The Professor Is In: Q&A with Emilie Zaslow

In this Professor Is In, Emilie Zaslow, PhD, talks feminism and family, dinner guests and Downton Abbey, and more!

Written by Pace student Sarah Aires ’14

It’s no surprise that Professor Emilie Zaslow, PhD, was named “Best Professor” for the 2012 Pawscars. She has been featured in articles in The New York Times, the Associated Press and Her book Feminism, Inc.: Coming of Age in Girl Power Media Culture, a critical account of the girl power movement, was published in 2009. Her research explores the media’s impact on gender identity and femininity. She’s been granted many research grants including Pace’s prestigious Dyson Summer Research Grant several times, and written for and reviewed countless scholarly articles and journals. Whether she is acting as adviser, holding a riveting lecture, or moderating a classroom debate, Professor Zaslow is always available to her students in any capacity. In this Professor Is In, she lets Pace know just what makes her tick!

What was your favorite class as a student? Least favorite?

As an undergraduate my favorite classes were History and Sociology of the English Speaking Caribbean. It was an interdisciplinary course that used sociological, economic, and political frameworks to explore the relationship of a region. It was a real eye-opener and made me consider the global impacts of my values and actions. My least favorite class was Oceanography, taken at 8:00 a.m. The instructor was so enthusiastic but the combination of my lack of interest in the subject and the time of the class made it very difficult for me to focus.

What one thing or person made you passionate about your current career?

I don’t know that I could ever say there is one thing that made me passionate about being a professor. My research explores the messages young women receive from contemporary media and how they negotiate the narratives they receive about what it means to be female, feminine, and feminist. I feel passionate about my research every time I have a wonderful class discussion in which students confront and critically analyze the messages they take for granted.

What quality do you most value in your students?

I really value students’ desire to look at the complexities of our world, ideologies, and values and their willingness to question the ideas we hold most deeply. It’s very easy to be “critical” but more of a challenge to “think critically”; it can sometimes be easier to find answers than to ask more questions.

What’s your advice to students to make the most out of their time in college?

My advice is two-fold: (1) Do a lot of planning. I am a list maker. Once, during my sophomore year of college, when I was trying to settle on a major, I made a list of all the courses I wanted to take at my school and all the places I wanted to study abroad and all the extra-curricular experiences I wanted to have. My list could have kept me in school for over 10 years (which, of course, explains my career choice…). The significant part of this, though, is that I did not let my education unfold before my eyes. I took hold of it. I was mindful in my decisions. (2) Embrace the core! A lot of students complain that they find it difficult to get through all of the Area of Knowledge courses but a liberal arts education is not simply to prepare students for a professional life but also to inspire intellectual curiosity and nurture an analytic approach to cultural, social, natural, and political life. At the very least, you can gather some material for a great dinner party conversation.

If you had to do it all over again and took another path, what profession would you like to attempt? What profession would you not like to do?

I have a children’s book or two in me waiting to come out. I would also love to develop my artistic skills; I have taken classes in photography, silkscreen, and painting but never pursued any of them very far. At one point, before going to grad school, I considered getting a graduate degree in Library Science. I love books and I love libraries. I am glad that I didn’t do this since I have really mixed emotions about the digitization of information.

What is your favorite book/TV show?

I’m a media scholar. I love my TV. All for different reasons, my current favorites are: Parenthood, The Daily Show with John Stewart, Downton Abbey, Mad Men, Modern Family, and Project Runway.

I am a big Toni Morrison fan and enjoy almost anything she has written. Song of Solomon is particularly beautiful. I recently really enjoyed People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks.

What would you do if you had an extra hour every day?

Sit on the floor and play, read, draw, paint, talk with my kids. There is never enough time.

What is your favorite journey/experience?

Personally, watching my kids grow up is the most amazing journey I have ever been on.  Professionally, I had a wonderful moment this past year when I co-authored an article on girls, media, and Presidential politics with my best friend of over 15 years, who is now Director of Research at the Girl Scout Research Institute. We met in kindergarten and followed very similar educational and career paths but this is the first time we have published together.

What is your favorite saying/words to live by?

“The people united shall never be defeated.” We should never just accept the status quo if it doesn’t work for the people. We can and should come together to make change.

If you could have any five people, living or dead, imagined or real, as guests at a dinner party, who would you choose?

I would probably choose a dinner with my family, both living and dead.  Before my great aunt died, I was able to gather some materials for an oral history. I heard wonderfully rich stories about my family’s immigrant experience in the early 1900s, but those are on cassette tapes now collecting dust in someone’s attic. I’d love to hear more of these stories.

The Professor Is In: Q&A with Brian Evans

School of Education Professor Brian Evans, EdD, has taken a quick rest on his quest to travel the world just long enough to tell us what he loves about teaching, nerds in academia, and Antarctica!

From traveling to Uganda to help teachers develop their mathematical problem solving abilities to hiking the Himalayas, it’s a wonder Brian R. Evans, EdD, has time for anything else. But when he isn’t traveling the world, Evans serves as the department chair and associate professor of Mathematics Education in the School of Education. He is also the co-chairperson for the Institutional Review Board and  director of Pace’s Summer Scholars Institute, which brings ambitious high school juniors and seniors to Pace for an early college experience.

At the School of Education, his primary focus is on pedagogical and content courses in mathematics for both pre-service and in-service teachers at the adolescent and childhood levels. He recently became the first Faculty Resident at Pace and serves as managing editor for the Journal of the National Association for Alternative Certification.

What was your favorite class as a student? Least favorite?
My favorite class was mathematics history. I really enjoyed this class and I now teach a mathematics history class at Pace. I’m also currently working on a mathematics history book. Mathematics and history are two of my favorite subjects, so the combination of the two is quite attractive to me.

I really didn’t take a course in college that I didn’t like. However, my least favorite class, if I had to choose one, was probably [computer] programming. I like computer science, but I often found myself very frustrated when the programs I wrote didn’t run correctly and I couldn’t figure out the problem. I liked the class, but found that aspect frustrating.

What one thing or person made you passionate about your current career?
If I focus on the teaching perspective of my career, it was my high school geometry teacher and a mathematics college professor who inspired me to teach. Both had the same approach of injecting humor into the classroom and had such an easy going demeanor that made learning very pleasurable. If I focus on research, there was an education professor with whom I still collaborate on research projects who really inspired my writing.

