Extreme Makeover: Pace Edition

This summer, the Pace University website underwent a massive overhaul, with brand new content, a sleek new look, and an improved user experience. Stay tuned for the big reveal this month.

When high school students and parents who are trolling the web for information on colleges and universities land on www.pace.edu this fall, they will see the University in a whole new light.

This September, Pace will roll out a redesigned website with brand new content, improved user experience, and much more on the way.

“Our prospective students and parents will quickly gain access to the information they seek—on academics, life on both campuses, and admissions and aid. And they will find out how well our students are prepared for careers following graduation,” said Susan Kayne, AVP/Marketing Communications. “The newly redesigned website brings the Pace experience to life with dynamic content, design, and navigation that is very intuitive.”

The site will be launched in phases. Development of a mobile site, new school sites, and Career Services will follow in the fall.

University Relations and ITS teamed up with Digital Pulp, an award winning digital marketing firm, to develop the site.

Convocation 2013

Join the Pace Community on September 3 as we kick off the school year at our 6th Annual Convocation on the PLV Campus and enjoy a talk by Pace Associate Professor and keynote speaker Susan Herman.

On Tuesday, September 3 at 3:00 p.m. in the Ann and Alfred Goldstein Health, Fitness, and Recreation Center, the entire first year class, faculty, and staff are invited and urged to attend this year’s Convocation which marks the start of the 2013-2014 academic year.

Keynote speaker and Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Susan Herman, winner of the 2013 U.S. Department of Justice National Crime Victim Service Award, is best known for her groundbreaking work on parallel justice for victims of crime. She believes that “we must meet our obligation to victims, not just because we are a compassionate society, but because helping victims rebuild their lives is an essential component of justice.” Her presentation at this year’s Convocation with the continued focus upon the theme of Justice.

Pre-convocation activities will take place on each campus prior to the University-wide event.  Students will meet in small groups with faculty, staff, and student facilitators to engage in a discussion of Justice and to prepare for Professor Herman’s remarks. The students will have read Class Matters, a book that explores how class (a combination of income, education, wealth, and occupation) influences American society.

On the NYC Campus, pre-Convocation activities will be 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., with travel to the Westchester Campus immediately following. Westchester’s pre-Convocation activities will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  If you are interested in facilitating a small group discussion, please contact Michael Rosenfeld in NYC or Ross Christofferson in Westchester.

An important change to this year’s program is that faculty will not be in academic regalia.  However, there will be a designated section in the Gym for the faculty and staff to sit together. You will be recognized during the Convocation ceremony remarks. Therefore, when you enter the gym, please sit in the special section. Transportation back to the city will begin immediately after Convocation.

Questions about the program or logistics can be directed to Dean for Students Lisa Bardill Moscaritolo at (914) 773-3860 or lbardillmoscaritolo@pace.edu.

For more information about Professor Susan Herman and this year’s Convocation, please visit the website: www.pace.edu/convocation


We’ve Got Spirit

With the Spirit of Pace Awards, we begin a new tradition that we hope will last for another 50 years. This event provides us with the opportunity to come together as one Pace Community, proudly celebrating our rich history and bright future.

On Wednesday, June 26 the Pace Community will host the newly minted Spirit of Pace Awards Dinner at the Central Park Zoo. The event will benefit the University’s Student Scholarship Program and special projects selected by the President. The Spirit of Pace Awards more fully embraces the University’s identity as a leader in higher education. Pace has grown dramatically since the first Leaders in Management (LIM) Dinner held in 1962. What was once an accounting and business institute is now a world-class comprehensive university and the leading cultural institution in Lower Manhattan. The Spirit of Pace Awards Dinner honors our role as a national leader in providing a college education of clear value—one that is built on a powerful combination of liberal arts and professional preparation, and propels young people to succeed in their careers and lives. With the Spirit of Pace Awards, we begin a new tradition that we hope will last for another 50 years. This event provides us with the opportunity to come together as one Pace Community, proudly celebrating our rich history and bright future.

In addition to the LIM Award, the Spirit of Pace Awards Dinner will introduce two new awards. The Innovator Award honors an individual or group whose work embodies positive change. The Homer and Charles Pace Faculty Award pays tribute to one of our distinguished faculty members who has dedicated his or her career to Pace and its students. Read on to learn more about this year’s honorees:

Leaders in Management (LIM) Award:
Andrew Mathias, President, SL Green

Andrew Mathias is the president of SL Green Realty Corp—New York City’s largest office landlord, owning 77 Manhattan properties totaling 39.3 million square feet. At SL Green, he is responsible for the firm’s equity and structured finance investments. Mathias also oversees the firm’s acquisitions/dispositions and its joint venture program. He joins an elite group of industry leaders, whose professional accomplishments are noteworthy. The Pace Community is proud to name him this year’s LIM Award honoree.


Innovator Award:
Graduate Management Program for Women (GMPW) Alumnae 

The Graduate Management Program for Women was established in the early 1970s for female students pursuing MBAs–a time when women represented only 5 percent of the student population in our MBA program. In 2006, a core group of the alumnae generously established an endowed scholarship at Pace for current female students. We are excited to pay tribute to their important place in Pace history and are deeply proud to call them alumnae.

Homer and Charles Pace Faculty Award:
Michael Szenberg, PhD

Distinguished Professor of Economics Michael Szenberg, PhD, has been at Pace for nearly 40 years, serving in the Department of Finance and Economics at the Lubin School of Business. He is the author and co-author of 15 books, 28 encyclopedia entries, and countless other scholarly articles. He has also served as Editor-in-Chief of The American Economist and is the recipient of numerous academic and service awards. He has been interviewed by BBC-TV, TV Tokyo, Time Magazine, Newsweek, The New York Times, and others. Beyond his scholarly pursuits, Szenberg has been an able and willing mentor to his students during his decades-long tenure at the University. His selection was made, in part, by our alumni community. Their glowing testament to his work as an educator makes him an excellent choice to serve as the inaugural honoree of the Homer and Charles Pace Faculty Award.

To learn more or attend this year’s Spirit of Pace Awards Dinner, visit www.pace.edu/spiritawards.

Birds of a Feather

You may have caught a flying demonstration or spied a silhouette on a rooftop, but the relationship Pace shares with its birds of prey goes way beyond that.

The tradition of falconry dates back to 2,000 BC China, when birds of prey were used by humans for hunting purposes and  given as gifts to indicate wealth and nobility. Despite the sport’s ancient roots, the tradition is still very much alive on Pace’s Westchester Campus. Assistant Director of the Environmental Center and master falconer James Eyring can attest to the changing roles of raptors and how the sport of falconry has evolved in this modern era.

“Falconry is a hunting sport, a blood sport. Ideally, you would fly a wild bird of prey and catch wild game,” explains Eyring. “ If you think about it, in the Middle Ages there were no guns, so if you wanted to eat (certain types of) poultry, you’d need a bird of prey to get some, because catching ducks is very difficult.”

Eyring postulates that the sport originated accidentally—that someone caught a hawk and kept it as a pet instead of eating it and that most likely, through instinct alone, the hawk chased after a duck or pheasant, which led to humans adopting and modifying the natural behavior of the birds of prey.

