Rachael Gazdick 93 gets fired up when talking about public
education, poverty, health care, and labor reform. In high school,
she enjoyed discussing such issues with her mentor, Robin Saile.
She was a remarkable teacher, says Gazdick, a speech
communication graduate of the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
We talked about injustices in terms of race, class, and world
issues. We thought differently about the world and our place in
than 10 years later, Gazdick, a third-year social science doctoral
student in the Maxwell School, continues to approach life as an
active humanitarian with a global perspective. When not researching
her dissertation, shes teaching social work or speech communication
classes, or working as the assistant director of Hendricks Chapels
Students Offering Service (SOS). She is an alumni recruiter for
Teach For America, and is the project director for the GeroRich
grant, a program that brings together SU students and older citizens.
Gazdick is also a strong supporter of SUs Martin Luther King
Jr. Celebration, which she has helped with or attended since her
sophomore year. I consider it my homecoming event at SU,
she says. I believe in honoring the life of Dr. King and having
conversations on campus about the civil rights movement.
commitment to civil rights is just one part of her devotion to social
justice. After college, she joined Teach For America and taught
at an elementary school in a poverty-stricken rural town in Louisiana.
She then earned back-to-back masters degrees: one in social
work from Boston College, and one in education from Harvard. While
at Harvard, she was a director for Citizen Schools, an after-school
program for inner-city kids. Inspiring children to reach their
full potential is what I enjoy most, she says.
returned to Syracuse in 1999 as deputy executive director and then
executive director of the Near East Side Community Development Organization
(NESCO), a nonprofit agency that assists residents with employment
and education. In 2000, she left NESCO to pursue a doctoral degree
at SU and work at SOS, where she chairs the International Young
Scholars Program, a tutoring initiative for refugee children from
Haiti, Sudan, and other countries. Robin Dean 04, now in her
third year as a tutor, observes Gazdick in action every Thursday
afternoon. Each child has a different personality, Dean
says. Rachael tunes into each one and treats them as individuals.
devotion to childrenand to humanityrecently took her
to Capitol Hill, where she testified before Congress at a 100-hour
national town meeting in support of funding for AmeriCorps, a network
of national service programs, including Teach For America and Citizen
Schools. I believe so deeply in service as a way of life,
she says. Its a part of our being.
making regular contributions to the MLK Celebration, working with
young refugees, and finishing her third graduate degree, what will
Gazdick do next? I dont map things out, she says.
I try to live my life in a way that I contribute as much as
I can to the world around me and engage in activities that are life-giving.
many of the 2,300 international students at Syracuse, Satomi Yaji
G02 is a true friend. A career consultant at the Universitys
Center for Career Services, Yaji provides counseling services to
students and alumni on career development issues and job-search
strategies. International students often face more challenges
in their job-searching process, says Yaji, who holds a masters
degree in counselor education from the School of Education. They
have to maintain their immigrant status and deal with cultural adjustment.
It is very important that we provide career counseling to address
these issues and help them plan their career paths.
a native of Japan, became interested in counseling international
students during her undergraduate days at Kyorin University in Tokyo.
When her best friend from Sri Lanka was hospitalized, she realized
how scarce the resources for international students were. My
friend was homesick and lagged behind in classes, and I wanted to
be of more help to her, says Yaji, who studied the teaching
of Japanese as a foreign language. Although professors helped
my friend with academics, there was a lack of resources to provide
an undergraduate, Yaji also worked as a tutor, teaching Japanese
to non-Japanese students. Talking to them made me realize
I was interested in helping, she says. International
students spend a lot of energy and time studying and working in
foreign countries, and they need help making purposeful decisions.
Yaji decided to come to the United States to pursue an advanced
degree and learn professional counseling skills. The United
States hosts the most culturally diverse students, she says.
I chose SU because its counseling program best matched my
an international student at Syracuse was a rewarding experience
for Yaji. It made me stronger, more mature, and more proactive,
she says. I still clearly remember days when I was hardly
able to express myself in English and was extremely frustrated.
But now I enjoy interacting with people from all over the world.
