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Anthropology professor Susan Goode-Null values the skull collection donated to SU by David Marshall ’36 as a way to teach students about the parts of a skull and the evolution of modern humans.

Skull Sessions
Maxwell » While a delivery of boxes containing human skulls and teeth may seem like a nightmare to some people, anthropology professor Susan Goode-Null saw it as a windfall. “I’d always thought it would take five to 15 years to build such a collection, doing it little by little,” Goode-Null says. Instead, David Marshall ’36, a local orthodontist who is now retired, donated his collection—which includes 11 human skulls, several skull casts, fossils, and renderings—to the anthropology department last June. For faculty members and students, the value of Marshall’s collection lies in the opportunities it provides to study the components of the human skull and the evolution of modern humans. For Marshall, it’s a chance to give back to the University. “I’ve always felt an attachment to SU,” says Marshall, whose wife, son, and daughter are all alumni. “I worked hard to put the collection together. It’s very gratifying to pass on that knowledge to students, knowing that part of my life’s work will always remain on the Hill.”

Studying the skulls helps students better identify cranial and facial bones, which will aid their field research. “The students can see and understand how pieces of the skull fit together—by a means far superior to an illustration in a textbook,” says Goode-Null, who teaches classes about skull structure using a skull that was exploded and pieced back together. The collection includes more than 7,000 dental casts that Marshall amassed for his own research purposes during nearly 60 years in private practice in Syracuse. It also is a valuable interdisciplinary resource for students in the College of Arts and Sciences’ pre-health professions track. For example, the dental casts can be used to help students learn how to diagnose dental problems. In the fall, Goode-Null will introduce a new component to a course on human skeletal anatomy that uses the dental casts.

Many collection pieces have already been incorporated into curricula across the department, from introductory courses in anthropology to advanced courses in human skeletal growth and development. The collection will also enable the department to develop new independent study projects. According to Goode-Null, the collection gives the anthropology department and the University a competitive edge. “The Maxwell School, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the department are blessed to receive a collection that provides us with so many tools for research and teaching on the evolution of the human skull.”

—Kelly Homan Rodoski
and Kate Gaetano


Finding
a New Groove


WAER » At 9:08 a.m. on November 20, 2003, Syracuse University-based public radio station WAER-FM (88.3) flipped the switch to broadcast from its new home—and morning listeners probably didn’t even notice. “There was a two-second pause, but we never went off the air,” says music director Eric Cohen ’93. “Overall, the transition was smooth. All of our announcers have embraced our new studio.”

The public radio station moved from the fourth floor of Newhouse II into the newly renovated Haft Hall at the corner of Ostrom and Euclid avenues, doubling the station’s square footage. The University relocated WAER knowing the station would benefit from more space in meeting the needs of the 100 to 120 students who volunteer there each year, and that the Newhouse School could use the vacated space for offices and classrooms. As a result, the former student housing space was remodeled into a studio wired for radio broadcast.

Space is the studio’s biggest perk. The 5,000-square-foot facility features four studios, four digital editing suites, a large reception area, and office space. The studio also boasts a student lounge and offers technical advantages not afforded at the previous location, including the capability to move sound files between studios via a digital router and a computer network.

“Tradition was tied into that old building,” sportscaster Pat Riley ’04 says. “Now we’re trying to bring the tradition and spirit over here. That will require time and effort.”

Bob Costas ’74 and Mike Tirico ’88 provided financial support to the project, and the news and sports area bears their names. Individual editing suites were named for donors Cephas Bowles ’74 and Bill Roth ’87. All four got their starts at WAER. More naming opportunities exist. “Our main goal is to have students ready to go out into the workforce prepared with a decent body of work and the experience of having worked in a state-of-the-art radio station,” says Joe Lee, general manager of WAER. “Our new facility allows us to meet that goal.”

—Andrea Taylor

Steve Sartori
WAER general manager Joe Lee, right, and morning announcer Marie Lamb ’81 talk in the master control studio at the radio station’s new home in Haft Hall.