Today, Eyring’s birds serve a variety of purposes—both at Pace and in the surrounding communities. Fitted with small radio telemetry devices that can aid Eyring in locating a bird who has flown the coop, the hawks are featured in flying demonstrations that have become a staple during Pace’s Earth Month celebration, as part of welcome events for incoming students, and as a part of Homecoming for members of the Pace Community who are returning to campus. Additionally, Eyring takes the show on the road, traveling to nearby communities to speak to young people about habitat and environmental issues.

“With the demonstrations we do, the birds serve as an equalizer. I could walk into a school in Darien, Connecticut, or into a school in the South Bronx and the kids will have the same reactions,” he explains. “I walk in with an owl on my glove and there’s this aha moment that the bird’s presence offers. It really jump-starts the learning.”

For Eyring, his own aha moment came to him when he was growing up in North Salem, New York. At the time, Eyring’s father was a dog trainer that used live pigeons and quail to aid in the dogs’ training. One day, near his father’s birdcages, Eyring spotted a raptor wearing leather jesses around its legs, which Eyring knew to mean that the bird “belonged” to a falconer—one that he was determined to find. Eventually, he did find the bird’s owner, falconer Paul Kupchok, who spent two years as Eyring’s  mentor and sponsor while he apprenticed  as a New York  State falconer

Eyring eventually found himself on Pace’s Westchester Campus and three decades later, he is the care taker for 70+ animals, including uromastyx lizards, chinchillas, and a 9’ long Burmese python named Thud; but it’s the birds that steal the show.

The collection includes Oscar, the affectionate, Furby-faced Barred owl; Ophelia, the squawky, Peregrine-Gyr hybrid falcon; Delta, the large Lanner falcon whose species is native to Africa; and the tiny kestrel, Phineas. In addition to his sporting birds, there are several other large birds of prey that call Pace home.

“Elvis is my favorite. He’s definitely the star,” says Eyring of a Gyr-Saker hybrid falcon. “We’ve had him since he was an eight-day-old eyeass, or baby falcon, and he’s the most reliable flyer.” Part of what makes Elvis and his feathered friends so successful is careful weight management on Eyring’s part. Each morning, he weighs each bird and records the data—a few mere grams in a bird’s weight can mean the difference between soaring skyward or sluggishly perching.

Though most of Pace’s raptors have made their way to Eyring for rehabilitation and release back into the wild, there are several birds that remain on campus due to their inability to fend for themselves and—despite Eyring’s best attempts—their diminished fear of humans.

“Some of the birds are used in the flying demonstrations, but Merle is my hunter,” he explains about a large Harris Hawk, native to the Southwestern U.S. and parts of South America. “Traditionally, the falconer and the bird would share the bird’s quarry. She’ll take ducks, pheasant, muskrats, rabbits, and squirrels; it’s pretty impressive.”

For more information about the birds of prey on Pace’s Westchester Campus, or to learn more about the Environmental Center, click here.

I Don’t Know How She Does It

This month, a panel of Pace’s top women professionals share their experiences in life and business, what it takes to make it to the top, and how to cope with the struggle of the juggle.

On Friday, April 19, join fellow Pace faculty and staff at the Women of Pace: Women’s Professional Development Forum  to hear inspiring words of career and life wisdom from five women who have made it to the top of Pace while juggling careers, families, and busy New York lives. Panelists include Sue Maxam, EdD, University Director, Student Academic Engagement; Phyllis Mooney, Executive Director, Career Services; Lisa Bardill Moscaritolo, PhD, Dean for Students, Westchester; Freddi Wald, Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President, University Relations; and Toby Winer, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Borne out of a desire to bring women’s professional development to Pace, an issue that was near and dear to her heart, Senior Organizational Learning Consultant Susan Donahue worked closely with Maxam, who is on the Board of Directors for the American Council on Education’s New York State Women’s Network, to pilot this forum.

“I think it’s great, particularly for women in the beginning or middle stages of their careers, to hear what other women have learned—both good and bad—in their own careers that may have changed the course of things for them,” explains Donahue.

The panel of women, who come from both the academic and administrative ends of the University spectrum, will share their stories, answer audience questions, and network with attendees. The event, which is open to all faculty and staff, will focus primarily on roadblocks encountered, opportunities afforded to female professionals, and advice and insight for those working their way up the corporate ladder.

Especially committed to the opportunities that networking can present, Wald believes that it’s through this type of information exchange—especially for career changers and those looking to move up in the world—that workers are able to gain insight into their industries that they would be unable to get elsewhere.

“It was a privilege to be asked to join the panel,” says Wald. “I believe one of the most valuable resources we have are people—meeting people, finding mentors, gathering information. Women, especially now, face amazingly challenging decisions. Whether it’s family issues—caring for children or elderly family members—or the responsibility of daily juggling and logistics.”

Maxam hopes that those who attend the forum come away knowing that career paths are typically not linear, but rather filled with many interesting twists and turns. Such diverse experiences, she believes, enable leaders to be well-rounded, view issues from a wide variety of perspectives, learn many transferable skills, and adapt easily to new situations.

“Female professionals often look for insights, guidance, and mentoring from female leaders,” says Maxam, “This venue opens the door to such conversations, in addition to providing an opportunity for networking with Pace University colleagues at all levels.”

To learn more about the Women’s Professional Development Forum and to register to attend, please click here.


Be Young. Have Fun. Drink Pepsi.

Senior Vice President and General Manager at Pepsi-Cola Mario Mercurio visits the Pleasantville Campus to share his experiences with faculty and students as part of the Executive in Residence program.

On Tuesday, April 2, join the Lubin School as they welcome 30-year PepsiCo veteran Mario Mercurio as part of the Executive in Residence program, which brings CEOs, presidents, chairs, and other top executives to visit the campus for a day and interact with students and faculty.

His lecture topic is: “The Pepsi Cola Strategy: Performance With Purpose” and will feature promotional spots from the Super Bowl, and showcase Pepsi’s partnerships with Beyoncé, One Direction, Drew Brees, and others.

Mercurio is senior vice president and general manager of the Franchise Business Unit (FBU) of Pepsi-Cola North America Beverages (PCNAB), PepsiCo’s refreshment beverage division in the United States and Canada. Based in Somers, New York, he has direct accountability for delivering brand and marketplace goals and driving mutually profitable growth with the company’s diverse network of independent bottlers.

Founded in North Carolina in 1965, PepsiCo has evolved into a multinational food and beverage corporation, overseeing such brands as Frito-Lay, Quaker Oats, Tropicana, and many others in addition to its namesake product, Pepsi Cola. As of 2012, PepsiCo products have been distributed across more than 200 countries, resulting in annual net revenues of $43.3 billion, which makes PepsiCo the second largest food and beverage business in the world.

For more information about this spring’s Executive in Residence and to RSVP to attend click here.

Don’t Buy Into It

Pace’s marketing gurus Larry Chiagouris and Paul Kurnit get down to business when it comes to holiday shopping, consumer trends, and the best time to shop.

“Savvy shoppers understand that full-price spending is for suckers,” says Paul Kurnit, Lubin clinical professor of marketing, “or at least for the very rich.”

