Pete Sala, assistant director of facilities operations at the Carrier
Dome, emerges from the tunnel opening up to the Dome floor and directs
student employees to different sections of a giant jigsaw puzzle,
better known as the SU mens basketball court. He and his crew
piece together the 217 interlocking wooden panels to create the
seamless playing floor. In a similar fashion, Sala brings together
the various parts of his job to lay the foundation for efficient
operation of Dome events. Now in his 21st year of service at the
Dome, he works diligently, sometimes even through the night, so
that events run smoothly. I dont have the typical 9-to-5
workday, Sala says. No two days are alike, and its
great to have that variety.
who grew up in the Syracuse area, remembers when Archbold Stadium
was torn down in 1979 to make room for the Dome. He began working
at the Carrier Dome in 1982 as a production assistant while on vacation
breaks from the University of Massachusetts. I started at
the bottom and worked my way up to my current position, he
says. Thats how you learn all the aspects of such a
students who act as production assistants for Sala consider him
their boss, but more importantly, a friend. Pete is really
understanding of students responsibilities, and hes
willing to accommodate the needs of his student employees,
says Jayson Weinstein 03, who worked with Sala for three years.
He makes the job fun and understands that people are people
first and then employees.
stadium, which seats 50,000 and is the largest on-campus sports
venue in the country, requires a great amount of caretaking. Sala
oversees all of the Domes maintenance requirements, as well
as the setup and tear-down of events. Anything that goes on
at the Dome comes to me, he says. Im responsible
for making sure it gets done right. That responsibility leaves
Sala with a full schedule. Along with SU football, basketball, and
lacrosse games, the Dome also hosts such events as concerts, NCAA
tournaments, convocation ceremonies, and the annual Martin Luther
King Jr. celebration.
says his most rewarding event is the NCAA basketball tournaments
East Regional. We know well send a team to the Final
Four, he says. We work hard to make this place look
like a million bucks for the tournament. Concerts are also
a highlight, even though they require a tremendous effort, he says.
Since his start at the Dome, Sala has been around for a number of
shows and loves the behind-the-scenes work that comes with hosting
a concert. Setting up dressing rooms and helping roadies construct
monstrous stages for such musicians as Billy Joel and Garth Brooks
add to the excitement. I like the people I meet through Dome
events, he says. The job allows me to interact with
people from all over the world.
with his work at the Dome, Sala spends many weekends during the
football season traveling with the team to assist on the field.
He remains on the sidelines at away games to ensure coaches can
communicate on their headsets without any technical difficulties.
After each road trip, he looks forward to coming home to his wife,
Laurie, and their 4-year-old son, Jake, who occasionally gets treated
to an insiders view of the massive arena.
so many pieces to put into place each day, Sala has learned to appreciate
the job and its opportunities. I like my position because
I perform so many different functions, he says. I could
be setting up for the Empire State Games one day and then getting
ready for football practice or an alumni dinner the following day.
Yvonne Buchanan |
Eclectic by Design
Buchanan, professor of art and design at SUs College of Visual
and Performing Arts, is passionate, eclectic, productive, and ambitious.
Known mainly for her drawing, she has illustrated six childrens
books, including Fly Bessie, Fly (Simon & Schuster, 1998)a
biography of Bessie Coleman, the first African American woman aviator.
You have to be aware of how much information children need,
she says. You have to be careful with vocabulary and explain
things and give examples. But doing childrens books is great.
I especially love the opportunities I get to talk to children about
my work and hear their fantasies. Buchanans efforts
in childrens literature have been honored with the Parents
Choice Silver Award in 1992 and a nomination for an NAACP Image
Award in 1997.
does pretty well with adults, too. Her political cartoons and illustrations
have appeared in many of the nations top-rack dailies, including
The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Los Angeles
Times. The appeal of her work is so wide that it can be found
in such an unlikely pair of periodicals as The Nation and
The Wall Street Journal. A member of INX, a politically oriented
illustrators cooperative, Buchanan curated the Lowe Gallery
exhibition, INX: A Retrospective of Visual Commentary, in
2001. The exhibition featured works representing 20 years of major
news, including the September 11 terrorist attacks, which occurred
just weeks before the opening.
next? Ive begun doing my own writing for children, and
Id like to produce audiotapes because I enjoy storytelling
so much, she says. I also feel the need to do more with
the moving image because television and film, along with comic books,
were my main influences while growing up.
productive creativity extends into the classroom as well. Last fall,
Buchanan and Anne Beffel, a colleague on the art and design faculty,
introduced a team-taught studio art course, Collaboration Across
Differences, which they developed with the help of a University
Vision Fund grant. The class was composed of 20 juniors, seniors,
and graduate students, representing the colleges various disciplines.
