The InsideTrack Rolls Out the Red Carpet

InsideTrack returns as President Stephen J. Friedman talks with visionary filmmaker Jim Whitaker to preview his new film Rebirth. Join us as we follow the story of five people whose lives were changed forever by 9/11.

On Tuesday, July 19, “InsideTrack with Stephen J. Friedman” returns to the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts on Pace’s New York City Campus. The evening kicks-off with a preview screening of the new documentary, Rebirth, a feature-length film that combines time-lapse photography of the World Trade Center Site with the intimate stories of five people coping with grief post-9/11. Filming has taken place for the past nine years, with 14 cameras in and around the site recording a frame of film every five minutes, 24 hours a day. The documentary, which the filmmakers describe as an “experience and a unique historical record and resource: a living testament to honor 9/11, and its victims and heroes,” makes its debut in theaters this August and will premiere on Showtime on the 10th commemoration of the events of 9/11.

After the screening, President Friedman will be joined by special guest Jim Whitaker, founder and director of Rebirth, to discuss the making of the film. Whitaker is the chairman of Whitaker Entertainment, which is based at Walt Disney Pictures. He began his career at Imagine Entertainment as an intern and ultimately rose to the position of President of Motion Picture Production in 2004. He has executive produced such films as Changeling, American Gangster, Cinderella Man, Friday Night Lights, 8 Mile, and Curious George. Whitaker is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute and received a Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Pace University at Commencement this past May.

InsideTrack with President Stephen J. Friedman brings renowned thought leaders and policymakers to Pace University for captivating discussions on topics that affect us all. For more information, please visit www.pace.edu/rebirth.

Faculty Institute: Turning Innovation into Opportunity

The Faculty Institute returned to the NYC Campus to celebrate its 10th anniversary with two days of sessions and speakers devoted to trends in higher education, past successes, lessons learned, and plans for the future of pedagogy at Pace.

“This really was a big milestone for us—it was the 10th annual and we were very excited,” said Joseph Seijo, the assistant director for the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology (CTLT). This year’s theme differed from years prior in that it was dedicated to reflection on the past and speculation about future accomplishments.

The purpose of the Faculty Institute, both 10 years ago and today, is to “bring faculty together and really reflect on and celebrate what they do,” said James Stenerson, PhD, executive director for CTLT. At this year’s Institute, President Stephen J. Friedman presented Stenerson with an award for his vision and efforts in creating and facilitating the Faculty Institute over the last decade.

This year’s Institute was attended by keynote speaker W. Gardner Campbell, PhD, who addressed the role of technology in teaching and the effects technology has on scholarship. Attendees were also treated to a guest presentation by New York Times education reporter Tamar Lewin, a contributor to the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Class Matters, which examines social class in America and its implications on the way we live our lives. Another highlight was the Provost Panel, which included current Interim Provost Harriet R. Feldman, PhD, RN, FAAN, as well as former provosts Marilyn Jaffe-Ruiz, EdD, and Joseph M. Pastore, Jr, PhD. This panel discussed the evolution of teaching and technology.

“Pace has the talent and discipline to turn innovation into an extraordinary opportunity for our students,” said John Cronin, 35-year veteran of environmental studies and Senior Fellow at the Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies. During his presentation, co-lectured with Academy Director Michelle Land and New York Times blogger Andrew Revkin, Cronin proposed creating an environmental clinic that would incorporate Pace students from all areas and levels of study (including graduate, undergraduate, and law students).

“We want to engage departments through a unique suite of programs that are typically beyond the reach of just any one school,” said Land of the proposed clinic. “Ideally, it will be project based, outcome oriented, and student centered with a continuing and institutional memory.” Another high hope shared by all three lecturers is the possibility of mentorships created within the clinic between the upperclassmen and the younger students. “The clinic is to be a laboratory for collaboration,” expressed Revkin.

Other interesting sessions included the Pace E-portfolio as an Educational Passport, Developing Social Skills Through Internships and Technology, Incorporating the iPad into Pedagogy, and Internationalization at Pace.

Associate Provost for Academic Affairs Sheying Chen, PhD, promoted the Institute on his blog and invited faculty to join him in sessions aimed at increasing scholarly productivity and helping the University with its faculty development efforts. Representatives from support offices and programs also joined the discussion with information on fellowships, grant programs, and affirmative action.

To learn more about this year’s Faculty Institute, including post-conference materials and past conference themes over the last decade, please visit http://www.pace.edu/facultyinstitute .

Convincing Cancer Cells to Commit Suicide

Dyson professor Nancy Krucher, PhD, continues her groundbreaking research on cancer cells, with help from Pace biology students.

L-R: Nancy Krucher, PhD, Brandon Lentine, Ray Hunce, and Lisa Antonucci.

“Cancer develops from our own cells that acquire mutations and grow into tumors. Most of the cancer research being done is trying to understand this process and trying to find targets within cancer cells that cause them to grow too much and metastasize,” explains Nancy Krucher, PhD, a Dyson professor in the Department of Biology and Health Sciences on the Westchester Campus. For the last 15 years Krucher has been studying how cancer cells make the decision to grow—essentially studying what causes cancer cells to live or die.

Krucher was recently awarded a three-year grant of more than $380,000 from the National Institutes of Health that will allow her to continue her research here at Pace.  “With this grant,” she says “we will be asking questions about how cancer cells signal to commit suicide, or how they kill themselves. To do that, we do cell biology and biochemistry experiments on cancer cells, mostly breast cancer cells.” Her project, titled “The Role of RB in Dephosphorylation in Apoptosis,” investigates how a protein (RB) affects programmed cell death (apoptosis) in cancer cells.

“Much of cancer research is designed to find targets within the cell that could eventually be targets of therapy. Figuring out how cancer cells work is a big part of eventually developing cures,” Krucher says.