As the gift-giving season continues to gain momentum after Black Friday, shoppers are looking for the best bang for their buck. Marketing and consumer behavior experts like Kurnit and Lubin Professor Larry Chiagouris, PhD, are here to offer their sound advice and observations about this year’s shopping trends.

“Black Friday had a very, very healthy growth this year over last, to the tune of about 24 percent. Part of the reason for this is because last year, for the first time, stores opened late on Thanksgiving Day. This year, even more stores opened after dinner,” explains Kurnit. “First comes the feeding, then the feeding frenzy.”

Professor Paul Kurnit

With more and more retailers offering across the board discounts of 30 percent off all inventory, shoppers are beginning to take notice of the overall mark-up on items at the store level. A 30 percent discount barely makes a dent in stores’ overall profits.

“Things are going virtual and smaller scale,” says Chiagouris. “Things that are less than 10 dollars are going to be very appealing to consumers. Making that purchase won’t make them feel put-out.”

Chiagouris, who is also an expert on interactive marketing and technology, adds that Facebook’s Gift App, a recent attempt at mobile monetization, may prove to be a great revenue generator for the company. The app allows users to buy physical gifts virtually and now post-Sandy, make charitable donations in lieu of more traditional gifts. Another trend Chiagouris is quick to point out is the use of database marketing and management.

“Harry and David Gourmet Gifts, as well as Omaha Steaks, are beginning to prompt consumers to repeat a purchase they’ve made in the past,” he says. “If you sent steaks to someone last year, then this year you’ll probably receive a personalized message asking if you’d like to send steaks to that person again this year.”

Kurnit believes that it’s these sorts of online marketing tactics that are creating the best in-store deals. “What retailers understand more than ever before is that aside from the state of the economy and sluggish consumer spending, the biggest competition they have is from online—hence, Cyber Monday.”

Professor Larry Chiagouris

Retailers are combating the online sales boom with special in-store promotions, better deals, and longer store hours. A recent development of in-store shopping is the week-long coupon book, which offers different promotions and deals during a specific week. It ensures loyal customers come inside the store, not just once, but many times during the week.

So now that we’ve identified some of the ways retailers are vying for your hard earned cash, when is the best time to actually spend it?

“There’s a bit of mythos surrounding Black Friday,” says Kurnit, “but it’s actually not the best day for deals.”

“Don’t wait until the holiday season to start shopping,” Chiagouris urges. “For the people who really matter, you should be shopping all year long, not putting yourself under stress to get that perfect gift.”

“My advice would be to not wait until the last minute,” Kurnit says. “Stores are going to have less variety and fewer options and you may not be able to get what you want.”

But, if you’re the type that waits until the last minute, fear not:

“There are going to be some fantastic bargains on December 23 and 24,” says Chiagouris, “Trust me.”

Planning the Perfect Party

Whether it’s a solstice shindig, a holiday celebration, or a New Year’s bash, plenty of us are going to spend the next few weeks planning parties and methodizing menus. This month, our resident events specialists are here to give you some tips and fun ideas that include everything from tubs to tulips.

Perfect PartyIt’s the most wonderful time of the year… unless you’re worried about squeezing 25 people into your 500 square foot apartment and then having to feed and entertain them. Pace’s Special Events department, responsible for University events that include everything from intimate presidential lunches to large-scale events like Commencement, are here to make that winter party a winner.

Preparation Is Key

Before you get down to grocery and decoration shopping, University Director of Special Events Allison Sokaris has three key words for you: “Envision your event.”

“Each event has a unique personality and should be treated that way,” Sokaris says. “But before you can embark on the party, you need to ask yourself if you can afford it.” Plus, Sokaris emphasizes, you want to be able to enjoy the event you’ve planned so carefully—so doing everything in advance is critical.

To Theme or Not to Theme?

While some love the idea of a themed party, others worry it’s too reminiscent of bridal showers and Tupperware parties. But since what’s really important is what you like, here are some tips for those who are theme inclined.

A cookie exchange party is a perennial favorite, and easy as (whoopie) pie. Mail out invitations (along with a blank recipe card) asking guests to bake a batch of their favorite cookies and bring the recipe to share. Then sit back and get ready to enjoy the fruits of their labor—though you’ll probably want to provide a few nibbles of your own.

Just moved into a new place? A tree-trimming party will give you great insight into decorating the tree and some new ornaments and memories that accompany them.

Other themes can include a “winter wonderland”—deck your halls in whites, greys, and blues and ask guests to dress for northern exposure; a white elephant gift exchange/Yankee Swap/Parcel Pass grab bag game; a potluck; or even an ugly holiday sweater party.

The People Make the Party

“What will bring it all together is the people you invite,” Sokaris says. “It’s a big component of a special evening.” So develop a guest list, then send out invites. What you send is up to your budget and your preference (Evite, Paperless Post, or regular mail) but invitations are a crucial step. Try to give at least three weeks notice and make sure to plan in the event of a winter storm with an alternate date.

Food for Thought

The menu is a very personal thing, Sokaris says. So instead of telling you what to make, she offers a few suggestions: People worry about packing on the pounds over the holidays, so keeping it on the healthy side (or some healthy options) makes for less severe New Year’s resolutions; try to factor in people’s dietary restrictions; and a one-pot-meal like lasagna keeps you with your guests and out of the kitchen. Additionally set up a table with soft drinks, bottles of wine, and one prepared signature drink (like a candy cane martini or spiked cider) to keep things simple.

Design with Details

For a unique look on a budget, pour salt or sugar into small vases, throw in some twigs, and voila!—a picturesque winter wonderland!

One aspect that Sokaris stresses is flowers, and she wants you to know that you don’t have to pay $100 at a florist for a couple of nice arrangements.  “People think you need to spend a lot of money on flowers, but you don’t,” she said. “And flowers really make a party pop.”

Sokaris adds that you can go to your grocery store or local bodega and get tulips for $5 or red and white roses for less than $20. You can even pick up some holly and pine branches for that special holiday smell. If you’re lucky enough to have a tree in your backyard, you won’t even need to spend the money.

Small details will stick in the minds of your guests: fill martini glasses with nuts; float tea lights in red and green water with some food coloring; if you’ve got a nonworking fireplace, add pillar candles to create a statement.

Know Your Home

Before your guests arrive, make sure you have a plan. Find a good place for food so people don’t bump into things and keep the coasters handy!

Tight on space? Fret not. Sokaris recalls an event, where the hosts put their large and fragile items into the bathtub to create space and keep things safe. Moving furniture to the side or against the wall can also help create the illusion of space.

Be Eco-friendly

Put down the snowflake plates and step away from the paper aisle. The EPA estimates that Americans generate about 25 percent more trash than usual during the holidays. So why not rent? Renting supplies is green and economical, and it can make your job easier, as many companies offer delivery and pickup and only require a quick plate rinse!

A Special Thank You

A great way to thank your guests for attending and share the memories is a photo gift. Snap some photos at your party and then send a collage or slideshow of photos to attendees as a thank you.

Setters Come Home

Homecoming and Family Week get underway this month with events planned for all members of the Pace Community.

