Fordham Notes: May 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Traveling Exhibit to Support ‘Aging Through the Arts’ Comes to Fordham

A traveling art exhibit spotlighting the creative talents of senior artists will make a stop at Fordham’s Westchester campus this weekend.

The fourth annual exhibit of “Matters of the HeART: Supporting Creative Aging Through the Arts,” will premiere on June 2 in the lobby of Fordham Westchester. The exhibit, which will remain on display through June 15, features paintings, drawings, mixed-media creations, collages, photographs, and sculptures crafted by Westchester County seniors age 55 and older.

Co-sponsored by the Greenburgh Arts and Culture Committee of Greenburgh, N.Y., the Helen Andrus Benedict Foundation, and Andrus-on-Hudson, “Matters of the HeART” provides an opportunity for older adult artists to display their artwork.

“Since one in five Westchester residents is over the age of 60, this exhibit is an opportunity for us all to celebrate the creative expressions that our older residents are producing,” said Sarah Bracey White, the executive director of Greenburgh Arts and Culture. “So many things change as we age, but the creative spirit continues to burn brightly.”

The exhibit began its tour in the Greenburgh Town Hall, where it was displayed from March 12 to May 6. Several pieces were then brought to the Andrus-on-Hudson Retirement Community in Hastings, N.Y., while other pieces are now Fordham-bound.

“There has been an ongoing attempt to connect the Westchester campus with the surrounding community and to partner with various groups whenever possible,” said Joan Cavanagh, director of campus ministry at Westchester. “‘Matters of the HeART’ connects many different groups.”

An opening reception with the artists will be held in the lobby on June 7 from 3 to 5 p.m. For more information or to RSVP for the reception, contact Joan Cavanagh, or call (914) 367-3202.

— Joanna Klimaski

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fordham Scholarship Winners Voyage to Connemara, Ireland

Áras Shorcha Ní Ghuairim
This summer, three Fordham students will trade in the Manhattan skyline for a panorama of Irish moors during two and a half weeks at Áras Shorcha Ní Ghuairim, one of the National University of Ireland Galway’s Irish language outreach centers.

Sarah Elizabeth Lahoud, FCRH ’12, Patrick Kelly, an FCLC rising senior, and Michael Dahlgren, an FCRH rising junior, are the recipients of 2012 Irish Language Scholarships from Fordham’s Institute of Irish Studies. The three will travel to Carna, a Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking region) in Connemara, in the west of Ireland.

“Carna, where the school is situated, is renowned for traditional arts, and is also an area of stunning natural beauty,” said Helen Maginn, administrative director of the Institute for Irish Studies.

Lahoud, who studied at University College Cork in Ireland during her junior year, said her participation in the Carna language program will be an opportunity for genuine cultural immersion, which isn’t always the case with study abroad experiences.

“I want to study the language in the Gaeltacht and expand my perspective,” said Lahoud, who graduated on May 19 with a degree in English. “Living in New York City, and my time at Fordham, have taught me that the university is only a fraction of a cultural experience, and that real cultural exchange happens when one is willing to immerse oneself in a culture.”

In addition to studying Irish at Áras Shorcha Ní Ghuairim, the students will take an Irish culture course to learn about traditional signing and dancing, folklore, and local traditions of the Gaeltacht.

For Lahoud, that will include honing skills she picked up in Cork City.

“The class I took on ancient Irish vision texts [at University College Cork] inspired me to write my senior thesis, and I even started playing the tin whistle and still play traditional Irish music here in New York,” she said. “I am also extending my Irish trek this summer to attend two summer schools to play Irish music.”

Established in 2008, the scholarship is funded by a grant that the Institute receives annually from the Irish Government’s Department of Arts, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht. To date, nine Fordham students have been awarded the scholarship.

“They will no doubt be outstanding ambassadors for Fordham and for the Institute of Irish Studies,” Christopher Maginn, Ph.D., director of the Institute for Irish Studies, said about this year’s cohort.

Go dté sibh slán!

— Joanna Klimaski

Center for Positive Marketing Seeks Papers

The Fordham Schools of Business’ Center for Positive Marketing is looking for submissions for its second annual conference for positive marketing, which will be held November 1-2 at the Lincoln Center campus. 

If you see marketing as an agent for positive influence in society and not simply a facilitator of the exchange of goods and services, and can demonstrate it in a paper that incorporates interdisciplinary research, your work could be considered for the “Best Positive Marketing Paper” award. 