They worked on collaborative projects and critiques that emphasized
self-exploration in such areas as class, ethnicity, gender, and
sexual orientation. Anne and I created this course to give
students an opportunity to deal with some of the personal obstacles
that might be standing in the way of their development as people
and as artists, Buchanan says. Such attitudes as racism,
sexism, and homophobia dont just exist as active expressions
of hatred toward others. They can be about harboring feelings of
fear, or being uncomfortable, or just not being open around someone
who isnt familiar or doesnt fit certain expectations.
What we try to stress is that while we are all members of groups,
we are all individuals who must be given a chance to speak for ourselves.
graduate of the Parsons School of Design in New York City, Buchanan
credits Syracuse with broadening her horizons. I really enjoyed
my time at Parsons, but it wasnt until I came to the University
that I realized how deep an interest I have in learning about other
things, she says. I think the opportunity to worry
about so many different subjects is wonderful. Im trying to
form relationships with collaborators from other programs. Ive
talked with professors and even sat in on some of their classes.
she understands the importance of learning artistic technique, Buchanan
is convinced that an artist needs something more to do satisfying
work. Its great to draw beautiful flowers, but what
does that really mean? she says. I ask my students,
Is that the kind of artist you want to be? Maybeand
thats OK. But you should come to that decision only after
learning about the rest of the world. I want my students to know
that you can create great things with a wider knowledge of science,
history, literature, and mass and global culture.
Ben Mosiane |
Ngakaemang Ben Mosiane describes his hometown of Mafikeng,
the capital city of the North West Province of South Africa, there
is passion in his voice. I am highly optimisticeven
against the oddsbecause I think I can contribute to making
changes there, he says of the country that until a decade
ago suffered under the oppression of apartheid. A second-year doctoral
student in Maxwells geography department and a Fulbright Scholar,
Mosiane is studying the political, economic, and social impact of
urban transformation in South Africa. Im working to
pass courses here, but I am already thinking about how my work can
contribute to a discipline in which black South Africans have traditionally
been underrepresented, he says.
was by chance that Mosiane came to study geography in the late 1980s,
while apartheid was still in full force. Unable to afford college,
he depended on a scholarship from the bantustan (homeland)
government to the University of Bophuthatswana. But because the
scholarship did not arrive until the day of registration, the history
and agriculture classes Mosiane intended to take were already full.
Only the geography program accepted me, he says.
the time a fieldwork assignment during his first semester brought
him to an area where a geologic fault was revealed in the landscapean
experience Mosiane remembers as remarkablehe was
hooked. He graduated and returned to Mafikeng to teach high school
geography before traveling to Johannesburg to earn a masters
degree from the University of the Witwatersrand. Mosiane then joined
the faculty at the University of North West in Bophuthatswana, where
he began publishing his work on economic development in Mafikeng.
But something was missing. Courses in South Africa lack certain
elements critical to the study of geographylike methodology,
epistemology, and research methods, he says. Professors
just pitch the information without allowing room for original thought.
10 years of teaching, Mosiane decided to continue his academic studies
overseas. By that time, apartheid had ended and local territories
were being reorganized. When I came to Syracuse, I was fascinated
with the advances people here have made in race relations,
Mosiane says. He chose SU because he was impressed with the work
of Maxwell faculty who specialize in the study of Africa. No
matter who you are, people reach out and welcome you, he says.
Easterly 03 worked with Mosiane while planning a three-week
visit to South Africa to conduct research last year. Ben was
a great help in choosing a city to visit because he knows the country
so well, says Easterly, whose thesis on housing in post-apartheid
South Africa won an honorable mention in SUs Honors Program
Social Science Thesis Awards. He even taught me some short
greetings in Setswana so that Id be more comfortable
speaking to people there. Professor John Western, academic
advisor to Easterly and Mosiane, lived in South Africa a quarter
century ago while studying apartheid. Ben is a mature, dedicated,
pleasant person, he says. Im confident he will
use the superior education he receives here at Syracuse to spread
knowledge among his own people back in South Africa and improve
the quality of education there.
to Mosiane, the most difficult part of his first year at Maxwell
had nothing to do with adjusting to heavy coursework or the harsh
Syracuse winter. I had never lived alone before, he
says. I missed my family terribly. When Easterly traveled
to South Africa, she spent time with Mosianes wife and two
small childrenwho were unable to obtain visas last year, but
have sinceand came back to SU bearing stories and photographs.
