Podcasts

Newsmakers

A Rhodes Scholar’s Dream to Help

February 16, 2011 | Brooklyn College, Newsmakers, William Macaulay Honors College at CUNY

For 2011 Rhodes Scholar Zujaja Tauqeer, the dream of becoming a doctor — like both her parents — was instilled in her and her older sister at a very young age. “We had to finish our education and become doctors, and nothing has changed except that we’re in a different country,” says Tauqeer, a senior, studying medicine and history at Macaulay Honors College at Brooklyn College. As victims of religious persecution in Pakistan, the family was granted asylum in the U.S. in 1998, eventually settling in Staten Island. Tauqeer, who is the seventh student in CUNY’s history to win a Rhodes Scholarship, plans to attend the University of Oxford in England this fall and hopes to return someday to her native Pakistan. “I’d like to work there to improve social stability through medicine.”
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A Hostage Ordeal Remembered

February 4, 2011 | Borough of Manhattan Community College, Newsmakers

Three decades after his release on Jan. 20, 1981, after 444 days of captivity in Iran, Barry Rosen discussed the ordeal and its emotional aftermath. “I lived on a day-to-day basis and my only hope was to survive each day,” says Rosen, who today is the executive director of public and external affairs at Borough of Manhattan Community College. Rosen was the press attaché in Tehran when students stormed the U.S. Embassy, and was among the 52 people who were bound, blindfolded and isolated during their incarceration. “It affects me today — Iran is part and parcel of my life and anybody who says it isn’t, who went through this situation, is not telling you the truth.”
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Earning an Edge at Baruch

January 4, 2011 | Baruch College, Newsmakers

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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Rivers at Risk

December 1, 2010 | City College, Newsmakers

Nearly 80 percent of the world’s rivers are so adversely affected by humanity’s footprint that the drinking water of 5 billion people and the survival of thousands of aquatic species are threatened, according to a report in the September issue of Nature. “We’ve repaired problems after they arise,” says Charles Vörsömarty, a professor of civil engineering and director of CUNY’s Environmental Crossroads Initiative at City College and the lead author of the study entitled, “Global Threats to Human Water Security and River Biodiversity.” Vörsömarty insists that there should be a more proactive approach and a global sharing of information and tools. We should be “protecting ecosystems and allowing ecosystems to do the very good job that they naturally do in providing stable and clean water supplies.”
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New Dominican Gallery Opens

December 1, 2010 | City College, Newsmakers

In recent years, the Dominican Republic has accounted for the largest number of the foreign-born residents in New York City. And now a new exhibition space has opened to celebrate that experience. “We wanted people to see the diversity of the Dominican people,” says Ramona Hernandez, director of the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute at City College, about the gallery, which is housed in the library’s multipurpose room. The inaugural show, “Manifestaciones,” by the artistic collective Dominican York Proyecto GRAFICA, is a set of 12 prints that explore the Dominican American identity.
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Fewer School Cooks, More Student Pounds

October 26, 2010 | Hunter College, Newsmakers

Sharp budget cuts to the National School Lunch Program in the 1980s contributed to our current epidemic of overweight and obese children, according to Hunter College sociologist Janet Poppendieck. “They cut labor and replaced school cooks with bulk convenience foods — the precooked, defrost and reheat pizzas and chicken nuggets,” says Poppendieck, author of “Free For All: Fixing School Food in America,” adding that unhealthy food choices were part of the wider culture, as well. “In the 80s, people saw taking their kids to fast food restaurants as a treat and increasingly these were the foods that young people wanted.”
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Haiti’s Troubled Refugee Camps

October 25, 2010 | Newsmakers, York College

Some 1.5 million displaced Haitians remain in wretched and hazardous conditions – 20 percent without clean water and 30 percent without any kind of toilet – nearly a year after an earthquake leveled the capital. Mark Schuller, an assistant professor of African American studies and anthropology at York College and a visiting professor at the State University of Haiti, recently released a report, “Unstable Foundations: Impact of NGOs on Human Rights for Port-au-Prince’s Internally Displaced People,” based on a summer of onsite observation. The recent cholera outbreak that killed more than 300 Haitians deaths and hospitalized nearly 5,000, comes as no surprise. “Given the poor health and sanitation on the ground, they were totally unprepared for a cholera outbreak,” Schuller said.
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Watch Photo Slideshow. >>

Obesity’s Sick Days

September 21, 2010 | City College, Newsmakers

The number of work days Americans lose each year due to obesity has more than doubled in the past two decades, according to a new study co-authored by Erica Lubetkin, acting chair of the Department of Community Health and Social Medicine at the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education. “Many creative solutions will be needed to reverse this trend,” says Lubetkin, “and these interventions must be implemented through an individual’s life span — particularly during early childhood.”
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Birth of a Metropolis

August 31, 2010 | Newsmakers

Barbara Ann Naddeo, associate professor of history at City College, discusses the early city of Naples, the subject of her book in progress, “Birth of a Metropolis: The Open City and Social Sciences of Naples 1650-1800,” which was awarded a 2010 Rome Prize and enabled her to study at the American Academy in Rome beginning this September. “In 1650, Naples had suffered a plague and it needed those workers-new people-to help it grow,” said Naddeo in an interview. “It was a test case for the way early modern cities accomdates immigrants and begin to build modern structures that police and also govern them.”
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Warm and Fuzzy Science (and other nonsense)

August 11, 2010 | Book Beat, Lehman College, Newsmakers

Intelligent design, global warming, and UFOs–what distinguishes science from pseudoscience? Massimo Pigliucci, chair of the philosophy department at Lehman College, tackles that question and raises some more in his recently published book, “Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk.” There’s no problem “if you open your horoscope and just read it for fun,” explains Pigliucci, “on the other hand, if you plan your financial investments based on what your horoscope tells you, you’re likely to run into trouble.” In an interview, Pigliucci, who previously taught evolutionary biology at SUNY at Stony Brook, also discusses the difference between “hard” sciences, like physics and chemistry, and “soft,” including sociology and anthropology, and how they both shape our world.
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