UniversityPlace

Steve Sartori

Adrea Jaehnig, left, director of the LGBT Resource Center, and Jordan Potash ’98 were instrumental in helping
establish the center on campus.

The newly established Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Resource Center opened its doors at 750 Ostrom Avenue this past spring, creating a safe communal space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and straight-allied students, faculty, staff, parents, and alumni of the Syracuse University community. As part of its mission, the center provides education, advocacy, and support on issues of sexuality and sexual orientation.

The center is the culmination of an effort launched by Jordan Potash ’98, who, in 1997, submitted a proposal to Barry L. Wells, senior vice president and dean of student affairs, that called for the establishment of a Rainbow Task Force to investigate the needs and issues of LGBT students at the University. After Wells brought the proposal to the University Senate Committee on Student Life, an ad hoc committee was formed to gather information regarding the climate on campus for LGBT students. In spring 2001, the committee recommended creating the center and granting permanent status to the committee. “I’m very excited that SU maintained its commitment to the LGBT community by opening the resource center,” says Potash, currently an art therapist living in Washington, D.C. “By granting LGBT people a place at the communal table, the University recognizes the embittered experiences of our community as well as the contributions we offer to the larger community. I’m proud to have played a part in establishing this center, which will be of great support to many who are struggling with issues related to their sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Adrea Jaehnig, formerly an associate director in the Office of Residence Life and a member of the ad hoc committee, is director of the resource center. “This year has been a formative one,” she says. “We’ve created a physical space and begun developing programs and services. We’ve accomplished a lot in a short time.”

In a matter of months, Jaehnig and her staff have met several goals for the center, including establishing an advisory board, offering a spring lecture series, creating a resource library, and developing a communications plan to promote the facility and its services and programs. The center also houses two student LGBT organizations, Pride Union and Open Doors.

Jaehnig’s long-term goals for the center include collaborating with other campus resources and departments to establish an LGBT minor or queer studies major; developing formal policies to support LGBT students, faculty, and staff; improving communication regarding those policies; establishing a procedure for preventing and dealing with hate crimes; and recruiting and hiring more people who are openly LGBT. “Establishing the resource center was a great place to start,” Jaehnig says. “But it is just the beginning. Our challenge is to create a welcoming campus environment that is free from intolerance, harassment, and violence—and that can’t be done by just one person. If 750 Ostrom Avenue is the only place LGBT students feel safe, we haven’t done all we need to do.”

—Amy Shires


U n i v e r s i t y    L e c t u r e s

Standing Room Only

Steve Sartori

David McCullough, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian, addresses a standing room-only audience in Hendricks Chapel last spring.

Esther Gray will never forget the day Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian David McCullough came to campus. McCullough was scheduled to speak on March 5 as part of the new University Lectures series, and it was Gray’s responsibility to make sure that all went according to plan. But by that morning it was clear she would have to find a larger venue. “We fielded more than 400 telephone calls from people in the community wanting to attend, so I moved the lecture to Hendricks Chapel, which seats 1,100,” says Gray, senior administrative assistant in the Office of University Lectures. “By nightfall the chapel was filled to capacity, with some people coming from hundreds of miles away. It was a day like no other.”

Early in 2000, SU Trustee Robert B. Menschel ’51, H’91 proposed the idea of creating a premier lecture series to heighten intellectual discourse among students, faculty, staff, and community members. His suggestion came at precisely the right moment in the life of the University, as a new Academic Plan, guided by Vice Chancellor and Provost Deborah A. Freund, was about to be unveiled. The plan offers a vision of a University where the best and most interesting students in the country come to learn and succeed. “Any exposure to an intellect of towering power and accomplishment can be a transforming experience for a serious student,” says Samuel Gorovitz, SU professor of philosophy and public administration and the Dearing-Daley Professor of Bioethics and Humanities at SUNY Upstate Medical University. “The University Lectures provide abundant opportunities for such experiences.”