After nine months apart, Mosiane and his family were reunited over
the summer when he returned to Mafikeng to conduct a pilot study
on the reorganization of local government. Now back at SU, he eagerly
anticipates the arrival later this semester of his wife and children,
who will stay with him throughout the remainder of his studies.
Im looking forward to having my family here to share
my experiences, Mosiane says. I know that they, like
I, will be forever grateful to the culture and superior education
here at Syracuse.
up to Syracuse
A native of paradise, Nola Miyasaki left her home state of Hawaii
20 years ago to study human biology and play on the golf team at
Stanford University in California. She recalls riding a bicycle
to the universitys golf courseoften while juggling her
golf clubsand going up against such formidable opponents as
future U.S. Womens Open champions Julie Inkster and Patty
Sheehan. But for Miyasaki, the hardest part about being away from
the island state she still refers to as my homeland
wasnt related to the athletic or academic challenges of college
life; it was adjusting to the change in climate between Hawaii and
California. I was always cold, she remembers, laughing.
Back then, I would never have dreamed of living in the snow.
So I can hardly believe I am here in Syracuse now.
former lawyer and sports agent, Miyasaki came to Syracuse University
in January to become executive director of the Michael J. Falcone
Center for Entrepreneurship at the Martin J. Whitman School of Management.
In this role, she leads outreach initiatives for the schools
Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises (EEE) program, including
identifying ways to contribute to the commercialization opportunities
of technologies developed at SU. Before coming to Syracuse, she
worked for the State of Hawaii as CEO of the High Technology Development
Corporation, where she managed programs supporting the growth of
Hawaiis commercial high-tech industry and interacted with
the entrepreneurship program at the University of Hawaii. I
really had to hit the ground running when I arrived in Syracuse,
but it has gone great so far, Miyasaki says. Im
impressed with the University and the people Ive met here
and in the local business community. Aside from the weather, it
has been an easy transition.
with Michael Morris, academic chair of the EEE program, Miyasaki
has initiated several projects since her arrival. These include
applying for a National Science Foundation Partnerships for Innovation
grant and coordinating the first Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship
(WISE) Conference. Geared toward Syracuse-area women who either
own or want to start businesses, the April conferencea sellout
event that will be held annuallyachieved an overwhelmingly
positive response from its speakers, sponsors, and nearly 400 attendees.
It resonated with so many women, Miyasaki says. It
was quite inspirational to hear them say how great the conference
was, how much they learned, and how pleased they were to meet so
many other women who are entrepreneurs.
Falcone Center does not yet have a physical space beyond Miyasakis
School of Management office. But the schools new building,
slated for completion in January 2005, will provide a designated
space for the center, equipped with resource and conference rooms
and an office for visiting entrepreneurs. In addition, the center
will house a student incubatora dedicated space
where students can access a variety of office resources to support
them in turning their entrepreneurial dreams into reality. The
purpose of the incubator is basically to help hatch
little businesses, Miyasaki says. Its designed
to provide support, services, information, and resources to entrepreneurs
to help them get their businesses off the ground. The idea is for
people to come in and use it for awhile, and then move on to create
space for someone else to do the same.
considers Syracuse a city with great potential for economic growth.
She believes the Falcone Center can contribute to its development.
Syracuse is a great place that is working on diversifying
its economy, and thats a great idea, she says. In
the EEE program, we have a lot of knowledge to share and resources
to offer that can help grow businesses. Thats what our students
are learning. So if we can bring in our resources and our students
and help contribute to the growth of technology in Syracuse, that
would be a win-win situation for the program, the students, and
the companies we partner with.
Some people are just born older than others. Take, for example,
Zane Williams 04, whose large frame and intense gaze have
always led people to add a few years to his actual age. I
was always treated older, so I ended up acting a little more mature
and taking on more responsibility than someone my age, says
Williams, an information management and technology major in the
School of Information Studies. In fact, at age 12, he started working
part time at a neighborhood grocery store in Bronx, New York, where
his mother had initially settled after emigrating from Jamaica when
he was 3. He continued to work 12 to 20 hours a week at various
retail and landscaping jobs throughout high school, while maintaining
strong grades, playing varsity football, and developing close relationships
with his friends and family. I learned early on how to manage
my money and time, and how much I could take on, he says.
