||Vol. 1 No. 5 July 5, 2006
Joe Barba Named Dean of The Grove School of Engineering
Joe Barba has been named Dean of The Grove School of Engineering, President Williams announced in mid-June. Dr. Barba, a CCNY alumnus and member of the Faculty for 24 years, had been Acting Dean since July 2004. From June 2002 to June 2004, he had served as Deputy Provost, and from 1997 to 2000 he was Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies for the School of Engineering. “As a son of immigrants from Mexico and a product of City College, there is no one fitter than Joe Barba to lead a school that its namesake, Andrew Grove, described as an ‘American Dream Machine,’” President Williams said in a statement. In addition to his duties as Dean, Dr. Barba serves as advisor to the CCNY Chapter of the Latin American Engineering Student Association-Society of Professional Engineers (LAESA-SHPE) and director of the New York S.T.E.M. Institute, a summer enrichment program for New York City High School students interested in math, science and engineering careers. More on this story.
Eight Sophie Davis Students Win Lipkin Fellowships for Summer Research Abroad
Galina Borodulina is headed for London, England, to participate in an immunological research project. Jessica Braswell will be in the Czech Republic to study microbiology and food science, while Fahmida Keya plans to research depression in female sex-workers in Bangladesh. The three are among eight top Sophie Davis students awarded fellowships by the Mack Lipkin Broader Horizons Fellowship Program for Medical Studies. All but one are rising fifth-year students, the equivalent of second-year medical students. The other Fellows from Sophie Davis are Chaitanya Challa, Barry Ladizinski, Akeem Marsh, Isaac Tong, and Jing Wang. The Lipkin Fellowships were established in honor of Mack Lipkin, M.D., CCNY ’26, with the support of the Sergei S. Zlinkoff Fund for Medical Research and Education, the Ruth W. Dolen Foundation, and Friends and Family of Dr. Mack Lipkin. They provide outstanding students from Sophie Davis opportunities to conduct research anywhere in the world for up to eight weeks during summer. More on this story.
Architecture Students Travel to Germany for Exchange Program
Sixteen CCNY architecture students are at the Berlin University of Applied Sciences for a four-week exchange program. The program, which focuses on “re-urbanization and sustainability,” began June 19 and runs through July 14. It “will provide our students an opportunity to develop professionally through an international perspective,” said Professor Alan Feigenberg, who organized the trip and is accompanying the students. The participating students will study and learn in collaboration with their German counterparts and attend talks and lectures by German professors and distinguished professionals that focus on Berlin’s history, the reunification process and the city future as an urban center. In addition, in conjunction with their German counterparts, they will develop design proposals for development of a site in downtown Berlin that will be reviewed and critiqued by a panel of judges and later exhibited both in Germany and at CCNY. Further, they have been asked to write a blog about their experiences for Engineering News-Record’s web site. Students on the trip are: Shiri Amoray, Mojtaba Ansari, Buoy Shun Chin, Marina Correia, Stefano Galimerti, Natalia Galvis, Kelly Greenfield, Jin Huang, Patricia Jatkowski, Maria Karsanidi, Monica Kim, Juyen Lee, Chun Leung, Olga Orchakova, Jeremy Reed and Lisa Wan. More on this story.
Writers Workshop Brings CCNY Grad Students to Small Texas Town
Dean of Humanities Fred Reynolds and Professor Linsey Abrams, a CCNY alumna who directs the nationally ranked graduate creative writing program, recently arranged an unusual treat for eight top students: a privately funded, weeklong writers’ workshop in Archer City, Tex., pop. 981, the home of Pulitzer Prize winning author and Academy Award winning screenwriter Larry McMurtry. In late May, the group rented out the fully restored 11-room Spur Hotel. Their days were spent browsing in Mr. McMurtry’s four bookstores, relaxing, socializing and, most importantly, writing. At night, they attended social events, including a Texas barbecue and a crawfish boil, and saw The Last Picture Show in the recently restored theatre that inspired both Mr. McMurtry’s novel and the movie. Several students had occasion to meet and speak with Mr. McMurtry, as well. The students reveled in the experience. Joshua Cochran reported writing 18 pages of his novel over two days. “Being removed from the stress of city and college life opened a chance for us to get some writing done,” he said. “We were in a wonderful environment where we felt loved for being a writer instead of being seen as struggling,” added Hasanthika Sirisena. “Archer City is a town full of books,” explained Dean Reynolds, who grew up across the state line in Oklahoma. “The pace of life there stimulates writing and creativity.”
