The Selfless Seven

The results are in! Seven members of the Pace Community have been selected to receive Jefferson Awards Bronze Medals for their commitment to service–and one will even pack her bags for DC to compete for a Gold Medal Award.

Each year, the Jefferson Awards for Public Service looks for the “unsung heroes,” the selfless people who make the world a better place through volunteering and community service efforts. The Center for Community Action and Research has announced that seven Pace individuals have been selected to receive Jefferson Awards Bronze Medals for 2012-2013.

Known as the “Nobel Prize for public service,” the Jefferson Awards were established to recognize and honor individuals whose community service efforts best exemplify dedication to enhancing the quality of life in their community. Pace University became a Champion of the Jefferson Awards for Public Service in 2008. Nominations were solicited from the University community and finalists were selected based on their personal, sustained commitment to service, and for the model of spirit and service they provide the University community.

This year’s Bronze Medal Award winners include:

Tracy Basile—Adjunct Professor for Environmental Studies and English (PLV)
Tracy Basile currently teaches several civic engagement courses, including “Food Revolution: The Politics and Ecology of What We Eat” and “Animals and Society.” In 2010, she co-produced a short documentary film, The Unfractured Future, which highlights Native American voices on hydraulic fracturing and was awarded a grant from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund to use the film for educational outreach. You can read more about Basile in this week’s Earth Month feature.

Zach Dayton—Assistant Athletics Director for Marketing and Promotions (PLV)
Zach Dayton has been involved in service activities throughout his entire life and grew up working in a nonprofit organization that his mother started. He has spent the past four years building a service-oriented mindset within the department of athletics at Pace that follows the NCAA Division II platform of academics, athletics, and service. Through his leadership, Pace student-athletes have raised thousands of dollars, and put forth hundreds of community service hours for initiatives like Pace Goes Pink and the Make A Wish Foundation.

Joan Katen—Adjunct Professor for Peace and Justice Studies and Political Science (PLV)
As a Pace professor, Joan Katen has been an active member of the Pace PLV community, co-designing and co-teaching Keys to Global Peace, a civic engagement course engaging hundreds of students in projects that contribute to peace and justice in the world. She has coordinated dozens of open lectures from Deputy Ambassador to the UN Ramez Ghoussous, to the Ambassador from Eygpt to the UN Ambassador Abdul Aziz and Brigadier General Duke Deluca, and co-coordinated events such as “The Devastating Effects of War on Children” and “The World that Works for Everyone: Creating Peace and Sustainable Development.” She is Advocacy Chair of the United Nations Association and advisor to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

Shyam Nooredeen—Lubin Business Management major (NYC)
Shyam Nooredeen has been an avid supporter of community service since high school. After transferring to Pace in spring 2012, he was chosen to participate in the Alternative Spring Break program, which focused on homelessness in New York City. Through ASB, he has volunteered at Housing Works, the Food Bank of NYC, Yorkville Common Pantry, YCAP, New York Cares Paint-A-School Day, and New York Cares Hands-On Day in the spring. His biggest achievement thus far is serving as a Democracy Coach for Pace’s chapter of Generation Citizen, a program that partners college students with NYC high school classrooms where students are empowered to take on issues that deeply affect them. During the spring 2013 semester, he became the Education Director of Generation Citizen at Pace. 

Mark Stephens—University Director for Financial Aid
Mark Stephens has shared his knowledge of the financial aid profession, serving as group leader/trainer for the last 10 years with newcomers into this field at weeklong “boot camp” training events sponsored by New York State Financial Aid Administrators Association (NYSFAAA). He has also provided financial aid workshops at a host of local high schools each year in NY and NJ. For the past 16 years, Stephens has served in the Diaconate ministry at Macedconia Baptist Church in Mount Vernon, NY and Union Baptist Church in Greenburg, NY. In addition to serving the congregation, he visits sick and isolated members in their homes, hospitals, and nursing homes to offer company and comfort. 

AliReza Vaziri—Dyson Film and Screen Studies major (NYC)
AliReza Vaziri serves as a student research assistant for a Provost-funded project aimed at reducing meat consumption on campus in order to allay a range of environmental pressures. Specifically, his efforts include polling and gaining public support for “green” campus activities; TAing for a course, ENV201 (Animals and Society); introducing the campus to the social and political dimensions of “dumpster diving”; and producing and directing a documentary film about food waste and homelessness. He is also a recipient of the Project Pericles Leadership award. This semester, he is working with a group of students to educate the Pace Community on the harmful environmental and health effects of the water bottle industry and establishing the green roof and vegetable garden on the NYC Campus.

Dana Weingartner—Lubin Marketing major and Dyson Political Science minor (PLV)
Dana Weingartner has been a strong advocate of service since high school and has participated in volunteer programs at her local library, mission trips with her youth group, volunteering in food banks, homeless shelters, and soup kitchens, and repairing homes on a Native American reservation in South Dakota. Since arriving at Pace in 2010 she has programmed and supervised more than a dozen service and civic education projects with the CCAR, including projects for Paint a School Day, Hope’s Door, Successful Learning Center, Beczak Environmental Center, and Sharing Shelf. She has run successful voter registration and organ donor campaigns and has served as a teaching assistant for the civic engagement course POL 110:  Leadership and Advocacy. She is a founding member of the student planned and supervised Pace Makes a Difference Day “Spring Edition” and is currently a Periclean Fellow.

Additionally, Joan Katen was selected to represent Pace at the Jefferson Awards National Ceremonies in Washington DC and compete for a Gold Medal Award. The selection of the Gold Medal awardee is made at the national level by the Jefferson Awards Board of Selectors.  For more information on the Jefferson Award winners, visit the CCAR website.

The Professor Is In: Q&A with P.V. Viswanath

Lubin Finance Professor P.V. Viswanath talks culture, finance, polyglotism, and his interests from Jay Leno to film editing.

Written by Pace student Sarah Aires ’14

To have a conversation with P.V. Viswanath, PhD, is to be immersed in his amazingly vast knowledge of every topic from religion and languages to finance and economics. When Viswanath isn’t in a classroom lecturing both undergraduate and graduate students on financial practices, he can be found advising undergraduate students on their honors theses in finance, or embarking on his newest endeavor to learn Chinese (he is fluent in several languages including French, Spanish, Tamil, and Hindi.) He, along with colleague Professor Rebecca Tekula, recently applied for a grant to perform research in urban microfinance—an innovative field in the economic world that investigates people in urban areas who are underserved by commercial banks. They will try to uncover why 8 percent of people in the entire U.S., and nearly 14 percent of New Yorkers, do not have a bank account at all. His research will compare un-banked citizens of NYC and Mumbai, where Viswanath was born and raised. He is extremely interested in anthropology and diverse cultures. Last summer, Viswanath visited a group of people in Northeast India called the Bnei Menashe, who believe that they are descended from the lost Israelite tribe of Menashe, expelled from Israel in the 8th century BCE by the Assyrians. The group is actively seeking to reestablish its connections to Jewish society and many members of the group wish to immigrate to Israel. His previous research includes innumerable academic papers on topics like law and marketing. He is certainly an asset to the Pace Community—and extremely fun to boot.