Raising the Bar
University College » In the state of New York, cosmetologists and dog groomers must be licensed, but not paralegals, says Bruce Hamm ’91, G’94, director of professional legal education at University College. Hamm, a College of Law graduate, is working with the New York State Bar Association to develop educational standards for the profession. “Most people would probably be amazed at all paralegals do,” he says. “They interview witnesses, prepare documents for trial, and do a lot of the case management behind major trials. It doesn’t make sense to not have any educational standard.”

Due to the ever-expanding role of the paralegal, employment opportunities are steady for students who complete any of the three legal assistant programs at University College. According to the 2002-03 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, demand for legal assistants, or paralegals, is expected to increase by 36 percent or more by 2010. “The profession is changing and evolving,” Hamm says. “In many major metropolitan areas you need a four-year degree to work for the big law firms and corporations.”

The legal assistant program began as a noncredit certificate program in 1979. It expanded in 2001, when University College introduced a bachelor of professional studies degree in legal studies. In 2002, a for-credit certificate in legal studies was added, with credits transferable toward a bachelor’s degree. Composed entirely of night classes taught by practicing lawyers, the program has received national attention from a number of trade publications, including Legal Assistant Today. The students are as varied as their post-graduation options. “Some of our students are recent college graduates, some are already working in the legal field and want to upgrade their skills, and others are seeking a career change,” Hamm says.

Leanne Stradling ’01, who came to University College with a bachelor’s degree in political science with a pre-law concentration, began working at a Syracuse law firm shortly after completing her legal assistant studies. “The best part about the job is the potential to learn every day,” she says. “The program was a positive experience, and I have a job I enjoy. I feel very fortunate.”

—Tanya Fletcher


Leading by Design

Architecture » When Mark Robbins G’81 returns to the Hill this fall to serve as dean of the School of Architecture, he expects to feel a slight sense of déjà vu. “It’s a little like a scene from the film, It’s a Wonderful Life,” says Robbins, an architect and artist who most recently served as a visiting critic at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard. “You’re viewing terrain that is very familiar, but at the same time, the perspective and reality of the place have changed.” For Robbins, who has been a curator, professor, and director of design at the National Endowment for the Arts, the deanship was a compelling opportunity. “SU has one of the strongest architecture programs in the country,” he says. “I have always been struck by the level of accomplishment I see on the part of alumni—who are very involved and interested in the future of the school—as well as by the faculty, administrators, and advisory committee, who are committed to helping the Syracuse community evolve and grow.”

In keeping with that tradition of excellence, Robbins hopes to establish programs that address architecture’s role in today’s culture, ensuring that the school continues to produce architects at the forefront of the field. “That means educating students as broadly as possible,” Robbins says. “Architecture doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It is our obligation to make sure students learn the techniques of building, and also develop the critical thinking that allows them to examine architecture in relation to the larger social and cultural realms.” Bruce Fowle ’60, chairman of the school’s advisory board, says Robbins’s appointment is wonderful news for the School of Architecture and the City of Syracuse. “Robbins is internationally renowned,” Fowle says. “He will build on the school’s recognition by the Design Futures Council—which ranked SU fourth nationally and number one on the East Coast among architecture and design schools. He is also eager to collaborate on revitalizing the City of Syracuse.”

Robbins plans to publicize the success of SU architecture graduates to attract the best students and faculty. “The proof of a school’s quality is in its graduates, but also in faculty members who are known in their field,” Robbins says. “When I come on board, I will be committed to making sure faculty members have the support to do not only the best teaching, but also their own work. After all, that’s what a university is—a place of intellectual and creative growth. I firmly believe that when faculty continue their own explorations, they become even stronger teachers.”

—Kate Gaetano

 

Neighborhood Connections
Information Studies » When some faculty members take sabbaticals, they go to the deserts of North Africa on archeological digs or study the life of an important painter in the south of France. But School of Information Studies professor Murali Venkatesh spent four months living in the Edgewater Apartments, a subsidized housing project in Springfield, Massachusetts. “Living in the complex, I found the access to digital technology to be abominable,” Venkatesh says. “Because of budget cuts, the branch library—which is the only public place in the neighborhood with a link to the Internet—was open just one day a week, from nine to five. It’s an outrage, but this is the reality.”