But for Krucher, another rewarding aspect of doing this work is mentoring students.  “All of the work is very student driven. It’s just myself and the undergraduates working on this project. The research students get course-credit or they can be supported by the grant, but the purpose is that they learn how to be scientists.”  Krucher explains that her laboratory trains undergraduate students in scientific techniques, helping them learn how to prepare hypotheses, design and analyze experiments, and eventually present their results at national cancer conferences and regional symposia. In addition, Krucher and her students publish papers on their findings.

“Some of the students really love the experience and decide to become scientists,” says Krucher. “For example, I had one student who graduated in 2009 and now he’s doing his PhD at Duke University in cancer biology. He’s going to dedicate his life to cancer research. That’s what really makes me the happiest,” she says.

“Getting the grant is key,” says Krucher, who knows that without funding, research and classroom experience would be radically changed for Pace students. “Working with the students in the lab is a huge part of what I do here and if I didn’t get federal funding, we wouldn’t be able to do this,” she says.

Are you interested in working with an undergraduate student to conduct research during the 2011-2012 year? Pace is committed to strengthening the undergraduate research climate through a new pilot program designed to increase opportunities for students to undertake research and scholarship with faculty. Click here for more information.

Commencement 2011

Next week, faculty, staff, students, and alumni come together to celebrate, and congratulate, the graduating class of 2011.

Pace is proud to present the next wave of leaders, thinkers, teachers, and innovators as we celebrate Commencement 2011 on our three campuses.

On May 8, we kicked off our Commencement season as the Law School ushered in the next generation of attorneys at the 33rd Annual Commencement. Chief State Judge Jonathan Lippman, an influential figure in the New York State judicial system for the past four decades, was awarded a Doctor of Laws. Lippman has played a central role in many far-reaching reforms including the introduction of problem-solving community courts, drug courts, and domestic violence courts throughout the state.

On May 20, Westchester undergraduates will celebrate Commencement at the Goldstein Fitness Center on the PLV Campus. And both our NYC undergraduate students and our Westchester and New York graduate students will celebrate at the iconic Avery Fisher Hall, one of Lincoln Center’s most prestigious venue, located a block from Central Park, on Sunday, May 22. (See dates and times for Commencement here.)

Honorary degrees will be awarded at the three ceremonies to individuals who have had a profound impact in the fields of academia, medicine, business, and entertainment, while also contributing to society at large.

Joseph M. Pastore Jr., PhD, Professor Emeritus in Residence at Pace’s Lubin School of Business, will receive an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at the Westchester Undergraduate Ceremony. Pastore is not only a beloved professor, but also a sought-after expert on business management and a mediator, who was in charge of overseeing the desegregation of Yonkers’ public schools in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education.

At our New York City Undergraduate ceremony, Dr. Jo Ivey Boufford, president of the New York Academy of Medicine, will receive an honorary Doctorate of Science. An influential leader in health care, Boufford is a national authority on public health issues, including health care for minorities and underserved communities, and has been active in local, national, and global health care reform. As “NYC’s doctor,” she leads the charge to protect and advance the health of people through interdisciplinary approaches to policy, leadership, education, community engagement, and innovative research.

Jim Whitaker, chairman and producer of Whitaker Entertainment at Walt Disney Studios, will receive an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts at the combined NYC and Westchester Graduate Ceremony.  Whitaker, who rose from intern to president of motion picture production at Imagine Entertainment, has executive produced Changeling, American Gangster, Friday Night Lights, Cinderella Man, Curious George, 8 Mile, and various other notable films. Most recently, Whitaker founded Project Rebirth, a nonprofit that for the past nine years has used time-lapse photography to chronicle the reconstruction of the World Trade Center site.  Rebirth, the powerful feature-length documentary which Whitaker directed and co-produced, premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim and will soon be part of a permanent exhibit at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.

For more information about each of the honorary degree recipients, view the press release. To read more about each ceremony, visit the Commencement website.

Pace Launches New Degree Completion Program: iPace

Busy people who are ready to finish their bachelor’s degree and increase their earning power can now apply to a new program that lets students incorporate study time into their already busy lives.

iPace, which debuted earlier this month, is a new degree completion program conducted online with in-person sessions held at our New York City and White Plains campuses. With iPace, students get the same highly-rated Pace University bachelor’s degree that area employers know and respect.

“iPace is designed for students who are working full-time or have other obligations during the week or during typical working hours,” said Pace President Stephen J. Friedman. “The combination of online and in-person coursework enables full flexibility and collaboration between students and faculty.”

The iPace curriculum links the classroom to the world of work and builds upon students’ life experiences. Course offerings include a BBA in Business Studies from the Lubin School of Business with a choice of concentrations in Business Communications (combining Marketing and Management) or Internal Auditing; and a BS in Professional Technology Studies from Pace’s Seidenberg School with a concentration in Computer Forensics.

Special Adviser for Strategic Initiatives Christine Shakespeare, PhD, says of the program, “The iPace initiative is important  because historically Pace had a large adult audience, but over the years the numbers enrolled have waned. It is important, given the changing nature of higher education in the United States, to have degree offerings that will attract the adult and nontraditional student so that Pace can remain competitive in the Metropolitan Area.”

The new program includes web chats and other real-time online events allowing students to feel like part of a class and the flexibility to review discussions and course material afterwards. The online component for the Seidenberg program is combined with in-person meetings to provide valuable interactions with fellow students and professors and the Lubin program is completely online with optional in-person meetings.

Shakespeare goes on to say “Special considerations in curriculum design and delivery, as well as pedagogy are important. The faculty designers of the iPace programs have worked diligently to bring a curriculum to students that would meet the needs of busy people whose lives do not enable them to attend traditionally-designed degree programs.”

Pace plans to enroll 20-25 students for the fall 2011 semester for each degree program concentration. To qualify, applicants must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher and 60-64 undergraduate credits or an Associate degree from an accredited school.

