Hunter Headlines for 2009
Obama Names Hunter Alumna to Key Administration Post
Hunter Students Win National Writing Competition
Hunter College Registration Station Now Open
New Hunter College Study Finds That Bike Lanes are “Blocked Lanes” in NYC
MFA Professor Colum McCann Wins National Book Award
Hunter's Model U.N. Team Takes Top Prizes at Oxford and Columbia
Hunter Breaks Ground for its School of Social Work and CUNY School of Public Health
Hunter Library Featured in New Book
Hunter IMA/MFA Student's Film Premieres at Margaret Mead Festival
Women's Tennis Team Claims Tenth Consecutive CUNYAC Championship
Hunter Mourns Death of Beloved Professor/Renowned Photographer Roy DeCarava
Manhattan Hunter Science High School Named a “Rising Star”
U.S. Secretary of Education Singles out Hunter’s School of Ed as “Shining Example”
Professor Virginia Valian Awarded $1.2 M Grant from NIH
Hunter Professor Wins Academic Planning Award
School of Social Work & Union Settlement Association Partner to Launch Youth Empowerment Program
Hunter Welcomes New Pre-Law Advisor
Activist Cleve Jones Speaks at Hunter
School of Social Work Wins Major U.S. Grant -- Again
President Raab Named One of 50 Most Powerful Women in New York by Crain’s
September 11 Remembrance
Hunter Professors Win Grant to Research Next Generation of Information Processing
Hunter Student Films Featured in International Competition
TODAY Show Highlights Hunter in its Feature on the "Mystery Donor"
Freshman Arrives with Presidential Honor
U.S. News and ACTA Give Hunter Top Marks
New Food Services Provider to Serve Hunter Campus
Hunter Named One of Princeton Review’s Best 371 Colleges
Hunter Model U.N. Team Participates in First Global Conference
Hunter Partners with City to Reduce Nursing Shortage
Hunter Alumna Named to Leadership Position in U.S. Secretary of Education’s Office
Hunter Grad to Intern at the White House
Dean David Steiner Named NY State Education Commissioner
Statement from Hunter Dean of Students Regarding the Children’s Learning Center
Two Hunter Philosophy Professors Receive Major Book Awards
New Play Born at Hunter Premieres at West Village Theatre
Psychology Department Receives Two NIH Grants for HIV Prevention
Three Hunter Graduates Named Fulbright Scholars
Hunter Professor Michael Thomas Wins $140,000 Literary Prize
A Tree Grows on E. 69th Street
Sociology Professor Stone Wins Award for Her Book
Hunter Wins Award for Pioneering Career-Development Program
Hunter Celebrates Its 199th Commencement
English Professor Named National Academy of Education Fellow
Hunter Distinguished Professor Siraisi Named 2010 Haskins Prize Lecturer
Hunter Teams Score at Model UN Conference
Hunter Alumna Wins Prestigious NSF Fellowship
Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis to Speak at Hunter’s 2009 Commencement
Salk Scholarships Awarded to Two Pre-Med Hunter Students
Benefactor Gives Hunter $5 Million -- But Don’t Ask Who
Hunter Alumnus is One of America's Coolest Young Entrepreneurs
Hunter Graduate Student Takes Top Singing Honors in India
Hunter Graduate Student Wins Horniker Prize in Economics
Grad Student Hired for HUD Job After Shining in National Competition
Newsday’s Les Payne Wins Aronson Lifetime Achievement Award At Hunter College
Graduating Senior Wins Fulbright Grant to Jamaica
Doctoral Student Wins Prize for Poster on Energy-Saving Device
Hunter SSW Receives $100K Grant for Military Veterans
Health Warning: April 27, 2009
Hunter Alum to Exhibit at Prestigious Venice Biennale
Hunter Welcomes New Pre-Business Advisor
Hunter Alumnus Wins 2009 Pulitzer Prize
Jon Stewart to interview UPH Professor Alcabes on The Daily Show
Hunter Undergrad Creates CUNY Film Festival
President Obama Nominates Another Hunter Alum for Key Administration Post
Two Hunter Professors Awarded Guggenheim Fellowships
Psych Professor Gets $1M Grant To Study Birds’ “Social Recognition Systems”
Hunter Senior Competes to Win “The Best Job in the NFL”
Obama Taps Hunter Alumnus for Key Veterans Affairs Post
Hunter Bio Major Named Goldwater Scholar
Urban Affairs Student’s Banner Waves in Harlem
Hunter Student “Wants to be a Millionaire”
Hunter Senior Receives Coveted Fellowship
Distinguished Professor Peter Carey Nominated for Man Booker International Prize
Recent Grad Wins Fulbright Grant
Hunter to Tackle Urban Public Health Issues through Major Grant from Tisch Family
Hunter's Model U.N. Team Takes Home Prizes at 2nd Annual CUNY Model U.N.
Hunter Alumna Heads to White House for Historic Executive Order Signing
Hunter Alumna Mildred Dresselhaus Wins Major Science Award
Iranian Filmmaker Neshat to Guest Lecture at Hunter
Obama Names Hunter Alumnus White House Director of Urban Affairs
Hunter Grad Student is Filmmaker “To Watch" in 2009
Hunter Professor Harkey Races Up the Empire State Building
Women's Swimming and Diving Teams Win 7th Title in Eight Years
Hunter Senior Wins International Scholarship
Classics Major Wins Grant to Study Overseas
Hunter Social Work Alum Named NYC Family Services Coordinator
Hunterites Celebrate Inauguration of President Obama
"Hooray for Hunter," Says New York Post
Hunter in Top 10 National 'Best Value' Ranking of Public Universities
President Obama has nominated Beatrice Hanson (MSW '90) to head the U.S. Justice Department's Office for Victims of Crime. The OVC, a branch of the Office of Justice Programs, helps fund state programs that assist crime victims.
Hanson currently serves as chief program officer for Safe Horizon, a crime victim assistance organization in New York City. She oversees a staff of more than 600 professionals who provide services to more than 350,000 people annually. Hanson joined Safe Horizon (formerly Victim Services) in 1997 as the Director of Emergency Services. She went on to oversee the agency's domestic violence, homeless youth, and child abuse programs, before being promoted to her current position in 2004.
Hanson has served as director of client services for the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project. In addition to serving on the board of the New York City Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, Hanson was an adjunct instructor at Hunter's School of Social Work and Fordham University's Graduate School of Social Services. She is currently completing her dissertation in the Doctorate of Social Welfare program at the City University of New York.
left to right: Priya Chandrasekaran (teaching assistant), Lorraine Chan, Dana Bradley, Laura Botel, Tabitha Daellenbach, Marc Edelman (professor), May Chan, Henry Gonzalez. (not pictured: Courtney Kennemur and Paulina Dahan).
Eight Hunter College undergraduate students in Professor Marc Edelman’s Introduction to Cultural Anthropology class have won awards in a nationwide anthropology writing competition, the Public Anthropology Awards.
Courtney Kennemur, Lorraine Chan, Tabitha Daellenbach, Paulina Dahan, Laura Botel, Henry Gonzalez, May Chan and Dana Bradley each won individual awards in the competition, sponsored by the Center for Public Anthropology. More than 4,000 students from 28 American universities participated.
Students in the competition wrote essays in the style of newspaper opinion pieces on the subject of the controversy over the Amazon's Yanomami people. Anthropologists in the 1960s took blood samples from the Yanomami in exchange for machetes with a promise the blood would be returned. The Yanomami believe the souls of their deceased ancestors cannot rest until the blood is returned and buried with the bodies. Yet the blood has not been returned.
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A new study released today found that during a 10-minute span of time, a New York City cyclist traveling in a bike lane will encounter a vehicle during a stretch of just five to six city blocks more than 60 percent of the time. The biggest offenders are cars (30 percent), followed by small trucks (17 percent), and taxis (14 percent.) These results are found in a Hunter College study directed by Sociology Professor Peter Tuckel and Urban Planning Professor William Milczarski. The study is the first systematic inquiry of bike lane blockages in New York City.
According to the study, the vast majority of obstructions, almost 90 percent, were short-lived at less than 10 minutes long; the street range observed with the largest number of offenders is East 90th Street between 5th Avenue to 3rd Avenue; 20 percent of cyclists observed do not ride in the bike lane; cyclists who ride in the bike lane are more likely to wear helmets than cyclists who ride on the street (72 percent versus 64 percent); and blocked bike lanes occur with higher frequency during the morning rush hour.
Professors Tuckel and Milczarski collaborated with Hunter students in the Research Practicum/Honors Seminar in the Department of Sociology, and the graduate level Urban Data Analysis course in the Department of Urban Affairs and Planning. The observations were conducted on 492 randomly selected street blocks with Class II bike lanes (lanes delineated by painted stripes on city streets) in Manhattan from September 22-October 23, 2009, during weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
“The intended purpose of these bike lanes is to provide a safe and secure passageway for cyclists free from the encroachments of cars and trucks. A constant complaint of cyclists, though, is that bike lanes are often obstructed by parked vehicles. Cyclists view these obstructed bike lanes as not only representing an infringement on their territory, but also posing a serious safety hazard. In order to avoid cars and trucks parked in bike lanes, cyclists need to swerve into the regular traffic flow, thus putting their safety at risk,” said Professor Tuckel.
“The data reveal that bike lanes are frequently blocked, and greater efforts need to be expended to restrict the occupation of these lanes by vehicles. Gathering information about which type of vehicles are most likely to park in bike lanes, at what times these offenses occur most often, and where these offenses take place can guide city officials in planning the placement of additional bike lanes or modifying the existing ones,” said Professor Milczarski.
Hunter Distinguished Lecturer Colum McCann has won the 2009 National Book Award in Fiction for his best-selling novel, "Let the Great World Spin." The National Book Awards, announced Wednesday night (November 18) in New York City, are considered the top American prize for literature.
In accepting the award, McCann said, "As fiction writers and people who believe in the word, we have to enter the anonymous corners of human experience to make that little corner right."
"Let the Great World Spin" tells the tale of 1970s New York City through characters whose lives are touched by famed tightrope walker Philippe Petit and his memorable high-wire act between the World Trade Center towers in August 1974.
McCann is also the author of two collections of short stories and five novels, including "This Side of Brightness," "Dancer" and "Zoli," all of which were international best-sellers. His fiction has been published in 30 languages and has appeared in major literary publications including The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, GQ and The Paris Review. His short film "Everything in this Country Must," directed by Gary McKendry, was nominated for an Academy Award in 2005.
This past May, McCann was inducted into Aosdana, one of Ireland's most prestigious literary associations. Later this fall, he will be awarded a French Chevalier des arts et lettres by the French government, making him one of an exclusive number of foreign artists recognized in France for their literary contributions.
At Hunter, McCann teaches fiction in the college's MFA program.
Hunter's team prize winners (left to right): Jeffrey Ruiz, Emily Jones and Matthew Shockley
The Hunter College Model United Nations team won top awards in two international debating competitions, one held in Oxford, England and the other at Columbia University.
At the Oxford, England Model United Nations, where 450 delegates from colleges and universities across Europe and elsewhere competed in debates and forums from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1, Hunter junior Nikolay Lisnyanskiy won Best Delegate. The Hunter team placed third of 45 schools at the prestigious competition, and Hunter junior Jeffrey Ruiz was selected to serve as Assistant Director for the General Assembly Secretariat.
Hunter's team also received a special commendation for overall superior debating by the Oxford Secretary General.
Other members of the award-winning team were junior Christine Battiloro and sophomore Victoria Goldfedib - who both won honorable mention in the best delegate category - and senior Meri (Buka) Carmen, junior Fabiola Augustin, and Julian Nowicki (BA '08).
"I can't express how proud I am of the delegates this semester. We have a solid program for preparing students for the most rigorous debate situations and our team truly pulled through at Oxford and left a lasting impression," Ruiz said. "It was inspiring."
Also this month at the Model United Nations competition at Columbia University, senior Emily Jones won the top prize as Best Delegate. Senior Matthew Shockley won a verbal commendation for his performance on a committee organized to address economic problems in India, and Ruiz received a verbal commendation for his work representing the interests of the United Kingdom.
"It was a pleasure at Columbia to participate and shatter the opposition, while forging friendships during committee debate sessions," Jones said.
"We knew that their 24-7 work in the class had reaped rewards, and we were beaming with pride," said Professor Pamela Falk, the Model U.N. team faculty advisor, and teacher of Hunter's Model United Nations course.
Left to right: Assembly Member Adam Clayton Powell IV, Lois Silberman, NY Secretary of State Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez, Deputy Mayor for Education and Community Development Dennis Walcott, Hunter President Jennifer Raab, CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, Vice Chancellor for Facilities Planning, Construction and Management Iris Weinshall and City Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito
Groundbreaking for the new Lois V. and Samuel J. Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College in East Harlem was celebrated on Monday, November 16. The new building will be renamed in honor of the Silberman family's record $30 million gift toward construction of the building, which will also house the new CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter and the archives and library of Hunter College's Centro de Estudios Puertorriquenos.
"We should all be proud that one of the country's top public social work schools is located right here in New York. Thanks to the generous gift of the Lois and Samuel Silberman Fund, we can be sure that the School of Social Work at Hunter College will remain strong for years to come," Governor David Paterson said. "Moving the School of Social Work to East Harlem will give its students and faculty - as well as those at the new CUNY School for Public Health - the opportunity to engage with a vibrant, diverse and growing population in need of the vast array of services Hunter offers. Today's groundbreaking showcases a public-private partnership at its best."
"We are most grateful to Gov. David Paterson, the New York State Legislature, the Silberman family, and all our academic and community supporters who so generously provided the resources to allow this extraordinary public/private partnership project to move forward," CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein said. "Life-changing careers for students and pioneering research will emanate from this enterprise, bringing multiple educational, economic, and societal benefits to the neighborhood, to the City and to our State."
Said Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab, "This transformative project is a testament to the storied legacy of the Hunter School of Social Work and the confidence shared by the Governor, the Mayor, Chancellor, the CUNY Board of Trustees, and everyone at Hunter, that the School will play a vital and essential role in the city's future.
"The Silberman family is a vital part of that ongoing legacy," President Raab added. "With this tremendous gift, they have ensured that the School's future will be even brighter than its past. By enabling us to work closely with the CUNY School of Public Health and with CENTRO, in the heart of one of New York City's most rapidly changing neighborhoods, the new building will make possible a wide range of community engagement opportunities."