Homecoming and Family Week come to campus this October as NYC and PLV gear-up for some serious fun. These celebrations aren’t reserved for only students and families–staff and faculty are invited, too. In NYC, Family Week starts on Thursday, October 25 and continues until Saturday, October 27. Events include a pep rally, several Broadway shows, an alumni pub crawl, and more. On the PLV Campus, Homecoming kicks off Thursday, November 1 and includes a pep rally, a student unity parade, football game, and much more. Check out the list of events below for just a small taste of all Pace has to offer for Homecoming 2012.

NYC Family Week 2012

Wednesday, October 24, 12:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
Join us in the Courtyard for an afternoon of authentic Oktoberfest food, activities, and games. Departments and student organizations will also be hosting carnival games during the event.

Homecoming Pep Rally
Wednesday, October 24, 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
The only way to celebrate the new school year is with a Pep Rally. Deejays, games, sport teams, cheerleaders, and the Homecoming Court will be on hand for a night filled with laughter and fun in the Gymnasium.

Broadway Shows
Friday, October 26, all shows begin at 8:00 p.m.

  • Lion King, $85 Giraffes strut, birds swoop, and gazelles leap in a dazzling panorama that overwhelms the senses and inspires you with the wonder of life.
  • Once, $45 On the streets of Dublin, an Irish musician and Czech immigrant are drawn together by their shared love of music.
  • Nice Work If You Can Get It, $56 Overflowing with 15 great songs, including “But Not For Me,” “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” “I’ve Got a Crush on You,” and “Someone to Watch Over Me,” this brand new Gershwin musical comedy combines laughter, romance, and high-stepping musical magic.

Alumni Leaders and Legends Brunch
Saturday, October 27, 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Join our new Provost Uday Sukhatme in the Student Union as we recognize our former student leaders who made significant contributions to the Pace Community while attending the University as well as those who continue to make an impact as alumni. All alumni and their families are welcome as we celebrate your special Pace connections at this complimentary event.

Neighborhood Walking Tour with the Dean for Students
Saturday, October 27, 3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Join Dean Marijo Russell O’Grady, PhD, in Pace’s Reading Room and head out on a walking tour of Pace’s historic home in lower Manhattan. Learn how Pace’s future plans are helping to change the overall campus experience for both our students and the surrounding community.

Keeping Pace Pub Crawl (Alumni only)
Saturday, October 27, 2:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
Relive your college days at our first ever neighborhood trivia pub crawl. Join us as we visit some of the most popular locations in downtown Manhattan where you spent so much time as a student, when you were not studying, of course! Show your school spirit and wear your favorite Pace gear and en route, answer trivia questions about Pace and earn free drinks!

PLV Campus Homecoming

Student Unity Parade
Friday, November 2, 6:00 p.m.
Come watch and enjoy the parade as we kick-off Homecoming weekend as our royal court, football team, campus organizations, and pep band show off their decorating skills and parade their way to Goldstein Gym.

Pep Rally
Friday, November 2, 8:00 p.m.
Time to cheer on your Pace University Athletics teams! Come to the pep rally and be introduced to our football team along with other fall sports teams and enjoy fun contests and cool giveaways!

Football Game
Saturday, November 3, 12:00 p.m.
It’s Game Day! Pace Football kicks off against Stonehill College at noon in the final home game of the regular season. Show up early for the game as the tailgate lots open at 10:00 a.m.! Our senior football players will be honored before the game, the Homecoming King and Queen will be crowned at halftime, and enjoy a free giveaway at the ticket gate!

Dinner and Entertainment
Saturday, November 3, 6:00 p.m.
Enjoy a delicious dinner with family and friends while watching some entertainment.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to join in the celebration by registering to be guest judges for the banner contest, the step and stroll show, or Fabulosity. Contests not your thing? No problem. Faculty and staff are also encouraged to register to ride on floats in the Student Unity Parade.

For a full schedule of events on both campuses, please visit www.pace.edu/homecoming.

Curtain’s Up!

The 2012-2013 season kicks off this month with a variety of music, dance, theater, and cabaret performances. Pick your pleasure, as this season’s Schimmel lineup is sure to have something for everybody.

The Pace Presents 2012-2013 season, which runs from September through April, will kick off with a performance on September 22 by Fanfare Ciočarlia, a thrilling 12-piece brass orchestra and one of the world’s most cherished Gypsy bands. If brass bands aren’t your thing, not to worry—there are plenty more performances that may pique your interest.

On September 28, Fatoumata Diawara takes the stage for her New York debut. At the center of her music is a warm, affecting voice; spare, rhythmical guitar playing; and gorgeously melodic songs incorporating elements of funk, soul, and jazz.

Something may be rotten in the state of Denmark, but Pace is delighted to have one of the world’s most renowned Shakespeare companies back on the Westchester and New York City campuses for a third time. On October 2-7, following a widely acclaimed tour and run at the Globe in 2011, a handful of players will perform a raw, thrillingly elemental production of Hamlet, in the US. This engaging and youthful production has political conspiracy, obsession, violence, depth, humor, and tragedy. The Westchester presentation of Hamlet will be performed outside on the Miller Lawn.

On October 13, tabla superstar Zakir Hussain, India’s most celebrated living artist and an extraordinary percussionist of international renown, will be joined by bansuri flute prodigy Rakesh Chaurasia, a nephew of maestro Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia. Also scheduled for this October are performances by jazz legend Ramsey Lewis, singer/songwriter Justin Townes Earle, and a banjo summit, featuring Béla Fleck with some of the world’s most influential bluegrass banjo players.

Things heat up this November 3 and 4 as the Calpulli Mexican Dance Company brings its celebrated repertoire to the Schimmel. Calpulli will be unveiling its world premiere of Dia de los Muertos, evoking the unending relationship between the living and the departed with music and dance as the language that transcends. As the year comes to a close, join Tony Award-winner Debbie Gravitte and her special guests on December 8 as she celebrates the holidays. In the past, her guests have included Harvey Fierstein, Oscar and Tony Award-winning composer, Alan Menken, Stephen Schwartz, Broadway fave Rebecca Luker, among others.

Just to name a few, planned for the spring are performances by renowned British dance company, Scattered; acclaimed Japanese pianist Harumi Hanafusa and Lower Manhattan’s own Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra; and back by popular demand, an eight-part lecture series by Pace Professor Janetta Rebold Benton, PhD, which will focus on Italian art—from the Pantheon to St. Peter’s.

Tickets for staff and faculty are $10 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.

Do the Right Thing

Join the Pace Community on September 4 as we kick off the school year at our 5th Annual Convocation on the PLV Campus and enjoy a talk by keynote speaker Michael J. Sandel.

Is it moral to steal food for the benefit of the hungry? Is violence ever necessary? What is the value of one human life?

On September 4, 2012, faculty, staff, and students will gather on the Westchester Campus for an exciting address from Harvard University professor and bestselling author Michael J. Sandel, where he will discuss these and other quandaries related to justice, equality, democracy, and citizenship at Pace’s 5th Annual Convocation.

