Courtesy of DIPA
SU’s Florence Center at the Villa Rosa is one of several international sites that attracts students.


Global Gift

With four grandparents from Italy, Robert Infarinato ’67 was naturally attracted to the Division of International Programs Abroad (DIPA) program in Florence. He traveled there in spring 1966 to participate in what was then called the Semester in Italy, and has returned many times to support the SU program that first introduced him to the country he fell in love with. “I was part of the last group of students who took an ocean liner overseas instead of flying,” Infarinato recalls. “We had our orientation on the boat and got to know each other while attending lectures and taking Italian lessons.” The experience of studying abroad had a profound effect on Infarinato, helping him clarify his goals and directing him toward a career as a finance executive in international business that spans three decades.

Believing that an international experience holds increased significance for today’s students, Infarinato does all he can to support DIPA. He volunteered to present a lecture and lead a panel discussion, “Corporate Performance and Responsibility,” in Florence last fall and guest lectured in several classes. He also delivered an updated corporate governance lecture in Madrid in the spring. “In our global environment, it is more important than ever to understand how to build a bridge to another culture—to understand not only the differences, but also the similarities among people everywhere,” he says. “Living with a family in another country and being integrated into another society gives students an open frame of reference and makes them eager to learn. Studying abroad is a phenomenally important, life-altering experience.”

Infarinato’s enthusiasm for studying abroad is shared by Constance Canfield Foote ’61, G’63 and Knowlton C. Foote ’61, G’65, who fund a DIPA scholarship for School of Education students. As an alumni advisor for Delta Epsilon in the early 1990s, Knowlton Foote strongly recommended overseas studies to fraternity members. He believes the experience improves students’ language and communication skills, matures them, encourages them to pursue further travel opportunities, enriches their sense of compassion, and helps them develop an appreciation of another culture. “Students who study abroad are ambitious, energetic, and adventuresome,” says Foote, who earned a Ph.D. from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in 1975. “They come back more serious about their studies and with a well-developed sense of global perspective.”

At Syracuse University, the tradition of international study dates back to 1919. Today, more than 2,000 students study abroad through DIPA each year, representing a broad range of academic majors; more than half come from other U.S. universities. SU maintains academic centers in China (Hong Kong), England, France, Italy, and Spain, and collaborates with other universities to offer programs in Africa. SU students can also study abroad through direct placement at universities in other European and Asian countries.

Lindsay Bistis ’03, a French and inclusive and elementary education major, was the first recipient of the Footes’ DIPA scholarship. “Going abroad taught me so much about the history and culture of the places I lived in and visited,” says Bistis, who lived in Strasbourg, France. “The experience allowed me to get to know other people better and taught me a lot about myself.”

The Footes applaud the University’s efforts to make study abroad accessible to as many students as possible. “I hope each of our students spends a semester overseas,” says Knowlton Foote. “It is an absolutely first-rate educational experience.” Infarinato, too, is impressed with SU’s commitment to the program, which is articulated in the University’s Academic Plan. “Syracuse deserves recognition for the quality and longevity of its international study programs,” says Infarinato, who joined the Footes and other alumni at the first meeting of the Friends of DIPA Advisory Board in September. “I feel very strongly about supporting DIPA, which provides experiences that touch people to the point of changing their lives.”

—Amy Speach Shires

Visual & Performing Arts

Steve Sartori

High school students work in the Nautica Design Studio as part of a Summer College program on fashion design.

Learning in Style

Aspiring fashion and textile designers often choose Syracuse University rather than specialized art schools to take advantage of the wide range of course offerings and interdisciplinary study opportunities. Yet even as they opt to broaden the scope of their educations, these students must also be confident of access to the facilities and resources they need to prepare for this highly competitive field. In that regard, the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ (VPA) Department of Fashion Design and Technologies can point a reassuring finger at its Nautica Design Studio.

