||Vol. 2 No. 5 May 22, 2007
CCNY to Honor Four at 161st Commencement
City College will confer honorary degrees on philanthropist Larry Gralla ’51, noted Austrian educator Hans Matzenauer and Nobel Prize-winning chemical engineer Mario José Molina at its 161st Commencement, Friday, June 1. In addition, the City College President’s Medal for Distinguished Service will be presented to Josh S. Weston, a 1950 CCNY graduate who as Chairman and CEO turned Automatic Data Processing (ADP) into the largest payroll and tax filing processor in the world. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. outside Shepard Hall. CCNY President Gregory Williams will deliver the commencement address to the Class of 2007. Frederick P. Schaffer, Senior Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs and General Counsel, The City University of New York, and Rita DiMartino, of the CUNY Board of Trustees, will offer greetings. This year’s graduating class includes approximately 2,300 students, of whom approximately 1,600 are candidates for bachelor’s degrees. More on this story.
Eder Izaguirre Named Valedictorian; Katherine Ramos Salutatorian
Physics major Eder Izaguirre, a 21 year-old Honduran immigrant graduating with a 3.91 G.P.A., is City College’s Class of 2007 Valedictorian. Katherine Ramos, who will receive a B.A. in Psychology and Art and graduate with a 3.9 G.P.A, is the Salutatorian. Mr. Izaguirre who came to the United States in 2002 and now lives in Westchester County, spent summer 2006 as an intern at CERN, the world’s largest particle physics laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, and was awarded a City College Fellowship. His other honors include the Zemansky Introductory Physics Award, the Mellon May Undergraduate Fellowship, the Physics Department’s Sidney Millman Scholarship and the Ira Weber Scholarship for Science. He will enter the Ph.D. program at Stanford University and plans a teaching and research career in high energy physics. Ms. Ramos, a Queens resident, is bound for Rice University, where she was one of just four students accepted into the exclusive doctoral program in industrial organizational psychology. Among her honors at CCNY are the coveted City College President’s Award, the Zitrin Scholar Award, the Outstanding Academic Hispanic Scholarship, The City College Outstanding Academic Achievement Award and a City College Fellowship. She hopes to return to CCNY as a professor after earning her Ph.D. More on this story.
Santos, Perález Appointed VPs at CCNY
President Williams has announced two new senior administrative appointments: Robert D. Santos has joined the administration as Vice President for Campus Planning and Facilities Management and Esther Perález will become Vice President of Student Affairs next month. Both appointments are pending approval by the CUNY Board of Trustees. Mr. Santos, who is familiar to the College community because he had served as Acting Vice President for Facilities Planning since November 2005, oversees all phases of facilities planning and capital projects on the CCNY campus and has managerial responsibility for Physical Plant Services and Campus Security. He joined CCNY from The New York Public Library, where he served as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Earlier, he was Chief Administrative Officer at Adelphi University. Born in Mexico City, Ms. Perález is joining CCNY from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minn., where she was Vice President for Student Affairs. Earlier in her career, she held student affairs positions at University of Minnesota and Eastern Montana College.
President’s Gala Honors Gen. Colin Powell, ’58
Gen. Colin L. Powell, ’58, USA ret. received the President’s Award at the Fourth Annual Presidential Award Dinner May 8. In accepting the award, General Powell spoke movingly of his alma mater and what it had done for him and also discussed the work of the Colin Powell Center for Policy Studies at The City College. Barbara Walters, a member of the Powell Center Advisory Council, was a surprise guest speaker. President Williams used the occasion to announce that The Campaign for The City College of New York had just passed $200 million. This was also acknowledged the following day in a full-page advertisement in The New York Times celebrating the College’s most dedicated supporters. Over 400 City College alumni, friends, faculty and students were on hand for the dinner, at which Lev Sviridov, CCNY’s 2005 Rhodes Scholar, and Cory Ip, a Powell Fellow who is earning a second undergraduate degree in engineering after graduating from Harvard University, served as co-Masters of Ceremonies. For the third consecutive year, over $1 million was raised at the dinner. More on this story.
