Two CCNY Honor Students Named 2011 Truman Scholars
Ayodele Oti and Gareth Rhodes, honor students, Colin Powell Fellows and New York Life Scholars at CCNY enrolled in the CUNY Baccalaureate program, have been named 2011 Harry S. Truman Scholars. Ms. Oti, a junior in the Macaulay Honors College, and Mr. Rhodes, a third-year student who will graduate this May, are the fourth and fifth CCNY students and sixth and seventh CUNY students to receive Truman Scholarships in the last six years. "Having two Truman Scholars in one year puts City College in very elite company," said CCNY President Lisa Staiano-Coico. "We are exceptionally proud of Ayodele and Gareth, and congratulate them on their stunning achievements. They are amazing people and fitting heirs to the long legacy of leadership in public service at City College that includes Gen. Colin L. Powell, USA (ret.), ’58, Justice Felix Frankfurter, 1902, and Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson, ’72." The Harry S. Truman Scholarship provides up to $30,000 to students pursuing graduate degrees in public service fields. It is one of the most competitive national scholarship programs, awarding between 60 and 65 scholarships annually from a field of 600 – 700 nominated candidates. Selection is based on a combination of career and graduate study interests, community service and academic achievement. More on this story.
CCNY Senior Receives $100,000 Math Fellowship
CCNY senior math major Jian Liu has won a Math for America Fellowship (MfA). The highly selective five-year program, for talented students committed to teaching math in public schools, provides a $100,000 stipend. "This is an incredible honor," said Mr. Liu, who is minoring in secondary math education and physics. "It’s an extremely competitive program and a major boost to my plans to become a math teacher." A Chinese immigrant who arrived in New York six years ago with only basic knowledge of English, he will attend either Bard College or New York University this summer. MfA will pay his master’s degree tuition in full. In year one of the fellowship, the Bensonhurst resident will receive $30,000 of his stipend and gain teaching experience. In years two through five, he will teach in a public secondary school in the New York City area, receive mentoring, support and professional development support and participate in MƒA activities. His $70,000 stipend for that period will be on top of his teaching salary. Math for America is a nonprofit organization that aims to improve mathematics education in U.S. public secondary schools by recruiting, training and retaining outstanding mathematics teachers. More on this story.
CCNY Grad Student Receives 2 Green Chemistry Awards
Swapnil Jadhav, a graduate chemistry student at CCNY, has received two scholastic merit awards from the American Chemical Society (ACS) and the American Oil Chemists’ Society (AOCS). Both honor graduate-level research he has conducted on green chemistry using renewable resources. Mr. Jadhav is directing his graduate research on finding a way to reduce the usage of petroleum-based resources, which can prove to be harmful to the environment. Part of his research includes testing biodegradable natural resources, like sugar, to create more environment-friendly products. The Annual ACS Travel Ciba Award in Green Chemistry sponsors student participation in the American Chemical Society national conference, March 27 – 31 in Anaheim, Calif. It provides up to $2,000 for travel expenses. The AOCS 2011 Ralph Potts Award recognizes graduate research in the field of fats and oils. After submitting his research on "multifunctional green surfactants from crops," Mr. Jadhav received a $2,000 honorarium and travel allowance to attend the 102nd AOCS Annual meeting and expo, May 1 – 4 in Cincinnati. Mr. Jadhav, a native of India, came to CCNY with the help of his mentor, Dr. George John, associate professor of chemistry, who specializes in organic materials, bio-nanotechnology and green chemistry. More on this story.
Gift From Grallas Extends New Era Scholars Program
Thanks to a new gift from alumni Larry, ’51, and Yvette, ’52, hundreds of deserving New York City public high school students will be able to attend City College on full scholarships. The pledge extends the New Era Scholars program, which was begun in Fall 2009, through Fall 2017. The program is currently open to students from 11 high schools and provides stipends of $6,000 per year for four years to students who enroll in regular bachelor’s programs at CCNY and for five years to students in the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education. To qualify, students must have combined verbal and math SAT scores of 1,200 and a scholastic average of 85 or better. "We are anxious to support this new program because we believe it can bring a substantial increase in the number of these very bright students to City College," said the Grallas, who met while students at CCNY. One student in the program, Nicole Weiler, was salutatorian of her class at Cardozo High School. "From the day I heard about this program, I knew this is where I wanted to be," said Ms. Weiler, who is in the Sophie Davis School. "My entire life I wanted to become a doctor and this program was everything that I had ever wanted in a college education."