Department chair Karen Bakke ’67, G’69 describes the Nautica facility as “a complete knit design studio with the latest technology in computer-assisted embroidery machines and computer textile printing.” Located in Slocum Hall, it was created through the renovation of existing classrooms with funds provided by Nautica Enterprises Inc., an internationally known, New York City-based designer, marketer, and distributor of brand-name apparel and accessories that was recently purchased by the VF Corporation, the world’s largest apparel company.

The studio—the only one of its kind supported by Nautica in higher education—features 140 oak lockers for students, personal storage cabinets for faculty, a washer-dryer set, four sinks, and special equipment, including a massive silk steamer. Infrastructure improvements include new wiring to accommodate the tools of the trade, which range from sewing machines to computers. Even the “Nautica blue” chairs have been carefully chosen for ergonomic design. “Those chairs were nice to sit in during a three-hour studio class, and the lighting was good, too,” says VPA graduate Stefanie Pollock ’03. “It’s a pleasant work environment.” VPA student Patrick Mele ’06 agrees. “The studio is on par with, or superior to, any facility you can find in an art or design school,” he says.

When Harvey Sanders, the former Nautica chairman, announced the company’s merger with the VF Corporation, he noted that it will create “substantial opportunities for our people and our brands over the long term.” VPA students could benefit from the merger too, as it may provide more career-preparation opportunities for them in the field.

According to Bakke, the story behind the Nautica gift begins with the tale of another act of generosity to the University. Since 1982, real estate developer Leon Genet ’53 has been funding the Sue Ann Genet Lecture Series, named in honor of his late wife. The Genet lectures bring internationally prominent figures from retailing, fashion, costuming, and the decorative arts to campus each year. “When Harvey Sanders delivered a Genet lecture in 1999, he was impressed by our program and by our students’ work,” Bakke says. “He asked if there was a way he could help.”

In 2001, Sanders returned to the Hill to deliver a second Genet lecture—and to perform the ribbon-cutting ceremony on the Nautica Design Studio. Sanders and Bakke both credit Leon Genet for personally fostering the connection between Nautica and the University that opened the door to this professional learning environment.

Sanders also enjoyed speaking about Nautica and the fashion industry to the students. “I found the students’ questions stimulating—in some ways better than the questions we’re asked by investment analysts,” he says. “Providing this facility seemed like a great way to help the University, the fashion design program, and the students.”

—David Marc

University College

Women Helping Women

Women’s honorary society Eta Pi Upsilon offers more than 15 scholarships annually to female students pursuing part-time study at SU through University College. Each scholarship covers the cost of a three-credit course. “We look for students who are actively pursuing a degree program,” says Nancy Gere O’Neil ’48, president of the Eta Pi Upsilon Alumnae Association. “We also consider financial need and their GPA.”

Eta Pi Upsilon was founded in 1898, and more than a century later the organization still has a profound impact on women’s educational opportunities at SU. “Eta Pi has always been interested in the role of women in society and their need to get an education,” O’Neil says. “In 1996, we decided to really make an effort to raise funds, and launched a three-year fund drive that proved very successful.” The Eta Pi endowment fund, initiated during the 1960s, has grown to more than $300,000 and now benefits 15 to 20 female students each year.

Why would an alumnae association for full-time students target a scholarship fund for part-time students? “We believe women who are juggling work, parenting, and school deserve assistance and consideration,” O’Neil says. Each scholarship is named for an influential alumna, and some families and businesses have endowed scholarships in memory of Eta Pi alumnae.

Patricia Magill, a 2003 Mary Gilmore Smith scholarship recipient, is pursuing a social work degree while raising a daughter, working at a restaurant, and maintaining a 3.44 grade point average. “I never want my daughter to feel I sacrificed her education for my own,” Magill says. “That’s what part-time study does for me.” Magill and other scholarship recipients were invited to an annual recognition luncheon and asked to speak to Eta Pi alumnae about how the scholarships have enhanced their educational experiences. “It’s really nice to be recognized by these women,” Magill adds. “They take an interest in who we are, what we do, and what we struggle with, and encourage us to keep at it.”

