||Vol. 6 No. 4 May 11, 2011
Geoffrey Canada to Address CCNY’S 165th Commencement
Geoffrey Canada, the founder and chief executive officer of Harlem Children’s Zone and a nationally recognized education reform advocate, will be the guest speaker at The City College of New York’s 165th Commencement Exercises, 10 a.m., Friday, June 3 on the CCNY campus. In addition, CCNY will confer honorary degrees on: real estate developer and philanthropist Bernard Spitzer, ’43; former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, ’81; physicist Anthony M. Johnson, and entrepreneur and philanthropist Bert Brodsky, ’64. Construction manager, contractor and real estate developer Frank Sciame, ’74, will receive The City College President’s Medal for Distinguished Service. CCNY President Lisa Staiano-Coico will preside over the commencement exercises. She will confer degrees upon approximately 3,699 members of the Class of 2011, which includes approximately 2,417 candidates for bachelor's degrees. Joshua Usani, is the Class of 2011 Valedictorian. A Bronx resident and Nigerian immigrant who came to the United States in 2006, he will receive a BS in Biology, summa cum laude, and will attend Yale University School of Medicine in August. More on this story.
CCNY Appoints Martin Moskovits Provost
Dr. Martin Moskovits, a scholar, university administrator and business executive who is a recognized leader in nanoscience and nanotechnology, will become the next provost and chief academic officer of The City College of New York, effective August 1. The CUNY Board of Trustees approved his appointment May 2. "Martin Moskovits brings to City College an international reputation as a scholar in his fields of nanoscience and nanotechnology, and more than 30 years of experience in teaching and increasingly higher positions in university administration," said Dr. Lisa Staiano-Coico, president of City College, who announced the appointment. "His success in industry and entrepreneurship and his experience in university/governmental relations are joined with a deep commitment to the liberal arts and undergraduate education, and to the success of all of our students." Currently, Dr. Moskovits is a professor of physical chemistry at University of California – Santa Barbara, where he has been a faculty member since 2000. He served as the university’s dean of science from 2000 to 2007. More on this story.
CCNY History Majors Garner Top PhD Fellowships
The City College of New York history department launched a research colloquium in the spring 2010 semester that would give its top students a "writing sample they can use to apply to graduate school." A year later, the effort has paid off handsomely as four graduating seniors have been admitted to top PhD programs on full, five-year fellowships. The four students and the schools that have admitted them are: Diana Sierra, University of Michigan; Fidel Tavarez, Princeton University; Michael Hattem and Rodion Kosovsky, Yale University. Three of the four also benefited from the City College and Mellon Mays Fellowship programs, which provide support to students interested in academic careers. In addition, two students transferred to CCNY from community colleges in the CUNY system. "There has been a tremendous resurgence of interest in history at City College," said Dr. Clifford Rosenberg, the department chair, who added that the number of history majors at CCNY has climbed from 35 to 225. The increase made it possible to offer the research colloquium, which requires a 3.6 or higher GPA to enroll, as well as more upper-level courses that apply toward the major and are taught by professors. More on this story.
3 CCNY Students Win NSF Graduate Research Fellowships
Two current City College of New York students and a recent graduate have won National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships to pursue research-based graduate study in the sciences. The award will provide $121,500 each over three years to graduating senior Anthony Pang, graduate student Giovanni Milione and alumna Evangeleen Pattison, ’10. The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship recognizes and supports exceptional students in science, technology, engineering or mathematics who have proposed graduate-level research projects in their fields. The award provides a $30,000 annual stipend and a $10,500 annual cost-of-education allowance. Fellows also gain international research and professional development opportunities and access to the TeraGrid Supercomputer for research analysis. Mr. Pang, a mechanical engineering major who has done research in satellite design, among other areas, will follow his dreams to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for PhD studies in aeronautical and aerospace engineering in the fall. As a student in Professor Manuel Martinez-Sanchez’s lab, he will research and develop plasma dynamic simulations for space thrusters. More on this story.
Undergrad Johnson Ho Named 2011 Goldwater Scholar
Johnson Shiuan-Jiun Ho, a junior biomedical engineering major in the Grove School of Engineering and Macaulay Honors College at The City College of New York, has been awarded a Goldwater Scholarship for 2011. The national award recognizes undergraduate students who demonstrate academic excellence and outstanding potential for future scientific research. "I wholeheartedly congratulate Johnson on his achievement," said CCNY President Lisa Staiano-Coico. "He is a brilliant, hard-working student who, like so many others at CCNY, has taken advantage of the mentoring and research opportunities we offer through the Grove School of Engineering and Macaulay Honors College to excel. He joins a stellar crop of CCNY students who this year have already won two Truman Scholars, three J.K. Watson Fellowships, and a Math for America Fellowship." This year the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation selected 275 sophomores and juniors out of 1,095 students nominated by faculty from academic institutions around the country to receive the scholarship. It provides up to $7,500 per year to be used for undergraduate tuition, books, fees, and room and board. More on this story.
