Savage, Shur, and Geffen Remember Martin

Fabric of Cultures Exhibit
For other events click here
Savage, Shur, and Geffen Remember
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. Martin Luther King with Rabbi (then “Mickey”) Shur (center) and QC graduate Peter Geffen.
In the summer of 1965 Dr. Martin Luther
King, Jr. recruited the late Rev. Hosea L.
Williams and the Southern Christian
Leadership Conference (SCLC)—along
with over 500 college volunteers—to regis-
ter African Americans to vote in 120 counties in five southern states. This major voter
registration effort came to be known as the
Summer Community Organization and
Political Education (SCOPE) project.
3 Staff Profile: Keena Lipsitz
3 Ford Foundation grant for tolerance project
4 QC/New York Hospital collaborate
6 First CIRCE conference examines NY’s nature
Queens College Faculty & Staff News
Among the students who participated
in the SCOPE contingent assigned to
Orangeburg, SC, were Peter Geffen, a QC
graduate and founder of the Abraham
Joshua Heschel School and now executive
director of the Center for Jewish History;
Moshe “Mickey” Shur, who now, as Rabbi
Shur, heads the QC chapter of Hillel; and
Dean Savage (Sociology). The project,
which resulted in the registration of 49,000
new voters in the South, had a huge impact
on their lives.
On February 8 at 12:15 in the Student
Union, these three men will take part in a
special event at the college called “The
Scope of Freedom: Dr. King’s Civil Rights
Movement.” Scheduled to attend and also
share their experiences are Barbara Jean
Emerson, Rev. Williams’ daughter and former associate provost at the college, and
Willy Siegel Leventhal, who wrote about
this ground-breaking civil rights initiative
in his book, The Scope of Freedom: The
Leadership of Hosea Williams with Dr.
King’s Summer ’65 Student Volunteers.
This program is one of a variety of
events that will take place at the college in
February under the title “Remembering the
Past: Celebrating the Future” to commemorate African American History Month.
“As a collaboration among students,
Showcasing Art of Islam
Nasser David Khalili ‘74 (left)was accompanied by Mark Rosenblum (History) in
December during his first return visit to his
alma mater, where he delivered a lecture and
slide show, “The Art of Islam—A Glorious
Tradition.” The slides showed many items
from Khalili’s personal collection, the
largest privately held collection of Islamic
art in the world. Attendees received free
copies of his new art book, which presents a
timeline of Islamic art and culture. Khalili is
an Iranian Jew who immigrated to New York
in 1967. Now a resident of London, he is
co-founder of the Maimonides Foundation,
which promotes Jewish/Islamic reconciliation. The Khalili Centre for the Art and
Material Culture of the Middle East opened
in July at Oxford University.
(continued on page 2)
QC Authors Joyce Warren
Were it not for the foresight of Leo
Hershkowitz (History) in acting to preserve
75 years of New York Supreme Court
records discarded by the city, some
unfounded assumptions about the lives
of 19th-century women might have
remained unchallenged.
In the introduction to her book Women,
Money, and the Law (University of Iowa
Press), Joyce Warren (English/Women’s
Studies) notes her gratitude to Hershkowitz.
The records he saved provided part of the
foundation upon which she was able to
build a fascinating examination of the true
nature of the economic lives of women living in the male-dominated culture of the
mid-19th century.
Warren’s careful investigation of hundreds of court records involving women liti-
gants in the years between 1845 and 1875,
in juxtaposition with extensive research in
the lives and works of over 20 women writers of the period, demonstrates that, despite
severe restrictions imposed by law and custom, many women managed to live independently, supporting themselves and, in
some instances, their families.
Notes Warren, “In more than half of
the New York Supreme Court cases that I
looked at involving women, not counting
divorce cases, a woman was the plaintiff.
The suits were brought by women of all
classes and backgrounds—from the widow
who sued her deceased husband’s debtors,
to the woman who kept a boardinghouse
or other rental property, to the moneylender
or mortgager, to the seamstress or milliner
or retailer who sued to obtain payment for
goods or services, to the white woman who
sued to retain possession of slaves whom
she claimed as her ‘property,’ to the woman
who sued to gain compensation for an
injury or to litigate an inheritance.”
Economics is the dominant theme in
the works of many of the women writers
Warren examines, including Susan Warner,
E.D.E.N. Southworth, Harriet Beecher Stowe,
Maria Cummins, Fanny Fern, Frances
Harper, Harriet Jacobs, Harriet Wilson, and
Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Warren notes
that these writers “asserted a new economic
identity for women” in both their portrayals
of female characters and in the conduct of
their own lives.
Taken together, the evidence of the court
cases and the writers effectively runs counter to and provides a powerful corrective to
long-held assumptions that women of the
era were economically dependent and
financially uninvolved.
KING (continued from page 1)
clubs, faculty, and staff, these programs
have been organized to celebrate the significance of the events that happened in the
past, the struggles that are still going on,
and how they will affect the future of civil
rights in this country,” says Constance
Capobianco (Health Service Center), who
headed the college’s African American
History Committee.
“The topics and events we are remembering in February are as diverse as the
people who fought for these rights. . . .
It’s their culture we’re also embracing,”
says Randall Clarke, president of the
college’s Black Student Union. (Visit for a complete
list of campus events.)
The following events are free and open
to the public:
Mighty Times:
The Legacy of Rosa Parks
Film times: Running continuously
A tribute to the life of Rosa Parks, whose
legendary bus boycott on December 1,
1955 helped overturn an unjust law and
create a legacy that continues to inspire
social activists today. Stunning blackand-white footage and music by Keb
Mo, John Lee Hooker, et al.
Thursday, February 2; Friday, February 3,
and Monday, February 6: 9 am–5 pm
Student Union, 1st Floor 50 min.
Afro-Cuban Music and Literature
Includes performances by Antonio Hart
on saxophone, Michael Lipsey on percussion, and discussion by Comparative
Literature Professor Christopher Winks.