The award carries a $1,000 cash prize and acceptance for publication in the Journal of Business Research.

The deadline for extended abstracts (1,000 words or less, not including references) of the papers is Monday, July 2, with decisions to follow by August 6. The deadline for full papers (following the acceptance of extended abstracts) is October 1.

Proposals can be submitted by creating an account at: and submitting it through the “Author Corner” section at the bottom right.

For questions about the conference, contact Linda Purcell at

For more information about the Center for Positive Marketing, please visit
—Patrick Verel

Gabelli Student Honored in Information Technology Panel

Robert Villegas, seated at the far left with the panel.
Contributed Photo

Robert Villegas took home a diploma along with his fellow Gabelli School of Business graduates on Saturday, May 19. 

But Villegas, who majored in management of information and communications systems (MICS), was already well on his way to a promising career, as evidenced by his inclusion in an April 30 panel discussion, “Welcoming the Next IT Generation,” at the CIO Executive Council, held at San Marco Island, Florida.

Villegas was the only college student to participate in the panel, which featured six standout entry-level rising stars in information technology, aged 18-25, and was designed to educate chief information officers on how to increase student interest and attract top talent to the IT industry. 

He was nominated to be on the panel by Frank J. Sirianni, Ph.D., vice president and CIO at Fordham. A Davie, Florida native, he interned with Fordham IT’s Business Intelligence team, the Investment Bank Technology Audit department at JP Morgan Chase, and as an IT desktop analyst with the Crohns & Colitis Foundation.

 Congratulations Robert!
—Patrick Verel

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fordham MBA Programs Ranked 'Top-Tier' by CEO Magazine

For the third year in a row, Fordham University’s MBA programs have been ranked in the upper echelons by CEO Magazine.

As with last year, both the MBA and EMBA programs were ranked in the tier one category in the magazines’ Spring 2012 issue. 

The MBA program was included with 39 others in the North American regional ranking, along with the likes of Princeton, Georgetown and Vanderbilt Universities, in that category. The Executive MBA program is ranked within the Global EMBA Rankings.

It is the fourth annual ranking of Global MBA programs for the magazine, which is published in London by the Callender Media Group.

In addition, Francis Petit, Ed.D. associate dean for executive MBA programs, wrote an article for the magazine, "The Moment of Truth for Executive MBA Programs." In it, Petit identified three market indicators that are presenting a challenge to EMBA programs:

-Decreasing corporate sponsorship;
-Changing EMBA student expectations and program perceptions;
-Geographical shifts for new program opportunities

He suggested business schools respond by:

-Promoting students’ return on investment
-Changing internal mindset away from attitudes that treat EMBAs as “cash cows.”
-Reposition the offering to include programs such as Fordham’s “Wellness Initiative,” which emphasizes a well-rounded approach.

“Executive MBA programs are at a crossroads. Recent trends indicate an industry that is changing and evolving,” he wrote. “Business schools must not only understand these trends and developments but must also be proactive and strategic in moving the industry forward. The time is now.”
—Patrick Verel

Three Fordham Grads Commissioned as U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Officers

Three Fordham students in the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) were commissioned as U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps officers at a ceremony held in Keating Hall on May 18.

Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham, presented remarks to the new officers, their families, friends, and members of the NROTC unit. Msgr. Joseph G. Quinn, vice president for University mission and ministry, gave the invocation, following an introduction by Capt. Matthew E. Loughlin, USN, commanding officer of the State University of New York Maritime College NROTC Unit.

Capt. Loughlin administered the oath of office to Ensign Chelsey Caitlin Sellers, FCRH ’12, who graduated with degrees in general science and theology. A native of San Bernardino, Calif., Sellers was selected for surface warfare officer duty and will report to the USS STOUT (DDG 55) in Norfolk, Va.

Chief Warrant Officer 4 George Miller, USN (Ret.), administered the oath of office to Ensign Isabel Ramona Gomez, FCRH ’12. Gomez, who graduated with a degree in biology, will report to the USS STETHEM (DDG 63) in Yokosuka, Japan, as a surface warfare officer.

Lt. Cmdr. John Cieslewicz, USN (Ret.), administered the oath of office to U.S. Marine Lt. Tyler Cieslewicz, GSB ’12, who graduated with a B.S. in entrepreneurship and a minor in psychology. Cieslewicz will report to The Basic School in Quantico, Va.