Three CCNY Students Named 2011 Salk Scholars
3 CCNY Students Receive Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship
Deborah Ayeni, Maria Otazo and Joshua Usani, members of The City College of New York Class of 2011, have been selected to receive 2011 Jonas E. Salk Scholarships awarded by The City University of New York. The awards recognize the high ability and scholarship of students who plan careers in medicine and the biological sciences and who are judged likely to make significant contributions to medicine and research. They are selected on the basis of original research papers undertaken with prominent scientist/mentors. "I commend this year’s Salk Scholars on their commitment to academic quality and to public service, whether as physicians treating the sick and underprivileged, or as researchers working toward medical breakthroughs," said CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein in announcing the selections. "Their work exemplifies the proud legacy of Dr. Jonas E. Salk." "I join with Chancellor Goldstein in congratulating Deborah, Maria, Joshua and the winners from the other CUNY Colleges," said CCNY President Lisa Staiano-Coico. "These accomplishments are fitting tributes to their hard work, and passion and to the support they received from their mentors." More on this story.
City College of New York students Jose Esteban Rodriguez Alverio, Elizabeth Kelman and Nicholas Macaluso have received Jeannette K. Watson Fellowships for 2011. They are among 15 undergraduate recipients from 12 New York City colleges and universities. The fellowship, a program of the Thomas J. Watson Foundation, is a three-year program centered around three summer internships that provide fellows with professional development opportunities and mentoring. The internships include a stipend of $5,000 for the first two summers and $6,000 for the final summer. Watson fellows intern with nonprofit agencies, business organizations, and in government service. Through partnerships with the Institute of International Education, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Save the Children and other organizations, fellows can apply for international assignments for the third summer. More on this story.
Michio Kaku to Deliver Samuel Rudin Lecture May 16
Dr. Michio Kaku, Henry Semat Chair and Professor of Theoretical Physics at The City College of New York, has been in great demand around the country to speak on his best-selling book, "Physics of the Future." He will have home court advantage, however, when he presents the Samuel Rudin Distinguished Visiting Scholars Lecture 5:30 p.m. Monday, May 16 in the Great Hall of Shepard Hall on the CCNY campus, 160 Convent Avenue, New York. The event is free and open to the public. Professor Kaku is the co-founder of string field theory, a branch of string theory, and is continuing Albert Einstein’s research to unite the four fundamental forces of nature into one unified theory. He is also a best-selling author, futurist, television and radio personality and popularizer of science. "While Michio Kaku is known to most of the world through his books and media appearances, thousands of City College students have been privileged to have him as a classroom teacher or mentor," said CCNY President Lisa Staiano-Coico. "It is truly special to have one of our own deliver the Rudin Lecture, and there is no more fitting place for him to speak than our own Great Hall." More on this story.
CCNY Hosts 11th Annual CUNY Jazz Festival, May 12 – 13
The 11th annual CUNY Jazz Festival, a gathering of bands and ensemble from across the CUNY system, takes place May 12-13 in Aaron Davis Hall, Theater B, at The City College of New York. Chris Potter, hailed by "Down Beat" magazine as one of most studied saxophonists on the planet, will be the festival’s guest artist. The festival opens 12 noon Thursday, May 12, with a performance by the CCNY Jazz faculty ensemble comprising professors John Patitucci, Dan Carillo, Scott Reeves and Mike Holober. This year’s festival features ensembles from CCNY and four other CUNY colleges: Hunter College, Queens College, York College, and the College of Staten Island. Student groups perform from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday. Mr. Potter, will play a guest solo with the CCNY Big Band and host an open jam session 7:30 p.m Thursday. He will also perform with his own group, "Chris Potter Underground," at the Gala Concert to close the festival, which begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 13. More on this story.
Engineering Societies Honor Two Grove School Professors
Two professors in the Grove School of Engineering at The City College of New York have been elected to top honors in their respective fields. Dr. Robert E. Paaswell, Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering, has been elected a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Dr. Mitchell B. Schaffler, Wallace Coulter and Presidential Professor of Biomedical Engineering, has been elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows. "‘Buz’ Paaswell and Mitch Schaffler are pillars of the Grove School faculty and we are very proud that these prestigious societies have recognized their contributions to their respective fields," said Dean Joseph Barba in congratulating them. "Having faculty of their caliber holds out the promise that our students will benefit from access to professors of world-class stature." Distinguished membership in ASCE is given to persons who have attained acknowledged superiority in engineering. In the society’s 159-year history only 614 other engineers have attained this status. Professor Paaswell, who served as interim president of CCNY, 2009 – 2010, is one of 14 distinguished members elected this year. He will be inducted at the 141st ASCE Annual Civil Engineering Conference this October in Memphis, Tenn. More on this story.