Monday, February 6: 12:15–1:45 pm
LeFrak Concert Hall
The Stop They Made
Before America
Explores the history of the Caribbean
Islands before the discovery of America.
Wednesday, February 15: 12:15–1:45 pm
Student Union, Room 310
Presented by the Caribbean Student
Race: The Power of an Illusion
This 2003 film explores the contradictory
assumptions and myths that surround the
notions of race we all hold.
Wednesday, February 22: 12:15–1:45 pm
Student Union, Room 310
Co-sponsored by the Anthropology Club
Tribute to Rosa Parks
A memorial of her life and what led up to
and followed her simple act of defiance
against racial discrimination. Includes
timelines, storyboards and photo displays.
Monday, February 27: 12:15–1:45 pm
Student Union, 4th floor
Making it in America!
Black Inventors USA
A multimedia exhibition featuring 25
tables of rare artifacts on inventions
by black people who have made a
contribution to the nation’s industrial,
technological, social, and economic
progress. Tour guides available.
Wednesday, March 1: 9 am–5 pm
Dining Hall
Faculty Profile Keena Lipsitz
Maybe the bipartisan nature of
her family predestined Keena
Lipsitz to a career
of trying to better
understand the
American political system.
“There was sort
of an unspoken
agreement in my family not to discuss
politics,” says Lipsitz, the daughter of a
fervent Democrat mother and a father
who was a member of the National Rifle
Association, and a Republican.
As a consequence, says Lipsitz, who
joined the Political Science Department in
August, she has always been interested in
political leadership. When I was in high
school in rural Arizona I went to Kiev as
part of an exchange program. This was
April 1990, the calm before the storm.”
Kiev was an eye-opening experience, says
Lipsitz, who describes herself at the time
as “clueless” to the fact that the large,
well-appointed apartment where her host
family lived was not a typical Russian
home, but a reflection of the father’s privileges as a Communist Party apparatchik.
Needless to say, she has acquired considerably more political savvy since then.
Lipsitz received a BA in politics and public policy cum laude from Pomona
College and both an MA and PhD in political science from UC Berkeley. She is currently turning her PhD thesis into a book.
“I’m interested in electoral law and how
we run elections,” Lipsitz says. To this end,
she and her husband, Grigore Pop-Eleches,
an assistant professor in the Department of
Politics at Princeton, conducted an informal investigation of new voting technologies used in 2004 in Florida, where four
years earlier the most controversial election of our time was decided, the GoreBush race.
“One thing that is just outrageous—
and I teach this in my ‘Introduction to
American Politics’ class—is how crazy
and unstandardized our system is.
Different counties within a state can have
completely different methods for voting;
they can have different types of machines
with different error rates. The fact that we
have a federal system and yet the method
for voting is left up to the states and
counties is just preposterous.”
Segueing to the controversy surrounding the new generation of electronic
touch-screen voting machines manufactured by Diebold, a company whose chief
executive made no secret of his desire to
help re-elect George W. Bush, Lipsitz
observes, “I don’t understand why it’s
even an issue; why of course they need to
have some kind of paper trail!
“I’m interested in reforming the system,” she asserts, “but I feel that political
scientists have this attitude that American
voters are stupid. We have to do a better
job of talking to people. They are feeling
alienated from politics and we’re not
doing a good job of saying why they
should be interested.”
Lipsitz also believes that the polarization of the two parties in Congress con(continued on page 8)
Whitman’s Queens Connection
President James Muyskens and
Tom Galante, QC grad and director
of the Queens Public Library
System, hold a poster from “Did
You Know I Was Your Neighbor,”
an exhibit at the Flushing branch
recounting the poet’s time teaching
in a one-room schoolhouse on the
site now occupied by the college’s
Student Union. The exhibit was
curated by Syd Lefkoe (Financial
Aid), based on research by alumnus and historian Jeffrey Gottlieb.
College Receives Ford Foundation Award for Religious Tolerance Project
Queens College has received a $100,000
grant from a Ford Foundation program that
encourages colleges and their surrounding
ethnic communities to engage in a dialogue
on religious issues. The college’s project,
The Middle East and America: Clash of
Civilizations or Meeting of the Minds, builds
upon Mark Rosenblum’s (History) nationally
acclaimed pilot project to foster understanding
and discussion about the Middle East conflict.
Funding from the Ford Foundation’s
Difficult Dialogues initiative helps colleges
and universities promote an open campus
environment where contentious political,
religious, racial, and cultural issues can be
discussed. Other awardees among the group
of 26 (chosen from 675 proposals) were
Barnard, Yale, University of Wisconsin,
and LaGuardia.
President James Muyskens noted, “We
have a moral, social, and educational imperative to probe difficult issues and find solutions to seemingly intractable problems.
Rosenblum’s project is doing just that by stimulating dialogue and creating an extraordinary learning community. It is deeply gratifying that the Ford Foundation has recognized
these accomplishments and the value of
moving our project to the next level.”
The Middle East and America project,
begun in fall 2004, initially brought together
15 QC undergraduates—Jews, Muslims, and
Christians—for research and discussion of the
Arab-Israeli conflict. They were joined by sev-
eral senior citizens, an assistant principal,
and seven history and world studies teachers
from five Queens high schools. (For more
information, see November 2004 FYI.)
The program continued throughout fall 2005,
greatly expanding its outreach to public high
school teachers and students. On Election
Day alone, 45 teachers from four boroughs
attended presentations and discussions at
the college, culminating with a visit to the
Godwin-Ternbach Museum’s multimedia
photo exhibition, This Land to Me: Some
Call It Palestine, Others Israel.
Michael Krasner (Political Science), a
co-founder of The Middle East and America
project, is co-teaching the course this
spring, which will examine the role of
mass media in portraying the conflict.
Guest speakers from the New York Times
and other media will join class discussions.
A permanent reference center of print and
video source materials on the conflict will
also be developed.
“This grant comes at an opportune
moment in the life of our Middle East education project, which is designed to give
hope without delusion,” says Rosenblum.