The new, eight-story, 147,000-square foot green building, located on Third Ave. between E. 118th and 119th Streets, is being funded by a $101.3 million allocation from the State Legislature, along with the Silberman gift. In addition to classrooms and faculty offices, it will include an auditorium, library, and café, and state-of-the art technology. It will be an economic boost to a neighborhood that needs the investment, and is the result of a unique partnership among The City University of New York and Hunter College, the Lois V. and Samuel J. Silberman Fund in the New York Community Trust, and the Brodsky Organization, the developer that purchased the building that currently houses the school.
The school has outgrown the building on East 79th Street, which was owned by the Silberman Fund, a supporting organization of The New York Community Trust, the city's community foundation. The $30 million gift came from the proceeds of the sale of the Upper East Side building to the Brodsky Organization for $48 million; the remainder of the sale proceeds will be used by The Trust to support social work practice in the city through the education and training of social work personnel.
The Silbermans have had a rich history with both Hunter and The Trust. Samuel Silberman, a businessman and philanthropist, believed strongly in the ability of trained social workers to change lives and just as strongly in a public institution to teach them. Since his death in 2000, Mrs. Silberman and The Trust have worked to ensure that his vision would continue.
The new building was designed by Cooper, Robertson & Partners along with SLCE Architects. Its design and location will allow the School of Social Work to expand its mission and be a force for change in East Harlem, where Hunter plans to establish partnerships with community-based social service providers. The ground floor is designed to engage the community with an art gallery and café. The building - targeting a LEED-Silver rating for environmentally sustainable design - is expected to open for the September 2011 semester.
The Hunter College School of Social Work is the oldest publicly sponsored graduate social work program in New York City and one of the finest in the nation. Established in 1958, the school's focus is on excellence in education for social work practice, and its graduates are known for providing leadership in addressing major social problems in a changing society. The school offers several pathways leading to the master of social work degree and its primary goal is to prepare students for responsible, advanced and creative practice in social work. As a public graduate school of social work in New York City, the School recognizes a special responsibility toward serving the urban community under social agency auspices. Through educational programs and activities, it seeks to enhance the well-being of poor, vulnerable and stigmatized populations.
The new East Harlem complex will also be home to CUNY's new School of Public Health, which is slated to open with master's and doctoral programs in 2010-2011, and will be the only school of public health in the nation with an urban focus. This is especially important in a world where the population is increasingly urban, and predicted to be more than 75% urban by 2030.
The school will focus on new ways to prevent and control health problems in urban populations while training practitioners to implement these solutions in New York City and other urban centers. It will offer community-based doctoral and master's degrees in disciplines including epidemiology, biostatistics, social and behavioral science, health care administration and policy, and environmental health, as well as selected undergraduate degrees. Attracting students who live and work in the communities it is designed to serve, the School of Public Health will produce graduates with the knowledge and skills to grapple with the serious health care disparities facing the poor, minorities and immigrants.
East Harlem has long been a center of Puerto Rican life and culture, making the new campus building an appropriate site for the library of Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños - the Center for Puerto Rican Studies. CENTRO has served New York's Puerto Rican community and the students and faculty of CUNY and Hunter College since its inception in 1973 and its award-winning library is a vehicle for informing, educating and empowering the Puerto Rican community.
CENTRO's researchers helped establish a foundation for the intellectual field of Puerto Rican studies and have provided unique insights for understanding the Puerto Rican diaspora and the incorporation of Puerto Ricans into communities across America. CENTRO has also promoted an examination of the Puerto Rican experience in the context of the broader Latino experience and in relation to other racial minorities in the U.S. This has included a major effort by the library to collect and preserve valuable archival and other resources documenting the history and culture of Puerto Ricans.
Hunter College's library takes center stage in a new book, Reading the OED, by former Hunter student Ammon Shea. Shea was a junior transfer student at Hunter's when he began a project to read the 20-volume, 21,730-page Oxford English Dictionary, from front to back, and to write a book about his experience.
After finding the New York City Public Library at 42nd Street and some other locations “too rowdy,” he settled on the basement of the Hunter College library, where he was surrounded by theatre and French books.
"It is as quiet a spot as one can find in New York," Shea writes.
When he begins his massive reading project, Shea takes to "shushing" students in the library so that he might have peace and quiet. Shea completed his reading project in July 2007. Reading the OED, Shea's third book, has been widely reviewed.
Hunter Integrated Media Arts MFA student Kevin T. Allen's Immokalee, My Home, a portrait of life in Immokalee, Florida, has been selected for the honor of screening at the Margaret Mead Festival, the oldest and one of the most prestigious documentary film festivals in the United States. His film looks at life in the heartland of industrial agriculture in the US and home to the country's largest population of migrant farm workers. Through visits to carnivals, churches, tomato fields, and workers' homes, Allen presents a tale of migration, suffering, and of the persistent hope for a better life.
Allen's film premieres at the Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival on Saturday, November 14th at 4:30pm.
For more info, see http://www.amnh.org/programs/mead/2009/films/immokalee-my-home.
The Hunter College women's tennis team claimed their tenth consecutive title on Sunday, November 1st, when they became the 2009 CUNY Athletic Conference women's tennis champions. Hunter's defeat of Baruch by a score of 5-4 automatically qualifies Hunter for the NCAA Division III championships to be held in the spring. Hunter has now beaten Baruch in the last five championship matches.
Hunter senior Evgeniya Kim, sophomore Ericka Jaramillo, senior Bomi Park and junior Veronica Efimenko led the team to victory by defeating Baruch's players in four out of the five singles matches that took place in the USTA Tennis Center in Flushing, NY. Kim was named the Championship's Most Valuable Player for the third time in as many years.
The NCAA Division III Championship Tournament begins on May 14, 2010. In their last three tournament appearances, the Hunter Hawks have compiled a 2-3 record with wins against Wilkes University in 2007 and 2008.
It is with profound sadness that we report the passing of Roy DeCarava, Hunter Distinguished Professor of Art, and a member of the Hunter faculty since 1975. Roy was a beloved colleague and teacher.
Roy, who devoted more than 60 years to an extraordinary career as a master photographer and a pioneer in the art of photography, was famous for his images of jazz musicians and everyday life in New York City. In 2006, he was awarded the prestigious National Medal of Arts by President Bush at the White House where he was hailed for a lifetime of inspiring contributions to the arts. He was also the first African American photographer to win a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Roy will be greatly missed by his students, colleagues, and everyone else who had the extraordinary privilege of knowing and working with him. We join his many friends and colleagues in mourning his passing and extend our deepest sympathies to his family on behalf of the entire Hunter community.
Jennifer J. Raab
MHSHS Principal Susan Kreisman proudly displays the school’s latest honor
Manhattan Hunter Science High School (MHSHS) has been named New York City's “Rising Star Public High School” by Manhattan Media, media publishers of such publications as Our Town and West Side Spirit. The school received a 2009 Blackboard Award in recognition of its excellence in education.
In 2007 MHSHS was one of 18 schools singled out in the book, New York City's Best Public High Schools, and in 2009, the school earned a bronze medal from U.S. News & World Report.
The school, a collaboration between Hunter College and the New York City Department of Education, opened in September 2003 with a focus on preparing students for college who are especially interested in science. The school received a $400,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, administered through the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.
In a major speech this morning (October 22, 2009) at Columbia Teachers College, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan singled out Hunter College’s School of Education as one of the nation’s few “shining examples” of teacher education programs effectively preparing their students for “the realities of the 21st-century classroom.” Secretary Duncan praised David Steiner – who served as dean of Hunter’s School of Education until beginning his tenure as New York State Education Commissioner earlier this month – for creating “an extraordinary teacher education program at Hunter College,” citing its emphasis on real-world preparation, its incorporation of best practices, and its charter school partnerships.
Here is the excerpt:
“David created an extraordinary teacher preparation program at Hunter College. Like Virginia's program, it has a carefully-run clinical program that videotapes student teachers and helps them learn from their experience. In contrast to some colleges of education, David also encouraged the incorporation of best practices from a new generation of high-performing charter schools. He even established an alternative certification program for teachers of record—Teacher U—for KIPP, Achievement First, and the Uncommon Schools.”
To read the complete text of Secretary Duncan’s speech, click here:
Distinguished Professor of Psychology Virginia Valian has been awarded a $1.28 million grant by the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) Center of Scientific Review. The grant, funded by the National Cancer Institute under the aegis of the NIH’s Women in Biomedical Careers program, is being awarded to 14 female researchers at prestigious institutions of higher education across the country.
The grants, totaling approximately $16.8 million over a four-year period, will focus on factors that influence the careers of women in biomedical and behavioral science and engineering. The Women in Biomedical Careers program is designed to maximize the potential of women scientists and engineers nationwide.
Dr. Valian, who is also co-director of the Hunter College Gender Equity Project, has entitled her research project “Gatekeepers and Gender Schemas,” which will examine the structure of decisions that affect men’s and women’s success in academic science and academic medicine. The ultimate goal is to improve the accuracy of recognition and reward of talent in the sciences, and to achieve greater gender equity in hiring, promotions and awards.
Collaborating with Dr. Valian on the project is a cancer researcher from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and two researchers from Rice University in Houston — one also in cognitive psychology and the other in industrial-organizational psychology, and all are women.
Urban Affairs and Planning Professor Tom Angotti has won this year's Paul Davidoff Book Award for his book New York for Sale. This biennial award, given by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, is one of the most prestigious honors in the academic planning field. The award is given in memory of Paul Davidoff, a revered and respected activist academic in the field of modern city planning. It recognizes an outstanding publication that promotes participatory planning and positive social change, opposes poverty and racism as factors in society and seeks ways to reduce disparities between rich and poor; white and black; men and women.
In New York for Sale, Angotti, who is also the director of the Hunter College Center for Community Planning and Development, tells some of the stories of community planning in New York City: how activists moved beyond simple protests and began to formulate community plans to protect neighborhoods against urban renewal, real estate mega-projects, gentrification, and environmental hazards.
He is the author of Metropolis 2000: Planning, Poverty, and Politics, the coeditor of Progressive Planning Magazine, and a columnist for the online journal Gotham Gazette.
The Hunter College School of Social Work and Union Settlement Association, a 114-year old community-based organization serving East Harlem, have received a three-year $900,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to launch the Bridges Youth Empowerment Program. The program, which will operate as a partnership with the Isaac Newton Middle School for Math & Science, will address serious health risks faced by youth in East Harlem using an approach based on comprehensive personal development and education.
Bridges is designed to improve health and educational outcomes by empowering students – many of whom have experienced personal traumas and face severe personal, economic and educational obstacles – to better meet life’s challenges and guide their own futures. The program aims to help students develop self-confidence, new skills and experiences, and a greater awareness of their own potential, while educating them about personal health and safety issues, including unintended pregnancies, HIV/AIDS and STDs, diabetes, obesity and smoking.
“The program is designed to offer a trauma-informed and resilience-oriented form of intervention, based on the particular conditions and poverty of East Harlem – a community where 40% of households live below poverty level and 46% of adults did not graduate from a high school,” said Dr. Robert Abramovitz, Moses Visiting Professor of Social Work at Hunter and the project’s principal investigator. “In order to achieve the targeted health outcomes, our focus will be on supporting academic success, encouraging higher education as a goal, and fostering an interest in careers related to science, technology, engineering and math.”
“We are tremendously excited by this opportunity to help the youth in our community to overcome the obstacles of their environment, learn skills, make healthy choices and gain experiences that contribute to more positive lifestyles,” said David Nocenti, Executive Director of the Union Settlement Association. “This is an excellent opportunity to improve social services outcomes in a community that has historically been difficult to impact using traditional social services. We look forward to using Union Settlement’s longstanding relationships in the community to leverage this program and affect positive outcomes for the long term.”
The year-round Bridges program will include three components: (1) a comprehensive after-school program geared towards building academic skills and personal development, including wellness workshops and personal counseling; (2) a summer program focused on science, technology, engineering and math; and (3) a comprehensive plan for family engagement through regular staff-parent contacts and a series of planned activities. The program will work with 40 students from the beginning of eighth grade through the end of tenth grade.
The project will be overseen by faculty from the Hunter College School of Social Work, which is a national leader in social work education, and will be staffed by personnel from Union Settlement Association, which serves over 2000 youth each year through a wide array of educational and recreational youth development services. Programming will predominantly take place at Isaac Newton Middle School, which serves more than 300 sixth to eighth graders, the majority of whom come from poverty-level households. The project will include a rigorous program evaluation component, with performance tracked over a three-year period in comparison to a similar group of middle school students. The analysis will include evaluation of anticipated long-term outcomes of positive changes in reproductive health and health and wellness practices for the youth, as well as improved academic engagement and performance.
Elise B. Jaffe has joined the Hunter community as the college’s new Pre-Law Advisor. With a background in the legal profession, Jaffe brings to Hunter in-depth information about the law school admissions process, course selection and preparation for law school. In her new role, Jaffe also facilitates access to law-related internships and other resources at Hunter and outside the college that can help students and alumni learn more about legal careers, including the various types of legal specialties and the different contexts in which attorneys practice.
Prior to joining Hunter, Jaffe was a corporate associate specializing in employee benefits at Debevoise and Plimpton, LLP, where she represented clients in connection with tax, securities, and related matters bearing on employer-sponsored benefits and compensation programs.
She earned her law degree, magna cum laude, from St. John’s University and her BA in American history and political science from the University of Pennsylvania. She also holds an M.Phil. fromYale University in political science, and an M.P.A. from the University of Wisconsin, where she was a University Fellow.
Students and alumni who are interested in a legal career are encouraged to visit the Pre-Law Advising Office, located in Room 1134 East, or call 212.772.4882 to set up an appointment.
On September 24th, in anticipation of the National Equality March at the U.S. Capitol on October 11th, renowned gay rights activist Cleve Jones spoke at Hunter at an event sponsored by the College’s Department of Film and Media. Jones addressed a crowd of students, faculty, and staff prior to a screening of the 2008 film Milk, in which Jones, a close friend of the late San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk, is himself a prominent character. (He is played in the movie by Emile Hirsch.)
“To me, it’s so clear that this is a historic moment,” said Jones, referring to the momentum of the gay rights movement and the election of an African-American president, something “I never thought I’d live long enough to see.” But he tempered his optimism with the disappointment he felt in, among other things, Obama’s choice of conservative evangelical Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his January inauguration. “The door was swinging open, but it’s clear that it’s already being shut,” said Jones.
