Fordham Notes: November 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

Fordham Interfaith Zen

On Tuesday, December 1, Roshi Robert Kennedy, S.J., will sit, give a dharma talk and take questions at Fordham's Interfaith Zen Group, in the Blessed Rupert Mayer Chapel, Room 221 Lowenstein Center, Lincoln Center campus, from 6:10 to 7:45 p.m.

For this visit, Roshi Kennedy will speak on the question, "What is it when the story ends?" He will bring to this his uniquely seamless experience of both Zen and Catholic practice, a subject very much in the air since Paul Knitter's book, Without Buddha I Could Not Be a Christian.

When interviewed by the National Catholic Reporter in 2007, Roshi Kennedy said:

"I was talking with a Chinese Zen master once and he said one of the difficulties of dealing with Catholics is that they love their spiritualities ... as if it was a parallel life," Kennedy tells Tom Fox. Buddhists root us in this moment, he said. "Buddhists would say, 'If God isn't present in this moment, where is he? You meet God in doing the deed of this moment in front of you. Never withdraw from it.' "

The podcast is available at: 'I wanted a faith that was deeper': Jesuit priest and Zen master

Beginner instruction will be given during the first sitting period. Roshi will then speak and take questions from the group as a whole rather than the usual daisan (individual meetings with the teacher).

More information on this branch of interfaith Zen meditation is available at

Sheila Ross
, Facilitator, Fordham Interfaith Zen

IPED Scholars Announced

Catholic Relief Services announced the following Spring semester assignments for International Political Economy and Development Program (IPED) International Peace and Development Travel Scholars:
  • Patrick Gallic, Sierra Leone
  • Peter Gutierrez, Rwanda
  • Blain Cerney, Senegal
  • Gyanu Sharma, West African Regional Office (Senegal)
Catholic Relief Services uses their International Development Fellows Program to recruit the best and brightest from among the graduates of the leading graduate programs in international development.

This group of students are scheduled to spend six months at their assignments from mid-January until mid-July.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Mission and Ministry Toy Drive

The Dorothy Day Center for Service and Justice and Campus Ministry are organizing our annual holiday toy drives and we urge you to consider helping us make this winter more joyful for those in need.

Please Note: The food and coat drives have been extended through December 18 (Lincoln Center Only). Bins are located on the Lowenstein Plaza and in Lowenstein 217 (Campus Ministry).

Toy Drive
November 30 to December 18 (Rose Hill through December 11)

Lincoln Center
A giving tree will be located on the Lowenstein Plaza. Please stop by and pick up an ornament that will have the name of a child and a requested gift. Toys will be donated to HOUR Children, an organization that works with children and their incarcerated mothers.

Other Items needed are: Vacuums, Bed-In-Bag (Twin Set), Blankets & Pillows, Comforters & Small Lamps, Kitchen/Dish Towels, Clocks & Small Rugs, Nightgowns & Slippers (M-XL), Phone Cards & Metro Cards, Gift Certificates: McDonald, Burger King, Movies, Gap, Old Navy, Salon Items and Cosmetics, Household Items, Paper Products. Bins will be located on the Lowenstein Plaza or drop off to Lowenstein 217 (Campus Ministry).

Rose Hill
Unwrapped, non-violent toys or art supplies are needed for children ages infant to twelve. Drop off to McGinley 101 (Dorothy Day Center) or McGinley 102 (Campus Ministry). Toys will benefit community partner organizations in the Bronx.

Unwrapped, non-violent toys or art supplies are needed for children ages infant to twelve. Bins located in the Main Lobby and Common Ground Cafe. Toys will be donated to local community organizations.

If you are unable to donate any items but would like to make a monetary contribution, you can write a check payable to “Campus Ministry” and send it to one of the following Campus Ministry offices:
  • Lincoln Center: Lowenstein 217, (212) 636-6267
  • Rose Hill: McGinley 102, (718) 817-4500
  • Westchester: Room 133, (718) 817-3420
Please note to which drive you are contributing.

The Office of University Mission and Ministry thanks you for sharing the grace of the season with those less fortunate.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Yes, Fordham, There is a Virginia

Fordham has its share of famous alumni, but with Thanksgiving tomorrow and the official arrival of Santa Claus in New York (courtesy of the Macy’s parade), our thoughts turn to Virginia O'Hanlon, Ph.D., Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, 1930.