What was your favorite class as a student? Least favorite?
My favorite class in high school was French. It was the first of many languages I’ve studied in my life. In undergraduate school, I found an interest in English literature and economics.

My least favorite class in school was biology. Where I went to school in Mumbai, we did not have a lot of great teachers in the sciences and you were not required to take science courses if it was not in your area of study.

What one thing or person made you passionate about your current career?
Since coming to Pace I have become much more passionate about teaching. I believe I have a very analytical mind and I’ve always loved to do research. But it’s only since coming to Pace, that I really developed my interesting in teaching. I’ve realized it is a great responsibility [to be a professor]. Sometimes when a student does not like a course, it is the way in which the material is presented. I make the effort to learn how to improve my teaching.

What quality do you most value in your students?
I value students who think about a question or topic and ask questions. Something I do in my class (which I know isn’t always popular) is I don’t always give an answer to a question. In some other classes, perhaps there is an answer to a question, but I think, in general, it is more important to be able to think critically. Especially in economics and finance students are always saying, “But what is the right answer? I need the answer!” but often times it is not about the answer, but learning how to think about a topic and evaluate it.

What’s your advice to students to make the most out of their time in college?
Take courses outside your major and expand your horizons past your primary area of study.

If you had to do it all over again and took another path, what profession would you like to attempt? What profession would you not like to do?
I mentioned earlier how I didn’t have a lot of education in the physical sciences. And I’ve always enjoyed research. I am a researcher first. So, if I could I would study the physical sciences and perhaps become a research scientist.

I think I probably would be a terrible musician. But I do enjoy music… I learned to chant from the Torah. With each character there is a specific pitch to chant at and I’ve studied that.

What is your favorite book/TV show?
My wife and I really like Jay Leno—we try to watch him. And I really liked Cheers a long time ago. I read a lot. One genre I really enjoy is crime fiction like Clive Cussler, who writes thrillers that take place in New York. I also enjoy historical and locale-based crime fiction, e.g. by Qiu Xiao Long writes crime stories based in modern-day Shanghai.  I was also a big fan of the Brother Cadfael series of murder mysteries set in 12th century England.

What would you do if you had an extra hour every day?
I’d probably read—I also like movies and don’t see enough of them. In fact, I would also like to study film editing—which I hope to do eventually. It amazes me how editing of the film can completely change a movie. Even the film industry’s connection to finance is interesting. For example, if you’re a film maker with debt financing, you are likely to have to give up artistic control.  Since the lender just wants to make sure he gets his money back and doesn’t participate in any upside in case the movie does really well, he wants to reduce his risk exposure. This is particularly true of studio financing. With debt financing, the director has much more control. S/he doesn’t have to worry about the studio insisting on changing a movie ending, for example.

What is your favorite journey/experience?
I traveled to China and taught in Beijing for three weeks. That was a very interesting experience because I was exposed to a whole different culture, but one that has been connected with India since the times of the Buddha.

What is your favorite saying/words to live by?
My favorite saying that I try to live by is from Hillel in the 2nd century. Don’t do something to someone else that you would not want done to you.

If you could have any five people, living or dead, imagined or real, as guests at a dinner party, who would you choose?
Mahatma Gandhi, Jesus, Muhammad, Adolf Hitler, and Ashoka, a 3rd century Indian king who was instrumental in the spread of Buddhism to China and throughout Asia.  He underwent a change of heart after a very bloody war and became more interested in the welfare of his people.

Here Comes the Sun

A Pace professor teams up with students to explore the effectiveness of newly-installed solar panels on campus, including how they helped students get recharged during Superstorm Sandy.

Written by Sarah Aires ’14

About 165,000 trillion watts of solar power reach the earth all the time, and all activities on the planet utilize only a fraction of it–and yet the energy crises wages on! Seidenberg Professor Hsui-Lin Winkler, PhD, has teamed up with students for a research endeavor to explore the functionality and effectiveness of new solar panels the university installed last year. The research topic, which had initially been included as part of the Undergraduate Student-Faculty Research Initiative, was proposed by Winkler, whose previous work includes research of college campus energy consumption for a prestigious Thinkfinity grant. Naturally, the work extended to include a closer look at understanding solar energy on campus.

The solar panels were installed on the e-House of the Law School, and a “solar classroom’ on the Pleasantville Campus. The six modules on the PLV Campus classroom were donated by Con Edison to demonstrate to students how solar panels can be used effectively in a classroom. The solar PV modules installed in both locations are the same type; each can generate 235 watts per meter square. During the summer and spring months, the panels contribute  half of the total energy use and less in the winter.

“We were just excited to see that we have some panels up on the roofs and provide us significant energy in the e-House and be a solar panel showcase in the solar classroom,” Winkler said.

In the wake of the Superstorm Sandy disaster that displaced many Pace students and canceled classes for days, the solar panels were an invaluable resource. Despite the power outage that affected both campuses, students were able to charge phones and computers due to the solar energy. With about 1.5 kWatts, the room comfortably provides charges for 20 to 25 students.

When questioned about the potential financial hardship of the solar panels, Winkler explained, “It would takes about 15 years for solar panels to be paid off from electricity generation alone.  It can be less if some extra tax benefits were provided to purchase the solar panels. However, if we consider the reduction of CO2, which is usually not included in the estimate of benefit, the solar energy cost would be greatly reduced. “

Ongoing research could make way for more innovative energy solutions as Pace helps pave the way for university in energy conservation.

Dynamic Duos Part Deux

What do zebrafish and video games have in common? They’re just a few of the subjects that Pace faculty and students have delved into as part of the 2nd Annual Pace Undergraduate Research Program. Learn more at the end of this month as they present their findings on the NYC and PLV campuses.

Researching the brain development and sense of smell of zebrafish; studying the effects of video gaming on impulsive behavior in college students; analyzing energy consumption and solar energy generation in Pace’s solar energy classroom; combating neuromuscular disorders through the synthesis of novel therapeutic drugs; understanding the attitudes of nursing students toward the geriatric population; and much more—27 Pace student and faculty pairs will highlight their research through formal presentations and poster sessions, culminating in an award presentation.

New York City Showcase:
Monday, April 29
10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
Student Union
One Pace Plaza
Westchester Showcase:
Wednesday, May 1
10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
Gottesman Room
Kessel Student Center

 

Please RSVP by Monday, April 22 to Sue Maxam, EdD, at (914) 773-3849 or smaxam@pace.edu and note which showcase(s) you plan to attend.

For more information about the pairings or to read progress on their blogs, visit www.pace.edu/ugresearch.

InsideTrack is Back

Join Pace University Trustee Thomas J. Quinlan III ’85, President and CEO of RR Donnelley & Sons, and President Stephen J. Friedman for an illuminating discussion about the fast-paced changes taking place in media and publishing today.

