Print version originally listed in error as Vol 2, Number 9
PBS Producer Susan Lacy To Deliver Rudin Lecture
Susan Lacy, the award-winning creator and executive producer of the PBS series “American Masters,” will deliver the Fall 2007 Samuel Rudin Distinguished Visiting Scholar Lecture, 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 27, in The Great Hall. Her address, “Why Art Matters,” is free and open to the public. Ms. Lacy launched the series in 1986 and has been responsible for the production and national PBS broadcast of more than 140 documentary films about America’s artistic and cultural giants. Now celebrating its 20th anniversary season,“American Masters” has garnered numerous awards and has been recognized as “the best biographical series ever to appear on American television.” Under her leadership,“American Masters” received the primetime Emmy for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2004. Ms. Lacy has also received five additional primetime Emmys, seven Peabody awards, two Grammy awards, 40 other Emmy nominations and three Oscar nominations. In addition to her role with PBS, Ms. Lacy, who began her career in public television as deputy director of performance programs at Thirteen/WNET New York in 1979, is an award-winning filmmaker. Her credits include Judy Garland: By Myself (2004), which earned her an Emmy award for writing and an Emmy nomination for directing. More on this story.
Laurie Zephyrin, ’97, Speaks at Women Physicians Exhibit
Dr. Laurie Zephyrin, a 1997 Sophie Davis graduate, will be the keynote speaker at the closing ceremony for the “Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America’s Women Physicians” traveling exhibit 6 p.m. Wednesday, November 28, in the Cohen Library Archives. Her lecture, which mirrors her life, is titled “Women in Medicine Are Reaching for the Sky.” Dr. Zephyrin is Assistant Professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at Columbia University Medical Center in Manhattan. The daughter of Haitian immigrants, in 2005, she was selected as a White House Fellow and spent a year in the country’s most prestigious program for leadership and public service. City College was the only venue in the New York metropolitan area to host the exhibit, which honors the lives and accomplishments of women physicians in the hope of inspiring a new generation of medical pioneers. The exhibit was developed by the Exhibition Program of the History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine in collaboration with the American Library Association Public Programs Office.
Dr. Cornelia Bargmann to Deliver Cosloy-Blank Lecture
Dr. Cornelia I. Bargmann, Torsten N. Wiesel Professor at Rockefeller University, will deliver the second annual Sharon Cosloy-Ed Blank Lecture 3:30 p.m. Thursday, November 29, in Room 95, Shepard Hall. Her topic will be “Dissecting a Circuit for Olfactory Behavior in C. elegans.” Caenorhabditiselegans is a species of roundworm that relies on its sense of smell since it cannot see or hear. Dr. Bargmann’s work has revealed many of the genetic and molecular underpinningsof the worm’s sense of smell and has furthered the understandingof its influence on complex behaviors. In addition, she has uncovered key signaling pathways that direct the properwiring of the species’ 302 neurons. A member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Bargmann joined the Rockefeller faculty in 2004 from University of California, San Francisco. In addition, she is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. She holds a Ph.D. in biology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.S. in biochemistry from University of Georgia. Her awards include the Takasago Prize for olfaction research and Columbia University’s W. Alden Spencer Award. The Cosloy-Blank lecture series was established in memory of Professor Cosloy, former Chair of CCNY’s Biology Department, by her husband Ed Blank, and is presented by President Williams and the Biology Department.
Memorial for Randall Forsberg to be Held December 1
A memorial service will be held 1 p.m. Saturday, December 1, in The Great Hall for Dr. Randall C. Forsberg, Anne and Bernard Spitzer Chair Professor of Political Science. Dr. Forsberg, an internationally recognized authority on arms control and security issues who came to The City College in the fall of 2006, passed away October 19, 2007. Among those scheduled to speak at the service are: writer Jonathan Schell, author of the best-seller The Fate of the Earth, which addresses the nuclear question; Ambassador Jonathan Dean, advisor on global security to the Union of Concerned Scientists; Harvey Cox, Hollis Professor of Divinity, Harvard University; pacifist, war-tax resister and social justice advocate Randy Kehler, and Neta Crawford, Professor of Political Science and African American Studies, Boston University.
DSI to Fete CUNY Grads of Dominican Descent
Approximately 500 CUNY graduates of Dominican descent are expected to attend a dinner Saturday, December 8, in The Great Hall to celebrate the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute’s (CUNY-DSI) 15th Anniversary. The dinner will also salute CUNY’s Dominican alumni, whose numbers exceed 35,000. In addition, a special award will be presented to Dominican-born fashion designer Oscar de la Renta. CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, CUNY Trustee Hugo Morales and CCNY President Gregory H. Williams are expected to offer remarks. “CUNY is second in the world only to Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo in producing Dominican college graduates,” said Dr. Ramona Hernández, CUNY-DSI Director and CCNY Professor of Sociology. “What City College represented to Jews and Italians as a pathway to upward mobility in the early 20th Century, CUNY represents for Dominicans today.” Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo is the Dominican Republic’s largest university and the oldest institution of higher education in the western hemisphere.