“We have been overwhelmed—in the
positive sense—with requests from high
schools citywide to provide educational
tools to help students understand the conflict in all its complexity. These funds will
allow us to implement our growing project
at this critical time.”
“New York Hospital Queens College”
Is Improving Patient Care and Staff Skills
Recent graduates of New York Hospital Queens College (l to r): Nancy Parnell, Jessie Abraham, Dolores
Venditti, Mary Gavin, and Daniel Yashayev.
Providing health care to one of the city’s
most ethnically and economically diverse
neighborhoods is a challenge for New York
Hospital Queens (NYHQ). Now, thanks
to a collaboration with the college’s
Continuing Education Program (CEP), the
hospital has been offering its employees
free courses that not only enhance patient
care but also build staff skills and create
opportunities for professional development
and career advancement.
“Like all hospitals, we face an increasingly
competitive, rapidly changing health care
environment, which includes severe support staff shortages,” says Dr. Patricia
Woods, Chief Learning Officer of NYHQ.
“Our hospital also has the special challenge of serving a patient population of
over 30 nationalities who speak at least
10 different languages.
“Recognizing the need to expand the
capabilities and motivate and retain our
staff — from receptionist to specialist —
we collaborated to launch New York
Hospital Queens College,” continues
Woods. “We were one of the first health
care organizations in the country to adopt
this cutting-edge approach.” This approach
appears to be successful as New York
Hospital Queens College was named a
finalist for an award given each year by
the Corporate University Xchange, which
recognizes excellence and innovation in
corporate learning.
So far about 20 percent of the hospital’s
workforce has taken courses since the collaboration began in the fall of 2001. Today
New York Hospital Queens College offers
over 30 workshops, seminars, and courses
each semester. Subjects include multi-lingual medical translation, computer classes,
fundamentals of grant writing, and management and leadership training, according
to Thomas Cracovia, CEP’s executive
director. Most courses are taught by CEP
faculty, who also develop the curricula and
classroom materials. NYHQ recruits the
students and provides rooms for the classes, which usually are held Monday through
Friday during the day. This year 45 hospital administrators were awarded professional certificates for completing the college’s first management studies/leadership
program. This comprehensive, two-semester course was so well received that it is
being offered again this spring.
Cracovia notes that “Our partnership
with NYHQ and their goals for this venture dovetail perfectly with Continuing
Education’s mission, which is to provide
career training, educational enrichment,
and recreation to meet the diverse, everchanging needs of Queens residents.”
Among the unique—and especially
needed—offerings are a 100-hour medical
translation program in Russian, Chinese,
and Korean for the nursing staff, and a 30hour medical terminology program in
Korean for non-clinical personnel. Funded
by a grant from the New York State
Department of Health, these two translation
programs have been instrumental in more
effectively diagnosing medical problems
and prescribing treatment to non-Englishspeaking patients who cannot communicate
with hospital staff.
Roza Younatanov, a Russian-born nurse
of Persian ancestry, describes the medical
translation course as a “beautiful, enriching
experience. Through simultaneous interpretation, we enable the doctors and patients to
accurately ‘talk’ to each other so that nothing is misunderstood. This also alleviates
patients’ anxiety, which is already elevated
because they are away from home in a hospital.” Through the interpreter, patients also
receive a better understanding of consent
and other legal forms.
Internships “PEP” Up
Asian Student
Involvement in Politics
Despite the recent explosion of Asian
Americans in New York City, particularly
in Queens, few hold elected positions, and
young Asians rarely enter public life. To
address this vacuum, the Asian/American
Center (A/AC), in partnership with the Asian
American Legal Defense and Education Fund
and the Asian Pacific American Voters
Association, formed the Participation and
Empowerment Project (PEP).
PEP, now in the second year of a
projected four-year program, emphasizes
“action learning” fall internships for Asian
American students, notes A/AC Director
Madhulika Khandelwal. Interns receive
course credit and a unique opportunity to
engage in grass-roots politics and the electoral process through a variety of activities.
Among these are meetings with local Asian
officials and community activists and public
forums with leading practitioners and scholars on the challenges and strategies needed
to promote political involvement among
Asian Americans. This past December, for
example, the interns met with City
Councilman John Liu for a discussion on
“Youth and Political Empowerment Issues.”
“The important thing is that this was the
students’ event—they did all the research,
planning, and development and chose
Councilman Liu as the public official they’d
most like to meet for a one-on-one discussion of key political issues,” says
Khandelwal. “This is the essence of empowerment in action.”
Another key activity was the students’
participation last fall in voter registration
drives and exit polls in neighborhoods with
large Asian American populations. “Such nonpartisan efforts capitalize on the students’
language and cultural skills to increase the
numbers of Asian American voters and
enable them to learn first-hand about Asian
voting patterns,” says Khandelwal. “The
demographic data collected from these voter
surveys will also be tabulated and analyzed
in a special report by the students, which we
will disseminate to interested Asian communities and organizations.”
Student Profile Steve Milord
Steve Milord ’06
wants to make his
mark in science.
And as a participant in the
Minority Access
to Research
Careers program
(MARC), he is
already developing professional
skills. He spent last summer assigned to
a genetics laboratory operated by the
National Institute on Aging (NIA), where
he was part of a team that used high-tech
tools to manipulate a mouse gene so that
it functions at a reduced level.
“In humans, overexpression of this
gene is known to be associated with vaginal bleeding during childbirth; its complete deletion is associated with stillbirth,”
explains Milord, displaying an enviable
facility for putting complicated concepts
into terms laypeople can understand.
Only a few years ago, the future biolo-
gy major was something of a layman
himself. “I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do,” he says. That changed after he
became a lab assistant to Pokay Ma
(Biology), who was working with goldfish. “I got to look at the functional anatomy of a nerve, in the neuromuscular system,” Milord recalls. When Queens
received its first $2.4 million, five-year
grant for MARC—a federally subsidized
initiative designed to encourage members
of minority groups to pursue scientific
careers—Ma suggested that Milord apply.