All three students were members of the NROTC unit headquartered at the SUNY Maritime College in the Bronx. The unit, of which Fordham students have been a part since 1985, is one of the largest NROTC units in the country and commissions Navy, Marine, and Strategic Sealift Officers. Established in 1973, the unit also includes students from Molloy College and Columbia University.

Ensign Chelsey Caitlin Sellers and
Captain Matthew Loughlin

Ensign Isabel Ramona Gomez and
Chief Warrant Officer 4 George Miller

Lieutenant Tyler Cieslewicz and
Lieutenant Commander John Cieslewicz

Photos contributed by Jane Bartnett

— Joanna Klimaski

Memorial Mass for Pete Fornatale Scheduled

WFUV DJ Pete Fornatale will be remembered in a Month’s Mind Mass on Thursday, May 24 at Rose Hill.

The mass, which will be held at 12:05 p.m. at Dealy Chapel on the Rose Hill campus, is open to anyone who wants to come together and remember Fornatale, who died on April 26. Monsignor Joseph G. Quinn will preside over the service.

“It's an opportunity for WFUV’s staff to come together to remember Pete. With the suddenness of his death, and a private family service, many of us lacked a collective setting to reflect on his passing,” said WFUV general manager Chuck Singleton.  

“I'm grateful to Monsignor Quinn for making this opportunity possible.”
—Patrick Verel

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fordham Law Honors Grads in Diploma Ceremony

The Fordham School of Law celebrated its 105th diploma ceremony on Sunday, May 20 by honoring one of its own.

Michelle DePass, LAW ’92, assistant administrator for the Office of International and Tribal Affairs at the Environmental Protection Agency, received a doctorate of letters, honoris causa, and addressed the graduates at a ceremony at Radio City Music Hall.

The school awarded a total of 486 J.D.s (Juris Doctor) and 143 LL.M's (Master of Laws). Congratulations to the class of 2012!

Joseph M. McShane, SJ, the President of Fordham,  John N. Tognino, PCS ’75, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and Michael M. Martin, Dean of Fordham Law, give Michelle DePass her hood signifying her new honor
DePass addresses the graduates

Photos By Chris Taggart

Graduate School of Social Service Holds Diploma Ceremony

On Sunday, May 20, the Graduate School of Social Service (GSS) held a diploma ceremony for the class of 2012 at Radio City Music Hall. The school conferred 430 degrees, including seven doctoral and 423 master of social work degrees. Congratulations to the GSS class of 2012!

Congressman Edolphus “Ed” Towns received a
doctorate of humane letters, honoris causa, from GSS
and gave the  commencement address.

Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham,
with GSS’s commencement speaker,
Congressman Edolphus “Ed” Towns

Peter Vaughan, Ph.D., dean of GSS

Photos by Bruce Gilbert

Friday, May 18, 2012

Lincoln Center Students Feted for Public Service

Several graduating seniors from the Lincoln Center campus earned applause and words of encouragement from a recent alumna, at a post-graduate public service commissioning held May 17. The students are headed out into the world to work with Jesuit Volunteer Corps, teach in inner city schools, study social work, help newly-released inmates transition into society, do public interest scholarship, and work with the United Nations to promote international education, among other things.

From left to right (above) are Ray Walsh, Maureen Sweet, Dan Drolet, Abe Mendez, Zach Dorado, Hannah Donnelly, Sara Ingle, Sophie Stanish, Forrest Van Dyke, Mykhaylo Bonovskyy.

The group received encouragement from Betamia Coronel, FCLC ’09, associate coordinator for the Dorothy Day Center for Service and Justice. Coronel, a first-generation American whose mother, a trained nurse in Paraguay, worked domestic jobs to raise her, said a Fordham course on Urban Poverty helped ‘open my eyes’ to the injustices that underrepresented people face in America. She started organizing for better housing in poor New York City communities when she was still a Fordham student, she said, and she continues her service work at the Day Center. She encouraged the graduates to “listen to your hearts” when deciding which careers to pursue.

The event was sponsored by the Office of Mission and Ministry, which was sponsoring a similar event for Rose Hill campus students on May 18.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Fordham Theater Students Tapped as Broadway Show Ambassadors

When members of the Broadway League gathered at the Millennium Broadway Hotel Times Square on Tuesday, May 15 for their annual Spring Road Conference, Fordham junior Ellen Goldberg was there to greet them.

Goldberg, a theater major at Fordham College Lincoln Center specializing in set design, spoke to roughly 100 attendees on a panel about attracting new theatergoers. As part of her appearance, she read excerpts from two blog entries she wrote in late March for 

The posts detailed what it was like to be one of 15 students who were invited to take a peek backstage for two at the technical rehearsal of the production of Clybourne Park, which is currently playing at the Walter Kerr Theater. She was joined by the play’s producer and director.

