||Vol. 3 No. 9 October 27, 2008
Barbara Walters to Receive CCNY Finley Award
Television journalist Barbara Walters and eight CCNY alumni will be honored at the Alumni Association’s 128th Annual Dinner, Thursday, October 30, at The New York Hilton. Ms. Walters, who has arguably interviewed more statesmen and stars than any other journalist in history, will receive the Association’s 61st John H. Finley Award. Named for CCNY’s third President, it is presented annually to New Yorkers who have given exemplary service to their city. Previous Finley honorees include: former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt; civil rights leader Roy Wilkins; playwrights Neil Simon and Terrence McNally; realtor and philanthropist Jack Rudin; and actor Tony Randall. Actress Ruby Dee was last year’s recipient. In addition, eight distinguished alumni will receive Townsend Harris Medals for outstanding post-graduate achievements: legendary lacrosse coach George Baron, ’48E (posthumously), attorney Barry J. Brett, ’61; media expert Betsy Frank, ’66; gastroenterologist Dr. Seymour Katz, ’60; WABC-TV “Like It Is” host Gil Noble; journalism professor Irving Rosenthal, ’33, ’34MSE (posthumously); seismic petroleum expert Dr. Arthur B. Weglein, ’64, ’69MA, and medical ethicist Dr. Arthur Zitrin, ’38. Also at the dinner, President Williams will discuss the College’s successes over this academic year. More on this story.
Dan Lemons Named Dean of Science
Dan Lemons has been appointed Dean of Science at CCNY, effective October 1, President Williams announced. Dean Lemons, a former Professor of Biology and Dean of the Center for Worker Education (CWE), returns to the College from the CUNY Graduate Center, where he was Associate Provost and Dean for Doctoral Science Programs. “With his intimate knowledge of City College and his proven leadership experience, there is no one better positioned than Dr. Lemons to lead our Division of Science,” President Williams said in announcing the appointment. “He returns to us at a pivotal moment, with construction underway on two new science research buildings and the College now authorized to award Ph.D. degrees jointly with the CUNY Graduate Center.” At the CUNY Graduate Center, Dr. Lemons oversaw the reorganization of doctoral programs in biology, biochemistry, chemistry and physics. As Dean of the Center for Worker Education, 2003 – 2007, Dr. Lemons directed its relocation from Tribeca to the historic Cunard Building at 25 Broadway in Lower Manhattan. He also spearheaded the effort to upgrade the Center to a division of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. More on this story.
Mercado Appointed Dean of Worker Education
President Williams has appointed Juan Carlos Mercado Dean of the Division of Worker Education. Dr. Mercado had been serving as Acting Dean since July 1, 2007. “Juan Carlos Mercado is a proven leader,” said President Williams in announcing the appointment. “Since joining the CCNY faculty in 1999, he has demonstrated an enormous commitment and dedication to the College and its students. His visionary ability has led to the growth of DWE’s public stature and I am delighted to appoint him Dean.” As Acting Dean of DWE, Dr. Mercado introduced several initiatives. They include the First Distinguished Professors, Distinguished Lecturers and Endowed Chairs Lecture Series at CUNY and the creation of the Downtown Institute for Foreign Languages, which offers daytime instruction in seven languages for non-matriculating students. In addition, DWE has received approval to launch a Master’s Program in the Study of the Americas that will begin for the Fall 2009 semester. Prior to joining DWE, Mercado had been Professor and Chair of Foreign Languages and Literatures at CCNY and taught at the CUNY Graduate Center, as well. During his tenure as Chair, the Department’s enrollment increased from 600 to 1,500 students. More on this story.
Three 2008 Grads Participate in Student Architecture Showcase
Designs by three 2008 CCNY architecture graduates are on display through December 19 at the Center for Architecture in Greenwich Village. CCNY is one of 14 regional architecture schools participating in the Center’s fourth annual “Arch School” exhibition, which showcases the works of the most talented students from these institutions. Representing CCNY are: Eric Scanlon, a member of Professor Peter Lynch’s studio; Mubeen Ahmad, from Professor Jeremy Edmiston’s studio, and Ting Huang, who worked in Professor Lance Jay Brown’s studio. “Their projects exemplify the kind of work we at City College promote and are invested in,” said Professor Brown, who four years ago organized the first exhibit as part of a symposium run by the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects. By seeing the work of the different programs in one place, prospective students can compare the designs and evaluate what the schools emphasize, he added. The exhibition opened October 18 with a reception and related symposium that featured a roundtable discussion among deans of area schools, including CCNY’s George Ranalli. The Center for Architecture is located at 536 LaGuardia Place, between Bleecker and West Third Streets, in Manhattan.