“It’s inspiring to hear these women share their goals and aspirations,” says O’Neil, “and it encourages the members to be generous with their donations because they know the money will be put to good use. We are proud of the financial support Eta Pi alumnae have provided through the endowment fund, and look forward to continuing to assist women who want to begin or finish a degree through part-time study at University College.”

—Mary Beth Horsington


Yanel De Angel
Architectural models are an integral part of thesis projects. Yanel De Angel G’99 created this one for her presentation, which earned her a Britton award.


Symbol of Excellence

James A. Britton Sr. ’25 loved architecture—and he loved to talk about it. After visits to Syracuse University, he would sit down with his son, Jack, in their Massachusetts home and enthusiastically recount the student thesis presentations he had observed. A 1980 recipient of the George Arents Pioneer Medal for his contributions to the field of architecture, Britton frequented SU at thesis time and often served as a guest juror. “Dad would always say, ‘They work so hard on those projects. I wish there was a way to give those students more recognition,’” says Jack Britton, who established the James A. Britton Memorial Award in 1983 in memory of his late father’s dedication and service to the SU community. The award serves as a standard of excellence in the School of Architecture. “The presentation of the Britton awards is a tradition within the school and a way to recognize the exceptional work of our students,” says Arthur McDonald, the school’s interim dean.

Each spring, architecture faculty select approximately 12 undergraduate and graduate students to compete for the awards based on their thesis presentations. An awards jury—consisting of SU faculty, visiting academics, and professionals—then selects the top three thesis projects. Each winner receives a medal and a $2,000 award, and all the competitors are presented with the Dean’s Citation. For Yanel De Angel G’99, a designer at Ayers Saint Gross Architects in Baltimore, winning the prestigious best thesis award opened doors in her career. “The recognition from SU was a testament to my work ethic,” she says. “It helped me earn opportunities to grow.”

The process of selecting award recipients is about more than just competition. “The awards jury promotes an interesting forum for students, guests, and faculty to discuss current issues, discourses, and cultural values within the field,” McDonald says. “The thesis project is also a model for how students will operate professionally. They learn how to prepare research materials, argue their design proposals, and gravitate toward an area of the discipline with which they feel an affinity.”

Gerard Damiani ’90, whose project on urban design and architecture led him to open Studio D’Arc Architects in Pittsburgh, keeps the Britton medal in his office. “It’s a nice memory of past achievements,” he says. “The award symbolizes the excellence of SU and the importance of treating everything you do in a professional manner. It gives you self-confidence to know your work can make a difference.”

—Kate Gaetano




Arts & Sciences

Good Chemistry

Professor Marvin Druger estimates that a quarter of a million new science and math teachers will have to be prepared for the classroom during the next decade to meet the needs of American education. “Despite that tremendous demand, there just isn’t enough support for students who want to teach in the sciences,” says Druger, chair of the Department of Science Teaching and a professor of biology in the College of Arts and Sciences. “That’s why the Bristol-Myers Squibb Good Chemistry Award is so important to us.”

Since 1988, the Syracuse facility of Bristol-Myers Squibb, a diversified international drug company, has made an annual gift of $10,000 to SU, which is awarded to students preparing for careers in science teaching. “The money can be divided among as many deserving students as we name,” says Druger, who selects the recipients with his colleagues on the science teaching faculty. “Of course, the awards help students with their most immediate financial problems. But they have also become our way of saying to students, ‘Hey, you’re doing something important and here’s some support to back that up.’”

The gift is presented each year at the tip-off of an SU home basketball game, bearing the name of a team member who exemplifies “good chemistry” in success at both academics and athletics. Craig Forth ’05 received that honor for the second time last year. “The player gets a plaque—and I get the $10,000 check for the students,” Druger says.