“I thought being part of the creative process was fantastic, and Clybourne Park is one of the shows that I do theater because of, and I encourage everyone I see and meet to see it,” she said. 

The production, which Goldberg described as a sort of reverse of A Raisin in the Sun, and tackles sticky issues of reverse racism. The two days she was able to spend at the tech rehearsal altered her perception of the people who work on Broadway, which she called her ultimate goal.

“I thought they’d be more like super heroes, and these crazy insane untouchable people, but they’re just normal people,” she said. 

“It’s very similar to the tech rehearsals we have at Fordham, they just have a bigger budget and they have more people working on it.”

Along with Goldberg, Fordham contributors to the blog included: Anna Abowd, Jake Ahlquist, Zoe Allen, Emilie Amar Zifkin, Emily Auciello, Victoria Bausch, John Bezark, Quinn Coughlin, Jordana De La Cruz, Sarah Ford, Sierra Fox, Dan Geggatt, Megan Lang, Jenni Meador, Nora McNally, Sofia Montgomery, Lindsey Norman, Jacob Sexton, Emily Tabachuk and Andrew Watkin. 

To see their blog posts, visit
—Patrick Verel

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Stop, Look, and Listen: Carefully Assessing Fordham’s Web Needs

By James J. Kempster

Stopping. Looking. Listening. Universities don’t often have time to do this. We find ourselves planning next year’s orientation before this year’s commencement is over, or next semester’s reading list before the start of the current one. Long-term and in-depth planning often take a backseat to immediate concerns, the symposium next week, or the term paper due tomorrow.

Much has happened behind the scenes this semester to prepare for a thorough redesign of Fordham’s website. The scope of this project will include a new design, a new user-centric navigation, and a new technical infrastructure that will make the site easier to maintain. While the new website is at least a year away, the current work is laying the groundwork for a strong, well-designed, easy-to-use service.

An endeavor of this size is massive, and to do it well, Fordham has needed to stop, look, and listen. We are nearing completion of an in-depth review of our current website, as well as the technology behind it, the staff allotted by the University to maintain content and technology, and the kind of Web services the University needs for the future. If you are not familiar with this project, you may learn more in my previous Fordham Notes post, “'Groundbreaking' a New Fordham Website,” here.

The Web Assessment Process

In March and April, the Web assessment team from mStoner met with several groups of faculty, students, and administrators on the Rose Hill and Lincoln Center campuses, to get a sense of the functionality that a new website should have, as well as how the Fordham experience should be represented on the Web. They met with nearly 200 representatives from admissions and enrollment groups, administration and faculty from the law, social service, business, and other graduate schools and the undergraduate schools, students, IT, alumni, marketing and advancement, and more. Further phone calls and videoconferences, as well as an online survey to be launched this week, have supplemented those meetings to offer the broadest possible participation to the Fordham community.


Invitations to participate in online surveys will go out this week to students, faculty, staff, and alumni. The survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete, and focuses directly on the participant’s Web use and impressions of Fordham University. Those who participate in the survey will be entered into a raffle for a $50 gift certificate from Barnes & Noble.

The Bigger Picture

Additionally, the mStoner team has been reviewing and evaluating the current Fordham website and those of a number of competitor, aspirant, and peer schools, as well as reviewing reports, plans, admission collateral, and other materials. They have studied our website analytics, as well as the review of several new content managements systems that was conducted by Fordham’s information technology department last semester.

Next Steps

mStoner will present their full assessment of Fordham’s Web needs at the beginning of June. The report will include a timeline and process for the implementation of a comprehensive University website relaunch, as well as a summary of their examination of the current and the websites of competitor, aspirant, and peer institutions. The report will also include details about the key messages for the new and the means for conveying those messages, as well as a proposed website structure and navigation system, and content and design summaries.

