Fordham Notes: June 2011

Friday, June 24, 2011

Art Show Highlights Pivotal Moments For Designing Women

When Abby Goldstein, associate professor of visual arts, noticed that her student Lindsay Reichart, FCRH ’11, possessed a passionate interest in modern art history, feminism and design, Goldstein got an idea.

“I suggested that Lindsay curate an exhibition as a senior thesis project,” said Goldstein, who had long noticed a lack of recognition for great women designers.

Over some months, Reichart started out with 75 names and narrowed the field from there, doing research and in-person interviews.

The result, Benchmarks: Seven Women in Design: New York, is now on display in the Lowenstein Center Gallery through Aug. 15. Co-curated by Reichart and Goldstein, the show focuses on a group of prominent New York-based women designers born before 1960 whose work ranges from print to collage to audio-visual installation: Gail Anderson, Eileen Boxer, Elaine Lustig Cohen, Carin Goldberg, Louise Fili, Paula Scher and Lucille Tenazas.

Although much of the artists’ work has been underrecognized, said Goldstein, all the artists have been firmly established and active in New York’s design scene for decades.

“We asked each of them to choose a work that holds special meaning for them, or was a turning point in their approach to their practice,” said Goldstein. “We hope to show exemplary work that also [is] personal.”

Among the works featured are Gail Anderson’s photo collages for Rolling Stone magazine of Axl Rose (2000) and Chris Rock (1997, pictured above left); Eileen Boxer’s conceptual announcement for the Ubu Gallery’s Hans Bellmer show (1995, pictured right); and Paula Scher’s vibrant silkscreen for the Public Theatre’s presentation of “Dancing On Her Knees” (1996, pictured left).

Reichart, who earned a bachelor of arts in art history and music, said she hopes to extend the project beyond New York sometime in the future.

The exhibit is sponsored by the department of theatre and visual arts. For more about the exhibit, visit the department blog, where you can find a link to an interview with the curators in imprint e-magazine for designers.

—Janet Sassi

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fordham Theatre Alumna Assays The Plot

If every actor’s dream is to perform Shakespeare, Annie Parisse, FCLC ’99, is twice blessed.

She currently stars as Helena, the lead female character in All’s Well That Ends Well, and Mariana in Measure for Measure in the Public Theater’s 2011 Shakespeare in the Park season.

“[Shakespeare’s] language is so breathtaking,” she recently told Crain’s New York Business. “To be supported by that kind of text is incredible.”

Before tackling Shakespeare, Parisse starred as assistant district attorney Alexandra Borgia on Law & Order. She also had a recurring role on As the World Turns and appeared in such films as Definitely, Maybe, National Treasure and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.

Parisse’s turn in Shakespeare in the Park marks the second consecutive year the Public Theater cast a Fordham theatre alumna in its repertory company of actors. Last year, Heather Lind, FCLC ’05, acted opposite Al Pacino as Jessica in The Merchant of Venice and also played the role of Perdita in The Winter’s Tale.

—Miles Doyle, FCRH ’01

Fordham Hosts Send-Off for Incoming Students and Their Parents

Members of Fordham’s Class of 2015 and their parents joined Fordham alumni, and they kept on coming. All told, more than 200 members of Fordham’s extended family from Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon and Passaic counties trekked into a wooded glade in Van Saun Park in Paramus, N.J., on Saturday, June 18, for a summer barbecue.

Forty Rose Hill and 10 Lincoln Center students engaged in animated conversations with their peers and made new friends, while Fordham alumni shared their college experiences and thoughts about Fordham with the students’ parents. People ate and lingered, groups shifted and generations mixed. For incoming students and their parents, it was a great initiation into the Fordham community.

Nine prizes, including Fordham T-shirts and hats, were raffled off.

Dawn-Marie Yardis, FCRH ’78, leader of the Fordham Alumni Support Team (FAST) for the Northern New Jersey Alumni Chapter, coordinated the event and created a festive atmosphere with maroon and white balloons and 22 tables covered in maroon tablecloths.

Fordham’s undergraduate admission and alumni relations offices co-sponsored the event, which was part of the University’s summer send-off program. Every summer, the University works with Fordham parents and alumni to host receptions across the country for incoming freshmen and their parents.

The regional events provide a unique opportunity for incoming students to meet fellow students in their neighborhood and for their parents to get to know each other.