InsideTrack returns on Tuesday, April 23, as President Friedman sits down with Pace alumnus Thomas J. Quinlan III ’85, president and CEO of RR Donnelley & Sons Company. With more than 60,000 employees, annual revenues of more than $11 billion, and approximately 650 locations around the globe, Chicago-based RR Donnelley & Sons Company is the largest provider of printing and print-related business services in the world.

The evening’s topic, “Coping with Disruption,” will be examined as President Friedman and Quinlan take us through the fast-paced changes in media and publishing as the world tilts toward digital. Hear the fascinating story of the transformation of an entire industry in real time.

Members of the World Presidents’ Organization (WPO), a global organization of more than 4,600 business leaders who are or have been chief executive officers of major companies, have also been invited to attend two master classes taught by expert Pace faculty. The first class brings together a panel of experts and enviro-policymakers from the Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies for “Straight Talk on the Future of Our Planet.” Afterwards, WPO members are invited to attend “Megatrends: Threats, Opportunities, Successes, Failures,” an interdisciplinary master class that will focus on the up-to-date issues of globalization and economic interdependency and what the latest issues and challenges are and how your business can deal with them.

“Hosting the World President’s Organization is a great opportunity to introduce the University to an important group of area CEOs,” says Freddi Wald, Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President of University Relations. “They will learn firsthand of the exciting intellectual and cultural opportunities available to our students and the Pace Community each and every day.”

For more information and to RSVP, click here.   


Equality Can’t Wait

New York City is electing its first new Mayor in 12 years. It’s time to make sure NYC’s next leader puts equality at the top of the agenda. Hear from the candidates on the issues that impact women and girls, and on matters that affect every New Yorker.

On Tuesday, May 7, Pace University and the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies once again join forces with the National Organization for Women’s New York City chapter (NOW-NYC) to host a debate between the top candidates in the upcoming New York mayoral election. The event, “Equality Can’t Wait: NOW-NYC Mayoral Forum,” is meant to ensure that the next mayor of New York City puts equality at the top of his or her agenda.

“NOW approached us and asked if we would host a mayoral candidates’ debate that would focus specifically on issues of interest to women in the upcoming mayoral elections,” explains the Chair of Women’s and Gender Studies department Nancy Reagin, PhD. “We thought that it would be really interesting for our students as well as the community.”

At 7:00 p.m. the candidates of New York City’s mayoral race will take to the Schimmel stage for two back-to-back town hall style debates. The first features Democrats Christine Quinn, Bill de Blasio, John Liu, and Bill Thompson, while the second debate includes Republicans John Catsimatidis, Joe Lhota, and Independent candidate Adolfo Carrión Jr.  The debates will be moderated by former New York Times political writer, Joyce Purnick, winner of the Peter Kihss Award for reporting on city government and the Front Page Award for her political column in New York Magazine and author of Mike Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics. Up for discussion are issues such as equal pay, parental leave, and other issues of workplace equity that the city has a role in regulating and determining.

“We’re hoping for a big turnout from the Pace Community. We’re sure the topics will be of interest to students from all colleges, including Women’s and Gender Studies, Political Science, and Communication students,” Reagin says.

For more information and to register, please visit www.nownyc.org.

Food For Thought

Professor Marley Bauce and student AliReza Vaziri ’13 team up for an undergraduate research project to gauge environmental sustainability in Pace’s Dining Halls.

Written by Pace student Sarah Aires ’14

Dyson Professor of Environmental Studies Marley Bauce and Lubin senior AliReza Vaziri are prime examples of how professors and students have come together to make a difference. In this case, the duo has undertaken an innovative new research project on environmental sustainability—and how Pace can adopt a leadership role in the movement.

Recycling, purchasing energy saving appliances, and whizzing around in a Prius are stylish ways to show your support for environment sustainability, but they aren’t necessarily making the impact you think they are.  According to a 2006 meta-analysis conducted by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, industrial agriculture releases 33% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Of this 33%, beef production claims half the responsibility. Forget the Prius: It may be time to confront the steak.

So what can Pace do to help minimize environmental damage? Professor Bauce and Vaziri have teamed up in the Division of Student Success’ Undergraduate Student-Faculty Research Initiative to gauge the environmental sustainability measures of Pace’s Dining Halls and identify what Pace can do to improve.

Professor Bauce and Vaziri believe that Pace could implement three primary changes in order to remain on the cusp of environmental sustainability awareness.

“Pace can lead the initiative by offering more ecologically-friendly options for students,” Professor Bauce said.  As of now, the café does offer some vegetarian options. We have met with representatives of Chartwell’s to discuss our research.”

Another suggestion the research partners have proposed is to implement a “Meatless Monday” campaign across campus, an idea that has already been implemented at the Pace Law School on the White Plains campus. Through this campaign, a wider variety of meat-free food alternatives are offered to students on Mondays, along with educational programs designed to encourage students to eat less meat… both for their health, and for the health of the planet.

NYU and Columbia have also implemented “Meatless Monday” campaigns in order to encourage students to refrain from eating meat on Mondays, thereby reducing their carbon footprints as well as reducing health risk factors.

In a survey that Professor Bauce and Vaziri distributed to 3,000 Pace students and faculty members, the Pace community expressed their desire for an advanced administrative position on environmental consciousness, citing sustainable living as a clear social value.

“The survey asked if [students] would alter their eating habits in order to promote ecological sustainability, and the consensus was that they would not want to change their eating habits out right on their own,” Professor Bauce said. “However, when asked whether they felt that Pace should offer more options for students to eat less meat, the response was overwhelming: The same survey subjects believe that  Pace should launch an initiative to provide students with the option to eat more responsibly if they choose. This is a fascinating dynamic between consumer and corporate environmental responsibilities, right here in the heart of New York City.”

Finally, Vaziri, who founded the campus organization A Dollar’s Difference and was recently awarded Pace’s Jefferson Award for Public Service, suggests that Pace use its influence and power to not only help the environment, but also to help less fortunate individuals within our community. “We would like to see Pace limit food waste, and donate its left over, unused foods to food banks in the area,” Vaziri explained, “We are currently in talks with several to try and set it up.” Americans currently throw away approximately 50% of the food they purchase; this food accumulates in landfills and emits methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. This is but one more way in that what we eat has a profound effect on the local and global environment.

Says Professor Bauce, “Our next steps are to meet with Provost Sukhatme to discuss options; distribute another survey to students; and prepare a document for distribution around the university, which outlines various ways in which the Pace Community can use food as an important means of expressing an environmental identity.”

The findings of their research will be presented via a poster panel at the Division of Student Success’ Showcase Event on April 29 from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. in the Student Union. Admission to this event is free and open to the public; for more information, please contact Sue Maxam, EdD, at smaxam@pace.edu.

For updates on his developing research, follow AliReza’s blog at here.

Cultural Kick-off

This spring, culture comes to Pace in the forms of drama, dance, the debut of the new Performing Arts building, and more.

