||Vol. 5 No. 9 November 10, 2010
Mario Vargas Llosa Speaks at CCNY November 18
Mario Vargas Llosa, the 2010 Nobel Laureate in Literature, will deliver the CCNY President’s Lecture 5:30 p.m. Thursday, November 18, in the Great Hall. Prior to his address, CCNY President Lisa Staiano-Coico will bestow upon him the honorary degree Doctor of Letters. Mr. Vagas Llosa’s topic will be "Return of the Monsters." His lecture comes two weeks after the launch of his latest novel, "El sueño del celta" ("The Celtic's Dream"). The event is free and open to the public, however reservations are recommended. "Mario Vargas Llosa has been a literary giant in the Spanish-speaking world for decades, with his critically acclaimed writing across different genres," President Staiano-Coico said. "It is a privilege for us at The City College to host one of his first public lectures since he was awarded the Nobel Prize last month." In awarding him the Nobel Prize, the Swedish Academy noted Mr. Vargas Llosa’s "cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt and defeat," over his illustrious writing career. He is the first Latin American writer to win the prize since Octavio Paz in 1990 and only the sixth since the award was established in 1901. More on this story.
CCNY Sweeps Police Foundation Student Ad Competition
In a collaborative effort, The City College of New York’s advertising/public relations program (AD/PR) in the media and communication arts department and the art department’s electronic design and multimedia program (EDM) swept the New York City Police Foundation’s 2010 advertising competition. They took the top three prizes in the print category, besting teams from Pratt Institute and Parsons The New School for Design. "We’re extremely proud of this achievement, especially since it offered a unique opportunity for our two programs to collaborate in a cross-disciplinary way," said Professor Nancy R. Tag, deputy chair of the media and communication arts department. "Not only is this a spectacular win for our students, but it puts a deserving spotlight on City College. It was an honor to compete with some of the best design schools in the country – and even nicer to win." The awards were presented in a ceremony at CCNY October 21. More on this story.
Dean Ranalli to Receive Sidney L. Strauss Award
George Ranalli, under whose tenure as dean the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture has been transformed into a first-tier design school, will be awarded the Sidney L. Strauss Award from the New York Society of Architects. Dean Ranalli, who has led the school since 1999, will be recognized for outstanding achievements within the architectural profession at the society’s annual awards dinner, November 18. "I felt there was no better choice for this award at this time than George Ranalli," said David J. Millner, first vice president of the New York Society of Architects. "Dean Ranalli has led the school to new heights through various competitions and also strives to give his students the best." Under Dean Ranalli’s direction, the Spitzer School of Architecture is training its students to be socially conscious, well-rounded and highly skilled architects. "I wanted to create a program that could offer its students the same training and necessary skills of any private university," he said. "I want my students to feel confident in their capabilities and to know that they, too, can compete on any level." More on this story.
Spitzer School Team Wins in ‘Build a Better Burb’ Competition
Replacing the asphalt pavement in parking lots with permeable grass-pavers that can withstand car traffic and sustain biomass would not only improve their aesthetics but help fight global warming. That idea was one of the elements of a winning proposal submitted by a team of landscape architects from the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture in the Long Island Index’s "Build a Better Burb" competition. The team, consisting of Denise Hoffman Brandt, associate professor of landscape architecture, and Alexa Helsell and Bronwyn Gropp, May 2010 graduates of the MS program in landscape architecture, was one of five winners selected by a jury of distinguished professionals and academics from a pool of more than 200 entries. The winners were announced at a press conference October 4 in Woodbury, N.Y. Each team received a $4,000 prize. The Build a Better Burb competition sought ideas to retrofit downtown areas of Long Island communities and make better use of over 8,000 acres of land in these areas that is either undeveloped or used for parking. The CCNY team’s proposal, "Building C-Burbia," called for a new infrastructure system that could be used for near-term biomass storage and long-term carbon sequestration. More on this story.
Dr. Jeffrey Gordon Delivers 2010 Cosloy-Blank Lecture
Dr. Jeffrey I. Gordon, M.D., will deliver the 5th Annual Sharon Cosloy-Edward Blank Lecture at The City College of New York 4 p.m. Wednesday, December 8. His topic will be "The human gut microbiome: dining in with trillions of friends." The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will take place in Room 250, Shepard Hall, and will be followed by a reception in Room 150, Shepard Hall. Dr. Gordon is the Dr. Robert J. Glaser Distinguished University Professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and director of the school’s Center for Genome Sciences and Systems Biology, an interdepartmental, interdisciplinary research consortium. He joined the Washington University faculty after completing his clinical training in internal medicine and gastroenterology, and spending three years as a research associate at the National Institutes of Health. He headed the school’s Department of Molecular Biology and Pharmacology from 1991-2004. From 1994 to 2003, he also served as director of the University’s Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences, which oversees all PhD and MD/PhD students in the biological sciences. He has mentored more than 100 PhD students, MD/PhD students and post-doctoral fellows. More on this story.