—Sean McCooe, FCRH ’80, President, Fordham Alumni Chapter of Northern New Jersey

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

GSE Alumnus Helps Students Pen First Draft of History

A good teacher makes a subject come alive. And that’s exactly what Michael Malnic, GSE ’99, did for his seventh-grade social studies class at Meadow Hill magnet school in Newburgh, N.Y.

To complement his classroom lessons, Malnic enlisted his students as journalists to file news reports about black soldiers who fought for the Union during the Civil War.

For their beat, the cub reporters covered the historic 54th Massachusetts Regiment, one of the first official regiments of blacks troops in the U.S. military.

The students used as their historical guide the 1989 film Glory, which dramatized the real-life story of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment and starred Fordham graduate Denzel Washington, FCLC ’77. The regiment was raised and commanded by Col. Robert Gould Shaw, who attended the lower division of St. John’s College, now known as Fordham Preparatory School, before he joined the 2nd Massachusetts Infantry as a second lieutenant.

Malnic’s students each selected archival photos and wrote feature-length stories, which they ran in individual front pages of their own newspapers.

Their work was recently featured in the Times-Herald Record.

“What really meant a lot to me was for them to see the human element [of history],” Malnic told the paper.
—Miles Doyle, FCRH ’01

Monday, June 20, 2011

WFUV and NYC Media Launch The Alternate Side on WNYE

New York, NY—WFUV will celebrate the June launch of The Alternate Side on WNYE (91.5 FM) with an acoustic performance by songwriter (and driving force behind the acclaimed indie band Pedro the Lion) David Bazan in Madison Square Park (Madison Avenue at 23rd Street) on Wednesday, June 22 at 2 p.m. The Alternate Side DJs Russ Borris and Alisa Ali will be on-hand to host. The concert is free and open to the general public.

As of June 1, The Alternate Side, the independent music service produced by WFUV, has been airing weekday mornings from 6 a.m. to Noon on the NYC Media-owned WNYE. The service will also continue to be available around the clock at and 90.7FM HD3, as well as weeknights from 10:00 PM. to midnight on WFUV (90.7FM,

Since its launch by WFUV in 2008, with support from The New York State Music Fund, The Alternate Side has showcased the vital and diverse indie music scene in New York City and beyond. The Alternate Side’s forward-thinking, music-savvy range of artists includes everybody from The Strokes and The Beastie Boys to PJ Harvey and Radiohead and champions new local bands like Yeasayer, School of Seven Bells and The Hundred in the Hands. WNYE listeners will discover new music and reconnect with favorite artists, experience one-of-a-kind in-studio interviews and performances, and get artist news, concert information and community announcements.

Part of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, NYC Media is the official TV, radio and online network of the City of New York, informing, educating and entertaining New Yorkers about the City’s diverse people and neighborhoods, government, services, attractions and activities. NYC Media oversees several television channels, a radio station and other online assets. Visit for more information. Follow us on Twitter at or become a fan on Facebook at

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fordham Alumnus Wins Tony Award

John Benjamin Hickey, a 1985 alumnus of Fordham College at Lincoln Center, won a Tony Award Sunday night for his featured performance in The Normal Heart, playwright Larry Kramer’s semi-autobiographical drama about the early HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City.

After receiving the award, Hickey, who stars as Felix Turner in the play, said his Tony win was “the proudest moment in [his] career.”

Hickey’s Tony Award is impressive—especially considering how he had to juggle his appearance on Broadway with his work on the Showtime series The Big C, which stars Laura Linney. While performing in The Normal Heart eight times a week, Hickey, who plays Linney’s eccentric and off-the-grid brother, also filmed episodes of the show three or four times a week on location in Stamford, Conn.

During his acceptance speech, Hickey also thanked Linney for always getting him to “the stage door on time.”

After earning his bachelor’s degree in English at Fordham College at Lincoln Center in 1985, Hickey trained at the Juilliard School. He made his Broadway debut in 1995 in the original cast of Terrence McNally’s Tony Award-winning play Love! Valour! Compassion! His other Broadway credits include Cabaret, The Crucible and Mary Stuart.

He’s also appeared in the films The Ice Storm, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 and Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen, and has landed various roles on NBC’s Law & Order franchise.

—Miles Doyle, FCRH ’01

Family Matters

Siblings often share time on a Fordham campus. Twins sometimes occupy the same dorm rooms. Brothers and sisters, a few years apart, bump into one another between classes or out and about in the city. Such familial interactions are a normal part of the Fordham story.