The theme of this year’s Convocation “The Quest for a Just Society” was inspired by Michael J. Sandel’s bestselling book Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?, which explores  issues of morality, politics, and personal convictions. This year’s Convocation handbook, which was developed by Joseph Pastore, PhD, and the Justice Curricular Integration Committee, states that:The search for justice impacts our daily lives as we seek to do what is right for ourselves and for others. This agenda is crucial in a university setting where the search for learning is premised upon the development of a ‘good society’ where human development, rights, virtues and character are critical…We hope the academic year, 2012‐2013, will be a time when the entire Pace University community unites in a search for the meaning of a just society.”

“Interestingly, we decided to experiment with a different approach to the common reading this year,” says Susan Maxam, university director of Student Success. “Rather than have the incoming students read Sandel’s book, we are providing them with a comprehensive, thought-provoking handbook and asking them to view Sandel’s videos.”

“Additionally, we have two University-wide committees working tirelessly to integrate the theme into the student experience from both a curricular and co-curricular perspective,” she says. “This theme has garnered more excitement than any past theme; in fact, the enthusiasm from the faculty, students, and staff is palpable!”

Maxam emphasizes that this year’s Convocation and common reading theme is not about telling students what to think, but rather how to think. The efforts, she hopes, will get students engaged in dialogues that facilitate critical thinking. “We want them to see that there are many perspectives to each justice-related issue,” says Maxam. “And that it is important to consider them all before deciding for themselves what is ‘right.’”

Faculty and staff from both campuses are encouraged to be a part of providing a warm welcome to Pace’s newest class and helping usher in a year justice seeking!

Buses to the Pleasantville Campus will depart from the Schimmel Theater between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. and the Convocation Ceremony will begin at 2:00 p.m. For more information about Convocation and this year’s common reading selection, please visit www.pace.edu/convocation.

Pace Perspectives: Hydrofracking

Franz Litz is the Executive Director of the Pace Energy and Climate Center at Pace Law School, where he also teaches energy and climate change law. Read why he believes we should focus more on climate change and less on fracking.

By Franz Litz

Climate change is the single greatest environmental challenge humankind has ever faced. Unabated, global warming pollution threatens human health, entire ecosystems, and large land areas inhabited by hundreds of millions of people. Averting the worst impacts of climate change means we must reduce our reliance on high-carbon fuels like coal and oil and over time move to a near zero-carbon economy by mid-century.

It won’t be easy. And it will take focus. We must become more energy efficient and begin investing more aggressively in renewable energy now. On the way to a cleaner, greener economy, we will have to continue to make hard choices about how we produce electricity, propel our vehicles, and heat our homes. Until we reach that sustainable energy future, saying “no” to one fuel means saying yes to some combination of the other available fuels.

Opponents of fracking seem to be missing this bigger picture—it is not that their environmental and health concerns have no merit, but that even valid concerns must be evaluated in the context of our larger climate change and energy realities.

Hydraulic fracturing uses large quantities of water mixed with chemicals. Cases of groundwater contamination have been tied to both fracking and conventional natural gas wells drilled in an atmosphere of lax or non-existent regulation. As a native of New York’s Adirondacks, I do not relish the thought of industrial drilling rigs dotting the landscape of the Catskill Mountains region or the rolling hills of New York’s southern tier.

On the other hand, environmentalists in the Northeast have worked tirelessly for decades to lessen the impact of coal plants upwind. Those coal plants spew toxic mercury, acid-rain-causing sulfur dioxide, and smog-causing nitrogen oxides that cause serious health problems. And then there are the impacts of coal mining itself—impacts that are well documented and severe.

What do the dangers of coal have to do with the dangers of natural gas? Increased natural gas supplies have made natural gas the least-cost fuel for electricity generation in the United States. By most credible estimates, natural gas power plants emit half the global warming pollution of coal plants per unit of power produced, and natural gas presents almost none of the other air pollution problems of coal.

If we replace one-third of the existing coal-burning power generation with natural gas—a realistic goal—we’d reduce U.S. global warming pollution by at least 5%. If we could replace one-third of the transportation fleet currently burning oil-derived fuels with natural gas vehicles, we could reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by another 5%.

Because the environmental risks associated with fracking are real, we must work to put the right regulations in place to ensure fracking is as safe as possible. We also need adequate regulatory oversight to ensure the gas industry is complying with those regulations. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and his Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens have halted fracking in New York until these safeguards are in place. This is precisely the kind of reasonable approach to fracking that we need.

Why am I a fan of cheap natural gas? Abundant natural gas will do what most politicians have been unwilling to do—significantly reduce global warming pollution by displacing dirty coal plants. And while the energy markets work their magic, we need to continue to drive energy efficiency and renewable energy. Ultimately, though, tackling climate change and creating a sustainable energy future will require politicians in Washington that understand the need for action. If we are to make them understand, we need to focus more on climate change, and less on fracking.

Want to know more about fracking? Join members of the Pace Community on April 9 for a multi-campus discussion on the controversies surrounding hydrofracking in New York. Please RSVP online at www.pace.edu/paaes/events.

Pace Perspectives: Hydrofracking

Dyson College’s Claudia Mausner, PhD, an adjunct professor in the Environmental Studies Program, discusses the importance of empowering Pace students to be agents of change when dealing with energy issues and hydrofracking in particular.

By Claudia Mausner, PhD

I bring a social science perspective to this subject, examining people’s attitudes and behaviors. My goal is to help students understand the underlying issues related to sustainability or “going green,” and how environmental problems are related to culture, economics, politics, and communications, as well as the behavioral and social sciences. Teaching both environmental and non-environmental majors, I strive to pique student interest by emphasizing the relevance of sustainability to students’ daily lives both in school and at home; I help students recognize the many ways they can make a difference despite their youth and status as college students. At times students seem discouraged by what they perceive as lack of external support for environmental action, and lack sufficient motivation or ability to counteract this perception with confidence in their own power to create change.

When introducing the topic of energy in my classes, we typically focus on cultural and historic attitudes toward nature-as-resource as well as issues of climate change. I introduce the subject of renewable energy—solar, hydro, wind, geothermal—along with a discussion of nonrenewable energy from fossil fuels, including hydrofracking for natural gas. We also review the role of nuclear power, although I openly acknowledge my concerns about this technology despite its advantage in addressing the problem of carbon emissions vis-à-vis climate change.

I am a realist regarding use of non-renewable energy in today’s world, as transition to more sustainable energies will take time. It is essential that students have the library skills required for finding relevant information about these complex subjects; they must know how to evaluate reliability of their sources and use critical thinking skills to make responsible decisions with the vast amount of information available. My objective in the classroom is to create an atmosphere which invites open exchange of ideas, attitudes, and concerns, as well as sharing of knowledge. We examine how our own behavior contributes to the problem—such as driving from dorm to classroom on the Pleasantville Campus—and consider what sacrifices we might be willing to make to increase our own energy efficient behavior and conservation strategies.