What quality do you most value in your students?
My classes are most enjoyable for me when my students are independent thinkers who engage in critical thinking and inquiry. Probably the most important quality of a college education is the enhanced ability to think critically.

What’s your advice to students to make the most out of their time in college?
My advice is for students to take advantage of opportunities they would later regret not taking when the opportunity is gone. For example, while I’ve traveled quite extensively on my own, I never participated in a study abroad program and now wish I had. I know others who took part in study aboard programs and felt it was one of the most rewarding experiences in their lives.

If you had to do it all over again and took another path, what profession would you like to attempt? What profession would you not like to do?
If I were to go back, I would still choose the position I’m in now. However, if I chose something different, medical school would have been a rewarding path to take. I would not like to have gone into any career in which helping people wasn’t a major focus, like it is with education and medicine.

What is your favorite book/TV show?
It’s difficult to choose only one book, but generally I like reading non-fiction about politics, philosophy, and travel. I don’t watch a terrible amount of television, and I generally watch the news or a documentary. However, currently I might say Big Bang Theory. It’s a show about nerds in academia. What’s not to like?

What would you do if you had an extra hour every day?
Only one hour? That’s difficult because I’d like many more hours. I wish I had more time to volunteer. I don’t volunteer nearly as often as I did before I became so busy. I do quite a lot of reading for my career, but not much reading for pleasure anymore. Having some time to read for pleasure would be welcome, hence my need for more than one hour.

What is your favorite journey/experience?
I love to travel everywhere. I’ve been to all seven continents and all 50 U.S. states. Probably one of my favorite trips was to Antarctica, given how remote and beautiful the continent was.

What is your favorite saying/words to live by?
I [find] this question difficult because there has been so much said throughout history that would fit this question. If I had to choose just one quote, it would be, “Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”–Aristotle

If you could have any five people, living or dead, imagined or real, as guests at a dinner party, who would you choose?
If living or dead is not an issue, nor is language and period context, there are so many from which to choose. One of the things I love about reading books is that one can read the words of thinkers who are long gone to the world, but whose ideas persist. It’s the next best thing to actually sitting down to dinner and having a conversation with them. To make the task easier for me I’ll choose living people in which it wouldn’t be impossible to have at a dinner party, albeit unlikely. I would choose Stephen Hawking, Noam Chomsky, Barack Obama, Aung San Suu Kyi, Andrew Wiles, and Richard Dawkins. That’s six, but there’s always room for one more at a dinner party.

Written by Pace student Sarah Aires ’14

A Multidisciplinary Endeavor

The Pace Academy and the Office of the Provost have recently announced the 2012-2013 Pace Academy Faculty Scholars, who are committed to the development and advancement of environmental study.

The Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies and the Office of the Provost are proud to announce this year’s selection of Pace Academy Faculty Scholars, all of whom were chosen for their potential to advance environmental discourse and increase the level and degree of sophistication within the discipline. Each of the selected faculty will receive a $4,000 stipend to contribute to a scholarly body of work.

This year’s scholars come from several different disciplines and areas of expertise from across the University. Frank Marchese, PhD, will be presenting a digital art installation entitled “Bits of the Urban Environment.” The exhibition, which will consist of panel discussions and an exploration of engaging urban spaces in innovative ways, marks the 10th anniversary of Pace’s Digital Gallery.

Lubin Professor Noushi Rahman, PhD, will use his stipend to conduct meta-analysis about the effects of environmental corporate social responsibility (ECSR) on firm performance. To date, no meta-analysis has been conducted on ECSR’s influence on corporate performance.

Professor of Law David Cassuto will be developing a multidisciplinary course called “The Legal Animal,” wherein he and his students will explore the legal definitions and implications of the word “animal” in today’s legal system. “These varied and conflicting definitions of ‘animal’ make it impossible to develop a coherent body of law governing our interactions with the nonhuman world. That lack of coherence in turn leads to significant and ongoing issues of cruelty and environmental harm,” says Cassuto. “’The Legal Animal’ represents an attempt to bring these problems of dissonance into sharp relief and perhaps begin the process of their resolution.”

“This program would allow students to fulfill a number of core requirements; participate in an in depth multidisciplinary learning community environment with onsite trips; gain experience and expertise in environmental studies through a close, interdisciplinary engagement with the Hudson River Valley from various perspectives; and potentially earn a certificate or, if possible, credit as a minor,” says Dyson Professor of English Helane Levine-Keating, PhD, who is working with faculty and department chairs from across the University to develop a 15-credit program that will include two Learning Community courses and one travel course that focuses on experiential learning in the Hudson River Valley.

“My goal as a Faculty Scholar,” says Levine-Keating “Would be to continue to collaborate with community and faculty members to increase my awareness of current developments and bring them to bear in course development as well as potential scholarship and research.”

Lauren Birney, EdD, an assistant clinical professor in the School of Education, will be creating K-12 educator mentor-mentee teams that will explore opportunities to create more meaningful curricula based in the common core and experiential in nature.

The Professor Is In: Q&A with Claudia Green

Lubin professor Claudia Green, who’s involved with a sustainability initiative in preparation for the World Cup and Olympics in Brazil, talks about traveling with students, how a birthday card changed the lives of her and her family, and much more in the third installment of The Professor Is In!

Shortly after meeting Professor Claudia Green, PhD, it is clear why students have selected her as one of their favorite professors at Pace’s New York City Campus. Remaining true to her field, she maintains an intense professionalism while still managing to be approachable if not entirely personable. It is this straightforward demeanor coupled with the dedication to her students both inside and outside the classroom that make her teaching methods all the more effective.

In addition to her duties as an Associate Professor of Management, teaching courses ranging from safety and security in hospitality and tourism to restaurant management and travel and tourism management, it is her other roles as Director of the Lubin School of Business’ Hospitality and Management Program and former Executive Director of the Center for Global Business Programs at Pace that have brought her the most professional satisfaction.

Though she resides in New York City, Green admits that she travels once or twice a month outside the city. Her travels, whether work related or personal, have taken her to places such as Greece, Italy, Portugal, Brazil, Canada, Belize, Aruba, Costa Rica, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Thailand, to name a few. Her trips to Brazil enable her to focus on sustainable tourism and resources as well as the implementing of Green Mapping, in which students interview local business on their practices as means of creating a map for tourists offering an authentic Brazilian experiences.