In 1897, Virginia, then eight years old, famously wrote the New York Sun from her family home at 115 West 95th Street in Manhattan to ask whether there was a Santa Claus.
Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Francis Pharcellus Church
The New York Sun
Sept. 21, 1897
(See the full text, original clipping and a picture of the extravagantly mustachioed Church at the Newseum website.)

Virginia, later Virginia O’Hanlon Douglas, went on to attend Hunter College, Columbia University and Fordham. She spent her entire career teaching in the New York City School System, and retired in 1959. She died on May 13, 1971, in Valatie, N.Y.

“What Church did was sustain a child's hope while giving her a statement of ideals that are worthwhile for the adult. He did not simply continue a myth. He gave a reason for believing,” William David Sloan, a journalism professor at the University of Arkansas, told the New York Times on the 100th anniversary of Church’s famous reply.

Sunday, Nov. 29, marks the beginning of Advent—an appropriate time to remember Virginia O’Hanlon’s timeless question, and Francis Church’s generous response. Fordham University wishes our readers a happy and safe Thanksgiving, and a joyous holiday season.

Updated Dec. 3, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fordham Law’s Dispute Resolution Society Knows how to "Settle"

On November 14, members of Fordham Law School’s Dispute Resolution Society (DRS) (pictured above) claimed the ABA Negotiation Regional Championship. The Society fielded three teams, and all three advanced to the final round of the competition – a feat that has never happened in ABA history, said team chair and third year law student Michael Camarinos, FCRH ‘07. The teams placed first, third and forth out of 20 participant teams.

Fordham Law’s DRS is currently ranked #10 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. Directed by Law Professor Jacqueline Nolan-Haley, the program integrates teaching, scholarship and practice in conflict resolution, which is, essentially, the art of finding the middle ground in a negotiation.

A special shout out to the student teams: Allie Berkley & Patrick Featherston, Matt Bress & Patrick Jacobs and Cassie Hamar & Nate Poulsen. The DRS now advances to the final National Negotiation Competition in February, 2010 at Disneyworld.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Nov. 19 is Collegiate Smoke Out Day

On November 19, the Fordham Peer Educators will host the Collegiate Smoke Out, which coincides with the American Cancer Society's Great American Smoke Out. This week peer educators are stationed in the McGinley lobby from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., distributing brochures and educational materials to address tobacco use and encourage peers to quit smoking. Students interested will have the opportunity to discuss quitting strategies with staff from the Alcohol and Other Drug Education Program.

The week will include pledges for students to either quit smoking or to never begin using tobacco products. These pledges will double as raffle tickets for three prizes (gift cards to Ann & Tony’s, Applebees and iTunes). The Alcohol and Other Drug Education Program will also be giving out free cotton candy to any student who correctly answers a question on our “wheel” of alcohol and other drug questions.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Food and Clothing Drives

Members of the Fordham University community can help make winter more joyful for those in need as the Dorothy Day Center for Service and Justice (CSJ) and Campus Ministry (CM) begin their annual holiday drives.

Here's how you can help:

Canned and Non-Perishable Food Drive - Nov. 9 - Nov. 20

• Lincoln Center: Bins located on the Lowenstein Plaza and in Lowenstein 217 (CM)
• Rose Hill: Drop off to McGinley 101 (CSJ) or McGinley 102 (CM)
• Westchester: Bins located in the Main Lobby and Common Ground Cafe

Coat Drive Nov. 30 - Dec. 11 (Westchester through Dec. 18)

Clean coats, mittens, hats, scarves and boots in good condition are urgently needed.