Several years ago I used a textbook called Planet U for my Sustainable Living course. In this text the author emphasized the university’s broad responsibility for what he termed “sustaining the world.” It is typically assumed that universities will conduct scientific research to address energy problems. Research has been and will continue to be conducted across a wide spectrum of disciplines, contributing to progress in development of energy-saving technologies; improving renewable energy technologies (think car batteries); designing technologies to reduce emissions from existing power plants; analyzing the ecological impact of oil spills in order to improve clean-up efforts; and so on. But as large institutions that use energy themselves, universities can and should serve as engines of change by shifting their own energy consumption patterns. Pace, of course, is no exception.

Universities such as Pace are major employers with hundreds of commuters; they design, construct, and operate buildings that consume power; their endowments invest in numerous energy-related businesses; and both food and supplies purchased by the University have energy footprints as well. My students have examined sustainability practices at Pace with the College Sustainability Report Card http://www.greenreportcard.org/ and, as of last year, the STARS program https://stars.aashe.org/.  They reviewed pages on Pace’s website which describe the University’s sustainability efforts, and made recommendations for keeping students well-informed and fostering increased participation in environmental activities both on and off campus.

I first became aware of hydrofracking in early 2011 with the release of the movie Gasland. As a member of Tarrytown’s Environmental Advisory Council I helped arrange a showing of the movie at our public library, and was delighted when Pace Law Professor Nicholas A. Robinson was in the audience and contributed his in-depth knowledge of the subject during our follow-up conversation with community members. Later that year I was invited by Tracy Basile, a colleague in Pace’s Environmental Studies program, to work on an Earth Day hydrofracking program featuring her film The Unfractured Future. This month I look forward to participating in the Fracking Forum sponsored by Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies, hosted for both NYC and Pleasantville students through videoconferencing. The Fracking Forum has been specifically designed to inform students, staff, and faculty about this critical issue from diverse perspectives, and to encourage active engagement as the state of New York moves forward on this issue.

Given this essay is appearing in a University publication, it may be blasphemous to inform readers that decades of social science research have proven that knowledge alone is not sufficient to change environmental behavior. Ultimately, what we need to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels—whether oil, coal or natural gas—is to change both attitudes and behavior. But knowledge is certainly an excellent starting point, especially for those already committed to creating a healthier, safer, and more sustainable world. Working together across departments, programs, and schools at Pace, I believe there is enormous potential to harness the passion, skills, knowledge, and talents of myriad students, faculty, and staff to make a difference solving intractable energy problems including those associated with hydrofracking, which is arguably the most important environmental issue to confront New Yorkers this decade.

Want to know more about fracking? Join members of the Pace Community on April 9 for a multi-campus discussion on the controversies surrounding hydrofracking in New York. Please RSVP online at www.pace.edu/paaes/events.

Pace Perspectives: Hydrofracking

Dean Emeritus of Pace Law School Richard L. Ottinger is the co-director for the Center for Environmental Legal Studies and founder of the Pace Energy and Climate Center. Read his views on the regulatory issues around fracking.

By Richard L. Ottinger

Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing (“fracking”) of shale formations to access natural gas supplies heretofore unable to be harvested economically creates a vast potential domestic energy resource for areas with appropriate shale resources.

The process has serious environmental problems, however, that need to be resolved and vigorously regulated to avoid overtaxing and contaminating drinking water supplies, dangerous air pollution, earthquakes, assure reimbursement for any accidents or damages to affected properties, and to assure minimization of the release of greenhouse gasses.

The fracking process involves drilling into the shale deposits and forcing more than a million gallons of water, sand, and chemicals per well through cement pipes into the shale to release the embedded gasses. The chemical-infused wastewater is returned, often with radioactive materials that occur in the shale, and it has to be stored or reprocessed in a manner to prevent leakage into aquifers and reservoirs used for drinking water. Hundreds of trucks bring in water and transport the waste water to disposal sites, often spilling waste water and contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.

There now are hundreds of wells in the U.S. that were improperly plugged after the wells were abandoned resulting in serious leakage of waste water, toxic chemicals and radioactive materials into drinking water supplies. Some fracking companies failed to use adequate qualities of cement in the drilling pipes resulting in leakages both of contaminated water and methane gases that are powerful greenhouse gas contributors. There have been incidents of methane fires and explosions. Fracking companies have refused to disclose the identity and concentrations of chemicals they use in the fracking process claiming that the information is proprietary. Contaminated wastewater has been delivered to POTW facilities that lacked the capability of processing the chemical and radioactive wastes.

In Pennsylvania, there were serious incidents of water contamination resulting in illnesses and deaths, adjacent property values plummeted, and the banks no longer will give or extend mortgages to property owners in the vicinity of fracking projects. Affected property owners were not properly reimbursed.

Regulation of fracking operations to prevent harm to public health and the environment has been abysmal. At the federal level, the Energy Policy Act of 2005[i], orchestrated by Vice President Cheney and signed by President George W. Bush, exempted fracking from most of the provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act and restricted application of NEPA and other environmental statutes.  State regulations have been insipid and poorly enforced. The DGEIS prepared by the Department of Environmental Conservation in New York was seriously deficient, and the Riverkeeper, NRDC and other environmental organizations, and the US EPA have submitted extensive comments detailing the deficiencies.

The principal regulations required to assure protection of public health and the environment include:

  • Fracking must be prohibited in the vicinity of major drinking water supplies, in areas on seismic faults and in areas with drinking water shortages.
  • The specifications for pipeline construction and wastewater repositories must be strict to the point of preventing leakage of chemical and radioactive materials and methane under all foreseeable contingencies.
  • The chemicals used in fracking must be fully disclosed, at least to the regulatory authorities.
  • Wastewater must not be sent to POTW plants that lack the ability to remove toxic and radioactive materials.
  • Specifications for trucks that transport wastewater must require adequate protection against leakage in the event of accidents or driver negligence. Drivers must be adequately trained in the safe handling of these materials.
  • Procedures must be required to handle all foreseeable accidents, and equipment necessary to handle such events must be available at each fracking site.
  • The exemption of fracking operations from federal environmental laws must be repealed.
  • Regulations must be strictly enforced, adequate numbers of enforcers must be hired and adequately trained, and penalties for failure to abide by regulations must be severe.
  • There should be strict liability for damages caused by fracking operations, and a fund or insurance should be required to compensate all persons and communities that suffer damages resulting from fracking.
  • Assistance should be provided to developing countries to enable them to adopt and enforce these regulatory measures.
  • These measures should be paid for by a tax on the revenues from fracking operations.

If these measures are adopted and enforced, then natural gas from fracking could be a useful transition fuel while energy efficiency and renewable energy measures are adopted and adequate transmission systems are constructed.

Natural gas still is a greenhouse gas-emitting fossil fuel; the necessity for replacing all fossil fuels, including natural gas, with non-carbon alternatives still should be the world’s energy priority.

[i] 42 U.S.C. § 300h(d)(1) (2006).

Want to know more about fracking? Join members of the Pace Community on April 9 for a multi-campus discussion on the controversies surrounding hydrofracking in New York. Please RSVP online at www.pace.edu/paaes/events.

Pace Perspectives: Hydrofracking

Environmental Science student Diane Saraiva ’12 offers a student perspective on hydrofracking, the damage it causes, and the possibility of greener alternatives.