Dean Lemons Moves to Grad Center; Mercado Steps in at CWE
Dr. Daniel Lemons, Dean of the Division of Worker Education since 2003 and Professor of Biology at CCNY, will be moving this summer to the CUNY Graduate Center to become Associate Provost and Dean for Science, President Williams announced. Juan Carlos Mercado, who has served with distinction at Chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures since he arrived at City College in 2000, will become the Acting Dean for the Division. In his new position Dean Lemons will be responsible for the reorganization of the CUNY doctoral programs in the sciences. Among the planned results of the reorganization are new joint Ph.D. degrees to be granted together by the Graduate Center and City College and the Graduate Center and Hunter College. Dean Lemons will continue to be a professor in the City College Department of Biology where has been a faculty member since 1990. As Chair of Foreign Languages and Literature, Professor Mercado has overseen significant growth in the department, with the number of enrolled students climbing to 1,500 from 600 and courses being offered in more than 10 languages per semester.
History Professor Beth Baron Named Carnegie Scholar
CCNY Professor of History Beth Baron was one of 21 Middle East specialists named 2007 Carnegie Scholars by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The award carries a grant of $100,000 over two years. Professor Baron, who is Co-Founder and Co-Director of the CUNY Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center, will use the grant to complete the manuscript of book tentatively titled In Their Own Image: Americans and Middle Eastern Muslim Women. The project tracks a century-and-a-half of American proselytization, modernization and democratization efforts targeting Middle Eastern girls and women, the response of Muslim females and their own agendas. “American attempts to remake Middle Eastern Muslim women in the own image have had limited success and at times generated a backlash that undermined their achievements,” Professor Baron says. “This topic has particular urgency at a time in which Americans are deeply involved in the Middle East yet have profound misunderstandings on Muslim women’s lives, past and present, and are ignorant of the American legacy in the region.” More on this story.
Senior Jessica Tibbets Wins Fulbright Scholarship
Jessica Tibbets, a graduating senior at The City College of New York (CCNY), has received a 2007-2008 Fulbright Scholars Award to study Arabic and learn about the deaf community in Yemen. As part of her research, Ms. Tibbets will produce an ethnography and documentary about deaf people in Yemen to show to hearing and non-hearing people in Yemen and abroad. The Wichita, Kan. native is expected to graduate from CCNY magna cum laude June 1 with a B.A. in International Studies with a concentration in Culture and Communications. “This is really exciting,” she said of her Fulbright award. “I spent six months in Yemen last year teaching English so that I could fund my stay while improving my fluency in Arabic and learning Yemeni sign language and I loved it. I can't wait to return to my friends there! The award gives me an opportunity to continue my study of Arabic as well as my research and work with the deaf community in that country. I started learning Arabic in my freshman year at City College and fell in love with it. That’s the main reason I went to Yemen last year.” More on this story.
CCNY Grad Israel Gonzalez Receives 2007 Salk Scholarship
Israel Gonzalez, who graduated from The City College of New York (CCNY) with a B.S. in Biology in September 2006, was awarded a Salk Scholarship from The City University of New York (CUNY). He is one of eight CUNY students to receive the prestigious award this year, which carries an $8,000 stipend for medical school. “This award has reinforced my confidence that a regular guy really can have an impact on science research,” said Mr. Gonzalez. “I would like to thank everyone who has helped me succeed in my studies and research, in particular my mentor, Professor Robert Anderson, and CCAPP (City College Academy for Professional Preparation) Program Director Dr. Millicent Roth and her staff.” Salk Scholars are selected by panel of distinguished physicians, all Salk Scholars themselves, based on the quality of their research, academic excellence and recommendations by professors and mentors. Working in Professor Anderson’s laboratory, Mr. Gonzalez used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to model the distributions, or ranges, of species based on climatic conditions. He presented this research at the annual meeting of the American Society of Mammologists last summer in Amherst, Mass. More on this story.
CCNY Concrete Canoe Wins Metropolitan Region Competition
The Shepard, a concrete canoe designed and built by CCNY civil engineering majors, won the Metropolitan Region Competition held on Lake Kandle in Sewell, New Jersey. The victory qualified CCNY for the 20th annual National Concrete Canoe Competition (NCCC), June 14 – 16 in Seattle. The overall winners of the NCCC, which is sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE), will represent the United States at the 2007 Dutch Concrete Canoe Challenge in September. This is the seventh time in 18years that the CCNYConcrete Canoe Club triumphed in regional competition. The club won for four years running between 1989 and 1992 and took first place again in 1999 and 2005. In this year’s competition, the team bested defending champion Polytechnic University as well as teams from Rutgers University, Cooper Union and Fairleigh Dickinson University, among others. “Through hard work, preparation and creativity, City College’s student engineers were able to maintain the high standards that our College has established in this competition over the years,” said club President Claudius Gumbs. “We look forward to a successful trip to Seattle for the Nationals next month.” More on this story.