Milord is now in the last semester of
his term in the program, which gives him
and several other undergraduates a $900
monthly stipend in addition to covering
their tuition for junior and senior years.
These students also get the chance to be
mentored by faculty members.
“It’s been a great opportunity,” says
Milord, who commutes to Flushing from
Valley Stream every day, and admits that
it’s a challenge to juggle coursework and
lab work. “I used to have a part-time job;
with the stipend I can focus on research. I
have been able to attend and present at
conferences every year. And the access to
faculty has been very beneficial, helping
me with everything from schoolwork to
planning for the future.”
“Steven was obviously very excited
about research,” comments Zahra Zakeri
(Biology), who secured the MARC grant
for Queens. “I recommended him to NIA
because I have been working with them for
many years. I wanted him to get experience
the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina
. . . ANDREW BEVERIDGE (Sociology) was
quoted in a Dec. 1 article in the New York
Times about the increase in the number of
children under the age of five currently living in Manhattan (up 26% since 2000).
He was also interviewed
about this topic Dec. 2
on WNYC’s “Brian Lehrer
Show.” Beveridge also
published an article in the
December Gotham Gazette
that showed, contrary to
reports in the media, that
Fernando Ferrer received
over 80% of the Hispanic
vote in his failed mayoral race . . . The Dec.
11 Stamford Advocate featured an article
about PATRICK BROCK (Earth & Env Sciences)
and his efforts to map the Cameron Line, a
450-million-year-old fault line that runs
through Connecticut and several surrounding
states . . . JOSEPH BROSTEK (Special Events)
was quoted in a Jan. 8 Daily News article
about the Walt Whitman exhibit mounted
by the college that was presented in the
Queens Public Library’s Flushing branch . . .
NICK COCH (Earth & Env Sciences) appeared
on the Weather Channel’s “It Could Happen
Tomorrow” on Jan. 15 to discuss the possibility of a hurricane hitting New York City.
He also addressed this topic on CNN’s
outside Queens. It’s important for students
to see how research is conducted at other
universities and institutions so they can
decide where to go for their PhD.”
While Milord doesn’t yet know where
he’s headed next, he is sure of his general
direction. “I’d like to combine medical
science and research, and work in an academic setting,” he reports. In one respect,
he is already a role model, reports Zakeri,
who says Milord’s image has been used in
promotional materials for MARC.
Design Services’ Award-Winning Poster
Our new poster touting our #8 ranking from
Princeton Review America’s Best Value Colleges
has won a bronze medal in the Council for the
Advancement and Support of Education (CASE)
District II Accolades program. Credit for this honor
goes to Design Services (Communications), with
creative direction by Dyanne Maue and layout
by Adrian Partridge. The colorful design with the
familiar Q logo is being incorporated into new
banners to be displayed off campus. For a copy
of the poster, call Dotty Sodano at 75920.
ALICE ARTZT (Secondary
Education) was quoted
extensively in an article in
the Nov. 24 Times Ledger
about TIME 2000 and the
difficulty of recruiting math
teachers. An article on TIME
2000 also appeared in the
Chinese-language World
Journal . . . Queensborough,
the magazine of the Queens Chamber of
Commerce, quoted JOE BERTOLINO (VP
Student Affairs) in an article in its December
issue about students from New Orleans who
spent the last semester at Queens College
following the closure of their colleges due to
“Wolf Blitzer Show” on Oct. 28 . . . The
Ascribe Newswire service ran an article on
Nov. 22 about a federal grant for $189,540
that COLLEEN COOL (GSLIS) and a co-investigator received to research ways that people
can make better use of digital libraries . . .
MARSHALL DAVIS, JR. (Drama) was quoted
in an article about tap dance in the
Dec. 18 issue of the New York Times . . .
Associate Provost MARTEN DEN BOER noted
in a Dec. 28 article in the Queens Courier
that the college was able to maintain its
schedule of final exams despite the transit
strike . . . DESLYN DOWNES (Armstrong
House) was interviewed by Bloomberg
(continued on page 8)
First CIRCE Conference Looks at Nature in NYC
Theodore Kheel
Had earlier residents been more inclined to
take notice of the consequences their activities were having on the surrounding waters,
The Big Apple might instead have been
called The Big Oyster.
Difficult as it may be to envision today,
until the end of the 19th century, the oyster
population in the waters surrounding New
York City was so plentiful that even the
poorest residents ate oysters as their primary meal at least twice a week. Oyster
stands were more plentiful than hot dog
stands are today, and one of the great civic
issues was determining how to dispose of
all the shells.
This illuminating bit of lore was provided by Mark Kurlansky. Better known
as a food writer than an environmentalist,
he was addressing the attendees at Why
Nature Matters to New Yorkers, the first
conference sponsored by the CUNY
Institute for Research on the City
Environment (CIRCE, previously known
as the Institute to Nurture New York’s
Nature). Some 200 were in attendance
Dec. 2 at LeFrak Hall to hear Phillip
Lopate, David Rosane, Anne Matthews,
Tony Hiss, and Robert Sullivan describe
the past, present, and theoretical future
of the city’s natural environs.
John Waldman (Biology), the conference’s principal convener and a selfdescribed “lifetime New Yorker,” set the
tone with his introductory observation:
“There is an interesting and unresolved
tension between nature and New York and
it leads to strange dichotomies and sublime juxtapositions.”
He illustrated this contention with a
series of photographs that included a
remarkable 1951 image showing a shark
that had ventured into Brooklyn’s famously polluted Gowanus Canal (“the only
waterway in the world where the sediment
consists mostly of discarded handguns”)
being executed by a police sharpshooter.
He followed with a photo of Pale Male,
the red-tailed hawk who inspired a legion
of protectors last year when owners of a
luxury Fifth Avenue apartment building
removed his nest. Certainly, observed
Waldman, attitudes had changed in the
intervening decades, and the time was
right for a program such as CIRCE.
