||Vol. 3 No. 1 January 10, 2008
CCNY Seniors Shine at NIH Research Conference
Roland Ebegbe and Jamie-Lee Foote, seniors in The City College Academy for Professional Preparation (CCAPP) program, won outstanding poster presentation awards at the 2007 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students. The NIH-sponsored event was held November 7 – 10 in Austin, Tex. Mr. Ebegbe, a bio-chemistry major, was one of 14 winners in the microbiological sciences category. The Nigerian-born Queens resident displayed his research project, “Defining the Epitopes on EBNA-1 that Elicit Antibodies that Cross-react with dsDNA.” The presentation was based on his work in the lab of his mentor, Dr Linda Spatz, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology in the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education. Ms. Foote, an international student from Jamaica who aspires to be a surgical oncologist, was one of eight honorees in the cell biology category. Her presentation was entitled “The Role of STAT3 in Breast Tumorigenesis.” The project is part of her honors research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where her mentor is Dr. Jacqueline Bromberg in the Department of Medicine. She also collaborated with Dr. Paul S. Gao, a post-doctoral fellow at CCNY.
Professors C.R.E.A.T.E. New Approach to Teaching Science
Teaching approaches that rely on textbooks rather than science’s primary literature, i.e. academic papers, typically presents science as “a bunch of facts to be memorized,” says Dr. Sally Hoskins, CCNY Professor of Biology. Hoskins and co-Principal Investigator Leslie Stevens of The University of Texas, Austin, have devised a new method called C.R.E.A.T.E. that teaches upperclassmen how to read academic papers and also humanizes the scientific process. In Professor Hoskins’ Biology 355 class, “Analysis of Scientific Literature,” students read through a sequence of papers produced by one lab over several years, with the summaries, titles and authors’ identities withheld. This puts students in the position of researchers, who have to interpret data from each experiment in sequence and figure out what to do next. C.R.E.A.T.E. tools help students break down the papers into their component parts. Students independently develop hypotheses about the work, relying on concept maps to relate new knowledge to old. Class sessions focus on data analysis and interpretation. Afterwards, students propose experiments to be done as next steps, which are critiqued by in-class “grant panels.” Students also posed questions via email to the actual authors to gain understanding of the scientists’ motivations and goals. Students who took the class demonstrated improved critical thinking skills and ability to read and analyze scientific literature as well as attitudes more favorable attitudes toward science and scientists. Professors Hoskins and Stevens, with ongoing support from the National Science Foundation, are now conducting workshops on using the C.R.E.A.T.E. approach for instructors at other institutions. More on this story.
PR Society New York Chapter Honors PR Major Maria Martinez
Advertising and Public Relations major Maria Martinez ended the fall semester with two top awards from the New York Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA-NY). Ms. Martinez, a senior who is president of the Public Relations Student Societyof America (PRSSA) chapter at City College, received the 2007 Philip Dorf Memorial Scholarship and a PRSA-NY Recognition Award. The former, which comes with a $1,000 stipend, is for mentoring. It has been given out since 1995 in honor of the late Philip Dorf, a New York PR executive who was a committed mentor to public relations students and professionals alike. Ms. Martinez’ Recognition Award was for her leadership at the helm of the PRSSA chapter at CCNY. It came with a $500 scholarship. The Manhattan resident credits Advertising & Public Relations Program Director Professor Lynn Appelbaum for her success. “She’s amazing, she’s such a good role model,” Ms. Martinez said. “She’s not only given me great guidance but she’s also encouraged me.” And PRSA-NY has created a tax-exempt scholarship fund to benefit more metropolitan area students like Ms. Martinez. “This is a momentous step that will enable the Chapter to build a significant scholarship fund that will benefit deserving students in the New York Metro area,” said Barbara M. Burns, PRSA-NY President.
Student Athletes Collect 800 Pounds of Food in Holiday Drive
The CCNY Student Athlete Advisory Committee (S.A.A.C) recently sponsored a college-wide community service project; a first annual holiday food drive that ran from November 12 through November 22. The project raised more than 800 pounds of food to benefit New York City’s City Harvest Food Rescue Program. SAAC organized the canned food drive as a community service competition among CCNY’s 16 athletic teams. Each team collected cans and other non-perishable items to benefit the local food bank. The committee kept a tally to determine which team had the most items. Women’s Volleyball team took the honor for most items collected with a total of 231. Men’s Basketball finished second with 209 items donated, followed by Women’s Fencing with 188 items collected. “The drive was a success,” said SAAC President Taisiya Zuyeva. “We all came together to contribute to a great cause. Our goal for next year is to increase campus-wide participation.” More on this story.