• Lincoln Center: Bins located on the Lowenstein Plaza and in Lowenstein 217 (CM)
• Rose Hill: Drop off to McGinley 101 (CSJ) or McGinley 102 (CM)
• Westchester: Bins located in the Main Lobby and Common Ground Cafe

Toy Drive Nov. 30 - Dec. 18 (Rose Hill through Dec. 11)

If you are unable to donate any items but would like to make a monetary contribution, you can write a check payable to "Campus Ministry" and send it to the following Campus Ministry Offices:

• Lincoln Center: Lowenstein 217, (212) 636-6267
• Rose Hill: McGinley 102 (CM), (718) 817-4501
• Westchester: Room 133, (718) 817-3420

-Gina Vergel

Passing on the Catholic Intellectual Tradition

“There is no area of human endeavor and culture that does not find expression within the Catholic intellectual tradition,” according to Fordham Professor John L. Elias and Lucinda A. Nolan. Their new book, Educators in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition (Sacred Heart University Press, 2009), is a collection of studies of ten prominent educators in the United States that outlines the ways Catholic education has progressed over the centuries; how the faith has been handed on from generation to generation; and how Catholics have learned to live their faith in the world.

The book’s introduction begins a survey of Catholic education with Jesus, a rabbi who sent apostles and disciples on teaching missions, and proceeds through centuries of teaching and learning to the present day. The book identifies key contributors to the Catholic intellectual tradition in the United States, as well as the nature and parameters of their influence on Catholic education.

John L. Elias, Ed. D., professor of religious education and social ministry in the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education (GRE) at Fordham, has published Philosophical Foundations of Adult Education; A History of Christian Education: Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox Perspectives; and Paulo Freire: Pedagogue of Liberation. Lucinda A. Nolan, Ph.D., assistant professor in the School of Theology and Religious Studies at The Catholic University.

Today, in what has become a global church, new questions and previously undreamed-of situations face all who participate in the Christian teaching-learning process. This book offers historical perspective and encouragement to anyone involved in Catholic education.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

American Catholic Studies Media: Black Women of Virtue

Monday, October 19, 2009
Black Women of Virtue: The Oblate Sisters of Providence in Antebellum America. Fifth in The Rita Cassella Jones Annual Lecture Series
Speaker: Diane Batts Morrow, Ph.D., associate professor of history and African-American studies at the University of Georgia and author of Persons of Color and Religious at the Same Time: The Oblate Sisters of Providence, 1828-1860 (2002).

CBA Students Awarded "10,000 Women" Scholarships

Two of Fordham University’s College of Business Administration (CBA) juniors are among the first group of students chosen to receive Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Business Leadership Awards. The scholarships are designed to recognize Hispanic females demonstrating a keen interest in entrepreneurship.

Zaily Valloy (left), a CBA junior and first-generation Hispanic of Dominican ancestry, and Geraldine Reyes (right below), a CBA junior from Westchester of Dominican ancestry, will each receive a $10,000 scholarship award, a Goldman Sachs mentor, and a student advisor from Hispanic Scholarship Fund.

In addition, Valloy was chosen to present an award to Goldman Sachs’ Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Lloyd Blankfein, at the annual HSF Dinner held Sept. 30 in New York.

“This was truly a proud moment for Fordham,” said Donna Rapaccioli, Ph.D., dean of CBA, “And an absolute accomplishment for these young women.”

The scholarships are available annually for female Hispanics who have completed their sophomore year, who quality for FAFSA financial aid and who have maintained a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. The award goes to 10 women each year.

Fordham joined New York University in receiving two each of the inaugural awards. The remaining awards went to University of Texas at Austin (4), Rutgers University (1) and Baruch College (1).

(Photos by Bill Denison)

Business Professor's Book on Surviving Downturns

Hooman Estelami, Ph.D., professor of marketing at Fordham University Schools of Business Administration, has published Marketing Turnarounds: A Guide to Surviving Downturns and Rediscovering Growth. Designed to help business professionals approach new marketing strategies to help promote growth, it provides a framework and tools to help managers combat sales and profitability downturns.

Knowledge of the intricate dynamics of marketing turnarounds is a fundamental requirement for business survival and growth today. The intense desire to survive in a slow market and find new avenues for growth has become a pressing goal for companies. The objective of Estelami's book is to enable the pursuit of this goal by providing a guide for managers on various marketing approaches that can lead to growth and profitability.

The science of marketing turnarounds is based on an accurate understanding of how consumers respond to their changing environment. This book provides such an understanding by developing a framework of the various approaches to successfully executing marketing turnarounds. The framework and tools discussed not only enable managers to combat sales and profitability downturns, but also guide them in their aggressive pursuit of innovative ways to further nurture their businesses in stable and growing markets.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Serving Those Who Have Served

Since 2001, more than 1.6 million American troops have been deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq. Though a large number in absolute terms, veterans of those two conflicts comprise just over one half of one percent of the U.S. population. Despite sometimes intense media coverage, many Americans are unfamiliar with the effects of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on veterans, and of those veterans' needs when they return home.