The Actors Studio Drama School Repertory Season
April 3-May 4, Wednesday-Friday at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
April kicks off with The Actors Studio Drama School’s annual repertory season, which features five weeks of challenging and exciting theater designed to introduce graduating students to the professional world and the public in productions of the work they have created during their three years of study. This year’s rep season includes four original plays written by the four graduating playwrights, as well as a production of North of Providence, a one-act play written by Dyson Professor Edward Allen Baker. For more information about the ASDS Repertory Season or to reserve your tickets, visit www.pace.edu/ASDSRep.

Pace Performing Arts Open House
Friday, April 12, 3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Pace’s Performing Arts department welcomes students, staff, and faculty to the grand opening of 140 William Street. This state-of-the-art building will serve as the new home for Performing Arts and will be dedicated to the training and education of the next generation of American artists. Guided tours of the new acting, movement, dance, and television studios will be offered. While you are there, get a peek at the new costume and design shops, as well as the CAD lab and new performance spaces.

The Importance of Being Earnest
April 10-12, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 13, 2:00 p.m and 8:00 p.m
Sunday, April 14, 1:00 p.m and 7:00 p.m

Fancy a farce? Head over the Schaeberle Studio Theater this month for the Performing Arts Program’s production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. This satirical tale comments on Victorian social ties in a hilarious case of mistaken identity.

Dance Out Loud
Friday, April 26, 8:00 p.m. 
Saturday, April 27, 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Conceived and directed by Rhonda Miller, one of the most sought-after choreographers in the country and director and lecturer of dance at Pace, this showcase features more than 50 Pace students getting their tap, jazz, ballet, modern, hip hop, and contemporary dance on at the NYC Campus’ Schimmel Theatre. Reserve your tickets today by clicking here.

Take the Stage: Sing and Dance with Broadway Stars
Sunday, April 28, 3:00 p.m.
How do you get to Carnegie Hall? It doesn’t  matter! This April, Carnegie Hall comes to you. Imagine you’re on a lit-up Broadway stage—now get ready to sing and dance with real Broadway all-stars! Join composer Thomas Cabaniss, musical director of Chicago: The Musical Leslie Stifelman, and choreographer Melissa Rae Mahon as they guide you through a sing- and dance-along right here at Pace’s Schimmel Theatre. This Community Sing event is part of the Neighborhood Concert Series presented by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. For more information and to RSVP, contact rsvpcarnegiehall@pace.edu.

A Spring Night in Verse

Join poets John Koethe and Ann Lauterbach for readings, book signings, and refreshments at this semester’s Poets @ Pace.

Originally set to visit Pace in fall 2012, Superstorm Sandy kept these poets away. Join us this month as celebrated poets John Koethe and Ann Lauterbach will give the spring 2013 reading in the Poets @ Pace series. The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place on Monday, April 22 from 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room on the NYC Campus. It will include a Q&A session, a book signing, and refreshments. Poets @ Pace, which brings important poets to the Pace NYC Campus each semester, is organized by Pace’s Poet-in-Residence Charles North and sponsored by the Office of the Provost.

Of John Koethe’s collection Falling Water, John Ashbery wrote: “One of the profoundest meditations on existence ever formulated by an American poet.” Mark Strand has said of Koethe’s poems: “In them, even the most extreme exertions of consciousness are transformed into the luminous measures of beautiful speech.” John Koethe is the author of nine books of poetry, mostly recently ROTC Kills, as well as a book of essays on poetics. He spent many years in the Philosophy Department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he is at present Distinguished Professor Emeritus. He was the first Poet Laureate of Milwaukee. As a philosopher, he has done notable work on Ludwig Wittgenstein. Among Koethe’s poetry prizes are the Lenore Marshal Prize, the Kingsley Tufts Award, and the Frank O’Hara Award. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and in 2011, a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Ann Lauterbach has published eight collections of poetry, most recently Or to Begin Again, a book of essays on art and poetics, and collaborations with visual artists. Throughout her career she has been involved with art, and she was Visiting Core Critic (Sculpture) at the Yale School of Art from 2007-2011. At present, she is co-Chair of Writing in the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College, where she is also the Schwab Professor of Languages and Literature. The Harvard Review has called her poems “adventurous, demanding, grave, and elegant.” Charles Bernstein characterized her most recent book as “a culmination of Lauterbach’s worldward journey. Worldward: how a person grounds herself or himself in the world over time like gravity in Simone Weil’s sense. These tunes leak into the air like ink mourning grace.” Lauterbach has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, Ingram Merrill, and The John D. and Catherine C. MacArthur Foundation, among others.

For more information about Poets @ Pace, please contact Charles North at cnorth@pace.edu.

The Professor Is In: Q&A with Jonathan Hill

Jonathan Hill talks chicken coops, Ruby on Rails, Rasputin, and much more in this month’s issue of The Professor Is In.

Written by Pace student Sarah Aires ’14

Jonathan Hill, DPS, Associate Dean of the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, founded the Seidenberg Creative Labs, a fee-for-service research lab in software development. Start-ups and established companies often want prototypes for web, mobile or digital marketing projects and students and faculty in the lab build and test these products and record the results so companies can have a real-life, market-ready product. There are plenty of enthusiastic students in the lab where peer interactions, working relationships with clients and research are fundamental aspects to the lab’s team work.  Hill has received several grants for his influential research including a lofty $250,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation to establish a STEM Co-laboratory at Pace along with School of Education Professor Lauren Birney, EdD.

Hill also facilitates an active collaboration with Aalto University in Finland. The program is in its second year, and Hill will be joining 10 students on a trip to Helsinki where students will work together with students from universities all around the world including China, India, Germany, and New Zealand to work on projects for established national companies like Panasonic, ABB, Sony, and Audi. Hill is incredibly enthusiastic about the ever-changing start-up world where technologies like Skype allow people from across the globe to work with one another from San Francisco to Shanghai. After going to California to become a “Dot Com” millionaire, which didn’t work out quite the way he planned, he taught for several years when he was granted the opportunity to work on a project at Pace. Years later he is still teaching students he calls the most ambitious he’s known.

What was your favorite class?
My favorite class as an undergrad was a Problem Solving with Computers class. Of course, the class was back in the last century so it was punch card computing. I’ve always had a natural affinity for computers and that was an opportunity to explore. Another favorite class was a Russian history course. One of the best professors I ever had, Bill Brennan, taught Soviet history. This was a guy who could paint pictures with words. I ended up minoring in Russian history because of him.

Least favorite?
My least favorite was an international business class taught by the one and only bad professor I ever had in my undergrad career. He was disinterested and… it’s ironic because I went on to do a lot of international business.

What one thing or person made you passionate about your career?
My mentor at City University of New York, Stuart Schulman, who runs the entrepreneurship program there. He had a passion for applied higher education and taught me to combine academics and business and allowed me to navigate higher education. I taught there for 15 years.