President James Muyskens offered
welcoming remarks and introduced
Theodore Kheel, the legendary labor
mediator. Now in his tenth decade, Kheel
is devoting his considerable powers of
persuasion to mediating between developers and environmentalists via the auspices
of his organization, Nurture New York’s
Nature. “The most serious conflict we
face is protecting our environment while
having economic development, because,
evidently, we must have both,” he told
the crowd.
The process of determining what
is a “natural” feature of the landscape
is sometimes less than scientific,
explained William Kornblum
(Sociology), an expert on the city’s
waterfront areas. As an example, he
offered a recollection of a phenomenon
called “the lump,” which he encountered in the 1950s when working at a
cement factory on the East River.
The lump, he explained, was the
result of the regular, illegal dumping
into the river of small quantities of
cement leftover in trucks after they had
completed their deliveries. That accumulation was augmented by the cement
dust runoff from workers who showered
on the docks and Kornblum’s own
sweepings as a laborer charged with
keeping the dock clean.
Long after the factory was torn
down, the lump remained, accumulating
sand and sediment. Today it is populated by birds and used by fishermen.
Along a “hardened” waterfront of manmade bulkheads, it is considered the
only bit of “beach” on the lower eastern
shoreline of Manhattan and the object
of controversy between developers, who
want to remove it, and activists, who
want to preserve it.
“I realized,” said Kornblum, “that
like so many places in this city, the
question of whether they’re natural or
not natural doesn’t matter, so long as
they’re working as part of nature for
the benefit of the birds, or animals, or
for us. It’s one of the few places along
the East River where people can actually touch the water. . . . So I’m a big
defender of ‘the beach.’”
MARIANNE COOPER (Affirmative Action)
was elected president of the Long Island
Labor Resources Council in December. The
council represents 157 institutions, including
universities, research institutions, archives
and historical societies, and school and
county public libraries . . . A poster submitted by IGOR KUSKOVSKY (Physics) and his
student Weldon MacDonald at the semiannual meeting of
the Materials
Society in
Boston in
November was
Kuskovsky and MacDonald
selected for an
award from a field of 400 posters . . .
ANDREA MOSENSON, an adjunct professor
in the Department of Family, Nutrition &
Exercise Sciences, was recently named
Nassau County Teacher of the Year by the
Long Island Family and Consumer Science
Professionals. Mosenson, who received her
master’s in family and consumer science
education from QC in 1995, is currently
working on a doctorate at the University of
Nebraska–Lincoln . . . DRORA PERSHING
(Aaron Copland School of Music) should
have been included on the list of those recognized for 35 years of service at the
awards ceremony held in December . . .
Literature) has published an article on
migrant literature in Germany, “Co pani
robi w Niemczech?—Was machen Sie in
Deutschland?” in the Polish journal Tygiel
Kultury (Winter 2005–2006).
Queens College Professors Among CUNY’s Longest Serving
The secret to having a long academic
career may be to land a position at Queens
College. Of the five longest-serving faculty members in the entire CUNY system,
three of them—Claire Kaplan, Alexander
Kouguell, and Wilma Winnick—have
posts here. And none of them is ready to
retire any time soon.
“Don’t print my age,” insists Claire
Kaplan, an adjunct lecturer assigned
to Academic
Support, where
she teaches
English as a
second language. “I want
to keep working.” She says
she fell into
her career.
Armed with
a bachelor’s
Claire Kaplan
degree in speech
pathology from QC in 1947, she took a
job at the school’s speech and hearing
clinic. She subsequently earned a master’s
in clinical psychology from CCNY and
began thinking about getting a PhD.
“Then Elaine Newman of the English
Language Institute said, ‘Come help me
out,’ ” Kaplan says. “That was it. I think it
was 1970.”
A newcomer in a fairly new field,
she created many of her own classroom
materials, drawing on the New York Times,
magazines, history books, poetry collections, and videos—a method she continues to use today. “It’s very important for
students to learn about our culture, politi7
cal and social life, and goals,” she notes.
In turn, Kaplan has gained insight into
events taking place around the world.
“When I first started, in the days of the
Shah [of Iran], I had pro-Shah students on
one side of the room and communists on
the other, and they didn’t talk to each
other. With each new wave of people, it’s
meant learning about a new group.”
In 1985 she did an overseas stint herself: As a thank you for housing a visiting
Chinese professor for a year, Kaplan and
her husband were invited to spend two
months in China, where she taught senior
English majors as well as faculty members. Although a subsequent trip was cut
short by the protests in Tiananmen
Square—“We had to leave without saying
goodbye,” Kaplan reports—she and her
husband went back last summer to see former students and colleagues.
Music professor emeritus Alexander
Kouguell is an immigrant himself. Born
in Crimea, he studied cello at the Ecole
Normale de Musique de Paris before
majoring in comparative literature at the
American University in Beirut. Then he
came to New York to enroll in a doctoral
program at Columbia University. “I was in
music and literature all the way through,”
he explains.
Like Kaplan, he got his position somewhat serendipitously: After performing in
a concert that included a piece by Leo
Kraft, a Queens grad and music professor,
Kouguell met the composer in person.
“Leo said that the college wanted to have
a string quartet in residence. So I started
here in September 1949,” he says. He discovered that the music department’s goals
were grander than its location. “We had
the army shacks, three or four of them,”
Kouguell recalls. “Then we moved to the
building that became the power plant.
Concerts were given in Jefferson Hall.”
The curriculum was
different, too.
In addition to
teaching core
classes for
majors and
playing in faculty recitals,
Kouguell had
to teach music
Alexander Kouguell
a required course. “That was a challenge,”
he admits. “I had to sell music to people
who weren’t appreciative of it! Attending
two concerts—one orchestral, one
choral—and writing about them was
obligatory for all freshmen.”
Today, Kouguell’s courseload is
lighter, and his department’s facilities are
vastly improved. “As an adjunct, I come
in once a week to teach chamber music,”
he says. “I still perform, too. Now we
have the Colden Center and LeFrak
Concert Hall, and they’re wonderful!”
