Twirl of Orange
Syracuses Orange Girl, KeriAnn Lynch 04, first twirled
her baton in the Carrier Dome at age 8, when she performed in a
pregame show as The Tangerine. She recalls the experience
as incredible and overwhelming. Sometimes Im still amazed
to find myself out there, she says. Ill be twirling
on the 50-yard line, look up, and think, Wow, Im actually
here! Then Ill put my hand in a football players
spit and think, OK, back to reality. Lets focus.
began twirling at age 5 and has competed and performed ever since.
She marched in former President George H.W. Bushs inaugural
parade at age 6, twirled as a leprechaun in a St. Patricks
Day parade in Ireland, worked as an entertainer on a cruise ship,
and even led a parade at Disney World. She won three titles at last
years National Baton Twirling Association (NBTA) championships
in Indiana, and was one of eight twirlers selected by the NBTA to
be a member of the U.S.A. team and perform in Peru.
at SU, Lynch twirls on her own for about one hour a day. During
football season she practices daily with the band for two hours.
Her busiest time is during November and December, when the football
and basketball seasons overlap. Then in February the twirling competition
season begins. Once Lynch returns home to New Hampshire in May,
her practice schedule really explodes as she works out
for 8 hours a day and coaches a team of 36 twirlers, ages 3 and
up. Im constantly trying new things, she says.
I always want to get one more thing done before the baton
comes down. I work to increase my strength so I can throw it higher.
The more gymnastics I can do and the more intricacy I can bring
to my routine before it comes down, the better. I try to catch the
baton in unexpected ways. I like to surprise people. If I can get
them to say, How did she do that? my jobs probably
who has worked with the same coach since childhood, choreographs
her own routines. The opportunity to develop her style was one reason
she was attracted to Syracuse. I knew I wanted to break out,
expand my creativity, and get better, she says. Thats
one of the biggest things that has happened to me hereIve
become my own twirler.
psychology major in the College of Arts and Sciences, Lynch plans
to go on to graduate school to become a sports psychologist. While
growing up I learned a lot about the pressure of competing and how
it affects performance, she says. I saw a lot of kids
who didnt enjoy what they were doing, but were pushed into
it by their parents. I want to contribute to making sports therapeutic
and enjoyable. Sports should be fun. If you happen to be successful
too, then great.
addition to performances and competitions, Lynch makes occasional
public appearances, including a recent visit to the childrens
unit of University Hospital with Otto the Orange. I love twirling,
she says. It makes me happy. But if I can make someone else
happy too, thats 10 times better. I like to think of myself
as a symbol for SUa symbol of strength, and of something different.
Here is my unique talent that Ive practiced my whole lifeand
SU gave me the opportunity to expand it. Yes, competing is fun,
and winning is fun. But being here is the true reward for all that
Perez Williams quite possibly holds the least popular position on
campusat least from some student perspectives. As director
of the Office of Judicial Affairs, she deals with students who get
into trouble and are searching for quick ways out. Many enter her
office with their fear and anxiety masked by hostility or indifference.
I give her a lot of credit for all that she does, says
Autumn Figueroa 05, who works with Williams on the University
Judicial Board (UJB), a group of faculty, staff, and students that
adjudicates disciplinary cases. Its hard being the person
who has to hand out the sanctions. But she keeps an open mind to
both sides of the story, so students respect her. She does not want
to see them fail.
draws on the skills she has developed as a lawyer, an educator,
a former naval officer, a Hispanic woman, and a mother of four to
assist students in the best way possible. This is one of those
jobs where I can honestly say Im using a large percentage
of my talents, says Williams, who became director of judicial
affairs in spring 2001. My philosophy is to give students
the time and opportunity to explain their side of whats happened.
What I end up hearing is not only a rendition of the incident, but
who this person is. I hear about the mom who has cancer or the roommate
who wont stop using drugs. I get this picture of a person
who needs help getting back on track.
developed this open-minded attitude while serving as a judge advocate
general in the Navy, where she worked as both defense counsel and
prosecutor. The military goals of emergency preparedness and chain
of command took priority over creating a supportive environment
for culturally diverse sailors, she says. We didnt take
into consideration a sailors background or whether the sailor
was equipped to work with people of color, she says. I
made it my mission to educate sailors who needed assistance.
work at Syracuse builds from that same belief in education over
punishment. However, students know that doesnt mean shell
be easy on them. She is just as capable of bringing down the
hammer as she is of making sure you really get the best out of the
experience, says Justin Osborn-OBrien 05. He first
met Williams when he violated the Student Code of Conduct, but later
joined the UJB, and now works with Williams on more positive terms.