What quality do you most value in your students?
Passion, a sense of humor, and a willingness to jump into the deep end of the pool. Pace students are wonderful in that way. The ones who are successful and satisfied are the ones who have come here for the right reasons.  Because they are going to school in the best city in the world and that makes it an amazing place to go to school. There are so many rich opportunities right outside our door and folks who come here and take advantage and make the most of their time here do amazing things.

What’s your advice to students to make the most out of their time in college?
Get involved. In a few words: over commit. Go out and do things and take advantage of this amazing city and amazing school. Universities are like deserts in the sense that there are these amazing oases, but you have to know where to look. Hopefully you have someone to start you on a path and show you where they are. If you don’t find them you can die of thirst but if you find them, you have this amazing experience.

If you had to do it all over again and took another path, what profession would you like to attempt? What profession would you not like to do?
I’d like to be an artist. I’ve come late in my life to the great satisfaction of making things – designing and creating things. Software can be very creative. I made a chicken coop last summer with my son and now we have chickens in our backyard!

I wouldn’t want to be the adviser to The Pace Press [chuckles. Editor’s Note: Sarah Aires, the author of this article is also an editor for The Pace Press.]

What is your favorite book/TV show?
I’ve been inhaling a series of historical novels by a British writer named Bernard Cornwell. Reading those aloud to my kids. They’re fabulous. They’re about the Anglo-Saxon England in the 800s and have fascinating stories. They’re really great fun. I suppose I should say I watch Girls, but my children tell me it’s not appropriate for me. For those of us who watched James at 16, we’ve seen the apotheosis of television.

What would you do if you had an extra hour every day?
I would learn to meditate.

What is your favorite journey/experience?
I used to travel a lot and I lived abroad. I lived in Russia and New Zealand. But my favorite journey has most certainly been raising my family.

What are your favorite words or sayings to live by?
I would say I could pick many of the psalms from the Old Testament and find comfort, richness and reflection on the human condition.

If you could have any five people, living or dead, imagined or real, as guests at a dinner party, who would you choose?
Martin Luther King Jr., Alfred the Great of England who is in that awesome book series, Rasputin from Russian history, Linus Torvalds, the Finnish programmer who built Linux and Yukihiro Matsumoto, a software programmer who created the hot programming language, Ruby. It has a whole philosophy about meeting the human needs of the programmer around it!

Harriet Feldman Named Dean of CHP

Harriet R. Feldman, PhD, RN, FAAN, has assumed the role of dean and tenured professor of Pace University’s College of Health Professions and the Lienhard School of Nursing.

Harriet R. Feldman, PhD, RN, FAAN, has assumed the role of dean and tenured professor of Pace University’s College of Health Professions and the Lienhard School of Nursing.

“I was privileged to serve the University as Interim Provost and am delighted to be back once again to lead the College of Health Professions as we pursue an exciting future with new programs to help educate the next generation of health care workers,” Feldman said.

To read the full press release, click here.

Spring at the Schimmel

Pace Presents lessons in Italian art history, beautiful music, graceful dancers, thrilling performances, and more this spring at the Schimmel.

Back by popular demand, Distinguished Professor and art historian Janetta Rebold Benton, PhD, returns this month for her second series of lectures at the Schimmel Theater. Discover the beauty in art history as Benton discusses how Italy has exerted its influence on the art world and produced some of the world’s most stunning masterpieces. Each lecture in her series will focus on a separate era in Italian art with highlights in sculpting, painting, and more from Italy’s ancient history through the Middle Ages. The series starts February 27 and runs through March 20, with lectures in the morning and evening.

On Friday, March 8, the Knicks hit the Schimmel…well, okay, not those Knicks, but New York’s own Knickerbocker Orchestra. Acclaimed Japanese pianist Harumi Hanafusa joins them to perform Maurice Ravel’s jazz-influenced Piano Concerto in G and the American premiere performance of Akira Nishimura’s A Shaman. Also on the program, music by Bela Bartok and the world premiere performance of KCO Music Director Gary S. Fagin’s Suite from Kurt Weill’s Aufsteig und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny.

Fred Barton and his 12-piece orchestra return to the Schimmel on March 9. This time celebrating composer Jule Styne, the last word in Broadway and Hollywood tour-de-force songwriting. Join Fred, his orchestra, and stars of the Broadway stage as they bring you an evening of great music and performances.

On March 22-23, Belgium-based contemporary dance company Ultima Vez presents What the Body Does Not Remember—a thrilling revival of its 1987 piece under the choreography and direction of Wim Vandekeybus as part of their US tour. Starting in April, ABT Studio Company, the American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company, returns to the Schimmel stage with works from George Balanchine, Marius Petipa, August Bournonville, Antony Tudor, Paul Taylor, Jerome Robbins, and others, and a classic ensemble of 12 extraordinary dancers.

Finally, the Schimmel closes out its 2012-2013 Pace Presents season with Hugh Masekala, a pioneer in the world music and jazz scene and Grammy Award-winning living legend. See who Rolling Stone calls “one of the most thrilling live performers around…” on April 20.

Tickets for staff and faculty are $10 (Use code: PACEINSIDER to purchase your discounted ticket.) and can be purchased by calling (212) 346-1715 or by visting the Box Office, Monday through Friday, 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. For more information about these and other events at the Schimmel Center, please visit schimmel.pace.edu.

ITS Connect

Contest winners announced, digital signage in PLV, iPad meetings, Postini changes, and more.

Pace ITS Facebook Contest Winner

Pace ITS would once again like to thank all of you who Liked our Facebook page! We have randomly selected the winner of the Apple iPad Mini.  Visit https://www.facebook.com/PaceITS for details. For those who didn’t win, there may still be hope, since we will have additional giveaways in the future.  In the meantime, we hope you will find our articles informational and useful…and we welcome your suggestions!

Digital Signage for PLV Campus

A total of 14 Cisco Digital Signage monitors have been installed on the PLV and Briarcliff campuses! Advertising an event or academic program news is quick and easy! Students, faculty, and staff can submit digital signage requests by sending an e-mail to settersigns@pace.edu. Attach a copy of your flier or poster. Images should be 8.5×11” JPEG or PDF format. Large font sizes (28+) and high resolution images are recommended. Additionally, file size cannot exceed 10MB.  (NOTE: Student submissions require approval from SDCA before publishing.)

Blackboard Teaching and Learning Conference

Please click here to register for Pace’s first Blackboard Teaching and Learning Conference on Friday, April 26 on the New York City Campus. This one day free conference will bring together experienced faculty and staff from Pace as well as nearby institutions to engage in presentations with Blackboard experts on online/blended teaching, instructional design, mobile learning, analytics, and many other exciting topics. Please contact Beth Gordon Klingner (bklingner@pace.edu) for more information.

iPad Meetings

The iPad meeting scheduled for March is as follows:

  • Wednesday, March 20 at 12:20 p.m.-1:15 p.m.

*All meetings held in Miller 16 (PLV) and Civic E319 (NYC). You can view the minutes from each meeting on the iPad blog.