The University Lectures, which are made possible by gifts from trustees, alumni, and friends of Syracuse, are free and open to the public. Interdisciplinary in nature with a University-wide appeal, they are coordinated by Academic Affairs’ new Office of University Lectures under the direction of Associate Vice Chancellor Michael Flusche. The 2001-02 lecture series featured speakers of national and international stature representing the fields of architecture and design, the humanities and sciences, public policy, management, and communications. In addition to McCullough, speakers included diplomat and former U.S. Senator George Mitchell, cognitive scientist Steven Pinker, journalist Juan Williams, museum director Thomas Krens, magazine editor Susan Taylor, media mogul Barry Diller, novelist Salman Rushdie, publisher Mortimer Zuckerman, designer Bruce Mau, paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey, former U.S. Senator George McGovern, and former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass. Several of the speakers enjoyed a full day of campus activities, such as luncheons and dinners, classroom visits, receptions, and informal question-and-answer sessions following the lectures.

“The University Lectures are without a doubt the most important improvement to the intellectual life of Syracuse University that I witnessed in my 12 years here as dean,” says Bruce Abbey of the School of Architecture. “It is an outstanding success, and the envy of all.”

—Christine Yackel

At the Lectern
The following speakers are scheduled to appear on campus this fall as part of the 2002-03 University Lectures series:

October 3: “What’s Going to Happen in Washington?” by William Safire ’51, H’78, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the New York Times.

October 10: “Working Toward Peace: An Evening with Nobel Peace Prize Winners Betty Williams and Jody Williams.”

October 22: “The Multicultural Imagination” by Latin American novelist Carlos Fuentes.

November 5: “Conflicting Narratives in the Arab-Israeli Conflict” by Shibley Telhami, a leading expert on the Middle East.

November 14: “An Evening with Rem Koolhaas,” a world-renowned Dutch architect.

November 20: “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers: Stress, Disease, and Coping” by Robert Sapolsky, a professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University and a research associate with the Institute of Primate Research, National Museums of Kenya.

 

 

 

Arts & Sciences

 



Yellowstone National Park is among the areas that contain diverse populations of plant-eating mammals.

Herbivore Hotspots

A team of biologists at Syracuse University and Wageningen University in the Netherlands has created the first global map of areas that show the greatest potential to support an array of plant-eating mammals. Known as “biodiversity hotspots,” these areas are found in places with moderate rainfall. “We developed a way to identify prime regions for mammal diversity that could potentially become areas for conservation or restoration,” says biology professor Mark Ritchie, who worked on the study with Han Olff and Herbert H.T. Prins of Wageningen University. “We were able to predict and explain the number of species in a given area based on the amount of rainfall and the fertility of the soil.”

Popular belief maintains that areas of high rainfall sustain the most diverse assortment of plant-eating mammals. Although these areas produce abundant vegetation, the plants don’t contain adequate nutrients to support smaller species, such as rabbits. Yet, dry areas don’t produce enough vegetation to support larger species, such as caribou, giraffes, buffalo, and elephants. The most diverse populations of plant-eating mammals are found in such areas as the Serengeti plains in Africa, Yellowstone National Park in the United States, and the Punjab region of India, which have moderate rainfall amounts. “The global map shows that more than half of these hotspots have already been converted to agriculture, and another 25 percent may be converted to agriculture during the next 25 years,” Ritchie says. “Researchers predict that by 2025, less than 1.2 percent of Earth’s surface may remain to support uniquely diverse grazing ecosystems.”

Ritchie, Olff, and Prins are the first to develop a model that can accurately predict the places best able to support the greatest diversity of plant-eating mammals. They tested their model by gathering data on mammalian populations in 34 sites in North America and 85 sites in Africa. The research team calculated the amount of plant-available moisture and nutrients for each site and compared those results with the number and kinds of species found there. In the magazine Nature, they reported that some regions, such as the northern Great Plains in North America, might be highly suitable for restoration of large herbivore diversity—if agriculture were abandoned. “Our approach is powerful because it identifies how plant resources constrain the distribution of different-sized herbivores,” Ritchie says. “We use this relationship to predict global-scale patterns in large herbivore diversity.”