For biology major Jodi Barber ’00, G’03, who decided to seek an M.S. degree in science teaching, the award made a real difference. “I’m a single mother and I suddenly lost my day care provider when my annual income was judged $8 over the eligibility limit,” she says. “The Bristol-Myers Squibb money allowed me to pay for day care for the entire semester and to finish my degree.” Barber is now teaching biology in the Fort Bend, Texas, public school system.

Cheryl Lendrum G’03, who holds B.S. and M.P.S. degrees from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, says the award provided her with some much needed encouragement in finishing the M.S. degree program at the School of Education. “Most importantly, the money allowed me to completely dedicate myself to 12 weeks of student teaching,” says Lendrum, now a doctoral candidate studying college science teaching. “Without it, I would have had to find other employment.”

Bristol-Myers Squibb spokeswoman Pam Brunet sees the Good Chemistry Award as a natural extension of the company’s interests. “We are a scientific business and we know it’s just as important to have great science teachers as it is to have great scientists,” she says. “In fact, you can’t have one without the other. That’s why it’s important to make sure students interested in teaching science are helped as much as possible. We are getting a big bang for the buck in our support for SU.”

—David Marc



Cross-Cultural Communication

Arthur S. Liu G’66 will never forget his days as a graduate student at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. At that time, the native of China worked 60 hours a week as a restaurant waiter to support his studies. “It was extremely hard to keep up with schoolwork while laboring that many hours,” says Liu, now president and CEO of New York-based Multicultural Radio Broadcasting Inc. “But I needed that income.” This experience prompted Liu to establish the $500,000 Liu Multicultural Scholarships at Newhouse last spring to fund graduate students. “Through the scholarships, I hope to enable students to focus on their schoolwork,” he says.

Through a gift from the Liu Foundation, which Liu and his wife, Yvonne, established, the $10,000 scholarships will be awarded annually to between 5 and 10 Newhouse graduate students. The scholarships will help pay tuition costs for students interested in cross-cultural communication. The Liu gift is the first major influx of scholarship money at the graduate level at Newhouse and will help attract students with top academic credentials.

Newhouse Dean David M. Rubin says the scholarships will play an important role in promoting mutual understanding among people from different countries with diverse cultural backgrounds. “The media are increasingly global in scholarship and in their audience,” Rubin says. “We want to enhance our global perspective by bringing more international students here who are interested in cross-cultural communication, and the Liu scholarships will help us do that.”

Liu Scholar Zheng Qi G’04, a TV-radio-film major, has already begun to accumulate experiences in cross-cultural communication. She earned a B.A. degree in international journalism at Shanghai (China) International Studies University in 1999 and then worked as a reporter for the English-language Shanghai Daily before coming to the United States. “The scholarship eased my financial worries and now I can concentrate on my studies,” Zheng says. “Having worked for a newspaper that is committed to introducing China to the outside world, I fully understand the significance of promoting cross-cultural communication to help people from different countries learn about each other.”

As a successful ethnic media entrepreneur, Liu recognizes the responsibilities and influence of media in the free world—a knowledge he credits to his Newhouse education. His multi-language company now owns 3 cable networks, more than 30 radio stations, and a weekly publication in the United States. “The world becomes smaller each and every day,” he says. “To promote peace on Earth, we must gain a better understanding of different peoples and their cultures, and media are the catalysts of that change.”

—Wanfeng Zhou



A Fitting Tribute

The late Alfred Wohl ’34, an All-America lacrosse player and an honors graduate in management, held particularly fond memories of his experiences at Syracuse University and passed on his school pride to his family. Each year, the Wohl family made a trip to campus for Homecoming Weekend, during which Wohl and his wife, Sheila ’34, would reconnect with college friends and give tours of their alma mater to their children. “I remember taking the train—I think it was called the Syracuse Special—from Long Island to Syracuse,” says Michael Wohl, who graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences in 1972 and the College of Law in 1975. “We’d watch the football game or go to the mound at Coyne Field to watch lacrosse games.”