It’s the rare Fordham father, however, who shares a campus workspace with his daughter. But that’s exactly what the McGees did since 2007, when Kate McGee enrolled at Fordham and joined her father Don, a part-time DJ at WFUV (90.7 FM,, on the Rose Hill campus.

Three years later, Annie McGee joined her older sister and father at Rose Hill.

“It was kind of a neat thing,” said Don McGee. “They both decided to come here on their own, though I do like to think I had some influence on their decisions.”

Both Kate and Annie said having their father around—if only on occasion—initially helped with the sometimes-difficult transition from high school to college. But they are quick to point out that they eventually found their own footing.

“It was nice in the beginning,” Kate said, “because I didn’t go home a lot. When I saw him, I kind of felt like I had. Later, I didn’t see him as much because I was always running between internships and classes, but usually when he was [at WFUV] I did try to stop by. Usually to pick up something he brought from home.”

Like her father, Kate wanted to pursue a career in radio, which is one of the reasons she chose Fordham. Since its launch in 1947, WFUV has trained countless Fordham students for radio careers in music, sports and news.

Once on campus, she landed a work-study position at WFUV. She later earned an internship and, eventually, a staff position in the station’s news department, working closely with George Bodarky, FCRH ’93, the station’s news and public affairs director and host of Cityscape.

As a student journalist, she amassed an impressive array of clips, including stories for Issues Tank, the station’s new regional investigative program. In 2010, she won a Gracie Allen Award, presented by American Women in Radio and Television, and a Society for Professional Journalists’ Region 1 Mark of Excellence Award in 2011.

“WFUV became a kind of second home for me,” said Kate, who completed internships at NBC and WNYC during her senior year before landing a job as content producer for The Star-Ledger. “I was there all the time, even when I wasn’t working.”

Though the McGees shared a workspace for four years, Don said he always tried to let Kate stand on her own, even if that meant sacrificing a few on-air opportunities.

“We only got on the air together twice,” said Don, who joined Fordham’s noncommercial radio station in 2001, when Mixed Bag host Pete Fornatale, FCRH ’67, a former colleague at WNEW (102.7 FM) and WAXQ (104.3 FM), needed someone to sit in for him on the air. “But it was thrilling.”

While her father and sister shared an interest in radio, Annie McGee came to Fordham with a different set of goals and interests.

“I joke around and say Kate and I have the same resume,” she said, “but I’m not interested in journalism. I want to study political science and find my own way.”

Did the family’s presence on campus ever grow too close for comfort for either sister?

“Not at all,” Annie said. “She and I [have] had totally different experiences. We met different types of people. We took different classes. It’s always nice to see family. It’s nice to touch base with home from time to time.”

(Above, left to right: Annie, Kate and Don McGee at the 166th Commencement. Image courtesy of Don McGee)
—Miles Doyle, FCRH ’01

Thursday, June 9, 2011

FCLC Student Meets Commander in Chief (With Bo in Tow)

Fordham College at Lincoln Center rising senior Ryan O’Toole got an unexpected surprise on June 6 when President Barack Obama dropped in to the 100 Youth Roundtables event O’Toole was attending at the White House.

O’Toole (above at far end of table in blue shirt) was one of ten young leaders from around the nation invited to a discussion session with the President’s senior advisor Valerie Jarrett and others in the White House’s Roosevelt Room. As part of the youth initiative de-briefing, the were asked to share their views on youth entrepreneurship, the environment, poverty, the job market, student loans and other topics of interest to the nation’s future leaders.

Suddenly President Obama showed up in an unscheduled appearance at the session (with his dog Bo), meeting the student attendees and engaging in a chat about education, Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell, the Social Work and Reinvestment Act and the need to be involved to inspire change.

“It was an incredible meeting,” said O’Toole. “He shook hands with us and I was sure to mention Fordham to him. It was a great discussion and a chance for us to share our opinions and make our voices heard.”

As president of FCLC’s United Student Government, O’Toole said he had initially organized a roundtable on campus last semester to draft a report for the White House after he heard its Office of Public Engagement wanted input on issues students felt were important.

“As students at a Jesuit university, we are actively engaged in our community,” he said. “I immediately felt that Fordham should get involved.”

He sent in the report and received an invitation from the Office of Public Engagement to join the West Wing roundtable with nine other youth leaders from around the nation.
“I [was] proud to be able to represent Fordham at the White House,” he said.

⎯Janet Sassi