—Judy Holmes and Christine Yackel

 

 

H u m a n    S e r v i c e s    &    H e a l t h    P r o f e s s i o n s

A Deli-cious Challenge

Students in Professor Norm Faiola’s Senior Project course spent much of the spring semester planning how to establish restaurants in vacant facilities in the Syracuse area. Three five-member teams formed consulting groups to create comprehensive business plans using management skills and techniques developed during their four years in the hospitality management program. At semester’s end, the teams presented menu samples and final business plans to a panel of industry experts and faculty members. “This is the program’s capstone course,” Faiola G’94 says. “It’s here that students are responsible for putting classroom theory into practice, a key part of the Academic Plan. They are treated like employees and expected to meet deadlines and work as a team.”

Students applied all aspects of their management skills—from finding an establishment site, developing a theme, and determining a target market to gathering information and evaluating such issues as cost control, food production, and effective marketing. They also crafted the restaurant’s menu, suggested music, and offered ideas for interior design and decor.

Students from one team proposed setting up a New York-style deli in a vacant site located on a busy street in a Syracuse suburb. As part of their project, they met with a village clerk and zoning officer, sampled possible menu items, studied traffic flow, and researched New York delicatessens. They suggested serving homemade soups, salads, and fresh sandwiches made with quality name-brand meat and cheese products. They also proposed offering off-site catering to corporations in the community. “This is a good way to apply what we learned in our classes,” says Melissa Vasquez ’02, a member of the team. “It required all the knowledge we gained during the last four years. We also found out what problems we might run into if we did this in real life, and discussed ways to solve them.”

The experience exposes students to “real challenges they would face on the job,” Faiola says. “The course focuses on communication and the integration of skills and knowledge. It helps them see the need to integrate learned material and to deal with the challenges of conflict, both in the group and with design and operational needs.”

—Kathryn Smith

 

E d u c a t i o n

 

Courtesy of Amie Redmond and School of Education

ELLC students Tara Seaton, left, Alicia Spencer, Kimberly Davis, and Rebecca Hellwig show off pumpkins they picked at a pumpkin farm during an off-campus outing.

An Education in Living and Learning

Last year, only 18 of the 70 freshmen in the School of Education opted to live in the newly launched Education Living-Learning Community (ELLC), a cluster of first-year education students who live together in Flint Hall and also take some classes there. But student interest in the ELLC soon became clear. “The other students flocked to the floor like bees to honey,” says Amie Redmond, assistant dean for undergraduate studies in the School of Education, who oversees the learning community. “The first-year education students in other residence halls were coming to the learning community to study for exams, get help with homework, work on group projects, and just hang out. They saw an established group of education students and wanted to be part of it.”

Now in its second year, the living-learning community has attracted three times as many students as it did last year, with 48 incoming freshmen hoping to live in the structured setting. The school created the learning community to link first-year students with each other and faculty members, and to assist students in the transition to college life. “I was really nervous that I wasn’t going to find a place where I was comfortable,” says Jamie Nowak ’05, who decided to live in the ELLC to increase her chances of finding classmates with similar interests. “There are so many benefits to living in the community. I made friends quickly and have personal relationships with some of my professors and deans.” Aside from living together, ELLC students attend two required courses that professors teach in the residence hall: EDU 100, a one-credit transition seminar; and WRT 105, a three-credit introductory writing course.

ELLC members also spend a minimum of 20 hours during the fall semester volunteering on a service learning project. Last year, the ELLC students received a Chancellor’s Award for Public Service for their work at the Extended School-Day program at Delaware Academy, a public elementary school in Syracuse. Nowak and other ELLC students enjoyed the experience so much that they volunteered throughout the spring semester. “Most of us had never been in an urban school before, so this experience really opened our eyes,” Nowak says. “None of us realized how much the kids needed us. We really got attached.”

