Fordham Notes: June 2013

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

In New Book, Fordham Professor Explores Political Identity of Black Immigrants

Christina Greer, Ph.D., assistant professor of political science, has published Black Ethnics:  Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream (Oxford University Press, 2013).

Her book addresses the steady immigration of black populations from Africa and the Caribbean over the past few decades, and how it has fundamentally changed the racial, ethnic, and political landscape in the United States, leading to questions of how will these "new blacks" behave politically in America.

Greer uses an original survey of New York City workers and multiple national data sources to explore the political significance of ethnicity for new immigrant and native-born blacks.

In an age where racial and ethnic identities intersect, intertwine, and interact in increasingly complex ways, it offers a powerful and rigorous analysis of black politics and coalitions in the post-Civil Rights era.

Back in March, Greer spoke with the Dallas Morning News about the book. To read her Q&A, visit the site here

—Patrick Verel

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Orthodox Christian Studies Feted and Supported at Fordham

Aristotle "Telly" Papanikolaou (speaking into mic) and George
Demacopoulos, co-founders of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center


The Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University celebrated two successful events this month, with the help of faithful friends who came out to support the continued study of Orthodox theology and culture.

A June 10 benefit party at Greek restaurant Thalassa drew more than 150 people whose contributions helped the center meet the crucial first fundraising deadline for its recently awarded National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Challenge Grant. The NEH will award $500,000 to the center in four annual installments if Fordham raises $375,000 each year for a total of $1.5 million.

The $2 million endowment resulting from the prestigious grant will create two new programs for the center: the Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence program and the Dissertation Completion Fellowship program.

Aristotle Papanikolaou, Ph.D., FCRH ’88, co-founding director of the center, praised Fordham for “embracing the Orthodox community—not only the Greeks,” but all Orthodox Christians. The grant, he said, “will do great things for Orthodoxy and for the church.”

“All of you are a part of history,” he told guests at the Tribeca eatery, owned by brothers and Fordham alumni Steve Makris, GSB ’89, and Jerry Makris, GSB ’87.

Still reveling in the success of the party, the center held its third Solon and Marianna Patterson Triennial Conference on Orthodox/Catholic Relations at the Rose Hill campus from June 11 to June 13. The conference brought together international scholars—including Stanley Hauerwas, Ph.D., who was named “America’s Best Theologian” by Time magazine in 2001—to discuss the compatibility of Christianity and democracy.

–Nicole LaRosa

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fordham Honored for Gabelli School Renovation

Fordham was feted by the Greater New York Construction User Council at the council's 2013 Chairman's Reception on Tuesday, June 11.

The ceremony, which was held at the 230 Park Ave., honored Fordham in the higher education category for its renovation of the 122-year-old Hughes Hall, which is now home to the Gabelli School of Business.

John Spacarelli, Fordham's director of facilities and special projects, accepted the award on behalf of the University.
John Spacarelli, second from left, accepts the award on behalf of Fordham.
—Patrick Verel

Saturday, June 15, 2013

FCLC Alumni, at Home in the Heart of the City

FCLC alumni reconnected at Lowenstein's Robert Moses Plaza on June 14, raising a toast and savoring a fantastic New York City sunset. (Photos by Chris Taggart)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Preceding Instagram: The Photos of J. Joseph Lynch, S.J.

On viewing Half-Frames: Photographs by J. Joseph Lynch, S.J. at the Lipani Gallery one can't help but wish the space had storefront access so that more of the public could meander in and see the show.

Half-Frames is a revelation on several levels, not least of which is its curator-as-artist angle that lend Father Lynch's 1960s photographs a wholly modern edge.

For those who don't know, the Lipani is located in the corridors of the ground floor of the Lincoln Center Campus' Lowenstein Building. Not to be confused with the Center Gallery, the Lipani often acts as a lighter antidote to the Center's weightier fare. Not so this month.