Having traveled to Brazil a total of 18 times, Professor Green confesses that the most rewarding trips there have been the 11 in which she has traveled there with students. Seeing students arrive with preconceived notions of the culture, society, and business environment, and return with an entirely different point of view after immersing themselves in the Brazil first-hand is most rewarding.

Most recently, Professor Green was featured on NPR as part of “The Global Salon,” which features different cities around the world. This series, highlighting Rio de Janeiro, Brazil allowed Green to promote her work as organizer of the “Rio Green Map” initiative on sustainable development in preparation for Rio+20, World Cup 2014, and Olympics 2016. She is also the spearheading Amigos Digitais, a non-profit organization that allows students (grades K-9) in the favelas of Rio with students in the Lower East Side for cultural and educational exchange. Though a frequent traveler, never quite in one place too long, we are glad to be part of a University in which she can call home.

What was your favorite class as a student? Least favorite?
You can probably guess, it was a geography class, where we had to learn about different countries of the world and their capitals and I remember that from the 5th grade. My least favorite was finance…I like creative endeavors, and you’ll see that when you see with whom I have selected to “have dinner.”

What one thing or person made you passionate about your current career?
The thing that makes me passionate about my career is that I teach tourism and focus on sustainable tourism and development. I think that through tourism, you really learn to take everything you’ve learned in your life and put it together. Tourism is history, geography, culture, economy, politics, society, environment—it’s everything. It is the convergence of all those disciplines that  helps you have a global view of how the world works and how dependent we are upon each other.

What quality do you most value in your students?
What I value in the students is their drive and their passion for what they want. It is a gift to be able to find your passion and follow it. A good number of students are able to do that. Even if they go down a wrong path, they learn from it and redirect into another path.

What’s your advice to students to make the most out of their time in college?
Be involved, take risks, explore and make sure they have an international experience.

If you had to do it all over again and took another path, what profession would you like to attempt? What profession would you not like to do?
I would want to be a technology guru and travel around the world and teach. I’d really promote technology that would empower people. A profession I would not like to attempt is anything that has me sitting behind a desk all day long.

What is your favorite book/TV show?
I really don’t usually watch TV, but, if I do, it is usually Geographic and The Discovery Channel. With regards to books, I like reading Thomas L. Friedman’s books.

What would you do if you had an extra hour every day?
I’d go to the Apple store in SoHo and hang out with the Geniuses and the Creatives and work on a project—I do that all the time. I make podcasts, movies, and videos. For my son’s birthday, I scanned pictures from when he was young, set them to music, launched on Vimeo, and sent him the link.

What is your favorite journey/experience?
Going to Brazil with students for the past 11 years has been my best experience. I’ve been there a total 18 times. It is actually more fun when I go with the students than when I go on my own. I love to see them learn and experience Brazil. It is empowering to help them open their minds to other cultures and societies.

What is your favorite saying/words to live by?
There’s a whole poem here, “The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver, but the thing that’s most important to me is the line, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do/with your one wild and precious life?”

There’s a story behind that: My son gave me a birthday card that had that phrase. He left and went to Cameroon for the Peace Corps for two years.  Then, right after I got that card, I quit my job and moved to New York. I gave that card to my middle daughter. She quit her job in Greensboro, North Carolina and moved to Silicon Valley, California. She gave the card to her younger sister who quit her job, sold everything she owned, and travelled  around the world for 18 months. It’s kind of our family mantra.

If you could have any five people, living or dead, imagined or real, as guests at a dinner party, who would you choose?
This was so hard. I’ve been going over it, eliminating and adding. Steve Jobs, Steven Spielberg, Ken Burns, Jon Stewart, and Richard Branson. There’s a common thread of creative people who think outside the box and think differently.

There’s a Steve Jobs quote that I like “Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes…the ones who see things differently—they’re not fond of rules…You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things…they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

This interview has been edited and condensed from its original form.

–Jordan Veilleux ‘13

The Professor Is In: Q&A with Chris Walther

Why Jessica Biel and Gandhi? Let Professor Chris Walther explain it. Check out part two in the series, The Professor Is In by Pace student Jordan Veilleux ’13.

Pace alumnus and Adjunct Professor of Psychology Christopher Walther ’02 has established himself as a prominent member of the Pace Community. Currently based out of the Pleasantville Campus, he works as a Pforzheimer Honors College Academic Adviser, as well as adviser to the Golden Key International Honor Society and the UNICEF C.H.I.L.D. Project. In 2009-2010 he was a bronze winner of the Jefferson Awards, the “Nobel Peace Prize of Public Service.”

One of Walther’s favorite classes to teach is Psychology of Civic Engagement, a class that pairs traditional classroom studies with a travel course. The course implements a little bit of everything important to Walther: mentoring, travel, psychology, and pro-social behaviors and has taken Walther and his students to exotic locations such as Fiji and Trinidad and Tobago. Outside of Psychology of Civic Engagement, Walther’s methods are just as effective… and recognized–students recently voted him one of their favorite professors in the Pulse’s Pawscars. He teaches courses including Social Psychology and Psychology of Personal Adjustment, Psychopathology, and Psychology of Cultural Diversity, and continues to form a connection with students encouraging in them an educated outlook at the world around us, honesty, humor, dedication, charity, and most of all motivation to make a difference.

What was your favorite class as a student?
Besides the psychology courses I took as an undergrad and through my graduate degree, my favorite course was probably my photography course. I really like the idea of actually creating something from scratch—creating a picture.

What one thing or person made you passionate about your current career?
I think there have been many people, many situations that have inspired me throughout my life. Such as the volunteering opportunities I’ve been a part of, the various internships and jobs I’ve held, the people, colleagues and professors I’ve met along the way, and I think my students make me passionate about my career…Just reaching out to so many people and students through what I teach and what I say—that makes me extremely passionate about my career.

What quality do you most value in your students?
I would definitely say motivation. Not only to set goals, but to follow through with those goals with an action to achieve them is the quality I most value in students. I see students every day that just seem lost, who just don’t know where to go. Then you have the flipside—students that are highly motivated, students who set goals and follow through with them through action. It’s one thing to say, “This is what I want to do,” but how do you plan on getting there?

What is your advice to students to make the most out of their time in college?
I definitely think students need to be engaged in the University experience. They need to become involved in University life. I personally believe that at Pace University you can be a big fish in a small pond, if you think it, you can actually make it happen [at Pace].