In response, Jones is working to turn out as many people as possible for the October march. “It’s time to say what the dream is and fight for it,” he said.
Though Jones, the founder of the NAMES project AIDS Memorial Quilt, has been fighting for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people for more than 30 years, his days as an activist began in protest against Vietnam and in support of women’s rights, among other issues. He encouraged the Hunter students in attendance to learn from the history of the civil rights movement as they move forward on the path to LGBT equality. “I’m glad you saw [Milk], but don’t look back to 1978. Look back to 1963,” he said.
“I look forward to being done with this battle,” he said, “because there are so many other battles ahead of us.”
The Hunter School of Social Work has been awarded a $6 million five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to operate the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections at Hunter College.
The NRC, as it is known for short, is under the direction of Professor Gary Mallon. It provides training, technical assistance and information services to child-welfare policymakers, administrators and staff in programs designed to ensure the safety and well-being of young people in the child welfare system and to strengthen the permanency of their families.
The NRC has worked with all 50 child welfare state systems, with more than 80 Indian tribes, and in the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and American Samoa.
Under the $6 million grant, the NRC will also provide technical assistance to states and tribes as they carry out the nation's newest child welfare legislation - known as the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act - that was signed into law last year.
The new grant is the latest over a 15-year span that the School of Social Work has been awarded from the Children's Bureau of HHS to advance policies to aid children and youths and their families through the National Resource Center at Hunter.
The Hunter College School of Social Work is one of the largest graduate schools of social work in the United States and the oldest public graduate school of social work in New York City.
Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab was named one of the 50 most powerful women in New York City by Crain’s New York Business magazine. The only president of a college or university – public or private – on a list dominated by corporate executives, President Raab was praised for making Hunter one of the best educational values in the nation, despite a limited budget.
It is difficult to believe that eight years have passed since the tragedy of September 11, 2001. We can all be proud of how we came together as New Yorkers and grew stronger in the wake of such a horrible event.
But many among us are still privately mourning the loss of loved ones who died that day, and it is important that we keep them foremost in our thoughts. We must never forget what happened, or the sacrifices of the victims and those they left behind. We especially remember Angela Rosario, Michael Mullan, Robert McMahon and Anthony Fallone, the four Hunter students we lost that day, as well as all other members of the Hunter family directly affected by the tragedy.
To honor the memory of those who lost their lives on 9/11, the CUNY community has created a site to share memories, images, stories and thoughts about the events of that day and their many after effects. This year, new poetry and prose pieces by CUNY’s faculty, staff, and students have been added to the archives -- http://www1.cuny.edu/portal_ur/content/911site/web/viewwriting.html
Thank you for doing your part to keep the memory alive.
Jennifer J. Raab
In a major milestone for Hunter’s recently established Center of Research Excellence in Quantum Information, Professors Janos Bergou and Mark Hillery of the Physics and Astronomy Department have been awarded a three-year, $478,583 grant by the National Science Foundation. The grant will fund research into what many scientists believe could be the future of information processing.
In the 1980s and ‘90s, it was discovered that information can be processed at dramatically faster speeds when it is encoded in systems that obey the rules of quantum mechanics (the science of atomic and sub-atomic particles). The finding led to a worldwide effort to develop new processing systems.
The Hunter study will focus on two aspects of quantum information. One is known as quantum walks and will allow Bergou and Hillery to apply their own recently developed concepts about particle scattering. The second will study quantum state discrimination, whose applications include the encryption of super-sensitive information.
Hunter has emerged in the past five years as a leader in the quantum state discrimination field. Research developed at the college has led to experiments at the University of Toronto and the purchase of intellectual property rights by a new York-based quantum information company.
On the red carpet at the IGF student film festival held at Paramount Studios in Hollywood are (l to r) Kimberly Maurice, Xander Duffy, Cindy Goldstein, and Kyle Stevens.
Some people dream all their lives about going to Hollywood, but for two groups of student filmmakers at Hunter, that dream has come true.
Hunter students Kyle Stevens, Xander Duffy, Cindy Goldstein and Kimberly Maurice collaborated on a short film called “The Abduction,” which they wrote, produced and completed in just four days. In addition, recent graduate Annie Zhen (BA ’09) created a five-minute film entitled “REM” (short for Rapid Eye Movement).
Both films were entered in the Campus Movie Fest (CMF), which is the world’s largest student-made film and music festival. This was Hunter’s first year participating in CMF. “The Abduction” won Best Picture and “REM” was a finalist. Both went on to compete against the top college-made films in the Northeast and were screened in Tribeca, where they were voted two of the 14 best college films (out of over 1,500 entrants) in the Northeast. They were then shown at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall as part of the CMF Northern Regional Grand Finale.
In true Hollywood fashion, the dream for both teams of student filmmakers didn’t end there. Both “The Abduction” and “REM” were chosen out of nearly 75,000 films made by students nationwide to be entered in the International Grande Finale (IGF) of all CMF regional competitions in Los Angeles. The IGF was hosted by Paramount Studios, and attended by prominent Hollywood actors, directors, studio heads and agents — and awards were given out in various categories.
Although neither film came home with a student Oscar from the festival, the exposure they received – not to mention the chance to rub elbows with the likes of directors, producers, writers, and actors like Christian Slater and John Cho – and their introduction to Hollywood were invaluable to these budding filmmakers.
President Jennifer J. Raab and two Hunter students (senior Deborah Francois and recent grad Lusheena Warner) offered their best guesses to NBC’s Matt Lauer about who gave the College $5 million - its largest gift ever. Watch the story here: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/32564890#32564890
Freshman Aisha Dalhatu is entering Hunter with a major achievement already on her résumé: She is the winner of a President’s Award for Educational Excellence from the U.S. Department of Education.
She was chosen for the national honor for meeting “challenging standards of excellence” as a student at Brooklyn’s Franklin K. Lane High School.
Dalhatu grew up in Kano, Nigeria. Her family moved to New York in 2006 when she was 14, and she entered Franklin K. Lane in the 10th grade.
She plans to return to Nigeria as a doctor, and Hunter was her first choice for college because of its excellent pre-med program. “I want to go back home some day and focus on women and children, because they do not get the attention they need,” she says, adding, “Hunter is one of the best schools. I was very happy to get in.”
The President’s Education Awards are given annually to students in elementary, middle and high schools for outstanding classroom performance.
Hunter’s national standing continues to soar. The college rose seven places in its category in the 2010 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges.” And Hunter was one of just seven schools in the nation to get a grade of A in a newly created rating system based on what students are required to learn.
In last year’s U.S. News ratings, Hunter was 52nd in the Best Universities-Master’s (North) category. This year – in one of the biggest single-year jumps in the college’s history – it moved into 45th place, in a tie with Queens College and four other schools.
Hunter also moved into 10th place on U.S. News’s list of Top Public Universities (North), a jump of two spots over last year. Only two other CUNY campuses made it onto this prestigious list, Baruch (6th) and Queens (tied with Hunter again at 10th).
In a category that has special significance for working students, Hunter was first in the nation among Master’s Universities whose students graduate with the lowest debt burden. Further proof that Hunter offers the best education for the lowest price.
In other U.S. News categories, Hunter maintained last year’s fourth position for racial diversity in the Universities-Master’s category, behind three other CUNY schools, Baruch, City and Brooklyn. And Hunter topped all CUNY campuses in alumni giving.
Just two days before the U.S. News rankings came out, Hunter was honored with a grade of A by the American Council of Alumni and Trustees on its new website, WhatWillTheyLearn.com. The ACTA grades – which are billed as “a guide to what college rankings don’t tell you” – rate colleges and universities on their required courses.
Only six other schools in the nation among the 130 that were surveyed joined Hunter in the top tier, including one other CUNY campus, Brooklyn. Columbia got a B. Harvard, a D.To read the NY Daily News’ coverage of “Big Apple schools Hunter and Brooklyn colleges shine at their core”, please visit http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/education/2009/08/19/2009-08-19_2_big_apple_colleges_tops_at_their_core.html
AVI Food Systems has been chosen as Hunter College’s new food services provider. AVI will service the 68th Street campus and the 79th Street campus. AVI will also operate the dining services at the Brookdale Campus, which will feature packaged foods prepared daily, as well as a campus convenience store.
In the coming months, faculty, students, and staff will see new menus, as well as physical changes and a new management team. AVI Food Systems – a family-owned and operated company as well as a women-run business enterprise – is committed to providing healthy food choices in an environmentally friendly and ecologically sustainable way. Among the modifications are:
- the development of a rooftop garden to grow herbs and vegetables for the new menus
- a “tray-less” food service program to limit waste
- eco-friendly packaging made from corn-based polymers and recycled paper
- the use of only non-toxic, biodegradable cleaning products
- drinking fountains with paper cups made from recycled materials
- the recycling of used cooking oil for conversion into bio-diesel
- a partnership with New York Presbyterian Hospital’s successful composting program.
In addition, new vending machines will be installed on campus, offering new, healthier choices. Snack and beverage machines will offer alternative products that are lower in fat, salt, sugar and calories in addition to standard vending products.
The new machines will also incorporate energy conservation measures, including a low-power mode known as Vending Miser, which will switch on when the College is closed or customer traffic is low. The machines will be OneCard-compatible by the end of the year. AVI Food Systems has extensive experience providing food services to higher-education institutions, including Baruch College, Carnegie Mellon University, Wellesley College, Ohio State University and the University of Michigan, as well as major corporations and health-care providers nationwide.
For the second time this year, Hunter has received a top national ranking by the Princeton Review.
The rankings are part of the Princeton Review’s 2010 version of its annual guidebook, the “Best 371 Colleges,” which includes Hunter. The Princeton Review rankings are based on surveys of more than 122,000 undergraduates across the country. Though the Princeton Review does not rank the schools individually (from 1 to 371), each one is profiled in the guidebook and surveys are used to rank the top 20 schools in 62 individual categories, such as Academics/Administration, Quality of Life, Politics, Demographics, Social Life, Extracurriculars, Parties and Schools by Type.
Hunter received high marks for its Diverse Student Population, Financial Aid, Selectivity of Admissions (the highest among CUNY colleges), Green or environmental awareness and responsibility as an institution, as well as Academic Bang for the Buck and Fire Safety. The survey findings pointed out that “Hunter’s class schedule is very accommodating to people who work either part or full time;” that “evening classes are abundant;” and “in terms of socioeconomic status, immigrants, languages, cultures, religion, race, ethnicity, age… Hunter has it all.”
The College was also cited among the Best Northeastern Colleges, one of five regional guides also published by the Princeton Review. In January of this year, in a joint survey conducted by Princeton Review and USA Today – which polled students and administrators at more than 650 public and private colleges and universities around the country – Hunter was ranked #8 among “Best Value Colleges for 2009.”
Rosa-Maria Ndolo, from the United Nation's Education Outreach Division (second from left), stands with Hunter College Model U.N. Team members Jeffrey Ruiz, David Hunter Walsh, Christine Battiloro, and Fabiola Augustin.
A team of students from Hunter College is heading to Geneva, Switzerland to take part in the first annual Global Model United Nations Conference from August 5 - 7. The Hunter College Model U.N. Team is among some 1,000 university-level delegates from 70 nations around the world.
The Global Model United Nations Conference is being organized by the United Nations Department of Public Information. The forum will bring together the best university-level students from Model United Nations programs around the world to discuss priority United Nations issues. At the first annual Conference, the students will discuss the theme “The Millennium Developments Goals: Lifting the Bottom Billion out of Poverty”. The Conference will rotate to other United Nations duty stations in other regions.
Through the Global Model United Nations Conference, youth will be empowered to engage effectively and actively with the public, as well as local authorities, national governments, civil society organizations and the private sector. The student leaders of the Conference hope that through their participation in the forum, the Organization’s work will be better understood by youth, and that the voice of young people will be strengthened at the United Nations.
Hunter nursing students thank Speaker Christine Quinn for her support.
The Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing has launched an intensive 14-month nursing program, the Hunter-Bellevue Accelerated Second-Degree Pathway (A2D), as part of an effort to stem the critical shortage of nurses in New York City.
At a press conference at Bellevue Hospital on July 27, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn lauded the Hunter program and announced a $500,000, five-year grant to CUNY nursing programs. The money will help fund the Hunter-Bellevue accelerated nursing program in addition to other initiatives, such as one to place working nurses in short-term teaching positions at Lehman College and Borough of Manhattan Community College. The partnership will allow CUNY to admit an additional 500 nursing students over five years.
Hunter President Jennifer J. Raab pointed out that every year hundreds of students say they want to become nurses, yet the school has struggled to meet the demand. She called the new program a "great idea." "We can take career changers and move them into the much-in-demand field of nursing," Raab said.
In announcing the $500,000 grant, Speaker Quinn said there is an urgent need to address the nursing shortage. "We need to fill jobs that are in demand," she declared.
It is estimated that New York will need 7,000 more nurses by 2020, yet 575 CUNY nursing applicants were turned away last year because of the lack of teaching capacity. In addition, the nursing workforce is aging and must be replenished. Seventeen percent of New York's 63,000 nurses are 55 or older.
Kristine Gebbie, Dean of the School of Nursing, called the program a boon to Hunter as well as the field of nursing, saying the extra support from the city, sponsored by Speaker Quinn, "will allow us to expand Hunter's nursing programs." Gebbie pointed out that "as these adult learners become RNs, they increase our ability to meet the nursing needs of the city and elsewhere."
The Hunter-Bellevue A2D program is designed for professionals changing careers with a 14-month baccalaureate nursing program instead the traditional 22-month program. Candidates must have a baccalaureate from an accredited college with a minimum 3.0 GPA and complete all science prerequisites.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced Hunter alumna Jacqueline Jones as a new member of his leadership team. Jones, who graduated with a BA in speech pathology from Hunter, will be Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Early Learning. She joins the department from the New Jersey State Department of Education where she served as assistant commissioner for the Division of Early Childhood Education. Prior to state government, Jones worked for 16 years at the Educational Testing Service as a senior research scientist and director of early childhood research and development.
Jones earned her doctorate and master's degrees in communication science and disorders from Northwestern University.
