November 5, 2012 | CUNY Matters, The University
HAVE YOU HEARD? A Hunter student led his wheelchair basketball team to its third gold in London’s Paralympic Games … In Beijing, a Brooklyn College student sang the lead in a Chinese opera … New research by a CCNY climate specialist indicates New York gardens soon might bloom all winter.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg was awarded the Chancellor’s Medal during opening ceremonies for The New Community College. Bloomberg, an avid and early supporter of the project, called NCC “a potentially game-changing model for community college education in New York and throughout the nation.” He picked up a second award at LaGuardia Community College when the National Fatherhood Initiative presented him with its Fatherhood Award. Bloomberg, who has two daughters, was honored for his role in launching the Young Men’s Initiative and NYC Dads, New York’s first citywide effort to help fathers connect with their children. The award was given at the first graduation for the CUNY Fatherhood Academy, which is part of the Young Men’s Initiative.
He Sees, She Sees: Brooklyn College professor Israel Abramov has proven that the sexes don’t see eye to eye on color because their brains look at hues differently. In his experiments, men and women were shown flashes of color and asked to identify them. Men had a hard time telling slight differences in shades of yellow, green and blue. Abramov determined that it wasn’t because of their eyes, which have the same structure as women’s, and surmised that it’s testosterone that “leads to different connectivities for males and females.” He hastens to note that the color gap is so subtle that the only time it really comes into play is when men are asked to choose between similar shades, say when picking the paint color for a room.
Calling All Mentors: Baruch student Jeff McClellan is one of many first-generation college students who have received a head start through New York Needs You. The organization, founded four years ago by Robert Reffkin, chief of staff to the president of Goldman Sachs, provides two years of intensive mentoring.
Third Time a Gold Charm: Hunter College student Patrick Anderson was the golden guy in London’s Paralympic Games, leading the Canadian wheelchair basketball team to its third gold medal. The 33-year-old Anderson won the gold in 2000 and 2004 and the silver in 2008.
Second Coming: City College professor Michio Kaku says it may be possible, with the use of epigenetics, to raise the dead. He envisions a time when carcasses of people and animals — mammoths, dinosaurs and even the Neanderthal man — can be resurrected as clones.
No Place Like Home: Although violinist Adrianna Mateo has toured the great concert halls of Europe and top American venues like Carnegie Hall and Steinway Hall, she’s particularly fond of LeFrak Hall at Queens College. The 22-year-old, who is studying at the college’s Aaron Copland School of Music, thinks of LeFrak as home because it was among the first places she performed, and she still records there. At LeFrak, she notes that she’s in great company — notable groups like the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the Emerson String Quartet have graced its stage. After she graduates from Queens College, Mateo wants to study in Paris and take some classes at Oxford University. She hopes to record movie soundtracks and albums and, of course, continue to tour.
No Union Label: New York City’s post-recession job market may have rebounded, but private-sector union positions have dropped by nearly 20 percent since the 2008 downturn. According to a report by Graduate Center professor Ruth Milkman and Ph.D. candidate Laura Braslow, that translates to 95,000 jobs, which they say is the biggest drop in the country.
For Art’s Sake: In a profile in BusinessWeek.com, exiled Myanmar artist Chaw Ei Thein, who is a student at Hunter College, said that being jailed for creating a performance art piece in the streets of Rangoon has made her even more committed to her art and her home country. After she completes her degree, she wants to return to a Myanmar where she hopes freedom of expression is more freely granted.
From Brooklyn to Beijing: It was a desire to study Chinese that landed Brooklyn College student Jacquelyn Stucker on a stage in Beijing this summer. But she wasn’t speaking the language, she was singing it. Stucker won the lead in the Chinese opera “The White-Haired Girl” that is being produced by “I Sing Beijing Gala Concert,” a private-public program in China.
Her Next 100 Years: Bel Kaufman, lifelong student and teacher, is entering her second century with pen still in hand. At 101, the Hunter College alumna and teacher, best known for her 1965 bestseller “Up the Down Staircase,” is at work on a book about her grandfather, Yiddish storyteller Sholom Aleichem.
