove warned of an impending serious downturn for American automakers. “General Motors (GM), Ford and Chrysler are growing weaker,” he told participants at the opening session of the 15th Annual Global Finance Conference at the College of Business at Zhejiang University of Technology, in Hangzhou, China, last May. At the time, Professor Shachmurove compared the three automakers’ plummeting “year-over-year” April sales (GM down 18.2%, Ford down 28% and Chrysler down 35.9%) to the mixed sales forecasts for June of the Asian Big Three, Toyota (down 21.4%), Honda (down 17.7%) and Nissan (up 1.1%). “These numbers signal the weakness of the United States economy and the crippling effect the current oil crisis has on the automobile industry,” he said back then. Professor Shachmurove said the poorer numbers for American automobile manufacturers demonstrate the lack of innovation, as foreign products are more attractive to consumers.
Alonso Keynotes International Seminar on Women and Peace
CCNY Professor of History Harriet Hyman Alonso was the keynote speaker at the international seminar “Mujeres y Paz: Teoria y Practicas de una Cultura de Paz,” November 6 – 7 at Spain’s University of Granada. Her address, to over 150 participants from Europe, Mexico and South America, was titled “Building a Feminist-Pacifist Movement: The Early Years.” She covered the movement’s early 19th century roots in anti-slavery and women’s rights groups and discussed the 1915 International Congress of Women at The Hague, which brought together women from Europe and the United States to seek ways to end World War I. In addition, Professor Alonso traced the movement through the 1920s, culminating in a petition with 8 million signatories demanding rapid action to curtail the growth of the arms industry, which was presented to the 1932 League of Nations Conference on Disarmament.
‘Green’ Polymers Used to Synthesize Nanoparticles
CCNY Associate Professor of Chemistry George John and colleagues successfully used polymers produced from “green” materials to synthesize metallic nanoparticles without external reducing and stabilizing agents. Their findings, featured on the cover of the "Journal of Biobased Materials and Bioenergy," could lead to a new generation of renewable and biodegradable materials for packaging, textiles and other applications. Polymers are complex, “long chain” compounds. The polymer, polycardanyl acrylate (PCA), which the team synthesized from cardanol, a liquid byproduct of the cashew nut, was dissolved in chloroform on a glass slide and allowed to dry, producing a thin, transparent, non-sticky, scratch-free film. Then, the researchers dissolved metal salts in acetone and added that to the chloroform/PCA solution. After drying, it also produced a thin film, but embedded with metallic nanoparticles (MNPs). This happened because of the release of free radicals during the drying process, the team hypothesized. They proved their hypothesis when the synthesis of an analogue saturated polymer failed to generate MNPs. The findings build upon earlier work in Professor John’s lab in which molecular gels and liquid crystals synthesized from renewalable sources were used to generate MNPs and antimicrobial paints.
PR Guru Harold Burson Tells Students to Network, Read
Harold Burson, co-founder of Burson-Marsteller, one of the world’s largest public relations agencies, offered sound advice for CCNY students wanting to make it big in PR: read and network. The 87-year-old guru shared his insights during a “Living Room Experience” chat conducted by Adjunct Alicia Evans October 23. “I can’t stress enough the importance of networking,” Mr. Burson told advertising and public relations majors and other students in attendance. “Pay attention to people who you believe are on the road to success and stay in touch with them,” he advised. Many people at Burson-Marsteller, which he co-founded in 1953, got jobs there because they knew somebody who either worked or had worked for the firm. On reading Mr. Burson said: “Learn a lot about a lot of things; which means you have to read a lot in order to sound at least smart and brilliant for a few minutes.” He also urged the students to develop good writing skills because “there are loads of people graduating from college these days, but very few are good writers.”
Chess Grandmaster Maurice Ashley Shares Winning Moves
CCNY alumnus Maurice Ashley, ’93, the first African-American to attain chess’ highest title, International Grandmaster, spoke to students in the Black Studies program December 2 about his personal journey to success. “People are interested in and inspired by those that have gone before them,” he said. “I wanted to relate to them my personal experiences as an international grandmaster, as an African-American and to share my personal philosophy of success.” Ashley credits chess for his accomplishments. “Chess always reminds me to stay alert to the nuances,” he said, adding that he never stops learning, remains curious and is passionate in his pursuits. A Brooklyn resident, he attained International Grandmaster status in 1999. In 2002, he became the first African-American in 157 years to qualify for the U.S. Championship. He is the author of “Chess for Success” (2005) and the forthcoming “Most Valuable Skills of Chess” (2009), and is ESPN’s leading chess commentator. In 2007, he signed a deal with HBO to make a movie about the Harlem team he coached to victory in the national junior high championship in 1991, while he was a student at CCNY.
From the President
As members of the CCNY family turn their thoughts to commemorating the holidays and celebrating the New Year, it is good to remember that – in spite of the challenges we face – City College remains a true good thing. Our faculty and students continue to gain recognition, and our programs offer unparalleled opportunities to our students.
One of those is particularly dear to my heart. The world has always come to CCNY, this urban, commuter college with the student body from around the globe. Today, in a myriad of ways that would have been unimaginable even 25 years ago, CCNY to going out to the world. In this single newsletter, you find our newest Rhodes Scholar on his way to Oxford, science students invited to a conference in Mexico, engineering students in Sweden, and Spanish students in Spain. And in just a few weeks, students from several different disciplines will spend three weeks in Morocco. These experiences are life-changing!
However you celebrate the holidays, I wish you well, and look forward to seeing you in the new year.
Gregory H. Williams
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