IMO Meetings for IMO Representatives

The IMO meetings scheduled for March are as follows:

  • Tuesday, March 5 (NYC): 10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.–Lecture Hall North
  • Wednesday, March 6 (PLV): 9:30 a.m– 11:00 a.m–Butcher Suite

Postini Service Changes for Faculty and Staff

Our current e-mail spam and virus filtering service, Postini, is in the process of transitioning to Google Apps services. This transition will soon be affecting our e-mail spam and virus filtering features. ITS is evaluating the impact these changes will have from both the end-user and administrative perspectives. ITS is committed to finding the best solution to meet the University’s needs. We will keep the department IMOs posted in the coming weeks and provide additional details as they become available.

We Want to Hear from YOU!

Do you like us? Check yes or no. Marketing and Communications wants to know… “how we doin’?” and in return for answering a short survey, we’ll serve you better and enter you to win one of three $50 Visa gift cards.

Dear Pace University Faculty and Staff:

In our continuing effort to provide you with the most relevant and timely information on campus news, activities and events, we need your participation in a brief survey we are conducting.

Please click on the link below to take this short survey that will better assist us and provide you with the information you want to read about Pace University’s current news and campus events.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RY5SV35

As recognition of your participation in the survey, you will be included in a drawing to win one of three $50 Visa gift cards.

We thank you in advance for your participation.

We wish you continued success and a very happy and healthy new year.

Regards,

Pace University

Marketing Communications Department

Occupying Political Science

A Q&A with several members of the Pace Community who have come together to observe and comment on the Occupy Wall Street movement and Pace’s unique vantage point.

Political Science Department Chair Christopher Malone, PhD, Associate Professor Meghana Nayak, PhD, and Assistant Professors Emily Welty, PhD, and Matthew Bolton, PhD, discuss their recently published Occupying Political Science: The Occupy Wall Street Movement from New York to the World, which offers a unique look at the Occupy movement, Pace’s downtown locale, and how political science is interwoven into our everyday lives.

The Occupy Wall Street movement has been discussed in a variety of ways, but how has teaching at Pace’s New York City Campus given you a unique perspective on the movement?

Christopher Malone: It’s a collaborative effort between us—the four co-authors and editors—as well as two current students working with Matt and Emily on their chapters, and the Pace alumna and adjunct professor working with me. We took very seriously Pace’s location in downtown Manhattan in relation to the Occupy Wall Street movement and in general, the notion of a university’s relation to its environment. As we say in the last chapter, we’re not in the middle of nowhere. New York City—downtown—is our campus.

Matthew Bolton: We’re trying to take seriously the ways in which political and social science is always embedded in politics and so everything we do is affected by our location. We interpret and reflect on our context—the place where we are. Pace is in a specific location and we spent a lot of time thinking about what political science means in the context of being so close to Zuccotti Park, Wall Street itself, and City Hall.

Emily Welty: We don’t teach in a vacuum. We can look at the world around us and know that ideas are not flat and dead in a book. I think this is a teachable moment for us—to be able to show students that this isn’t a theoretical artifact of the past, but actually living ideas. The book was Pace-centric in that, for us, it meant that our teaching is very relevant and embedded in the world that we live in.

Meghana Nayak: The political science department on the NYC campus has always approached this discipline in a unique and exciting way—by combining a variety of mainstream and alternative theories with the perspectives of practitioners, by emphasizing social justice and political change not just analysis and description, and by thinking about who we as both academics and a part of larger communities. To write about OWS allowed us to reflect upon what makes our way of teaching and doing political science unique, and to show how our approach might be really useful in thinking about the events around us.

How has studying the Occupy Movement differed from research you’ve done in the past?

EW: I think when students think about research, they get the impression that it’s something that happens when you go away for a year and ask questions of people far away. What was unique about this experience is that we could go to Zuccotti Park on our lunch hour, walk through it on our way to work, stop by in between classes. We were able to observe and participate and move around that fuzzy line of who we are as people—our own belief systems—and who we are as educators.

MB: Part of what Occupy was about was taking seriously the discussion of what it means for our bodies to literally occupy space. It put people close to the nexus of the global political economy and allowed them to have a very lively conversation about  what they wanted from their economic and political system. Similarly, our book is about Occupy Wall Street, but also political science itself and, in a sense, about us—recognizing that we as scientists, people, and educators, occupy a social location.

MN: I have always tried to think carefully about what I’m doing as a researcher, meaning, what I’m trying to say about the people and places I study. But this book really forced me to think even more carefully about the effects of what I say in my research because people involved in the Occupy movement have been really concerned about how they are scrutinized and dissected. It is scary how easy it is to be detached as a researcher and academic, and I’m glad we had this opportunity to hold ourselves accountable. And we also had to be even more honest and open about how we don’t know everything, we’re still not sure about the long-lasting impact of Occupy or what might happen next, if anything, and how there are some limits in some of our academic approaches to studying political processes.

CM: Most of my prior research has been in a field of American politics which is known as American political development. It is largely a historical approach to the study of American political institutions. In other words, much of my research is about the past. For me, studying something that was and continues to unfold in real time was quite different – and in many ways much more difficult. This was truly a first draft at the history of the OWS Movement, which was quite a new approach for me but also very exciting.  For me, it will be interesting to see if the project holds up under the weight of time.

What misconceptions do you think Occupying Political Science addresses?

EW: The book is not about telling the Occupy movement what it should’ve done differently—how it should think, what it should do. I think it’s very easy to reduce the picture of college professors writing about Occupy. It’s really important for us to make very clear that this is about learning from a social movement, not about telling a social movement what it should do.

MB: Because we are studying human beings, rather than rock formations or butterflies, we wanted to engage in dialogue with the Movement. We’re studying a serious human conversation and we believe Occupy has something to say. We have something to learn from both Occupy and our surroundings too. We are implicitly critiquing social science that tries to hold itself aloof and separate from the people that it studies.

MN: In addition to what my colleagues have pointed out, I hope that the book shakes up people’s ideas about what academia, theory, and critical analysis are all about. Our discipline is really about what is done with power and the stories we tell about how the world works. We think that’s pretty cool, and we’d like people who aren’t all that interested in academics to learn that political science can be pretty useful in asking provocative questions and thinking in new ways about the stuff that affects us all: financial hardship, safety and security, wanting life to be fair, feeling like we belong to a community, feeling like our voice matters.

CM: I think the biggest misconception about any social movement is that it can be defined, interpreted, quantified, analyzed, and placed in a box or a series of categories. It is in the nature of political science to want to impose these things upon something like Occupy in a unidirectional fashion. I think we’ve insisted that that Occupy forces us to hold a mirror up to our profession and to the inner workings of the institutional structures of civil society. So the analysis and perspective is pointing in both directions in dialogical fashion.

To learn more about Occupying Political Science or to order a copy, please click here.

Cybercrime in the World Today

Pace University hosts a stimulating discussion about the growing impact of cybercrime on various industries and a review of original research focused on the issue of skimmer fraud.