She is very good at determining the right course of action,
he says. Shes a fair person and does her job well.
her first year in the position, Williams established an ambitious
agenda for the office, which included implementing standard sanctions
for common student offenses and using UJB students as ambassadors
to informally educate peers about such high-priority issues as date
rape and alcohol and other drug use. She also created the Team Against
Bias to prevent and respond to incidents of bias or hate crimes.
Off-campus, Williams is equally busy, serving on the board of directors
for the North Area Family YMCA and Vera House, a womens shelter.
She is also an executive member of the Onondaga County Democratic
Party and sits on U.S. Senator Hillary Clintons Military Academy
Committee, a group that is responsible for selecting military school
candidates from Central New York.
so many successes to her name, its not surprising that some
students see Williams as a role model. Being a Hispanic woman
myself, its important for me to see people like her on campus,
Figueroa says. Shes hardworking and wants to accomplish
a lot of goals. Shes also a mom with four lovely children.
Williams admits that her life involves a lot of juggling, but she
finds strength in her supportive husband, Steven, and in her motto,
Where theres a will, theres a way.
Information Age Nomad
Siows life reflects one of her current study intereststhe
Internet. Both are international in scope, packed with information
on diverse topics, and filled with possibilities for the future.
Siow G02, a native of Singapore, attributes some of these
characteristics to a trait she inherited from her nomadic Chinese
ancestors. I come from a family with pretty adventurous ancestors
who traveled to escape persecution, she says. Im
always adding to my interests. I find that very liberating. I should
be a cat so I could have nine lives.
is certainly making the best of the one she has. So far, she has
learned four languages, lived in five countries, worked as a restaurant
manager, a marketing researcher, a journalist, and a tourism policy
analyst, and earned two masters degrees. Not stopping there,
she begins work this fall on a doctoral degree in information transfer
at the School of Information Studies. She hopes to weave together
her varied interests into a cohesive, yet flexible career in improving
the use of information technologies to better understand organizations
and policy implications.
was working as an assistant manager for the Singapore Tourism Board
when the Information Superhighway led her to SU. Part of my
job was to compile reports and do technology and policy assessments,
she says. There was so much information on the Internet that
I realized I was spending more and more time just finding the information
I needed. As she researched better ways of locating and organizing
information, she stumbled across a U.S. News & World Report
article on top information technology programs that cited SUs
School of Information Studies. That prompted Siow to enroll in the
information management masters program in fall 2000. The program
appealed to her on many levels, combining her love of writing and
analysis with reading, collecting, and organizing information. It
was a very holistic program for me, she says. It wrapped
around my whole brain. Its not hard-core technology programming.
I found it to be an introduction to a new way of thinking.
information studies professor Rolf Wigand, who worked with Siow
on projects at SUs Center for Digital Commerce, calls her
a rare student with boundless energy and enthusiasm.
She readily absorbs and applies newly acquired, complex information,
he says, and she has an indefatigable appetite for new knowledge
and research methods.
of her academic studies, Siow serves as senator of the University
Graduate Student Organization and executive officer of the Syracuse
University Singapore Students Association. She is also involved
in several School of Information Studies organizations and is a
member of Phi Beta Delta (Alpha Sigma chapter) honor society for
summer in London, Siow conducted an independent research project
investigating privacy issues related to the United Kingdoms
new anti-terrorism, crime, and security bill. Ultimately, she hopes
to work in an information management consulting business that serves
clients throughout the Global Village. Id like to be
able to live anywhere in the world, Siow says. How lucky
am I to be born in this century when women have so many choices?
Im really grateful to have the chance to be here and be a
student again. I find great satisfaction and motivation in learning
and doing things I want to do. Im loving it.