Morton Denn to Receive AIChE Founders Award
Dr. Morton M. Denn, Albert Einstein Professor of Science and Engineering at CCNY, has been selected to receive the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) 2008 Founders Award at the Institute’s annual meeting in Philadelphia next month. The Founders Award recognizes outstanding contributions in the chemical engineering field and is presented to a member of AIChE who has had an important impact and whose achievements, either specific or general, have advanced the profession. Professor Denn is a CUNY Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering in the Grove School of Engineering with a joint appointment as Professor of Physics. He also serves as Director of the Levich Institute. A member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he is the author of six books. The latest, “Polymer Melt Processing: Foundations in Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer,” was published in August. In 1992, another member of the CCNY chemical engineering faculty, Distinguished Professor Emeritus Ruell Shinnar, received the AIChE Founders Award. More on this story.
City College Film Project Wins at Orlando Festival
“Looking for Palladin,” the latest feature film by Andrzej Krakowski, Professor of Film & Video, in CCNY’s M.F.A. Program in Media Arts Production, won Best Film and Best Ensemble Cast awards at the Orlando Hispanic Film Festival this month. “It was very gratifying to see how well it resonated with the audience it was made for, more specifically with the baby boomers and the Latino community at large,” said Professor Krakowski, who wrote and directed the project. “Palladin,” which he calls “a City College project,” stars Ben Gazzara, who attended CCNY in the 1950s, and includes two of Professor Krakowski’s faculty colleagues in key roles: Professor Jerry Carlson was a cast member and co-producer, and Professor Babak Rassi was editor and co-producer. In addition, several CCNY students participated in the production in various capacities. Shot in Antigua and Guatemala, “Palladin” is about a young and arrogant Hollywood talent agent, played by David Moscow, who is sent reluctantly to Guatemala to find two-time Oscar winner and retired actor Jack Palladin (Mr. Gazzara). The film adds to Professor Krakowski’s more than 50 motion picture and television credits as writer, director and/or producer.
Professors’ Prefab House Design Featured at MoMA Exhibit
“Burst 008,” a prefabricated home designed by CCNY Associate Professor of Architecture Jeremy Edmiston and former Adjunct Douglas Gauthier, was one of five structures displayed this summer outside the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). The exhibit, “Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling,” which closed October 20, examined the “the historical and contemporary significance of factory-produced architecture.” The house was selected from approximately 150 design submissions competing to be displayed on a lot amid some of midtown Manhattan’s choicest real estate. Based on a previous design built in Australia, “Burst 008” consists of 1,050 square feet of interior living space plus a 500 square-foot deck. Inside, it has two bedrooms, two baths and a combined living room/dining room and kitchen area. Both interiors and exteriors were constructed of plywood grown using sustainable forestry techniques. Digital fabrication techniques, by which pieces are cut, numbered and pre-drilled using a computer program, not only help eliminate construction waste, but enable the design to be modified for different environmental conditions, Professor Edmiston noted. “The shape of the building enables it to take advantage of passive heating and cooling methods, so no mechanical heating or cooling systems are needed,” he added.
Record Snowmelt Hits Greenland: CCNY Professor
The northern part of the Greenland ice sheet experienced extreme snowmelt during the summer of 2008, with large portions of the area subject to record melting days, according to Dr. Marco Tedesco, CCNY Assistant Professor of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, and colleagues. “Having such extreme melting so far north, where it is usually colder than the southern regions is extremely interesting,” Professor Tedesco said. “In 2007, the record occurred in southern Greenland, mostly at high elevation areas where in 2008 extreme snowmelt occurred along the northern coast.” Melting in northern Greenland lasted up to 18 days longer than previous maximum values. The melting index, i.e. the number of melting days times the area subject to melting, was three times greater than the 1979–2007 average, with 1.545•106 square kilometers x days. The findings were reported in the October 6 edition of “EOS,” a weekly newspaper published by the American Geophysical Union. Professor Tedesco and his colleagues are currently analyzing possible causes for the high snowmelt in northern Greenland. High surface temperatures are, so far, the most evident factor. However other factors, such as solar radiation, could play a role, as well, he noted. More on this story.
Architecture Schools Must Change: Lance Jay Brown
“Architecture schools must retool to confront the challenges of a global climate, environment and economy or they will become irrelevant,” says CCNY’s AIA/CSC Distinguished Professor Lance Jay Brown. The statement comes from an interview with Professor Brown when he was awarded the American Institute of Architect’s Topaz Medallion, the highest honor for an American architecture educator, in 2007. The entire interview is posted at 2020Architect.org, a website sponsored by the American Institute of Architecture Students that serves as a forum on the future of the profession. Climate change and the socio/cultural challenges of globalization confront architecture and society, Professor Brown noted, adding that meeting these parallel challenges “will require enormous changes in our behavior.” Through their research and academic activities, architecture schools can be at the forefront of addressing the issues, he adds. Many schools have begun to focus on how the “industry of building” relates to energy consumption. Attitudes toward urbanization are beginning to change, as well. “If you look within our own school, particularly the work being done in urban design and landscape architecture, there is greater focus on how communities are made and how the issues of transportation, communication and the social realm all contribute to a more sustainable future.”