By Diane Saraiva ’12

It seems that the latest domestic craze in energy is hydraulic fracturing. The gas industry can certainly make this energy option seem like a perfect fix and solution to several aspects of our energy crisis. Natural gas is promoted as an alternative to coal and oil, and can be extracted domestically, eventually reducing the United States’ dependence on foreign oil. With full exploitation of this energy source, a huge industry would be developed, one that could rival the enormity of that of coal and oil. This would create countless and much needed jobs. However, there has been a great debate over whether these benefits outweigh the dangers of the processes of hydraulic fracturing.

The production, transport, and actual burning of natural gas can create huge water, air, and health problems. It has been estimated that the operation of a single well can use between 2,370,000 and 7,700,000 gallons of water. This is especially alarming because water scarcity has the potential to become an even bigger issue than energy consumption in the coming years.

Drinking water in areas of gas production is also severely at risk of being polluted by hydraulic fracturing processes.  It has been estimated that as much as 30% of fracturing fluids remain underground, allowing for upward leeching into the groundwater from which people are obtaining drinking water. Dangerous chemicals often make up a small percentage of the fracturing fluids. However, many of these chemicals have been classified as toxic and carcinogenic.

Gas industries are benefiting greatly from the relaxed government regulation and exemptions from laws that exist to protect our drinking water supplies and the integrity of water quality. Any real attempts that have been made by lawmakers to increase regulation of natural gas production processes have stirred up an uproar with the gas company’s powerful defenders. The gas industry’s immense influence in Washington is due to the consolidation of the gas industry with some of the largest oil companies.

Horror stories keep emerging from all around the country as natural gas drilling is becoming more and more common. There are countless issues related to hydraulic fracturing, including the hazards to the surrounding land and water sources where wastes are dumped, inadequate treatments to wastewater and sludge, methane pollution to the degree that allows people to set their faucets on fire, and direct effects of drilling, like noise and foul smells, communities are exposed to. Many homeowners that lease their properties to gas companies are financially struggling and are lured in because of the prospect of financial compensation. Often, what homeowners are left with are polluted wells, health issues, and an overall disrupted and polluted community. We have to consider all the potential effects the application of this technology could cause. Truth is that the long term effects of hydraulic fracturing are not known from experiences from the past few years. The methods of exploration of hydraulic fracturing can be considered nothing short of irresponsible and must be mended if natural gas production is to become as ‘clean’ as it is promoted to be.

Want to know more about fracking? Join members of the Pace Community on April 9 for a multi-campus discussion on the controversies surrounding hydrofracking in New York. Please RSVP online at www.pace.edu/paaes/events.

A Professor’s Musical Salute

For Dyson Professor Diane Cypkin, PhD, performance, culture, and history intersect—both personally and academically. Join her on March 27 as she brings to life the story of Molly Picon, the First Lady of the Yiddish Stage.

On Tuesday, March 27 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., experience one of the most entertaining—and lyrical—lectures in town as Media and Communication Arts Professor Diane Cypkin, PhD presents a  concert/lecture on the life and legacy of Molly Picon in the Multipurpose Room at One Pace Plaza. The New York City-born Picon became an icon in the Yiddish entertainment world, performing on the stage of the Second Avenue Theater on New York City’s Lower East Side and in radio, television, and film productions. One of Picon’s more famous English-speaking roles was as Yente the Matchmaker in the 1971 film version of Fiddler on the Roof.

In addition, Cypkin, who has been teaching for more than 20 years on the Westchester Campus, has appeared in many Yiddish language musical productions and served almost ten years as the Yiddish Theater Consultant at the Museum of the City of New York where she curated the exhibition “A Celebration: 100 Years of Yiddish Theater in New York.”

“The Yiddish theater itself started in 1882 on Second Avenue and the one who started it was Boris Thomashefsky,” explains Cypkin “So in 1982 I did ‘100 Years of Yiddish Theater’ at the Museum of the City of New York. Because of this, the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts knew that I was familiar with Yiddish theater both academically and professionally, which is why they asked me to do the Molly Picon exhibit.”

In Cypkin’s event, she tells the story of Molly Picon and the history of Yiddish theater through both a narrative lecture and the songs Picon became known for. The first performance of Cypkin’s musical tribute to Picon occurred a few years ago at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts where it was very well received by audiences. In the years since, Cypkin has taken her show on the road to a variety of venues in the tri-state area and as far as Missoula, Montana.

“The show is more than just music—it becomes a community event because I talk about how my parents came to America and how my mother gave me singing lessons and how I eventually came to discover Molly Picon,” says Cypkin.

If you’d like to attend the show, you must RSVP to Selena Chan at schan3@pace.edu or (212) 346-1244 by March 21 at 5:00 p.m..  



Pace University Announces New Provost

Pace University is pleased to announce that Uday Sukhatme, ScD, has accepted the position of Provost at Pace University and will be taking office on May 21, 2012.

Uday Sukhatme, ScD, is quantum physicist and Executive Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

NEW YORK, NY, January 18, 2012 – Pace University President Stephen J. Friedman has announced that Uday Sukhatme, ScD, Executive Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and a distinguished physicist, will assume the role of Provost of Pace, effective May 21, 2012.

“I am delighted that Uday Sukhatme is joining the talented Pace team in this very important position,” Friedman said. “He will lead significant further advancement of our academic programs and faculty development, with a strong focus on the special strengths of each college and school, which are key components of our strategic plan. His academic credentials, strong record of research, and proven success at large and complex academic institutions will be invaluable to our faculty and students.”

Sukhatme succeeds Harriet R. Feldman, PhD, RN, FAAN, a national leader in nursing who assumed the role of interim provost in August 2010. She will be returning to her post as Dean of Pace’s College of Health Professions. Said Friedman: “We deeply appreciate Harriet’s many contributions as interim provost and look forward to the continuation of her long and successful Pace career.”

“Pace is uniquely positioned with a major presence both in urban Manhattan and suburban Westchester,” Sukhatme said. “This offers rich opportunities for real-life educational experiences, while promoting excellence in research, creative activities, learning, and community engagement.  I see great progress and enormous potential at Pace, and look forward to joining an institution that is moving forward in excellence, stature and reputation.”

Up and coming

Sukhatme has served as the Executive Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Faculties, as well as Professor of Physics, at IUPUI since July 2006. His duties involve management of all academic issues and overseeing 21 campus deans and schools, including the schools of liberal arts and sciences, as well as professional schools ranging from law and medicine to business, nursing, education and art. Sukhatme was the driving force responsible for developing and implementing the IUPUI Academic Plan, whose major initiatives have led to transformative improvements by stimulating new revenue streams involving innovative enrollment strategies, improved student retention, increased interdisciplinary research and energetic fundraising. The striking outcomes of the strategic plan have played an important role in placing IUPUI at rank 3 on the 2011 U.S. News and World Report’s list of “up and coming” universities.

From 2002 to 2006, Sukhatme served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the State University of New York at Buffalo, managing 30 academic departments, the Dean’s office, 480 full time tenured or tenure track faculty members, and 250 staff members. He helped to produce four successive years of strong faculty hiring, increasing tenured/tenure track faculty by 20 percent.