From the baseline to the net, Shervin Saedinia 03 knows how
to cover the tennis court. During her tennis career, this dedicated
student athlete from Woodland Hills, California, has amassed a long
list of wins. As she enters her final year at SU, Saedinia is determined
to make time for tennis after graduation. Tennis will always
be part of my life, she says. Ill probably be
one of those old women running around the court one day.
to SU ranked 95th nationally in the girls 18-and-under category,
Saedinia led the Orangewomen with a .761 winning percentage her
freshman year and tied for the team lead in total victories (35)
among rookies. It doesnt matter what the score is,
says Jana Strnadova Bacova 96, who was an assistant tennis
coach when Saedinia joined the SU team. Shes a fighter.
has all the right shotsa hard baseline game, a powerful net
game, and plenty of slice and topspin to keep opponents scrambling.
She tries to do anything to win a point, Bacova says.
Its fun to watch her. Although Saedinia was not
in the lineup at the beginning of her freshman year, her hard work
paid off by the spring season when she entered the lineup as the
teams number 6 singles player. In the 2001-02 season, Saedinia
played number 3 singles and first-team doubles. In April, she stroked
her way to her 100th career win, becoming the 23rd Orangewoman in
the tennis programs 32-year history to reach that milestone.
She also won 10 of her final 12 matches to raise her career record
and her doubles partner, Masha Kabanova 03, won 15 matches
in 2001-02 and posted a 19-9 record in their sophomore year. Shes
a great teammate, Kabanova says. I met her the first
day I was here, and weve been best friends since.
remembers as a 9-year-old watching her brother hit tennis balls
from a ball machine, and thinking, I can do that. She
picked up a tennis racket and began slugging away. When Saedinia
started playing competitively at age 11, she practiced three hours
a day. I looked forward to practice, she admits.
fondness for the game remains strong. I love playing for SU,
she says. Theres a lot of spirit, and I want to win
for my teammates. When I play a matcheven if Im having
a horrible dayI think about how I have to win this game for
the team. You never know when the score will be 3-3 and your match
is the deciding one.
the court, Saedinia manages a full course load, balancing an exercise
science major with three minorscoaching, nutrition, and psychology.
She has consistently made the Athletic Directors Honor Roll
and the Big East Academic All-Star team, both of which require a
minimum 3.0 GPA. After graduation, she says her dream job is to
be a physicians assistant working in sports, preferably tennis.
admits its not easy being a full-time student juggling classes
and homework with matches, practice, and conditioning. Its
all about managing your timebeing a student athlete keeps
you on track, she says. I have a set schedule, so I
dont have time to be lazy.
youve ever dreamed of studying Etruscan art in the sun-drenched
Italian countryside, cruising the Rhône through France, or
exploring Mexicos architectural treasures, you may want to
get in touch with Tina Casella 94. These are just some of
the dozens of education-oriented trips she marketed to Syracuse
University alumni this year. As associate director of alumni relations,
she heads the alumni travel program, coordinates alumni gatherings
at sporting events, oversees international alumni relations endeavors,
serves as a staff liaison to the alumni associations visibility
and outreach committee, and helps organize events for the annual
Reunion. The tours offer a way for alumni to connect with
each other and the University, Casella says. They also
provide alumni with the chance to learn from University faculty
and other specialists who accompany them on the trips, while enjoying
carefree vacations at the worlds great cultural and historic
works with professional tour operators who arrange hotel reservations,
transportation, and other details for the approximately 300 participants
each year, allowing travelers to concentrate on the surroundings
rather than the itinerary. Alumni sign up for the trips understanding
that even if they dont know anyone in the group, they still
have SU in common, she says.
selects many perennially popular destinations, such as Italy and
France, but also seeks unusual places that alumni may not be able
to access through typical travel agencies. This year, for instance,
she arranged for a group to travel to Cuba, which is off-limits
to many American tourists due to U.S. government sanctions. Because
the State Department allows educational tours, however, the alumni
group was permitted this unique opportunity. Were always
looking at ways to offer different destinations, to make our trips
special, she says.
all the trips offer opportunities to learn about different cultures,
Casella says some programs are very educational, featuring daily
lectures coordinated with excursions to historic and cultural sites.
Other trips may have fewer lectures, or none at all, but may be
more oriented toward sightseeing and giving travelers a chance to
interact with local residents and learn about the areas culture,
current issues, and history.
loyal SU fan, Casella has worked at the University since 1984, when
she and her husband, Rick, moved to Central New York from Philadelphia.