Hunter Public Service Scholar Jenny Alcaide (BA ’09) is headed to the White House for a prestigious internship. Alcaide, who beat out thousands of applicants from around the country for the White House Internship Program, will work in the Office of Management and Administration.
“I’m so excited. I can't believe I got this internship,” Alcaide said from her office in Washington, D.C., where she currently is interning for Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY). “I look forward to learning about the democratic process, and to see how the White House operates,” Alcaide said. “And I want to meet President Obama!”
While at Hunter, Alcaide majored in political science and urban studies and graduated with a 3.7 GPA.
Recently, Alcaide was awarded the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) Public Policy Fellowship. She was one of 16 students selected nationally, and the only one from New York. The fellowship lasts a year, and will take Alcaide to various congressional offices, federal agencies and national advocacy organizations. She eventually plans to attend law school.
Her nine-month fellowship begins in August. Alcaide will break from that program for her White House Internship, which runs from September into December.
“Hunter was great. I wouldn’t have done this without the help of my professors,” Alcaide said.
The New York State Board of Regents has named Dr. David Steiner, dean of Hunter’s School of Education, as the next New York State Education Commissioner. He will assume the position on October 1.
In making the announcement, the Board praised Dr. Steiner’s “leadership of the national effort to transform teacher preparation and improve teacher quality.” It singled out Dr. Steiner’s accomplishments at Hunter, including increased enrollment and the expansion and strengthening of the School’s Special Ed, Teaching English as a Foreign Language, and other administration and training programs.
“David Steiner has pushed the envelope, challenged orthodoxy, and developed rigorous evidence-based approaches that help prepare and support teachers in a diverse range of settings to lead their students to remarkable gains in achievement," said Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch.
Since Dr. Steiner became dean four years ago, the Hunter School of Education has become a nationally recognized center of innovation in the field of teacher preparation. He has led the re-design of the School’s two largest programs, early childhood and childhood education, and a number of projects he has spearheaded have become models in the field. In addition, under Dr. Steiner’s leadership, student test scores have gone up dramatically; a full 100% of Hunter students passed the most recent statewide general assessment tests.
“Though we are sorry to see him go, we are thrilled for David and know that he will be a tremendous asset to the NY State Education Department,” said Hunter President Jennifer J. Raab. “As New Yorkers, we are excited by what the good news of David’s selection will mean for the state’s education system.”
Hunter was founded on a commitment to provide opportunity and a world-class education to every student who comes through its doors. On a campus with over 21,000 students, 1,684 full and part-time faculty, and 447 staff members, this commitment involves an ongoing assessment of how best to use the limited space we have.
We are very proud of the accomplishments of the Children’s Learning Center (CLC) and remain committed to its success. At the same time, much of the space currently allotted for it is underutilized for long periods each day. By making minor adjustments in space allocation for the CLC, we will be able to serve the same number of children at the CLC as last fall and also open up room for other vital student programs, specifically our admissions, financial aid, and pre-professional career advising offices.
By making this small change to the CLC, we are fulfilling our responsibility to serve all our students and to continue Hunter’s role as a premier model of public urban higher education.
Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students
Linda M. Alcoff and Carol Gould
Two new faculty members in Hunter’s Department of Philosophy—Professor Linda M. Alcoff and Professor Carol Gould—have just won distinguished awards for their respective groundbreaking books.
Alcoff’s book, Visible Identities: Race, Gender, and the Self, is the co-winner of the 2009 Frantz Fanon Prize presented by the Caribbean Philosophical Association. The prize is awarded annually to recently published books that are “successfully making a significant contribution to Caribbean thought and successfully extending the pertinence of that contribution to the wider philosophical community.”
Among the concepts that the book examines are “Identities Real and Imagined,” “Gender Identity and Gender Differences,” “Racialized Identities and Racist Subjects,” and “Latino/a Particularity.” One commentator writes that the book “offers a careful analysis of the political and philosophical worries about identity” and “in several chapters…looks specifically at Latino identity…including its relationship to concepts of race…[and] the specific forms of anti-Latino racism….”
Gould’s book, Globalizing Democracy and Human Rights, is the recipient of the David Easton Award given by the Political Theory Section of the American Political Science Association for a recently published book in the humanities or social sciences “that has raised significant philosophical issues for political science.”
One review, pointing out that Gould’s book “contemplates issues of moral universalism and cultural relativism, racism, group rights, women’s rights, global democracy, globalization, stakeholder participation in the management of private corporations, the Internet, and terrorism,” goes on to say that “on most of the topics taken on in this book, [Gould] brings a distinctive and original viewpoint.” The award will be formally presented at the Political Science Association’s annual meeting, to be held in Toronto in September.
A searing new drama that takes place in the exotic locale of Mozambique but is deeply rooted in Hunter will run from July 16-July 26 at the new Cherry Pit Theatre in Manhattan, 155 Bank Street. Titled Death in Mozambique, the play is being directed by Professor Michael Rutenberg of Hunter’s Theatre Department, who calls the play “haunting and intriguing,” yet, he adds, it “has the tender, touching quality of an ultimately transcendent tragedy.”
Set in 1992 at the end of Mozambique’s 16-year civil war, Rutenberg relates, the play focuses on six characters—two American expatriates, two Russian Air Force pilots, and two native Mozambicans. “It’s a sad yet uplifting story,” he continues, “with moments of intermittent laughter.”
But what makes the production relevant to Hunter, emphasizes Rutenberg, is that it was originally conceived as a one-act drama written in Rutenberg’s undergraduate writing class by Jonathan Alexandratos (’08), then developed into a full-length drama when Alexandratos took an independent study with Rutenberg. Moreover, another Hunter graduate, Namakula Musoke, is the leading actress, and yet another Hunter alumnus, Oliver Wasow (’83), is the play’s lighting designer.
Hunter’s Center for HIV Educational Studies and Training (CHEST) has received a total of $725,000 from the National Institutes of Health to conduct two new studies on HIV prevention. Professor Jeffrey Parsons, chair of the Psychology Department, is lead investigator of one of the two studies, and Associate Professor Sarit Golub, also on the Psychology faculty, heads the other study. Parsons and Golub are the co-directors of CHEST.
The study led by Parsons, which received a three-year grant of $450,000 from the National Institute for Mental Health, will develop an innovative web-based intervention for black men who have sex with men and women. “A lot of research has indicated that bisexually active black men are a hard-to-reach population,” said Parsons, “so our intervention, which will be delivered over the Internet, will enable participants to watch our material in the privacy of their homes.”
The CHEST team, said Parsons, will create a series of brief videos featuring peers talking about their experiences with safer sex and HIV. Study participants will watch the videos for six weeks, and the research team will then follow the participants to monitor the impact of the videos.
The research headed by Golub focuses on the role of neurocognitive factors—such as decision-making deficits and impulsivity—in determining behavior likely to increase the risk for HIV. Funded by a two-year award of $275,000 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the study is designed, said Golub, “to identify particular neurocognitive deficits or decision-making patterns that make HIV-risk behavior more likely.” The study examines ways, she continued, “in which problems with decision-making, working memory, or impulse control may work against HIV prevention strategies, and is aimed at helping to develop and adapt HIV-prevention interventions that will best meet the needs of the population they serve.”
Three recent Hunter graduates have been awarded Fulbright Fellowships for the 2009-2010 academic year. The three recipients of the Fellowship—one of the most prestigious in the academic world—are Thomael Joannidis (BA’04, MS ’06), Tonia Tiewul (BA’09), and Matthew Willis (BA’09).
Joannidis, who earned her bachelor’s in sociology and English and her master’s in urban affairs, was a New York City Urban Fellow in 2006-2007, working with the first deputy commissioner of the Department of Information, Technology and Telecommunication. She will spend her Fulbright year focusing on conflict resolution in Cyprus, where she will identify methods of increasing young Cypriot women’s participation in reconciliation efforts.
Tiewul, who majored in psychology, was in Hunter’s Thomas Hunter Honors Program and the College’s National Institute of Mental Health-Career Opportunities in Research program. She has won a Fulbright grant to Jamaica, where she will organize a pilot project to provide social and psychological support to children affected by HIV/AIDS. This year’s U.S. Student Fulbright Program in the Western Hemisphere was one of the most competitive in the world.
Willis, whose Hunter degree is in biology and German, has received a Fulbright grant for study combined with a teaching assistantship. The grant will take him to Austria, where he will teach English in a secondary school and study communication and language in a health care setting. Willis, who has worked as a medical technician and an emergency medical technician, intends to study medicine when he returns to the U.S. and work in underserved areas.
Hunter English Professor and novelist Michael Thomas has been awarded the Dublin Literary Award for his debut novel, Man Gone Down. The prize is among the literary world's most lucrative, with a cash award of $140,000. Thomas, who is also a Hunter alumnus, beat out a pool of finalists that included Junot Diaz' Pulitzer Prize-winning The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.
A panel of judges from Ireland, Britain, Switzerland and Canada named Thomas the winner of the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and said the book was a “masterful debut.” They described Thomas as “a writer of enthralling voice and startling insight.”
Man Gone Down follows a thirty-something African-American man, who is at a crossroads in his life and races against time to find the money to keep his family from falling apart.
Thomas' novel was selected from 145 books nominated by libraries around the world. The prize is open to any novel, whether English-language or translated, published in English in the preceding year.
The other finalists were The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz; The Burnt-Out Town of Miracles, by Roy Jacobsen; Ravel, by Jean Echenoz: Animal's People, by Indra Sinha; The Reluctant Fundamentalist, by Mohsin Hamid; The Archivist's Story, by Travis Holland; and The Indian Clerk, by David Leavitt.
The prize is run by Dublin's public library system and financed by Improved Management Productivity and Control, a Florida-based management consultancy that has its European headquarters in Dublin.
Actually, let’s make that two more trees are now growing on 69th St. As part of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s MillionTreesNYC Initiative, Hunter is helping to "green" the Upper East Side by planting two trees on the south side of 69th Street, near the college entrance between Park and Lexington Avenues.
In addition to the two leafy additions to Hunter’s main campus, 14 trees were planted on the Brookdale campus. Franz Helmke, Hunter’s Administrative Superintendent for Facilities, spearheaded Hunter's participation in the citywide effort to plant one million trees in the five boroughs over the next ten years.
To learn more about other sustainable initiatives at Hunter, visit http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/huntergreen.
Add one more accolade to Hunter Sociology Professor Pamela Stone’s repertoire. The American Sociological Association (ASA) has awarded the 2009 William S. Goode Award for Best Book Length Contribution to Family Sociology to Stone for her book, Opting Out? Why Women Really Quit Careers and Head Home.
The award, established in honor of the former president of the ASA, is granted annually to the best book on family sociology.
Opting Out? (University of California Press, 2007) challenges the conventional wisdom that women are voluntarily choosing to leave the workforce to stay home with children. In her research, Stone found that women are forced out due to work and social conditions. Based on a series of candid, in-depth interviews with women who returned home after working as doctors, lawyers, bankers, scientists, and in other professions, Stone explores the role that husbands, children, and coworkers play in the decision.
Stone’s title was called “provocative, superbly researched, and required reading,” by BusinessWeek, and was featured on NBC’s “Today” and “Weekend Today,” “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric,” and “ABC World News Tonight,” among other TV and radio appearances. Stone has been quoted in Time, USA Today, US News & World Report, and Newsweek.
The former chair of the Department of Sociology at Hunter, Stone was the recipient of a fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, where she also served as Associate Director of the Radcliffe Public Policy Institute. She is a fellow of Hunter’s Gender Equity Program, supported by NSF’s ADVANCE program, which promotes women in science.
(L to R) Shayne Bernstein, Ilene Drapkin, Keith Okrosy & Susan McCarty
An innovative Hunter program designed to help college seniors get their degrees on time and get good jobs won first prize in a competition sponsored by the leading New York organization of college career planners.
The prize—the Alva C. Cooper Award for Best Practices in Career Development—was presented by the Metropolitan New York College Career Planning Officers Association (MNYCCPOA) at the Association’s Spring Program, held in May.
The prizewinning program was the Senior Year Network, a week-long program that offers students a rich array of workshops and other events on such wide-ranging subjects as clothes and cosmetics in the world of work, résumé writing, job interviewing, financial planning, business etiquette, networking, and admission to graduate school. Students participating in the program receive a Career Kit that includes steps they should take to prepare for graduation and mount a successful job search, recent newspaper articles about the U.S. economy, and information about specific career fields. The culminating event of the Senior Year Network is the Alumni/Student Reception, where current students can meet successful Hunter alumni in various careers.
Launched in Fall 2007, the Senior Year Network is held once every semester and draws nearly 2,000 students a year. It is developed, organized, and conducted collaboratively by Career Development Services, Academic Advising, departmental faculty advisors, Graduate Advising, the Writing Center, the Office of Alumni Relations as well as individual alumni who mentor and network with students, and the Registrar’s Office.
“Our success is largely a result of the close collaboration between these varied offices and individuals,” noted Susan McCarty, director of Career Development Services, who added: “Hunter is a commuter school where the majority of the students are extremely busy going to and from classes while also carrying work and family responsibilities. In the Senior Year Network, we have developed a one-stop shopping approach that enables us to give our busy students guidance from many different areas at the same time with the same message.”
The Senior Year Network was presented at the MNYCCPOA meeting by McCarty; Shayne Bernstein, associate director of Career Development Services; Keith Okrosy, career counselor; and Ilene Drapkin, director of student retention.
Actor Tony Plana made a surprise visit to address graduates and their families at the 199th Hunter College commencement ceremony Thursday at Radio City Music Hall. The Cuban-born actor, who stars on the ABC show Ugly Betty, said his story was Hunter’s story. Plana came to the United States as an immigrant who spoke only Spanish and had to struggle to make it through school.
“Dare to dream,” Plana told the 3,000 graduates. “Dream big, dream difficult, dream challenging. Find something that makes you want to get up in the morning.”
Commencement speaker Hilda L. Solis, the United States Secretary of Labor, said she was proud to represent the Obama administration at Hunter’s ceremony, and that she was impressed with stories of success against-all-odds that accompanied so many of Hunter’s grads.
“You represent a new light, a new hope for the planet,” she told the packed crowd.
