||Vol. 5 No. 4 May 18, 2010
Dr. Lisa Staiano-Coico to Become CCNY’s 12th President
The CUNY Board of Trustees has appointed Dr. Lisa Staiano-Coico, Temple University provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, to become the 12th president of The City College of New York. A nationally prominent educator and researcher in microbiology and immunology, Dr. Staiano-Coico had served as executive director of the Tri-Institutional Research Program, a $160 million research consortium of Cornell University, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Rockefeller University. She has also held senior academic and administrative leadership positions at Cornell’s Joan and Sanford I. Weill Medical College in New York City, including vice provost for medical and external affairs, senior associate dean for research, division chief of surgical research, and professorships in microbiology in surgery, microbiology in dermatology, and public health. As Temple’s provost, Dr. Staiano-Coico is responsible for 17 schools and colleges, including campuses in Tokyo and Rome; its undergraduate, graduate and professional programs and a budget of more than $600 million. A graduate of Brooklyn College, Dr. Staiano-Coico becomes the first CUNY alumna to lead City College. More on this story.
CCNY’S 164th Commencement Set for May 28
Dr. Leon M. Lederman, a 1943 CCNY graduate and one of its nine Nobel Laureates, will be the guest speaker at the College’s 164th Commencement Exercises, 10 a.m. Friday, May 28, on the College campus. In addition, the College will confer an honorary degree on Dr. H. Jack Geiger, Arthur C. Logan Professor of Community Medicine at the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, and present The City College President’s Medal for Distinguished Service to New York State Lt. Governor Richard Ravitch. CCNY previously conferred an honorary degree on Sy Sternberg, ’65 EE, philanthropist and former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of New York Life Insurance Co., at a physics symposium April 23. The Class of 2010 includes approximately 3,248 students, of whom approximately 2,051 are candidates for bachelor's degrees. Atin Saha, a 21-year-old Glen Oaks, Queens, resident, whose father graduated from CCNY in 1991, is the Class of 2010 Valedictorian. He will receive a BE in biomedical engineering and graduate with a 3.99 GPA. More on this story.
CCNY to Compete in 2011 Solar Decathlon
A team from the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture and the Grove School of Engineering at The City College of New York (CCNY) has been chosen as one of 20 finalists in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon for 2011. As Team New York, the CCNY students will compete against colleges and universities from the United States, Belgium, Canada, China and New Zealand to design, build and operate the most affordable, attractive, effective and energy-efficient solar-powered house. "The Solar Decathlon is a great project to educate and train the next generation of professionals in the emerging and needed fields of sustainable buildings and renewable energy," said Dr. Jorge Gonzalez, a mechanical engineering professor who is one of three principal faculty advisors to the CCNY team. More than 100 students are expected to work on the project between now and fall 2011, when the completed structure will be put on public display on the National Mall in Washington and compete in 10 categories. In addition, the project is a "great way to kick off CCNY’s new graduate program, Sustainability in the Urban Environment," noted Christian Volkmann, an architecture professor who is also a faculty advisor. "It will help put the program on the map." More on this story.
CCNY Listed in Princeton Review Green College Guide
The City College of New York is one of 286 U.S. colleges and universities selected for inclusion in the Princeton Review’s "Guide to Green Colleges." The Guide, presented in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council, lists "colleges and universities that have demonstrated an exemplary commitment to sustainability." CCNY was one of three CUNY colleges included in the Guide. "City College has been making tremendous efforts to incorporate sustainability into its operations, its curriculum and its research activities, and it is most heartening to learn that Princeton Review has ranked us among America’s greenest colleges and universities," said CCNY Interim President Robert E. Paaswell. President Paaswell noted that CCNY is about to publish its Climate Action Plan, which will serve as a 40-year roadmap "to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to an effective level of zero." City College’s "legacy of excellence defines the college’s sustainability program," the Guide said in its listing. It cited CCNY for its commitment to the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment as well as Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Further, it recognized the efforts of CCNY Green, the College’s sustainability initiative, to "rethink the way we teach, learn, conduct research, operate, and live." More on this story.
CCNY Named Outstanding Delegation at National Model U.N.