Every time I fell down, I got back up and tried again.
recover from those falls, Williams depends on his parents
advice and support to remain a few steps ahead of his peers. My
parents always said, Zane, youre destined for greatness,
Williams says. So I thought, Well, OK, how do I get
there from here? His forward-looking attitude has led
him to continually seek out opportunities to advance, which is how
he discovered and attended SUs Summer College after his junior
year in high school. I had to distinguish myself somehow,
and Summer College was a whole new experience for me, leaving my
home and family for six weeks, he says. I learned a
lot about the freedom aspects of college, and I formed some great
summer after graduating from high school, Williams participated
in an internship at IBM through INROADS, a pre-professional organization
that places minority students in Fortune 500 companies and cultivates
them for eventual leadership positions in those companies. Some
of my friends poked fun at me for doing the internship instead of
socializing all summer, but it helped me focus on what I wanted
to do at college and get to where I am now, he says. A few
classmates also snickered when he sported a suit and tie to a career
fair as a freshman at SU. They were like, What are you
doing? Youre not a senior, he says. But
I started early and introduced myself so the recruiters could track
my progress. Now as a senior, Williams represents students
on the Universitys Career Services Advisory Board, which provides
guidance on issues related to career development and job and internship
arriving on campus, Williams has thrown his energy into building
SUs chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE).
Last year, he served as the groups secretary and earned the
respect of his peers at SU and nine other schools as chair of the
2002 Upstate Regional Conference. He is now president of the SU
chapter, chairman of NSBEs Upstate New York Zone, and regional
charter membership chairman. Also an active member of the African
American Male Congress, Williams helped organize the groups
Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium and participated in an effort to
educate and register more than 1,000 black voters in the area. I
am eager to take on new things, says Williams, who holds three
work-study jobs on campus. I dont like to be complacent.
A lot of people look to me to do well, and I want to do well, with
no regrets about missed opportunities.
Bizarre as it sounds in the 21st century, medical professionals
once believed the uterus was an independent entity with its own
mind and appetites, and that it defined womens intellect and
capabilities. Furthermore, the uterus was considered happiest
when housing children. Until the late 1700s, this concept led doctors
to encourage women to marry young and have a baby every year to
prevent the uterus from dislodging and wandering through the body
in a state of frustration, causing illness along the way.
fine arts professor Laurinda Dixon, William P. Tolley Distinguished
Teaching Professor in the Humanities and an internationally recognized
art historian, such stories from medical history hold keys to interpreting
and appreciating art. What I do is make connections between
disciplines and methodologies that arent usually thought of
as being related, like mathematics and painting, or anatomy and
sculpture. Its important not to lose sight of the knowledge
that everything is connected. And art is a good way to get into
history, psychology, scienceinto understanding, really, who
explaining the relationship between medical history and art, Dixon
points to the images in her book Perilous Chastity: Women and
Illness in Pre-Enlightenment Art and Medicine (Cornell University
Press, 1995). Most of the images feature a young womansomeone
pretty and well-dressedwho is evidently quite ill, surrounded
by caretakers with concerned countenances, paintings of naked shepherds,
and representations of Cupidall alluding to the distressing
absence of sex and love in her life. But whats wrong
with these women? Dixon asks. She says there are hundreds
of these so-called lovesick maiden paintings from the
17th century, full of apparently healthy young women who are constantly
swooning and fainting for no reason. Researching this book
was just amazing to me, she says. It points to the ways
medical theory regarding women is so often geared toward control
and limiting the roles and options that are healthy for women to
Dixon acknowledges that art history has a reputation for being boringas
indicated by such course nicknames as Art in the Dark,
Art Mystery, and Art Miseryit holds
a fascination for her that she extends to her students, whether
or not they are fine arts majors. If all you do is memorize
the names of paintings, painters, and elements of stylewell,
so what? That is boring, Dixon says. But if you gain an appreciation
for why something is the way it is, she believes, then you can put
a personality to the creator of a work of art, and to the people
who cherished it. Once you have that understanding, identification
becomes easier, more relevant, and more interesting.
of the oldest objects in the world are works of art, she says.
These are the things people liked, felt connected to, and
decided they would keep, hide, and protect. Works of art speak
for the people who made them and cared for them, Dixon believes,
as well as for the period in which they were created. So,
for me, studying art history is like detective work, she says.
I really enjoy pulling out of these things a timeunderstanding
people from the objects they treasured. As an art historian, you
have to think: OK, who was this artist or musician? Why was
she doing this? Who was he doing it for? What was she trying to
communicate, and why? Why does it look the way it does? I
find that intriguing, and I hope my students do, too.