Powell Says Investing in Youth Critical to America’s Future
America needs to continue to invest in its young people in order to remain a powerful force in the global economy, Gen. Colin L. Powell, USA (ret.), ’58, said at CCNY last week. “If we’re successful with our young people, we’ll continue to move forward; if not, we’ll fall behind.” General Powell delivered luncheon remarks at an urban leadership conference sponsored by the Colin Powell Center for Policy Studies and the Eisenhower Fellowships, which he chairs. “We have 300 million people on a playing field with six billion, and we cannot afford to waste a single person,” he said, adding that failed youth not only hurt society but are detrimental to national security. In calling for greater support for elementary and secondary education, he pointed out that while “America has the best universities in the world, the area we fall short in and need to fix is our K-12 system.” However, he cautioned that society cannot expect schools to be responsible for developing children. “We need a situation in America where every child grows up with responsible adults,” he said. “If they don’t get it from their families then others have to step in to give them a sense of hope. I would not have gotten through CCNY, much less high school, if I did not have these caring adults in my life. Every child needs that.”
Carnegie Chief Calls for ‘Signature Pedagogies’ in Ed. Schools
Education schools should develop “signature pedagogies” analogous to those deployed in other professional schools, Dr. Lee S. Shulman, President of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, told a CCNY audience November 13. Dr. Shulman delivered the inaugural speech in a distinguished lecture series presented by the CCNY School of Education and The New Educator Journal. Signature pedagogies are pervasive across (academic) programs and they help students “develop habits of the mind, habits of practice and habits of the heart,” he said. “Professional education teaches people how to respond creatively in conditions of uncertainty. The best way to do that is through development of pedagogical routines.” As examples, he cited the Socratic dialogues deployed in law schools, the studios used in architecture and engineering programs and the patient rounds at medical schools. Dr. Shulman called the absence of practice modeling in teacher education “troubling,” but said new technologies could produce the equivalent of “virtual rounds” that would enable professors and students to observe and analyze classroom performance. He added that he hopes critical examination of teaching and learning across settings will become standard practice in education classes.
Professor Luo Develops Method to Predict Hurricane Potency
Will a tropical depression become a Category 5 hurricane capable of catastrophic destruction or will it merely peter out? Dr. Zhengzhao “Johnny” Luo, a newly appointed Assistant Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at CCNY, has helped develop a promising new technique to estimate a hurricane’s punch from space. As a research scientist at Colorado State University, he was a member of the NASA CloudSat team, which used radar aboard NASA satellites to obtain cloud measurements and calculate hurricane peak winds. Their technique is based on a hurricane theory developed by MIT Professor Kerry Emanuel and colleagues that relates hurricane peak wind speed to the thermal energy contained in the hurricane eyewall and the surrounding environment outside the storm, Professor Luo explains. “You cannot use current satellites to directly measure hurricane peak wind speed, but we can measure the associated thermal energy and use the theory to derive the hurricane winds,” he said. More powerful storms usually have higher cloud tops, with the strongest reaching to above 17 kilometers (10 5/8 miles), “The image we get from the CloudSat radar is comparable to a CT scan of a slice of a storm, showing height, diameter and intensity of water content,” Professor Luo notes. The technique is still in development, but Professor Luo says it could complement or even replace the techniques based on direct aircraft measurements. This will enable storms beyond the reach of hurricane reconnaissance aircraft to be tracked, giving earlier warnings and more time for people to prepare, he adds.
CCNY-Led Team Aims to Help Blind Use Computer Graphics
Ilona Kretzschmar, Grove School Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, is leading a team of researchers from five institutions attempting to develop a tactile surface that can facilitate communication between visually impaired persons and computers. The team was awarded $330,000 over three years from the National Science Foundation for the project, titled “A Dynamic Tactile Interface for Visually Impaired and Blind People.” Also on the team from CCNY is Professor of Psychology Vivien Tartter. The other researchers hail from Baruch College, Northwestern University, The Johns Hopkins University and University of Maryland. The project proposes to use an electronically addressable and deformable polymeric film to develop the interface device. Currently, visually impaired and blind computer users need access to Braille keyboards that cost several thousand dollars and can only handle text. “We’re trying to make a cheaper device that would receive information tactilely and also be able to receive graphic information,” said Professor Kretzschmar. “In a world that increasingly depends on graphical, pictorial and multimedia technology, visually impaired and blind people have struggled to keep up.” More on this story.