2 CCNY EAS Students Intern With USGS
A CCNY undergraduate student and a Ph.D. candidate majoring in earth and atmospheric sciences (EAS) have been awarded summer internships with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) through an initiative aimed at increasing diversity in the agency’s workforce. Graduate student Diomaris Padilla of Floral Park, N.Y., is investigating the impacts of submarine groundwater discharge on Long Island Sound’s water quality under the supervision of Dr. John Crusius at the USGS Woods Hole Science Center. Junior Emmanuella Anyanyu of Jamaica, Queens, is investigating emerging contaminants in wastewater and streams under the supervision of Patrick Phillips at the USGS New York Water Science Center in Troy. The students each earn $9,614 in salary from USGS plus a $2,000 housing allowance from the Division of Science. The internships are part of USGS’ Science Internships for Workforce Diversity initiative, which was established to create a pool of highly qualified graduates eligible for employment consideration under the agency’s affirmative employment program.
CCNY Film Student Carmen Vidal Takes Silver in Student Academy Awards
CCNY graduate film student Carmen Vidal Balanzat won the Silver Medal in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 33rd annual Student Academy Awards competition. She is the first CCNY film student ever to win a Student Award from the Academy. Ms. Vidal, a native of Spain who is majoring in cinematography, won in the Alternative Films category for “6AM,” a portrait of a quiet New York City in the last moments before dawn. The film was created as a group project for Vidal’s “Producing and Directing the Documentary” class with Ms. Vidal serving as writer and director on the project. The other students who collaborated with her are: Octavio Warnock-Graham, director of photography; Sara Booth, editor; Ira Blanchard, second camera, and Piotr Kajustra, producer. More on this story.
Junior Ivan Bukta Receives Point Foundation Scholarship
Ivan Bukta, a junior majoring in film and video production was one of 30 outstanding gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students nationwide awarded scholarships by The Point Foundation. Mr. Bukta, a native of Serbia, received the MTV-U Scholarship, which is funded by that college oriented television service and web site and carries a $10,000 stipend. Mr. Butka has received several academic awards at CCNY including the Kaye Scholarship and Irani Fellowship. In addition, he works as a tutor at the City College Writing Center. The Point Foundation is a publicly supported not-for-profit that provides financial support, mentoring and hope to meritorious students who are marginalized because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Students are selected based on demonstrated leadership, scholastic achievement, involvement in the LGBT community, and financial need. More on this story.
Reebok Human Rights Award to 2005 Alumnus Rachel Lloyd
Rachel Lloyd, who graduated CCNY in 2005 with an M.A. in Anthropology, was one of four recipients worldwide of the 2006 Reebok Human Rights Award for her work rescuing sexually exploited children in New York City. A victim of abuse in her native England during her youth, Ms. Lloyd founded Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS), which provides preventive and transitional services to young women, ages 12-21 years, who are at risk for or involved in sexual exploitation and violence, in 1998 after moving to New York. The innovative organization is the only one of its kind in New York State. As executive director, Ms. Lloyd spends much of her time lobbying for state legislation aimed a protecting exploited youth. “In these girls I see so much untapped potential hidden beneath layers of abuse and pain,” she says. “When I began working with them and seeing the difference, I would make in their lives, I realized this was it; I had found my calling.” The Reebok Human Rights award program was established in 1988 after Amnesty International invited Reebok to sponsor The Human Rights Now! World tour. The other activists who were honored hail from China, India and Zimbabwe. Profile of Rachel Lloyd.
CCNY Grad Student Heads Cultural Services for Dominican Museum
A little over a year ago, Angela Garcia, a CCNY graduate student majoring in art history and museum studies, visited the Centro Leon in Santiago, Dominican Republic, to arrange to borrow a painting for a traveling exhibition she was organizing in New York. When she returned home, she had an offer to become the museum’s Director of Cultural Services. Brooklyn-born Garcia opted to accept the offer and move to her parents’ homeland while continuing to work on her thesis. In her new role, she heads a staff of 15 and oversees the museum’s collections, media library and education department. Since coming on board in June 2005, she has coordinated 15 exhibits, including one of winning selections from the Eduardo Leon Jiminez Foundation’s art contest that was on display at CCNY for two months this spring. “I decided to come down because I thought I could contribute and learn more about my identity,” she says. “It’s been a challenge to adopt culturally. In New York, I identified as a Dominican, but when I came here I found out I was more American than I realized.”