Venkatesh is director of the Community and Information Technology Institute (CITI), a research and development center at the school that is dedicated to bringing the advantages of technology to communities of all kinds. In 2002, he was awarded a senior research fellowship by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and decided to use it to help create a broadband computer network for Springfield’s North End, one of the poorest neighborhoods in the state, according to U.S. Census data. Venkatesh launched the North End Telecommunications Network (NETN), a multifaceted project that aims to bring technology into the neighborhood.

Venkatesh and other project members are creating a network to link libraries, schools, health clinics, social service agencies, and local businesses with about 3,000 private residences, enabling almost all of the district’s 10,000 people to be connected. Thanks to funding from the Waitt Family Foundation (Ted Waitt is the founder of Gateway Computers), North End residents will have access to computers in their homes for nominal fees.
Venkatesh returned to campus and built a course around the North End neighborhood network project. This past semester, students in his Telecommunications Project class worked alongside MIT urban planning students on the NETN. Rukmani Sankaran, a master’s degree candidate, likes the way the course broke down disciplinary barriers by realistically posing both management and technology problems. “In this project, we got the chance to understand such implementation issues as network security and the limited resources available in the community,” Sankaran says.

The course, offered both at the graduate and undergraduate levels, allows students to see the direct impact their knowledge can have on others. “We are helping the people of this community to discover new worlds through the Internet,” Srinivasan Nallasivan G’04 says. “This creates a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment apart from the technical experience we gained in the course.”

—David Marc


Promoting
Safer Schools

Human Services & Health Professions » When Ellen deLara’s son told her that bullying occurred on a regular basis in his high school, she took action. “I wanted to find out what it was really like at schools because I felt that parents didn’t have a handle on it,” says the social work professor.

DeLara began researching school violence, bullying, and safety issues from students’ perspectives about 10 years ago. She conducted hundreds of surveys, focus groups, and interviews with teenagers nationwide to learn how safe they felt at school. “Many children did not feel safe and bullying happened every day,” she says. “Most surprising was that adolescents were asking for more adult supervision in cafeterias, hallways, and classrooms.” DeLara published her findings in And Words Can Hurt Forever: How to Protect Adolescents from Bullying, Harassment, and Emotional Violence (Free Press, 2002), which she co-wrote with Cornell University professor James Garbarino. The book proposes several solutions to help eliminate bullying, including the need for adults to be more responsible. “Adults need to change the mentality of ‘kids will be kids,’” she says. “If bullying occurred in the workplace, it wouldn’t be tolerated. So why should adults overlook it in our schools?”

DeLara and Garbarino continued their work in a second book, School-Based Intervention Programs (Houghton Mifflin, 2003), which explores ways to train new teachers about school safety. “I am invested in positive change,” she says. “I am always researching school violence to understand and help eliminate it.”

At the request of the Pupil Transportation Safety Institute, a nonprofit school bus safety organization, deLara helped produce a video that includes interviews with bus drivers about behavioral problems they encounter. She is currently developing a national curriculum to train school bus drivers to recognize and interrupt bullying. DeLara has also begun a project to determine if student-athletes are more likely to engage in—and get away with—bullying than other student populations.

The extensive research on school violence and bullying has enhanced deLara’s classes at SU. “Students are interested in the subject, and they want to know how to help,” she says. “It is not enough to just be informed—you have to act.”

—Rachel Boll

Life or Death
Assignment

Law » Close to 200 inmates currently sit on death row in Alabama, one of 38 states administering capital punishment. One of these inmates had an IQ of 59. Schools deemed him to have mental retardation, and he participated in the Special Olympics as a child. Yet, even though the U.S. Supreme Court has recently held that states may not execute persons with mental retardation, he remains on death row. His case is now in federal court, and his hope of convincing the court lies with two lawyers, including Syracuse law professor Sanjay Chhablani, and seven students who took a new capital punishment course at the College of Law. “You want to be alert and really careful; people’s lives are on the line,” says Marie Hahn G’04. “I genuinely believe that the death penalty should be overturned for our client.”