"Serving Those Who Have Served: Social Work with Active Duty Military, Veterans, and Their Families," is a presentation on the coming home experience of combat veterans, and will offer insight into military culture. The presentation will be held at New York Presbyterian Hospital (Main Building), at 21 Bloomingdale Rd. in White Plains, N.Y., on Wednesday, November 18, 2009, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. It is sponsored by the National Association of Social Workers, New York State/Westchester Division, and is free and open to the public.
  • Serving Those Who Have Served
  • Wednesday, Nov. 18 | 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
  • New York Presbyterian Hospital (Main Building) | 21 Bloomingdale Rd. in White Plains, N.Y.
  • Free and Open to the Public
  • Information: Anne Treantafeles, (914) 367-3108
  • Mary Ann Forgey, Ph.D, LCSW, associate professor of social service, Fordham University, will speak about issues related to cultural sensitivity and competence based on her experience and research in working with active duty service members and their families.
  • Sgt. Arthur Moore, U.S. Army, Vietnam War veteran, and Spc. Fianna Sogomonyan, N.Y. Army National Guard, Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) veteran, will offer personal insights on issues faced by those returning from war.
  • Elizabeth Rahilly, LMSW, and Kristen Tuttle, LCSW, Veterans Administration Hudson Valley, Hudson Valley First Responder Initiative.
  • Paul Tobin, president and CEO, VetsFirst, will speak on his work with disabled veterans and their families.
Forgey will offering a course at Fordham's Lincoln Center campus in spring 2010 on Working with Military Families and Veterans; she will offer the course at Fordham Westchester during the summer session. Her talk will tie together the threads offered by the other presenters with her extensive knowledge and experience in working with the military. This talk is informed by her course syllabus.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fordham Students Challenge the Fed

On Thursday, Nov. 5, Fordham's Fed Challenge team won the first round of the New York Federal Reserve Bank's Fed Challenge. Fordham's team is one of six out of the starting 30 to move on to District semi-final and final rounds on Friday, Nov. 20.

The Fordham team consists of Andrew Vigliotta, Filippo Bianchi, and Robert Pergament, economics majors at Fordham College at Rose Hill; and Anu Joseph and Michael Cropano from the College of Business Administration. The team's faculty advisor is Mary Burke, Ph.D., clinical associate professor and associate chair for undergraduate education at Fordham.

The Fed Challenge is a competition in which teams of five students present an analysis of the overall U.S. economy as if they are part of the Federal Open Market Committee. Based on this economic analysis, they then must recommend specific monetary policy actions. The presentations are 20 minutes long and are followed by 15 minutes of questions from the judges.

The winning team of District’s final round will compete in the national finals at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Dec. 2.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Film Viewing and Discussion

Join Dr. Tina Maschi and Dr. Edgar Tyson for a viewing of Journey to a Hate Free Millennium, a 36-minute film that explores the tragic murders of James Byrd, Jr. and Matthew Shepard, as well as the student shootings at Columbine High School. A discussion will follow.

The program relies on open-ended questions and interactive teaching experiences designed to stimulate thought about the nature and consequences of hatred, prejudice and discrimination.

This event will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 10, and Thursday, Nov. 19, from 12:40 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., in Room 713 at Lowenstein Center, on the Lincoln Center campus. Seating is limited. RSVP by email to

Thursday, November 5, 2009

They Think They Can Cook

Six finalists in Fordham's culinary competition will prepare their entree recipes (with the help of Fordham's culinary experts) in The Marketplace at the Rose Hill campus on Saturday, Nov. 7, from 7 to 9 p.m.

The University wide competition features parents and administrators in the final competition. The event is part of Family Weekend—students, parents, faculty and staff are invited to come and sample the food and meet the contestants.

The grand prize winner will received an assortment of Fordham merchandise, and be photographed with Father McShane and Chef Mike DeMartino.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fordham Announces Fall 2009 Study Abroad Photo Contest Winners

The Office of International and Study Abroad Programs is pleased to announce the winning photos from its semi-annual Study Abroad Photo Contest.