From what mStoner has heard from the Fordham community, their preliminary recommendations will include the following:

•    presenting a strong brand quickly and clearly;
•    simplifying navigational paths, anticipating audience needs and delivering relevant information to them easily;
•    capturing the beauty of campus and the Fordham experience;
•    keeping information current;
•    applying best practices in information architecture;
•    offering better search, course listing, directory, calendar, content, and information sharing features, RSS and other syndication opportunities, analytics and content editor “tool kits;” and
•    future-proofing the website for a range of devices and displays.


mStoner’s recommendations will also address the foundational technology, people, roles, process, and planning issues that Fordham University must tackle in order to create a compelling and sustainable website. They will include recommendations for staffing, training, and support during the project and after the launch, including these key criteria:

•    an appropriately resourced Web communications team to implement the overall vision and functionality of the website;
•    a decentralized model for Web authorship that clearly defines oversight and includes central training and support;
•    commitment to continuous improvement and a model for governance; and
•    best practices in design, publishing, editorial, and technology, which provide the ability to quickly publish new content.

We have so much to gain in doing this project correctly. That is why these months behinds the scenes in which we have taken the appropriate time to research, review, and assess Fordham’s needs, have been crucial.

James J. Kempster is the senior director of marketing and communications at Fordham.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Political Science Department Honors Graduates

On Friday, May 11, Fordham's political science department hosted an induction ceremony for Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society. Approximately 30 students were inducted at the ceremony, which was held at the O’Keefe Commons on the Rose Hill campus.

“Each of you has been selected for membership because you represent the very best of our majors,” said Robert J. Hume, Ph.D., the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies (Political Science), in his remarks.  
“We have enjoyed having you in the classroom, and we think that you should be commended for your commitment to scholarship and your high level of achievement.”  
Melissa Labonte, Hillary Fisk, Caitlin Meyer, Sarah Kelleher, Diana Popstefanova, Brendan Foo, Katherine McCabe, Alyssa Barnard, Roger Cappucci, Stephen Moccia, Robert J. Hume 

Students also heard a faculty address by  Melissa Labonte, Ph.D., assistant professor in the political science department.

Membership in Pi Sigma Alpha is offered to undergraduates in the top third of their class who have completed at least one-half of the credits required for the baccalaureate degree.  Fordham’s chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, Delta Zeta, restricts membership to graduating seniors.

This year’s inductees were, from Fordham College Rose Hill: Alan Abraham, Alyssa Barnard, Roger Cappucci, Kathryn Cataldo, Clara Ennist, Brian Gibbons, Sarah Kelleher, Martha Lauer, Katherine McCabe, Caitlin Meyer, Stephen Moccia, Erika Pedersen, John Polizzi, Andrew Roddin, Gregory Scaduto, and John Scott.

From Fordham College Lincoln Center: Yuliya Aksakalova, Aileen Almonte, Amanda Angri, Ines Dawson, Hillary Fisk, Brendan Foo, Katherine Fotinos, Ryan O’Toole, Diana Popstefanova, Tamanna Rubya, Heidi Schneider, Judy Sirykissoon, and Kathleen Zanazzi.

From Fordham College of Professional and Continuing Studies: Ayca Bahce.
—Patrick Verel

Annual Assessment Conference Targets Learning Difficulties

Hundreds of education professionals gathered at the Lincoln Center campus on May 11 for the fourth Annual Assessment Conference, “Differential Diagnosis of and Interventions for Learning Difficulties,” co-sponsored by the Graduate School of Education (GSE), Pearson Assessments, and Wiley Publishers.

One session at this year’s event challenged participants’ notions of what underlies so-called learning disabilities and difficulties.

According to Michele Mazzocco, Ph.D., professor at the University of Minnesota’s Institute for Child Development, learning difficulties—particularly in math—often have more to do with attitude than cognitive ability. For instance, unspoken stereotypes about gender differences in math ability or even a teacher’s own anxiety about math can have an impact on math performance.

“Think about the cumulative effects of building attitudes about math over the years,” she said. “Some [of us] need more effort, some people need more scaffolding, but the fact that effort is required is not an indication that we’re bad at mathematics.”

As Mazzocco pointed out, these attitudes are far-reaching and long-lasting. The frustration felt in childhood sticks and becomes an adulthood mantra.

“As a society, we have decided that it’s okay to be bad at math, and that it’s not something shameful,” she said. “Can you imagine having the same level of ease saying things like, ‘I can’t read worth a hill of beans!’?”

Attitudes toward math aren’t the only hindrance for students, though. Math difficulty can stem from a number of underlying problems, Mazzocco said, for instance, whether students simply memorize procedures rather than understand math conceptually, or whether they experience hindrances unrelated to math, such as in language or memory.

With this in mind, educators not only have to change their own attitudes about the discipline, but also have to frame a different approach to helping children who are having math difficulties.