Chhablani brought this and another death penalty case to SU when he began teaching here last fall. The death penalty class is one of seven applied learning courses at the College of Law that allows professors to bring their outside work into the classroom. Chhablani’s course enables law students to apply the knowledge gained in their criminal law and death penalty lecture classes, while they are taught to be zealous advocates for the client’s best interests. “Students are exposed to the realities of how the death penalty is administered,” says Chhablani, who has a background in nonprofit criminal defense as a former member of the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta. “They learn to balance what would be an appropriate punishment for the state to impose with the client’s humanity.”

The students research cases, strategize future arguments with various possible outcomes, write briefs, and learn about complex death penalty laws in the context of two real cases. “It can be very difficult to watch a videotape of a proceeding, where a man has been wrongly convicted and sentenced to death, and then head to a class about securities or commercial transactions,” says Jennifer Owens G’04, who worked on cases like these in South Carolina before enrolling in law school. “After graduation, I hope to return to the South and work on capital punishment cases.”

Chhablani says the seminar benefits all involved: Students receive hands-on experience that prepares them for daily law practice, while indigent persons receive assistance from a diligent law staff. “My legal mind has been shaped in a great part by this class,” says Craig Morgan G’04. “I see the reality of things now. The experience I gain in this class will go with me forever.”

—Andrea Taylor


Religious Crossroads

Newhouse » With so many of today’s headlines focused on religious issues—gay marriages, separation of church and state, sex scandals involving clergy—newspapers of all sizes are beginning to invest more in religion coverage. Political candidates are also becoming more vocal about their religious views, and even corporate America is starting to employ religious language in confronting problems relating to business ethics. “Religion stories are no longer being confined to the Saturday morning religion page,” says former New York Times reporter Gustav Niebuhr, a leading writer about American religion and the newly appointed religion and media professor in the College of Arts and Sciences and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. “Religion is an important facet of bigger political, economic, cultural, and international stories. It intersects with so many other areas.”

Niebuhr is one of more than 35 faculty members from across campus who teach in the new interdisciplinary Religion and Society Program that focuses on the role of religion in contemporary society. “We believe that some knowledge of religious traditions would be very valuable to people in a variety of professions, including education, journalism, business, law, medicine, and government,” says religion professor James Watts, director of the program. “It was designed to provide students with a broad background from which to address the variety of ways that religion affects professional and personal lives.”

Niebuhr’s appointment fits with journalism students’ increasing interest in religion, says Newhouse professor Steve Davis. “I have noticed in just the past five years more students suggesting stories that have to do with religion,” says Davis, chair of the Newspaper Program. “Gustav’s appointment is a way for us to respond to what we’re picking up on here, whether it is outright demand for a religion reporting class or simply what we’re hearing and seeing in the classroom. He is one of the top religion reporters in the land, yes, but he’s a very good reporter, too.”

Niebuhr, a descendant of two prominent 20th-century theologians, is excited to teach journalism courses and to be part of the interdisciplinary religion program. “The program will raise the profile of religion as a very important dimension of human life and the human experience,” he says. “Having faculty and students from different academic backgrounds will provide opportunities to learn from each other’s unique perspectives.”

—Margaret Costello

Steve Sartori
Humorist Garrison Keillor, host of the radio show A Prairie Home Companion, entertains a standing-room-only audience in the Schine Student Center’s Goldstein Auditorium with a tale from Lake Wobegon. Keillor appeared last semester as part of the University Lectures series.

A Voice for Children
Student Activities » Two years ago, two Syracuse University students planted the seeds of a new organization that is promoting student activism while securing the future of disenfranchised children. Yolanda Norton ’04 and Andrew Shin ’04 founded Students United for Child Advocacy (SUCA), a student group modeled after the Children’s Defense Fund of Washington, D.C., that works in conjunction with University and community organizations to improve child welfare services. “It is important to teach students that they have the power and position to make a real difference in the future of our country,” says Shin, who majored in political science and policy studies. “Any time I work with kids, I feel I’m having a direct impact on our future and on the state of democracy. When children are suffering, society is in jeopardy—because if we can’t take care of our children, we can’t take care of ourselves.”