If you had to do it all over again and took another path, what profession would you attempt? What profession would you not like to do?
Definitely a zoologist! Growing up there were many different careers I thought of and I’ve always had a passion and interest in animals and helping so to be a zoologist and work at a zoo would be amazing.

I grew up in Manhattan, born and raised, and now I live about an hour and a half out of the city. Just doing [chores] around the house—landscaping, mowing the lawn, raking leaves, fixing things—I dread so much. Any career that involves landscaping, construction, fixing things is definitely not for me.

What is your favorite TV show/book?
My favorite TV show by far is The Amazing Race. It’s all about travel and competition, which are two things that I enjoy. I actually tried out for the show twice, but unfortunately never got called back. You can’t beat the travel. Seeing the world and trying to win a million dollars paired together is great.

I would say my favorite book is one I read recently—and one which I really enjoyed and made part of a few of my psychology classes—Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. It’s about making spontaneous decisions, good or bad, versus decisions that are planned out.

What is your favorite journey/experience?
My travel experiences, definitely within the courses that I have taught and all the locations I have been to through civic engagement. Just this year my wife and I took a cruise to Europe—we visited Italy, Greece, and Turkey…Europe was amazing and it was my first cruise. It was a great experience.

I’m big into traveling. I encourage students to study abroad. I help them when they create four-year plans to incorporate either a study abroad experience or to take a University travel course.

What is your favorite saying/words to live by?
I went to Catholic school from kindergarten to 12th grade; I would say the Serenity Prayer. [Ed note: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change…] I definitely try to live by those words within my life.

If you could have any five people, living or dead, imagined or real, as guests at a dinner party, who would you choose?
This is the toughest question of the bunch! Martin Luther King Jr.—I would want him at the party to talk to him about equality, to bring him along to show him how equality has changed from when he passed to today, and to hear his view points on how equality could be different in the years to come and advance further. Gandhi—I am big into helping, civic engagement, and pro-social behavior and I think Gandhi is an inspiration for such, so to have him there would be great. My Hollywood crush, Jessica Biel. Jane Goodall—I find her amazing for the life she led and for being an advocate for animals, and the one person who can really make me laugh, the comedienne Kathy Griffin. I find her hysterical!

This interview has been edited and condensed from its original form. Faculty profiles are based on student suggestions.

–Jordan Veilleux

Staff by Day, Pet Portraitist by Night

After a 26-year hiatus, ITS Project Manager Fran Megerdichian goes back to the drawing board. Find out how she can turn your Maltese into a masterpiece!

Fran Megerdichian may spend her days working on application development and planning and directing implementation of projects in ITS. But when the computers get powered off, the pencils come out and she brings animals to life as a pet portraitist.

While most kids were inspired by The Cat in the Hat, Corduroy, and The Velveteen Rabbit, Megerdichian was immersed in the work of 18th century English horse painter, George Stubbs.

“He inspired me in first and second grades,” she says. “I started drawing as a kid. When I was in third grade, a teacher called in my parents to let them know I had some talent and should be pursuing [it]; that they should take me out of school to go to art school.”

Despite this encouragement, Megerdichian’s parents thought art was a waste of time. So she traded in her pencils for programming and went to work for IBM Global Services at 19-years-old and continued with a successful 26-year career. But something was missing. Five years ago and with no formal training, she dusted off her old pencils and went back to the drawing board.

Specializing in canine and equine portraits, Megerdichian uses graphite, charcoal, and colored pencil to make the animals come to life.

“I love seeing an image come out through the paper. That’s my inspiration,” Megerdichian says. “When I see that it’s about to pop out off of the paper, it consumes me and it’s what I want to achieve.”

What started as a request from someone to draw a dog to surprise her husband for his birthday has now turned into a part-time business.

“It was just like the 80’s Faberge commercial… ‘And they told two friends, and they told two friends, and so on, and so on,’” Megerdichian says. Currently, Megerdichian completes one to two portraits a month, each taking between 10 and 12 hours from start to finish. “The passion for me is seeing the expression on their faces when they see the portrait,” she says.

Through her artwork, Megerdichian reminds us of the special place animals have in our lives. In addition to dogs and horses, she has completed portraits of cats, cows, deer, and a chipmunk. She’s even dabbled in some mixed media. Using a photo taken by a photographer of a lion on a safari, Megerdichian matched it in graphite and placed the photo against the drawing in a face off of the two media. And now, she has her eyes set on something bigger…literally, with hopes to one day draw an elephant or other exotic creature.

In addition to her work with her four-legged friends, Megerdichian provided 15 graphite illustrations for “Dr. Edward Maynard Letters from the Land of the Tsar 1845-1846 America’s Pioneering Dental Surgeon Turned Civil War Gun Inventor,” a biography about 19th century pioneering dental surgeon and inventor of Maynard tape primer and the Maynard carbine, a rifle used by both Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War, which included illustrations of figures from Russian history.

“People say it’s never too late,” Megerdichian says. “When I picked the pencils up again, I was 43 or 44. They were from third grade. But I picked them up.”

To see more of Megerdichian’s portraits and to find out how you can turn your Charlie into a charcoal masterpiece, visit her website and make sure to like her on Facebook.

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

Talking Trash

Judith Pajo, PhD, has brought her anthropological approach to studying the habits of New York City households and the complex ways in which society views recycling.

“Our lifestyle is paradoxically both resourceful and wasteful,” says Judith Pajo, PhD, who is studying how New Yorkers deal with trash. “Population growth does not make the waste part better. In the 1800s, the world had fewer than one billion people. Currently, we are nearly seven billion and growing.” Population growth, industrialization, and other factors, have led to pollution and global climate changes. “Our planet is getting warmer and our way of life is just not sustainable,” says Pajo, who decided to dig deeper into the topic.

Sustainability is a large research field that involves many disciplines.  And it impacts academia as well as several industries and governmental and legislative bodies.  Pajo decided to take an unusual approach. “When it comes to sustainability, many people feel the government isn’t doing enough to keep the industry in check. But I focus on consumers. We live in a consumer society,” she says. “Goods are produced because we consume them; at the heart of production is consumption.  I look at our current unsustainability as a way to understand sustainability.”

Currently, she is researching household practices within New York City. “As a cultural anthropologist I take a holistic approach to data,” says Pajo. For her dissertation, at the University of California, she studied recycling in Germany—following the path of waste from the home, to the truck, to the sorting facility in the city of Berlin, and interviewing actors from producers of waste and recycling facility workers to government and private sector experts.  In her current research, Pajo is developing further several aspects of her earlier work.  She hopes that her findings will help us understand how New York City households, and U.S. households more generally, make complicated decisions about sustainability.