Gary Chan Monitors New York Water Quality From Above
First, it was to the roof of Steinman Hall. Now, he’s taken to the skies. Gary Chan, the CCNY undergraduate civil engineering major who last year received a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to construct a green roof atop the engineering building, is spending his summer working for the Agency’s New York Bight Water Quality Monitoring Program. His three-month internship is part of the award. Gary works with a team that flies by helicopter to gather information used to identify key water quality factors in the waterways around New York Harbor and along the beaches of Long Island and the New Jersey shore. It is a unit of EPA Region II’s Division of Environmental Science and Assessment and is based in Edison, N.J. Each day they scope out floatable debris and oil slicks around the New York City waterways. In addition, they take weekly water samples from various locations throughout the New York Bight as far south as Delaware Bay and as far east as the eastern end of Long Island. The samples, gathered both at the shoreline and up to nine miles offshore, are tested in EPA labs for bacteriological levels, phytoplankton levels and dissolved oxygen levels. Unsatisfactory counts can result in beach closings until conditions improve.
CCNY Undergrad, Alum Attend Economics Program for Minority Students
CCNY undergraduate economics major Carlos Galindo, a rising senior, and alumna Devin Roberson, ’95, are among 46 minority students participating in the American Economics Association’s (AEA) Summer Program and Minority Scholarship Program. Both earned scholarships covering their expenses as well as a stipend. The AEA programseeks to prepare talented undergraduates for doctoral programs in economics and related disciplines. Itis held at Duke University in partnership with North Carolina A&T State University and runs June 5 – August 3. Participating students takecourses in economic theory, mathematics, statistics, and econometrics, as well as research seminars intended to acquaint them with pressing issues and methods of analysis. Of the 101 students participants over the past three years, 41 have entered doctoral programs, 12 have entered master’s programs with the intention of going on for a doctorate and 15 more are applying or expect to apply to doctoral programs directly. Ms. Roberson is currently pursuing an M.A. in economics at Brooklyn College.
16 Sophie Davis, CCNY Students Help with Katrina Recovery
The ruin and despair that greeted the City College students in parts of New Orleans many months later was still shocking. “People that were victims of a natural disaster should not have to fend for themselves afterward,” said Akeem Marsh on his return to New York. “It’s hard to believe that nine months after the hurricane, the areas worst hit remain just about completely in ruins.” Mr. Marsh was one of 16 CCNY students – 15 of them from the College’s Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education – who spent spring break this year doing volunteer work in the gulf city still reeling from Hurricane Katrina’s fury. The group was led by Assistant Medical Professor Anne Dembitzer of Sophie Davis’ Department of Community Health and Social Medicine and supported by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. More on this story.
Education Professor Amita Gupta Points at Possible Secrets of India’s Success
Last April, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings and several senators traveled to India to examine how a country whose schools generally have fewer resources than those in the United States has managed to produce the top-notch engineers and technology professionals who are helping to fuel its rapid economic growth. They might have checked first with CCNY Assistant Professor of Education Amita Gupta. Her new new book, Early Childhood Education, Postcolonial Theory and Teaching Practices in India: Balancing Vygotsky and the Veda, provides insights on Indian education and notes the enormous value placed on education, a cultural phenomenon that goes back thousands of years. India’s age-old interest in science and math dates back to historical figures such as Kanada, who first expounded the Law of Causation and the Atomic Theory in the sixth century B.C. In addition, Dr. Gupta says that with a middle class of 350 million citizens, in a country of 1.1 billion, India has a vast skilled, educated and competitive pool from which to derive its workforce. “Education is valued greatly in India and everyone wants to go to college. The intense competition makes people work harder and want to do well,” she adds.
Professor Raboteau Awarded $20,000 NEA Writing Fellowship
Emily Raboteau, Assistant Professor of English, has been awarded a $20,000 Literature Fellowship in Prose from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). She is one of 50 writers nationwide in 2006 selected for the prestigious grants, which encourage writers of prose to produce new works by affording them “the time and means to write.” Professor Raboteau, who joined the CCNY faculty in 2004, plans to take the spring 2007 semester off to work on her second novel. With a working title of The Isolation Chamber, Professor Raboteau is writing the book from the perspective of a severely autistic boy who cannot speak. “Discovering his voice continues to be a challenge,” she notes. “It’s required me to do a lot of research about autism.” Henry Holt published her first novel, The Professor’s Daughter, in 2005. Her short stories have appeared in Callaloo, the Missouri Review, the Gettysburg Review, Tin House, Best American Short Stories and elsewhere. In addition, she is the recipient of the Chicago Tribune's Nelson Algren Award for Short Fiction, a Pushcart Prize, and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship.