Seeing the difficulties children face motivated Norton to seek a solution. “I saw children being abused, grandparents raising children, and parents working two jobs and still not knowing how they would pay for child care,” says Norton, who majored in political science and international relations. “All of these things make you wonder how policies affect people in their everyday lives and what we can do about it.”

In its first year, SUCA took on several projects, including renovating a teen center in conjunction with Eastside Neighbors in Partnership and forming the Central New York Early Education Coalition with community activists to protect Head Start from being dismantled. This year, SUCA hosted Children’s Sabbath, a four-day event consisting of workshops on child care, education, and community service; organized letter writing campaigns in support of Head Start and Child Care grants; and participated in the annual Crop Walk sponsored by Hendricks Chapel. SUCA members also attended the Children’s Defense Fund Conference in Washington, D.C. In addition, Shin and Norton petitioned for funding from departments across campus to initiate a fellowship for students dedicated to child advocacy. The first group of fellows began work last fall. SUCA will place fellows who complete training and service requirements in summer internships with a child advocacy organization in Washington, D.C.

“SU students have to realize that they’re surrounded by a city in which many children live in poverty,” Norton says. “SUCA’s goal is to lay the foundation for a University and a community that put children first.”

stressdesign

Journeys Through Life
Arts & Sciences » the Syracuse Symposium is not bashful about tackling life’s big questions. In 2002, the annual series of multimedia, interdisciplinary events, which bills itself as “an intellectual festival,” explored the meaning of beauty. In 2003, the symposium took on some of the biggest questions of all when its theme of “Journeys” led it to a special focus series, “The Journey at the End of Life.” “We decided to approach our overall theme of ‘Journeys’ as broadly as possible,” says Eric Holzwarth, assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “The symposium is committed to an eclectic agenda.” This fall, the Syracuse Symposium will explore the subject of humor (symposium.syr.edu).

Among this year’s featured presenters were Roald Hoffmann, a Nobel Prize-winning chemist and a playwright, who spoke on “Journeys Between the Sciences and the Arts”; actor and folk singer Theodore Bikel, who presented an evening of musical and theatrical journeys; and Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautiful Mind, who discussed “Journey into the Mystery of the Human Mind.” The symposium took a new turn when Dr. Joel Potash, a faculty member of the Bioethics and Humanities Center at SUNY Upstate Medical University, suggested to Holzwarth that the program include a public airing of what is, perhaps, the most avoided topic of all. “I wanted to bring up the subject of death,” Potash says. “I wanted to place dying in its context as something that we all experience because I believe discussion and preparation might make it feel like a more natural part of life. I want to empower people and families to better deal with it.”

Holzwarth encouraged Potash to pursue the concept, and thus was born “The Journey at the End of Life,” which offered a series of free public lectures, concerts, films, and art exhibitions last fall. Some highlights were Deidre Scherer’s exhibition in the Genet Gallery of fabric portraits and drawings of people facing death; and a talk by Dr. Sherwin Nuland, who won the National Book Award in 1994 for How We Die: Reflections on Life’s Final Chapter. John Bitok ’04, who hopes to become a physician, attended the Nuland event. “He made me realize that we are all on a journey and death is just a part of it,” he says. “It’s folly to be caught by surprise. I’ll keep that with me.”

—David Marc


From Student
to Staff Member

Human Resources » For more than a decade, the Northeast United States has experienced “brain drain,” an exodus of young educated workers who leave for jobs located in the South and West, according to the Brookings Institution, an independent research organization. Syracuse University, the second largest employer in Onondaga County, has launched an initiative to reverse this trend in Central New York by hiring some of its own graduates. “We have a tremendous, almost untapped pool of available talent that is already familiar with our organization and region,” says Jack Matson, director of staff relations and recruitment for the Office of Human Resources (HR). “SU is an excellent place to work, and we have a wide range of employment opportunities for professionals. Linking our recruitment strategy with the efforts of the Office of Alumni Relations and the Center for Career Services was a natural fit that needed to be explored.”