“There is something peculiar anthropologists recognize during my research,” Pajo laughs. She calls it “shared stories” because many people would relate them over and over, as though they had happened to each one personally. For example, many of the people she interviewed had seen sorted recycled materials being dumped into a garbage truck or mixed together. “I thought to myself, there is something going on at a deeper level,” she says.

“The information we have about what actually happens with recycling is very simplistic.  As consumers, we want to know more about what happens to the things we recycle.  To be responsible actors, people need a complex view of the recycling process. Information about the process can help inform decisions about consumption,” Pajo explains.  Ultimately, Pajo aims to turn her findings into a book that will help individuals and households answer a question we ask ourselves: Should we recycle?

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.

Staff by Day, Stylist by Night

While many of us are RSVPing to weddings this season, Pace staff member Christie Nadratowski is playing an extra special role: Making sure brides look as beautiful as can be when you see them walking down the aisle.

At Pace, Christie Nadratowski works in the Office for Student Success advising students on policy and procedures and helping them get over any roadblocks they may encounter. On weekends, roadblocks come in the form of bridezillas for Nadratowski, who moonlights as a hair and makeup artist.

An opera major in college, recitals were a common event for her and her friends. And with recitals come hair and makeup, but the prices were unreasonable for any college student.

“I started playing with my roommate’s hair and thought ‘I could do a lot of with this,'” Nadratowski said. “I started to do typical styles that people like and became good at it, so people started asking me to do it.”

When Nadratowski moved back home from school, she was working at a boutique when a phone call would take her college hobby and turn it into a part-time job.

“This soon-to-be bride came in and took a phone call in the middle of the store and started crying. I asked her what was wrong and she said that her hair and makeup person had cancelled and her wedding was the next day. I told her I would do it for her,” Nadratowski said.

Grateful for her saving the day, the happy bride wrote her a letter of reference and referred her friends, giving Nadratowski clients of her own.

When she moved to New York, a friend of a friend who was a photographer needed a hair and makeup person and soon she was working with several photographers, including one of The Knot’s “2011 Best of Wedding Photographers” Michael Chadwick, doing more headshots, beauty shots, proms, weddings, and theater.

She’s also conducted stage makeup workshops at Elmwood Playhouse Theater in Nyack, which includes special effects makeup like aging and injuries (bruising and bleeding).

But her favorite? “Weddings! Brides don’t usually have an exact [style] in their head, so I get to be creative and make it happen.”

Of course, we couldn’t leave you without some quick tips from our Pace expert…

For brides who say less is always more, when it comes to makeup, Nadratowski says that’s not always the case. “Bright sunlight washes out the look of makeup on camera, so if you’re going to be taking pictures between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. you need to wear more makeup than you think.”

And while some said Kate Middleton’s eye makeup was too much, Nadratowski argues that “it was probably intentional so that her eyes would show up big and bright in pictures. Her entire eye was lined which is done to set her eyes apart from the rest of her face in photos, especially when there are so many cameras, they want your eyes to be distinct.”

For your hair do’s, hairspray is essential, no matter how uncomfortable it feels, she says. “Gel dries too hard and mousse does not hold shape for an entire day, so if you want your hair to stand the entire day, I’m going to use a lot of hairspray.” And if you’re going to be wearing your hair down, be sure you don’t apply it right after a hot blow dry. “Make sure your hair is cool to the touch, otherwise the curls will absorb the hairspray and they’ll end up being weighed down and falling by picture time.”

For those of you who like the hairspray so much that you’re willing to use it to keep your makeup in place, Nadratowski says “Don’t! It doesn’t make your makeup stay; it just makes it easier for dirt to stick to your face. Use translucent powder instead!”

You can see some of Nadratowski’s looks here.

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.

Staff by Day, Locavore by Night

For some of us, cooking is a chore. But for Cara Cea, manager of public information at Pace, it’s so much more. As an award-winning cook, food writer, and farmer’s market president, food isn’t just something she eats. It’s something she lives for.

Mark Vergari / The Journal News

By day, Cara Cea handles media relations for the Westchester Campus. By night, it’s all about the ratatouille pizza.

“It all started because my son and I had seen the movie Ratatouille. He said ‘Mom, can you make me ratatouille?’” Cea says. Thinking he knew what ratatouille was, Cea spent hours chopping vegetables and cooking it up. When it was ready to be eaten, her son’s response was a familiar one: “Ewww, I’m not eating that.” Rather than give up on the ratatouille, Cea went to plan B: pizza. “Kids will eat anything on pizza. So I bought pizza crust, put all my ratatouille on the pizza, threw on some cheese. He loved it!” she says.

It was this inventive pie that earned Cea a spot in The Journal News’ Locally Grown recipe contest. As one of four finalists, she participated in a cook-off at The Garrison restaurant that was televised on RNN and the ratatouille pizza became an award-winner.

The cook-off led to requests from Cea’s local farmer’s market. First, they asked her to speak at the market and hand out recipes. Next, she was volunteering on the board. Then, she began doing PR and advertising for them. And soon, Cea was named president of the Suffern Farmers’ Market, where she also manages their website, Facebook, Twitter, and blog.

In addition to her Suffern Farmers’ Market responsibilities, Cea is spreading the word about local food and farmers as a guest blogger for the Journal News’ Small Bites as well as her own food blog, Farmers Market Cooking, which she uses to inform people about local farmers and recipes that use local foods.

Cea’s even brought her expertise to Pace, speaking about the role of the individual in local foods at the Foodshed Conference, the annual meeting of the Environmental Consortium of Hudson Valley Colleges and Universities co-sponsored by Pace.

“It’s important for people to become aware of how your food choices affect not only local farmers, but also the environment. There are so many things to consider, food miles, for example. If you’re eating an apple from Washington State, when New York grows them, not only are you not supporting local farmers, but that apple had to travel 3,000 to find you,” Cea says. “There’s the environmental and the economic impact. In these times, we want to support our own local economy.”

And Cea is all about practicing what she preaches—growing her own basil, parsley, peppers, onions, scallions, garlic, lettuce, broccoli rabe, cauliflower, and heirloom tomatoes, from seeds that were passed on from her grandfather-in-law in Italy. She is also committed to expanding her garden and hopes to one day be able to eat three seasons of the year out of her garden.

