Podcasts

York College

Haiti Since the Quake: Relief in Question

March 6, 2012 | Book Beat, Newsmakers, York College

Billions of dollars in pledged foreign aid and private donations have poured into Haiti since the catastrophic earthquake that struck the capital, Port-au-Prince, in January 2010, but much has been wasted by inept nongovernmental organizations in charge of relief efforts. “The problem is that we don’t really know what’s going on with the NGOs — there’s a lack of transparency,” says Mark Schuller, assistant professor at York College and co-editor of new, wide-ranging anthology, Tectonic Shifts: Haiti Since the Earthquake. “As of last fall only 6 percent of the displaced people camps have had any kind of water or sanitation services because the NGOs have spent out their money.”

New FDA Powers Over Fruity, Sweetened Smokes

November 24, 2010 | CUNY Lecture Series, York College

By the stroke of his pen, President Barack Obama granted the Food and Drug Administration its broadest power ever to regulate the tobacco industry. “For the first time, we can require companies to reveal certain ingredients in tobacco products,” says FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg. And “now we can force them to comply with the ban on fruit and candy-flavored cigarettes, which are particularly pernicious in recruiting young smokers to a lifetime of addiction.” Dr. Hamburg discussed the challenges of keeping tobacco products out of the mouths of children, and the impact of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, enacted in June 2009, at a York College presentation, “The New FDA.”
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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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Confessions of a White-Collar Criminal

January 5, 2010 | CUNY Lecture Series, York College

When the Crazy Eddie electronics store chain collapsed in 1987, its founder, Eddie Antar, and three other principals — all family members — were accused of swindling millions in investors’ money in one of the largest stock fraud cases ever brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Today, Eddie Antar’s cousin Sam E. Antar, the company’s chief financial officer, is working for the other side. “The only reason I was sorry is because I got caught,” said Antar, a convicted felon who now educates law enforcement officials about the inner workings of insider trading. “In order to understand criminal behavior, you have to take morality out of the equation.” In a lecture at York College, Antar discussed the psychology of the criminal mind and how his company, known for TV commercials touting its “insane” prices, was able to deceive the public.
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Immigrants In Between Cultures

November 10, 2009 | CUNY Lecture Series, York College

In 1963, as a teenager fresh out of high school, Elizabeth Nunez came to the United States from Trinidad and began to experience the longing many immigrants have felt as they struggled to adapt amid changing traditional values and cultural upheaval. This theme is at the heart of her latest novel, “Anna in Between,” about a young woman returning home to the Caribbean island of her youth as her mother, battling breast cancer, faces her own mortality. “The genesis of the novel came primarily out of a deep sadness and loss that I felt when i started to write it,” said Nunez, Distinguished Professor of English and provost at Medgar Evers College. The author of five previous novels, Prof. Nunez reads from latest book as part of the Provost Distinguished Scholars Lecture Series at York College.
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"Genius" Winner Danticat At York

September 28, 2009 | CUNY Lecture Series, York College

Award-winning Haitian-American writer Edwidge Danticat can add a “genius grant” to her long list of accolades. One of 24 individuals who will receive a total of $500,000 over five years from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Danticat helped kick off the 2009 Provost Distinguished Scholars Lecture Series at York College this September. Known for her haunting depictions of Haitian immigrants, Danticat explained the essence of her work. “I try to write things that I would like to read,” said Danticat, who also read selections from her novel, “The Farming of Bones” (1999) and her memoir “Brother, I’m Dying” (2007). “If you try to be formulaic, you will always aim wrong,” she said. “Write what you love reading.”
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The Right Rx

September 14, 2009 | Newsmakers, York College

Two-thirds of the pharmaceutical industry is based in the New York area and, in the midst of a crippling recession, it’s one of the few sectors still hiring. Responding to this demand, York College launched a four-year, bachelor’s degree program in pharmaceutical sciences, which “will give students the technical skills and academic knowledge they’ll need to work in the industry,” said Panayiotis Meleties, professor of chemistry and dean of academic affairs for mathematics and sciences. A unique feature of this program is its collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Northeast Regional Laboratory, housed on the college’s Jamaica campus since 1999.
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Gov. Paterson: N.Y. Open for Business

June 24, 2009 | CUNY Lecture Series, York College

Addressing the 2009 graduating class at York College, Gov. David Paterson offered a ray of hope to future entrepreneurs during these bleak economic times. “The minority-owned and women-owned businesses that were less than 5% of contracts awarded in 2006 now (make up) over 25% of the contracts that do business with the state of New York,” said Paterson, referring to his promise, while serving as lieutenant governor, to expand an executive order that would ensure more equity for minorities and women-owned businesses. “When you get out there, come see us at the state because New York is opened for business, for everyone,” said Paterson, keynote speaker at the college’s commencement.
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Creating a World Without Poverty

February 25, 2008 | CUNY Lecture Series, York College

Mohammad Yunus, winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize and founder the Grameen Bank in his native Bangladesh, discusses his latest book, “Creating a World Without Poverty” and how the free market can eliminate poverty, hunger and inequality. Speaking at York College, Yunus recalls the beginnings of his pioneering banking program in the late 1970s, when he lent $27 to a group of women so they could buy bamboo to make furniture. The bank provides small loans known as microcredit to borrowers, mostly women, so they can develop self-employment projects and generate income. Today, Grameen Bank is owned by 7.7 million borrowers, 97 percent of them women. “Poverty,” he says, “is an artificial imposition on the people.”
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