Sheila Birnbaum (BA ’60, MA ’62), who has been named one of the best attorneys in the country and most influential women in business in New York City, received an honorary doctorate of law, while Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer received the President’s Medal. Former ballerina Corinne Vidulich, who graduated with special honors in biology and minors in art history and chemistry, gave the valedictory address. She shared the valedictory title with two other graduates: Jorge Baquero and Alexander Kohen, who along with Vidulich, earned a 3.983 grade point average.
Angela Rosario Reyes has been named a 2009-2010 National Academy of Education Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow. One of 20 fellows selected out of a competitive pool of more than 150 applications, Reyes will receive a $55,000 fellowship award, which will help support her research expenses during the fellowship period.
Dr. Reyes, an associate professor of linguistics, teaches courses in the structure and history of English; language and ethnicity; and sociolinguistics—the study of language in relation to its social and cultural context. Her research areas include linguistic anthropology and Asian-American studies, and her current research focuses on how links between dialects and ethnic groups develop and change as the dialects are used in real-life situations.
The fellowships are administered by the National Academy of Education, an honorary educational society. The aim of the award is to enhance education research by developing new talent in a variety of disciplines.
Hunter Distinguished Professor Nancy Siraisi has been named the 2010 Charles Homer Haskins Prize Lecturer by the American Council of Learned Societies. Named for the first chairman of the ACLS, the Charles Homer Haskins Prize Lecture series celebrates lifelong dedication to the advancement of the humanities. The lecture will take place on May 7 at the 2010 ACLS Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.
Dr. Siraisi has been a prolific and leading scholar in the history of medicine and science of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Her research has ranged widely across these two distinct fields, from her first book on the university curriculum in medieval Padua to her current work on the role of doctors in history-writing in the Renaissance.
Through her numerous publications and professional activities Siraisi has contributed to the growth of the history of science and medicine while also fostering the continued close interaction of these fields with "mainstream" history, notably through her faithful teaching of general medieval and Renaissance history and her insistence on careful contextualization.
Her award-winning Taddeo Alderotti and His Pupils: Two Generations of Italian Medical Learning is reconstructed from extensive manuscript research the teaching of medicine in 13th- and 14th-century Bologna. In Avicenna in Renaissance Italy: The Canon and Medical Teaching of Italian Universities after 1500 she traces the longevity of the Canon of Avicenna through commentaries in Italian universities after 1500. In The Clock and the Mirror: Girolamo Cardano and Renaissance Medicine, she illuminates the medical activities of the sixteenth-century Italian physician Girolamo Cardano, from his authorship to his bedside practices. Her most recent book, History, Medicine, and the Traditions of Renaissance Learning, is an investigation of the role of history and historical writing in the interests and activities of Renaissance physicians. Nancy Siraisi's most widely read book, Medieval and Early Renaissance Medicine: An Introduction to Knowledge and Practice, is universally praised as a model of a textbook.
Dr. Siraisi received her BA from Oxford University, her PhD from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and taught in the Department of History at Hunter from 1970 until her retirement as Distinguished Professor in 2003.
Hunter’s Model United Nations Team took top honors at the National Model UN Conference, the country’s premier competition for model UN groups. The Hunter team won awards in the top three categories—Outstanding Delegates in Committee, Distinguished Delegation, and Honorable Mention—making Hunter one of the top five award winners among the 300 colleges that competed at the conference. The team has competed at Harvard, Columbia, Yale, and CUNY Model UN competitions, where they won more awards than any other delegations.
Most members of the team—which comprises students from six continents and more than 15 countries—are students in Hunter’s Model UN class, a political science course taught by Professor Pamela S. Falk. At the conference the group represented Estonia, Italy, Rwanda, and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
Among the problems the team had to tackle were the global tracking of nuclear materials, the international rights of enemy combatants, and jurisdiction over objects orbiting the Earth.
Nikolay Lisnyanskiy, a junior from Russia who served as the Hunter team’s head delegate at the Nationals, called the Model UN course and the competitions “the best educational experience for all of us. We are indebted to the College for supporting this rigorous and exciting program.”
Also competing at the same event was a group of students from the Hunter College UN Student Association, a ten-year-old student-run club. The group, which represented the country of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, won a Distinguished Delegation award based on the performance of the team’s members during debate. This year’s prize—one of the highest awarded at the conference—was the second consecutive national award won by the group.
The conference was held April 7-11 in New York City.
Hunter physics graduate Amy Colon (BS ‘08) has been awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, which will fund Colon’s doctorate research into the evolution of galaxies and star formation at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“It’s a huge thing for me,” Colon said. “I never thought I’d be considered for it at all. I’m still in shock.”
Colon is an astrophysics graduate student at UNC. Her fellowship will allow her to concentrate solely on the research she will do in pursuit of her PhD, so that she will not have to teach or work. It’s quite a change from when Colon was studying physics and astronomy in New York City and working as a car dispatcher and other odd jobs while taking care of her young daughter.
“I’m still expecting it to be a dream, that I’ll tell everyone I got it and then wake up and get an email saying I didn’t get it. But my name is on the list, so I guess it’s true. I’m blown away,” Colon said.
Colon, whose Hunter mentor was Physics Professor Steve Greenbaum, was one of few physics majors at Hunter as part of the MARC (Minority Access to Research Careers) and MBRS (Minority Biomedical Research Support) scholarship programs. “They funded me so I could do the research and attend Hunter and get the experience I needed to have a nice CV to send to the National Academy. I’m very grateful. So many people helped me along the way. I was at the right place at the right time. My ultimate goal is to give back and mentor others as I was mentored. “I miss Hunter a lot,” she added.
Secretary Hilda L. Solis, who was confirmed as Secretary of Labor on February 24, 2009, will address Hunter graduates and their families at Hunter’s 199th Commencement on May 28, 2009 at Radio City Music Hall. Prior to confirmation as Secretary of Labor, Secretary Solis represented the 32nd Congressional District in California, a position she held from 2001 – 2009.
In the Congress, Solis’ priorities included expanding access to affordable health care, protecting the environment, and improving the lives of working families. A recognized leader on clean energy jobs, she authored the Green Jobs Act which provided funding for “green” collar job training for veterans, displaced workers, at risk youth, and individuals in families under 200 percent of the federal poverty line.
A nationally recognized leader on the environment, Solis became the first woman to receive the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 2000 for her pioneering work on environmental justice issues. Her California environmental justice legislation, enacted in 1999, was the first of its kind in the nation to become law.
Solis was first elected to public office in 1985 as a member of the Rio Hondo Community College Board of Trustees. She served in the California State Assembly from 1992 to 1994, and in 1994 made history by becoming the first Latina elected to the California State Senate. As the chairwoman of the California Senate Industrial Relations Committee, she led the battle to increase the state's minimum wage from $4.25 to $5.75 an hour in 1996. She also authored a record seventeen state laws aimed at combating domestic violence.
Solis graduated from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and earned a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California. A former federal employee, she worked in the Carter White House Office of Hispanic Affairs and was later appointed as a management analyst with the Office of Management and Budget in the Civil Rights Division.
Mikhail Bekarev and Michael Ignat
Chancellor Matthew Goldstein announced today that eight outstanding City University of New York pre-medical students have been awarded Jonas E. Salk Scholarships to study medicine, two of whom are Hunter seniors, Mikhail Bekarev and Michael Ignat.
"This year's Salk Scholarship winners continue the tradition of academic achievement, research excellence and public service exemplified by Dr. Jonas E. Salk, one of CUNY's most illustrious graduates," Chancellor Goldstein said.
Mikhail Bekarev began his collegiate studies at Tashkent Pediatric Medical Institute in Uzbekistan before transferring to Hunter. At Hunter, he has majored in computational biology and interdisciplinary sciences while pursing his passion for medical research. He served as a research assistant in two different Hunter College labs and participated in the Summer Undergraduate MSTP Research program at the University of Iowa, which included both laboratory research and clinical participation. Bekarev was the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships and was accepted into several special academic programs at Hunter that allowed him to pursue multidisciplinary research and to present at national research conferences. He will be one of the first graduates of the bioinformatics concentration, a highly challenging interdisciplinary program that combines both biomedicine and computer programming. Bekarev hopes to become a physician scientist and will attend Albert Einstein College of Medicine this fall.
Growing up in a small Ukrainian village, Michael Ignat could never have imagined that he would have the opportunity to study in America or to achieve his dream of becoming a physician. During a turbulent period in his family’s life, he lost hope and nearly dropped out of college. His grandfather’s death made him realize the fragility of life and the importance of pursuing one’s dreams. In his quest to become a physician, Ignat volunteered at the New York Presbyterian emergency room and became a registered EMT, working as a first responder for the last two years. His science classes whetted his appetite for research, and he has assisted in the laboratories of two Hunter College professors, studying the rodent hypothalamus in one and cellular response to DNA damage in the other. Ignat graduated from Hunter College with a degree in psychology in 2008 and will graduate with a biochemistry degree in 2009. He will attend New York College of Osteopathic Medicine this fall.
The Salk Scholarships are the legacy of Dr. Jonas E. Salk, who developed the polio vaccine in 1955. A 1934 graduate of City College, Dr. Salk turned down a ticker-tape parade in honor of his discovery and asked instead that the money be used for scholarships. The city provided initial funding for the Salk Scholarships in 1955. The endowment provides a stipend of $8,000 per scholar, to be appropriated over three or four years of medical studies, to help defray the cost of medical school.
A mystery donor has given Hunter College $5 million, the largest donation in the school’s history. The gift comes from the same anonymous benefactor who has given more than $74 million nationwide to 14 colleges and universities, almost all of them headed by women.
President Jennifer J. Raab welcomed the donation, saying, “It couldn’t have come at a better time.”
The donation was actually received last fall. It was only after news stories began to appear about similar anonymous gifts that officials realized that Hunter is part of a far larger philanthropic program.
The anonymous donor specified that $4 million should be used for scholarships and that $1 million should go into a president’s discretionary fund. Hunter has already offered more than $1 million of the money for scholarships for women and minority-group members. The discretionary fund will be used to update the library, improve technology and give students more group-study space.
Another stipulation attached to the gift was that the college should make no effort of any kind to trace the identity of the benefactor. President Raab said in response, “That’s fine with us, except we would like to say, ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you.’ ”
Inc. Magazine has named Anthony Volodkin (BA ’07) one of the magazine’s “30 Under 30: America's Coolest Young Entrepreneurs” for Volodkin’s website Hype Machine, which offers discerning music lovers an extensive selection of difficult-to-find songs. In 2005, as a sophomore at Hunter studying computer science, Volodkin created what Gawker founder Nick Denton called “the future of all media.” Click here to read more about him: http://www.inc.com/30under30/2009/profile_hype_machine.html
Hunter ethnomusicology graduate student Deepali Sandeep Kulkarni scored No. 1 in India in the country’s master-level music exams and won a series of top honorary awards in vocal Hindustani music. Kulkarni scored an 81 percent for the top score on the “master” level of the exam, which was about singing primarily, but also about music theory, she said. The exams are administered by the Akhil Bhartiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, a large public music school in India with more than 1,000 affiliated institutions. She is now studying ethnomusicology and pursuing a master’s degree at Hunter.
Kulkarni’s teachers in India will also receive awards for her achievement. “This will remain in my lifetime golden memories,” Kulkarni said. “When I heard the news of scoring first in India, I felt really excited. I feel this is also an award for my devotion towards music and my teachers. “I feel proud of my teachers and my parents for their teaching and encouragement. They took great efforts to make me a good musician.”
Kulkarni is pursuing a PhD-equivalent level of vocal studies in India, called Sangeet Acharya. She said she hopes to become a professor at Indian music colleges, and perhaps become a singing instructor. The singer has studied music since she was 8 years old. For ten years, she has practiced every day at 5 a.m. “I spend all the day singing, listening and thinking of music. I really enjoy all this,” Kulkarni said.
Hunter master's student Nouhoum Traore has won the Horniker Prize in Economics, a CUNY-wide award given annually to the student who writes the best economics thesis or equivalent paper. It is open to all MA students at CUNY or PhD students at the Graduate Center. Traore’s thesis, written under the direction of Hunter Economic Professors Jonathan Conning and Sangeeta Pratap, addresses the issue of whether better nutritional status leads to higher farm productivity.
Traore, who is from Mali, came to the U.S. In 2003. At Hunter, he completed all courses required for a BA and an MA in economics in three full time semesters.
Traore is currently back in Mali working for Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), a US-based non-profit organization that conducts research on issues related to international economic development.
“Because of the quality of the education at Hunter College and all the support that I got from the faculties of the economics department and the College in general, I did not only graduate with a masters in economics but also got most of the skills that made me who I am today,” said Traore.
Hunter graduate student Amanda Nogic will soon begin a position with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, thanks to her winning performance in a nationwide competition.
Nogic, who is slated to get her MS in Social Research in May, was a finalist in the 2009 Presidential Management Fellow Program, which entitled her to apply for a position in a federal agency. The PMF Program, which is under the aegis of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, seeks to attract to the Federal service “outstanding men and women” who are committed to “excellence in the leadership and management of public policies and programs.” Applicants—all of them master’s, doctoral, or JD candidates who are near completion of their studies—must take a rigorous examination and submit a detailed resume and an in-depth explanation of their experience. The highly competitive program draws thousands of applicants from all over the country, and fewer than 20 per cent are named as finalists.
A finalist is eligible for a two-year paid fellowship that includes formal classroom training, challenging work assignments, potential for accelerated promotions, and opportunities to network with other future leaders. Nogic’s fellowship, which will begin this summer, will be with HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing, which manages state-level public housing. She will be based in the Office’s Los Angeles headquarters, which handles properties in Arizona, California, and Nevada, and she will also do a rotation in the Gulf Coast area, which, she notes, “is still facing federal issues related to Hurricane Katrina.”
Nogic’s position, as a program analyst, will include gathering, evaluating, and reporting information on public housing and community development issues.
The first in her family to go to college, Nogic has a BA in English and sociology from Bucknell and hopes to get a doctorate in sociology. While at Hunter she was an intern for the New York City Public Advocate’s Office, where she worked with recipients of public assistance. Her central interests, she says, are “public service—responsibility for other people—and public policy issues.”
Hunter College's Department of Film and Media Studies has awarded a James Aronson Lifetime Achievement Award to Les Payne, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist at Newsday for career achievement. Three other journalists will receive 2009 James Aronson Awards for Social Justice Journalism for their incisive investigative articles on critical issues:
- E.J. Graff of Foreign Policy
- Joseph Huff-Hannon of The Indypendent
- Nick Turse of The Nation
Kevin Buckley of Newsweek will also be honored with an Aronson Award for reporting he did in Vietnam during the 1970s that had been largely buried until it was resurrected by Nick Turse.