“Local food is my passion and my cause,” Cea says.

And, of course, we couldn’t leave you without the award-winning recipe.

Ratatouille Pizza

1 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/8 -inch slices
1 small eggplant, sliced into thin ( 3/8 -inch) slices, about 2 inches by 1 inch
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 thinly sliced yellow onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh parsley
Salt and pepper
1 store-bought or homemade pizza dough
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
Handful of pine nuts to sprinkle
Freshly grated Pecorino Romano to taste

For the sauces

Both tomato sauce and pesto can be bought ready-made at the market, but recipes are below for those who want to use the freshest ingredients:


2 to 3 cloves garlic
2 cups fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons pine nuts (pignoli nuts) or walnuts or a combination
Dash of salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated freshly grated Parmigiana Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese (or a combination of the two)
  • Place garlic in a food processor and mince. Add the basil leaves, pine nuts and salt. While the processor is running, slowly drizzle in olive oil until all the ingredients are puréed. Add Parmesan cheese and mix. If the pesto is too thick, add an extra tablespoon of oil.

Tomato sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small, yellow onion, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 or 5 fresh (or canned) tomatoes
Fresh basil to taste (about a tablespoon)
  • Chop the onions and mince the garlic and sauté in the olive oil until lightly browned. Add the tomatoes and basil. If using fresh tomatoes, add a small amount of tomato paste (to thicken) and some water. Sauté on medium-low heat for about 15 minutes to blend the flavors.

For the pizza

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet or pizza pan with olive oil or another vegetable oil spray. Set aside.
  • Salt the zucchini and eggplant slices and sauté in a pot with olive oil, peppers and onion for about 10 minutes to soften.
  • Stir in garlic and tomatoes and season to taste. Remove from heat and sprinkle with parsley.
  • Spread pizza dough on the pan. Cover pizza dough with tomato sauce and then spread the vegetable mixture over the pizza.
  • Top with fresh mozzarella, drizzle with pesto and sprinkle pine nuts and Pecorino Romano.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

Yield: 4 servings

Advisement Coordinator by Day, Perfumer and Yoga Teacher By Night

By day, Shannon Haick guides students who are exploring majors and looking for some academic direction. By night, she guides people looking for relaxation and a little aromatherapy, as a yoga instructor and perfumer.

Shannon Haick spends her day advising Pace students who are without a major or are looking to change theirs, as associate director of the exploring majors program within the Center for Academic Excellence (CAE). She also teaches UNV101, a first-year seminar that acts as an introduction to University life, as well as an Exploring Majors and Careers course designed for first and second-year students.

But when she’s not working with students to help them find their callings in life, Haick is indulging in one of her own callings—as a yoga instructor at Element Natural Healing Arts and Elite Fitness Studio in Brooklyn. And now, she’s even brought her yoga training to Pace.

“I’ve been doing yoga since 1998 and became a teacher two years ago,” she said. “On a whim I contacted the coordinator of the wellness courses [at Pace], and he was very open to giving me classes. So now I teach two classes for college credit, one beginner and one advanced level.”

Along her meditative and soulful journey, Haick has found another passion: creating her own medicinal scents and perfumes. “They [yoga and perfuming] go hand-in-hand,” she says. “I’ve been mixing my own medicinal scents for about 10 years. Eucalyptus clears out sinuses; orange helps to get you out of a slump; bergamot, if you’re taking things too seriously. So if I’m having my own ailments, whether it be a cold or if I’m feeling down or have anxiety, I’d mix my own potions for me and my husband and friends.”

Her collection of scents includes several unique items, including a perfume called 9, a perfect blend of earth and candy, which Haick describes as “NYC meets the spirit of Soufriere, St. Lucia,” and an aromatherapy home spray that combines patchouli, lemongrass, and cinnamon to give your mind, body, and soul an overall balancing effect. She even sells her own line of bug spray, which was made through trial and error with rosemary, lemongrass and geranium, and tested on friends at a lake house who were happy to stay bite-free and admitted the smell was fantastic. Her chemical-free scents, 9Brooklyn, are available on Etsy and at yoga studios in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

We’re not the only ones talking about this extraordinary Pace staff member. Read a February 2011 Pace Press article where students raved about Haick and the work of Academic Resources.

Muskrat Love (and Other Animals)

From tracking wild pumas in Chile, to looking at local rat populations, Melissa Grigione, PhD, is trying to make the world a safer place for all animals—and pass that knowledge and passion on to her students at Pace.

Melissa Grigione, PhD, and her husband, Ron Sarno, PhD, tagging burrowing owls.

“The animals may change, but my interest hasn’t,” says Melissa Grigione, PhD, director of Pace’s graduate program in environmental science who is currently spearheading a number of research projects to study and protect the habitats of wild animals.

Grigione, who began her college career in a pre-veterinary program at McGill University, soon realized her real passion was the conservation and protection of wild species.  “My interest began with marine mammals—dolphins, manatees—and eventually spread to other animals. I was in Africa twice, in West Africa to study elephants, and then I branched out to studying endangered land carnivores,” Grigione explains.

Currently, Grigione is studying the native (yet seldom seen) inhabitants of the New York area: mink, bobcats, weasels, and muskrats. These species have very healthy populations, she notes, which allows her to study the concept of conservation from the other end of the spectrum. “We ask the opposite question: What makes these animals common? How are they able to ‘make a living’?” she says, “I studied the requirements they needed to live in a healthy fashion—the space they needed, spatial ecology, then I moved to their diets, and eventually I moved on to the parasites and diseases affecting these populations.”

Last summer, Grigione and her husband, a professor of ecology and genetics at Hofstra, took their children on a six-week RV-ing adventure in the Badlands of South Dakota. “The kids just love, love, love to study animals,” she says, “And with the help of the National Park Service, we studied the diets of bison, pronghorn, and bighorn sheep… While we were in South Dakota, we took a drive to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, which is a Lakota Sioux reservation. There was a college on the reservation, so we went to visit. There were no students, but there was one woman walking around the campus. It turned out that the woman was the CFO of the college,” Grigione laughs.

Melissa Grigione, PhD, and family

The chance meeting ended up becoming an exciting opportunity—not only for Grigione but also for Pace. This summer, Grigione plans on expanding her research and returning to the reservation to teach at the college.  “I like the melding of the traditional and the scientific. There are elders on the reservation, and I think we have a lot to learn from one another. I’d eventually like to bring some of their faculty to Pace; I think it would be a fruitful experience for our students in New York,” she says.  She also hopes that someday in the future, graduate students at Pace will be able to travel with her to South Dakota.

