Hip-Hop Stars Highlight Black History Month at CCNY
A hip-hop conference featuring stars from the genre, a screening by an award-winning documentary filmmaker, a jazz concert and a lecture on Afro-Uruguayan history and culture. These are just part of The City College of New York’s rich 2011 Black History Month offerings. Hip-hop stars Kool G Mims and Vinnie Brown, the latter from the iconic group "Naughty by Nature," are among the participants in a conference titled "Is Hip Hop History?" February 25 - 26 at CCNY’s Center for Worker Education (CWE), 25 Broadway, Manhattan. The conference brings together hip-hop pioneers, legends, fans, college students and scholars. Mr. Mims, a Harlem product, will perform live at 6 p.m. on the opening day. His act will be followed at 8 p.m. by the keynote address by Mr. Brown, the entrepreneurial and marketing brains behind "Naughty by Nature." Mr. Brown lectures frequently on hip-hop culture and community activism as well as on the convergence of technology and entertainment. Other speakers at the conference include Bakari Kitwana, a journalist, author and senior media Fellow at the Harvard Law School-based think tank, the Jamestown Project (11:30 a.m. Saturday, February 26), and Warren Orange, an adjunct lecturer at CCNY/CWE. Mr. Orange will moderate the panel discussion "A Hip-Hop Diaspora" (1 p.m. Saturday, February 26). More on this story.
CCNY Hosts Black History Month Art Exhibit
In celebration of Black History Month, CCNY is hosting an exhibit of eight renowned artists alongside pieces produced by City College freshmen. The exhibit, "Shots, Strokes, Threads and Clay," presented by the CCNY Libraries and the Black Studies Program, runs through February 28. It is on display in the CCNY Libraries Archives, Room 5/301 in the North Academic Center Building. The artists whose work is being shown are: Kwame Brathwaite, Robert Daniels, Gilbert Fletcher, Laura James, Dindga McCannon, Sana Musasama, Diane Pryor-Holland and Shirley Taylor. Ms. Taylor is a CCNY alumna, MFA ’86. "The work of these nationally and internationally known artists encompasses many media including wood, canvas, clay, ceramics, and a variety of fiber techniques, including tie-dying, batik, quilting, and Kente cloth weaving," said Pamela Gillespie, Associate Dean and Chief Librarian of The City College Libraries. "The vibrant and intricate artwork on display illustrates the multi-faceted background of these artists, ranging from works reflecting African-American culture, New Orleans, spirituality, women, the family, and issues related to human rights the world over," said Dr. Jo-Ann Hamilton, Professor of English at CCNY. More on this story.
Spitzer School Presents Sciame Spring Lecture Series
"Architecture: Myth, Symbol and Representation" is the theme for the Spring Sciame Lecture Series at the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture at The City College of New York (CCNY). The nine-week series, which is free and open to the public, presents prominent architects, historians, critics and authors. The series is sponsored by F.J. Sciame Construction Co. Lectures begin at 6:30 p.m. and are held in Sciame Auditorium in the Spitzer School of Architecture building, 141 Convent Avenue, New York, NY 10031, located at West 135th Street and Convent Avenue. Lectures are also simulcast at www.ccny.cuny.edu/ssa/index.html. For information about continuing education credits for New York State licensed architects, call 212-650-7118. More on this story.
CCNY Science Dean Ruth Stark Named AAAS Fellow
Dr. Ruth Stark, acting dean of science at The City College of New York, has been elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She is one of 503 AAAS members elevated to this rank because of their scientifically and/or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. Dean Stark is being recognized for her distinguished contributions to molecular biophysics, particularly NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) studies of complex biomolecules, and creation of a professional network linking NMR with complementary techniques. AAAS will bestow a certificate and rosette pin upon her and the other honorees February 19 during its annual meeting in Washington. In the laboratory, Dean Stark draws upon her training in physical chemistry, NMR spectroscopy and molecular biophysics to study biologically significant natural materials and their macromolecular assemblies. Her investigations have included examination of: molecular structure and development of biopolymers that protect fruits and vegetables; proteins that regulate lipid metabolism, and melanin pigments that contribute to antifungal drug resistance. More on this story.