All Hands on Tech: Q&A with the University Executive Director of Academic Technology

Beth Gordon Klingner, PhD, discusses her new role as the University Executive Director of Academic Technology and the future of pedagogical technology at Pace.

In March, Matthew F. Bonilla, Interim Vice President and CIO, and Sheying Chen, PhD, the associate provost for academic affairs, announced the appointment of Beth Gordon Klingner, PhD, to the new position of University Executive Director of Academic Technology at Pace.

How does this new position differ from your previous role as the Assistant Dean for Instructional Technology?

I was the Assistant Dean for Instructional Technology in Dyson College, which meant that everything I was doing was only officially for Dyson. Unofficially, I was helping others from different areas of the University. Now I’ve got a broader vantage point.

What are your top three priorities in this new position?

To keep the communication flowing between ITS and the academic areas to ensure that academic technology decisions including planning, purchasing, and implementation are being done in the most effective ways to enhance the teaching and learning experience; to promote the use of ePortfolios for students to enrich and support their academic, extra, and co-curricular work and career development; and to provide leadership and strategic planning for all academic technology initiatives.

I know you’re deeply involved with the promotion of ePortfolios and have done a lot with faculty workshops. What else do you see in the future of academic technology at Pace?

I’d like to further promote ePortfolios for use as a student job search tool—students can use their portfolios to showcase their academic work, projects they’ve done, and their career interests. ePortfolios are also great for faculty and staff. They’re also a great vehicle for student development. Student clubs and organizations could benefit from this technology.

I’m also working closely with the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology (CTLT) and we’re collaborating with the Library and the tech folks at the schools. I have actually been collaborating with all of these areas over the years on a variety of initiatives including online/blended learning, ePortfolios for students and faculty, and iPads.  This new position will formalize the collaboration that has already been occurring and will make it easier to share successes and address challenges across the University.

How do you assist the faculty with programming?

I will be working closely with the schools and colleges at Pace to help support the development of new online and blended programs.  For example, I have done this kind of work with the Masters in Homeland Security, which is an innovative blended degree program for working professionals in the field.

How will you be involved in bringing new instructional technology to the Pace Community?

We hold iPad user groups monthly for the faculty. They’re learning not only to use the iPad, but also how to incorporate it into the classroom. It’s already being used in several classes and we hope to use it in more.  [Note: If you’d like to learn more about iPads in the classroom, click here to read entries from the iPad User Blog.]

How are new technologies being implemented in the classroom? What sort of responses have you received to the new technologies?

This is an exciting time at Pace because we have made such a dramatic leap in terms of classroom technologies.  At this point, all of the classrooms have at least a base level of classroom technology. This summer we will be doing further upgrades to enhance some rooms and to also upgrade rooms that are not listed as traditional classroom spaces, but yet are used for class and student group meetings.  We will continue to seek faculty/student input on how best to improve our current classroom technologies and thanks to the Student IT fee, we will be able to keep Pace at the cutting edge in terms of instructional technologies. Examples of this are the implementation of ECHO 360 (lecture capture) capabilities available in all classrooms and the expansion our work with iPads to enhance the overall learning experience.

Perspectives: Environmental

Andrew Revkin is a journalist and author who has been writing about the environment for more than 25 years. In addition to being the senior fellow at the Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies, he continues to write his “Dot Earth” blog for The New York Times opinion pages.

What are some of the environmental challenges the Japanese will be facing as they begin to rebuild?

Fears of radioactivity (even if levels end up far below background levels) are likely to have a profound effect for a very long time on everything from agriculture to property values in the northeast of Japan. That’s probably the biggest impact.

Will this disaster have global environmental implications?

The damage to the Fukushima nuclear complex has already greatly blunted prospects for expanded nuclear power generation using established reactor designs in developed countries and perhaps even in China, according to recent news reports. That is the main implication, given that nuclear power was increasingly seen by many experts, and more than a few environmental groups, as a necessity if greenhouse gas emissions are to be limited even as energy appetites rise.

How will this impact what you teach Pace students in the future?

It’s affected what I’m teaching them now. Just this week in the communication course I co-teach with Cara Cea for graduate environmental-science students, we spent a half hour exploring the challenges in communicating scientifically based views of health and environmental issues like radiation risk when fear and dramatic circumstances tend to distort how the press and public handle them. The students watched video of a CNN encounter over radiation risk in the United States between Bernie Rayno, a meteorologist, and Nancy Grace, a lawyer in the anchor chair. Then I had Rayno speak with the class via Skype. It was an eye-opening session!

What do you think is the greatest impact on the United States and the world?

The biggest impact should surely be a prompt examination of preparedness for earthquakes and tsunamis in regions facing similar, if not worse, risk—including the Pacific Northwest, as I’ve repeatedly written. I don’t anticipate a lot of concrete action, though. It seems countries need direct experience with such catastrophes to shift practices. I wish that weren’t so, and this is one reason I’m at Pace to work on boosting students’ “environmental understanding.”

What methods of support, aside from financial, can we lend to Japan?

Japan really doesn’t need our help nearly as much as other countries in poor regions afflicted by disasters—or facing impending ones. Padang, a city of half a million in Indonesia, could easily see nearly half its population die in the inevitable tsunami that is coming there, almost certainly in the next few decades. This post on the “seismic divide” around the world includes sobering details on Padang from Brian Tucker. I encourage readers to have a look.

How far reaching are the effects of this disaster and how might this change Japan’s environmental strategies going forward?

As I said before, the two big issues revealed here are: the deep potential vulnerability of some of the aging fleet of nuclear plants around the world (a different issue than the overall issue of supplying energy with nuclear power in years to come) and the reinforced picture of a world that needs to seriously act to limit losses—both human and economic—from inevitable disasters.

The Indian Point Energy Center is located just 38 miles north of New York City. In addition to being close to the Pace campuses, the Ramapo Fault line is a mere mile from the facilities. If a situation similar to Japan’s were to occur here, how might our experience differ from Japan’s?