“Animals enrich our lives and I feel I really need to do the right thing to affect change… I want to inspire students to do amazing things. I want to turn them on to the field that’s turned me on for so many years,” Grigione says. “Seeing my students blossom is truly incredible. What’s unique about our graduate environmental science program is that it’s more than just science—it’s policy, law, environmental communication. This diversity means our students come out equipped with skills they need to share with the rest of the world that’s so hungry for solutions.”

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 to share your story with us and other faculty and staff!

Faculty By Day, Superstar By Night: All Your Bass Are Belong to David Ekstrom

Many of us have seen the inside of Madison Square Garden, Carnegie Hall, and Avery Fisher Hall. Some of us have seen Peter, Paul, and Mary and Andrea Bocelli at those venues. But one Pace professor has not only been inside, but also shared the stage with these legends. Meet David Ekstrom, professor by day, singing superstar by night.

By day, you can find David Ekstrom, PhD, teaching transcultural nursing to students in the Lienhard School of Nursing as an associate professor and director of international affairs. But from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. every Tuesday, Ekstrom is singing a different tune with the New York Choral Society.

When Ekstrom moved from Ohio to New York City for nursing school in 1973, he was looking for a sense of belonging.

“I knew that I wanted to set down some roots in the city, and I decided that joining a chorus would be the best way to do it,” Ekstrom said.

But the rest certainly wasn’t history. Ekstrom wasn’t interested in just picking any chorus. He wanted the cream of the crop—the best in show. So he scouted, listening to a bunch of choruses until he found the one: The New York Choral Society.

A Bass I Section Leader in the 180-member New York Choral Society (NYCS), Ekstrom may possess the lowest vocal range in the chorus, but he’s a major player in NYCS where he welcomes new choral members, answers questions, advises them, and helps the chorus keep it all together.

And the NYCS isn’t your ordinary chorus. Ekstrom has joined them on the stage of some of New York City’s most treasured venues: St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Madison Square Garden, and more.

Last week, Ekstrom and the NYCS performed with classical music phenomenon Andrea Bocelli at both the Prudential Center in Newark and Madison Square Garden in NYC.

“It’s amazing to be standing in Madison Square Garden and to hear people cheering,” Ekstrom said. “It’s such an invigorating experience.”

And just a few days ago, he hit the stage with the Brooklyn Philharmonic and legendary Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul, and Mary fame in a holiday celebration dedicated in memory of the great Mary Travers.

Ekstrom, who has taken nursing students to Iceland to learn health care delivery systems, is proud to be at Pace and proud to be a bass. One of his defining experiences he says was when he read names of graduates on stage at the Pace University Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony at Radio City Music Hall, and then later in the afternoon went to the Metropolitan Opera to perform on stage for the American Ballet Theatre.

“I thought geez, is this possible?” he said. “Being a small town boy from Ohio and making it in the Big Apple. There’s just nothing like it at all.”

Interested in joining Ekstrom and the New York Choral Society? You can email him at and learn more about the NYCS at

From Gutenberg to Google

Michael Healy, Pace’s David J. Pecker Distinguished Visiting Professor in Publishing and Executive Director of the Book Rights Registry discusses how advances in technology are changing the way we look at books… literally.

When the dot com bubbled in the 90s, venture capitalists and internet startups around the world screamed that print was dead. While that wasn’t the case (and may never be), there’s no denying the impact recent strides in technology have had on publishing. Just hop on any plane, train, or automobile and look around—people are reading their Kindles, listening to the latest download, catching up on current events via their iPad. On November 30, Professor Healy, gave one in a series of lectures on the future of the industry for the MS in Publishing Program and industry insiders.

Here, he shares some of his insight into the future of ePublishing.

You are involved in some of the seminal events that are shaping the future of digital publishing, such as working with publishers and authors on the Google Book Settlement. Can you tell us a bit more about that?

I am currently the Executive Director of the Book Rights Registry, a new organization that will be created as a result of the Google Book Settlement. As you may remember, there was a well-publicized class action lawsuit which was brought in 2005 by the Authors Guild and Association of American Publishers to prevent Google from displaying parts of books it had been digitizing through its relationships with a number of university libraries.  The authors and publishers felt Google’s display of the books was an infringement of copyright, a claim Google denied by saying it was “fair use”. The lawsuit was settled in October 2008 (although the settlement has not been finally approved by the judge). The proposed settlement contains several provisions: One is the establishment of a nonprofit Book Rights Registry that will represent the interests of authors and publishers in the settlement. The primary role of the organization will be to act as a place where authors and publishers can claim their books and register how they would like them to be used by Google and possibly others in the future.  When Google earns money from using the books, 63 percent of the money will go back to the Registry for distribution to the authors and publishers (once a judge approves the settlement). We have been waiting to hear the outcome since February of this year. In the meantime, my job is to prepare for the establishment of the new organization.

If the settlement is approved and the Google Book Settlement moves forward, how will this affect the publishing industry?

The settlement focuses on books that are largely still in copyright, but mainly out of print. These are an estimated seven to eight million somewhat obscure or forgotten books—books that you will find in libraries but not bookstores. One of the great benefits is that Google Books will create a mechanism for getting those hard to find, out of print books. It’s very good for both publishers and authors, as it gives them a new stream of revenue for books that were previously earning little or nothing, and great for scholars, students and other readers because it opens up a treasure trove of books previously hidden in the collections of libraries.

Michael Healy
Professor Healy discusses how the industry is evolving in this interview with The Publishing Point.

How did you get involved in the field of digital publishing?

I think I’m something of an oddity. I have been in publishing for about 25 years, in one form or another. Unlike many others, I never did much conventional print or book publishing. I have been in digital publishing my whole career. That can be surprising to people who think that digital publishing is only five years or as old… as old as the Kindle. It

has actually been around since the 70s. In the early days in the 80s, digital publishing was a phenomenon that mainly affected academic publishing—databases in library and universities, and ultimately journals. All of the excitement and controversy that’s now going on is because it’s affecting consumer and trade publishing, what many equate to the “publishing industry.” But there are other publishing sectors, such as academic, scientific, and medical, where digital technology is nothing new—those sectors have been grappling with its opportunities and challenges for some time.