“You wouldn’t call up your physician and say, ‘I have a headache. What should I do?’ Your physician would need to know more: Why do you have a headache? Are you dehydrated? Did you hit your head? Have you been up for three days cramming for an exam?” Mazzocco said. “Math difficulties are the same way. There’s not just one program to suit all problems.”

“It’s so important, but it’s something that is glossed over—surprisingly, since it’s important in children’s early education and it’s important throughout life,” she added. “I challenge you to think about any part of the day that you’re not using mathematics.”

Also at Friday’s conference, GSE presented keynote speaker George McCloskey, Ph.D., with the “Excellence in Assessment” award. McCloskey, professor and director of school psychology research at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, received the award “in recognition of extraordinary 'intelligent testing' contributions to the practice of psychological and neuropsychological assessment.”

— Joanna Klimaski

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

GBA Promoting New Masters Programs with Contest

Fancy yourself the type of person who might earn a masters degree in business analytics, marketing intelligence, media entrepreneurship or business enterprise?

If so, Fordham’s Graduate School of Business may have a free degree waiting for you. To kick off the launch of four new masters programs, the college has issued “Fordham Business Challenge 2012,” a contest featuring as the top award four full scholarships worth $300,000.

To win a full scholarship to one of the programs, which start in August 2012, participants have to solve and present a real-world business case in one of the four new areas of study:

Business Analytics
Prepares graduates for successful careers in this growing field by developing students’ strategic thinking skills along with a solid technical foundation in data and model–driven management decision–making.

Business Enterprise
Created for high–potential new and recent college graduates with limited business experience who want to gain marketable business skills in order to stand out to employers.

Marketing Intelligence
Designed to launch high–potential recent graduates into successful marketing careers, this comprehensive one–year program will teach students the latest in marketing intelligence skills needed to make smart and effective evidence–based business decisions.

Media Entrepreneurship
Opens career opportunities not only in existing media and information services firms, but also in new organizations and entrepreneurial ventures seeking to capitalize on the tremendous opportunities available in digital media.

In addition, one of the winners will be awarded with an elite internship. The deadline for entry is May 31. For more information, visit Fordham Business Challenge 2012.

—Patrick Verel

Monday, May 7, 2012

GSS Dean Recognized for Longtime Service with the NASW

Susan Bair Egan, Ph.D.
The National Association of Social Workers' New York City chapter will present Susan Bair Egan, Ph.D., with the Chapter Service Award at the NASW-NYC Annual Meeting tonight.

Egan, assistant dean for student services at the Graduate School of Social Service (GSS), will be recognized for her longtime service to the NASW as a member of the Board of Directors—most recently as third vice president—and a member of several committees.

Currently, Egan is the Region II (New York City and Connecticut) representative on the National Board of NASW and is serving a second three-year term on the Council of Social Work Education’s Committee on Leadership Development.

Egan began her social work career in child and family services after earning her master of social work degree from Fordham in 1977. Following her work at a family center in Brooklyn, she provided social work services at Methodist Hospital, first on the OB/GYN, neonatology, and pediatrics units and later on the in-patient psychiatric unit.

Egan returned to Fordham in 1986 as the director of admissions for the M.S.W. program before becoming assistant dean in 1989. She earned her doctorate from GSS in 2004, specializing in women’s issues, and is currently involved with the Institute for Women and Girls.

Congratulations to Dean Egan on her achievement!

— Joanna Klimaski

Friday, May 4, 2012

Fordham Going Google!

Fordham University announced today that all faculty and staff email will move to Google’s Gmail in the coming months joining students and alumni already on the Gmail platform. Fordham IT plans to complete the migration by the end of 2012.

“This is an exciting and forward looking step for Fordham,” said Frank J. Sirianni, Ph.D., vice president and chief information officer. “The trend to Cloud computing, and in particular cloud email is very modern and continues to grow, and Fordham will grow along with it.”

Faculty and staff can get information throughout this transition on the employee tab at the new portal channel, All Things Gmail! Regular communications from Fordham IT will be shared with the community via email, web, iTV, meetings and events.

“We are focused on supporting the individual and providing complete support to meet each community member’s needs during this transition,” said Sirianni. “To that end, we are planning for a robust communications and training plan for this migration to the new email platform.”

Over the last year, Fordham IT consulted with many faculty and staff members via focus groups, surveys and meetings as well as with the Senate Technology Committee to understand everyone’s requirements for a new messaging platform. This collaboration yielded the consistent request for a stable, quality platform that can use email, contacts and calendars anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Google’s Apps for Higher Education is the most popular cloud email platform for faculty and staff deployed at leading universities including Brown University, Case Western Reserve University, New York University and University of San Francisco. It is also the email provider of choice for over 90,000 employees of the United States Government.