Five CCNY Undergrads Named Gilman Scholars
Ayodele Oti, Gareth Rhodes, Jesse King, Tabassum Rahman and Catherine Mandler, undergraduates at The City College of New York, have won 2011 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships for study abroad during the spring semester. They were among 2,300 students chosennationwide by the International Institute of Education, which administers the program, and they will travel to China, Costa Rica, France, the United Kingdom and Egypt for periods ranging from four weeks to five months. The Gilman Scholarships aim to prepare U.S. students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world by helping undergraduates with limited means study abroad. The State Department’s Bureau of Educational and CulturalAffairs sponsors the congressionally funded program. Ms. Oti, a University Scholar in the Macaulay Honors Collegemajoring in international environmental public health and sustainable development, will spend the spring semester in Puntarenas, Costa Rica. "I will take intensive Spanish classes, a marine biology course, and a Latin America history and cultures course," said the junior, who was awarded $4,500. "I will also get to know the ecology of Costa Rica by traveling to cloud rainforests, turtle reserves, volcanoes, and diving locations." More on this story.
Update: Ms. Mandler, who was spending the spring semester at the American University in Cairo, has left Egypt because of the civil unrest. She has been admitted to a program at Koc University in Turkey.
Alumna Wins Undergrad Social Science Paper Competition
CCNY graduate Evangeleen Pattison, ’10, has won first place in the 2010 ICPSR (Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research) Undergraduate Research Paper Competition. Ms. Pattison, who graduated late May with a BA in sociology, magna cum laude, is currently enrolled in an MA/PhD program at the Population Research Center at the University of Texas in Austin. The title of her winning paper is "The Expansion of American Higher Education: Access and Opportunity or Exclusion and Stratification?" She used data from the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States, 1995-1996, among others, to explore the relationship between parental education and children’s degree completion. Her paper also examines whether the expansion of access to higher education has increased stratification and exclusion in education. The ICPSR Undergraduate Research Paper Competition highlights the best undergraduate research papers using quantitative data. It encourages undergraduates to explore the social sciences by means of critical analysis of a topic supported by quantitative analysis of a dataset held within the ICPSR archive. Ms. Pattison received a $1,000 cash prize, a plaque and certificate of achievement. At CCNY, Ms. Pattison received the Ward Medal for highest distinction in sociology and was a City College Fellow and a Weston Fellow.
‘Buz’ Paaswell Receives Transportation Education Award
Dr. Robert ‘Buz’ Paaswell, distinguished professor of civil engineering in the Grove School of Engineering at The City College of New York, and director emeritus of the University Transportation Research Center (UTRC) – Region 2, has been awarded the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) Distinguished Contribution to University Transportation Education and Research Award. In addition, CCNY alumna Adina Boyce received the Neville Parker Award for Outstanding Non-thesis Masters Degree Paper in Science and Technology. The awards were presented January 22 in Washington at CUTC’s 14th annual awards banquet. The award to Professor Paaswell recognizes his long history of significant and outstanding contributions to university transportation education and research. He has been involved in transportation operations, management and planning since the late 1960s. Professor Paaswell, who joined the CCNY engineering faculty in 1990, served as director of UTRC – Region 2 from 1990 until 2009. That year, he was appointed interim president of CCNY, a position he relinquished in August 2010 when Dr. Lisa Staiano-Coico became the 12th President of City College. More on this story.