CCNY Advertising/PR Majors Win ‘One Show’ Client Pitch
Sal Lombardo and Morgan Schreiber, seniors majoring in advertising and public relations at The City College of New York (CCNY) were awarded first prize in the One Show Client Pitch Competition, in which entrants had to develop and present a strategy for the Natural Resource Defense Council, an environmental action organization. The City College team came up with “Design a Better Future,” a campaign that explored how fashion would react if the environment were to be severely degraded. In addition to three magazine ads that deployed fashion icons to illustrate how toxic shock might become fashion chic, the presentation integrated original ideas for a Fashion Week tie-in, an eco-awareness necklace as well as a live website, www.designabetterfuture.com. “We won because we took a risk,” said Ms. Schreiber. “After our presentation, the client came up to us and told us everything we presented was right on target with where NRDC needs to go,” added Mr. Lombardo. Nancy Tag, Assistant Professor of Advertising, who mentored the winning team, said the presentation showed a real flair for both strategy and execution, which “represents what we try to do in the program.” More on this story.
Steel Bridge Club Takes 3rd in Regional Competition
The City College Steel Bridge Club took third place in the American Society of Civil Engineers Regional Steel Bridge Competition, winning the coveted top award for Stiffness of Design. Teams representing eight colleges and universities participated in the event, which was held April 14 at New York City College of Technology. It was CCNY’s first appearance in the competition since 2004. The competition was the culmination of a year’s effort. Club members designed and built a steel truss bridge, 19 feet long and four feet wide, consisting solely of structural steel members and hex-bolts. To meet competition requirements, the bridge had to be capable of support a 2,500 pound load in transport across a model river nine feet wide. The modular techniques used by the team enabled them to reassemble the bridge at the competition in just 17 minutes. “We did well for a group that has never participated in an event like this,” said club President Norbert Ochman. “It was the team’s commitment that enabled us to succeed this year, and we will be looking for an improved repeat performance next year.”
CCNY Baseball Shines Three Years after Revival
Three years into its revival, City College’s baseball team was the runner-up in the CUNY Athletic Conference tournament, losing in the May 12 championship doubleheader to John Jay. During the season, the Beavers led all NCAA Division III teams in batting and had the most wins for a CCNY team in 59 years. “It was a fantastic year and I’m really proud of the guys,” said Coach Scott Losche, who recruited the team after being tapped to lead CCNY’s revival in spring 2005, following a 10-year hiatus for CCNY baseball. The Beavers’ batting average was an amazing.374. Junior third baseman Richard Gomez led Division III schools in runs batted in with 49, and his .476 ranked him 11th nationally. “These are great achievements,” Coach Losche added. Mr. Gomez was one of seven CCNY players named CUNYAC First Team All-Stars. The others were catcher Brian Padilla, right fielder Lucian Maldonado, center fielder Ruben Zorrilla, first baseman Jose Lopez, designated hitter Tim Mena and pitcher Wilton Salazar. More on this story.
Professor Paaswell Appointed to MTA Workforce Panel
Judith Stein Elected to Society of American Historians
Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering Robert E. Paaswell has been appointed to a Metropolitan Transportation Authority Blue Ribbon Panel on Workforce Development. It is Professor Paaswell’s second such appointment this year; as reported previously in 138@Convent, he is serving on a panel addressing construction excellence. The seven-member panel of Workforce Development was assembled to provide recommendation for engaging and further developing the MTA workforce to meet current and future challenges facing the agency as it undergoes the largest expansion of New York’s transit system in over 50 years. The panel will assist MTA management in identifying best practices and proactive approaches to employee engagement and recognition, leadership development and succession planning, employee availability, conflict resolution and improved labor relations. Professor Paaswell, who directs the University Transportation Research Center at CCNY, also was honored on the occasion of his 70th birthday with a symposium on the Future of Urban Transportation.
