In the Coast Guard, Richard Larrabee oversaw the cleanup of the Exxon Valdez oil spill and the search for JFK Jr. after the Kennedy prince crashed his plane. He joined the Port Authority and was in 1 WTC on 9/11 and was port commerce director when Hurricane Sandy hit. “Always take advantage of a good crisis” to effect change, he tells a Baruch College audience.
Hedge fund manager and activist investor Whitney Tilson thought Lumber Liquidators’ profit margins were was too high. Tilson tells an audience at Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business how his suspicions led him to accuse the company of using cheap Chinese lumber containing potentially unsafe levels of formaldehyde.
Recent satellite images document the scale of destruction from organized looting to thousands of vital archaeological sites in the region known as the “cradle of civilization.” During a lecture at Baruch College, “Looting the Past, Destroying the Future: Revolution, Terrorism, and Archaeology in Egypt and Syria,” Baruch College archaeology professor Anna Boozer and John Jay College of Criminal Justice art crime professor Erin Thompson discuss the extent of the damage and the significant impact it will have on the cultural heritage for future generations.
Along with nosy food bloggers and pesky health inspectors, New York City’s restaurateurs find that they have something else to deal with — social media. “Within seconds, a chef’s new idea is on Twitter,” says Danny Meyer, head of the Union Square Hospitality Group, which includes, along with other restaurants, Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern and the Shake Shack chain. “That’s the shelf life of innovation — two seconds.” At an event sponsored by the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College, one of the trade tips of his that Meyer served up that wasn’t about recipes: “It’s how you make your customers feel that will set you apart.”
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.
With approximately 79 million baby boomers facing retirement age, the country should be looking at the immigrant work force as a much-needed boost to the economy. “We need immigrants to help us balance the senior ratio,” says Dowell Myers, a professor of urban planning and demography at the University of Southern California. In a Baruch College lecture, “Finding the Keys to Consensus on Immigration by Looking Ahead: Old Myths and New Realities,” Myers urged lawmakers to help clear a legal path for the estimated 11.2 immigrants living here. “We need to cultivate the people who we’ve been neglecting — especially their kids, the future workers, taxpayers and homebuyers.”
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Seeking compensation for the thousands of victims of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, court-appointed trustee Irving Picard, so far has recovered about $11.5 billion — through “clawback suits” — of about $17 billion in principal lost, according to Peter Henning, New York Times White Collar blogger. “No one is getting all their money back,” says Henning, a law professor at Wayne State University School of Law. “The idea is to see that the victims share their losses equally.” At an event at Baruch entitled, “The Madoff Clawbacks: Whose Money Is It?” Hennings was joined by Seth Lipner, professor of law at the Zicklin School of Business.
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Human population growth has long been linked to global warming, but according to Deborah Balk its impact may be overemphasized. “Future population growth does have a role,” says Balk, the associate director of the CUNY Institute for Demographic Research and professor at Baruch College School of Public Affairs. “But climate change is mainly driven by economic productivity.” In her lecture entitled “The Rising Tide and Climate Change in Our Increasingly Urban World,” part of the Serving Science Cafe Series, Balk explains that the fertility rate actually decreases as an area industrializes and continues to develop. “And it’s that development that will, in fact, keep emissions rising.”
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Students at the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College have an edge when it comes to finding positions, according to Terrence Martell, director of the school’s Weissman Center for International Business. “Baruch has students with multilingual and multicultural capabilities, so we’ve tried to take those characteristics and make them part of a more attractive package to employers,” says Martell, who has been director of the Weissman Center since 2001. In an interview, Martell discussed the evolution of the center since its inception in 1994, and how it prepares students to survive the current sluggish economic climate. “We do this through a study aboard program, the global student certificate, and the international internship program.”
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Park51, the proposed 13-story Islamic cultural center — dubbed the Ground Zero mosque by the media — has stirred emotions and spawned an ongoing debate over how appropriate it is to have a Muslim center two blocks from the World Trade Center. According to Jonathan Tobin, executive director of Commentary magazine, the controversy has broadened into one that now questions America’s tolerance for Islam in general. “The debate is no longer about what is appropriate or not appropriate,” says Tobin, who participated in a Lillie and Nathan Ackerman Lecture Series panel entitled,” The Ground Zero Mosque: To Build or Not to Build,” sponsored by Baruch College School of Public Affairs. While many of the panelists defended the right to construct the center, Tobin was also concerned about the rights of those who speak out. The debate has “turned into one where virtually anyone who has voiced dissent about this issue has been branded a bigot,” says Tobin.
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