You’ve been giving a series of lectures at Pace that focus on new developments in digital publishing. Can you provide some highlights from your most recent lecture?

This lecture is called “Building a Better Mousetrap: Form, Function, and the Evolution of eBooks.” It’s based on the observation that technology is radically changing the way books are promoted and delivered, and the way people are consuming with readers and tablets. The way we consume, market, and distribute books today—everything in the supply chain is subject to change. However, the books themselves are changing much more slowly: the content is not changing, only the format is changing… in a very superficial sense. A lot of eBooks are electronic facsimiles of printed equivalents. So I wanted to examine, with all the technology and innovation available to us, why that is occurring, is the text remaining largely unchanged?

It’s an interesting point that, in their current form, eBooks are little more than electronic versions of the print. Are there any areas where you are seeing innovation?

There are pockets of experimentation, and that’s what I want to explore—what they are, what they reveal about publishers and readers, what the next generation of digital books might look like. For example, I read a lot of books electronically and when I’m traveling, instead of buying several guide books, I load them onto my iPad. What struck

me about using these new types was how imperfect they were, how they were inferior in functionality to the ones I would have traditionally bought in print! Why are publishers so reluctant right now, to experiment in new forms? Travel, cookery, and all sorts of non-fiction books could be enhanced so easily and cheaply with digital technology, but it’s not happening in a significant way yet. There are one or two trade publishers who are starting to enhance books with video, and some, like Penguin, have been linking text to websites, TV adaptations, and video on the web. In cookery, you’re starting to see links to videos where you can see the finished recipe, or where you have the ability to enter information, such as ingredients, into the device to find a recipe. Interesting things are being done, but these are the exceptions rather than the norm. However, I think that will change. The appetite for digital books is high at the moment, so publishers are growing in confidence, and that builds more confidence in the medium.

How do you think this ability to “publish” affordably online is changing the industry? Do you find more and more people are deciding to just do it themselves?

Self-publishing is taking off—that’s an extraordinary phenomenon. I think the stigma is disappearing and it’s becoming more acceptable to do it. We’re going to see a great deal more of that going forward, particularly as more big-name celebrity authors start asking: Do we need traditional book publishers? For example, the well-known writer Seth Godin,

has recently announced he will be self-publishing his next book. That calls into question what is truly distinctive and valuable about the modern publisher. It used to be that authors needed publishers for production, distribution, and sales, but technology now is forcing everyone – publishers, authors, agents and booksellers – to ask where the distinctive contribution of a publisher really lies.  It’s a fascinating time to be in the industry for these reasons.

You recently came back from a conference in China about the future of digital publishing. Were there any surprises or new developments there?

They are grappling with many of the same sets of issues as we are in the United States. We may be a little further ahead in the process, but we’re all on the same journey. It was striking how similar the challenges are. The world really has shrunk.

Webmaster By Day, Martial Artist By Night

Rachel Klingberg may be rolling with the punches at work; but by night, she’s learning how to deflect them. Meet Rachel Klingberg, webmaster and martialist.

You may know Rachel Klingberg as the Lubin School of Business Webmaster. By day, she’s behind the screen taking care of all of your programming and coding needs. By night, she’s taking no prisoners.

It all started in 2003 when Klingberg found an article highlighting martial arts that were good for women. The rest is herstory.

Now, three times a week for the last seven years, Klingberg has been heading to Chelsea Studios, where she practices a Russian Martial Art, “Systema.” A military fighting art based on the training of the elite Russian Special Forces, Systema dates back to the 10th century. 

“The style combines an individual’s strong spirit with extremely clever and versatile tactics, relying on fluidity and agility rather than brute strength,” says Klingberg. “For me, the self-defense aspect is really the best thing about it. I think every woman should have self-defense (training).”

Throughout her training Klingberg has been put into some pretty intimidating situations: sparring against men who are both bigger and stronger; knife disarms; blindfold training; and even two-on-one’s, all with no mats or protective gear to mimic real life. “They want everyone to get really tired before sparring, because the more tired you are the more relaxed you are,” said Klingberg, who adds that “they want you to experience having to defend yourself when you’re exhausted, because chances are you could be assaulted late at night when you’re tired.” 

But don’t ask her about belts or trophies or tournaments. Systema is for self-defense and combat and is not a sport, so competition is discouraged. But that doesn’t mean Klingberg hasn’t walked away a winner—Klingberg says her confidence has gotten a major boost.  “It’s good to be the most dangerous person in the room.”

Because of its non-lethal means of controlling unruly people, Systema was demonstrated at the United Nations as part of a nonviolent peacekeeping panel in 2007, which Klingberg attended and reported on. Systema will also be the featured fighting style of the upcoming Richard Gere thriller The Double, with fight scenes choreographed by Klingberg’s senior Systema instructor Martin Wheeler.

And while you may think you now know Klingberg’s hidden talents, think again: She’s got another up her hand-woven sleeve. 

When she’s not busy putting her skills to the test at Pace and at Systema class, she’s creating historical costumes with an edge for her Steampunk group. A sub-genre of science fiction, alternate history, and speculative fiction, Steampunk offers a unique approach to technology: re-imagining modern capabilities with 19th century machines. 

With an online community and Facebook page, Klingberg and other Victorian sci-fi aficionados organize events throughout the year where they meet up dressed in 19th century costumes, most of which they design and sew themselves. Check out the Steampunk blog and community here.

Are you a Pace faculty or staff member with a fun hobby, interest, part-time job, or passion? Know someone that fits the bill? Find out how you can become our next featured superstar!


Pace Staff by Day: Superstar by Night

It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s… Wait, you’re a professional birdwatcher? A pilot? If you’ve got the story, we’ve got the outlet. We’d like to know what you moonlight as when the sun sets on your Pace job. Whether it’s xylophonist or animal shelter dog walker, we want to hear all about what our faculty and staff are up to when they’re not working toward greatness here at Pace.

You’ve seen the features here before: Nursing researcher by day, curler by night; Professor of Fine Arts by day, zombie by night. Your stories are inspiring, and we can’t get enough of them, which is why we need you… yes you, History Professor by day, Twilight and Harry Potter Analyzer by night and you, Webmaster by day, Martial Artist by night, to tell us all about your 5 to 9. When you emerge from the Pace building and then sun goes down, what do you do?

Send us your passions and hobbies, and we’ll consider you for an upcoming feature in Opportunitas.