The ELLC students have also benefited from such non-academic activities as a trip to a pumpkin farm around Halloween, group dinners with faculty members, and participation in a ropes course—an outdoor program with physical obstacles that requires teamwork and builds community spirit. “Living in the community was an awesome time,” Nowak says.

—Margaret Costello

 

M a x w e l l

Considering Economics and Gender

Despite significant changes throughout history in women’s roles in the household and the labor force, most economists have only now begun to systematically examine the role of gender differences in the economics of society. Economics professor Susan Gensemer explores these issues in Economics and Gender, a course she created. “It has become apparent in the last couple of decades that taking gender into account makes a big difference in answers to important economic questions,” Gensemer says. “A lot of economics is about distribution of limited resources. For example, until recently, questions of intrahousehold distribution of resources [money, food, etc.] have largely been overlooked. It was implicitly assumed that resources were automatically fairly distributed across members of the household. But many studies show this is not the case. It’s important to study these issues and address topics that interest female students.”

The course examines such topics as the relationship between intrahousehold resource allocation and female-male wage differentials; changes in family structure and its relationship to labor force participation; gender differences across racial, ethnic, and class groups; and international comparisons and contrasts of gender differences. “The women’s labor force participation rate, for example, has increased dramatically through the last century, while the men’s rate has decreased,” Gensemer says. “The course examines interactions between these trends and changes in family structure.”

Gensemer developed the course after noticing that significantly fewer female students major in economics than do male students. About 30 percent of undergraduate economics majors are female, and the percentage of female economics graduate students is even smaller. “The disparity might have to do with the topics and the ways they are addressed,” she says. “They don’t seem relevant to young women. When economists talk about labor markets, for example, they refer to men, and they talk about the family as one unit, rather than a partnership of individuals.”

Kalpana Fernandes ’00, who majored in economics and policy studies, says it’s not a typical economics class. “It attracts a wider range of students than other economics electives, so different perspectives are brought into discussions,” she says.

Since Gensemer began offering the course about five years ago, the ratio of female to male students has varied greatly. Of the 40 to 50 students who take the course each semester, anywhere from 30 to 70 percent are women. “The dynamics of the class seem different from year to year depending on the ratio,” she says. “But the course is relevant to everyone.”

—Kathryn Smith

 

V i s u a l    &    P e r f o r m i n g    A r t s

CD Solution

Most of Allen Fannin’s textile students have a visual learning style. Unfortunately, the textbooks used in basic textile courses have limited illustrations, so he tries to meet their needs by incorporating audiovisual materials into his lectures. But there aids are often expensive, outdated, and not always relevant to the course content. With more than 30 years of industry experience as a weaving mill owner and manager, Fannin knew he could do better. “I had the idea to produce an instructional CD-ROM explaining state-of-the-art textile production processes,” says Fannin, who teaches in the Department of Fashion and Design Technologies. “I want to hand my students something they can pop into a computer, view at their leisure, review as many times as necessary, and freeze-frame at will.”

Fannin had already shot digital footage of modern textile facilities while traveling through the South on a Faculty Development Grant. With his textile industry experience and contacts, he had open access to facilities and the full cooperation of corporate executives and plant managers. “Most students in my basic textile courses have little or no knowledge of how fibers are converted into cloth,” Fannin says. “I want to show them how the textile industry, particularly in the United States, has evolved into one of the most modern and ecologically conscious manufacturing industries in the world.”

In 2001, Fannin was awarded a Vision Fund Grant to shoot additional footage of textile mills and create his instructional CD-ROM. The $5,000 grant underwrites the cost of scripting, editing, narrating, and adding music to the digital master from which the instructional CDs will be made. In addition, Fannin is writing a textbook, to be published by Prentice Hall, on basic textile technology that will be marketed as a package with the CD. “The textbook, in combination with the CD-ROM, will engage my students visually and increase the number of senses through which they assimilate information,” Fannin says. “Such an experience will help them understand the textile products and processes we discuss in class.”