These three photos were selected from 24 entries submitted by students who studied abroad during the 2008-2009 academic year.

First Place:

Elissa Dauria, FCLC senior, communications and Spanish major, snapped this photo during the April festival, a 150-year old tradition in southern Spain.

"Feria De Sevilla"

Location: Seville, Spain

Second Place:

Carly Levine, FCLC senior, communications and visual arts major, took this photo during her spring break while studying in Rome. She writes, "We all hopped off our bus to revel in the beauty, peace, quiet and relaxation of the sunset. It was a rarity for us to have seen the salt lakes filled with water, since the land usually appears dry and salty, where you can usually walk over it by foot or travel over the grounds by vehicle."

"Sensual Salt Lake Sunset"

Location: Chott el-Jerid, Tunisia

Third Place:

Norah Janson, CBA senior, took this photo during the Summer 2009 Emerging Markets course offered by ISAP and IPED in Pretoria, South Africa.

"The Road"

Location: South Africa

Congratulations to our winners. Many thanks to everyone who contributed to the contest!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fordham's Guide to Decision '09

Fordham University political scientists will be ubiquitous for media coverage of the 2009 elections.

Tonight, Costas Panagopoulos will be in the WNBC-TV studios to discuss New York City’s mayoral election. He will be paired with Richard Lee of Rutgers University, who will follow the exciting race for New Jersey’s governorship.

Also tonight, Christina Greer will be George Bodarky’s guest on WFUV-FM 90.7 to provide commentary on the New York City political landscape after the polls close at 9 PM.

Starting tomorrow, and continuing all week, Bruce Berg will be answering questions about New York City politics on the New York Times’s City Room blog.

Marketing Professor Wins Award

A paper co-authored by Associate Professor of Marketing Lerzan Aksoy won the Best Practitioner Presentation Award at the 2009 Frontiers in Services Conference in Honolulu last weekend.

The paper, “Because Customers Want To, Need To, or Ought To: A Longitudinal Analysis of the Impact of Commitment on Share-of-Wallet,” examined the case of AXA Financial, a global financial services company. Applying advanced marketing science theory, the researchers examined the relationship between consumers’ commitment to AXA and their share of AXA’s financial service product offerings.

Aksoy’s co-presenters were Bruce Cooil, professor of management at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management; Timothy Keiningham, the global chief strategy officer and executive vice president of Ipsos Loyalty (and a co-author of Aksoy’s recent book, Why Loyalty Matters); and Bart Larivière, a postdoctoral fellow at Ghent University.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Hope of the UCA Martyrs

A talk by Mark Ravizza, S.J., on the 20th Anniversary of the slayings in El Salvador. University Church, October 29, 2009. Sponsored by the Office of Campus Ministry.

GBA Professor's Art Becomes Life

Paul Kushel's novel, Lotto Trouble, is attracting attention after a real-life convenience store clerk absconded with a winning lottery ticket, just like the protagonist of Kushel's book.

Ken Herman, a sharp-eyed columnist for the Austin American-Statesman, wrote about life imitating art in his Sunday column:

As you've read in this paper, authorities are looking for a Grand Prairie convenience store clerk indicted for allegedly swiping and cashing in a $1 million-winning lottery ticket from a customer who didn't realize he had hit the jackpot.

I know a guy who wrote a novel about a similar situation. What are the odds against that? Nothing compared to this. The Grand Prairie clerk and the clerk in the book both are college students. OK, so maybe that covers about 20 percent of convenience store clerks.

And both are of foreign origin. OK, so that's, what, about 60 percent of convenience store clerks?

But here comes the really good stuff. The ticket thief in Paul Kushel's novel has the same first name as the Grand Prairie guy.

Long odds, huh? Yes, but still nothing compared to this:

The first name shared by the real-life Grand Prairie clerk and the fictional New Jersey clerk in Kushel's book is, wait for it, Pankaj.

Pankaj Joshi, a native of Nepal, is the real-life clerk that the cops really are looking for. Pankaj Kamath, a native of India, is the clerk in Kushel's "Lotto Trouble."

Kushel, clinical associate professor of accounting and taxation in the Graduate School of Business Administration, penned Lotto Trouble in 2003. He is an award-winning teacher, and is now working on his third novel.