These different perspectives and customs have challenged and educated
draws on her experiences to better connect with and assist SUs
international students. Tarun Kataria G03, a computer science
graduate from India, says he is comfortable sharing his job-search
difficulties with Yaji. I dont feel like Im talking
with a career counselor, he says. I am talking with
my friend. He first met with Yaji last August after an unsuccessful
three-month job search. I was frustrated because I sent out
500 applications and didnt get a single interview, he
says. I was shocked when a computer company rejected my application,
saying I had poor communication skills. Yaji encouraged him
to make follow-up calls and practice his phone skills by recording
and listening to his own voice. Ive started to get interviews
now, he says.
that cultural differences can detract from the effectiveness of
the job-search process, Yaji is dedicated to improving the centers
services and student programming for international students. She
developed a career workshop series for them that covers such topics
as networking, interviewing, communication skills building, and
resume writing. She also organized diverse student focus groups
to systematically research cultural differences. International
students often ask me questions like, If I have a strong GPA,
why cant I find a job? Yaji says. I try
to explain these differences to them and help them adapt to the
American way of job-searching. For example, networking is the most
effective job-search strategy here.
also provides individual and group counseling to American students
and alumni on career development and job-search strategies. She
is a very bright and talented counselor and has carried the heaviest
load of counseling appointments among staff members for the two
years she has worked here, says Michael Cahill G87,
director of the Center for Career Services. We are rapidly
becoming a global marketplace, and we will all need to work effectively
with people whose backgrounds differ from ours. Satomis background
has helped the rest of the staff better understand and appreciate
the experiences and perspectives of our students from other countries.
when libraries used cards in their card catalogs, the American Library
Association issued this statement on a new technology that was being
promoted to its members at the 1964 New York Worlds Fair:
The computer is only a fast idiot. It has no imagination;
it cannot originate action. It is, and will remain, only a tool.
True enough, but what a remarkable library tool it is in the hands
of imaginative people like Abby Goodrum,
a professor at the School of Information Studies and a member of
the board of directors of the American Society for Information Science
who teaches courses on visual information retrieval and digital
libraries, is currently studying how people find and use digital
images in such professional settings as journalistic enterprises,
medical institutions, and art museums. Using words to retrieve
images is no longer the only search option, says Goodrum,
a former librarian at CNN in Atlanta. Now you can use images
to find images in what we call content-based image retrieval,
a method that perhaps maps more closely to natural cognitive processes.
an example, Goodrum says, Lets say you need some ground-to-air
missile footage for a television news report. A text-based search
might come up with hundreds or even thousands of descriptions of
catalogued images in the library of a news organization, and youd
then have to check out each one. Now you can select or sketch the
kind of image you have in mindlets say the launch of
a shoulder-fired rocket with smoke trailingand use the drawing
as a search term to pull up the images that match your
need most closely.
a sixth-generation Texan, worked for the Canon Corporation during
the 1980s after completing a B.S. degree in radio, television, and
film at the University of Texas. One of our clients was NASA,
which had visual material dating back to the early days of the space
program, she says. Their photos, films, and videotapes
were not easily accessible, and they were looking for a way to get
that material into computers and then out again when needed.
While Canon decided it wasnt interested in solving this type
of problem at that time, Goodrum discovered she was, and decided
to pursue solutions in graduate school. I was thinking of
studying computers or aerospace engineering, she says. Frankly,
Id never heard of library science. I had no idea that librarians
were professionals in organizing, storing, and retrieving information.
Her misconceptions dispelled, Goodrum returned to the University
of Texas to earn a masters degree in library science. She
went on to the doctoral program in information science at the University
of North Texas.
October, in partnership with two colleagues, Goodrum received a
grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Studies to create
a nationwide digital reference education initiative. The aim is
to help prepare librarians, students, and staff to deliver high-quality
reference services via the Internet. In a related grant-funded project,
she is looking at the contrasting practices of libraries and museums
in providing digitized images over the Internet. The Internet
has become an essential tool in library interaction with patrons,
Goodrum says. Digital reference allows the librarian to be
just as accessible as the online catalog. Museums, which traditionally
thought of their constituencies only in terms of physical visitors,
are suddenly finding themselves perceived as Internet reference
sources. They must prepare for this role or risk turning away a
significant new source of patronage. With her help, they will.
