Kaylie Entrepreneurship Prize Finalists Announced
Five teams comprised of 23 students were announced today as finalists to compete for the first annual Kaylie Prize for Entrepreneurship at The City College of New York. Over the next four months, the teams will refine their business ideas as they compete for the first prize: financial support and housing to work over the summer in a Silicon Valley garage-like environment to further develop their projects. "The Kaylie Prize has generated tremendous excitement among our students," said Dr. Dan Steingart, assistant professor of chemical engineering in the Grove School of Engineering, who serves as faculty supervisor for the competition. "Shortly after it was announced, more than 35 teams mobilized to submit proposals for consideration by the judges. This tremendous response shows that the spirit of entrepreneurship is flourishing at City College." The five finalist teams, their members and product ideas are: Cable Inspecting Robots: Denis Arce, Rachel M. Lovell, Shiraz Macuff and Kenshin Ushiroda; robots that climb bridges to detect corrosion and failure points; Stoke Innovation: James Scholtz, Sergey Lyapustin and Wayne Parkinson; cancer detection through light analysis. Dynamic Braille: Joseph Borrello, Jeremy Cortez, Sullivan Fleming, Sankha Ghatak and Nick Macaluso; lower-cost braille computer interfaces; InYourClass.com: Arber Ruci, Ariel Terefici, Arijon Xhelo, Edina Bektesevic and Jonida Xhaferaj; web-based virtual study group software, and MedMobileBP: Satadru Pramanik, Mohammod Arafat, Ishmam Ibtida, Khrisendat Persaud, Gerardo Sevilla and Michael Cheng; cell phone-based medical diagnostics. More on this story.
Sophie Davis Students Thank Those Who Serve and Protect
Students of the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education joined with dozens of medical schools around the United States and Canada Monday, February 14, to observe the first National Day of Solidarity for Compassionate Patient Care. The event was created by the Gold Humanism Honor Society of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation to honor the spirit of caring exhibited by Dr. Randall Friese. He was the first trauma surgeon to treat Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords after she was shot. Sophie Davis students decided to say thank you to those in the community who keep them safe. They presented thank-you cards signed by members of the student body to the City College Office of Public Safety, the 26th and 30th precincts of the New York Police Department and the Vinegar Hill firehouse of the New York Fire Department. They also presented special "thank-yous" to the cleaning staff of Harris Hall and the Learning Resource Center. By participating in the event, the Sophie Davis students stood in solidarity with Dr. Friese and the University Medical Center team in Tucson, which saved Rep. Giffords and treated other victims of the January mass shooting there. More on this story.
CCNY Graduate Student Receives 2011 ASCAP Award
Dan Pugach, a graduate student majoring in jazz performance at CCNY, has received a 2011 ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award for his original composition, "Discourse This." He is one of 31 talented young jazz composers nationwide whose compositions were picked by a jury of professional musicians. "Discourse This" began as a short jazz tune that Mr. Pugach, a drummer and native of Israel, wrote. One of his professors, Mike Holober, inspired him to re-composite the piece into music for a nine-piece band. Professor Holober, an award-winning pianist, composer and arranger, is one of several widely acclaimed professional jazz musicians on the CCNY music faculty who Mr. Pugach studied with. Others include John Patitucci, a Grammy-winning bass player and composer, and drummer Ari Hoenig. "When I met Dan, he was inspired to learn and already was easily a skilled professional player," Professor Hoenig says. "He has great ears and has the ability to accurately assess his own strengths and weaknesses. Dan certainly has a promising future with music." More on this story.
CCNY Psychologist Testifies In Landmark War Crimes Case
Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, former vice president of Congo, is on trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes related to the actions of his country’s troops while on duty in neighboring Central African Republic (CAR). Prosecutors at the ICC in The Hague say Congolese fighters committed mass rape, killings, and plunder in Bangui, the capital city of CAR, while helping that country’s president thwart a coup. In need of an expert on gender crimes and post-traumatic stress disorder to assist with the landmark case that began last November, they turned to Dr. Adeyinka Akinsulure-Smith, CCNY assistant professor of psychology. "My role in The Hague was to define what post-traumatic stress was and how it can impact an individual who’s been through sexual violence during armed conflict," she said. To prepare her testimony, Professor Akinsulure-Smith traveled to Bangui last October to interview survivors of sexual violence. "It was an intense and deeply moving experience," she said. Professor Akinsulure-Smith was invited to testify because of her extensive clinical experience. A native of Sierra Leone, she has worked with war trauma survivors, refugees and asylum seekers as well as victims of sexual violence and people afflicted with and affected by HIV/AIDS. More on this story.