When Alfred Wohl died in 1986, his family knew how to commemorate his life. “He loved Syracuse University more than anything, and we wanted to focus on doing some things that were reflective of his interests,” Michael Wohl says. “My father was a businessman as well as a lawyer, so we decided to fund scholarships in the colleges of law and management. It’s a little bit of immortality for him, and also helps attract better students and elevate the academic status of the University.” Wohl donated money to name the lacrosse practice field after his father as well.

The scholarships have supported dozens of students who have gone on to accomplished careers. “A few recipients became state judges, and we receive letters from previous Wohl Scholars periodically with updates on how they’re doing,” Wohl says. “Although my father was a very modest man and never named anything after himself, I think he’d be happy. Education was important to him.”

Heather M. Cole G’04 decided to come to SU’s law school because of the diversity and strength of its classes and also because she received a Chancellor’s Scholarship. For the past two years, she was named an Alfred Wohl Scholar for her superior performance in the classroom. “The scholarship has helped to alleviate some of the debt I am incurring during law school,” says Cole, who intends on working as a prosecutor in New York City. “For that I am very grateful to the Wohl family.”

—Margaret Costello


Human Services & Health Professions

Steve Sartori
Members of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra perform for children from the Bernice M. Wright Child Development Laboratory School.

Creative Spark for Kids

During the past two years, children from SU’s Bernice M. Wright Child Development Laboratory School explored the world beyond the walls of the school building. They visited museums, worked with an artist, and attended a concert with members of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. The field trips and other projects were made possible through the generosity of Joanne Kerbs Mudd ’69, who donated $25,000 to the College of Human Services and Health Professions to establish the Joanne K. Mudd Cultural Development Fund.

Mudd, a child therapist from Springfield, Virginia, says several ideas were presented to her when she expressed an interest in making a donation, including one focused on the arts and cultural enrichment. “It was easy for me to get excited at the thought of the children visiting museums, hearing music from around the world, and having fun in the process,” she says. Daria Webber, the school’s director, says the funding allowed the school to expand the children’s everyday classroom experiences in art, music, and movement. “One of our goals as early childhood educators is to provide children with activities that help develop an aesthetic awareness and appreciation of the world around them,” she says.

Operated through the college’s Department of Child and Family Studies, the Wright School involves 20 to 25 undergraduate student teachers each semester in the education of 80 to 100 community children and their families.

Last year, Mudd’s grant provided visits to such Syracuse-area places as the Everson Museum of Art, the Museum of Science and Technology, the Center of Ballet and Dance Arts, and the Open Hand Puppet Theater. The fund also supports the school’s biweekly “Toddlers Tango,” which integrates world music and instruments into a movement program. In addition, children participated in a “Symphony Kids” concert, and worked with a visiting artist to construct a fountain for the school’s entranceway. “We have a diverse group of children,” Webber says. “These experiences provide them with opportunities to enhance their artistic and creative development, while becoming aware of the many ways in which people choose to display their creativity, and to appreciate and celebrate differences.”

—Kelly Homan Rodoski



Steve Sartori


Honoring Palmer’s Leadership

When John Palmer retired last spring after 15 years as dean of the Maxwell School, John White G’64, G’69, former deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Defense and former chair of the Maxwell School Advisory Board, wanted to do something special to mark the occasion. What emerged was the John L. Palmer Student Excellence Fund. Advisory board members were among the first to contribute. “I hoped they would be generous, and, by George, they were,” White says.

According to Palmer, who will take up a position at Maxwell as a University Professor, the advisory board’s efforts to develop the fund served as a positive means of buffering the transition between deans. “I’m both touched and honored by the establishment of the fund, and I’m pleased that the school and my successor will have these resources to work with,” he says.

The fund raised $1.2 million that will go toward scholarships to attract the most sought-after graduate students in the social sciences. Recipients will be known as Palmer Scholars. Dean Mitchel Wallerstein G’72, Palmer’s successor, will manage the fund and can also use it to support programs and other initiatives. “Our intention is to give flexibility to Dean Wallerstein, so that he may play out his own vision of how best to lead the school,” says Professor Robert McClure, who retired as Maxwell’s senior associate dean last June. “The Palmer fund also pays appropriate tribute to a dean who, in my view, has given not only the second-longest service to this school, but also the highest quality leadership.”