CCNY and Young & Rubicam Celebrate Diversity Partnership
CCNY’s advertising/public relations program celebrated its long and productive partnership with Young & Rubicam (Y&R) by honoring the global marketing communications company at a reception Tuesday, April 12. The event recognized Y&R’s outstanding commitment to CCNY’s talented students. Y&R began working with CCNY six years ago to help advertising/public relations majors gain internships year-round. The relationship has since evolved into a "model" for industry/university cooperation that has resulted in more than 100 CCNY students benefiting from Y&R internships, professional development workshops and creative portfolio seminars. In addition, 15 CCNY graduates have accepted full-time positions at Y&R. "No other agency has matched Y&R’s level of commitment to helping CCNY students bridge the gap between their classroom education and the professional world through internships, portfolio and professional development and, most importantly, by hiring many of our graduates," said Lynn Appelbaum, professor and director of CCNY’s advertising/public relations program. At the event, three senior Y&R executives were recognized and thanked for their outstanding commitment to cultivating talented students in the program: Dot Giannone, executive vice president and director, account management; Jennifer Novak, global creative talent scout, and Belle Frank, executive vice president, director, strategy & applied research. More on this story.
Grove School Professor Leads New Metamaterials Center
A new National Science Foundation-sponsored industry & university cooperative research center program (I/UCRC) will "provide a one-stop shop for the design, fabrication and testing of a wide range of metamaterials." Dr. David Crouse, associate professor of electrical engineering in the Grove School of Engineering, serves as director of the new Center for Metamaterials. Participating institutions are The City University of New York, Western Carolina University, University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Clarkson University. At least 15 corporations, including Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Corning and Goodrich, will become members of the center, which has NSF funding for five years, renewable, as well. First year support - $230,000 from NSF plus $40,000 from each of the companies – is expected to be around $740,000, according to Professor Crouse. Obtaining the award to create the new Center took several years and involved several stages and numerous people at CUNY and the other schools. They include Dr. Myron Wecker and Dr. John Blaho, of the CUNY Center for Advanced Technology (CUNY-CAT), CUNY Vice Chancellor for Research Gillian Small and the co-directors from the three other institutions. More on this story.
Professor Develops Speedy Cancer Drug Screening Device
A biomedical engineering professor in the Grove School of Engineering has been awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER grant to develop a micro-tumor array that could evaluate dozens of different drugs on a single chip in a single test. If successful, the research could take the guesswork out of treating cancer and other diseases, and lead to faster recoveries and better patient outcomes. "Cancer treatment plans often call for surgery followed by chemotherapy or radiation therapy," explains Dr. Sihong Wang, assistant professor of biomedical engineering and principal investigator. "Many drugs are available, but doctors don’t know which is best for their patient because individuals respond differently to different drugs. We aim to develop a tool that can screen drugs faster." The device Professor Wang is developing is a microfluidic platform consisting of tiny chambers where tumors will be grown. It simulates the conditions inside the human by replicating the way drugs diffuse into tumors through capillaries, which are the smallest blood vessels. The prototype is arranged as a 10 x 10 array of micro wells or cells, capable of testing ten different drugs on ten different kinds of tumors. However, Professor Wang says her goal is to scale the device up so that it could eventually test hundreds to thousands of drugs at a time. More on this story.
CCNY Historian Documents Life in Wartime Sarajevo
Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was subjected to a brutal four-year siege in the 1990s at the hands of Bosnian Serbs seeking to control the new country's political future. It wasn’t the first time the city felt the brunt of war. A new book by Dr. Emily Greble, CCNY assistant professor of history, explores how 50 years earlier its multiethnic communities tried to cope with occupation during World War II. In "Sarajevo, 1941 – 1945: Muslims, Christians and Jews in Hitler’s Europe" (Cornell University Press 2011), Professor Greble tells what happened when a city with four strong religious communities – Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Muslim and Jewish – was confronted with a secular, fascist ideology. "Like much of the post-Ottoman world, Sarajevo was a community organized along religious lines. The four religious communities were at the foundation of civil society," said Professor Greble, a former fellow at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. In April 1941, the German army entered Sarajevo. But, rather than being governed as a protectorate of the Third Reich, Sarajevo became part of the new Independent State of Croatia, a Nazi puppet state ruled by the Ustasha, an ultranationalist Croat movement that not only was brutal, but also inept at governing. More on this story.
Grad Student Writes Tell-All Field Guide to Urban Animals
Call her the tabloid journalist of the animal world. CCNY PhD student Julie Feinstein, has the dirt on all creatures great and small – specifically – the wild animals that live among us. She lays it bare in a new tell-all book, "Field Guide to Urban Wildlife: Common Animals of Cities and Suburbs, How They Adapt and Thrive" (Stackpole Books, 2011). Ms. Feinstein taps the untold stories of the birds, mammals and invertebrates she encounters in the New York metropolitan area. This menagerie includes far more than the rats and pigeons we take for granted. "I think of these animals as having their own internal lives – life and death struggles that we don’t know about," says Ms. Feinstein, who is also a collections manager for the American Museum of Natural History. "What I look for are their secrets." Her guide reveals the cast of characters we see, but often ignore, dismiss or revile. They share the sidewalks, lawns and buildings that we think of as our own. Our communities include a diversity of wildlife, and wild lives they certainly lead, according to this collection of 135 essays that explores the hidden activities of turkeys, raccoons, bats, possums and house centipedes, among others. More on this story.