One needs only to spend a few minutes listening to Robert Ogletree
explain the intricacies of painting a room to know his passion for
the craft. With an easy smile, he laughs about his early fears of
climbing a ladder, then explains the complex mixing, staining, spackling,
and patching techniques he employs to keep everything from the Universitys
residence hall rooms to stairwell railings to window trim looking
fresh and clean. A lot of people think painting is just grabbing
a brush and opening a can, Ogletree says. But its
more of an art. I take pride in what I do because I love and enjoy
it. Each day is a learning experience.
has learned a lot since he was hired in 1980 as a cooks helper
in Graham Dining Hall. After working his way up to head cook at
Brockway Dining Hall, he was introduced to painting in 1991 through
the Summer Paint Program, which offers temporary jobs to food service
employees as an alternative to a three-month layoff when theres
a slowdown at the campus dining centers. I started working
with the other painters at the University, and it changed everything,
Ogletree says. At first I thought, Are you crazy? You
want to paint and get messy? But seeing the dedication of
my mentorshow they came in every day and loved their workwas
inspiring. I was hooked. While continuing to work in the dining
halls during the academic year, Ogletree spent the past 12 years
as a Summer Paint Program crew leader, supervising dozens of other
seasonal painters and beautifying hundreds of rooms across campus.
I can just train them to paint, but I want to motivate them
to take pride in their work, he says. Thats something
you can take with you even after a job is finished.
to JD Tessier 75, G79, director of the Housing and Food
Services Maintenance Zone, Ogletrees attitudealong with
his proven skillearned him a painter trainee position last
fall, when he was selected from more than 30 applicants to begin
a four-year management training program. He was an easy choice
because hes spent the past 12 years working toward it,
Tessier says. Hes become a shining example of what it
means to be a mentor to others, and were excited to have him
as a part of our team. Last September, Ogletree left his position
as a cook to begin the full-time training, which includes advanced
painting, staining, and wall-repair techniques. In addition, Ogletree
will attend evening classes each semester for the next four years
to hone his skills on blueprint reading, carpentry, wallpapering,
and plastering. The training program will earn him the title of
Grade A painter, the Universitys highest classification. At
this level, theres no room for mistakes, Ogletree says.
Its hard work, but when I leave a room I know it looks
good, and whoever walks into it next will notice.
enthusiasm on the job is hard to miss. Rusty Tassini, maintenance
manager in the Housing and Food Services Maintenance Zone, compares
being around Ogletree to the pick-me-up equivalent of a cup of coffee.
If you come in tired one day, you only need a few minutes
around Robert before youre ready to go, Tassini says.
energy extends to his personal life as well. He enjoys reading,
helping his 11-year-old daughter with homework, and taking the family
dog for walks. An avid philatelist and numismatist, he constantly
adds to his collection of stamps and coins from around the world.
Yet even in his spare time, Ogletree is never far from the work
he loves. Im beautifying my own home little by little,
he says, noting with pleasure that his wife approves of the rooms
he has completed so far. I tell you, my house looks good.
Dr. Arturo Figueroa-Galvez was practicing sports medicine in Mexico
when he visited an exercise physiology lab in Leon City and realized
he could use his knowledge and love of exercise to do more than
treat athletes injuries. He could help people with life-threatening
illnesses. Sports dont focus on exercise for health
purposes, but exercise is medicine, says Figueroa-Galvez,
an exercise science professor in the School of Education. You
can use exercise as a therapy to prevent or rehabilitate some diseases.
this revelation, he left his private medical practice to pursue
exercise physiology, receiving a fellowship to study cardiovascular
rehabilitation and stress testing at the National Institute of Cardiology
in Mexico City. But it was not enough, Figueroa-Galvez
says. To learn all I wanted to, I needed to go to the United
States. He created a new path for his life and enrolled in
the physiological science program at the University of Arizona in
Tucson, despite having taken only one semester of English. The move
required him to temporarily leave all that was familiar, including
his wife, children, and extended family in Mexico. That first
year was difficult, he says.
soon his wife and three children joined him in the United States
and Figueroa-Galvez earned a Ph.D. degree in physiological sciences,
with an expertise in the cardiovascular complications of obesity
and diabetes. After completing the degree, he intended to return
to Mexico to resume a position as a professor of medical and exercise
physiology at the Universidad Autonoma de Sinaloa. Instead, he accepted
a position at the School of Education. I didnt know
much about the Northeast of America, says Figueroa-Galvez.
We arrived in August, and it was cold for us. In my hometown
of Culiacan, temperatures exceed 100 and its very humid.
Now, three years later, his family has warmed to Central New York,
even the harsh winters, and he feels at home working with colleagues
in the Department of Exercise Science.
shares his knowledge of exercise metabolism and testing, body composition
and obesity, and drug education with SU students instead of patients.