She worked in the Universitys Office of Government Relations
before moving to the Office of Alumni Relations in 1989. She earned
a bachelors degree in marketing from the School of Management
in 1994, and is now working part time on a masters degree
in public administration (M.A.P.A.) through the Maxwell Schools
Executive Education Program. I feel the M.A.P.A. is like an
M.B.A., but for people who work in nonprofit management, Casella
says. It seemed like a natural thing for me to do.
from work and part-time studies, she is active in the First United
Church of Fulton and president-elect of Women of the University
Community, an organization of women affiliated with SU, SUNY ESF,
and SUNY Upstate Medical University, either as faculty, staff, or
spouses. The club raises funds for two scholarship programsthe
Mildred Eggers Scholarship and the Ruth Tolley Scholarshipand
is in the process of establishing a new scholarship at ESF. The
organization also holds litter-removal days on neighborhood streets
adjacent to the University. In addition, members meet in small special-interest
groups to discuss art, literature, and such activities as cooking
in her work and her volunteer activities, Casella says she enjoys
interacting with people the most. Every once in a while I
get phone calls or letters from people who say that because of the
travel program, they were able to visit their dream destination
and are grateful for that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,
she says. Stories like that make it all worthwhile.
Essence of Nutrition
most of us browse through the produce section at the grocery store,
we probably consider cost, taste, and perhaps general nutritional
value. When nutrition professor Sara Kurlandsky G90 looks
at the same fruits and vegetables, she also wonders how their chemical
composition helps keep us healthy. I enjoy studying nutrition
because it blends different areas, so I can bring in a variety of
experiences, she says. Ive always been curious
about why food helps the body.
who joined the faculty in the College of Human Services and Health
Professions Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management in
2001, brings with her the broad perspective of a scientist who has
worked both in academics and industry. In her first year on campus
she was named co-director of the graduate program in nutrition.
She teaches courses in nutritional biochemistry and advanced nutrition,
as well as one on nutritional status, assessment, and evaluation.
She also teaches a research methods course, where she draws on her
experience to help students understand the variables that affect
research, including the pros and cons of conducting commercial research.
spent much of her first year at SU upgrading the nutrition research
laboratory in Bowne Hall, which had seen little use in recent years.
She set up new equipment and helped graduate students in her Nutritional
Status Evaluation class use the lab to test how varying the amount
of protein in their diets altered the amount of urinary urea nitrogena
by-product of protein metabolismthey produced. It was
a great lesson to illustrate how the body adapts to changes in specific
nutrient intakes, such as protein, Kurlandsky says. It
showed them that if they go on a high-protein diet, their bodies
have to work to get rid of potentially toxic nitrogen.
is not Kurlandskys first time at Syracuse University. She
came here as a doctoral student in 1985 to study nutrition with
an emphasis on nutritional biochemistry. I had a great experience
at SU as a graduate student, Kurlandsky says. I received
lots of support and really enjoyed the blend of research and teaching.
earning a Ph.D., she completed postdoctoral fellowships at Columbia
University and the University of Michigan, and then moved to Chicago.
There she worked as a clinical research scientist, writing proposals
and designing studies to test the beneficial health effects of pharmaceuticals,
food, and such nutraceutical products as soluble fiber and dietary
supplements. She later worked for a dietary supplement manufacturer,
but rejoined the clinical trials company before returning to Syracuse.
Although I originally intended a career in academia, I stayed
with research after completing my doctoral work because the job
market was tight for faculty positions, Kurlandsky says. Also,
I really enjoyed the research aspect of my work. But at the back
of my mind I was always headed toward academics.
and a nutrition doctoral student plan to collaborate with SU nursing
professor Eileen Lantier on a clinical study to investigate potential
synergistic effects of two phytochemicals with different commonly
accepted health benefits related to lipid-lowering and cardiovascular
health. In a given vegetable, there is a mix of chemicals,
including phytochemicals, that are there for the plants own
purpose, she says. Phytochemicals are not classified
as vitamins, but may produce healthful benefits. I want to learn
about optimizing these combinations of compounds.
says her work is inspired by a statement made by Nobel Laureate
Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, who discovered Vitamin C: Discovery
consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and thinking
something different. Likewise, Kurlandsky says, Often
the best discoveries happen when something occurs that the researcher
did not expect.
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