During Palmer’s tenure, Maxwell completed a $50 million fund-raising campaign, won a contract to host the National Security Studies Program, gained a new building that more than tripled its space, established an array of interdisciplinary institutes, and was ranked the nation’s number-one graduate school of public affairs three times by U.S. News & World Report. Through the Palmer fund, the advisory board seeks to demonstrate its support for the school’s continued success. “We wanted to honor John Palmer for his great service and also show his successor that we energetically support the Maxwell School and its scholars,” says Maxwell advisory board chair S. Ford Rowan G’97, chairman of Rowan & Blewitt Inc. in Washington, D.C. “It’s a vote of confidence not just for past achievements, but for the future of Maxwell.”

—Cynthia Moritz and Kate Gaetano


Bridging the Gap

Raja Velu is quite familiar with the expression, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” A professor in the Martin J. Whitman School of Management, Velu is experienced in the process of developing research proposals and applying for sponsorship. “It’s extremely difficult to obtain funding,” says Velu, who secured a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture last year to analyze the food pyramid guide using a new methodology he created. “There is an intense competition for a limited pool of money, which makes it very hard for researchers—especially first-time applicants—to receive funding. The entire process can be discouraging, but you have to keep trying.”

That’s where the Bridge-Fund Award Program can help. Offered for the first time this year, the award is funded by the school’s H.H. Franklin Center for Supply Chain Management. According to operations management professor Scott Webster, who is co-director of the Franklin Center, the award assists two faculty members who submitted proposals related to supply chain management—the pipeline of information and materials involving an organization, suppliers, buyers, and others—for outside sponsorship to competitive programs and were rejected. Each $15,000 award is intended to aid the professor in continued research through student support, travel, or research-related expenses. “The award literally acts as a bridge to help the researcher develop his or her work until it becomes strong enough to receive outside funding,” Webster says. “It’s an incentive for faculty to submit proposals to outside agencies, as well as an opportunity for them to develop stronger research in the future.” It may also provide the needed time and support to better articulate deserving projects for would-be sponsors.

Proposals in areas related to supply chain management are currently being considered for the award, which is open to full-time, tenure-track SU faculty. “The area of supply chain management is broad enough to offer opportunities for faculty well beyond the Whitman School,” Webster says. “Researchers in such fields as computer science, economics, engineering, information systems, mathematics, and statistics are eligible.”

The Bridge-Fund fosters the Franklin Center’s mission of becoming a recognized leader in supply chain management education and research, Webster says. “We expect the award to increase the University’s visibility nationally and internationally as a result of the research it will promote.”

—Kate Gaetano


Engineering & Computer Science

Cyber Service

Bryan Leister

Reid Wightman ’02 was struggling to make ends meet as a graduate student in computer science at the Technical University of Dresden in Germany when he heard about a new scholarship-for-service program at Syracuse University. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the 4-year, $2.5 million program provides 3 groups of 10 master’s students at SU with 2-year scholarships that cover tuition, room and board, books, and a stipend of $12,000. “I could have stayed in Germany and spent about $600 a month on living expenses, or I could earn a master’s degree and live for free at Syracuse, and get a stipend on top of that,” says Wightman, who opted to become a graduate student in the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS). “Plus, I’m pretty much guaranteed a job after graduation.”

As a recipient of a Federal Cyber Service: Scholarship for Service award, Wightman will be required to work one year for the federal government for each year of scholarship benefits. The program, modeled after the Reserve Officers Training Corps, aims to develop “cyber corps” professionals to fill a shortage of key personnel identified in the U.S. President’s National Plan for Information Systems Protection. After fulfilling the service requirement, program participants can work in the private sector or remain within the federal government.