Although he doesnt practice medicine in the United States,
his medical experience strengthens his ability to teach students
and conduct his current research on Type 2 diabetics and obese women.
Because of his medical background and research training, Arturo
brings a different aspect to the table that is extremely beneficial
to our department, says Professor Bo Fernhall, chair of the
exercise science department. The graduate students, in particular,
enjoy his unique insights and abilities. He has helped contribute
to some of our departments newest directions.
would like to see the department become more involved in outreach
with campus and community members. During the summer he works at
Healthworks, a fitness facility on campus for faculty and staff
members. Through Healthworks he and other faculty and graduate students
in the exercise science department offer assistance in creating
individualized exercise programs and discuss the health benefits
of such workouts. As members of the exercise science department,
we could provide more advising, not just to the people who participate
in our studies and Healthworks, but to the general public as well,
the meantime, he gains great satisfaction in helping his research
subjects, who are struggling with diabetes and obesity, begin an
exercise program toward healthier lives. Many of our subjects
have learned that exercise will help them control not just their
body weight, but also their body compositionmuscle, fat, and
bone, he says. Exercise can be a strong factor in the
prevention and rehabilitation of chronic diseases associated with
physical inactivity, as well as in successful aging.
Whether shes striving for personal goals or pushing to make
a difference in the world, Joy Mutare has a gift for tackling the
impossible with elegance and determination. A 32-year-old native
of Zimbabwe, Mutare made the difficult decision to temporarily leave
her now 2-year-old son in her mothers care while she pursues
a master of business administration degree at the Martin J. Whitman
School of Management. Its been a challenge and a growing
experience, says Mutare, who is also working toward a certificate
in public administration from the Maxwell School. I really
struggled at first. The coursework was tough and there was a lot
of it. I had no job. I missed my child. And I sometimes felt intimidated
because I was the only African and the only black woman in my classes.
study is crucial to Mutare, who wants to return to Zimbabwe and
put her education to good usediscovering ways to improve her
countrys grave economic situation and ease the suffering of
Africas growing AIDS orphan population. Supported by her family
and friends, as well as SUs Division of International Programs
Abroad (DIPA), she found the emotional and financial resources to
remain in the program, which she will complete in May. DIPA associate
director Suzanne Shane 76, G81 was impressed with Mutare
from their first meeting. I instantly related to her idealism,
energy, and faith in what she could do for her home country with
the education she would receive at SU, Shane says. Joy
creates waves of positive energy with all her activities. She is
generous, altruistic, and self-disciplined about moving her ambitious
who earned a bachelors degree in business studies from the
University of Zimbabwe and worked for five years at a New York City
broadcasting company before her son was born, always intended to
complete an M.B.A. program. My passion is for nonprofit work,
she says, where there is a direct relationship between what
I am doing and the results achieved. There is a feeling of making
a difference, of doing something that matters. Wanting to
gain nonprofit management experience before enrolling in the public
administration program at Maxwell, Mutare arranged an internship
at Hospice of Central New York last summer. While working at the
center, she shadowed the CEO and made recommendations regarding
the agencys strategic management plan. She also helped coordinate
a screening of A Closer Walk, an international documentary
about AIDS that was presented as a fund-raiser for AIDS Community
Resources and the Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa.
So many children are affected by AIDS, says Mutare,
citing sobering statistics about the number of African children
who have HIV/AIDS or have been orphaned by it. I have always
loved children, and now that I have my own child it hurts me even
more to see children suffer.
Mutare isnt sure yet exactly how she will use her education
to improve the situation in Zimbabwe, she plans to continue her
studies and earn a Ph.D. degree, concentrating in social policy.
I want to return to Zimbabwe and teach the girl child, who
I think is the hope of Africa, and yet is most vulnerable right
now, she says.
long-range goals are focused on developing a support system for
people with AIDS, modeled after a program she witnessed as a volunteer
with Gay Mens Health Crisis in New York City. The structure
there is something I would love to see in Zimbabwe, she says.
Its a building they can come to for medication, support,
counseling, and protection. It is also a place that advocates policy
changes for them. But Mutarewho received an Unsung Hero
Award at SUs Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, in honor
of her support for people with HIV/AIDSis reluctant to try
to duplicate those efforts in Africa. There are already people
there doing great work, she says. Im asking myself
how I can help, and how my experience and all Ive learned
can be useful and add to resources already in place.