Fordham Artist-in-Residence Stephan Apicella-Hitchcock teamed up with Anibal Pella-Woo, adjunct professor in the Visual Art program, to curate the show which runs through July 31.

Father Lynch was a mathematics and physics professor at Fordham College Rose Hill from 1950 to 1967, but he was better known as the director of the campus' William Spain Seismological Station. Founded in 1910, the station is the oldest seismic observatory station in New York City.

Patrice Kane, head of University archives and special collections, alerted Apicella-Hitchcock and Pella-Woo to Father Lynch's photos. While ratting through the archives the two came across a trove of slide photos taken with half-frame camera.

Half-frame cameras were popular in the late sixties as an economical way to shoot film. The camera split 35mm film exposures in half, thereby allowing users to double their shots from 36 exposures to 72. The result was a looser, more casual manner of shooting, freeing the photographer from the weight of potential expense.  It was, in short, a precursor to Instagram. But there is no artificial retro color here; the old Kodachrome color still holds its own.

Whether Father Lynch's photography would've been considered great during his own lifetime is an open question, but under the considered curatorial care of Apicella-Hitchcock and Pella-Woo the compositions and arrangements of the series take on significant meaning for the contemporary viewer.

"The photos are connected to us by a cultural moment in time that allow us to transport them into a gallery space," explained Pella-Woo.

The photos offer a comfortable window seat onto a life lived. Moneyed, well-dressed Europeans hang beside a modest nun, unassuming children, and cropped landscapes. These are simple, kind shots. They omit Facebook affectations. No one mugs for the camera.  Indeed, unless they are posed, the subjects seem unaware the camera is even there. And when they do pose, they stare back comfortably at the priest behind the camera.

--Tom Stoelker

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

WFUV Cleans Up, Again

Leave it to WFUV's very proud director of communications to suggest the above headline to describe the numerous awards the station's professional staff and student journalists took home this school year.

"We don't want to sound cocky, but we're particularly proud of the work our students do every year," said John Platt.

While the station frequently gets showered with awards, this year was a particularly fruitful, with more than 28 at last count. 

Awards came in from the New York State Associated Press, New York State Broadcasters Association, New York Press Club, Alliance for Women in Media, Public Radio News Directors, and the Society of Professional Journalists.

The New York State Associated Press awarded best news story to Fordham College at Rose Hill junior Connor Ryan, who is also editor-in-chief at The Ram. The judges singled out his coverage of safety issues surrounding the New York City bike share program. The Society of Professional Journalists also singled out Ryan's coverage by awarding him first place for in-depth radio reporting.

Elsewhere, the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation Gracie Awards singled out Claudia Morell, FCRH '12, GSAS '13, as outstanding news anchor and Julie Clark, FCRH '13, as outstanding student producer. The alliance also presented an outstanding anchor award to WFUV professional anchor Robin Shannon.

The Gracie Awards magnified the station's overall awards landscape, which placed students award winners alongside their professional counterparts.

"What's particularly impressive is that they are not only getting student awards, but they're also getting awards as professionals," said George Bodarky, WFUV's news and public affairs director.

A feature segment by Kyle Kesses, FCRH '12, was one such example. Kesses's "Al Michaels: Seizing the Moment," brought professional notices from New York State Associated Press for best documentary and for sports coverage. The broadcast, about sportscaster Al Michael's coverage of the heart stopping defeat of the USSR by United States in the 1980 Lake Placid Olympic Games, also garnered recognition from the New York Press Club.

"George and Robin are tremendous mentors," said Ryan. "They give you the stories to do and the tools to do them, but it's their training that allows you to succeed."