Scholarship recipients at Syracuse must be U.S. citizens and enrolled in one of three affiliated Certificate of Advanced Study programs: systems assurance; information technology, policy, and management; or information security management. These three programs are offered by ECS, the Maxwell School, and the School of Information Studies and bring together students from these disciplines to work on projects housed within the Systems Assurance Institute (SAI). This multidisciplinary institute helped SU be designated as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education by the National Security Agency, which was necessary to receive the grant.

“Students seek out these kind of scholarships to help pay for graduate studies, so the scholarships are a nice way to attract highly qualified students,” says SAI education director Susan Older, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science and one of the grant’s principal investigators. “They are also a good way to get a more interesting mix of students by attracting American students to some programs that currently contain mostly international students. So much of our country’s critical infrastructure is dependent upon computers and the Internet, and this program will help ensure that we have adequate numbers of people who understand the principles of information assurance and security to protect that infrastructure.”

—Margaret Costello



High-Tech Teaching

In this technologically advanced era, a teacher’s tools for providing a vibrant education must evolve at a rapid rate. The School of Education is addressing this challenge head-on with the development of a technology suite on the ground floor of Huntington Hall. “We’re taking a very active, systematic approach to helping faculty and students enhance their capacity for technology applications,” says Scott Shablak, assistant dean for professional development. “It’s part of what we have to do to educate students who will be leaders in the field, and who can teach under any conditions.”

Recent improvements include hardware and software upgrades in the PC lab, installation of multimedia videoconferencing capabilities in the conference room, and the transformation of a storage space into a digital design studio.

The videoconferencing room, which is equipped with a SmartBoard—an interactive, electronic white board—supports distance education, initially for science education in rural New York schools, and then for professional and academic programs nationally and internationally. The SmartBoard can hook up to a laptop and projector, allowing a teacher or student to write on the projected image in all the ways an ordinary classroom blackboard might be used. The room provides a setting for collaborative seminars with students and teachers in remote locations, interactive sessions for campus-based audiences, and meetings that require access to distant resources. “The room increases our capacity for transmitting education to people outside the University and allows for communication with people all over the world,” Shablak says. “It also enhances a student’s ability to use multimedia equipment.”

The digital design studio supports students and faculty in developing various digital resources, providing equipment to create videos, transfer digital video to DVD, edit clips, or add audio. Workstations are available for creating, recording, and editing sound. The suite will also feature a multipurpose technology enhancement center with access to state-of-the-art multimedia workstations and a variety of assisted technologies, including speech synthesizers and voice recognition systems, for students with special needs.

Funding for the technology enhancements comes from a variety of sources, including grants from the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the New York State Education Department, as well as a gift from Marion W. Meyer G’55, a graduate of the University’s Student Dean Program and a friend of the School of Education. Plans call for continued improvements as funding support allows. “It’s not just about the rooms,” Shablak says. “Our faculty members are very much in tune with technology enrichment. Everything we’ve done in terms of getting the equipment and software assists them in moving forward, enhancing their technological capacity and that of our students.”

—Amy Speach Shires


Information Studies

Visionary Stimulation

Christine Parker-Johnson G’93 is a great believer in multidisciplinary thinking. “Nothing is really ‘silo-ed’ anymore,” says the head of BearingPoint Inc.’s Oracle consulting practice in Boston. “Everything out there is in the mix, and the key to success in education, career, and even personal life is the ability to create the optimal combinations. You need to be broad-minded in every way. You can’t be all work or all study or all play. You can’t be all business or all technology or all marketing. If you limit yourself to a box, you’ll never be able to ‘think out of the box.’”

She also believes in putting ideas into practice. Last summer Parker-Johnson announced her intention to make a major gift to the School of Information Studies, where she earned an M.S. degree in information management. The gift is specifically earmarked to help shape the aesthetic environment of the school’s new home, which will be created through the renovation of Hinds Hall. “I want learning to take place in a physical environment that is worthy of the school’s intellectual and technical creativity,” she says.