I’m in the process of finding out, although there’s no geological evidence at all here of the potential for an earthquake anywhere near the size of the 9.0 shock off the coast of Japan. I’ll be visiting Indian Point within a week. The big issue, to my mind, is not one of engineering, but attitudes. Whether in the BP disaster, the loss of two space shuttles, or the failures at the Fukushima complex, it seems we still have a big challenge in sustaining a culture of vigilance and proactive risk reduction. In a recent post, I included a link to my long 1995 article on efforts to shift the culture at Indian Point. I’ll let you know what I find out.

What are your thoughts? We want to hear from you, so be sure to comment in the box below.

Perspectives: Economic

Niso Abuaf, finance professor at Pace University’s Lubin School of Business in New York City, is a former managing director and head of financial strategy for Credit Suisse and Salomon Smith Barney and a former vice president and economist for Chase Manhattan Bank.

What impact will this disaster have on the economies of both Japan and the world?

Given Japan’s diminishing economic influence in the world, particularly as it relates to GDP growth as opposed to the absolute level of GDP, this disaster will have negligible effects on world output and growth. So far, the effects seem to be mainly related to supply chain disturbances, such as various auto, electronic, and high-tech components that are manufactured in the affected areas. I would call these temporary blips that represent short-term headaches but have no long-lasting significance.

What impact will this have on manufacturing in Japan and how will this affect the U.S. market?

Japanese manufacturing in the affected areas will likely go down; Japanese manufacturing in the non-affected areas will likely pick up the slack. Japanese investment in infrastructure will go up, also bolstered by fiscal and monetary stimuli. As stated before, the U.S. will see supply-chain disturbances. This might also boost sales by U.S. auto manufacturers as they start capitalizing on their recently instituted improvements and start exploiting weaknesses of the Japanese auto manufacturers.

 

As import bans on Japanese food products widen, what long-term effects do you predict will erupt because of the disaster?

I understand that, as reported by the New York Times, in the last couple of days, only about 4 percent of the U.S. food supply comes from Japan. Moreover, Japan is categorically not a low-cost food producer. My impression is that Japanese food exports cater to a specialized, non-essential niche market. Japan is neither Australia, nor the United States, nor Argentina. That is the first-order effects should be negligible. On the other hand, if the radiation leaks affect Pacific fishing, that would be a bigger problem. That would be an environmental engineering question that you would need to pursue with such experts.

 

How will this impact what you teach Pace students in the future?

How one can incorporate Black-Swan outcomes in planning and the importance of behavioral economics in decision making. People are short-sighted and have short-memories. So, this disaster will have important consequences for current decisions but will soon be forgotten, just like a lot of people have mostly forgotten the financial crisis of 2008. I have already incorporated the crisis into my teaching of MBA-level econ courses, when I asked students to fully evaluate all the costs and benefits of all energy sources, by asking them to fully price all the externalities of each energy alternative.

 

What do you think is the greatest impact on the United States and the world?

Short-term loss of confidence and fear that will soon be forgotten. Somewhat of an increase in the cost of nuclear energy as the world will realize that they can’t do without it, but that they have to make it somewhat safer, with the full understanding that no technology is 100 percent safe. I bet you many more people die from the pollution from coal-powered power plants than they do from the radiation of nuclear power plants. In fact, if I recall correctly, the effects of coal pollution is in the hundreds of thousands. [Editor’s Note: A recent study done by the World Health Organization supports this statement.]

 

How far reaching are the effects of this disaster and how might this change Japan’s economic strategies going forward?

Japan has dealt with earthquakes and other natural disasters for centuries. They are an ancient, mature, stoic society steeped in their religious traditions. Other than minor technical adjustments around the edges (such as increasing the safety of nuclear power plants, which will ultimately increase costs), their fundamental life philosophy will not change.

 

The Indian Point Energy Center is located just 38 miles north of New York City. In addition to being close to the Pace campuses, the Ramapo Fault line is a mere mile from the facilities. If a situation similar to Japan’s were to occur here, how might our experience differ from Japan’s?

Our experience would be much worse. Our societal norms are diametrically opposed to Japan’s. They are stoic; we are not. They are long-term focused; we are short-term focused. They are much better at sacrificing for the greater good; we are totally individualistic and egotistical. Our current political mess and our performance in international educational rankings is proof of what I am saying. Another example: a few years ago due to an energy crisis, the Japanese government decreed that thermostats in the summer should be set higher, so even in five-star hotels like the Imperial in Tokyo, people were uncomfortable with the ambient temperature. Can you imagine doing that in the United States? There would be a gazillion law suits.

For more information regarding the financial impact of the crisis in Japan, see the Pace University press release featuring Professor Abuaf.


What are your thoughts? We want to hear from you, so be sure to comment in the box below.

Perspectives: Mental Health

Kayoko Hayashi is native of Nagoya, Japan which is situated about two hundred miles southeast of Tokyo. She is also a psychology intern at the Counseling Center under the direction of Richard Shadick, PhD. She lends her own perspective to the disaster in Japan.

How are the people of Japan coping with yet another nuclear disaster?

The sense that I get from Japanese media is that people in Japan are currently “faced with” the nuclear crisis while not knowing how to “cope with” it and not knowing how things will unfold. The majority of my friends and family who live in Tokyo, seem to be calm about it. One of my friend’s family [members] said, “We have family, house, and job here. When things happen, things happen. We will deal with it then, and we will do our best to prepare for the crisis, yet also to avoid the crisis.” Besides people who have been evacuated from their hometown, I am getting the sense from people I know in Japan that a lot of people are staying where they are and trying to continue their life because they have work and everything else there. The tone of Japanese media and government appears to be more reluctant to address the severity of crisis, so their communication might have impacted the people’s response to the nuclear accident. Japanese society [has] never experienced such a big nuclear accident, so [the] government, experts, and lay-people are continuously trying to assess the severity of situation and to learn how they should all deal with this crisis regarding people’s physical safety and its economical impact.