During the summers, he coaches string
ensembles at Bennington College, which
he’s done since the 1950s. “Music keeps
people young,” he concludes.
Wilma Winnick, who preceded Kouguell
to Queens, has also witnessed its institutional transformation. A native of the borough, she came here to earn an undergraduate degree in psychology. “My par-
ents were intrigued with the free tuition,”
she observes. She completed a master’s
at Brown University and a PhD at
Columbia, returning to her alma mater in
the summer of 1946 because she was
asked to teach by someone, she can’t
remember whom—an ironic admission
from a scientist with a particular interest
in human memory.
Winnick’s recollections of the Queens
campus are much clearer. “It was a little
country school, very small, with little old
buildings,” she says. “My true love was
experimental psychology. But before the
doctoral program came along, there was
no money for research and no money for
equipment. We couldn’t have a lab, so we
couldn’t do animal experiments.” Instead,
with the help of grants, she managed to
investigate human learning, designing
studies that didn’t require much apparatus.
Now, the psychology lab is much more
sophisticated. So are the people Winnick
trains. “There
were always
very bright
students, but
now they’re
less naïve,”
she comments.
To date 15
grad students
have completed dissertations under
her. She conWilma Winnick
tinues to tackle
research projects and, in her spare time,
she is expanding her own skill set, an
effort involving a non-laboratory mouse:
“I’m taking adult courses, learning to use
the computer.”
QC IN THE NEWS (continued from page 5)
Radio for a segment on the jazz great’s
home that aired on Martin Luther King Day
. . . JOSHUA FREEMAN (History) was much in
demand in the days before and during the
recent transit strike. He was quoted in articles in the Dec. 12 Newsday and Dec. 28
Journal News and was interviewed on the
Dec. 15 “Brian Lehrer Show” and on Dec.
12, 15, 19, and 21 on WCBS News Radio.
He also appeared on “New York 1 News”
on Dec. 16 . . . The Jan. 1 Pittsburgh PostGazette ran an article about
the Queens Jazz Trail Tour
that mentioned JIMMY
HEATH (Music Emeritus)
and the Louis Armstrong
House Museum . . . SAMUEL
HEILMAN (Sociology) was
quoted in the Jan. 1 Asbury
Park Press in an article
about the growing political Heilman
Chinese Neolithic Subsistence Practices by
Isotopic Analysis,” which appeared in the
Journal of Archaeological Science . . .
GEORGE PRIESTLEY (Political Science) was
quoted in a Dec. 22 article in the Amsterdam
News about the position of Afro Cubans in
Cuba . . . A letter from LEONARD RODBERG
(Urban Studies), criticizing some of the
actions taken by the city’s commissioner of
health and hygiene, appeared in the Nov. 22
(English) and his book Savage Pastimes: A
Cultural History of Violent Entertainment,
were the subject of a feature article in the
Dec. 18 issue of Newsday . . . The exhibit
This Land to Me: Some Call It Palestine,
Others Israel was the subject of articles in
the November 25 Chronicle of Higher
Education and in the Dec. 1 Times Ledger . . .
The “Peer Review” column in the Dec. 6
Chronicle of Higher Education noted that
CUNY is making cluster hires in the area of
demography, with one of the hires to be
based at Queens College . . . The Dec. 7
Epoch Times and Dec. 8 Queens Tribune covered the proceedings of the Nature and New
York conference (see page 6). The conference
was also noted in New York, Time Out New
York, and the New York Sun . . . The conference Fostering Women’s Success in Science
was the subject of an article in the Dec. 15
Queens Tribune . . . The Dec. 16 Daily News
and Dec. 22 issues of the Times Ledger and
Queens Tribune ran articles about the college
receiving a $100,000 grant from the Ford
Foundation (see story page 3) . . . The recent
QC Art Center exhibit Mono.logue: Works on
Paper by Seongmin Ahn received notices in
the Korea Times, Queens Chronicle, and
Queens Courier . . . Queensborough ran an
article in its November issue about the business forum Queens: A Catalyst for Success,
which was co-sponsored by the college and
held on campus October 21.
director for Health Professions Advising
of Tufts University: “Northeast advisors
knew Dan for many years as a warm, generous soul whose commitment to students
was unparalleled and whose generosity to
colleagues helped many of us get our
advising feet on the ground. . . . He has
left an indelible mark and truly is the
grandfather of the NAAHP.”
Our many alumni with rewarding
careers in the health professions owe a
debt of gratitude to this dedicated professor. There is no better way to end than
by letting Dan speak for himself. “Good
academics and high MCAT scores do
not necessarily make a good physician.
I wrote my best and strongest letters
for individual students who I felt were
‘good people’.”
LIPSITZ (continued from page 3)
Daniel Marien
Daniel Marien earned his BS from
Cornell and his PhD from Columbia in
1956. His doctoral thesis research on
Drosophila species evolution was carried
out under the mentorship of the renowned
geneticist and evolutionary biologist
Theodosius Dobzhansky. Dan joined the
faculty of the QC Biology Department in
1962 as an assistant professor. He taught
genetics and loved railroad trains. Dan
retired from the faculty in 1992 and died
last year on November 17.
But these facts do not tell the whole
story. Those who remember Dan probably
know him best for his 35-year stewardship
of the college’s Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC). In 1965 Dan
took over the Premedical and Predental
Advisory Committee, as it was then called,
and developed this into a strong advocating
body for our students applying to graduate
influence of Orthodox Jews
in Asbury . . . STEVEN
MARKOWITZ (Center for the
Biology of Natural Systems)
expressed his concerns
about a cleanup plan proposed by the Environmental
Protection Agency at the site
of the former World Trade
Center on a Dec. 14 WNYC
news segment and in the Dec. 15 Epoch
Times and Dec. 16 Downtown Express . . .