The funds will be used in a variety of ways to accomplish this goal. A committee with broad school and University representation will be established to commission a new work of art for the student lounge. Special security and environmental systems will be built into the new Hinds Hall, allowing for the exhibition of some of the University Art Collection’s treasures. A high-tech electronic message board will offer running updates on school news and events. Even that old standby of college buildings, the student bulletin board, will be subject to revolutionary new design proposals.

Domenic Iacono, associate director of the University Art Collection, is pleased that Parker-Johnson has chosen to highlight works of art by facilitating their seamless incorporation into campus life. “It’s a wonderful way of educating and stimulating students and the entire University community,” he says. “We are particularly lucky to have a donor with the vision to make these improvements a part of the general renovation project at Hinds Hall. Too often, art is treated as an afterthought in the planning of new facilities.”

Parker-Johnson has a great fondness for the University and particularly for the School of Information Studies, which she feels provided her with perspectives that have helped her in the business world and elsewhere. Despite the demands of running a $200 million global consulting practice, the Syracuse area native has enjoyed participating in alumni events in both Boston and New York City. Last spring she spoke on campus, addressing the student group Women in Information Technology.

As plans progress toward the school’s move to its new location, she is excited about the opportunity to get involved in shaping the building’s character. “It’s necessary to give some thought to the aesthetic environment of a place where a lot of technical thinking is going on,” she says. “One of the reasons people go to Syracuse University is to get a liberal arts education—and that means a well-rounded education. We should never lose sight of the fact that you can get only so far in business—or in life—on your technical skills and knowledge.”

—David Marc


Multicultural Affairs

Diversity in Action

Syracuse University is committed to creating a campus community that is not only free from discrimination, but also moves beyond tolerance to celebrate the diversity of its members. “The ability to appreciate others for their differences and similarities allows us to see each other as individuals with unique gifts and flaws,” says Regina Jones, program coordinator in the Office of Multicultural Affairs. “It also helps us realize that, more often than not, others have values and aspirations that are remarkably similar to our own.”

One way SU supports diversity is through the Chancellor’s Feinstone Grants for Multicultural Initiatives, which Jones coordinates. Each fall, SU faculty, students, and staff are invited to propose projects aimed at building alliances across ethnic identities at the University. Individual or group proposals are each eligible for up to $1,000 of support. Now in its eighth year, the program is named for Sol Feinstone, a 1916 graduate of what is now the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Feinstone is a widely known historian and author whose 1968 gift funds the grants. Originally available only to one undergraduate and one graduate student group annually, it has evolved to encompass faculty and staff initiatives.

Mia Hong ’04, a student in the College of Human Services and Health Professions who works in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, served as co-chair of the ethnically diverse committee that reviewed a record 25 proposals in 2002-03 and funded 12. “The program allows people to be creative and provides funding to faculty, staff, and students to make their ideas a reality,” Hong says. “Also, the implemented projects allow a larger and more diverse audience to have a multicultural experience that might otherwise reach only a few people.”

Each spring, grant recipients are invited to a luncheon at the Chancellor’s residence, where their efforts are recognized by James K. Duah-Agyeman G’99, director of student support and diversity education/multicultural affairs. “By building a community that values diversity, students are enriched,” he says. “They learn from and come to value the contributions made by the entire campus community.”

Graduate student Paul Buckley is a past recipient of two Feinstone grants: One project examined racism and provided tools for being actively anti-racist; the other challenged the notion of “students of color” as a homogenized block. “The Feinstone grants present a wonderful incentive for any member of the SU community to take up the issue of multiculturalism in his or her own way,” Buckley says.

“Every year since its inception, the Feinstone program has grown both in the number of proposals submitted annually and in the scope of diversity-focused programs it supports,” says Barry L. Wells, senior vice president and dean of student affairs. “We continue to be impressed with the caliber of programming applicants propose, and hear consistent feedback that these grants address varied and numerous campus needs that benefit our University community.”

—Amy Speach Shires

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