The City College of New York’s (CCNY) Model United Nations team won "Outstanding Delegation" in the 2010 National Model United Nations (NMUN) Conference at the United Nations and the Sheraton Hotel in Manhattan, held March 28 through April 3. CCNY was one of 17 institutions to receive this designation in the 2010 competition, which attracted over 300 colleges and universities from five continents. The CCNY team was its own mini United Nations. The 13 members of the delegation hailed from 13 different countries of origin. The conference replicates four of the main committees of the U.N. General Assembly and Security Council. Delegates discuss and build upon resolutions that they research and write before the conference. Topics include current events and long-standing international disputes that fall under U.N. jurisdiction. CCNY student delegates selected the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (East Timor), located in Southeast Asia, as the country to represent. They addressed issues related to privatization, financial crisis, the environment and millennium development goals. Sophomore Humaira Hansrod and senior Elida Jbeili, served as Head Delegates for the 11-member CCNY contingent. "Our strong commitment and dedication led us to success," said Ms. Hansrod. More on this story.
CCNY Student Film Wins Emmy and Student Oscar
For her thesis project, Maria Royo, ’09 MFA, a graduate film student who attended The City College of New York (CCNY) on a Fulbright Scholarship, turned the camera on her family. The resulting film, "Rediscovering Pape," won for Best Documentary at the 31st College Television Awards and is a winner in the 37th annual student Academy Awards, giving CCNY three awards in the competition over the past five years. "Rediscovering Pape," is Ms. Royo’s heartfelt attempt to reconcile her memories of a close childhood relationship with her great-grandfather, who, she learned, had a Nazi past. She travels through Europe to trace his footsteps, break her family’s silence and discover the true nature of complicated choices. The 25-minute film, which was edited by classmate Za Martohardjono, also took first prize at the Citivisions and CUFF festivals, which showcase student work at City College and CUNY, respectively. The film has also been shown at the Camerimage in Poland, Documenta Madrid, Seville Film Fest, the Women’s International Film Festival in Miami, Bombshell in New York and East River Market in the Czech Republic. In another coup for City College’s film program, two CCNY-produced programs scooped four Emmys at the 53rd Annual New York Emmy® Awards Gala. "Nueva York," and "We Are New York," both of which air on local television, won two Emmys each. More on this story.
Ten CCNY Students Chosen Sophie and Leonard Davis Scholars
Academic excellence, community service and a sense of compassion and empathy have earned ten fourth-year students in the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education at The City College of New York (CCNY) $30,000 scholarships for their medical studies. The 2010 Sophie and Leonard Davis Scholarship recipients are: Christopher Bandera, Akia Caine, Anna Chan, Christina Chien, Lucyna Cieciura, Amy Edelstein, Helen Ho, Melissa Jackson, Mandeep Kainth and Maria Khalid. Dr. Eitan Friedman, Acting Dean of the Sophie Davis School, announced the scholarships. The awards support the students for their last two years at Sophie Davis and their two years of clinical study at cooperating medical schools. "Through the generosity of Sophie and Leonard Davis, we are honoring their spirit and commitment to education by recognizing ten outstanding young men and women," Dr. Friedman said. Now in its 37th year, Sophie Davis offers a unique seven-year BS/MD program that integrates an undergraduate education with the first two years of medical school. After five years at CCNY, students transfer seamlessly to one of six medical schools for the final two years of medical education and their MD degree. More on this story.
Maurice Selby Awarded 2010 Salk Scholarship
CCNY Senior Maurice Selby has been awarded the 2010 Jonas E. Salk Scholarship to study medicine. He is among eight CUNY students to receive the prestigious scholarship, which was presented in a ceremony May 12 at Baruch College. Mr. Selby, a Bronx resident originally from Staten Island, will receive an $8,000 stipend to assist with medical school. The prestigious Salk Scholarships are awarded to students chosen by a panel of distinguished physicians for their outstanding academic records, quality of their research projects and volunteer work. The scholarships are named for Dr. Jonas E. Salk, a 1934 graduate of City College who developed the polio vaccine in 1955. Dr. Salk turned down a tickertape parade in honor of his discovery, asking that the money be used for scholarships. That year, New York City provided initial funding for the Salk Scholarships. At CCNY, Mr. Selby majored in English with a minor in premedical studies. Next fall, he will commence his studies toward becoming an MD at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. More on this story.