Music Professor Jon Pieslak Named Guggenheim Fellow
Dr. Jonathan Pieslak, associate professor of music at The City College of New York, is one of 180 scholars, artists, and scientists from the United States and Canada awarded Guggenheim Fellowships for 2011. His project, a study of the music of indoctrination and propaganda in extremist cultures, was chosen from among nearly 3,000 applicants. Professor Pieslak’s proposal grew out of his widely acclaimed 2009 book "Sound Targets: American Soldiers and Music in the Iraq War" (Indiana University Press), in which he devoted a chapter to the use of music as a recruiting tool by Al Qaeda of Iraq. "There is a strong correlation between that kind of music and what happens in other extremist communities," he says. A scholar who has published extensively on critical theory, popular and metal music and music and war, his goal is to study how extremist groups appropriate music as a propaganda and indoctrination tool. While there has been much scholarship on the role of emotion in extremism, Professor Pieslak aims to take that a step further and examine how music can be used to take a message and animate it through emotion. More on this story.
Art Workshop Stretches High School Students’ Creative Skills
Late every Tuesday afternoon, 16 students from nine New York City high schools convene in a studio on the third floor of Shepard Hall on The City College of New York campus. For two hours, they stretch their creative talents as early-career and aspiring art teachers get to practice their pedagogical skills outside the classroom. "We’re giving high school students the chance to explore and experiment like (college-level) art students," said Marit Dewhurst, CCNY director and visiting assistant professor of art education. "They learn outside the hierarchical structure of typical high school classes and get to make their own artistic choices." The program, launched this spring and called City Art Lab, is part after-school course and part art education graduate student lab. It is run in collaboration with Creative Arts Workshops for Kids (CAW), a nonprofit organization that utilizes the visual and performing arts to teach life skills to children and teens. Partial support comes from the Office of the Dean for Humanities and the Arts at City College. More on this story.
CCNY Historian Edits Book on Pakistan
Since its inception 64 years ago, Pakistan’s quest for democracy has been tenuous. In "Pakistan: From the Rhetoric of Democracy to the Rise of Militancy," edited by Dr. Ravi Kalia, professor of history at The City College of New York, readers get an idea of why. Published by Routledge (2011), the book comprises essays by scholars and diplomats from three continents. They reflect on the political, social, military and urban history of Pakistan with focus on its search for democracy as well as its pivotal role in the global war on terror. It is the only non-NATO country aligned with the United States in the war on terror. Pakistan was carved out of British India in 1947 as a homeland for Indian Muslims and has alternated between military and civilian rule since. While the political rhetoric by successive leaders from both sides has indicated a desire for democracy, liberalism, freedom of expression and other such progressive concepts, the reality has been starkly different. Instead, the world’s sixth most populous nation, nuclear-armed with a population exceeding 170 million, has continued to drift towards increasing authoritarianism, religious extremism and intolerance against minorities. More on this story.
CCNY Professor’s CUNY-TV Series Wins 3 New York Emmys
"Nueva York," the CUNY-TV Spanish-language cultural series created and produced by CCNY film Professor Jerry Carlson, won three New York Emmy Awards at the 54th annual awards ceremony, April 3. This is the third year in a row the program has been recognized. Since the show’s debut in October 2005 it has won six New York Emmys. The 30-minute show took home awards in three different categories: historical/cultural, for "Mariachi Real de Mexico;" magazine program, for "Best of Season 5;" and arts for "Joaquin Cortes." Six graduates of the CCNY master of fine arts program in media arts production serve as segment producers for the series: Sarah Foudy, Wilson Reyes, Mario Rosales, Yolanda Pividal, Carmen Vidal and Gisela Saunders Alcantara. "Nueva York" explores the rich textures of Latino society in the city, focusing on politics, art, culture, and the traditions of Spanish-speaking populations across the metropolitan area. The series also offers documentary segments about events, exhibits, concerts and institutions. More on this story.
From the President
It is hard for me to believe that my freshman year as president of City College has passed so quickly and that in three weeks I will preside over my first commencement. This has been a remarkable year in which I have gotten to know so many of our dedicated faculty and staff and, especially, our amazing students.
We are truly proud that this year so many of them have been recognized for their excellence with fellowships to top graduate schools, Truman Scholarships, Salk Scholarships, Goldwater Scholarships, J.K. Watson Fellowships and other awards too numerous to mention.
My congratulations to our Class of 2011 graduates! Commencement is a true celebratory moment for our grads, who have dedicated their time to their studies and overcome many obstacles to earn their degrees. I join with your families and friends in wishing you the best of luck in all your ventures.
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