—Christine Yackel

 

N e w h o u s e

Cyberdoc Survey

Years ago, family doctors began replacing house calls with phone call follow-ups and automated prescription refills. Now, with the proliferation of computers and the Internet, physicians are increasingly reaching out to patients through cyberspace. A survey of 101 Syracuse-area physicians revealed that 75 percent have Internet access at work and nearly 25 percent use e-mail to communicate with their patients. The pilot study was conducted by Fiona Chew, a television-radio-film professor in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, and William Grant, a professor at SUNY Upstate Medical University. “Clearly, these physicians are responding to the increased availability of e-mail and Internet access at home and at work,” Chew says. “Part of this may be due to the high number of family physicians in our survey [70 percent] who have affiliations with major teaching hospitals. As affiliates, these physicians often teach medical students and residents who are highly computer literate. They bring that approach to patient care and want to take advantage of the latest technologies for their patients.”

Another finding was that 14 percent of the physicians who e-mail patients also provide them with medical updates and findings via electronic communication. “Physicians can help promote health through regular communication with their patients,” Chew says. “We know many doctors are technologically sophisticated, and it is a matter of time before most of them use more information technology at work.”

Grant and Chew hope the study—funded by the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Communications, Health, and the Environment and SUNY Upstate Medical University’s Department of Family Medicine—will also identify ways doctors stay current with the latest information on diagnosis and patient counseling. The researchers surveyed physicians about their information technology use in such ways as taking education courses online, connecting with other professionals through listservs, and conferring with colleagues about diagnostic or clinical issues. “We are continuing to examine the responses to better understand how physicians are using the Internet and e-mail system to improve patient care,” Grant says. The researchers expect to use this information to launch a larger study of family physicians that further explores the role of information technology in patient care and, more generally, the medical field.

“The American public perceives physicians as the most credible source for health information,” Chew says. “As the first point of contact in the health care system for patients, physicians should have access to the most accurate and up-to-date medical information. Online and computerized sources can be valuable resources for physicians.”

—Margaret Costello

 

A r c h i t e c t u r e

file photo

Werner Seligmann discusses an architecture project with a class in 1985.

 

Archiving an Architectural Giant

Werner Seligmann, who died in 1998, is remembered as an internationally known modernist architect, a respected urban designer, and a former dean of the School of Architecture. “As a teacher and a professional architect, Seligmann played a unique role in the history of architectural education across the United States,” says architecture professor Bruce Coleman, a former student and colleague of Seligmann.

Seligmann’s papers—given to SU by his widow, Jean—are now available to researchers through the Department of Special Collections. Thousands of drawings, articles, slides, and photographs, plus 5 scale models, document more than 100 of his building designs. Coleman, the collection’s curator, is preparing a book about Seligmann’s designs, featuring such varied structures as synagogues, a housing development for low-income families, commercial buildings, a fire station, and an Adirondack summer camp dormitory (soa.syr.edu/faculty/bcoleman/Seligmann/ ws.index.html). Coleman received a $10,000 grant from the Graham Foundation—a private organization dedicated to the public dissemination of ideas concerning architecture and built environments—to produce the book, along with support from the School of Architecture and the Office of Research and Computing. Work on the book began as a collaboration with Seligmann and is expected to be completed by 2004. “Much has been written about specific projects that he worked on, but there has never been a comprehensive book of his work,” Coleman says. “Many eminent architects had high respect for his abilities.”

Born in Germany in 1930, Seligmann spent his teen years in World War II concentration camps. After the war he moved to the United States and settled in Groton, New York. He earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture at Cornell University and taught at the University of Texas at Austin, where he became part of an innovative group of architecture historians, designers, and educators, nicknamed the Texas Rangers, who revolutionized architectural education in this country. Seligmann later taught at Cornell and Harvard universities before coming to Syracuse, where he served as dean from 1976 to 1990. “Seligmann was an extremely complex person and a very exciting person to be around,” says Coleman. “He had tremendous energy, enthusiasm, and optimism, and always had tons of new ideas.”