CCNY Wins 3 Awards at Vienna Science Conference
Twenty-three undergraduate and graduate students from The City College of New York (CCNY) traveled to Austria April 7 - 9 to participate in the Junior Science Conference 2010 at the Technical University of Vienna. Senior computer engineering major Igor Labutov took first prize in the masters-level poster competition; two other CCNY students also received prizes. The biannual event, which presents student research in four areas - computational science and engineering, materials and matter, information and communication technology, and energy and environment – attracted more than 200 students from colleges and universities in 14 countries. CCNY had the second largest delegation after the host school and was the only U.S. institution to participate, noted Elizabeth Rudolph, CCNY assistant to the dean of science. Mr. Labutov won for his poster, "Generating Near-Spherical Probabilistic Range Panoramas Using a Single Camera Catadioptric Stereo Rig," and received a €1,000 prize. The poster describes new sensors he helped develop for flying robots that allows the robot to see in almost every direction and sense depth. Applications for the sensors include surveillance and mapping indoor settings. Other winners from CCNY were Magdalini Katehis, a senior environmental science and engineering major, who took fifth place in the masters-level competition, and Xiaodong Yang, a PhD candidate in electrical and computer engineering, who took fourth place in the PhD-level contest. More on this story.
PhD Student Feng Miao Wins Intelligent Transportation Award
Feng Miao, a PhD candidate in the Grove School of Engineering at The City College of New York (CCNY), has won the Intelligent Transportation Society of New York’s (ITS-NY) 2010 Student Award. She will attend ITS-NY’s 17th Annual Meeting and Technology Exhibition, June 10-11, in Saratoga Springs, to receive her award. Her winning paper, "Application of WIM Technology to Evaluate the Safety of Highway Bridges," describes how site-specific truck weight and traffic data collected using weight-in-motion (WIM) systems can be used to evaluate the safety of bridges in New York State. "Recent catastrophic failures of bridge structures, such as the collapse of the I-35W Mississippi River Bridge in Minnesota in 2007, the collapse of the I-40 Bridge in Oklahoma in 2002, due to corrosion have alerted the bridge engineering community to the importance of reviewing current bridge safety evaluation procedures and the implementation of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) technology in the safety assessment process," said Feng, who has a 3.85 G.P.A. This is the second award she has won during this academic year. Last September, she was awarded the first John Fisher Student Award from the New York Bridge Engineering Conference. More on this story.
Michael Sorkin Wins American Academy Architecture Award
Michael Sorkin, Distinguished Professor of Architecture and Director of the Graduate Urban Design Program at The City College of New York's (CCNY) Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, was chosen as a recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters 2010 Architecture Awards. Professor Sorkin was selected for the award, which carries a $7,500 prize, in recognition of his body of work in architecture, research and criticism. "As a critic, I call them as I see them," said Professor Sorkin, who has written or edited 16 books to date. "It is important in an appearance-obsessed era to understand architecture not so much for how it looks but for what its effects are, including its social effects." Professor Sorkin’s research focuses on social, environmental, technical and philosophical contexts of architecture and urbanism. Among his long-advocated ideas that have gained increased acceptance are highly autonomous planning, mixed-use development of waterfront areas and dramatically increased pedestrian space in cities, of which the Times Square Pedestrian Plaza is one example. More on this story.
CCNY Historian Barbara Ann Naddeo Wins 114th Rome Prize
Dr. Barbara Ann Naddeo, Associate Professor of History at The City College of New York (CCNY), was named a winner of the 114th Rome Prize by The American Academy in Rome. Professor Naddeo received the award in the Renaissance and Early Modern Italian Studies field, which entitles its recipient to an academic-year-long fellowship at the academy. Beginning September 2010, she will spend a year in Rome as one of a cohort of American scholars working and residing at the academy for the pursuit of academic and artistic projects. The Rome Prize honors Professor Naddeo’s ground-breaking scholarship in her book-in-progress, "Birth of a Metropolis: The Open City and the Social Sciences of Naples, 1650—1800." A specialist in the intellectual and cultural history of early modern Europe, with a focus on Italy, she postulates in "Birth of a Metropolis" that the notion of a city as a laboratory, if usually linked with the intellectual endeavors of the 20th century, can be dated to the early modern period (approximately C.E. 1500 to C.E. 1800). Professor Naddeo will use the fellowship to continue her research. More on this story.
