For every dollar earned by a man in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, a female counterpart earns 14 percent less, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. It’s a statistic that City College professor Maribel Vazquez says must change. “Women in the workforce lack strong negotiation skills, Vazquez says, “because female aggression is perceived negatively by both men and women.” Vazquez delivered the keynote address at “Women in Science: Negotiating a Successful Academic Career,” a panel discussion at the CUNY Graduate Center. An associate professor of Biomedical Engineering, Vazquez also presented her research on the use of micro and nanotechnology in the study of cell migration in the brain.
The proper teaching of African enslavement in America as a central component of American history remains a great failure of primary and secondary education, according to Khalil Gibran Muhammad, the new director of Harlem’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Speaking to students at New York City College of Technology, Muhammad cited data showing only 2 percent of high school seniors know the basics of the long struggle for civil rights and that only 15 states require the inclusion of slavery as a key factor in the Civil War. “Slavery is not an aberration in the American story; it is the quintessential American story,” he said.
Anita Hill, whose riveting allegations of sexual harassment almost derailed the confirmation of Clarence Thomas as a U.S. Supreme court justice 20 years ago, told a crowd at Brooklyn College: “I assure you: Nowhere on my bucket list was the ambition of testifying before a Senate Judiciary Committee about my own personal experience. Nevertheless, as the nomination proceeded, I realized what was at stake. At the heart of my testimony was the integrity of the court … [which] is only as good as the integrity of the people who are sitting on the court,” she said at the Shirley Chisholm Day celebration. Chisholm (Brooklyn College, 1946) was the first black woman elected to Congress, in 1968, and the first woman to make a serious run for the Democratic presidential nomination, in 1972. Hill, a professor at Brandeis University, also discussed the role that gender and race continue to play, particularly in the current foreclosure crisis.
How will today’s green initiatives to combat worldwide climate change alter the world for future generations? For an answer, Thomas McGovern, anthropology professor at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, has spent more than a decade studying how Viking settlers in Greenland managed to avoid destroying the land for centuries. “In Greenland they [the Vikings] got it right, but the environment changed on them again,” says McGovern in his lecture, “Sustainability and Collapse: Lessons from the Vikings,” part of the CUNY Science Cafe lecture series. “Their robustness to deal with one problem made them vulnerable to another.”
Childhood trauma can make you a sick adult. “Physical and sexual abuse, harsh language and chaos in the home lead to heart disease, propensity for smoking, obesity, drug abuse, high risk for AIDS, depression, anxiety, anger, and other forms of antisocial behavior,” says professor Bruce S. McEwan, who heads up the Harold and Margaret Milliken Hatch Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology at the Rockefeller University. Speaking at Brooklyn College’s Children’s Studies Center for Research, Policy and Public Service for the Social Justice for Children, which convened a National Consultation to End Childhood Abuse and Violence Against Children, McEwan was among a group of experts from the fields of neuroscience, social sciences and public health, who presented recent findings on violence against children.
“There’s something in you that you know should be told,” says U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine, but “you have to stay at it forever because it doesn’t come easily.” Levine, at 83, sees an authentic story at the kernel of every true poem. A 1995 Pulitzer Prize winner, he was named poet laureate by the Library of Congress in August, and appeared at the New Salon in Queens, a partnership between the Queens College MFA Program for Creative Writing and Literary Translation and the Poetry Society of America.
Executive Committee meeting of the Board of Trustees, December 12, 2011.
Lightning-rod defense attorney, Harvard law professor, author and commentator Alan Dershowitz embodies “chutzpah” – Yiddish for audacity, gall and nerviness, and one of his book titles. He’s never avoided controversy, and he’s never forgotten where he comes from. That’s why he chose Brooklyn College, his alma mater, to house the papers – case files to photos to hate mail (answered back, of course) from his illustrious 50-year legal career. “In My Own Defense: The Papers of Alan Dershowitz,” will be on view at Brooklyn College until Jan. 3, 2012.
Dov Waxman, associate professor of political science at Baruch College, says Arab Israelis, a minority in the Jewish state, face opposition from a Jewish majority who see themselves as an “insecure and at risk” minority in the region. The author of Israel’s Palestinians: The Conflict Within, Waxman explains that while Jews represent approximately 80% of the Israel’s population, their anxieties resemble that of a minority “when they are faced with their own minority” of Arab Israelis in an overwhelmingly Arabic region.
What if scientists discovered a disease that affected millions of children and the exposed could pass it on to their own children? asked James Mercy, acting director of the Division of Violence Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “If we had a disease in the headlines that was framed like that, what do you think we would do? But the truth is we have such a disease. It’s called violence against children.” He spoke at the National Consultation to End Child Abuse and Violence Against Children organized by the Children’s Studies Center for Research, Policy and Public Service at Brooklyn College.