-Tom Stoelker

Time-Honored Creativity Shines in Matters of the HeART

Elaine Finsilver (Photos by Dana Maxson)
Elaine Finsilver was 19 years old when she moved to the city to be a dancer and an artist. Her 21-year-old roommate Andy Warhol was pursuing similar dreams.
“Call it my 15 seconds of fame,” said Finsilver, now in her 80s and an artist and art teacher at one of Westchester's Jewish Community Centers. “Andy was an inspiration to me.”
Like other artists in Fordham Westchester’s Matters of the HeART show, which celebrated its opening on June 6, it took Finsilver, a former dancer, a while to get around to putting her passion to canvas. The exhibit features the works of 37 Westchester artists over age 55, many of whom harbored a lifelong love of art but only began painting and drawing later in life.

Madge Scott
For Madge Scott, it was the stress of family illnesses and other conflicts that inspired her, in the late 1990s, to rescue a paint set her daughter had just thrown out.
“I put it aside, and when I had difficulties, I turned to the painting,” said Scott, who started by teaching herself to draw dresses and who now makes a living with her historic and folk art. In January, she received Westchester County’s Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award.

Now in its fifth year, Fordham Westchester’s Matters of the HeART provides a unique opportunity for older artists and the public to celebrate and support creative aging through the arts. It is co-sponsored by the University, the Helen Andrus Benedict Foundation, and Greenburgh Arts and Culture, which also takes the show to two other Westchester
Phil Wallace, FCRH '54
While many of the artists were first-timers in the juried show, Phil Wallace, FCRH ’54, was back for a fifth year to display his watercolors. His painting of the Cliffs of Mohr situated on the West coast of Ireland, was meant to “capture the emotion of being there.”
“It is a great form of expression,” said Wallace, who took up painting when he retired 25 years ago. “When I am painting I can’t think of anything else but what I am doing, so it takes me away from all my surroundings, I get completely absorbed. It’s a good thing.”

Another late bloomer, Peter Diafeira, 85, did his first water color when he got out of the Marines in 1946. He did his second in 1986.
Peter Diafeira
In between, he worked as a graphic and animation artist, creating the opening segments for shows like Monday Night Football. He recalled hand-lettering movie titles and doing animation which required 24 drawings for each second.
“Everything was so exact in graphics and animation. Now I am trying to get loose,” said Diafeira, who likes the “technique of using a wet piece of paper, and water colors.”
Creating art may be a solitary experience, but Paula Masterson, 73, makes it community-building and comfort-bearing activity. Masterson said she gives most of her paintings away. Her Funky Rooster, on display, was a gift to a sister-in-law going through one of life’s rough patches.
“It made her smile,” said Masterson. “We had a good laugh over it.”

Paula Masterson
Grant Grastorf, Westchester campus academic operations administrator, said that sponsoring Matters of the HeART helps build on the University’s mission of building bonds within the surrounding communities.
“And our diverse body of students appreciate seeing the grace of age through creative arts when they walk through the door.”
The exhibit runs through Friday, June 14. The campus is located at 400 Westchester Ave. in Harrison, N.Y.

--Janet Sassi

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Be The Evidence Project to Host Town Hall on LGBTQ Rights

The murder of Mark Carson, who was shot and killed in Greenwich Village in an anti-gay hate crime, brought a message to New York City: although we have come far in ensuring the rights of the LGBTQ community, we have not come nearly far enough.

With the aim of promoting social justice and a culture of tolerance, Fordham’s Be The Evidence Project (BTEP) will host a presentation and follow-up dialogue on the current standing and future of LGBTQ rights.

“What a Tipping Point Looks Like: LGBTQ Rights and Future”
Tuesday, June 18
12:30 p.m.
South Lounge | Lowenstein Center | Lincoln Center Campus
113 West 60th Street | New York, NY  10023

“Everyone individual is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect, and within that is equality. But there are certain populations that do not have equality, and that is the LGBTQ population,” said Tina Maschi, Ph.D., assistant professor at the Graduate School of Social Service and founder and director of BTEP.

“If you have to negotiate your identity by not disclosing it, then you are passing for the majority, but you’re compromising who you are and your right to be who you are.”

The presentation will feature Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, a national legal organization committed to advancing the legal and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families.