HR representatives have tapped into alumni relations’ strong online alumni community by posting job opportunities at SU and advertising the University’s employment web site (sujobopps.com). SU graduates registered with the alumni relations’ online community receive an e-mail about current openings once a trimester. “So far, the response has been tremendous,” says Janna Nelson ’99, an HR employment specialist. “We also plan to use listservs so that when a specific job becomes open, especially one that is hard to fill, we can e-mail a target audience.” Working with the Center for Career Services, HR staff members have also participated in the SU career fair and hosted workshops on such topics as the benefits of working at SU and how to make job applications and resumes stand out.

Matson says the University is interested in recruiting alumni because their track record as employees is very strong. “We are always looking for top-notch candidates, and we know—as do other leading employers—that SU’s schools and colleges do an excellent job preparing students,” he says. Take, for example, Nelson, who graduated with a bachelor of science degree in human resources management. Within a few months of graduation, she was hired by the University as an HR representative and was promoted to her current position less than three years later. “I enjoy being a part of the support system for the campus that supported me,” says Nelson, who serves on search committees to fill open positions and works with diversity agencies to ensure equal opportunity employment at SU. “My familiarity with the campus’s core values, departments, and people has been instrumental in furthering my career at the University.”

David George ’83, director of Food Services, began a 25-year career here as an undergraduate in the dietetics management program in the College for Human Development, and as a student employee with Food Services. He excelled in the student supervisor program, and accepted a job as a catering supervisor after graduation. “We all have fond memories of our alma mater, and to work there makes it that much better,” he says. “I have had the opportunity to see the University grow and expand. It has been a good experience for me.”

—Elizabeth Wimer

Mother
Nature’s Lessons


Bryan Leister

Engineering & Computer Science » If a tree falls in a forest and there are no fungi to break it down, will it still decompose? Sure, if a human comes along. To produce paper, manufacturers have found ways to remove a tree’s lignin (the complex chemical structure that provides strength to wood fibers) by intensive physical grinding or by using harsh chemicals to eat it away. However, these two methods are much more polluting and wasteful than Mother Nature’s solution—three enzymes excreted by fungi. Two chemical engineering professors hope to use the same enzymes to develop a more environmentally friendly paper-manufacturing process. “The enzymes go outside of the fungi cell and eat away the lignin compounds,” says chemical engineering and material science professor Christine Kelly. “If they didn’t, the tree trunks that fall would be in the forest forever. So, we hope to use these enzymes in pulping to reduce some of the pollution and energy consumption. Our problem is this fungi isn’t really good at growing in the big quantities necessary to be commercially viable.”

Kelly and Curtis Lajoie, her research partner and husband, secured a three-year, $213,000 grant from the National Science Foundation and a $40,000 grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to investigate which methods will optimize the growth of two of the three enzymes. The researchers and students in Kelly’s lab have cloned one enzyme’s DNA and inserted it into fast-growing yeast. “Yeast grows really well in commercial applications,” Kelly says. “We’ve been successful in getting the yeast to make this enzyme, but now we need to get the yeast to make higher concentrations of the enzyme to be economically viable.”

Once that’s accomplished, the SU team will begin testing the enzymes in pulping processes with the help of researchers at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Fei Jiang, a doctoral student working with Kelly, says the project has helped reinforce lessons he learned in lectures, and has strengthened his ability to identify a research problem and develop a process to solve it. “Doing research is not an easy task,” Jiang says. “We face uncertainty, especially when multiple factors affect the process and we have to determine which one leads to the error. However, the research could have significant environmental benefits.”

—Margaret Costello

Steve Sartori

Music professor Daniel S. Godfrey poses with members of the Cassatt String Quartet (clockwise from Godfrey), Nicole Johnson, Tawnya Popoff, Jennifer Leshnower, and Muneko Otani.

Sound Collaboration
Visual & Performing Arts » Setnor School of Music professor Daniel S. Godfrey and the Cassatt String Quartet, the school’s quartet-in-residence, have quite a bit of history together. It’s so special that Godfrey, a renowned composer, decided to write the New York City-based group its very own string quartet. “We wanted to work together on something I would create expressly for them, something of mine they could truly call their own,” he says. “That was the genesis of my String Quartet No. 3.”