Professor Patitucci’s New Album Gets Grammy Nomination
John Patitucci, CCNY Professor of Music, who is widely regarded as one of the world’s best contemporary jazz bassists, received a Grammy nomination for his latest album, Line By Line. If he wins, the award would be Professor Patitucci’s fourth Grammy. He won in 2005 as a member of Wayne Shorter’s quartet, in 1989 as a member of Chick Corea’s group and in 1987 for a song written with Chick Corea. “I am honored to be nominated and placed in the company of my friends and heroes,” Professor Patitucci said. Line By Line, which was released last year by Concord Records, is competing in the Best Jazz Instrumental Album category. The album features 10 original compositions, several of which meld classical influences with jazz. Growing up in an Italian household, opera was an important influence on his music, he explains. On the album he performs on both acoustic and electric bass, backed by his trio: drummer Brian Blade, guitarist Adam Rogers and saxophonist Chris Potter. In addition to teaching at CCNY and performing and recording with his trio, Professor Patitucci tours with the Wayne Shorter Quartet and previously toured with Chick Corea.
CCNY Researchers Focus on Tea’s Concentration Benefits
Both coffee and tea will keep you awake, but if you need to focus on demanding tasks, the latter should probably be your cup of choice. A CCNY research team led by Dr. John Foxe, a Professor of Neuroscience, has found that drinking three to four cups of tea daily can improve one’s concentration. Tea contains theanine, an amino acid that affects alpha brain rhythms and causes changes when people are performing demanding tasks that require attention, he explained. “It seemed to make a mild improvement in (subjects) ability to pay attention.” In a preliminary study, the team observed improvements in concentration in subjects who had ingested 250 milligrams of theanine, equal to the amount found in 10 cups of tea. However, subsequent studies showed that a similar effect could be achieved from a combination of 100 milligrams of theanine and 60 milligrams of caffeine, comparable to what four cups of green tea contain. Working with Professor Foxe, who directs CCNY’s Cognitive Neurophysiology Lab, were graduate student Manuel Gomez-Ramirez and post-doctorial fellow Dr. Simon Kelly. They have submitted a paper based on their research, which was funded by Unilever Corp., a British manufacturer of food, home care and personal care products, to the Journal of Nutrition.
Korean Firm Picks CCNY Professor to Streamline Processes
STX Co. Ltd., a South Korean energy conglomerate, has awarded $1.2 million over five years to Dr. Jae W. Lee, CCNY Associate Processor of Chemical Engineering, to investigate “Process Intensification by Integrating Reaction and Separation.” Process intensification is a sustainable engineering method for simplifying complex processes. It can generate dramatic economic savings and yield environmental benefits such as reductions in emissions and use of volatile organic compounds. The process that Professor Lee will investigate involves multiple mixing, separation and reaction tasks. “If we are able to combine the tasks into one unit, we can get a synergistic effect,” he explains. “But, to achieve synergies we first need to understand the thermodynamic and kinetic principles behind the tasks.” Professor Lee will conduct computer simulations to develop hypotheses about how multiple separation and reaction tasks behave in combination. He will also conduct experiments with different equipment configurations to confirm the simulation results. “The goal is to develop a fundamental algorithm that can identify synergies,” he said, adding, however, that combining multiple reactions and separations is “mathematically very difficult.” More on this story.
New Remote Sensing Antennas Installed Atop N.A.C. Building
A construction crew completed the installation December 7 of satellite antennas atop the North Academic Center that will help make CCNY “the Northeast center of excellence in remote sensing.” The gear is part of a satellite acquisition system that consists of a 2.4 meter dual X/L band antenna, a MODIS receiver, a NOAA polar orbiter receiver, an ingest module, a LINUX data processing server, TeraScan control and processing software and archiving systems. The system will be able to receive, analyze and archive data from two polar orbiting satellites – the high resolution X-band system and the middle resolution L-band system, which pass over the eastern United States every 12 hours, plus the GOES geostationary system, which covers the entire United States every 20 minutes, according to Dr. Reza Khanbilvardi, NOAA Chair Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of the NOAA-CREST center. CCNY’s system is expected to go on line in March 2008. When it does, CCNY students and professors will be able to analyze and archive land use, land coverage, coastal zone and weather data for the entire eastern United States.
