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December 2001

An Integrated City University Responds to the WTC Crisis

Bold, High-Tech TV Magazine Invites "Study with the Best"
NYC Past in Full Array At Inaugural History Festival
CUNY Community Colleges: Vital to City Economy
Arthur Miller Drops Back In for Finley Award at CCNY Dinner
Archaeologists Research Vikings
Faculty Experts Join Collaboration on World Trade Center Future
New Research Foundation Head
Asthma Initiative at BCC Registers Major Success
Oysters Reintroduced to Bay
York Grad Makes Naval History
Managing the 9/11 Crisis at BMCC
Hunter Cartographers Prepare Vital Ground Zero Maps For Rescue
CCNY’s Rosenberg/Humphrey Interns Continue Public Service Tradition
City Tech Prof Sheds Light on Titanic
New Device for Medical Diagnonis
Mina Rees, Pioneering Military Scientist
Annual Perspectives Nears 25th Anniversary
University to HIV Children: “Toys (and Lots Else) Are Us”
Annual Perspectives Nears 25th Anniversary

Perspectives CoverDrabness was the mother of invention for avocational artist Fred Beaufait, who also happens to be President of New York City Technical College. Soon after his arrival on the faculty at Vanderbilt University in Nashville some years ago, the bare walls of his office began to weigh on him. Finally, "desperate to put some life into the place," the struck up a collaboration with some Pratt & Lambert semi-gloss. In short order his debut creation—on masonite particle board and titled aptly by a professor of civil engineering "The Matrix Organization"—was on the wall.

Beaufait's attitude about his journey into the art world is wittily self-effacing. He remarks that "in this endeavor it helped that I had only one person to satisfy, myself," and he also recalls one major break-through moment: "Without question, the biggest surprise was when my wife suggested one day that we hang some of my work in the house." Alluding just possibly to his day job, Beaufait remarks wryly, "Unfortunately, I have not found it very convenient to paint since moving to New York City.

"An interview with the artist, along with nine brilliant color reproductions of his works (many of which hang in his City Tech office) is one of several fascinating features included in volume 24 of Perspectives, a journal of the faculty and staff of City Tech featuring authors who teach in every College discipline (with occasional off-campus contributors). A detail from Beaufait's painting titled "Paul"(acrylic on canvas, 1996), which shows an influence of the Spanish artist Joan Miro that Beaufait acknowledges, is the cover art for Perspectives this year; the other work seen here is untitled.

"Untitled" acrylic on canvas
Fred Beaufait's “Untitled” (1999, acrylic on canvas, 33"x 45"
A bracing serendipity is the mark of Perspectives, which has been edited for the last eight years by English professor Richard Patterson, who has good reason to know where to find contributors. He has been at City Tech since 1967, first as an adjunct and, in 1980, becoming full-time. The gamut is run from an essay on the stage comedy Tony and Tina's Wedding with the apt title, "A Little Song, A Little Dance, A Little Ziti Down Your Pants," by English professor George Guida, to a paper on "Efficient Computation" by mathematics professor Zhao Chen that could give the math-impaired bad dreams, to poems by a few dozen different authors.

Of particular "educational" interest in this volume is the English Department's Patricia Rudden's essay, "Melville Goes to School: Tracking Down the Transcripts," which discusses recent discoveries clarifying the New York classroom whereabouts of the author of Moby-Dick. He attended not only the New-York Male High School, it appears, but also the grammar school attached to Columbia College. (We also learn that the mailing list for the thriving Melville cyberspace contingent of scholars is called, superbly, ISH-MAIL.)

Among other features in the latest Perspectives is the editor's essay on the fiction of JosÖ Saramago, several poignant memorial poems for College colleagues by Lou Rivers of the Humanities Department (and, Patterson says, a "mainstay" of Perspectives since its inception), and the acrostic poem "Candy Dish"by Carolyn Jones of the African-American Studies Department:

L ike an unanswered question I remember the first time Candy sweetened my lips O pened my eyes to color R aised my consciousness I nternalized my feelings C oncocted dreams of rapture E scaped with perfect memories
K neeling at my bedside I pray for instant mercy D eep down in my soul S inging a freedom song.