The piece is one of three included on a newly released CD, Daniel S. Godfrey: Music for String Quartet (Koch International Classics). It features the Cassatt performing not only String Quartet No. 3, but also Godfrey’s second quartet and “Romanza,” a movement from the first quartet, which Godfrey revised to serve as a stand-alone piece. Godfrey’s music has been recorded on six previous CDs, but this is the first devoted exclusively to his work.

The long-standing working relationship between the composer and the string quartet is mutually beneficial. “Working with Dan is a pure joy,” says violinist Jennifer Leshnower, who, along with violinist Muneko Otani, violist Tawnya Popoff, and cellist Nicole Johnson, comprise the Cassatt. “He is extremely clear in his musical concepts, color choices, and the overall vision of a piece. He has a good knowledge of the Cassatt sound and has harnessed that for us in his composing.”

Godfrey says the collaborative process enhanced the composition of String Quartet No. 3, which evolved with the quartet’s help. He significantly revised the first and third movements after hearing the Cassatt’s live premiere of the piece. “They are excellent collaborators,” he says. “I took full advantage of their expertise in arriving at the final version represented on this CD. I have never stopped learning from these wonderful musicians.”

Godfrey looks forward to working with the Cassatt again. “We’re a definite match in terms of musical personalities,” he says. “There’s a kind of sweep and passion to the way they play that fits with my lyrical sense.”

—David Marc and Erica Blust

Democracy
in Action

Education » Three years ago, Professor Gil Harootunian of the reading and language arts department in the School of Education visited Armenia as a senior Fulbright Scholar. While teaching and researching at Yerevan State Linguistic University (YSLU) in Armenia, Harootunian noticed that debilitating elements of the former Soviet Union’s oral culture still lingered in the newly independent state. Students memorized lecture information and then regurgitated it in oral quizzes with little analysis of what was being taught. “The oral culture undermines the new and fragile democracy,” she says. “Students need to engage in sustained and reflective thought, research, and writing to create advanced public arguments and analyses as citizens in a democratic nation.”

Harootunian saw this as an opportunity to help reform higher education in Armenia. By introducing such democratic practices as written teacher and peer reviews and writing-intensive courses that focus on argumentation and analysis at YSLU, Harootunian believes the students will develop the skills needed to thrive as active citizens in a country in the midst of political change. To that end, Harootunian received a U.S. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Freedom Support grant to develop Writing for a Democracy, an educational exchange program between Syracuse University and YSLU. “The grant rests upon a deep belief in the power of education—that it can effect profound change and produce a new generation of scholars, teachers, and leaders in Armenia,” Harootunian says. This spring, she brought a team of YSLU teachers to Syracuse, and next year, a group of SU graduate students expects to travel to Armenia to develop, then pilot, the new curriculum.

The two teams of educators are actively exchanging ideas and creating courses that encourage students to participate in their government and look critically at the world. “Through the courses, we will incorporate politics into a writing-intensive curriculum, so students will become better analysts and be better equipped to argue their points,” says Nelli Sargsyan, one of four YSLU teachers who visited Syracuse to observe the role of writing in the curriculum.

The grant also funds the purchase of thousands of English language textbooks and a computer cluster for YSLU. The computers will be used to teach students data management and publication, complementing the new writing-intensive curriculum. The project will serve as a model of reform for YSLU and strengthen SU’s leadership role in international education. “Syracuse University has a great tradition of excellence and dedication to global citizenship, and those are the very roots of the Armenian project,” says School of Education Dean Louise C. Wilkinson.

In the fall, three SU graduate students will journey to YSLU to co-teach with the Armenian educators. Together, they will develop syllabi and assess the program’s progress. “It’s important that this grant provides SU’s future leaders with international experience,” Harootunian says.