Danny Schechter of NewsDissector.org is the winner of the Aronson Blog Award for his muckraking reports on economic, political and social issues.
Ed Stein will receive the Aronson Award for Cartooning with a Conscience for his graphic commentary on the economy, torture and other critical issues of 2008.
The 2009 Aronson Awards will be presented in a public ceremony on May 13 at 5:30 p.m. in the 8th floor faculty dining room of the Hunter West Building at 68th Street and Lexington Avenue in Manhattan.
The Aronson Awards for Social Justice Journalism (filmmedia.hunter.cuny.edu/aronson) have been presented since 1990 to journalists who measure business, government and social affairs against clear ideals of the common good. The awards are named in honor of James Aronson, the distinguished Hunter College professor of journalism who was editor from 1949 to 1967 of the crusading newsweekly The National Guardian. Aronson also worked on the staffs of the Boston Evening Transcript, New York Herald Tribune and New York Times.
“In their 19 years of existence,” said Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab, “the James Aronson Awards for Social Justice Journalism have consistently recognized and promoted journalism that keeps a well-trained and principled eye on the common good. That is a mission that Hunter, as a public institution with a diverse student body, tried to pursue throughout its research and teaching.”
“Journalism that conveys a clear idea of forces and decisions that lead to injustice has never been more needed than it is today," said Peter Parisi, coordinator of the award and an associate professor in Hunter’s Department of Film and Media Studies. “Yet too often journalists duck social justice issues, fearing their commitment will be called partisan or will draw political ‘flak’. This award is designed to embolden them to pursue their highest ideals.”
The 2009 Aronson Award Winners:
Career Achievement: Les Payne
“Don't pull your punches, tell the truth and duck.” — Les Payne
Payne is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who worked for 28 years at Newsday as a reporter, foreign correspondent, columnist and associate editor. In 1974, he shared a Pulitzer for his investigative work on the heroin trail from Turkey to the United States. He was a founder and former president of the National Association of Black Journalists and in 2008 was inducted into that organization’s Hall of Fame. Over the years, Payne has been variously recognized as the most influential African-American editor and columnist in the United States. Murray Kempton described him as “a great editor because he is always his own man.” He trained generations of reporters to cover the basics and to dig deeper; his news staffs won every major award in journalism, including six Pulitzer Prizes. Payne is currently writing a biography of Malcolm X and continuing his work as an independent blogger at blog.lespayne.net.
Incisive Investigative Articles on Critical and Timely Topics:
E.J. Graff, Foreign Policy, “The Lie We Love," for exposing the corruption that underlies many international adoptions and highlighting international efforts to deter illegal practices. Graff probes and dissects her subject with a scholarly approach, but presents her findings with an engaging, journalistic sensibility.
Joseph Huff-Hannon, The Indypendent, “Facing Foreclosure: Brooklyn Retiree on Verge of Losing Home as Sub-prime Lenders Target Cash-Poor Black Seniors," for a local view of a national crisis. Huff-Hannon tells the story of Simeon Ferguson, an 86-year-old Brooklyn resident who was sold a policy he couldn't possibly afford and his family’s fight to forestall foreclosure.
Nick Turse, The Nation, “A My Lai a Month," for revealing that the My Lai massacre of 1968 was just one among many during the Vietnam War, and for documenting government efforts to stall investigations and quell media coverage.
An Aronson Award will also go to Kevin Buckley, whose original reporting on the issue in the 1970s as Newsweek’s Saigon bureau chief was largely buried, only to be resurrected 30 years later by Nick Turse.
Blog Award: Danny Schechter, NewsDissector.org
Veteran journalist, author, television producer and independent filmmaker Danny Schechter has been dissecting news and exposing government and corporate malfeasance and the media's failures to inform since the 1970s. The Aronson Award goes to Schechter for his latest venture, the NewsDissector.org blog, which he began after 9/11 as a mini-newspaper, with analyses and muckraking news reports on the economic, political and social crises of the day.
Cartooning with a Conscience: Ed Stein
For the graphic sophistication and range of his work in 2008 on the economy, torture and other crucial issues. In January of 1978, Ed Stein gave up on his lifelong dream of becoming a caped superhero and joined the staff of the now defunct Rocky Mountain News as its editorial cartoonist. The recipient of numerous awards, Stein is a former president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists.
This year's Aronson student award winners are Prakirti Nangia, class of 2010, and Sarah Grieb, class of 2009, for their articles in The Hunts Point Express, the community newspaper whose reporters are members of the Neighborhood News class in the Department of Film & Media Studies.
The members of the Aronson Awards Committee are David Alm, Grambs Miller Aronson, Christopher T. Cory, Steve Gorelick, Marya Grambs, Kathy Kadane, Philip Kaye, Rhoda Nayor, Peter Parisi, Robin Reisig, Cindy Rodríguez, Dr. Naomi Rosenblum, John J. Simon, Alice Slater, Ida Susser, Blanca Vázquez and Diana Powell Ward.
Psychology major Tonia Tiewul, a member of the Thomas Hunter Honors Program, has won a Fulbright Grant. She will be piloting a psychosocial support program directed towards children affected by HIV/AIDS in Jamaica.
A member of Hunter’s National Institute of Mental Health-Career Opportunities in Research Fellowship, Tiewul plans to graduate next month from Hunter.
Administered by the Institute for International Education, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards full research grants to graduating seniors and young alumni after an extensive application process. Recipients receive a stipend to cover housing and living expenses.
Hunter doctoral student Gabriel Goenaga is working on a device that promises to help solve critical energy problems—and his work is winning prizes, awards, and widespread professional notice.
Most recently Goenaga won the Best Poster Prize in the Graduate-level Condensed Matter and Materials Physics category at the annual joint meeting of the National Societies of Black and Hispanic Physicists. His poster is the result of research he carried out as a guest graduate student at the Argonne National Laboratory.
Fuel cells, he explained, are “electrochemical devices that use hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity and provide a clean way to produce energy. These devices are one of the tools that the government hopes will help us deal with major energy problems.” In his research, he continued, “we are trying to improve the performance of the device and make it cheaper.”
The poster prize that Goenaga won at the meeting was sponsored by the renowned Oak Ridge National Laboratory. It was held earlier this year in Nashville, Tennessee.
Goenaga also won a grant from the CUNY Graduate Center for his work on fuel cells. He is about to submit his work for publication in professional-level journals and has been a co-author of articles related to his research at Argonne. He has made presentations at two Electrochemical Society Meetings and a Conference on Analytical Chemistry and has contributed to a Department of Energy Meeting and other professional venues.
Goenaga hopes to complete his doctoral work—and gain a PhD in solid state physics—this summer and then get a postdoctoral position in a national laboratory. “My dream,” he says, “is to have my own company producing fuel cells.”
Goenaga has a BA in computer analysis and programming, a BS in mathematics and physics, and a BS in electronic engineering, all from universities in Colombia, and an MS in physics from the University of Puerto Rico.
The Hunter School of Social Work has won a $100,000 Success for Veterans Award grant from the American Council on Education (ACE) and Wal-Mart. The grant will support Hunter’s ongoing efforts to reach out to veterans on campus, educate them on the variety of benefits available, and keep them in school.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to expand our services,” said Social Work Associate Professor Roger Sherwood. Sherwood said the grant is in collaboration with CUNY’s Office of Veteran’s Affairs.
The grant will allow Hunter to expand veterans’ outreach programs to CUNY community colleges, where most veterans begin their higher education journey, Sherwood said. “We’re very fortunate to have the support of Hunter President Raab and other administrators who have supported our veterans outreach and have dedicated space for us on campus where veterans can go,” Sherwood said.
The funding will allow Hunter to create veterans-specific online orientation programs and increase capacity for counseling and psychological services, and comes on the heels of Hunter’s critical work in veterans’ outreach. In 2007, the School of Social Work launched a dynamic program to help veterans transition to college after serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.
The program is called PROVE (Project for Return and Opportunity in Veterans’ Education), and funding was granted by the City University of New York. CUNY has more than 1,600 full or part-time military veterans (46 percent of whom are women), and is expecting more in the next few years. PROVE hires graduate social work students and student veterans to work with veterans on campus and veteran’s groups. In anticipation of the rising number of returning soldiers, PROVE will have services in place to make sure veterans’ mental health and social needs are met.
The grant was one of 20 awarded to institutions of higher education across the country that operate model programs for veterans and their families. The other recipient institutions are: California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; California State University, Sacramento; Clackamas Community College; Colorado State University; Empire State University, SUNY; Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey; Fresno City College; George Mason University; Lane Community College; Los Angeles City College; Madison Area Technical College; Onondaga Community College; Park University; Ramapo College; Southwestern College; Trident Technical College; University of California, Santa Cruz; University of Maine, Augusta; and University of Maryland, University College.
ACE represents more than 1,600 college and university presidents, and more than 200 related associations, nationwide. Over the past year, the Wal-Mart Foundation has awarded more than $3.6 million to support education assistance for veterans.
ACE received nearly 250 applications for Success for Veterans Award Grants, which were reviewed by a selection committee of higher education leaders, program and policy directors, and veterans. The grants are part of ACE's Serving Those Who Serve initiative, a multi-year effort designed to effect major changes in how veterans learn about their education benefits, and how institutional leaders can build capacity to serve veterans on their campuses.
Hunter College is monitoring the news about the swine flu, which has appeared in Mexico and among a handful of New York City residents in Queens.
The New York City Department of Health is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to monitor and coordinate response actions. We at Hunter are following recommendations from these agencies and will appropriately implement their recommendations.
Meanwhile, in Sunday's New York Times (April 26, 2009) Dr. Thomas Frieden, NYC's Health Commissioner, is urging New Yorkers not to go to a hospital if they have typical mild cold or flu symptoms. If you are seriously ill, especially with lung problems, said Frieden, you should seek medical attention promptly because antiflu drugs work best if taken in the first 48 hours.
According to the NYC Health Department's website, patients experiencing severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, should seek health care and treatment. Otherwise, the Health Department recommends at-home care. The most effective way to lower the risk of transmission is for people with symptoms to stay home.
All New Yorkers should cover their mouths when they cough. Additional precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you get sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to avoid infecting them.
Swine influenza cannot be transmitted from eating pork or pork products. The symptoms of swine flu in people appear to be similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu. Like seasonal flu, swine flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.
The Hunter College Wellness Center is available to answer questions about this and any other health-related matters. The Center can be reached at 212.772.4800 and is located in Room 307 in the North Building. Also, visit Hunter's Flu Preparedness Website at hunter.cuny.edu/flu.
For facts about influenza, and more information about swine flu, please visit the Health Department and CDC websites. Some specific resources:
Facts about flu
General information about swine flu
New York State Department of Health has set up a 24-hour hotline to answer questions about swine flu: 800.808.1987.
Artist Zilvinas Kempinas (MFA ’02) has been selected to exhibit his large-scale installation, “TUBE,” at the world-famous Venice Biennale art exhibition in June. A prestigious event in the international art community, the Venice Biennale has been held every two years since 1895, interrupted only by the two world wars.
Kempinas uses video images to create an appearance of a sculpted space, and TUBE appears to be a barely-visible, laser-light tunnel. Kempinas says the work does not "represent, mimic, symbolize or narrate," but is rather "a sensual instrument for experiencing a new sense of space and one’s body in a moment of time.”
A native of Lithuania, Kempinas received his BFA from the Vilnius Art Academy in 1993. Since completing his master’s at Hunter in 2002, he has made New York his home and has exhibited his works – primarily large installations – at museums and galleries around the world.
Kempinas says he thinks of his work as more “democratic” than simply interactive: “I want my art to be accessible to everybody, not only for those who devote several years to studying art. I love when museum electricians, security staff or other random people stop on their way and spend a few minutes looking at my work.”
Kempinas credits Hunter with playing a significant role in his career: “I ‘placed my bet’ on Open Studios [studio spaces in the MFA Building on W. 41st St.], since for me as a foreigner without any support or connections, this was the one and only way to show my work for outside visitors — I mean people from the ‘real world.’”
That’s exactly what happened. Anthony Huberman – who worked at PS 1 Contemporary Art Center in Queens at the time – stopped by Kempinas’ studio, and then invited two curators from the museum to see the artist’s work, which resulted in Kempinas' first public show in New York.
The artist credits Hunter with his marital bliss. “Here I met someone whom I later married, and now we have two fantastic boys! Thank you, Hunter!”
Recent venues showcasing Kempinas’ work include the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Vienna’s Kunsthalle Wien and the Art Basel Miami exposition, another significant event on the art world calendar. A recipient of the prestigious Calder Prize in 2007, Kempinas has been profiled in The New York Times, Art & Antiques, and the New Yorker, as well as in publications in London, Paris and other major art centers. In New York, he is represented by the Spencer Brownstone Gallery in SoHo.
Roszell Mack III has joined the Hunter community as the new Pre-Business Advisor. The newly created part-time position is meant to provide a formal advisory resource for undergraduates who wish to pursue further education in business administration.
Mack is a co-founder of and Partner in Ascend Venture Group, LLC, a New York City-based private equity firm. Ascend was founded in 2000 by Mack and three former colleagues from Goldman, Sachs & Co. who successfully invested as a coordinated angel group from 1996 to 1999.
Mack has a deep interest in education and has been an investor in for-profit education and technology companies at Ascend since its founding. Mack has served as an advisor and board member to numerous public and private companies and is currently a board member of two for-profit education companies: ClassLink Inc. and Tabula Digita, Inc. Prior to co-founding Ascend, Mack was an investment banker for more than ten years.
A native of Lexington, Kentucky, Mack earned a Master in Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Engineering Sciences (Chemical) from Yale University.
Hunter alumnus Holland Cotter (MA, Art History ’88) has won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism for his wide ranging reviews of art, from Manhattan to China, “marked by acute observation, luminous writing and dramatic storytelling.”
Cotter has been a staff art critic at the New York Times since 1998. Between 1992 and 1997 he was a regular freelance writer for the paper. During the 1980s he was a contributing editor at Art in America and an editorial associate at Art News. In the 1970s, he co-edited New York Arts Journal, a tabloid-format quarterly magazine publishing fiction, poetry, and criticism.