Professors Arend, Crouse Awarded CUNY CAT Grants
Mark F. Arend and David Crouse, Assistant Professors of Electrical Engineering, have received grants totaling $75,315 from the CUNY CAT, a.k.a. New York State Center for Advanced Technology in Photonics Applications. The grants were the first awarded under CUNY CAT’s Equipment Purchase Program, inaugurated in May to improve the scientific research infrastructure throughout CUNY. Professor Arend was given $34,500 for the purchase of a polarization maintaining fiber fusion splicer. His research thrusts are quantum information processing, sponsored by Corning, Inc. and remote sensing enhancements to the NYC MetNet. Professors Roger Dorsinville, Chair of Electrical Engineering, and Fred Moshary are his collaborators. Professor Crouse received $40,815 for construction of a modular FTIR characterization system and purchase of an HeCd laser. His research focuses on quantum wires and plasmonics, and is sponsored by Phoebus Optoelectronics LLC. The CUNY CAT develops and disseminates knowledge in photonics technology in order to promote New York economic development for the medical, biological, industrial and military sectors. It is one of 15 university-based centers in New York State created to support university-industry collaborative research and technology transfer in commercial relevant technologies. It is funded by the New York State Foundation for Science Technology and Research (NYSTAR).
CCNY Task Force on Sustainability Seeks Committee Members
CCNY faculty, students, staff and alumni are invited to apply to join any of the 11 working groups being organized by the CCNY Task Force on Sustainability. The Task Force is working to meet two mandates: it will conduct a complete inventory of greenhouse gas emissions in 2008 and develop a comprehensive long-term action plan by 2009 for achieving “climate neutrality” to comply with the President’s Climate Commitment. In addition, as a participant in the CUNY Sustainability Initiative, it will develop a 10-year plan to help CUNY reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent by 2017. The ultimate goal is to transform CCNY into a sustainable campus; one that is engaged in research and coursework on environmental issues across the curriculum and deploys operating practices that reduce its negative impacts on the environment. The 11 working groups will focus on: curriculum; research; student affairs; procurement; facilities; planning, construction and renovation; transportation; waste management, auxiliary services and residence hall, communications and public education, and community affairs. Persons interested in serving on a committee(s) can contact Michael Rogovin, Deputy to the President, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ethnomusicologist, Professor Emerita Henrietta Yurchenko Dies
Henrietta Yurchenko, a world-renowned ethnomusicologist and former CCNY music professor died in Manhattan December 9. She was 91. Professor Yurchenko, who helped popularize folk music for American radio audiences, taught at CCNY from 1963 to 1987. “She was small of stature but was a giant in the world of music,” Department of Music Chair Professor Stephen Jablonsky recalled. “She was a brilliant revolutionary thinker to her very last day. We celebrate the 91 years that the world was privileged to have her among the enlightened ones and the wonderful years she spent with us at City.” Professor Yurchenko is credited with the first broadcasts of folk and world music on New York radio. Her program on WNYC introduced listeners to such artists as Woody Guthrie, H.W. “Leadbelly” Ledbetter and Pete Seeger, as well as musicians from India, China, the Middle East and Africa. Her greatest legacy, though, are her numerous recordings of the indigenous music and stories of remote Guatemalan and Mexican Indian groups made in the 1940s. A gifted pianist who was born in Connecticut, Professor Yurchenko was hailed for helping preserve these sounds, stored in the Library of Congress, which otherwise would have been lost.
Chi Alpha Epsilon Chapter Remembers Sekou Sundiata ‘72
The CCNY Chapter of Chi Alpha Epsilon Honor Society held an Omega Service December 6 to remember Sekou Sundiata, the noted poet and alumnus who died last July. Chi Alpha Epsilon recognizes the academic achievements of students admitted to colleges and universities through non-traditional criteria. Its Omega service honors members who have died; Mr. Sundiata, one of the early SEEK students at CCNY, was an honorary member of the chapter. The service also included a ceremony to induct 26 new students from the SEEK and Student Support Services programs. “Sekou was an exceptionally talented individual who, as a student activist, was committed to broadening access to CUNY for students of color. He truly will be missed,” said SEEK Director Dr. Maudette Brownlee. After graduating from CCNY in 1972, went on to become a Grammy Award-nominated poet and performer. He was the first writer-in-residence at The New School and also taught at Columbia University and the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Fla.
From the President
I hope that those of you who had a holiday break had a wonderful one. For some of us this has been a special time for family – a great in-gathering of the tribe – or perhaps a time of travel. For some of us it has been a time to do some of the work that we just couldn’t get to during the semester, whether it’s research or writing or painting, or Middle States, or just sleeping in. And of course many in the CCNY community have been right here on campus, teaching in the intersession, registering new and returning students, staffing the offices, and overseeing construction.
In any event, we all have an exciting and exacting semester to look forward to. And on this unseasonably warm day, it seems particularly natural to say welcome to Spring 2008 at The City College of New York.
Gregory H. Williams
138@Convent is produced by the Office of Communications of The City College of New York. We welcome your comments and suggestions for stories; please email email@example.com