Sirianni noted that Google has set the trend in communications and collaboration leader with other major providers rushing to create similar offerings. Some of the many benefits of Google Gmail include the seamless provisioning of upgrades and continual improvement of the offering and services.  This transition will put the University on a single messaging platform for all students, faculty, staff and alumni for the first time in Fordham’s modern history.

Thanks to the community for helping to make the best decision for the University.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Fordham Salutes First Lady of Rams Football

Bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark, FCLC '79 (left), and Ann Mara pose with the Lombardi Trophy at the 2012 Fordham Football Dinner, where Mara was honored with the Walsh Award, in recognition of her support for Fordham football. Photo by Tim Schulteis
During a postgame ceremony shortly after the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots earlier this year to win the Super Bowl for the fourth time in franchise history, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell presented the Vince Lombardi Trophy to Ann Mara, widow of longtime Giants owner Wellington Mara, FCRH ’37.

And on April 27, at the annual Fordham Football Dinner, Ann Mara was again presented with an award bearing the name of a Fordham alumnus: the Walsh Award, named for William D. Walsh, FCRH ’52, and given each year to an individual who best exemplifies the support, loyalty, and passion for Fordham football.

Ann Mara’s connection to Fordham football dates back to the 1930s, when her future husband, Wellington, a classmate of Vince Lombardi, would bring her to University sporting events.

“During our courtship, he dragged me to every football game and every basketball game,” she said as she accepted the Walsh Award in the Grand Salon of the Jumeirah Essex House on Central Park South. “That was his idea of a romantic night.”

The Mara family’s ties to the University are numerous: John Mara, the Giants’ president and CEO, is a 1979 graduate of Fordham Law School; several of Ann’s grandchildren attended the University; and Ann herself was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2008.

Dr. Andy Cordaro, FCRH '66 (left), presents the Mara Family Award to his former teammate Dan Somma, GSB '66. Photo by Tim Schulteis
Dan Somma, GSB ’66, the recipient of the 2012 Mara Family Award, was instrumental in reviving football as a club sport at Fordham in the 1960s and also helped found the Gridiron Club in the 1970s. He recalled before the dinner began how Wellington Mara had donated equipment and weights from the Giants organization for the Fordham club team to use.

“I actually live in the same town as the Maras,” said Rye resident Soma, who called Mara an icon of Fordham, the Giants, and New York City. “It’s been wonderful [how they’ve backed] Fordham football.”

Frank McLaughlin, FCRH ’69, Fordham’s executive director of athletics, introduced Ann Mara and recalled how when the University wanted to honor the famous Seven Blocks of Granite and the 125th anniversary of Fordham football several years back, he phoned John Mara to ask if he’d support the project financially.

“John was a little hesitant,” recalled McLaughlin. “He said, ‘Frank, you don’t seem to understand, I’ve gotta get my mother’s approval.’” (Quipped Ann from her table: “And he still does.”) Continued McLaughlin: “The Maras have always had class, always had dignity, and great love for Fordham. They’re a super family that deserves to be Super Bowl champions.”

Attendees at the dinner, emceed by Connell McShane, FCRH ’99, of Imus in the Morning, included former Rams quarterback and current member of the Arizona Cardinals, John Skelton, GSB ’10, as well as author Mary Higgins Clark, FCLC ’79, who’s been friends with Ann Mara for some 20 years and is a regular in Ann’s box at the Meadowlands. “There is no one in the world who deserves recognition more than she does,” said Higgins Clark after the dinner concluded.

Mere blocks away from the Jumeirah Essex House, the NFL was holding the second night of the 2012 Draft at Radio City Music Hall. And Mara—the matriarch of the Giants organization—said before the dinner began that she intended to keep tabs on the proceedings. “I brought my phone,” she said with a laugh. “I’m gonna keep calling the office.”

Indeed, even as she was being honored for her support of Fordham football, Ann Mara’s beloved Giants were never far from her mind. After this year’s NFC Championship game in San Francisco, she famously gave Fox broadcaster Terry Bradshaw an earful for picking against the team. The clip of the trophy presentation turned Mara into something of an Internet sensation, and she joked about that moment while accepting the Walsh Award.

“I can’t thank Fordham enough,” said Mara. “It’s just been wonderful to receive this. I’m only sorry that Terry Bradshaw isn’t here to present it to me.”