—Kathryn Smith

 

 

 

E n g i n e e r i n g   &   C o m p u t e r   S c i e n c e

Sound Advice

For the 24 million Americans who suffer from a significant hearing loss, dining out or strolling through a mall can magnify their disability. “People who are hard of hearing have difficulty extracting signals in an environment with lots of background noise, and turning up the hearing aid doesn’t help,” says Laurel Carney, a bioengineering and neuroscience professor in the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science. “In today’s world, people are exposed to more noise, and subsequently more people experience hearing loss. As society ages, hearing loss becomes more of an issue.”

Backed by a 5-year, $2.45 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, Carney is studying how healthy ears are able to single out one voice or a particular sound amid other noises. “My goal is to obtain the knowledge using a combination of physiological, behavioral, and computer modeling studies,” she says. Carney, who joined SU’s Department of Bioengineering last fall, recruited two graduate students and a lab technician to help her conduct research on humans and animals. Using three soundproof booths and high-tech equipment at SU’s Institute for Sensory Research, Carney and her assistants gather data from hearing tests given to the subjects. “We hope to suggest improvements for hearing aids based on the tricks that Mother Nature uses to extract a particular sound,” Carney says. So far, the researchers have focused primarily on examining how a healthy ear turns down “white noise,” or broadband noise, such as television static, to improve the reception of a desired signal, such as a human voice.

Michael Anzalone G’01, a bioengineering doctoral student working with Carney, prepared an abstract for the 2002 International Hearing Aid Research Conference held this August in Lake Tahoe, California. “We wanted to show where we are in our research and get feedback from people who are more experienced in the hearing aid industry,” Anzalone says. “Eventually, we’d like to try new cochlear implants or hearing aids on hearing impaired subjects to see if these devices are beneficial. To me, the implants are one of the success stories of bioengineering. It’s not just theoretical, it’s an actual application of our research.”

—Margaret Costello

 
U n i v e r s i t y   C o l l e g e

Revitalizing Liberal Studies

Since enrolling in SU’s Independent Study Degree Program (ISDP) in 1994, Angela Morey has lived in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Ohio, Kentucky, and Puerto Rico. “The best thing about the program is that wherever I go, Syracuse stays in the same place,” she says as she nears completion of a bachelor of arts degree in liberal studies (BLS). “I’ve been enriched through classroom interaction with faculty and other students and have made friends I’ll cherish all my life.”

Just as Morey’s life has undergone changes during the course of her studies, so has this College of Arts and Sciences program for adults. Two years ago, University College formed a faculty-administrator task force to boost enrollment. The task force committed to a revitalized bachelor of liberal studies limited residency program with the theme “learning for a changing world.”

"The liberal arts are very important to us,” says Kay Fiset, BLS administrative director and task force member. “In today’s constantly changing society, employers want graduates with a broad education. Nothing does a better job of providing that than a liberal arts degree.”

The BLS revitalization includes scheduling a convocation and reception on the opening day of each semester’s residency, enhancing orientation for new students, establishing an ISDP lounge for residency week, creating credit-bearing colloquia for all students, and scheduling a social activity that enables students to visit a location unique to Central New York or the University. The task force is modifying the curriculum as well. “We have enhanced the program’s faculty advising component,” Fiset says. “Our faculty members are among the best at SU. They are committed to teaching, and they love our students.”

For students like Angela Morey, the program changes make a good thing even better. “When I began, there was a sense of belonging to an exclusive and wonderful group as soon as you stepped on campus,” says Morey. “Now the Internet has become commonplace and some classes are taught online. Yet the classroom and student interaction are still the foundation of the program, and are recognized as a critical component of the ISDP experience. I admire the faculty for working so hard to give students a renewed sense of belonging to Syracuse University.”

—Amy Shires

 

 

L a w

Susan Kahn

A law student states his case in a moot court competition.