U. of Oklahoma Appoints Fred Reynolds to Institute Board
Dr. J. Fred Reynolds, Professor of English and Dean of Humanities and Arts at CCNY, has been appointed to the Board of Directors at the new Institute for the Study of Rhetoric and Writing at The University of Oklahoma (OU). He will give the keynote address at the Institute’s inaugural conference Friday, November 14, in Norman, Okla. A native Oklahoman who holds a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition from OU, Dean Reynolds joined the CCNY faculty as a Professor of English in 1994 and became Dean in 2005.
Dr. Elaine Fuchs to Deliver Cosloy-Blank Lecture
Famed cell biologist Dr. Elaine Fuchs will deliver the Third Annual Sharon Cosloy-Edward Blank Lecture at CCNY 3:30 p.m. Thursday, November 6, in Room 95, Shepard Hall. Her topic will be “Stem Cells of the Skin: Their Biology & Medical Promise.” Dr. Fuchs, the Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development at Rockefeller University, is an expert on the biology and molecular mechanisms of mammalian skin and skin diseases. Her research, which includes identifying the molecular mechanisms underlying skin disease, developing the field of skin stem cells, and pioneering reverse genetics, has helped modernize the field of dermatology. Among her numerous awards and honors are memberships in: the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine and American Academy of Arts & Sciences. In 2006, she received the FASEB (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology) Excellence in Science Award and in 2004 she was chosen for the University of Pittsburgh’s Dickson Prize for Medicine. The Cosloy-Blank lecture series was established in memory of Professor Cosloy, former Chair of CCNY’s Biology Department, by her husband, Edward Blank. It is presented by President Williams and the Biology Department. A reception will follow the lecture in Room 150, Shepard Hall. More on this story.
CCNY Exhibit Celebrates Harlem’s 350th Anniversary
“Harlem 350,” an exhibition saluting the founding of the village of Harlem in the 17th Century, and highlighting its history and architecture, is on display in City College’s Cohen Library through January 2, 2009. It is free and open to the public. “In commemoration of the 350th anniversary of Harlem’s birth, “Harlem 350” explores this remarkable neighborhood’s several historic periods in all their complex facets,” said Pamela Gillespie, Assistant Dean and Chief Librarian of the Cohen Library. “From a rural colonial settlement on the shores of the East River to wealthy estates and plantations in the 18th Century to enclaves of Jewish residents and African Americans in the 19th and 20th Centuries, Harlem continues to remake itself,” Dean Gillespie added. Using photographs, maps and prints, the exhibition documents and illustrates Harlem’s social and architectural history. Originally developed for middle and upper class families seeking to escape the congestion of the Lower East Side, Harlem became Manhattan’s crown jewel from the 1880s through the first decade of the 20th Century. More on this story.
DSI Creates Exhibit on Dominican NYC Experience
To highlight the experiences and contributions of one of the city’s most vibrant ethnic populations, City College presents “Dominicans in New York,” an exhibit that runs through January 31, 2009. The exhibit opened October 20 and is on view in the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute (DSI) Archives and Library, Room 2/202 in the North Academic Center. Funded by a grant from the New York Council for the Humanities, it is free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekdays. Using materials from the Dominican Archives and Library, including documents, photographs and memorabilia, the exhibit creates a visual history of Dominicans as they developed communities that would become an integral part of New York’s diverse landscape. The images display glimpses of Dominican history, culture, traditions and population changes. Dr. Ramona Hernández, Director of the CCNY-based DSI, said the exhibit’s purpose is to convey, through carefully selected images, the complexity of the Dominican experience in New York to students, scholars, policymakers and the general public. “This marvelous display of documents from the New York Dominican community represents the coming of age of the Dominican Archives,” Dr. Hernández added. More on this story.
From the President
Whether as a vocation or avocation, all of us are involved in the great enterprise known as teaching in one way or another. The professor delivering a lecture, the parent showing a child how to tie his or her shoelaces and the golfing buddy who offers a tip to correct a faulty stance all come under its umbrella. There may be no higher calling than imparting wisdom or showing someone how to do something he or she couldn’t do before. This Tuesday, make sure to come to The Great Hall to hear from someone who through his writing has so eloquently captured the essence of what teaching is all about. Author Frank McCourt’s Fall 2008 Rudin Lecture, “If You Want to Know Yourself, Go Teach,” is not to be missed. It begins at 5:30 p.m. I look forward to seeing you there.
Gregory H. Williams
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