Roll Out the Red Carpet

Pace hosts its first-ever student run film festival and gala reception as part of Pleasantville’s 50th anniversary celebration.

On Saturday, December 7, head to Pleasantville for a day of fun, film, and food as grad students from Dyson College’s Media, Communication, and Visual Arts program curate this first-ever, one-day film festival in celebration of Pleasantville’s 50th anniversary.

The festival, which is free and open to the public, features the best-loved films from the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and 00s. In addition to the screenings, there will be break-out panel discussions featuring Pace’s expert faculty who will weigh in on the significance of the decade’s cinema.

After the screenings, put on your best vintage-inspired duds (black tie not required) and stroll down Pace’s red carpet to the gala reception. Guests will have the opportunity to pose with their favorite actors and actresses (okay, fine, they’re cardboard cut outs, but it will be fun—we promise!). Don’t forget to share your best pics on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #PLV50.

Film Schedule:





Willie Wonka


10:30 a.m-2:10 p.m. Butcher Suite
Mary Poppins  


1:00 p.m-3:20 p.m. Butcher Suite
Social Network                       


4:10 p.m.-6:40 p.m. Butcher Suite
Saturday Night Fever  


11:00 a.m.-1:05 p.m. Lienhard
Jurassic Park               


2:00 p.m.-4:07 p.m. Lienhard
Life of Pi                      


4:30 p.m.-6:06 p.m. Lienhard
Lilies of the Field         


11:30 a.m.-1:04 p.m. Miller
Wall Street                  


2:00 p.m.-4:06 p.m. Miller
When Harry Met Sally  


4:30 p.m.-6:06 p.m. Miller

Film screenings run from 10:30 a.m.–6:30 p.m. followed by the gala reception from 6:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m. Space is limited, so be sure to RSVP to For an updated schedule of panel discussions and film screenings, visit


Sustain What?

Eager to go green? The Environmental Consortium’s 10th Annual Conference is coming to Pace PLV on November 8 and 9.

On November 8 and 9, in celebration of the Environmental Consortium’s 10th year anniversary, we are returning to the theme of campus greening and the role of higher education. Much has changed in the sustainability landscape since our 2006 campus greening conference, so this year’s program will highlight current trends, best practices, and curriculum design.

Join teams from around the region in keynote, plenary, breakout, and poster sessions. Share new ideas, gain renewed inspiration, and bring back plans to your institution. This year’s conference will feature keynote addresses by:

David Hales, Second Nature

David Hales will deliver the conference opening keynote on Friday, November 8.

  • In August, 2012, David Hales was selected President and CEO of Second Nature, the Boston-based advocacy organization committed to promoting sustainability through higher education
  • Under his leadership as the fifth president of College of the Atlantic, it became the first institution of higher education in the United States to be a “NetZero” emitter of greenhouse gases
  • Directed environmental policy and sustainability programs of the United States Agency for International Development throughout the Clinton administration
  • Served in the Carter administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary at the United States Department of the Interior
  • Was Director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources
  • Represented the United States in numerous intergovernmental negotiations, including the Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Convention on Biodiversity, as well as in meetings of the United Nations General Assembly and Commission on Sustainable Development
  • Served on the steering committee of the American College and University President Climate Commitment and chaired the Higher Education Committee for the American Council on Renewable Energy

James Gustave “Gus” Speth, Vermont Law School

Professor Gus Speth will be presented with the Environmental Consortium’s “The Great Work Award” in honor of Thomas Berry and deliver a keynote on Saturday, November 9.

  • A Distinguished Senior Fellow with Demos, he completed his decade-long tenure in 2009 as dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
  • From 1993 to 1999, he was administrator of the United Nations Development Programme and chair of the U.N. Development Group
  • Co-Founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Founder of the World Resources Institute
  • Chairman of the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality in the Carter administration
  • Provided leadership and entrepreneurial initiatives to many task forces and committees whose roles have been to combat environmental degradation, including the President’s Task Force on Global Resources and Environment; the Western Hemisphere Dialogue on Environment and Development; and the National Commission on the Environment
  • Author, co-author or editor of six books, including the award-winning The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability and Red Sky at Morning: America and the Crisis of the Global Environment

To see a full conference agenda or to register to attend, click here.

A Pace Dream Team

A BBA/MBA in public accounting student meets a public speaking professor and what it all adds up to is a race for the cure.

Most people dread the required public speaking college course. But for Lubin BBA/MBA in public accounting student Elissa Casa ’14, the class she took her freshman year on the Westchester Campus was the introduction to her mentor, Dyson Professor Ellen Mandel, PhD, and the empowering world of community service.

Mandel, who helped start a breast cancer awareness day in Rockland County and worked with the Rockland County legislative breast cancer task force to bring mobile mammogram services to the Hasidic community, has been involved with Komen for more than 20 years, and was on the board of directors for the NYC chapter of Komen. In 1992, she brought Komen and Pace together for the annual Race for the Cure and has been inspiring the next generation of Ellen Mandels around campus.

Using her public speaking class as one of her many marketing tactics, Mandel has been able to recruit starting right in her classroom.

“Because one in eight women will unfortunately get breast cancer, there is hardly a person who I ask in my class who doesn’t know someone who’s suffered from this, either lost a battle or has been lucky enough to survive,” Mandel says. “Elissa said she’d like to help so I made her an offer she couldn’t refuse.”