M.F.A. Grad Yolanda Pividal, ’07, Wins $10G Film Award
Yolanda Pividal, a June 2007 graduate of CCNY’s M.F.A. in Media Arts Production program, won the $10,000 Fledgling Fund Award for Emerging Latino Filmmakers from the Independent Feature Project (IFP) for her thesis project “Tijuana Nada Mas.” The documentary, about four homeless children in the Mexican border city of Tijuana, has also been nominated for the Independent Documentary Association’s (IDA) David L. Wolper Student Doc Award, to be presented at the IDA Gala Benefit in Los Angeles, December 7. “The IFP prize means not just crucial financial support for the project but also very important acknowledgement from prestigious documentary filmmakers such as Lourdes Portillo,” Ms. Pividal said. Ms. Portillo, a renowned screenwriter and filmmaker, served on the selection jury. Professor Dave Davidson, the program director, said Ms. Pividal, a Spanish-born television journalist who came to CCNY on a La Caixa Foundation Fellowship in 2005, has the perfect combination of sensitivity and curiosity to be a documentary filmmaker. “She came to our MFA program as a seasoned journalist and it has been a great pleasure to see her further develop those skills in the documentary realm,” he said. Ms. Pividal’s master’s degree is in writing and directing documentary films.
Website Salutes Campus Centennial
A new website, “100 Years on Hamilton Heights,” commemorates the Centennial of CCNY’s Campus in Harlem. The CCNY Campus, which was designed by George B. Post, is considered one of the finest examples of neo-Gothic architecture at any academic institution in the United States. The structures are on national and state registers of historic buildings. Using historic and contemporary photographs, the website tells the story of the Campus’ development, its role in CCNY’s growth, its restoration and what is in store for its second century. In addition, the site contains a bulletin board where alumni may post reminiscences and anecdotes from their student years as well as photographs taken on campus. “In developing this campus 100 years ago, New York City’s leaders made a powerful statement that City College students, who came mainly from working class and immigrant families, deserved a ‘plant second to none,’” said CCNY President Dr. Gregory H. Williams. “This is still true of our students today. By restoring The City College Campus to its original glory, today’s leaders have reaffirmed their commitment to that ideal.” More on this story.
President Williams Opens Refurbished Wingate Locker Rooms
President Williams officially reopened the Wingate locker rooms at a well-attended ribbon-cutting ceremony November 8, following a three-month remodeling project that his office helped fund. The work included new shower stalls, new flooring and wall tiles, new doors and over 400 lockers. In addition, wall mirrors were installed in the Wingate Fitness Center. “We wanted to have a first-class facility equal to LA Fitness or New York Sports Club and other health centers,” he said, adding that City College was not just about educating minds but also training bodies. The President hailed the collaborative effort among several entities on campus, including the Athletics Department, Facilities and Planning, Physical Plant Services and the Undergraduate Student Government, which made the remodeling project possible. Director of Athletics JacqualynMeadow presented plaques to President Williams for his “leadership, guidance and support for athletics and students on campus,” and to Robert Santos, Vice President for Campus Planning & Facilities, George Varian, Supervisor of Mechanics, and to the Student Government for their support. Over 300 members of the CCNY community use the Wingate Fitness Center each day.
Josh Weston, ’50, Endows New Student Travel Program
Josh S. Weston, a distinguished City College alumnus and Fulbright Scholar, has long championed pro bono public service by CCNY students on the home front through a scholars program that bears his and his wife’s names. Now, he has gone one step further by establishing The Josh and Judy Weston International Student Travel Program, which supports public service opportunities overseas. Last summer, the first cohort of seven CCNY undergraduates supported by the program spent up to six weeks in Africa and Central America. There, they interned with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other institutions. Michelle J. Morales, Justine Fleischner and Ethan Frisch interned in Sierra Leone, a West African nation that is emerging from years of brutal conflict. Emmanuella Anyanwu, Lynne C. Allen and Cameese Hawkins spent six weeks in Rwanda, where CCNY runs a service-learning program that is helping that nation rebuild its social infrastructure after the 1994 genocide. Denice Dorchak-Ochola taught ESL in Chalatenango, El Salvador, the site of another CCNY service-learning program.
From the President
When he spoke here last week at the Colin Powell Center for Policy Studies Urban Leadership Conference, General Powell stressed the important role played by “responsible adults” in the lives of children. “We need a situation in America where every child grows up with responsible adults,” he said. “If they don’t get it from their families then others have to step in to give them a sense of hope.”
All of us had someone in our lives who played “the responsible adult,” who gave us hope and guidance. And all of us at City College have the opportunity to play – and are playing – vital roles in the lives of a new generation by nurturing their hopes and aspirations.
I hope you will join me in giving thanks this Thursday for the “responsible adults” in our lives and for the opportunity to pass that on.
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 email@example.com.
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