What are some of the short- and long-term mental health implications?

The Japanese newspapers that I have access to via the Internet do not really talk about mental health issues. The government and media appear to focus more on economical, infrastructural, and medical issues in response to this series of crisis in Japan. However, a lot of people must have experienced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and many other symptoms in reaction to this disaster that is beyond our imagination.

How will this impact what you teach Pace students in the future?

The concept that we can never take our safety for granted. Anything in our lives can be shaken up in any moment.

What do you think is the greatest impact on the United States and the world?

I think that one of the great impacts of this incident in Japan on the U.S. and the world has been the safety issue. As we saw through media, all the buildings, cars, and ships were crushed by earthquakes and washed away by tsunami. After the nuclear plant explosion, the situation worsened, and some regions had to ban the consumption of local water and agricultural products due to the high load of radiation. This series of incidents teach us how safety can be taken away in one second. Things like water, air, milk, agricultural products, electricity, and other things that we take it for granted everyday are not there anymore. Scary facts about the nuclear plant

What methods of support, aside from financial, can we lend to Japan?

Helping spirits for those affected by the crisis in Japan—many celebrities and professionals are gathering to fundraise or to collect useful information about dealing with crisis. This spirit will be heard and appreciated in Japan. Sharing experiences, tips, and findings from how crisis has been dealt with in the United States (for example, 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and the fire in San Francisco) in different areas, including mental health, politics, economy, infrastructure, agriculture, will also be helpful.

What are your thoughts? We want to hear from you, so be sure to comment in the box below.

Perspectives: Crisis Management

Joseph Ryan, PhD, Pace professor and chair of the criminal justice and sociology department, is a national expert on community policing and police management related issues. Ryan is also a 25-year veteran of the New York City Police Department.

Since the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, and of course, more recently the tsunami that devastated Japan, how well would you say the Tsunami Warning System functioned?

My simple response to that is: as good as any warning system can be. The Tsunami Warning went off three minutes after the earth quake and that gave people only about 20 minutes to get away. That’s not a lot of time. One thing that was interesting is that I saw film footage of this and it’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon, it’s a clear day, and then the alarm goes off and we’d look around and say “What’s going on?” It worked as well as it could, but obviously time is of the essence.

There are some sources that criticize an incomplete crisis management plan at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Drawing on your own expertise and media reports, would be inclined to agree or disagree?

It’s unfair to criticize a preparedness plan. My biggest pitch is that all of us should be involved in preparedness. When I speak to an audience, I ask the audience how many of them have a week’s supply of food as an emergency response; 99 percent of people say they’re not ready. The whole idea of an “incomplete crisis management program” is something I focus on with our master’s program. This isn’t something we can talk about once in a while; we have to talk about it every day. We have FEMA, waiting for something to happen, and if nothing happens, the federal government will cut their funding. The moment we cut funding, we forget about it. We must constantly be prepared. I think we take it for granted and we assume the government is going to step in.

What is the key learning for the United States in terms of protecting our own country from natural disasters and/or nuclear meltdowns?

If you look at Japan now, a few weeks after, there is still destruction everywhere. There is no government agency in the United States or in Japan that is responsible for rebuilding. There was one picture, of a woman surrounded by rubble—this was her home, all of her belongings—where do you go after that? This is a lesson plan. We’ve never really had this except for Chernobyl, which is just a giant sealed sarcophagus. It will be generations before people can go back to that area. These snowstorms we’ve been having the last few winters are examples of the limitations our government has. We need more lessons learned, on a purely Don Quixote level, I tell the students in my masters program that they are the generation that needs to begin to answer these questions.

What do you think is the greatest impact on the United States and the world?

Their emergency response is to pump the ocean water to cool the reactors… where is the water going? Back into the ocean. They thought about putting the water on ships, but then where do you send the ships to get rid of the water?

What methods of support, aside from financial, can we lend to Japan?

What can we do? Do we go over with heavy equipment and start rebuilding Japan? There was a photo in the newspaper yesterday. It was a major ship that was just on the ground. I mean, what do you do? I can’t imagine how many cranes you would need to get that ship back into the water… Just look at the pictures, they need a lot of support.

How far reaching are the effects of this disaster and how does this change their crises strategy going forward?

The things we’re looking for are lessons learned. Reassessments of all nuclear facilities—do we have good plans?

The Indian Point Energy Center is located just 38 miles north of New York City. In addition to being close to the Pace campuses, the Ramapo Fault line is a mere mile from the facilities. If a situation similar to Japan’s were to occur here, how might our experience differ from Japan’s?

This is a hot topic. What would happen if an earthquake happened near NYC and disaster was on the same level? I couldn’t even think about where to begin. These students are learning what triage would actually mean in an emergency situation. These are the types of things that we are ill-prepared for. Think back to September 11—there were so many people willing to help, but no one knew how to coordinate it. Drills work, and practice exercises, but I say to my students, could you right now push a stretcher with ten bodies down a city block, turn around and push another one? Are you in that good of physical shape? No one really thinks about that. I believe that everyone needs to be prepared.

What are your thoughts? We want to hear from you, so be sure to comment in the box below.

Reunion 2011: Pace at the Plaza

On June 4, be a part of something special as alumni, faculty, and staff celebrate Reunion 2011 at the Plaza Hotel. Get your discounted tickets today.

On Saturday, June 4, the Pace Community will gather at the Plaza Hotel for an evening of fine wining and dining, dancing under the stars, and most of all, reconnecting with old friends and making new memories at the Pace Reunion 2011.

“Reunion is all about celebrating the journeys from who we were to who we are… and to where we are  still going and how our paths crossed at Pace,” says alumna and staff member Dawn Knipe’82, ’87 who plans to attend.