For Casa, it wasn’t a personal experience with breast cancer that inspired her to join, but it was the sense of community, teamwork, and mentoring that has kept her involved for the last four years. What started out as creating fliers and sending out recruitment e-mails has expanded into coordinating all of the day-of-event details, getting the 100+ team members together, and acting as co-captain with Mandel.

“It’s people like Elissa, who are the extraordinary,” says Mandel. “She’s an unsung hero.”

And the gushing goes both ways.

“Dr. Mandel is such an incredible person, professor, mentor, and friend,” says Casa. “She’s one of a kind.”

Something she wasn’t necessarily expecting to gain from the race and work with Mandel, Casa says, was a level of confidence, work ethic, and networking skills, which helped her land her dream internship with KPMG. And she even tapped into her experience with Komen, coordinating fundraisers for local libraries with fellow interns. “Employers want to see you engaging,” she adds.

Casa was offered a full-time position with KPMG beginning in October 2014.

“Pace in general has really fostered a lot of work ethic and career opportunities for me that I don’t know if I would have had at other schools. I’m finally starting to see my high school dreams come true. I owe a lot to Dr. Mandel,” she says.

“She’s no longer my student, but she’ll always be my friend. I expect great things from her,” Mandel says.

A group shot from Race for the Cure 2013

This September, their race success continued, as Pace brought together both campuses, including Greek organizations, sports teams, and executive administration, and won the award for largest university team, an honor they’ve achieved every year but one.

“If you’re looking for something that is a true joint effort, this is it. It shows that Pace is not only an academic institution, but it has a big heart collectively and gives back to the community,” says Mandel, who was also awarded NYC Race for the Cure’s Volunteer of the Year.

“For me, it’s a motivator to continue, continue, continue. I’ve had students come up to me and thank me because their mothers or grandmothers are survivors and this gave them feelings of empowerment other than just sitting there and holding their hands. That’s a gift,” she says. “The award is wonderful because everyone loves recognition, but what it means is that we’re moving and doing and hopefully, within the not-too-distant future, we can talk about not having a race at all and finding a cure.”

For Casa, it was emotional to see her mentor recognized. “To see her get up there and hear people say such wonderful things about her, I was so proud for her and it made me feel really happy that I’m able to help her like I can,” she says. “It felt as if something really great happened to someone in my family.”

Casa, who will graduate in 2014, is looking to help find her protégé, but that doesn’t mean she’ll be abandoning the Pace team.

“As a Pace alumna, I will stay loyal to the Pace team,” she says. And as for Dr. Mandel, “I’m stuck with her for life,” she laughs.

Interested in getting involved with next year’s Race for the Cure? E-mail Elissa Casa or Ellen Mandel

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.

Basking in the Glow

Dyson Professor Andrew Wier studies the symbiosis of the Hawaiian Bobtail Squid and bioluminescent bacteria in the hope of shedding some light on human bacterial infections.

“They pretty much eat better than I do,” jokes Andrew Wier, PhD, assistant professor of Biology and Health Sciences. He’s talking about the Hawaiian Bobtail Squid; purple golf ball-sized, shrimp-eating invertebrates that glow in the dark and sometimes call Pace their home.

The tiny tropical predators piqued the interest of Wier, who collects his own specimens, because of the unique symbiotic relationship they share with the bioluminescent bacteria Vibrio fischeri. This mutualistic interaction between the squid and the bacteria, how the bacteria thrive without causing suffering or infection in the squid, is just one of the aspects that Wier is studying.

“What makes them interesting to me as a research scientist is that when they are born—when they hatch from their clutch of eggs—they are free of bacteria, but very quickly—like humans—acquire bacteria from their environment,” he says.

Soon after hatching, the nocturnal squid collect the microbes they need to survive. The bacteria, which Wier says act as a  cloaking device, inhabit the squids’ light organ and get the nutrients they need from the squid, in return, the bacteria illuminate to match the amount of moonlight hitting the top of the squids’ mantel. This essentially erases the shadow of the squid, allowing it to hunt its prey in stealth mode. Each dawn, before burying itself in the sand, the squid ejects up to 95% of the V. fischeri from its light organ.

The bioluminescent bacteria, Vibrio fischeri, inside of the squid light organ. Transmission electron micrograph.

“I am interested in the dialogue—the molecular interaction—between the host squid and the symbiotic bacteria,” says Wier. “The bacteria is related to Vibrio cholera which cause diseases in humans. We see this in countries like Haiti that can’t get clean water.” For Wier, understanding the symbiotic relationship between the squid and V. fischeri could be the key to gaining a better understanding of human bacterial diseases. Wier plans to collaborate with parasitologist and Director of the Haskins Laboratories Nigel Yarlett, PhD, to aid in his research.

Also helping with Wier’s research are the biology students who chose to do in-lab research as part of their Capstone course. The students help to conduct research that faculty is working on and help to fund grants, bring in money, and publish first-rate scientific papers.

“The students are doing real research here,” says Wier. “They’re interested in going to medical school, going into academia and even physical therapy, and they find that the value of working in a lab, getting to know their professors, and getting this real world experience puts them head and shoulders above the crowd.”