New Melt Record for Greenland Ice Sheet
New research shows that 2010 set new records for the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet, expected to be a major contributor to projected sea level rises in coming decades. "This past melt season was exceptional, with melting in some areas stretching up to 50 days longer than average," said Dr. Marco Tedesco, director of the Cryospheric Processes Laboratory at, who is leading a project studying variables that affect ice sheet melting. "Melting in 2010 started exceptionally early at the end of April and ended quite late in mid- September." The study, with different aspects sponsored by World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the National Science Foundation and NASA, examined surface temperature anomalies over the Greenland ice sheet surface, as well as estimates of surface melting from satellite data, ground observations and models. In an article published in "Environmental Research Letters," Professor Tedesco and co-authors note that in 2010, summer temperatures up to three degrees Celsius above the average were combined with reduced snowfall. More on this story.
Historian Warns Policymakers to Avoid 1970s Mistakes
U.S. policymakers could repeat mistakes made 30 years ago if they opt to focus on reducing the federal budget deficit instead of job creation, a City College of New York historian warns. Back then, fighting inflation trumped reducing unemployment, and the strategies that were deployed wrecked America’s manufacturing sector, contends Professor Judith Stein. Calls to reduce the federal deficit have been coming from several sources, of late. Most recently, the Republican Study Committee, a conservative bloc within the U.S. House of Representatives, proposed cutting spending by $2.5 trillion over the next ten years. "The Fed’s approach to fighting inflation in the late 1970s – restraining the growth of the money supply to produce high interest rates – was the worst strategy for the long-term well being of the U.S. economy," says Professor Stein, whose new book, "Pivotal Decade: How the United States Traded Factories for Finance in the Seventies" (Yale University Press, 2010), was published a few months ago. If policymakers opt for reducing deficits over unemployment, America could wind up with an economy that mirrors New York City: a sliver of highly paid professionals at the top and everyone else working at low-end jobs in the service economy, she warned in an op-ed published recently at www.commondreams.org. More on this story.
CCNY-Led Interdisciplinary Team Recreates Colonial Hydrology
Hydrologists may have a new way to study historical water conditions. By synthesizing present-day data with historical records they may be able to recreate broad hydrologic trends on a regional basis for periods from which scant data is available. Lack of reliable historical data can impede hydrologists’ understanding of the current state of waterways and their ability to make predictions about the future. That was the case for the rivers of the northeastern United States between 1600 and 1800, a period that runs from just before the first European settlers arrived to the onset of the Industrial Age. "The historic perspective is important because humans have developed a particular approach to water that may not be sustainable," says Dr. Charles Vörösmarty, presidential professor of civil engineering in tßhe Grove School of Engineering at CCNY. "(People) often impact a system and then spend lots of money to fix it. By studying how systems evolved, we may be able to look at success stories of the past and avoid problems emerging today and in other parts of the world." More on this story.
Parallels Between Immunity and Cancer Reported
Tiny parasitoid wasps can play an important role in controlling the populations of other insect species by laying their eggs inside the larvae of these species. A newly hatched wasp gradually eats the host alive and takes over its body. The host insect is far from defenseless, however. In Drosophila (fruit flies), larvae activate humoral immunity in the fat body and mount a robust cellular response that encapsulates and chokes off the wasp egg. New research by CCNY Professor of Biology Shubha Govind and colleagues reveals parallels between how this mechanism fights the wasp infection and the way blood cancer develops. "There are fundamental similarities in the processes," she explains. "The response to wasp infection is similar to acute inflammation while the cancer is akin to chronic inflammation in mammals, where regulation of the response to an infection also goes out of control." Professor Govind reports that the immune system that counters wasp egg infection is highly restrained. The system works like a thermostat, with certain proteins detecting the infection and triggering the immune reactions. Once the egg has been destroyed the immune reactions come to a halt. More on this story.
From the PresidentThe extraordinary events in Egypt have captured our attention, as we watch the political drama there unfold with both hope and fear. Many in the CCNY community, including 34 students born in Egypt, have personal stakes in the situation and the outcome of the challenges to Hosni Mubarak’s nearly 30-year rule.
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