Nature’s Best: From ordinary aspirin to sophisticated cancer-fighting drugs like Taxol, natural products took center stage at the International Congress on Natural Products Research’s five-day scientific conference in Manhattan. Billed as the largest U.S. gathering of natural products researchers, it was organized and co-hosted by CUNY.
10 in 1,000: Kingsborough Community College has been named one of 10 finalists for the Aspen Institute Prize for Community College Excellence. KCC was selected from more than 1,000 entries. The award comes with a $1 million prize that will be awarded in March.
Right Recipe: New York City College of Technology alumna Kubee Kassaye, chef at the five-star Peninsula Hotel in Manhattan, was one of six women to win the 2012 Legacy Award for culinary achievement from the Les Dames d’Escoffier International.
Lotta Lotto Luck: Frank Ulloa, a Lehman College student, hit the jackpot when he and 21 coworkers at a Manhattan car dealership won Powerball’s $1 million prize. After taxes, he’ll get $30,081. He doesn’t have any college loans, so he’s planning to give some of it to his mom.
The Good Fight: This summer, wrestler William “Spartan” Ferrara, a Queens College student, took time out from his roster of East Coast fights to jump into the ring in his own neighborhood. Ferrara’s fight in Middle Village, Queens, was for Showcase Championship Wrestling, an independent organization that brings the sport to schools, youth camps and churches.
Make Mine Black: Birch Coffee, the Flatiron District shop opened in 2009 by Queens College alumnus Jeremy Lyman and business partner Paul Schlader, is perking along: A second shop will be opening soon on the Upper West Side.
Something To Chew On: A new study on gum disease by Luisa N. Borrell, chair of Lehman College’s Department of Health Sciences, found that while the disease decreased by 7.1 percent overall during a 10-year period, it remained most common among adults 35 years and older, men, blacks, Mexican-Americans, those without high school diplomas and low-income people.
Christopher Rosa, University assistant dean for student affairs, was among nine New Yorkers honored recently with a New York Post Liberty Medal. “It’s humbling to receive recognition for work on behalf of students who have already given me so much,” said Rosa, who has muscular dystrophy and won the educator award. He spearheads CUNY LEADS, a comprehensive career-readiness program for students with disabilities at CUNY’s 24 campuses. Seven of 10 participants are working in the first year after graduation, he said. “All that people with disabilities ask for is an equal chance to succeed or fail on their merits alone.”
A Plant Stand: If City College assistant professor Nir Krakauer’s research bears fruit, fig trees will grow like wildfire in New York City and camellias will winter in Detroit. Krakauer’s research, supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, shows that the new USDA Hardiness Map, detailing which plants will survive where, doesn’t go far enough in taking global warming into account. More than a third of the country has shifted at least one zone since the map came out in January, he says, because the winter is warming faster than the summer.
Speakers Roundup: New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli (left photo), hosted Macaulay Honors College and College of Staten Island students including Andrea Cella (left) and Danica Pagulayan, with CSI student affairs VP Ramona Brown and event organizer and CUNY trustee Kathleen Pesile … Queens College welcomed Nobel Peace Prize winner Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (above right photo, second from left), who spoke of her 15-year house arrest and her current role in Myanmar’s parliament. With her were Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Queens-Bronx), left; college president James Muyskens; Queens alumna Carole King, who sang “Daw Suu Kyi, you’ve got a friend”); actress Anjelica Huston; and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn … NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen spoke at City College; U.S. labor secretary Hilda L. Solis talked at Borough of Manhattan Community College; Haitian President Michel Martelly visited Brooklyn College … Autism Speaks’ fifth annual conference drew world dignitaries to Hunter College, including Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Panama President Ricardo Martinelli and more than 15 first ladies ….
EVOLVING GREENLAND: City College assistant professor Marco Tedesco and a colleague evaluate a crevasse in the Greenland Ice Sheet during a research expedition to the remote Arctic island. Tedesco’s unique measurement index indicated a record ice melt there this past summer — which created new glacial lakes plus river runoff that could eventually add to rising sea levels.