Professor of History Judith Stein was elected a Fellow of the Society of American Historians by the Society’s 250 Fellows. The Society was founded in 1939 by Allan Nevins, a historian at Columbia University, and others to promote excellence in historical writing. Fellows include both academic historians and popular writers such as Doris Kearns Goodwin. “It’s nice to be recognized by your peers; people you respect who think your history is good and well written,” Professor Stein said. “I tell my students that good writing is important because that is the only way readers will consider your argument.” Professor Stein, who has taught at CCNY since 1968, is the author of two books, The World of Marcus Garvey: Race and Class in Modern Society (Louisiana State University Press, 1986) and Running Steel, Running America: Race, Economic Policy, and the Decline of Liberalism, (University of North Carolina Press, 1998), with a third, The Death of the New Deal: The Birth of Market Fundamentalism in the 1970s, under contract with Yale University Press. For the Spring 2006 Semester, she held a Fulbright Distinguished Chair, the Nikolay V. Sivachev Distinguished Chair in United States History at Russia’s Moscow State University.
CCNY Child Center Marks 30th Anniversary
The City College Child Development and Family Services Center is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Housed in Schiff House on the South Campus, the Center provides early education and child care for children between ages two and six of City College students. Over the decades, the center has enabled hundreds of CCNY students to earn their degrees by providing a safe, nurturing and affordable environment for their children to play and learn while they were attending class. Some of the children cared for in the early years later attended CCNY and brought their own children to the center. It also provides a convenient, on-campus location for students from the School of Education, College of Liberal and Sciences and Sophie Davis to conduct field work and earn one – six credits, notes LaTrella Thornton, the Center’s Director since 1993. Children in the program are grouped around thematic educational activities – math and science, woodworking and building blocks, creative arts and family – rather than by age. In addition, they receive meals and snacks while attending. Low fees, thanks to federal and state subsidies, make the service very affordable for students. Director Thornton notes that currently almost as many fathers as mothers have children in the center, adding that she hopes the center can expand to serve infants and toddlers, a growing need.
Honors College Grad Sets Sail on 1,000-Day Journey
On a quest that harks back to the age of great seafarers, Soanya Ahmad,’05 Honors College, set sail with her mariner companion Reid Stowe from New Jersey April 21 on an incredible 1,000-day voyage to set a new record on the high seas. The pair left the Shipyard Marina in North Hoboken as the only crew members aboard the 65-ton, two-masted, gaff-rigged schooner Anne. Their mission is to remain on the open ocean, outside of contact with supporting ports, for a period of 1,000 days, emulating, in some respects, interplanetary voyages such as those contemplated to the planet Mars. If all goes as planned, they’ll return to New York in 2010 after spending nearly three years away from land without stopping or re-supplying. Their voyage would surpass the current record of 657 days at sea held by Australian Jon Sanders, who circumnavigated the globe three times between 1986 and 1988. The Anne was designed and built by Mr. Stowe and his family in 1978. The boat contains more than three year’s worth of food and medical supplies, along with advanced satellite communications and media production equipment, which will allow its intrepid crew to share the expedition with the world on a regular basis. Follow their odyssey at: http://1000days.net/home/
From the President
I am delighted to announce that we are on the verge of a historic new day at CCNY. Last week the Faculty Senate voted overwhelmingly to approve two resolutions that will contribute mightily to the competitiveness and national visibility of the College, and most importantly, to improving the quality of graduate and undergraduate education: the awarding of doctoral degrees in biomedical, chemical, civil, electrical and mechanical engineering, conferred by the Grove School and conferred by The City College of New York; and the awarding of doctoral degrees jointly by The City College and the CUNY Graduate Center in biochemistry, biology, chemistry and physics. The Senate session was packed and the discussion was lively. And it was particularly gratifying that faculty from across the entire spectrum of the College – from humanities and arts, the social sciences, education and architecture, as well as science and engineering – rose to support these resolutions.
Finally, I would like to offer special thanks to Dr. Ramona Brown, who has served with distinction for the past year as Acting Vice President for Student Affairs. As most of you know, late last August the VP for Student Affairs left abruptly. I looked around for someone who knew the College and knew and was respected by our students while we engaged a national search for this position. I wanted – we needed – not a caretaker, but rather someone who could move us forward in this difficult time. Dean Brown was exactly what we needed; she stepped up to the plate in a very difficult situation and moved us forward. We were fortunate to have her, and I know the Grove School is delighted to have her back.
Gregory H. Williams
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