Five Employees Receive S.T.A.R. Awards
Five City College employees were chosen as 2010 recipients of the College’s S.T.A.R. Awards, presented by Interim President Robert E. Paaswell and the Office of Human Resources. S.T.A.R. , which stands for Service, Teamwork, Action and Results, recognizes a very elite group of employees for stellar on-the-job performance. The 2010 recipients are: Wendell Freeman, college lab technician, for his exemplary technical support and service to the art department, ; Dr. Reza Khanbilvardi, Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of the NOAA-CREST Center, for his leadership in establishing and institutionalizing the multi-disciplinary research paradigm at CCNY; Maribel Morua, Director of International Student Services, for quality and determined service to her department, students and the college community; Karen Mackey-Witherspoon, Director of Urban and Government Affairs, for her essential role in promoting the first-rate reputation of City College to the community-at-large, and Robin Villa, Director of Honors Center, for her excellent leadership and careful attention to the needs and concerns of students. The awards were presented at the beginning of the College’s Longevity Awards Event, May 13, at which 134 employees observed service anniversaries and 21 retirees were recognized for their service.
Film Professor’s Documentary to Debut on PBS May 24
From 1866 to 1955, the Bordentown School in Bordentown, NJ, was an educational utopia for African-Americans, who were largely disenfranchised by the American education system. Known as "The Tuskegee of the North," the school was an incubator of black pride and intellect where generations of children learned values, discipline and life skills. More than half a century after its closing, David Davidson, Professor in the MCA Department and Director of the MFA in Media Arts Production, recounts the story of this unique institution in his latest documentary "A Place Out of Time – The Bordentown School." Co-produced by Amber Edwards and narrated by Ruby Dee, it premieres nationally May 24 on PBS (9 p.m., Channel Thirteen in New York). Two members of CCNY’s music department also worked on the project: Paul Kozel, Associate Professor and Director of the Sonic Arts Center supervised the audio production, and Ray Gallon, a lecturer, composed and performed some of the score. The Bordentown School was the last all-black, publicly funded, co-educational boarding school north of the Mason-Dixon line. Professor Davidson, who has won two Emmy awards and several other honors, tells the story of the school’s birth, growth and decline through interviews with alumni, scholars and historians, and a treasure trove of archival footage and photographs. More on this story.
Professor Brings Conservation Biology to Secondary Schools
As a middle school science teacher at Hunter High School, Yael Wyner wanted to integrate conservation biology, which is typically taught in college, into the environmental science curriculum. One of the drawbacks, she discovered, was that "students learned about ecology and human impact separately and couldn’t connect the two." That connection is critical, she explained, because "for students to be able to make informed decisions on environmental issues, they need to be able to understand the ecology. You can’t have informed citizens without that understanding." At Hunter, she developed an approach to show her students how complex ecological processes, such as food webs, could be disrupted by human activity, and she applied real data to show that impact. Now an assistant professor of secondary science education at The City College of New York (CCNY), she and collaborators from the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) are refining and testing those methods, supported by a three-year National Science Foundation grant. "We want students to develop better scientific understanding of ecological processes. By looking at how human activity affects ecology and how the ecology responds we can foster that understanding," says Professor Wyner. Additionally, she hopes that bringing conservation biology into secondary schools will encourage students to pursue careers and live lifestyles that reduce the negative impact of human activity. More on this story.
From the President
May at City College is about great weather and great grads. Well, maybe the weather isn’t always great, but you can always count on the grads – we have 3,248 of them, who will receive their degrees following our 164th Commencement, May 28.
We have prepared a website with profiles and photos of a dozen Great Grads whose accomplishments and personal stories are truly remarkable. I’m sure you’ll want to read each one.
I also am proud that a team from the Bernard & Anne Spitzer School of Architecture and the Grove School of Engineering has been named a finalist to compete in U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon. We are one of 20 teams competing in 10 areas to build the most the affordable, attractive and energy-efficient solar-powered house. You’ll be reading lots more about this project in the year ahead.
You’ll also be reading a lot about Dr. Lisa Staiano-Coico, who was selected by the CUNY Board of Trustees last month to become the 12th President of The City College of New York. She will join us in August from Temple University, where she is Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. She not only brings an impressive academic record, but also the enthusiasm, energy and vision to lead City College to new heights.
Robert E. Paaswell
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