CWE Adjunct Sandra Mullins Named Communications Director for Speaker Quinn
Sandra Mullin, a long-time adjunct at the Center for Worker Education, was recently appointed Communications Director for New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. At CWE, Mullin, a faculty member since 1996, has taught courses on community organization and social problems. She also served as a consultant for a disaster studies program CWE is piloting. A veteran communications professional, she had been Associate Commissioner for Communications at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) before joining Speaker Quinn’s staff. She also worked previously at CCNY as an academic advisor and internship coordinator for the Rosenberg/Humphrey Public Affairs program.
Two CCNY Faculty Take Credits on U.S. Debut on “The Terrorist”
“The Terrorist,” CCNY Adjunct Professor Howard Pflanzer’s dark comedy about a man, who must outwit and outmaneuver a government agent bent on labeling him as a terrorist, had its U.S. premiere, with another CCNY faculty member, Theatre Department Chair David Willinger, directing the production. The play ran June 8-24 at the Unofficial New York Yale Cabaret (UNYYC), a seasonal theatre company for Yale School of Drama graduates. “The Terrorist” had its world premiere at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Mumbai, India, in the spring of 2003. Mr. Pflanzer, an Adjunct Associate Professor of Theatre at The City College Center for Worker Education, directed that production, with an all-Indian cast, during his tenure there as a Fulbright Scholar in the spring of 2003. More on this story.
Professors Goodman and Pach Co-Host Decennial Geometry Conference
CCNY Mathematics Professor Jacob E. Goodman and Computer Science Professor Janos Pach were co-organizers, along with New York University’s Richard Pollack, of the third decennial Summer Research Conference on Discrete and Computational Geometry. The event was held June 18-22 in Snowbird, Utah, under the joint auspices of the American Mathematical Society, the Institute of Mathematical Statistic, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. The occasion also coincided with the 20th anniversary of the founding of the journal Discrete & Computational Geometry by Professors Goodman and Pollack. The publication is regarded worldwide as the leading journal in the field. Speakers at the conference came from as far as Hungary, Israel, Germany, and Switzerland. Discrete and computational geometry arose as a new field within the past 25 years through an amalgamation of the old field of discrete geometry and the nascent field of computational geometry. It is now a very active area of research on the interface between pure mathematics and theoretical computer science, which is devoted to understanding the structure and complexity of discrete geometric structures as well as the design and analysis of geometric algorithms for the manipulation of these structures.
Hillel Foundation Awards $5,000 Grant To CCNY Chapter
The CCNY Hillel Chapter has received a $5,000 strategic grant from its parent organization, Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. CCNY was one of eight campuses nationwide selected for Hillel’s Soref Advancement Initiative (SAI), an intensive program that helps Hillel chapters on campuses with small Jewish populations strengthen their existing programs and plan for future growth and development. The grant will be used to expand the chapter’s programming, which runs the gamut of holiday, cultural and political topics, according chapter advisor David Rumschitzki, Professor of Chemical Engineering. CCNY’s Hillel Chapter currently serves about 100 participants, according to Professor Rumschitzki, who noted that over the past year events have routinely drawn between 20 and 30 participants, versus a handful just a few years ago. The other schools currently participating in the Soref program are: Bowdoin College, Butler University, Colorado College, Louisiana State University, SUNY New Paltz, University of San Diego and University of Toledo. More on this story.
From the President
Summer brings remarkable changes to The City College campus that aren’t readily observable to the untrained eye. For starters, there is a large influx of younger students. Several hundred New York City high school sophomores, junior and seniors join us for the Summer Scholars Academy, run out of the College Now Program and Grove School of Engineering. These intensive, six-week programs offer them a chance to earn college credit by taking classes at CCNY while getting a leg up on future studies in science, math, engineering, architecture and theatre arts. Best of all, the students can attend without paying thousands of dollars for similar programs at private institutions.
Second, the campus “expands” far beyond the ten-block stretch of Convent Avenue we are all familiar with. As reported in this edition of 138@Convent, CCNY architecture students are studying in Berlin and blogging about their experiences for Engineering News-Record. In addition, Sophie Davis students are engaged in research projects as far away as Bangladesh.
At The City College, there is more to summer than rest and relaxation. Summer is an opportunity to get away from the routine and engage in experiences that are memorable and personally enhancing. Hoping yours is a good one.
Gregory H. Williams
138th@Convent is produced by The Office of Communications at The City College of New York. We welcome your comments & suggestions for stories; please email email@example.com.