“There’s a big movement … to change what people do in their yards,” says Peter Groffman, ecosystems professor at the CUNY Advanced Science Research Center, referring to the use of lawn fertilizer. Fertilizer contains nutrients like nitrogen which washes into waterways, hurting aquatic life. Flower-growing homeowners’ habits may change, Groffman says, if they can keep “the benefits” of having a lawn.
Materials science research needs more minority students and teachers, says City College Chemistry Professor Maria Tamargo, who with colleagues won a $5 million, five-year National Science Foundation grant to create a center to diversify the field of discovering and designing new materials. Recruiting and preparing diverse students and creating a master’s program are part of the strategy to bring more minority students to CUNY’s Ph.D. programs.
Shining a certain kind of light on body tissue produces a glow that shows changes in the tissue, including cancer. The use of such biomedical optics will some day be able “to detect disease directly without taking tissue from the body,” says Robert R. Alfano, a distinguished professor of science and engineering at City College. “It’s sort of like ‘Star Trek,’ ” he says. “They scan your body, and you can get information directly.”
In his 2015 commencement address to City College grads, Nobel Laureate Dr. John O’Keefe fondly recalled his college years when he first began exploring connections between philosophy and neuroscience. “I don’t think my story is unique. I’m just a good example of City College’s gift to youth and to the nation,” O’Keefe said.
Nobel Laureate and City College alum John O’Keefe traces historic findings on the hippocampus and human memory to his recent research on the brain’s cognitive map. O’Keefe, along with two other scientists, won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering an inner GPS in the brain that helps navigate surroundings. His engaging, and often humorous, discussion marked the inaugural Professor Sharon Cosloy-Edward Blank Family Distinguished Scientist Lecture at City College.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell told grads of the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership that immigration reform should be “an essential feature” of the upcoming political season. He also urged graduates to get involved in their communities, saying, “If you want to save the world, just start by saving one kid.”
City College political science professor Daniel DiSalvo tackles the contentious issue of public unions, pensions, and political influence in his new book, “Government Against Itself: Public Union Power and Its Consequences.”
Best-selling mystery writer and City College alum Walter Mosley talks about the creative process, major influences in his life, and a myriad other topics, with Terrance McKnight, host of WQXR’s Evening Music. Mosley, best known for his crime fiction featuring black private investigator Easy Rawlins, inspired creation of the City College Publishing Certificate Program (PCP) and was recently honored at the 2014 Langston Hughes Festival.
CCNY’s Spitzer School of Architecture hosts an unprecedented exhibition on Antoni Gaudí’s “unfinished masterpiece” — Sagrada Família, the basílica in Barcelona that generations of architects and builders have continued since Gaudí’s death in 1926. George Ranalli, dean of the architecture school, talks about the world’s longest-running construction project and how he brought to New York this rare collection of original drawings, plaster casts and other architectural artifacts that have never been out of Spain.
In her new book, The Orphan Scandal: Christian Missionaries and the Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, City College history professor Beth Baron recounts the brutal beating of a 15-year-old Muslim girl by Christian missionaries in 1933 and tells how the incident spurred the growth of one of Islam’s most influential political organizations.