Art in New York City has been his regular weekly beat, which he has taken to include all five boroughs and most of the city’s art and culture museums. His subjects range from Italian Renaissance painting to street-based communal work by artist collectives. For the Times, he has written widely about “non-western” art and culture. In the 1990s, he introduced readers to a broad range of Asian contemporary art as the first wave of new art from China art was building and breaking. He helped bring contemporary art from India to the attention of a western audience.
Cotter was inducted into the Hunter Hall of Fame in 2005. He received an AB from Harvard College, where he studied poetry with Robert Lowell and was an editor of the Harvard Advocate. He later received an M. Phil in early Indian Buddhist art from Columbia University, where he studied Sanskrit and taught Indian and Islamic art.
Hunter Urban Public Health Professor Philip Alcabes will be discussing his new book, Dread: How Fear and Fantasy Have Fueled Epidemics from the Black Death to Avian Flu, with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show on Wednesday, April 22 at 11pm. Alcabes’ work challenges the conventional wisdom about health, disease, and risk.
In his recently-published book Alcabes examines epidemics through history to show how they reflect the particular social and cultural anxieties of their times. From Typhoid Mary to bioterrorism, as new outbreaks are unleashed or imagined, new fears surface, new enemies are born, and new behaviors emerge. Dread dissects the fascinating story of the imagined epidemic: the one that we think is happening, or might happen; the one that disguises moral judgments and political agendas, the one that ultimately expresses our deepest fears.
Alcabes was trained as an infectious-disease epidemiologist and studied epidemic contagion, especially AIDS and tuberculosis, for two decades. Drawing on his experience as an epidemiologist, he examines the history of disease control and the ethics of public-health policy making from a scientist’s perspective. Among his essays on epidemic history and society’s responses to contagion are “The Bioterrorism Scare“, “The Ordinariness of AIDS“, “What Ails Public Health?“, and “Heart of Darkness: AIDS, Africa, and Race“.
His writing exposes the myths of unprecedented danger and “risk,” and looks into the many ways that we express anxieties about modernity as misgivings about healthfulness. And he sheds light on the routes by which the consensus of the “scientific community” disguises the unwillingness of the powerful to wrestle with the real problems of modernity: too little relief for those who suffer and too much injustice.
Thanks to Hunter student Daniel Cowen, CUNY now has an official film festival. On March 26, 2009, CUNY held its first annual film festival, showcasing the work of 14 budding undergraduate and graduate filmmakers (out of 62 submissions), representing the diversity of CUNY schools.
Cowen, a Macaulay Honors sophomore, organized the festival and its staff. They secured funding from both HBO (the festival’s co-sponsor) and the Mayor’s Office of Film and Broadcasting and solicited help and support from film and media professors. Cowen said Hunter film and media professors Andrew Lund and Joel Zucker were especially helpful.
Cowen’s own entry, “The Angel Levine,” was based on a short story of the same name by noted author Bernard Malamud, but bore no resemblance, he insists, to an earlier version created in the 1960s with Zero Mostel and Sidney Poitier. “‘The Angel Levine’” sticks out in Malamud’s ‘Magic Barrel’ [collection of short stories] for its magical realism, and this contrast got to me somehow,” he added.
According to Cowen, next year's festival is already in the works. “We hope to advertise longer, broader, and make sure that every CUNY student with a film submits. We hope to have multiple locations for film screenings and eventually develop a film fund which will be a CUNY-only grant for student films,” he said.
President Obama has announced his intent to nominate Hunter alumna Lorelei Boylan (BA ’98) for Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division in the Department of Labor. Ms. Boylan is currently the Director of Strategic Enforcement at the New York State Department of Labor, Labor Standards Division. In this capacity she supervises the Apparel Industry/Fair Wages Task Force, a state-wide specialized unit charged with investigating low-wage industries where workers are at risk of exploitation. Under her leadership, the Task Force has flourished into a groundbreaking investigative unit with a high rate of success in the resolution of wage and hour investigations.
Prior to heading the Task Force, Boylan spearheaded the Bureau of Immigrant Workers' Rights, a newly formed division of the Department of Labor, where she formulated innovative policies to respond to the needs of individuals with Limited English proficiency. She is the recipient of the 2008 Frances Perkins Leadership Award for exceptional leadership in developing the mission of the Department.
Boylan practiced law as an Assistant Attorney General in the New York State Attorney General's Office. She graduated cum laude from Hunter with a degree in political science and received a J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School.
Benjamin Hett and Jonathan Shannon
Hunter professors Benjamin Hett and Jonathan Shannon have won the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship, grants for those “who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.” The fellowships enable highly accomplished artists, scientists and scholars to pursue specific research projects over the course of a semester.
Hett, an associate history professor at Hunter and the CUNY Graduate Center, and Shannon, an associate professor of anthropology at Hunter, are two of six CUNY professors to win the fellowships, awarded annually since 1925 by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Only 180 fellowships were granted to nearly 3,000 applicants.
CUNY tied with Princeton and Johns Hopkins for first place in the nation for number of Guggenheim winners.
“All of us at CUNY take enormous pride in the outstanding work of these faculty members," said CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein. "Their scholarly and creative contributions advance understanding and stimulate thought across disciplines and across society, and foster lively centers of learning within CUNY's classrooms.”
Hett is a former trial lawyer. His research on criminal law in modern Germany, the history of popular culture, and the history of Berlin contributed to his prize-winning book “Crossing Hitler, the Man who Put the Nazis on the Witness Stand.” The book won the 2007 Fraenkel Prize for an outstanding work of contemporary history. It describes the 1931 trial of four Nazi soldiers, an event known as the Eden Dance Palace Trial. Hett is also the author of “A Death in the Tiergarten.”
Shannon is an ethnographer who has been working in Syria on ethnomusicology, performance and popular culture. He examines how Syrian musicians and other artists “draw on their heritage to assert their modernity.” Studies of Andalusia, 700 years of Moslem rule in Spain, which ended in 1492 and included a flowering of music and poetry, and the pan-Arab effect and impact on Syrian culture, are a focus of Shannon’s research and expertise.
How do animals tell the difference between friends and enemies? Will the $1 million grant Mark Hauber (Psychology) has received help him find out? And will he be able to apply any of his findings to human beings?
Hauber, who got the three-year Young Investigators’ Grant from the Human Frontier Science Program, an international consortium that awards competitive grants, is studying birds that lay their eggs in other birds’ nests (known as “brood parasites”) to find out how the parasites succeed in laying eggs that mimic those of the host bird. At the same time he also studies the birds whose nests are taken over to ascertain what makes them susceptible to such trickery.
“Technically speaking,” says Hauber, “we’re studying the development of ‘social recognition systems’: how do animals tell which members of their species are friends or relatives and which ones aren’t? In this instance, why is it that some birds become aware that their nests now hold odd-looking eggs and others can’t tell?”
Hauber is also seeking to learn how the parasites know which birds won’t recognize that an egg has been placed in its nest.
“We’re also interested in questions of chemistry and brain development,” he continued. “For example, what chemical or other mechanism enables a female parasite to lay eggs of the same color as the host bird? How does the parasite know which nest is ‘welcoming,’ which nest is at a suitable stage for receiving a newcomer?”
In some parasitic species, he added, the female does all the work, while in some others the male distracts the host as the female lays the egg.
Most of Hauber’s recent field research has been done in collaboration with European and New Zealand scientists, but he has already recruited master’s and doctoral students from Hunter to conduct field work in New York State. He also conducts laboratory research to see if birds who have been raised in “strangers’” nests develop differently from those that have been hatched and reared in their natural mother’s nest.
Hauber thinks it possible that research like his will eventually lead to insights into human psychology. “Humans and animals alike develop pair bonding and strong attachment to relatives,” he said, “and what we learn about one species can be relevant to our knowledge of our own species, whether it be family dynamics or social trickery.”
Hunter senior Sergei Miledin is one of 31 football fans who competed in late March in the National Football League’s Director of Fandemonium contest. Miledin, a media studies major who plans to become a sports journalist, entered the contest on a whim. He didn’t believe it when he received the email saying that he was selected to participate as representative of his beloved New York Jets.
The competition took place on March 29th & 30th and included a football trivia contest and physical challenges. The competitors even had to deliver a mock inspirational speech to their teams. Miledin and the others were then given a formal interview at NFL Headquarters in midtown Manhattan. Retired football great Michael Strahan hosted the contest, which was documented by NFL Films to air on the web and on the NFL Network.
The winner of this contest will receive $100,000, as well as trips to London and Miami for NFL games this season. For just being selected, Miledin has already won football tickets and merchandise.
Miledin is taking his good fortune in stride. Going into it, he thought the contest would be a good way to make inroads to the field of sports journalism. After competing he stated, “I feel that I stood above the rest. However, I’m used to disappointment. After all, I am a Jets fan.”
President Obama has nominated Hunter alumnus John U. Sepúlveda (BA ’77) to be Assistant Secretary of Human Resources for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Sepúlveda brings to this position over 25 years of experience as an innovative leader in the public and private sectors.
Sepúlveda previously served as deputy director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) during the Clinton administration. In that office he led various initiatives to promote greater diversity throughout the U.S. government. While at OPM, he served on the White House Interagency Task Force on Asian American and Pacific Islanders, the President’s Council for Y2K Conversion, and the President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency.
Before joining OPM, Sepúlveda successfully managed a $5 billion portfolio of federally insured hospital mortgages as a director at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He also played a lead role in the restructuring and reengineering of several major programs within the Federal Housing Administration.
Early in his career, Sepúlveda taught political science at both his alma maters, Hunter College and Yale University, where he earned two master’s degrees. While at Hunter, Sepúlveda was a SEEK student and is now a charter member of the Hunter College SEEK Wall of Fame.
Alena Leitman, a junior majoring in biological sciences, is one of 278 college sophomores and juniors to be awarded a scholarship from the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. The Goldwater Scholars were selected on a basis of academic merit from a field of 1,035 mathematics, science, and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide. The scholarship covers the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.
Leitman said that her career goal is to get a joint MD/PhD in biology so she can conduct biomedical research and “build my own laboratory at a hospital or university.”
The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency whose purpose is to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue careers in these fields. The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields.
Hunter urban affairs master’s student Wilhelmina Obatola Grant is one of five artists to win the 125th Street Business Improvement District’s (BID) Culture Banner Project. The project, an initiative developed in partnership between the Harlem Arts Alliance and the 125th Street Bid, was created to reinforce Harlem’s cultural legacy. Grant's banner was installed during Women's History Month and will appear on a bus shelter (near the Apollo) on a rotating basis.
Courtesy of Valleycrest Productions Ltd.
School of Education graduate student Brandee Gaff competed on “Wedding Week” of ABC’s "Who Wants to be a Millionaire” game show and won not only $16,000, but her dream wedding. As part of her winnings, the Central Park Conservancy donated and arranged for Gaff’s September wedding to take place in the Conservancy Gardens.
Gaff, who will graduate in January with a master’s in special education, appeared on the March 24 and 25 episodes of the popular show. She and her fiancé, James Wolfe, were stumped on the $25,000 question: “What ‘90s romantic comedy begins with the line, ‘I used to think a wedding was a simple affair’?” (The correct answer: “Father of the Bride.”) Unwilling to risk what they had already earned, the couple walked away.
“It was really nerve wracking, but so much fun,” she said of the experience.
Gaff came to Hunter after volunteering with children with disabilities. “I loved it so much I decided to make a career out of it,” Gaff said. With a master’s from the emotional and behavioral disorders program, she hopes to teach in the New York City public schools. “My classes are interesting,” she said. “The professors really prepared me to go out in the classroom. I always tell everyone, I think the education program here is great.”
The latest award granted to Catherine Zinnel (BA ’09) – a member of both the Macaulay Honors College and the Thomas Hunter Honors Program, as well as a Jeannette K. Watson Fellow – is a 2009 Humanity in Action Fellowship, which she will pursue this coming summer.
Humanity in Action (HIA) “works to build global leadership, defend democracy, protect minorities and improve human rights.” HIA sponsors educational programs for university and post-graduate students in the U.S., Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Poland, which are designed to “…inspire, engage and empower the human rights leaders of tomorrow.” One of HIA’s core programs is the paid summer Fellows program, which affords students the opportunity to study and travel abroad.
“I’m excited to study human rights in Europe with students from around the world. I'm particularly interested in exploring how urban planners can promote human rights and mediate conflict. The HIA Fellowship is the perfect opportunity,” said Zinnel.
The political science major also has local humanitarian experience, having had researched affordable housing policies with both the New York State Senate and the New York City Council. Following graduation and her HIA Fellowship, Zinnel will continue to advocate for affordable housing in New York City and pursue a master’s degree in urban planning.
Two-time Booker Prize winner Peter Carey, the executive director of Hunter’s MFA program in creative writing, has made the shortlist for the prestigious Man Booker International Prize 2009. The Prize is given every two years for lifetime achievement by a fiction writer who writes in English or whose work is widely available in English translation. Carey has been nominated along with 13 other novelists, including Nobel Laureate V.S. Naipaul, E.L. Doctorow, and Manuel Vargas Llosa. The winner will be announced in May.
Carey received the Booker Prize for his books Oscar and Lucinda (1988) and True History of The Kelly Gang (2001). He is one of only two authors to have won the Booker Prize on two occasions.
Matthew Willis, a January 2009 Hunter graduate, has received a Fulbright grant for study, combined with a teaching assistantship, to teach English in Austria. A biology and German major, Willis plans to study communication and language access in a healthcare setting and teach English in a secondary school.
Willis has worked as a medical technician and an EMT and intends to pursue a medical degree when he returns to the U.S.
Administered by the Institute for International Education, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards research and study grants and English teaching assistantships to graduating seniors and alumni. Recipients receive a stipend to cover housing and living expenses.
Urban public health issues – from diseases such as HIV/AIDS, obesity, and diabetes to health disparities due to economic and environmental factors – will be the focus of a major new multi-disciplinary initiative at Hunter College, and named to honor a hero of New York City humanitarian activism, Joan Hyman Tisch.
The Joan H. Tisch Legacy Project is made possible with a one million dollar-plus five-year grant from her children, Academy Award-winning producer and community leader Steven Tisch, philanthropist and activist Laurie M. Tisch, and Loews Corp. Co-Chairman and New York civic leader Jonathan Tisch. The grant is managed by the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, a non-profit foundation committed to increasing access and opportunity for all New Yorkers by supporting efforts to illuminate minds, spark imagination and build community.