—Rachel Boll

Distance Learning Professionals
Whitman » Patricia Beamish never thought she would return to school to earn an M.B.A. degree. With a daughter to raise and a job with the American Red Cross that demands extensive travel, Beamish was reluctant to sacrifice her family life or current career for a degree. That’s why she was thrilled to discover the iMBA program, the Martin J. Whitman School of Management’s independent study M.B.A. program (whitman.syr.edu/imba). “iMBA was flexible enough to work within my lifestyle,” Beamish says. “Its residency allowed me to meet people and make connections with the professors, yet still complete the remainder of the coursework at my own pace.”

Students in the program complete residency weeks on campus in January, May, and August. During these times, they attend classes, computer training workshops, networking events, field trips, and guest lectures. For the remainder of each semester, technology keeps them “close” to SU. Students use Blackboard, an online course management system, to turn in papers and communicate with professors and other iMBA students.

For Tim Kallet G’04, a captain for United Airlines, the iMBA program was the best choice for earning a degree. “iMBA offers me the flexibility to go to graduate school and still work full time,” he says.

Currently, 160 students from around the world are enrolled in the iMBA program. On average, these students are 35 years old, have 11 years of work experience, and earn $82,000. “They are working professionals with serious jobs,” says program director Paula O’Callaghan G’89. “This program caters to them.” It is consistently ranked among the top distance learning programs by U.S. News & World Report, and enrollment is up 27 percent since last year. “Distance learning is becoming more acceptable,” O’Callaghan says. “People who would have never considered it are tending to search out quality programs.” The Whitman School’s iMBA program offers students the same degree, professors, and curriculum as the full-time M.B.A. program. Most students complete the program in two to three years, but they are allowed up to seven to finish. “iMBA is one of SU’s best-kept secrets,” O’Callaghan says. “It’s a top-quality program that attracts top-quality people.”

—Samantha Whitehorne
and Cynthia Moritz

 

Gearing Up
for College

Student Support »More than 100 Syracuse high school students attended the Summer School at SU program on campus last year with one goal in mind: to pass their summer classes and New York State Regents exams, which would allow them to advance to the next grade. Close to 90 percent of these students passed, thanks to the GEAR UP program, a partnership of SU, Onondaga County, the Syracuse City School District, and local businesses that provides academic support to at-risk Syracuse high school students to help them prepare for college. GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) has been recognized as a national leader among programs of its kind, says Horace Smith, associate vice president of undergraduate studies and executive director of the program at SU. “We are a model for the rest of the country.”

In recognition of the program’s success, the Higher Education Services Commission awarded GEAR UP a $487,000 grant this year. The grant will enhance GEAR UP’s after-school tutoring and SAT preparation programs, which were cut from the city’s school budget in recent years. “This grant allows us to provide our students with a greater opportunity to prepare for college,” Smith says. “We can successfully enable students to achieve at a very high level and make sure they progress to the next.” In addition to strengthening the Summer School at SU program, the grant will help pay for 50 students to attend SU’s Summer College, a six-week academic program that allows high school students to explore career interests while earning college credit. “Summer College students are likely to make a smoother transition once they get to college,” says GEAR UP director Lena Kochian. “More than that, they are likely to achieve better grades during their first year in college.”

Throughout the school year, GEAR UP also sponsors a Saturday College program for high school students. Chris Fasuyii, a local high school student, studied sports medicine through the program. “I’d like to major in pre-med when I enter college,” he says, “so this experience has been extremely beneficial.”

Summer College and Saturday College students experience college life firsthand through specialized courses, seminars, field trips, and weekend and evening activities. They study such topics as acting, architecture, engineering and computer science, fashion and textile design, law, public communications, and more. “GEAR UP helps me prepare for life’s challenges and gives me the experiences necessary to increase my confidence,” says Fowler High School student Tiffany Doe of Syracuse. Preparing students for the future is just what the program sets out to do. “The fundamental belief behind the program is that all children can learn,” Kochian says. “We have one goal right now: to see all our kids continue their educations.”

—Samantha Whitehorne

Steve Sartori

College of Visual and Performing Arts graduates Matt Cincotta ’04, left, Jonathan Daly ’04, and Jacquelyn Jouvenal ’04 pose in front of 21st Century Music, a mural they created in the Schine Student Center’s Underground. It features images of Beyonce, Bob Marley, Eminem, and others.

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