In an article about immigration in Queens
in the Dec. 29 Queens Tribune, PYONG GAP
MIN (Sociology) noted that immigrants to
the borough have the advantage of living
“in two worlds every day”. . . The research
and her collaborators was highlighted in a
piece in the November issue of Natural
History. The magazine cited an article she cowrote entitled “Reconstructing Northern
schools in the health professions. After
retiring, Dan continued as head of HPAC
until the summer of 2000, when he reluctantly turned over the reins.
Over the years Dan advised hundreds
of students on course selections, extracurricular activities, and preparing for an
interview. He wrote countless recommendation letters and frequently helped students with academic and even personal
problems. He was well-respected by the
admissions officers of most U.S. and
many international medical schools.
As the field of pre-health professions
advisement grew, Dan became an advisor
to the advisors. He was an active participant in the Northeast Association of
Advisors for the Health Professions.
Indeed, upon hearing of Dan’s passing,
many of his colleagues sent HPAC
remembrances. Said Carol Baffi-Dugan,
–Corinne Michels, Biology Department
tributes to voter disinterest. “Democrats
and Republicans are much further apart
than they’ve ever been before. That creates bickering and argument, and turns
people off. We need to think about how
to structure our politics so it’s more
palatable to voters.”
A self-described “West Coast person,”
Lipsitz says that while she was aware of
CUNY, she knew nothing of Queens
College before coming here and has been
delighted by her experience thus far. “I
really love teaching here. It’s the most
diverse student population I’ve ever
taught,” she says.
She has also observed that the politics
of local ethnic groups here is different. To
illustrate, she points to the recent election
in Los Angeles of a Latino mayor while,
in New York, Fernando Ferrer’s mayoral
bid failed.
Frederick Purnell, Jr.
Purnell, Jr.,
professor of
philosophy at
Queens College
and the
Center of the
City University
of New York,
died suddenly of a stroke on November 29.
A graduate of Duke University, Fred studied with Paul Oskar Kristeller at Columbia
University, receiving a PhD in 1970.
Fred’s deep understanding of the complex currents of Renaissance thought gave
him the impetus to examine and make
notable contributions to the study of
Renaissance Platonism, Renaissance
Science, and the Hermetic tradition.
His latest publications are the entry
on Francesco Patrizi, for the Stanford
History of Philosophy online and the
forthcoming Paul Oskar Kristeller and
Renaissance Science. In recent years,
Fred’s interest in Renaissance science
extended beyond the traditional boundaries to Galileo. His expertise on Galileo
became well known and he was invited
to present a concise analysis of Galileo’s
central accomplishments on the History
Channel International this past fall. The
great success of this presentation led to an
invitation to lecture on Galileo in China.
Deeply committed to Queens College
and the Graduate Center, Fred served for
11 years as chair of the Philosophy
Department and two years as acting associate provost. At the Graduate Center, he
served one year as acting executive officer for the PhD program in philosophy.
Fred’s good judgment and affability were
reflected in the demand for his services on
many committees.
Fred thoroughly enjoyed his students
and was very impressed by the great
diversity of the Queens student body.
Students loved studying with him, both
for his wide learning and his enthusiasm,
and many were inspired to continue their
studies in Renaissance thought and other
areas of philosophy.
Fred’s wide intellectual interests went
well beyond his own field. He was a
knowledgeable ornithologist and keenly
interested in environmental studies and
medical ethics, teaching popular courses
on the latter two subjects.
Fred’s death is a tremendous loss for
the college, for Renaissance studies, and
for me personally as a close friend and
colleague for over 30 years.
He is survived by his wife, Susan, his
daughters Stephanie and Emily, his sonin-law Chris, two grandsons, Reilly and
Samuel, and his brother, John.
NYC & Co., the New York City convention and
visitors bureau, has selected the Louis
Armstrong House Museum as its
Cultural Organization of the
Month for February. This means
NYC & Co. will provide special
promotions, including a video
about the Armstrong House that
will continually play at the
Visitor Information Center in Times Square
and have a prominent location on its Web site
( In turn, the Armstrong
House will host a special mini-program each
Saturday afternoon in February (see Events
Calendar, page 10) and offer discounted
admission to visitors who mention “Cultural
Organization of the Month.”
Roux came to Queens College in 1975
after earning a bachelor’s degree in engineering science from C. W. Post College in
1968 and working for a number of years
for a groundwater consulting firm. “The
story I remember most fondly about Paul,”
says School of Earth & Environmental
Sciences Director Daniel Habib, who was
Roux’s thesis mentor, “concerned his grade
in graduate mineralogy, offered that semester by David Speidel. Paul was the only nongeologist among eight students, coming into
the program with an engineering degree.
And he was the only one who received the
grade of A.”
Once he received his MA in geology from
the college, Roux worked for Stauffer
Chemical Company until deciding in 1981 to
set up his own consulting firm. Starting with
just two employees, Roux Associates has
expanded to over 200 employees in New
York, Boston, New Jersey, Atlanta, Chicago,
and Denver, offering environmental and sustainability consulting services to hundreds of
clients worldwide.
Roux will also be serving on the EES’s
External Advisory Committee, which helps
students prepare for careers in industry.
–Martin L. Pine, Emeritus Professor of History
The college’s inaugural Winter Session proved
to be a hit with students. Put together with little
fanfare after receiving CUNY approval, this
pilot project pulled in over 420 students, who
put in a full semester’s worth of work by taking these four-and-a-half hour courses five
days a week for two weeks.
“Winter Session at the college is an idea
whose time has come,” says Director of
Admissions Vincent Angrisani. “Most of the
departments that participated emphasized
introductory courses. This was a great help for
our students, who may have been shut out in
the fall because of the overwhelming demand
for these courses. And introductory courses are
very appealing to visiting students, who realize they can get one of their degree requirements out of the way in just two weeks.”
Another advantage is that the City
University allows the college to keep most of
the funds generated by Winter Session courses, rather than sharing them with CUNY as it
does in other sessions. “With all this going for
it,” Angrisani concludes, “I feel very confident
that in the future Winter Session is going to
snowball at the college.”