This year’s special honorees are graduates from the 1960, 1961, 1965, 1966, 1970, 1971, 1975, 1976, 1980, 1981, 1985, 1986, 1990, 1991, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2005, and 2006 classes, but as always, all Pace alumni are welcome to attend. Faculty and staff receive a special $50 discount on tickets. Register today to attend!

Photo Caption: Pace alumni and staff who plan to attend (left to right): 1st Row – Selena Berkeley ’08 and Verrilline Turner ’01 from Development and Alumni Relations; 2nd Row – Nilsa Betancourt ’95, Juanita Maya ’08, Lisa Moscato ’93, and Dinesh Ulpange ’02, ’04 from Enrollment Management; 3rd Row – Roch Kelly ’91 from Development and Alumni Relations, Danny Tom ’09 from the Mailroom, and Dawn Knipe’82, ’87 and Jorge Rodriguez ’02 from Enrollment Management.

Don’t Get Left Behind

The Left Forum returns to Pace this month with a number of high-profile speakers and exciting panelists—including a few of our own faculty, staff, and students. Learn more about the conference and find out how you can attend… for free.

This March 18-20, the Left Forum returns to Pace for its third year in a row.  The renowned conference—which each year brings together the largest gathering of left-leaning intellectuals in the United States—was originally known as the annual Socialist Scholars Conference, but has undergone more than just a change of name in recent years. Since its development in 1981, the event has become one of the largest scholarly Leftist conferences. In 2004, it changed its name to the Left Forum, which “opened up the conference further to writers, poets, political activists, union organizers, students, journalists, [artists], whose work reflected a desire to bring about social, political and economic progress,” says Professor Robert Salerno, PhD, who is in charge of the event. Last year, the conference drew a crowd of more than 3,500 people to Pace’s downtown campus, including noted speakers Rev. Jesse Jackson and Noam Chomsky and more than 200 participants from the University.

This year, the Forum will feature numerous panels, debates and presentations, focused around the theme of working Toward a Politics of Solidarity. “Most people on the left believe that people need to reclaim their political power,” says Salerno, “and how to do that will be some of the strategies discussed at this year’s forum.”

This year’s Forum features more speakers and panels than last year, including a number of Pace students and alumni—who will be forgoing soaking up the sun over spring break (which is taking place at the same time.) Alumna and counseling center staff member Kelly Herbert, who heads up Pace’s LGBTQA Task Force will be presenting, and alumna Ashley Marinaccio ’07, will be speaking of the power of theater to bring about social change. Numerous Pace professors will also be addressing an array of issues—both social and political—and the effects these issues have around the world as will Pace students in a panel on From Silence to Solidarity: Unpacking the Silence and How to Break It.

The event opens with a plenary panel that includes world-renown journalists and advocates: best-selling author and columnist Barbara Ehrenreich; Cornel West, an advocate for social change and racial justice; economics editor of the BBC World News, Paul Mason; and Laura Flanders, a regular contributor to MSNBC.

To register as a volunteer and receive free entry in exchange for a few hours of work, click here, for inquiries on prices for registration, click here.

Learn more about the Left Forum events in last week’s issue of the Pulse.

Saying Goodnight to Sleeping Sickness

Nigel Yarlett, PhD, of the Haskins Laboratories discusses how researchers are working to bring new hope to sufferers of long-ignored diseases.

Nigel Yarlett, PhD, and student researchers

The Haskins Laboratories, which have been at Pace since 1970, have been centered on researching possible cures for diseases that are out of the public spotlight. “We work on things that aren’t stylish—not in vogue. And consequentially, things that aren’t typically funded to a great extent,” says Nigel Yarlett, PhD, director of the Haskins Laboratories at Pace University.

Recently, parasitologists at the Lab have focused their attention on new methods of treatment for Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT), also known as sleeping sickness. Researchers are working to develop compounds that will help treat sleeping sickness in the nearly half-a-million infected inhabitants of sub-Saharan Africa. “Some drugs were developed in the 1920s to treat the illnesses, but these drugs had an arsenic base,” Yarlett says. “For those being treated with these drugs, death occurred more quickly than it would have if they hadn’t been treated!… These are the first new drugs [developed to treat HAT] in 30 years,” says Yarlett, “We’re very excited.”

The researchers have discovered a new line of compounds that have been effective in curing mice and are now being tested on larger mammals. They will be going into clinical trials with a cohort of 1,000 human patients in Africa later this year. They plan to target villages in Africa, whose inhabitants are cut off from any sort of medical access. “For the people living in these villages, this sort of sickness is just a way of life,” says Yarlett.

Additionally, workers at the Haskins Laboratories are attempting to develop a first line of treatment for a far more global issue—cryptosporidiosis, a waterborne illness that causes chronic diarrhea. Its major impact has been among those with weakened immune systems, including those who are HIV+, receiving cancer treatments, or those that have undergone organ transplantation. “Cryptosporidosis is one of the major causes of death in HIV+ people and currently there is nothing available to treat it,” Yarlett says. However Yarlett hopes that the great minds at Pace will soon be able to help in that front as well.

“In the world of parasitology, the Haskins Lab is recognized worldwide,” says Yarlett. “It’s one of the reasons I came to Pace and I’m proud to be a part of such a great asset to the University.”

The Haskins Laboratories was founded in 1935 at General Electrical and Union College by four young and innovative scientists, one of whom became its namesake, Caryl Haskins, a physicist and geneticist. In 1970 it split into two divisions, the Microbiology Division, under Seymour Hutner (one of the original scientists) affiliated with Pace University, and the Speech Recognition and Cognition Division affiliated with Yale University. It is funded by a number of sources, including  the National Institutes of Health (in collaboration with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas), Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), and Genzyme Corp and works  in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies Scynexis and Anacor.

For more information about the work being done at the Haskins Laboratories, click here.