Music Professor’s Album Honors Jazz Trumpet Legend
Suzanne Pittson, assistant professor of jazz vocal studies, is a longtime fan of Freddie Hubbard, the late jazz trumpeter. She considers him a mentor, even though she did not meet him until a few months before his death in 2008. As a tribute to Hubbard, she, her husband, pianist Jeff Pittson, and their teenage son, Evan, wrote lyrics to several of his tunes. She recently released "Out of the Hub: The Music of Freddie Hubbard" on Vineland Records, which features their lyrics on six of the 11 tracks. Besides the Pittsons, the recording features trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, saxophonist Steve Wilson, drummer Willie Jones III and bassist John Patitucci, Pittson’s faculty colleague at CCNY. It is her third album. Professor Pittson was a teenager when she first heard Hubbard perform with a group called VSOP that included saxophonist Wayne Shorter, pianist Herbie Hancock and bassist Ron Carter, a City College distinguished professor emeritus. "I loved his trumpet solos," recalls Professor Pittson, a classically trained pianist. "When I decided to become a jazz singer, I wanted to be a soloist of his caliber." More on this story.
CCNY Historian Explores Dependency Among Americans
Americans like to envision themselves as self-reliant. We cherish our freedom, and calls to limit government’s role in our lives resonate with a large segment of the electorate. However, perceptions and reality often divulge; many people’s perceptions of – and relationships with – their leaders reflect how well government is doing by them. Recognizing this can shed insight into their political behavior. A new book by CCNY historian Dr. Greg Downs explores this phenomenon in the post-Civil War South. "Declarations of Dependence: The Long Reconstruction of Popular Politics in the South, 1861 – 1908," delves into the often eloquent and intimate pleas from North Carolinians of all races and genders to their elected representatives in Washington. The book was released last month by University of North Carolina Press. "We tend to think of people as individualists, but at times they wrote more like subjects of the crown," says Dr. Downs, an assistant professor at CCNY, who came upon hundreds of similarly written letters while he was researching the Tar Heel State’s political history. "It was surprising to see how many there were and how intensely they begged." More on this story.
Marta Gutman Envisions Child-Friendly Urban Neighborhoods
New York is experiencing a new baby boom. Between 2000 and 2007, the number of children under age five just in Manhattan grew by 32 percent, according to The New York Times. In this densely populated city, with its costly real estate, finding space for kids to be kids can prove daunting. Rather than only build brand-new facilities, however, children’s advocates should consider repurposing and adding small-scale projects to New York City neighborhoods that can attract additional investment, contends Dr. Marta Gutman. A licensed architect and professor of architecture history in the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, she has made studying how child-friendly city neighborhoods get created a focus of her research. Her doctoral dissertation examined how women in Oakland, Calif. repurposed houses, stores and even a saloon to create a "charitable landscape" full of places for immigrant and migrant children. "Women played several important roles in the process, including making the proposals, leading in design, fundraising, care giving and as imaginers," she says. "Their strategy was to make new facilities from old rather than replace buildings. Renewing these structures played an essential role in modernizing the city." More on this story.
James Evans to Deliver Levine – de Beer Genetics Lecture
Dr. James Evans, Bryson Distinguished Professor of Genetics and Medicine at the University of North Carolina, will deliver the Louis Levine–Gabriella de Beer Lecture in Genetics 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 5. Professor Evans will discuss the pervasive misunderstanding of science, its consequences and solutions—particularly for medicine. Titled "The Power, Demands and Limits of Science: A Cautionary Tale for Policy Makers, Health Care Professionals and The Public," the lecture is free and open to the public. He will speak in the Great Hall. Science is not a belief system. Yet this all-to-common concept – promulgated on talk radio and in policy hearings – is one that the public and even physicians and scientists, often fail to grasp, asserts Dr. Evans. This is just one example of how the meaning of science is often obscured. In his lecture, Dr. Evans will explore the history and meaning of science. He will describe the problems inherent in – and the serious consequences of – its misapplication in medicine and other arenas. He will also offer concrete ideas to prevent such pitfalls and improve our ability to harness science. More on this story.
