||Vol. 5 No. 8 October 18, 2010
President Awards Scholarships to 5 Harlem Students
Five high-achieving students from Harlem are getting a free education at CCNY thanks to a scholarship program launched by President Lisa Staiano-Coico. Freshmen Oscar Camacho, Catherine Hernandez, Daoud Nsangou, Liz Marie Peralta and Mohammed Sabha, all graduates of neighborhood high schools, are the first recipients of the President’s Community Scholarships. "One of my priorities is to sustain and expand City College’s myriad partnerships with this vibrant and diverse community," said President Staiano-Coico in announcing the scholarships. "We draw great strength from our presence in Harlem, and what better way to build upon that strength and, at the same time, say ‘thank you’ to Harlem than by supporting the community’s most promising students when they come here." "This is one of several planned presidential initiatives to bring City College closer to Harlem and other surrounding communities," noted Karen Mackey Witherspoon, Vice President, Government and Community Affairs, at CCNY. "A critical part of our mission is to inspire young people in our neighborhood with the promise a college education offers and to show them that it is within their grasp." More on this story.
CCNY Research Funding Grows 24.3 Percent to $69.1 Million
For the second consecutive year, funded research programs at CCNY experienced gains in excess of 20 percent. Awards for the 2009 – 2010 academic year totaled $69.1 million, a 24.3 percent gain from the prior year, according to the College’s Office of Research Administration. With its new level of funding, City College has exceeded, two years early, a target of $65 million set for 2012 in its most recent strategic plan. The 24.3 percent growth rate for the year also bested the 2008 – 2009 academic year, when funded research increased by 22.5 percent to $55.6 million from $45.4 million. "City College’s strong commitment to research programs has contributed to the significant growth in funding that we have been experiencing over the past two years," said Regina Masterson, director of research administration. The gains were led by CCNY’s Grove School of Engineering, which reported a 61 percent year-over-year increase to $34.7 million. The College’s Division of Science had 16 percent year-over-year growth to $16.5 million. Research funding for the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education grew by approximately $1 million to $4.7 million. More on this story.
CCNY Names Rajan Menon to Spitzer Chair
Dr. Rajan Menon, a widely quoted international relations expert whose affiliations include the Council on Foreign Relations, has been appointed Anne and Bernard Spitzer Chair Professor of Political Science. "Professor Menon is a preeminent figure whose opinion and expertise are highly sought in academia and the media," said CCNY President Lisa Staiano-Coico in announcing his appointment. "He’s an invaluable addition to our distinguished faculty and we’re thrilled and honored to have acquired a scholar and thinker of his reputation." He joins CCNY from Lehigh University, where he was Monroe J. Rathbone Professor of International Relations and Chair of the Department of International Relations, and had taught previously at Columbia University and Vanderbilt University. A regular commentator on global affairs on television and in print media, Professor Menon also serves as a consultant to several U.S. government agencies on a wide range of foreign policy and national security issues. The Anne and Bernard Spitzer Chair is supported by an endowment established in 2005 by Bernard Spitzer, ’43, a prominent New York real estate developer and philanthropist, and his wife, Anne. More on this story.
Professor Marie Nazon Heads to Senegal on Fulbright Grant
Dr. Marie Nazon, an instructor and counselor in CCNY’s SEEK Department, has been awarded a 2010-2011 Fulbright research grant to the African Regional Research Program. She is spending the year in Dakar, Senegal, to conduct a research study titled, "Women Helping Women: Understanding the role of empowerment in Women Self-Help Groups in Senegal." Professor Nazon is a social worker by profession and one of 13 people to receive the research grant in sub-Saharan Africa for the 2010-2011 academic years. SEEK is a state-funded educational opportunity program that provides a range of services to students with a demonstrated need for academic and financial support. "I truly believe that travel is the best education," she said to explain why she applied for the Fulbright. "When we walk in someone else’s shoes, eat their food, live in their community, listen to their music, it is then that we see that we are more similar than we are different. I am a fervent believer in cross-cultural education and understanding; the Fulbright was a natural path for me." In Senegal, Professor Nazon will work with Tostan International, a non-profit community development organization with a focus on women’s empowerment. More on this story.
Summer Programs Send CCNY Students Near and Far
For many undergraduates, summer break is all about fun and games. However, many bright and talented students at City College took advantage of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for internships and research experience in exotic locales and prestigious organizations. Take Eleanor Fallon, for example, a senior majoring in Biomedical Science in the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education. She conducted research at an Irish hospice that focused on the risk factors for falling among cancer patients. Vikas Goswamy, another Sophie Davis student, went to the Hospital Universitário Cassiano Antonio de Morais in Vitoria, Brazil, to investigate the sex education taught to adolescents. In Africa, Fayola Peters and four other City College compatriots taught biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics to high school girls in rural Tanzania. Closer to home, political science senior Gareth Rhodes had a summer to remember interning for ten weeks in the Scheduling and Advance Office at The White House. These and other CCNY students have benefited from a range of internships and other programs that turn summers into opportunities to enrich their learning and gain hands-on experience to help them prepare for the future. Several of them recently shared their experiences through a website they helped to create, "My Most Excellent Summer." More on this story.