Division of Science Presents Nobel Prize Panels
Do you want to know more about the winners of the 2010 Nobel Prizes as well as top awards given in architecture, geosciences and mathematics? Then attend "Who Won the Nobel Prize* this Year and Why," two panel discussions featuring short presentations by City College faculty experts, 4:45 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Monday, November 15, and Tuesday, November 16, in Room 95, Shepard Hall, The City College of New York. The event, which is free and open to the public, is presented by CCNY’s Division of Science. "The Nobel Prizes, the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the Crafoord Prize and the Fields Medal in mathematics are the world’s most prestigious honors in their respective fields," said Dr. Ruth Stark, interim dean of the Division of Science. "These presentations will offer students and other members of the City College community a chance to learn from people with expertise in the winners’ fields why they were chosen, the significance of their work and the importance of these prizes." More on this story.
Professor Tu Invited to National Academy Symposium
Dr. Raymond Tu, assistant professor of chemical engineering in the Grove School of Engineering, is one of 53 young researchers and educators nationwide invited to attend the National Academy of Engineering’s 2010 Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium. The event, which will bring together innovative, early-career engineering professors from more than 40 institutions, will be held December 13 – 16 in Irvine, Calif. Professor Tu, who was voted the Grove School’s teacher of the year in 2009, and the other attendees selected to participate were nominated by fellow engineers or deans and picked from a highly competitive pool of applicants. The symposium will provide them with an atmosphere to share ideas and opinions on the best practices in education and bring back new ideas and practices to their home institutions. "I am excited to be surrounded by like-minded educators and to gather different opinions on the future of education within the field of engineering," Professor Tu said. "I want my students to leave CCNY confident in their abilities to answer open-ended engineering questions and design real-world systems." More on this story.
Professor Emeritus H. Jack Geiger Receives Schweitzer Prize
Dr. H. Jack Geiger, a founding faculty member of the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, who has focused his career on health, poverty and human rights, has been awarded the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism. He was honored at a dinner during The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) Conference, held October 16 in Baltimore, M.D. A co-founder and past president of Physicians for Human Rights and Physicians for Social Responsibility, Dr. Geiger is Arthur C. Logan Professor Emeritus of Community Medicine at Sophie Davis. He joined the school in 1978 as founding chair of the Department of Community Health and Social Medicine and continued in that role until his retirement in 1996. CCNY awarded him the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters at its 2010 Commencement. "Dr. Geiger has spent the past five decades extending fundamental health services to millions of low-income patients, bringing professionals from numerous health disciplines together to advance civil and human rights, and inspiring others to follow in his footsteps by his powerful example," said Dr. Lachlan Forrow, president of ASF. "He brilliantly exemplifies Dr. Albert Schweitzer’s mantra that ‘example is not the main thing; it is the only thing.’" More on this story.
Philippines May Have More Unique Bird Species: Biologist
Recent work by Dr. David Lohman, assistant professor of biology, suggests the Philippines, considered by biologists to be a "biodiversity hotspot," could have more unique species of birds than previously thought. If that proves to be the case, it could have important ramifications for conservation practices there. Many of the animal species found in the Philippines are endemic to this nation, which is made up of more than 7,100 islands. For example, 64 percent of its land mammal species and 77 percent of its amphibians are not found anywhere else. However, only 31 percent of its bird species are considered Philippines-only. To test whether the Philippines’ bird fauna might include unrecognized distinct species, Professor Lohman studied seven species of small, perching birds that are found in that country and elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Through a series of genetics tests to reconstruct evolutionary histories and identify genetic differences, he found that samples from Philippines populations of the species were always distinct from samples from other parts of Southeast Asia. More on this story.
CCNY Exhibit Shows What Not to Wear Over the Ages
That illusory, often tongue-in-cheek concept of "fashion police" might be the modern creation of disapproving designers and critics, but it is as old as the ages. In fact, centuries ago the wrong outfit could get you in legal hot water. For example, during the Renaissance, Italian cities fined women whose hemlines were too high or necklines too low. In 15th century England, Parliament dictated what types of cloth different members of society could wear. Fashion dictates in societies past and present is the theme of a new City College of New York Libraries exhibit, "What Not to Wear: Rites, Ranks and Regulations," that runs through December 31, 2010. It is on display in the Cohen Library Atrium, located in CCNY’s North Academic Center (NAC) building, 138th and Convent Ave., Manhattan. "This exhibit takes a historical and cultural approach to fashion, documenting instances when dress has been dictated not by style but by law and custom," said co-curator Daisy V. Domínguez, reference librarian & exhibits coordinator in the Cohen Library. More on this story.
From the President
Our Fall events calendar is filled with a wide array of wonderful lectures, concerts and theatrical presentations. I’m truly excited that 2010 Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa will deliver this year’s Presidential Lecture, 5:30 p.m. Thursday, November 18, in The Great Hall. The College will confer upon him the honorary degree Doctor of Letters at that time.
Also, make plans to attend the Fifth Annual Sharon Cosloy-Edward Blank Lecture, 4 pm Wednesday, December 8, in Room 250, Sheard Hall. The speaker, Dr. Jeffrey I. Gordon, M.D, the Dr. Robert J. Glaser Distinguished University Professor at Washington University School of Medicine, promises a fascinating talk on the microbiome of the human gut and the mutually beneficial host-microbial relationships that not only aid our digestion but play a role in our genetic makeup and overall well-being.
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