—Joe DeLessio, FCLC ’06, is the sports editor of New York magazine’s website,

GRE Professor to Offer Special Lecture at Westchester Campus

Kieran Scott, Ed.D.,
associate professor of theology
and religious education
Kieran Scott, Ed.D., associate professor of theology and religious education, will discuss the future of church education at a special reception and presentation this week.

“Educational Ministry in the Church of the 21st Century: Models for the Future”
Friday, May 4
11:30 a.m.
Fordham Westchester campus
400 Westchester Ave., West Harrison, New York  10604

According to Scott, who teaches in the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education (GRE), the 21st century Church is at a crossroads.

“My talk attempts to address what I see as the great divide in the Christian churches, and particularly the Roman Catholic Church—the division in liberal and conservative categories and ideologies,” Scott said. “I believe that it’s a false choice to have to choose between a liberal and a conservative approach to the life of the Church.”

Nevertheless, a compromise between these two sides isn’t necessarily the answer, said Scott, a specialist in the foundations of religious education, curriculum theory, and adult religious education.

“[Rather,] education is an imperfect panacea to the current division and dilemmas,” he said. “I think education is at the heart of our crisis, but genuine education is the imperfect solution to it.

“The past is the new future,” he added, offering a clue to what he will propose in the lecture.

Lunch will be served prior to Scott’s 1 p.m. lecture, followed by dessert and discussion.

For more information or to RSVP contact William Madden, assistant dean of GRE, at

— Joanna Klimaski

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Fordham Student Brings Smart Phone Research to Capitol Hill

Jeffrey Lockhart, a junior at Rose Hill, presented
his research on smart phone "sensor mining"
in Washington, D.C. on April 23 and 24
A Rose Hill student who mines smart phones to unearth what they reveal about their owners recently brought his team’s research to Capitol Hill.

Jeffrey Lockhart, FCRH ‘13, presented his poster, “Smart Phone-Based Sensor Mining for Biometric Identification and Activity Recognition,” at the 16th annual Posters on the Hill (POH), held April 23 and 24 in Washington, D.C.

Sponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research, the American Chemical Society, and education lobbyists from Washington Partners, the event featured 75 undergraduates from institutions around the country—a mere 8.8 percent of students who applied for the prestigious opportunity.

Lockhart presented his research during a poster session at the Rayburn House Office Building, which houses offices of U.S. Representatives and their staff.

“My sense is that our work was well-received,” Lockhart said. “Our fantastic results and National Science Foundation funding also turned heads.”

The project is an outgrowth of the Wireless Sensor Data Mining (WISDM) Project, led by Gary Weiss, Ph.D., assistant professor in the department of computer and information sciences. The group, which consists of more than a dozen researchers, collects sensor data from smart phones and other mobile devices that could provide useful knowledge.

“Smart phones have devices called accelerometers, which measure acceleration in three dimensions,” explained Lockhart, who is the team's lead server side sensor mining architect. “By monitoring the accelerometer, we are able to capture patterns that describe the way a phone is moving in space. When that phone is in a person’s pocket, it moves with the person’s leg, and so the motion pattern is the pattern of the person’s activity.”

From these patterns, the group can tell whether an individual is walking or jogging, sitting or standing, or even male or female.

“Several professors [at POH] working in fields ranging from psychology to physical therapy were very interested in how the work could be applied to their studies,” Lockhart said.

The WISDM Project has been ongoing since May 2009 and has resulted in several publications and conferences presentations. Recently, the group received a $420,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, and in July 2010, Weiss received a $25,000 faculty research grant from Google.

— Joanna Klimaski

Urban Sociologist Publishes Book on the Detroit Newspaper Strike

Academics, union members, former strikers, labor activists, and students gathered at Fordham Law School on April 25 to celebrate Chris Rhomberg, Ph.D., on the publication of his newest book The Broken Table: The Detroit Newspaper Strike and the State of American Labor (Russell Sage Foundation, 2012).

An introduction was delivered by Dorian Warren, Ph.D., assistant professor of political science at Columbia University and former student of Rhomberg’s.

Rhomberg, associate professor of sociology, read a selection from his book, which discusses the newspaper strike in Detroit during the 1990s. In his book, Rhomberg argues that unions go to the table wanting to negotiate the terms of employment while employers want to do away with the table entirely.

Photo credit: Tom Rhomberg

The event was sponsored by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the Urban Studies Program at Fordham, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the National Writers Union / UAW 1981.

Jenny Hirsch