Editor’s Note: Since publication, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative has recognized the work of Dyson Professors Cyrus Bacchi, PhD, and Nigel Yarlett, PhD, of the Haskins Laboratories, with the Project of the Year 2011 Award for the development of the first new drug to go to clinical trial and the first new treatment for Human African Trypanosomiasis (“sleeping sickness”) in more than 40 years.

2009-2010 Annual Report Online

You may have seen it in your mailbox, but have you watched this year’s annual report? Visit our new website to watch video highlights of the cyber security and sciences roundtables as well as other online features.

From the President’s Leadership Report, to financials and donors, to featured articles on performing arts, accounting, environmental law, and more, this year’s annual report has something for everyone.

Visit our new website for articles, video highlights, and more.

The Merchant of Venice – Employee Discount

Join Shylock, Antonio, Portia, and a host of characters (including Academy Award-winning actor F. Murray Abraham) for the latest in our Shakespeare series. And if you aren’t prepared to pay your pound of flesh for tickets, faculty and staff can purchase tickets for just $10 on March 2.


The Bard is back again on February 27-March 13 as the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts opens up its doors to Theatre for a New Audience’s production of The Merchant of Venice.

Directed by Darko Tresnjak, this celebrated production takes a modern look at the age-old interplay between love and money, and religion and race. Academy Award-winning actor F. Murray Abraham, who’s starred in such films as Amadeus, All the President’s Men, and Scarface, reprises his role as Shylock in this compelling work that the New York Times has called “powerfully moving” and The Guardian gave four stars.

While the cost of tickets ranges from $40 to $75 for the general public, Pace faculty and staff can receive discounted tickets for only $10 for the March 2 performance. To book tickets and for more information on pricing, click here.

To stay up-to-date on all our Shakespeare productions and get a video sneak peek of Comedy of Errors coming to Pace in April, visit our Shakespeare at Pace website!

Staff by Day, Saltwater Afishionado By Night

By day, Jim Curry is the captain of operations and technology for the Office of Student Assistance (OSA). By night, he’s assisting other types of schools… as a saltwater aquarist.

Many of us have fish tanks; some even have saltwater aquariums. But Jim Curry doesn’t just own one: he designed it, built it, grows his own coral, and breeds his own fish. And now, he’s showing others how to do the same.

It all started when Curry was a young boy, and his grandfather was a fish breeder—keeping tanks all over his grandmother’s bedroom. But it wasn’t until years later that the inclination became impetus, when Curry and a coworker went to Petland Discounts on Nassau Street and bought saltwater fish tanks.

“It all started with a small tank,” Curry said. But eventually that tank turned into an entire ecosystem, with a propagation facility and no mechanical filtration. Curry does everything for his saltwater aquariums himself—from the design to the installation, plumbing, lighting, electric, water dynamics, aquascaping, and even growing his own corals, some of which are rare and cost up to $500 per piece. “At this point, I have a farm in my basement,” he laughs.

Curry draws from both his background in architecture and his 11-year career as a chef. “I was an architecture student in my undergraduate years, so I think artistically. It’s underwater artwork, underwater science,” he says. “Being a chef also made me a good [aquarium] designer. Color, taste, flavor, design, texture—it’s very important.”

His work has garnered Curry both critical attention and professional opportunities. Curry received an international award from Advanced Aquarist magazine for his mixed reef aquarium and sits on the Board of Directors of Manhattan Reefs, an online community for aquarium owners in the NYC area. With the help of a fellow aquarist who was also interested in advancing the survival and rejuvenation of the world’s natural reefs, Curry has launched Saltwater Critters, which specializes in consulting, design, installation, and maintenance of marine and reef aquariums. He’s even begun breeding fish, including rare clownfish, and sends some of his coral pieces to the Ocean Research Association in Florida to harvest in case something happens to his system.

And like his grandfather before him, Curry is passing the passion down—both to his kids, who love to view his inventory from all over the world, and to Pace, partnering with Pratt professor and mentor Randy Donowitz for the bi-annual Manhattan Reefs Fall Frag Swap, which brings aquarists together to sell and trade corals and dry goods. The last event was held on the NYC Campus in October and open to Pace students free of charge. The next one will be held at Pratt on April 10. “It keeps the spirit alive in making sure that if one of our tanks dies, someone has the coral to keep it alive,” Curry says.

As acting University Director of Student Accounts and Executive Director of Operations and Technology Management for the Office of Student Assistance (OSA), Curry spends his workday elbow deep in student systems, helping the University become more efficient in leveraging their technologies, and leading the charge to build and enhance future developments, much like his aquarium work.

“It’s [aquariums are] a system, just like an IT system. It’s understanding how things operate within each other and grow over time, and building it so it works,” he said.

Are you a Pace faculty or staff member with a fun hobby, interest, part-time job, or passion? Know someone that fits the bill? Email opportunitas@pace.edu to share your story with us and other faculty and staff!

College of Health Professions Makes Its Debut

It’s official: Pace now has two colleges and four schools. The new college is the College of Health Professions, which comprises the Lienhard School of Nursing and the Pace Physician Assistant (PA) Studies Program, formerly in Dyson.

The establishment of a College of Health Professions reflects the breadth of health science majors at Pace, and underscores the University’s commitment to strengthen the student experience by developing learning communities of students with similar academic and professional aspirations. It also allows for greater multidisciplinary interaction, a trend both here at Pace and in the health sciences professions.

“Congratulations, kudos, brava, and bravo to the Lienhard and PA faculty and staff for your willingness to collaborate as a team, be open to change and to persist,” said Interim Provost Harriet Feldman, PhD, RN, in a recent announcement. “Now it is time to identify new program areas and the talent to create the programs to grow the College.”