Richard Sennett to Deliver 7th Mumford Lecture April 11
Dr. Richard Sennett, author and professor of sociology at the London School of Economics and New York University, will deliver the seventh Lewis Mumford Lecture on Urbanism 6 p.m. Monday, April 11. His topic will be "The Edge: Borders and Boundaries in the City." The lecture, held in The Great Hall, is free and open to the public. Professor Sennett is a social analyst who studies how people in urban populations understand material facts surrounding where they live and work to interpret their life experiences. He argues that only with the mix of different classes and cultures is it possible to truly understand human relationships. His research includes interviews and ethnography and also draws on historical record to set accounts into context. "Richard Sennett is one of the most nuanced, passionate, knowledgeable and dedicated writers about the city and its impact on our lives, our culture and our politics: the Mumford of our time," said Michael Sorkin, director of the Graduate Program in Urban Design at CCNY, which presents the lecture. More on this story.
New Lecture Series Explores Ethnicity and Religion
Ethnicity and religion are the foci of a new lecture series presented by CCNY’s history department. The three-part series, which kicked off Thursday, March 3, presents diverse perspectives on contemporary issues in which these topics play an important role. It is made possible by a grant from the office of CCNY President Lisa Staiano-Coico. The series dovetails with one of President Staiano-Coico’s goals for CCNY; engaging City College students and faculty across a wide range of disciplines on timely subjects, explains Dr. Clifford Rosenberg, chair of the history department. Because ethnicity and religion are integral to people’s self-identity, the topics have broad appeal, especially among students. "We hope these lectures will start a new tradition and spark a forum where students and faculty will be able to discuss topics that engage them inside and outside of the classroom," Professor Rosenberg adds. All lectures are free and open to the public and will be delivered in Room 5/144 in the North Academic Center on the CCNY campus. More on this story.
39th Annual CCNY Poetry Festival to Take Place May 17
The 39th annual City College Poetry Festival, an all-day, all-verse event that has become New York’s longest-running, most established and democratic poetry celebration, will take place 9:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 17, in Theater B of Aaron Davis Hall. This year’s featured guest poet is Cornelius Eady. The event begins with readings by elementary school students, followed by poets from junior high schools. Starting around noon, the winners of the festival's city-wide High School Poetry Contest will recite their award-winning poems. They will be followed by readings by the featured guest poet, Mr. Eady. The festival concludes with college students, alumni, faculty and published poets from around the country reading their works from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Knopf Publishers Prize will award cash prizes to the top three winners of the citywide High School Poetry Contest. In addition, the festival will present a special award for the best poem in a language other than English. Reflecting the diversity of the city and of CCNY, poems have been submitted to the festival in almost 20 different languages over its history. More on this story.
From the President
Congratulations to the 23 young men and women who are competing as finalists for the first Kaylie Prize for Entrepreneurship. Your ideas show that the spirit of innovation is truly alive at City College. You grasp the importance of coupling advancements in science and technology to real human needs, and that is the force that has always propelled America’s economy forward.
As I scan headlines from around the world, I am struck by the great needs events have produced, especially in Japan, where a terrible tsunami, followed by catastrophic failures at a nuclear power complex, have resulted in great loss of life and untold property damage. In short, life for the Japanese has been turned upside down.
We have a strong relationship the city of Shimoda, where City College’s founder, Townsend Harris, opened the first U.S. consulate in Japan. Fortunately, Shimoda is south where the tsunami hit hardest. However, with all of Japan suffering we are reaching out to reaffirm our friendship. I have asked Maribel Marua to serve as campus relief coordinator. She can be reached at email@example.com and she welcomes your ideas.
In addition, Chancellor Goldstein has designated Frank Sanchez, CUNY vice chancellor for student affairs to serve as university relief coordinator. He is leading a CUNY-wide effort to encourage contributions to assist the Japanese people through the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City: https://www.nyc.gov/html/fund/html/donate/donate.shtml. I urge you to participate in the effort.
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