On Thursday, February 28, join Pace University and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) USA as they come together for Cybercrime in the World Today, a symposium with a focus on skimmer fraud. The day’s participants come from a variety of backgrounds and include Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., Chief of the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau and Investigative Division David Szuchman, and Kelly Bissell, principal, Information and Technology Risk Management and Global Incident Response at Deloitte & Touche.

The term “cybercrime” often conjures up the image of a rogue hacker, hiding away behind a computer screen, attempting to crack the digital code that protects the Fort Knox of databases. But, the truth is we expose ourselves to the hazards of cybercrime each time we open our wallets.

Skimmer fraud, a crime responsible for billions of dollars in lost revenue and is one of the major crimes being fought by federal and local law enforcement agencies, typically occurs during legitimate transactions. “Gone are the days when a bank robber needed to point a gun at a teller to steal money,” says Seidenberg Computer Information Systems Chair and computer forensics expert Darren Hayes, DPS, “Now the thieves can bilk millions from financial institutions using simple skimming devices.”

Theft of personal information happens through the copying of information on a credit card, the illegal installation of a “skimming” device, or “parasite” on a point-of-sale machine at stores or gas stations, or theft of bank information from overlay skimming devices at ATMs.

“We’re working on a survey of corporations, distributed through accounting firms, to make an assessment of companies that have been victims of skimmer fraud,” Hayes says, “Our goal is to quantify how big the problem is and ultimately provide guidance on how organizations can seek to mitigate these risks.”

Many agencies, says Hayes, talk about the issue of cybercrime, but they don’t break out the skimmer fraud piece and how important that is for overall evaluation. Hayes is collaborating with other researchers from Seidenberg and Lubin, who have partnered together to study skimmer fraud as part of the broad spectrum of cybercrime. Hayes and those involved with the upcoming symposium hope to provide advice to large companies who are seeking to re-evaluate their future business practices, as well as the individual credit or debit card user on how to mitigate the risks of skimmer fraud.

For more information about the day’s participants and to RSVP for Cybercrime and the World Today, please click here.

The Results Are In

We asked and you answered! Expanding on the University’s academic theme of “Justice,” we asked the Pace Community several hard-hitting questions to better understand their interpretation of the theme.

“I was thrilled to see how diverse the responses were to the questions, as they are reflective of the diversity of the Pace Community,” says University Director for Student Academic Engagement, Sue Maxam, EdD.

The questions, which were posted in both Opportunitas and The Pulse during the fall semester, sought to open a dialogue and get respondents really thinking about equality, freedom, fairness, happiness, and respect.

“The polling was important because these controversial questions enabled our community to think about, and weigh-in on, justice related questions that have no easy answers,” Maxam explains. “In the end, 100% of respondents had justice in mind when answering the questions, yet their personal experiences, cultural or religious backgrounds, and moral upbringing all resulted in different conceptions of what the ‘right’ answer was.”

The following graphs express the poll data collected from faculty, staff, and students during the Fall 2012 semester:

 

How do you weigh in on the questions above? What do you think these results say about the Pace Community? Tell us what you think in the comments section below!

Does Size Matter?

Dyson Professor Brandon Adams and student Henry Li think it might. The pair is studying the predictive relationships between obesity criteria and neuropsychological deficits.

“It has been shown that individuals who can be classified as obese tend to do poorer on cognitive tests,” says Dyson Psychology Professor Brandon Adams, PsyD. “Typically, those who are overweight display poorer memory and poorer cognitive abilities.”

Controversial as it may sound, Adams and Psychology student Henry Li believe that this is an important topic, worthy of further exploration through Pace’s Undergraduate Student-Faculty Research Initiative. Though their research is still in the early stages, the pair has begun to build a strong foundation for their study, including an examination of prior related studies and multiple interviews with medical professionals from a variety of hospitals and clinics, including Columbia University Medical Center, Wyckoff Hospital, and St. Luke’s Hospital.

“What originally made me interested in this subject was that I was obese myself when I was younger,” Li explains. “Being obese or bigger than an ‘average weight’ person did not really seem to have much of a difference in my eyes. Furthermore, there were many different standards for obesity around the world. I wanted to find out if any of these standards or classifications have any real accuracy or differences.”

To explore the correlation between body and brain power, Adams and Li think the first step is to properly examine how we define obesity. The body mass index (BMI), developed in the mid-19th century, uses an individual’s height and weight to determine body fat. Despite limitations of the BMI’s ability to measure obesity–chief among them that it does not account for muscle mass–it has been commonly used and accepted since its development. The alternative methods for determining body fat being explored by the pair include height-to-waist ratio and hip-to-waist ratio.

“With the growing rate of obesity in the U.S., it is important to understand if the statistics are accurate,” Li notes. “Therefore, it is our goal to find an alternative to the currently used BMI definition.”

During the coming months, Adams and Li hope to gain approval from the Institutional Review Board to begin recruiting sample participants for the second part of their research. Those that fit the researchers’ profile for obesity will be given a battery or neuropsychological tests to measure intelligence, memory, and executive functioning. The two are hoping to examine whether memory and cognitive abilities have an influence on weight or vice-versa.

“Dr. Adams was originally my experimental psychology professor, and I learned a lot [from him] about different ways of conducting research,” says Li. “All last semester for this research we were very busy and had to work individually, but so far we have both learned a lot from what we have gathered and shared with one another.”

To learn more about this and other research projects and pairings, visit the Undergraduate Research Initiative blog.

Pace Cares

While the storm may be over, the recovery is ongoing. The Pace Cares Initiative has worked diligently to provide hands-on assistance, donations of goods, and monetary relief for those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Pace University formed the Pace Cares Initiative, the result of a University-wide task force established to mobilize the volunteer efforts of the Pace Community. More than 100 Pace volunteers participated in Pace Cares Day, a collaboration across campuses and departments, on Friday, November 16, in New York City and Westchester County, collecting more than 2,000 items of donated food, clothing, personal care items, and cleaning supplies to assist communities that were severely affected in the wake of super storm Sandy. The donations were distributed to a variety of local and national organizations that are helping victims.

In addition, Pace established the Pace Cares Fund to provide financial assistance to Pace students who were affected by the storm. As of November 30, the fund has raised $34,488 from 490 donors. Contributions can be made online at www.pace.edu/pacecares or by calling the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at (212) 346-1765.

Students also continue to help those hit hardest in the wake of Sandy. Pace’s Center for Community Action and Research (CCAR) has been continually partnering with volunteers in the communities impacted by the storm.

The CCAR on both campuses recently arranged for student volunteers to help with the post-Sandy clean-up on Staten Island. The students worked with All Hands Volunteers, a nonprofit group dedicated to providing hands-on assistance to impacted communities around the world. The organization estimates that Pace students helped 72 families and contributed to approximately $115,553 of donated labor. More photos of Pace students helping with the Staten Island clean-up can be viewed on the CCAR’s Facebook page.