Both the Lienhard School of Nursing and PA program are riding high this month:  Lienhard’s 4th Quarter 2010 pass rate for the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses 94.45%; besting the national rate of 81.74% and NY State pass rate of 77.05%  For CY2010, the NYS State pass rate was 84.45% and the national pass rate was 87.42%; Lienhard’s pass rate was 89.17%. The Physician Assistant program is  knee deep in bringing in its new class, with more than 1,300 applicants for only 50 slots. The Master’s of Science in Physician Assistant Studies is one of most competitive of all programs at Pace.

Unplugging the Biological Clock

Ida Dupont works to uncover why, for more and more Americans, hitting the snooze button on having kids is not enough.

Since the 1970s, the rate of women who choose not to have children has doubled. Ida Dupont, PhD, an associate professor of sociology and anthropology on Pace’s NYC Campus, has spent the last few years examining this trend and interviewing women, men, and couples from various backgrounds in an attempt to puzzle out why some people choose to remain childfree.

“I’m having a difficult time giving a name to what I’m researching,” Dupont says. “‘Childless’ has a negative connotation and if I say ‘childfree by choice’ it sounds as though we’re trying to escape children.” Dupont has focused her research on how people who choose not to have children are perceived by the community (and the inclusion or exclusion that comes with that), as well as what puts them on this particular path.

“We talk about choice in very different ways. As Americans, we’re free to do what we want. With that comes the realism of limitations,” says Dupont. “A lot of people who choose not to have children value parenting, but they don’t feel up to the task. They don’t want to bring a child into a difficult world, there are monetary issues—for them, it is a rational decision.”

Another small subgroup of adults reported to Dupont that they chose to not have children because of the environmental impact having a child would create. “This was something that came up often enough to be noticed. They weren’t just outliers. They were concerned with diapers and toys and other things that came with having a child. This really struck me,” she says.

For others, however, the choice to remain childfree was one that seemed almost intrinsic. As she conducted her research, she began to note a trend of women who reported not feeling maternal instincts. “These women would say that even as children they felt different. They didn’t play with dolls and so on,” says Dupont. “I had expected these women to be cold, but that wasn’t the case. They had close relationships with people, they gave back to their communities, and most had a great love of animals.”

Both men and women who chose to remain childfree often felt pressure exerted upon them. For men, there was familial pressure to carry on the family legacy, as well as the perception that they were suffering from Peter Pan syndrome. And both men and women alike were perceived as selfish for their choice. However, “Women have their identities wrapped in motherhood,” says Dupont. “Women without children are seen as lacking. They have to work to construct a feminine identity that is separate from being a mother…There was one woman who told me ‘If I could be a 1950s hands-off father, I’d consider it.’ Can you imagine?”

The interplay between gender and identity is an area of great interest for Dupont. “I’d like to use my research to write a book, preferably something not academic and more accessible. I think this is something people can really relate to.”

The Man Who Walks the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Walk

Pace professor Bob Benjes doesn’t just talk the talk. He walks the walk and then maps the map.

Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest has become a literary (and now, film) phenomenon. Since its debut, people have travelled from all over the world to Sweden to spend time walking in fictional journalist Mikael Blomkvist and computer-hacker Lisbeth Salander’s footsteps.

One such man would be Seidenberg adjunct professor Bob Benjes, who has taken the extra step to make your walk a lot easier. If you want a first-hand look into the detective fiction novels without paying for the airfare, hotel, and stay, Benjes has created a virtual walk, using pictures and video of some of the character’s popular hangouts.

Benjes, whose wife is Swedish and works for Visit Sweden, was visiting the country and planning on taking the Millennium Tour, when his wife suggested they document it.

“I said, ‘give me a dollar, and I’ll do it,’” Benjes said.  And so his hobby turned into a paid gig. How to put it all together was the easy part.

A 25-year veteran of Pace, Benjes taught Information Technology for Strategic Community Planning in fall 2010, a course on integrated mapping where students eventually generated their own Google Maps, including celebrity chef restaurants and artist galleries in NYC, a volunteer project with the New York Public Library on georectification, and even a map tracking pollution in the United States

“Pick your fifty favorite restaurants in NYC. You send me a list and addresses. I can return you a Google Map in about 20 minutes,” Benjes said. “The ability to do that was completely unheard of five years ago; 10 years ago people would walk out of the room if you mentioned such things.”

Benjes calls his Millennium Walk an “evolving project” and will continue to make updates to it. In addition to the Millennium Tour, Benjes is also working on a Google Map featuring photographer Berenice Abbott’s Changing New York project, where he maps some of her popular photographs, and then captures the same photo more than half a century later.

“If she took a picture of 103 Bowery on May 30, 1937, I put that picture on a map. Then, on May 30, 2011, I’ll go to 103 Bowery and try to take the same picture and put the two together,” he says.

Benjes hopes to continue teaching integrated mapping courses at Pace—“The more I do with the mapping, the more I want to share with students.”

Click here to view Benjes’ Millenium Walk in Google Maps.

New Associate Provost for Student Success

Mark Allen Poisel, EdD, currently the Associate Vice President at University of Central Florida, has been appointed Associate Provost for Student Success. He will join Pace in January 2011.

Mark PoiselMark Allen Poisel, a university administrator with extensive experience in coordinating and streamlining services to students, has been named Associate Provost for Student Success at Pace University, effective January 14, 2011.

He most recently served as Associate Vice President for Student Development and Enrollment Services at the University of Central Florida (UCF).

Poisel will oversee support services for undergraduate students on Pace’s campuses in downtown Manhattan and Pleasantville, in Westchester County, New York. Working across the University’s schools, departments, institutes, and centers in close collaboration with the Provost, he will focus on improving student retention, international growth, and partnerships with other institutions in the U.S. and abroad.

“Mark Poisel has a solid track record of helping students succeed at the university level,” said Harriet R. Feldman, PhD, Pace’s Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. “His strong leadership skills and work in international education will help us strengthen the Pace academic experience.” Read more…