Before that, from 1980 to 2002, Sukhatme was at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) as Professor of Physics, Head of the Department of Physics from 1991 to 1998, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs from 1998 to 2000, and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs from 2000 to 2002.

New mathematical identities

Sukhatme’s early research was in the phenomenology of multiparticle production data resulting from very high-energy collisions of fundamental particles at the world’s largest accelerators. He was a co-developer of the “dual parton model” for describing soft hadronic collisions. His subsequent research has focused on studying the consequences of supersymmetry as applied to quantum mechanics, a set of ideas that has stimulated new approaches and applications in many branches of physics like atomic, molecular, nuclear, statistical, and condensed matter physics. This research has led to a deeper understanding of known results and a wide variety of new discoveries. Recently, the application of supersymmetric quantum mechanics to periodic potentials has yielded exciting new cyclic mathematical identities for Jacobi elliptic functions.

Sukhatme’s research in the phenomenology of high-energy hadronic interactions and the consequences of supersymmetric quantum mechanics was funded continuously by grants from the U.S. Department of Energy for 23 years. Among his 180 publications are 13 that have been included in the top-cited category in citation databases, an indication of their impact in the discipline of physics. His advanced level book on “Supersymmetry in Quantum Mechanics” (2001), co-authored with Fred Cooper and Avinash Khare, has been favorably reviewed and extensively cited.

Sukhatme earned both his doctorate and bachelor’s degrees in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.Sc. Honors degree in Mathematics from the University of Delhi, India. He has been a regular participant in international high-energy physics conferences, has given talks on administrative accomplishments at many national meetings, and has received a number of community awards to recognize these achievements. He is fluent in five languages (English, Italian, Marathi, Hindi, and French).

The Dream Continues: Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.

This month, students, faculty, and staff on the NYC and PLV campuses pay tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy —and are invited to a very special event featuring Dr. King’s daughter.

On Wednesday, February 1 at 6:00 p.m., join the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) and SDACA as they partner to bring the Pace Community a very special 3rd Annual MLK Reception at the Schimmel Center in New York City featuring Bernice A. King, daughter of the late Martin Luther King Jr. and renowned speaker and minister.

King will discuss the importance of social justice and the power of activism in the United States and will have an open Q&A session in the reception following. King’s visit to Pace comes on the heels of the Occupy Wall Street movement and the recent dedication of the MLK Memorial in Washington, D.C.

“There are so many movements that have started locally, like her father’s did, that have expanded nationally and globally,” says Denise Belen Santiago, director of OMA. “It’s an important time for activism in this country… It’s important to recognize that—even if we’re a tiny movement—we can grow and flourish and gain momentum.”

“The number one reason students, faculty, and staff should attend is to connect, reconnect, or recharge the passion to use our position of privilege and influence to help those who are disadvantage,” says Cornell Craig, director for Office of Multicultural Affairs and Diversity Programs on the Westchester Campus, who has developed a brunch and discussion for students, faculty, and staff there on Friday, January 27. The theme of the program is “Silence of Friends” based on Martin Luther King Jr.’s quote “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

Professor Randolph McLaughlin from Pace Law School, a long-time advocate for civil liberties and voting rights, will be speaking in the Gottesman Room at the Kessel Student Center at 11:00 a.m.

“We all have the responsibility of humanity to first recognize inequality and then take steps to reduce and end inequality,” says Craig. “Ignoring inequality and oppression does not end it.”

For more information about the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Pace’s Martin Luther King Day events, please visit www.pace.edu/oma.

Star(gazing) Wars

You’ve all heard of IQ, but what about VIQ? Visual Intelligence Quotient, that is. That’s what researchers in Pace’s robotics labs are working on in an effort to create robots that can perceive and react to their surroundings.

“We don’t have R2D2 wandering around because robots don’t really know where they are. Your computer doesn’t know it’s on your desk,” says D. Paul Benjamin, PhD, director of Pace’s robotics lab and professor of computer science at Seidenberg. “And that’s what we’re trying to do—build in the software that can give robots that capability.”

If this sounds like something straight out of a video game, then you’re right. For Benjamin, the concept of having a robot be able to understand the world around it came in part from watching iconic plumbers Mario and Luigi navigate the virtual, but working, world of Super Mario Brothers, a video game Benjamin began playing with his oldest daughter about 15 years ago.

“We’re working on a computer vision system for a mobile robot so that, as the robot moves around it will use what is essentially computer game software, like Super Mario, and the main thing about that is the software understands the physics of the world, so balls can bounce and people can’t walk through walls, and so on,” explains Benjamin.

The robotics lab, which has been a part of the University for several years, is frequented by academically exceptional undergraduate and graduate student researchers who are dedicated to the development and exploration of intelligent agents. Benjamin, who has been awarded a prestigious $300,000 research grant by the Army Research Office, is currently in the second year of his work on the visual intelligence initiative. “This is really cutting-edge research,” he says, “There are very few people around the world working on projects like this.”

Students Lin Yixia and Vinnie Monaco with a robot.

“What we’re doing is creating a system, with a pair of stereo cameras, where the robot makes a virtual copy of the world around it in real-time, so that as it moves around, it sees people moving, cars driving, and it makes a copy of it in its virtual world,” says Benjamin. “The virtual world runs like the real world and can be run faster than real-time. It can be used to predict what people are doing and where they are moving.”

The creation of an intelligent agent that is aware of its environment and the things in it and can appropriately interact with humans and objects is the ultimate goal for Benjamin and his team, although at the moment the team is just working on getting the robot to interact with people in the lab.

“We hope that by the early part of next semester to have it moving around,” Benjamin says, “We’re going to see if it can cross the street on its own—something that’s hard enough to do in Manhattan for people!”

For more information about Pace’s robotics lab and the work being done by D. Paul Benjamin, PhD, click here.

Getting the InsideTrack

Join President Stephen J. Friedman and Mario J. Gabelli, one of the leading investors of our time, as they discuss the challenges and opportunities presented in today’s global marketplace.

Clear your schedules and make your way over to the Schimmel Theater on Tuesday, December 13 as President Stephen J. Friedman sits down with Institutional Investor’s “Money Manager of the Year,” Mario J. Gabelli.

Gabelli is a summa cum laude graduate of Fordham University and holds an MBA from Columbia University Graduate School of Business, and an Honorary Doctorate from Roger Williams University in Rhode Island. He is also the founder, chairman, and CEO of Gabelli Asset Management Company Investors (GAMCO Investors), a multi-billion dollar global investment firm that provides investment advice to alternative investments, mutual funds, institutional and high net worth investors.  He is a pioneer in applying Graham & Dodd’s principles to the analysis of domestic, cash generating, franchise companies in a wide range of industries. His proprietary Private Market Value with a CatalystTM methodology is now an analytical standard in the value investing community, and he serves as a regular commentator on CNN and CNBC.

For more information and to register online, please log onto www.pace.edu/insidetrack.

Did you miss October’s InsideTrack with bestselling author and management consultant Richard Foster? Not to worry. Click below to see what you missed and find out what Joseph Schumpeter’s forehead, gecko breeders, and the Lilliputians have in common with economic innovation in China.