In total, more than 250 Pace students have participated in organized projects, including:

  • Working with elected officials (including Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver).
  • Delivering meals to homebound elderly in Manhattan.
  • Allocating space for 124 displaced pre-school and Kindergarten students.
  • Hosting a clothing drive at three Pace Volleyball home games to aid local residents.
  • Using the Westchester Campus as a warming center for local residents still without power
  • Helping with a clean-up at the Westchester SPCA

The Pace Football team was featured on the Red Cross website as “a prime example of a community coming together in the face of a massive tragedy.” For the full articles, click here and here. “This has been a real learning experience,” said one of the players. “When times get tough, we come together and become one to help the less fortunate.”

While the storm may be over, the recovery is ongoing. There is still a need for hands-on volunteers to staff shelters, hand out food and clothing at distribution centers, and work to clean up/rebuild entire towns. If you’d like to contribute to the relief efforts or if you know of any other ways to provide assistance, please contact ccarplv@pace.edu in Pleasantville or ccarny@pace.edu in New York City  with the information.

The Professor Is In: Q&A with Elizabeth Berro

College of Health Professions Professor Elizabeth Berro discusses The Walking Dead, what she values most in her students, and more in the latest Professor Is In.

College of Health Professions Elizabeth Berro, RN, PNP, gives insight into how her enthusiasm for education over the years has influenced her. Her love for nursing is evident and transcends to the classroom where she teaches classes from pharmacology to “Pathophysiology in Entertainment Media.” Professor Berro began her nursing career as staff nurse in a pediatric intensive care unit at The New York Hospital and has been a full-time faculty member since 2006. You can find her on the Westchester Campus in the classroom, or advising her students and helping them pursue their personal and professional goals in nursing.

What was your favorite class as a student? Least favorite?
Not surprisingly, my favorite class was biology. I love science—well, not all sciences. I really enjoy life sciences. My least favorite class I’d have to say was chemistry so I can really empathize with students who dislike chemistry, not because of the didactic portion of the class but because of the lab. I actually had to retake chemistry in school because of the lab portion of the class. I took a chemistry class where a graduate student taught the lab portion and he gave me a C I think because he thought that would be considered a passing grade so I wouldn’t have to retake the lab. In my nursing program though, you needed a C+ as a passing grade so little did he know, I’d be back to take the course over again.

What one thing or person made you passionate about your current career?
It wasn’t really a person but more of an experience—a clinical experience—that made me passionate about my career. I was part of a nursing school that had a “diploma program.” It was a three year program and I was able to work directly with patients almost immediately. I really benefited from my clinical experiences working with patients in a hospital environment.

What quality do you most value in your students?
It’s an intellectual curiosity. That if they hear something they don’t know, or are learning something that they’d be curious about it and want to learn “why.” That is what made my clinical practice interesting. I asked myself “why” I was doing something, and why it worked like that. Whether it was the human body and why someone felt a specific symptom or whether it was a piece of equipment I worked with I always asked “why?” I worked for a long time in intensive care so there was a lot of equipment and I was always curious about how it worked and why it worked that way. And that is what makes my job interesting. Sometimes I feel like a three year old asking “why?”, “why?”, “why?”, but that’s what has made my experiences interesting.

What’s your advice to students to make the most out of their time in college?
I think there is a balance between making sure you’re having a good time, meeting people and also [deciding] if nursing is what you want and making sure that you succeed in reaching your academic goal. Keep your eye on the ball, decide what you want, and make sure you get that accomplished and establish and create a support [network] to do that. Often that entails surrounding yourself with a lot of other nursing students— and that is helpful— but I also think you should make sure you are exposed to people who are not in the nursing program. That’s a nice thing to do because people in the nursing program tend to be insular because they tend to study all day long and for [many] hours. It’s hard to get out of that circle or group of people and so I think trying to extend friendships and support outside that group is something I would recommend. I also think taking advantage of both our campuses is important. We also have a wonderful New York City Campus. Take advantage of both campuses and enjoy both environments.

If you had to do it all over again and took another path, what profession would you like to attempt? What profession would you not like to do?
I’m not exactly sure what the profession would be but I think I would like to have done something that involved more travel—maybe a nursing career that involves more travel. Those opportunities are there for people who want to travel. I’d like something that involves seeing a bit more of the world. I think anything solo is very difficult. Being a novelist I think would be a very difficult. It requires so much discipline and solitary work. Writing is a tough profession to begin with, a tough task that requires so much revision and to be so detail oriented. Authors who work on their novels for three, four, five, ten years… it seems like such a long, arduous process, and such a lonely process, and I don’t think I would want to do something that is so lonely.

What is your favorite book/TV show?
My favorite book is A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving.

I have two favorite TV shows. One is not running anymore but it’s House. One of my favorite classes I teach is called “Pathophysiology in Entertainment Media,” where we look at different diseases and how they’re presented in the media, TV, movies and plays and they can be presented in any way. Sometimes we look at House. I am a bit of a House Junkie. I just consulted on a play to make sure that it is relatively consistent with being accurate. That whole issue of trying to portray diseases and disorders in an accurate way is very intriguing to me. There are times when they are [portraying diseases incorrectly] because they need to move the plot along so the disease will move along more quickly or more slowly or they’re emphasizing a symptom for the plot. I can understand and appreciate it. Sometimes when they’re just wrong that annoys me. When they could have just as easily used a different disorder to get to the same end does get aggravating.

My current favorite show is The Walking Dead. It gave me nightmares last season and I swore I wouldn’t watch it again and I’m back to watching it. The nightmares have not started up again.

What would you do if you had an extra hour every day?
I have to admit right now I would end up working. It’s been a really busy semester catching up after the hurricane. Our students are a little behind and our classes are a little behind. We’ve been doing some simulations which use high-tech mannequins to create an environment for our students like a real clinical setting and we’ve used a lot more of that this semester compared to other semesters in the past so we have taken on a big project. That combined with the backlog of work because of the hurricane has made this semester a little trying. So I would take the extra hour and play catch-up and make sure I was available for the students.

What is your favorite journey/experience?
This past summer I went with my husband and my two kids to London and that was a fun event. My kids are 19 and 16 so they are great ages and everybody could fully appreciate the trip. We all were busy the whole time and everyone went places they really wanted to go. It was a perfect trip.

What is your favorite saying/words to live by?
One thing I say that sometimes gets me into trouble (but probably gets me out of trouble more than into trouble) is “action is better than inaction.” So when I’m doing something or when I’m worried, I try to do something about it. Sometimes it gets me into a little bit of trouble because I sometimes do things without thoroughly thinking them through, but a majority of the time I end up in a better place, rather than sitting, and worrying and thinking about it. I’m a person who wants to get up and do something. “Action is better than inaction” in almost anything.

If you could have any five people, living or dead, imagined or real, as guests at a dinner party, who would you choose?
I think I would have all of my closest friends from different points of my life all together at dinner. I would have my closest grade school friend, my closest high school friend, my closest college friend, my closest friend from when my children were infants, and my closest friend now. That is who I would have all together.

Written by Pace student Sarah Aires ’14