Two CCNY Graduates Named Brandeis Fellows
Ana C. Egas and Linda Jandejskova, both recent CCNY graduates, are headed to South America and Asia this fall to document social change there as 2010 Mortimer Hays-Brandeis Traveling Fellows. They are the ninth and tenth CCNY students, respectively, to receive the prestigious awards since 1994. The fellowships provide support to students in the visual and fine arts, including art history, conservation, studio art and photography, for travel and living expenses overseas. Each fellow receives a $19,000 stipend from the Mortimer and Sara Hays Endowment at Brandeis University. Ms. Egas, an Ecuadorian-born photographer who graduated last May with a BA in visual arts, will spend the next year in her homeland. There she will use her camera to capture what she describes as "the profound changes" the new Ecuadorian constitution is instituting for the nation’s 3.5 million- strong indigenous population. Social transformation is also the theme of Ms. Jandejskova’s yearlong fellowship, which will take her to India, Nepal and Brazil. The 2009 graduate, who earned a BS in multimedia arts, will create a series of documentary films highlighting the work and lives of exceptional women educators engaged in innovative social transformation. More on this story.
2 Students Honored in Name of Clinton Climate Initiative
Two fourth-year students in the Spitzer School of Architecture received scholarships in the name of the Clinton Climate Initiative for their team leadership efforts in CCNY’s entry in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon 2011. Farah Ahmad and Samuel Mikhail, natives of Staten Island now living in Manhattan, were recognized October 7 at the Heritage Ball, a benefit held by the American Institute of Architects’ New York (AIA NY) chapter and the Center for Architecture Foundation. "Farah and Sam’s commitment to "Team New York," CCNY’s entrant in the Solar Decathlon, strikes a parallel chord with the agenda outlined by the Clinton Climate Initiative," noted George Ranalli, dean of the Spitzer School of Architecture, in congratulating them. The Clinton Climate Initiative seeks to transform the climate through energy efficiency in cities, ending deforestation and increasing large-scale energy supply. It is one of four organizations being honored at the gala. Schools participating in the Solar Decathlon compete in ten categories to design, build and operate the most affordable, attractive, effective and energy-efficient solar-powered house. The project culminates in a two-week exhibition and judging on the National Mall in Washington. More on this story.
Dominican Studies Institute Inaugurates Art Gallery
The CUNY DSI Gallery, the only exhibit space in New York City devoted to works of art by and about people of Dominican descent, opened Friday, October 15, with a group show titled "Manifestaciones" as its debut program. The gallery is located in the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Archives and Library on the second floor of the North Academic Center. "We opened the CUNY DSI Gallery to create a space that celebrates and showcases artists with a unique perspective on the Dominican experience in the United States, one that transcends the self-imposed boundaries of academic research," explained Dr. Ramona Hernández, director of CUNY DSI. The debut show, "Manifestaciones," is a print portfolio of 12 never-before-seen pieces by Dominican York Proyecto GRAFICA, a print collective and collaborative project of Dominican artists who work and live in and around New York City. The exhibit is co-sponsored by the CCNY Art Department. It runs through December 21. Gallery hours will vary during the year and will be posted at www.ccny.cuny.edu/dsi. More on this story.
Marian Seldes, Eli Wallach to Receive Finley Award
Veteran actors Marian Seldes and Eli Wallach will receive the 63rd John H. Finley Award for exemplary service to the city from the Alumni Association at its 130th annual dinner, Thursday, October 28, at the New York Hilton. Ms. Seldes is a Tony Award-winning actress elected to the American Theatre Hall of Fame. Her illustrious stage, film and television career has spanned six decades. Mr. Wallach, ’38 MSE, also a Tony Award winner, is an icon of the stage and screen whose credits include classics such as "The Magnificent Seven," "The Misfits" and "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." His latest film, "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," was released last month. 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; actor Tony Randall; actor/activist Harry Belafonte; opera diva Beverly Sills and playwright Arthur Miller. The Townsend Harris Medal, given in recognition of outstanding post-graduation achievement, will be presented by the Alumni Association to seven distinguished CCNY alumni, including actor Brock Peters, ’49, who is being honored posthumously. More on this story.
From the President
City College’s phenomenal growth in research funding is something all of us can be proud of, and I want to congratulate all the faculty members, graduate students and staff who made this achievement possible. As our research activities continue to grow, I’d like to see innovative, interdisciplinary collaborations among faculty members from across the campus play a significant role in that growth.
To that end, my office has offered ten seed grants of $50,000 for the most promising proposals, and we are now reviewing 36 ideas submitted by more than 100 faculty members. The winners will be announced in early November. I have no doubt that they will include many innovative solutions to our most perplexing challenges.
I would also like to give you a heads up on a wonderful opportunity and an honor that is coming our way. We will be presenting Mario Vargas Llosa, 2010 Nobel Laureate in Literature, with an honorary degree on November 18, at which time he will give the Presidential Lecture in the Great Hall. (You will very soon receive a formal "Save- the Date" with details.) One of the most important literary figures in the world, Vargas Llosa actually agreed to accept the degree before he won the Nobel Prize – and we are thrilled that he will still be able to make it! I would like to thank his friend, Distinguished Professor Raquel Chang-Rodríguez, for all she’s done to bring this remarkable man to campus.
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