“Joan Tisch is already a deeply admired and respected champion in the fight against AIDS and HIV, here in New York and globally,” said Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab. “We are deeply honored that Steve, Laurie, and Jon have chosen our institution to further and expand her unparalleled legacy. Especially now, as we prepare to open the new CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College, their magnificent generosity will have a transformative impact, providing exciting new intellectual vision, research and programming in the critical sphere of urban public health.”
Speaking on behalf of her brothers, Laurie Tisch said, “Health care in this country, and particularly in the inner cities, is at the crisis stage. Childhood obesity is at epidemic proportions. The levels of diabetes, heart disease, and asthma in urban centers are alarmingly high. Far too many individuals have no health insurance and, as a result are foreclosed from seeking and obtaining the proper care. We need to address these and other issues, and we need to do so with a comprehensive strategy. This is the overarching mission of the project at Hunter College that my brothers and I are proud to create in honor of our mother.”
Noting that the initiative actualizes their mother’s own convictions and commitment to securing the well-being of humanity, she said, “She, as well as our father (the late philanthropic legend and business leader Preston Robert “Bob” Tisch), instilled in us the “pay it forward” philosophy, that we have the ability and responsibility to work on something larger than ourselves through service and philanthropy. And throughout our lives, our parents were the ideal role models. Indeed, our mother has been a general on the HIV/AIDS battlefield for more than a quarter century, as well as a leader in the continuing fight to eradicate hunger and poverty here in New York and around the country. So, we see this project as a truly fitting tribute to her.”
There are three components to the new program:
- Joan H. Tisch Distinguished Fellow in Public Health will be awarded annually to a prominent health care professional with real-world public policy experience. The Fellow will teach undergraduate and graduate students, conduct faculty seminars, and serve as a scholar-in-residence in the Hunter community.
- Joan H. Tisch Public Health Forum, an annual symposium at Hunter College’s Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute focusing on national and New York City public health issues, including HIV/AIDS, obesity, diabetes, environmental health, health problems associated with poverty and aging, and public mental health.
- Joan H. Tisch Community Health Prize, a $10,000 award to be presented each year to an individual or community health organization for distinguished accomplishment in the field of urban public health.
Hunter College is currently conducting a national search for the inaugural Tisch Fellow, who will begin his or her work on campus at the beginning of the Fall 2009 academic term. In addition to teaching and lecturing, the Fellow will plan and develop the Public Health Forum, the first of which will be scheduled for late 2009. The inaugural Health Prize will be bestowed at a ceremony held during the Spring of 2010.
The Tisch Fellow will be resident at Hunter’s new Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute, a flagship college initiative comprising teaching, research, and public programming in the field of public policy. The Institute will be housed in the former home of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt on East 65th St. Currently undergoing renovation, it is scheduled to open in Fall 2009.
Hunter is the ideal institution to house the Tisch Legacy, President Raab said, noting that the college has a distinguished record in the teaching of Public Health as well as strong relationships with the New York City Department of Health and other public and private health institutions. Its success in the field led the City University of New York to choose Hunter to be the site of the CUNY School of Public Health, which will open in 2010. Moreover, the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing, which dates back more than a half-century, is the largest public sector nursing institution in New York and one of the largest and most prestigious nursing programs in the U.S.
About The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund: The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund works to increase access and opportunity by supporting efforts to illuminate minds, spark imagination and build community. Established in 2007, the Fund builds on a longstanding commitment to enable more New Yorkers to take advantage of the rich opportunities that the City has to offer. It plays an engaged and active role in supporting strong leaders and organizations that have a positive and lasting effect on individual well-being and community life.
Hunter College's Model U.N. Team won prizes at the second annual CUNY MUN 2009, hosted by the Macaulay Honors College and sponsored jointly by City College and Baruch College. With 10 college and club teams attending, Hunter College brought home two of the coveted awards.
Julian Nowicki received Distinguished Delegate and Henrik Dumanian received an Honorable Mention. The delegates competed with 100 plus other college students on a crisis committee of the U.N. Security Council and a General Assembly Plenary.
Faculty Advisor Professor Pamela Falk said the Hunter College team is now preparing for the nationals in April, where they will represent Rwanda, Estonia, and Italy.
"It was an unprecedented learning experience,” said Head Delegate Julian Nowicki, "we sponsored resolutions and wrote working papers.”
Hunter alumna Patricia Bath (BA ‘64) was invited to the White House on March 9 to participate in President Obama's signing of the Stem Cell Executive Order and Scientific Integrity Presidential Memorandum. In signing the order, President Obama has lifted the ban on stem cell research, reiterating his pledge to “make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology.”
Dr. Bath, an ophthalmologist from New York, was the first African American female doctor to patent a medical invention. Her invention involved the creation of a laser device to remove cataract lenses during eye surgery. She is the founder and first president of the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness. Dr. Bath was elected to the Hunter College Hall of Fame in 1988.
The National Science Board has presented Hunter alumna Mildred S. Dresselhaus (BA ’51) — once dubbed the “Queen of Carbon Science”-- with the prestigious Vannevar Bush Award. Dresselhaus is a national expert in the multifaceted field of carbon science.
The longtime Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor says she is excited every day for her “adventure with the endless frontier of science.”
The National Science Board (NSB) presents the annual award to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to “the welfare of mankind and the nation" through public service in science and technology.
Dresselhaus graduated from Hunter College High School and Hunter College before going on for graduate studies at Cambridge, Harvard and the University of Chicago. She joined the MIT faculty in 1967, when women comprised just four percent of the student population. She became a pioneer in the field of condensed matter and materials physics.
Dresselhaus is known for her work on carbon nanostructures and is credited with helping to spark resurgence in thermoelectrics research 15 years ago. Her investigations into superconductivity, the electronic properties of carbon and new physics at the nanometer scale have led to numerous scientific discoveries. She has won numerous awards and distinctive titles and worked to advance the role of women in the sciences.
Photo Credit: Michael Duncan
Internationally-acclaimed filmmaker and contemporary visual artist Shirin Neshat is coming to Hunter College to teach a Master Class Film Workshop from March 24-31.
Neshat’s work addresses the social, political and psychological dimensions of women's experiences in contemporary Islamic societies. She has produced a number of short films & video installations that have been exhibited throughout the world. She is currently in post-production on her first feature film entitled, Women Without Men.
The Master Film Workshop is an intensive production workshop during which students are expected to produce short films on digital video. There will be a public screening of the student films on March 31. To learn more about Shirin Neshat and the Master Film Workshop, http://hunterneshatfilmworkshop.blogspot.com
President Barack Obama today announced the appointment of Hunter alumnus Adolfo Carrion (MUP ’90) as White House Director of Urban Affairs, a newly created position which reports directly to the president and coordinates all federal urban programs. Carrion has served two terms as Bronx Borough President and one term as the President of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.
President Obama and Vice President Biden created the White House Office of Urban Affairs to develop a strategy for metropolitan America and to ensure that all federal dollars targeted to urban areas are effectively spent on the highest-impact programs.
“I look forward to working with these talented leaders to bring long overdue attention to the urban areas where 80 percent of the American people live and work. Vibrant cities spawn innovation, economic growth, and cultural enrichment; the Urban Affairs office will focus on wise investments and development in our urban areas that will create employment and housing opportunities and make our country more competitive, prosperous, and strong,” said President Obama.
As Bronx Borough President, Carrion oversaw the creation of 40,000 new units of housing in seven years, 50 new schools, $7 billion in capital and infrastructure expenditures, and over $400 million in new parks and parkland renovation. Prior to his service as Bronx Borough President, Carrion represented the 14th City Council District on the New York City Council and also served as an urban planner at the NYC Department of City Planning and a teacher in the New York City public schools.
Hunter IMA/MFA student Sarah Friedland was ranked #1 on The Independent’s list of “10 filmmakers to keep an eye out for in 2009.” The film magazine notes that the filmmakers were chosen for “the strength of work they’ve done in the past, awards, honors and grants received or a first-time talent that shows incredible potential.”
Friedland is currently working on her second documentary, Subprimed, which explores the nation's foreclosure crisis. She made the film in her IMA course “Media, Community Advocacy and the Urban Environment” which was co-taught by Film and Media Professor Kelly Anderson and Urban Affairs and Planning Professor Tom Agnotti. “It is a true honor to be named on the list in the company of fantastic filmmakers who I really admire. I just hope I can live up to it,” said Friedland. She is collaborating with fellow Hunter students, Kahil Shkymba and Nayo Joy Simmons, on Subprimed, which is set for completion in 2009.
Adjunct English professor John Harkey ran up 86 stories and 1,576 steps in the "Empire State Building Run-Up" --- a massive personal challenge that was documented for cable TV --- and then rushed from the Observation Deck of the great skyscraper directly to his Introduction to Literature lecture, panting and sweaty.
Now that's dedication. Harkey, who was one of 286 runners, completed the February 3rd race in 16 minutes and 20 seconds.
The English professor learned of the race 15 days before the run, when he was given the opportunity to videotape his ascension for a Travel Channel documentary. He trained by running up and down the 17 floors of the Hunter West Building.
"I was terrified. I thought of it as a mythic, primitive trial. It was something I had to overcome," said Harkey.
Harkey said his students understood when he had to recline to discuss Herman Melville's "Bartleby, the Scrivener" later that day in class.
Hunter College continued its dominance of the City University of New York Athletic Conference (CUNYAC) women’s swimming and diving championships, winning its seventh team title in eight years. The Hawks dominated the 20-event, three-day meet at Lehman College. Hunter junior Heather Alvord broke the CUNYAC record in the 200-yard backstroke.
The Hawks, who were also the regular season champions, will next compete at the Metropolitan Championship Meet, to begin on February 20.
Hunter senior Oluwatobi Jaiyesimi has won a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, which provides funding for study abroad to undergraduates receiving federal Pell grants. This year, there were 600 scholars chosen to participate in study abroad programs.
Jaiyesimi, a double major in political science and English, used the grant for a study abroad program in Argentina.
“I was able to improve my language skills and to sharpen my interests in peoples, cultures and various realms of politics,” Jaiyesimi said. “While I value the time spent in the classroom in Argentina, some of my most cherished memories are from time spent with the locals as I adapted to their culture, even if for a short period of time.”
Hunter classics student Manuel Andino says he’s always been obsessed with the heroes and legends of Greek and ancient mythology, but he’s never been to Europe. So he was thrilled to learn that he’s won a $3,000 scholarship to study history and culture in a six-week program in Italy or Greece. Andino won the American Philological Association’s summer scholarship for minority students. He will study at either the American School in Athens or the American Academy at Rome.
“I was very surprised and pleased,” said the native New Yorker. “It’s going to be a great deal of walking and visiting cities, and understanding ancient cultures as well as we can. These are places and things I’ve been reading about for years and years.”
Andino, a double major in classical studies and English literature, is in his second year at Hunter. After graduation, he hopes to enroll in Hunter’s graduate program to pursue a master’s in teaching Latin.
For the scholarship, Athens may win out, because it’s the older culture, and “maybe it’s good to start at the beginning,” Andino said. “Learning the language of Latin and Greek, you get a good deal of culture. “I always voraciously read about classical mythology, the fascinating histories with larger-than-life characters. I found time to learn all these wonderful stories of heroes.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced the appointment of Maryanne Schretzman as Family Services Coordinator for the City of New York. Schretzman, an alumna of the Hunter School of Social Work, as well as an adjunct professor at the School, will be responsible for identifying and implementing cross-agency collaborations to enhance the services provided by City agencies to children, families and single adults in need.
Schretzman previously served as Deputy Commissioner for the Division of Policy and Planning at the Department of Homeless Services and as Deputy Assistant Commissioner at the Administration for Children's Services.
In making his announcement Mayor Bloomberg said, “Maryanne Schretzman has a long-standing commitment and accomplished career working with our City's most vulnerable residents whose needs are increasing with the drastic changes in our economy. Now more than ever, we need to ensure that New York's families are getting the services they need, and working closely with Deputy Mayor Gibbs, Maryanne will help make sure that our safety net remains strong.”
Gathering at Hunter’s West Building to celebrate the inauguration of President Barack Obama
A crowd of several hundred gathered together in the lobby of Hunter’s West Building to celebrate the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Students, alumni, staffers, faculty and community members waved American flags and watched intently, with occasional cheers and applause during the ceremony. The inauguration was viewed on two large screen televisions with loud speakers piping sound throughout the lobby, which was decorated with red, white and blue balloons.
Hunter College is the nation's #8 “Best Value” public college for 2009, according to "Best Value Colleges for 2009," a ranking released today by The Princeton Review and USA TODAY.
The Princeton Review selected the institutions as its "best value" choices for 2009 based on its surveys of administrators and students at more than 650 public and private colleges and universities. The selection criteria covered more than 30 factors in three areas: academics, costs of attendance, and financial aid. Tallies were made using the most recently reported data from each institution for its 2007-08 academic year. Of the 50 schools chosen in each "best value" category (public and private), the top 10 are ranked in order, and the remaining 40 are listed alphabetically.
According to the rankings website (PrincetonReview.com/BestValueColleges or BestValueColleges.usatoday.com), “For many New Yorkers seeking a college degree, Hunter College within the CUNY system offers the best, most affordable option available. It is the first choice among many applicants…Hunter has a lot to offer beyond its minuscule tuition. The school’s faculty is a huge asset, for one. Students agree that professors are expert and that they work hard to accommodate undergraduates. Location is another major plus, as New York City is a virtually limitless source of valuable internship opportunities.”
Said Hunter President Jennifer J. Raab, "We are proud to be on this list, particularly because it proves the ongoing success of Hunter's mission: to provide an outstanding education at a price you can afford. Especially during the current economic crisis, it is a privilege to lead an institution where the American Dream still comes true."
Indeed, many concur that the present economy will bring greater attention to this year’s “Best Values” list than those in years past. Robert Franek, Princeton Review VP-Publisher, said, "We have always believed finding the ‘best fit’ college should be the foremost goal for student applicants and their families. But the economic crisis and financial downturn have presented sobering challenges both to families struggling to afford college and to higher education institutions struggling to maintain their programs in the face of budget and funding shortfalls.”