In the next 10 years a number of students
working for their master’s degree in applied
environmental geosciences will have reason
to thank Paul Roux. The 1978 graduate is
donating $10,000 a year for the next
decade to fund the education of students in
this new program.
The Family and Consumer Studies
Specialization in the Department of Family,
Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences has been
approved for the Family Life Education
Certification (CFLE) by the National Council
on Family Relations (NCFR). The certification
attests that the curriculum includes appropriate coursework for each of the 10 family
life substance areas required for CFLE designation. According to NCFR, “The CFLE designation recognizes a broad, comprehensive
range of issues constituting family life education. It acknowledges the preventive focus
of family life education and assures that the
designate has met or exceeded the high
standards and criteria needed to provide
quality family life education.”
The college’s specialization is the only
CFLE-approved program in the New York
City area. Upon graduation, students are
eligible for the Family Life Educator
Certification, which increases their visibility
and marketability.
Photographs of Queens County, by Paul
Anthony Melhado. Gallery Talk and
Reception at 5 pm. Hours: Mon–Thur, 9 am–
8 pm; Fri, 9 am–5 pm. Through March 30.
CONCERT: Anthony Newton,
Pianist, LeFrak Hall, 12:15 pm.
EVENT: “At Home in Corona,” conversation
with Louis Armstrong’s long-time friend
and neighbor Selma Heraldo. Armstrong
House, 2 pm. Followed by guided house
tour. Info: 718-478-8274,
Fuels and the Role of Catalysis,” Devinder
Mahajan (SUNY Stony Brook and
Brookhaven National Laboratory). Science
Bldg, Room B326, 12:15 pm.
CONCERT: Long Island Composers Alliance
Chamber Orchestra, LeFrak Hall, 12:15 pm.
PRESENTATION: “Louis Armstrong:
Fountainhead.” Former jazz drummer
Francis Lunzer will discuss Armstrong’s influence on generations of jazz musicians.
Followed by guided house tour. Armstrong
House, 2 pm. Info: 718-478-8274,
FACULTY CONCERT: “Afro-Cuban Music and
Literature,” Michael Lipsey, percussion,
Antonio Hart, saxophone, Christopher
Winks (Comp. Lit.). LeFrak Hall, 12:15 pm.
EXHIBIT OPENING: The Fabric of Cultures:
Fashion, Identity, Globalization. GodwinTernbach Museum. Public Reception
Thursday, February 16, 5 pm. Through
June 1.
CONCERT: Eowyn Driscoll, soprano. Works
of Schumann, Larsen, Handel, and more.
LeFrak Hall, 6:30 pm.
READING: Novelist Margaret Atwood, with
interviewer Leonard Lopate. LeFrak Hall,
7 pm.
“The New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary
Program: A Partnership to Restore the
Estuary,” Robert Nyman (Environmental
Protection Agency). Science Building, Room
C207, 12:15 pm.
LECTURE: “Armstrong and the Roots of Jazz in
New Orleans,” Michael Heller (Armstrong
House). Followed by guided House tour.
Armstrong House, 2 pm. Info: 718-4788274,
Seeking. Discussant: Dr. Menachem Daum,
filmmaker. LeFrak Hall, 2 pm.
The Fabric of Cultures: Fashion, Identity, Globalization
“Submarine Groundwater Discharge: What
Is It and Who Cares? A Personal Odyssey in
Coastal Hydrology,” Henry Bokuniewicz
(Stony Brook). Science Bldg, Room C207,
12:15 pm.
and Molecules,” David Pine (NYU). Science
Bldg, Room B326, 12:15 pm.
CONCERT: Jan-Piet Knijff, Organ, Ralph
Allen, violin and viola. Works by Bach,
LeFrak Hall, 12:15 pm.
CONCERT: Ambience String Quartet, Jiliane
Russo, Music Director. LeFrak Hall, 12:15 pm
Monteverdi/Peress, Toccata and Ritornelli
from Orfeo, Chen Gang and He Zhanhao,
Butterfly Lovers Concerto for Violin and
Orchestra, Feng Chern-Hwei, soloist;
Hindemith, Mathis der Mahler; Maurice
Peress, music director. LeFrak Hall, 12:15
“Faunal Studies as a Guide Towards
Restoration of the Bronx River,” Joe Rachlin
(Lehman). Science Building, Room C207,
12:15 pm.
LECTURE: “What is Couture?” Phyllis Tortora
(Emeritus, FNES). 401 Klapper Hall, 12:15 pm.
How We Use Land: Photographs of
Queens County
How We Use Land: Photographs of
Queens County, by Paul Anthony Melhado.
Queens College Art Center. Hours:
Mon–Thurs, 9 am–8 pm; Fri, 9 am–5 pm.
Through March 30.
The Fabric of Cultures: Fashion, Identity,
Globalization. Godwin-Ternbach Museum,
Klapper Hall, 4th floor. Hours: Mon–Thurs,
11 am–7 pm; Sat, 11 am–5 pm. Through
June 1.
PLAY: Little Murders by Jules Feiffer.
Presented by Drama, Theatre & Dance Dept.
Rathaus Hall M–11. Thurs., Feb. 23, 7 pm;
Fridays, Feb. 17 & 24, 8 pm; Saturdays,
Feb. 18 & 25, 8 pm; Sundays, Feb. 19 & 26,
3 pm. Reservations: 718-997-2788. Tickets
also available one hour before performance. Tickets $14 ($12 Seniors/QCID)
LECTURE: “Louis Armstrong: Collage Artist,
Amateur Archivist,” Deslyn Dyer
(Armstrong House). Armstrong House,
2 pm. Info: 718-478-8274,
I Can’t Give You Anything but Love:
Treasures from the Jack Bradley Collection.
Louis Armstrong House Museum, 34-56
107th Street, Corona, Queens. $8 adults, $6
students and seniors, members free. Tue–Fri
10 am–5 pm, Sat–Sun 12 noon–5 pm.
Items should be submitted to Maria Matteo, Kiely 1310, x 5590. Items longer than one paragraph must be submitted via email to [email protected]