Trial Run

When Eric Eichenholtz G’02 walks into a courtroom as a rookie attorney for the New York City Law Department this fall, it won’t be the first time he’s given an oral argument before a judge. He worked through all his nervous verbal and physical fumblings before judges as a student in the College of Law moot court competitions. “It’s always good to know what you’re doing when you walk into a courtroom,” Eichenholtz says. “And it’s better to learn that in law school before your first job. Moot court gives students the opportunity to act like lawyers and build practical skills. In my job now as a litigator, my moot court experience will be very helpful.”

Eichenholtz first got involved with the competitions as a member of Moot Court Honor Society, a select group of 64 second- and third-year law students who organize and participate in simulated trial and appellate competitions. Through simulated trials, students learn to formulate effective questions and practice direct- and cross-examination skills by developing and presenting cases based on the facts provided. In appellate or moot court competitions, students are given a legal problem to research, submit a written brief on, and defend with oral arguments. “Participating in the competitions requires you to apply what you’ve learned in the classroom,” says John Curtin G’03. “It is an intensive experience and has really helped me. Moot court shows future employers that we are good litigators and can do trial work.”

The moot court program at SU is not only a resume builder for students, but also for the College of Law. The college’s long history of involvement and success with moot court competitions helped it rank among the nation’s top 10 trial advocacy schools, according to U.S. News & World Report. The extracurricular moot court programs are part of the college’s overall Applied Learning Program designed to integrate theory and practice, one of the signature experiences of an SU education as identified in the Academic Plan.

The Moot Court Honor Society hosts two intracollegiate competitions: the Lionel O. Grossman Trial Competition for third-year students in the fall, and the MacKenzie-Lewis Appellate Advocacy Competition for second- and third-year students in the spring. The society also sponsors teams that compete at regional, national, and international competitions. Some recent successes include winning the 2001 Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s Thomas Tang Northeast Regional Championship in Brooklyn, New York, and placing third at the 2001 Tournament of Champions Competition in Washington, D.C., an event for the nation’s top 16 trial advocacy teams.

“Law students are training to be advocates, and moot court gives them a competitive game to play in college while developing their skills,” says law professor Travis H.D. Lewin, who has worked with SU trial teams since 1968. “The one-on-one training students get from moot court puts them way ahead when they enter the working world.”

—Margaret Costello

 

I n f o r m a t i o n   S t u d i e s

D. Harmon © 1996

London offers an ideal global learning environment for information studies students.

Global Knowledge

Preparing students to enter an increasingly globalized world has become an integral part of Syracuse University’s mission. For this reason, the School of Information Studies, in collaboration with the Division of International Programs Abroad (DIPA), has opened a new, comprehensive international program headquartered at DIPA’s London Centre. “A program in London makes sense for many reasons,” says information studies professor Robert Heckman, who taught at the London Center last year. “From an information systems perspective, the city provides a global hub for systems in finance, commerce, communications, and media, thereby offering unequaled opportunities for information management and technology students to observe global systems in action. And London is a world center for literature, theater, music, and art—the ideal location for a technical education grounded in the humanities.”

Heckman says that several years ago Professor Jeffrey Katzer blazed the international trail for the school by offering two courses at the London Center: Information Consultation and Information Presentation. Both courses attract SU students from a range of disciplines as well as students from other universities. “The consulting course has proven especially popular with students from the School of Management,” Heckman says.

The London program has two curricular goals: to offer courses that fit well into the typical undergraduate program of study and to attract non-information studies students who attend the London Center. While many of the program’s students are from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and the School of Management, 30 percent are from other universities. “To reach our goals, the London Center will offer a variety of additional information studies courses such as systems analysis, web design, database administration, and another course designed by Jeffrey Katzer, Critique of the Information Age,” Heckman says. “Several internship options for students who want to gain hands-on experience in British organizations are also being developed.”

The School of Information Studies’ London program provides study-abroad opportunities that are consistent with one of SU’s signature experiences identified in the University’s Academic Plan, which calls for more internationalization of curricula. “Following the dark events of September 11th, we have come to realize how important it is for our students to understand and respect the beliefs and values of people from different cultures,” Heckman says. “Through our London program, we’ve taken an important step toward creating a global learning environment dedicated to that goal.”

