MFA Professor Colum McCann Wins National Book Award
Hunter IMA/MFA Student's Film Premieres at Margaret Mead Festival
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.
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.
Visit the Hunter College Registration Station -- your online express stop for news about the School of Arts and Sciences’ new and added courses and sections; alternatives to closed classes; deadlines; and other Spring 2010 registration information.
The Registration Station will be updated daily. Check back every day for the fastest route to the best academic program for you. Log on to the Registration Station at http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/registrationstation, and click here to sign up for the RSS feed: http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/registrationstation/alerts/RSS.
New Hunter College Study Finds That Bike Lanes are “Blocked Lanes” in NYC
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.President Raab Named One of 50 Most Powerful Women in New York by Crain’s
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. Click here for the article: http://www.crainsnewyork.com/apps/pbcs.dll/gallery?Site=CN&Date=20090916&Category=GALLERIES01&ArtNo=916009998&Ref=PH&Params=Itemnr=41
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.
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:
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sociology Professor Stone Wins Award for Her Book
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.”
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 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.
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.
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.
STUDENTS IN THE NEWS
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.
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 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.
Newsday’s Les Payne Wins Aronson Lifetime Achievement Award At Hunter College
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:
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.
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.
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.
All New Yorkers should cover their mouths when they cough. Additional precautions:
For facts about influenza, and more information about swine flu, please visit the Health Department and CDC websites. Some specific resources:
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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:
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.”
Credit: Michael Duncan
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.
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.
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.
Rooms for rent! – Available from June 11 – August 7, 2009. Conveniently located near public transportation, restaurants, and shopping, renters will have access to on-site laundry facilities, kitchen, and social lounge amenities. Tennis courts, gym, pool and Internet access are available for additional fees. Groups and weekly renters are preferred.
For reservations, room rates, and other important details, please contact: Pamela.Burthwright@hunter.cuny.edu
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.
Women's Swimming and Diving Teams Win 7th Title in Eight Years
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 Wins International Scholarship
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.”
Classics Major Wins Grant to Study Overseas
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.
"Hooray for Hunter," Says New York Post
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.”