Lance Jay Brown to Head ACSA College of Distinguished Professors
Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, ACSA Distinguished Professor in the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, has been elected inaugural chancellor of the College of Distinguished Professors of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA). The ACSA College of Distinguished Professors was created in 2010 to advance architectural education, provide guidance to junior faculty, assist with the selection of distinguished professors honors, and to promote the ASCA. It is composed of association members who have been awarded the American Institute of Architects Topaz Medal and/or ACSA’s Distinguished Professor Award. Professor Brown earned the Distinguished Professor Award in 2003 and the Topaz Medal, the highest honor given to an American architectural educator, in 2007. It is awarded to one who has evidenced great depth and breadth, having a cumulative effect on a long line of students, influencing a wide range of students, transcending specific areas of expertise, and directing him/herself to the future as well as the past. As chancellor, he will organize the governance of the college, initiate the wide range of programs proposed by the bylaws and create a reference archive. More on this story.
NOAA Administrator to Visit CCNY for NOAA-CREST Day
Dr. Jane Lubchenco, under secretary of commerce and administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will visit CCNY Friday, April 15, to participate in the ninth annual NOAA-CREST Day. While here, she will also meet with President Lisa Staiano-Coico, CUNY Vice Chancellor for Research Gillian Small and NOAA-CREST Director Reza Khanbilvardi. Dr. Lubchenco is the ninth person to serve as NOAA administrator and the first woman and first marine ecologist to lead the agency. With a $4 billion budget and 12,800 employees in every state and around the world, NOAA is the United States’ top science agency for climate, oceans and the atmosphere. She is a former president of the International Council for Science, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Ecological Society of America. NOAA-CREST Day runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, April 15, in the Great Hall. Speakers beside Dr. Lubchenco include: Mary Kicza, NOAA assistant administrator for satellite and information services; Dr. Charles Vörösmarty, presidential professor of civil engineering, Grove School of Engineering, and NOAA-CREST distinguished scientist, and Dr. Jorge Gonzalez, NOAA-CREST professor of mechanical engineering, Grove School of Engineering. More on this story.
Guggenheim Salutes David Del Tredici
David Del Tredici, one of America’s most honored living composers and a distinguished professor of music at CCNY, was saluted recently by the Guggenheim Museum with two nights of performances of his compositions. A highlight of the programs was the premiere of choreographer Lynne Taylor-Corbett’s new work set to Professor Del Tredici’s "Grosse Tarantella." In addition, The Young People’s Chorus of New York City, directed by Francisco J. Núñez, sang Professor Del Tredici’s "Four Heartfelt Anthems." Professor Del Tredici and Ms. Taylor-Corbett participated in moderated discussions each night. Mary Cronson, founder of Works & Process, the performing arts series at the Guggenheim, said the museum was proud to honor Professor De Tredici. "We honor modern composers and he’s one of them," said Ms. Cronson, who is also an event producer with the series. Generally recognized as the father of the neo-romantic movement in music, much of Professor Del Tredici’s early work consisted of elaborate lyrics inspired by the writings of James Joyce and Lewis Carroll. More recently, he has set to music a cavalcade of American poets including Allen Ginsberg and Paul Monette. More on this story.
CCNY Hosts "Einsteins" International Student Research Conference CCNY will host "Einsteins in the City 2011," an international conference of top student researchers, April 13 through 15, in the Great Hall. The theme for the event, "Transcending Boundaries; Communicating Across Disciplines," promotes interdisciplinary cooperation in research and the cross-cultural exchange of ideas. "What we are hoping to do with this conference is promote the culture of true cross-disciplinary and global communication among scholars," commented Dr. Maria Tamargo, chair of the conference organizing committee and CCNY chemistry professor. "I think that students are able to do this better than more experienced researchers, since they are not entrenched in habit. We hope that all of us can then learn from the experience." Approximately 230 students, from undergraduates to PhD candidates, will present the findings of their multidisciplinary research in the sciences, engineering, social science, architecture, humanities, the arts and education. The students hail from several City University of New York (CUNY) colleges, seven other U.S. institutions and three universities in Austria. More on this story.
From the PresidentNews about City College students winning prestigious scholarships and fellowships is coming in faster than our hard-working public relations staff can write it. In this issue of 138@Convent, you’ll learn about: our two Truman Scholars, Ayodele Oti and Gareth Rhodes; our Math for America winner, Jian Liu, and PhD candidate Swapnil Jadhav, who received awards to present at two upcoming conferences. There’s much more to report, however.
Over the coming days and weeks, we will announce a Goldwater Scholar, three J.K. Watson Fellows and two National Science Foundation Fellows. In addition, many graduating seniors have been awarded fellowships to pursue PhDs at leading universities. Just in the history department, we have students going to Johns Hopkins, Princeton, Michigan and Yale on "full-ride" fellowships.
We take great pride not only in the achievements of these students but also in their faculty mentors who recognized their potential and pushed them to excel. Great students and great professors are City College’s winning formula.
Lisa Staiano-Coico President
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