—Christine Yackel

 

 

M a n a g e m e n t

Steve Sartori

At international day, students often dress in traditional costumes and perform music and dance routines from their native countries.

Promoting International Understanding

The M.B.A. program attracts students from around the world. To celebrate this diversity, the M.B.A. Student Association hosts an annual international day so students can share their rich cultural heritage. “About 40 percent of the M.B.A. students are international,” says Britta Riede ’02 of Germany, who coordinated this year’s event. “It’s important for everybody to understand different cultures and religions and be exposed to them. This is a nice way to do that.”

The event is held in collaboration with the School of Management and the Olivia and Walter Kiebach Center for International Business, and exemplifies the Academic Plan’s emphasis on diversity. It featured performances of traditional music and dance by students and faculty from the School of Management as well as SU’s other schools and colleges. Exhibitions and demonstrations of such crafts as Japanese paper folding, Taiwanese calligraphy, and Peruvian ceramics were presented along with a bounty of foods from some 30 nations. Student organizers dressed in the traditional clothes of their native countries for a cultural fashion show and decorated the School of Management atrium with colorful posters and flags representing the world’s nations.

Dilara Bilal, a mathematics graduate student and a native of Turkey, enjoyed participating in the event. “People here are very enthusiastic to learn about other cultures,” Bilal says.

“Normally we don’t have time to ask each other about our cultures,” says Yeliz Eseryel, a graduate student in the School of Information Studies and the School of Management, and also a native of Turkey. “This motivates us to get to know each other better.”

—Kathryn Smith

 

Syracuse Symposium 2002

Beholding Beauty

It is often said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, a quality defined differently from culture to culture. The Syracuse Symposium 2002 challenged campus members to expand their concepts of beauty and examine its many forms. The annual University-wide symposium focused on the interdisciplinary theme “Exploring Beauty” and featured a range of lectures, performances, exhibitions, and classes throughout the spring semester. The symposium events supported the University’s Academic Plan by promoting diversity and expanding opportunities for multidisciplinary intellectual discourse for students. “The goal of the symposium was to engage the entire campus in a conversation about something of general interest with deep and broad academic and creative substance,” says Eric Holzwarth, assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “It was a great way to help educate toward diversity because we exposed people to other cultures and other visions of what ‘beautiful’ is and how it impacts our lives.”

The symposium celebrated and considered the notion of beauty in four contexts: science, international cultures, the human body, and everyday life. Theoretical physicist Brian Greene, one of 14 featured symposium speakers, delivered a keynote address on “The Elegant Universe.” Several hundred members of the University community took advantage of a rare opportunity to see the creation of a sand mandala—a religious art form—by Tibetan Buddhist monks in the Heroy Laboratory atrium. Large audiences also turned out to see performances by African and classical Indian dance troupes, and exhibitions and lectures on fashion, feminism, and folk art.

Felicia McMahon, an instructor of Beauty in Cross-Cultural Contexts, one of two symposium courses, invited students to have lunch with the monks and discuss their art and religious beliefs. “In this course, we had performers come into the classroom and talk with students,” McMahon says. “Those interactions made a nice impression.”

After hearing a ballet dancer describe the regimens of her art, biology major Marjorie Antenor ’03 found a new appreciation for what once appeared to her as a simple, elegant dance form. “This course challenged your mind to battle with what you previously thought about ballet, or basket weaving, or the whole meaning of beauty,” Antenor says.

For example, when Antenor watched the monks create intricate patterns with colored sand, she found the humming of their tools to be annoying. But later, in conversation with the monks, she discovered that they considered the sound to be melodic and meditative. “When they finally finished, the mandala was beautiful,” Antenor says. “In Western culture, we try to hold on to anything that’s beautiful—we frame it, we lock it away in a glass case. Yet they just wiped the sand mandala out, because life is fleeting too. To master life is true beauty.”

—Margaret Costello

 
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