Maschi said she hopes that by featuring a national advocate for LGBTQ rights, the forum will generate public support to make visible a population that often suffers invisibly.

“We can have laws on the books, but unless there’s a spirit of tolerance in the population, then we won’t see change,” she said. “Policies are necessary, but they’re not sufficient. They need to be supported by the community. So I’m hoping that people who attend the event will become empowered to speak out and to become allies, and to realize that if everyone doesn’t have rights, then it affects us all.”

Tuesday’s event is the spring installment of BTEP’s Town Hall Speaker Series, which aims to focus on issues that impact the local as well as global community.

The event is free and open to the public and includes lunch.

Fore more information, email BTEP.

– Joanna Klimaski

Monday, June 10, 2013

New Jesuits Welcomed at University Church Mass

Fordham University Church was the site of the ordination of seven new Jesuits on Saturday, June 8. Three Fordham alumni were among those ordained. The Mass of Ordination to the priesthood was celebrated by The Rev. Thomas Donato, auxiliary bishop of Newark, along with 200 Jesuits.

Pictured below, in the front row, are the newly ordained Jesuits: William Noe, S.J.; Brett Stockdale, S.J.; Stephen Surovich, S.J.; James Donovan, S.J., GSE '91; Peter Folan, S.J., GSAS '08; Michael Rogers, S.J.; and Michael Magree, S.J., GSAS '07.

Pictured in the back row are: Myles Sheehan, S.J. (Provincial, New England); James Shea, S.J. (Provincial, Maryland);  The Rev. Thomas Donato (Auxiliary Bishop of Newark); and David Ciancimino, S.J., FCRH '82 (Provincial, New York). Photos by Michael Dames

Mary Higgins Clark, On Her Fordham Education

Internationally renowned author Mary Higgins Clark’s first suspense novel, Where Are the Children? (Simon & Schuster, 1975) marked a pivotal moment in her life. Higgins Clark, a widower and mother of five children, used the book’s bestselling success to pursue a lifelong dream: earn a college education.

“When we educate young leaders, we give not only a gift to them but to the next generation,” Higgins Clark said in an interview in the June/July issue of Kiwanis Magazine.

Mary Higgins Clark, FCLC '79

Even as a student at Fordham College at Lincoln Center, she continued writing. A Stranger is Watching (Simon & Schuster, 1977) and The Cradle Will Fall (Simon & Schuster, 1980) became bestsellers. She graduated summa cum laude in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. Today, Higgins Clark’s 32 novels have sold more than 85 million copies in the U.S. Her most recent suspense novel, Daddy's Gone a Hunting, was released in April.

Read more from the “Queen of Suspense” in her interview with Kiwanis Magazine.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Class of '63 Breaks Character

From left to right: Panel organizer Elmer Brunsman, Steve Cardi, Larry Daly, John Wright, Sal Marchiano, Dennis Roberts, Ralph Lopez, Paul Saunders, and John Sexton.

A hard-boiled military man talked music. A veteran sportscaster talked theater. And a pioneering M.D. talked literature. Any attempt to typecast the guys from the Class of 1963 would fall short, as was revealed in a panel discussion held during Jubilee 2013. 

Central casting would be hard pressed to find someone who looks more like a military man than Larry Daly, FCRH '63, or a more like a sportscaster than Sal Marchiano, FCRH '63. But their conversation betrayed career stereotypes and revealed an intellectual depth that they both said was fostered through a liberal arts education received at Fordham.

Daly recalled how Robert Remini, Ph.D., sparked his interest in history and opera, Glee Club director James B. Welsh nurtured his love of music, and Sabine Gova, Ph.D., showed him "how art reflected and enriched our lives."

"When I was stationed overseas, I went into every museum and every cathedral and took every opportunity to apply what Madame Gova gave us on a daily basis," he said.

The panel made a strong case for the humanities, when most educational institutions are being pressured to show a return on investment and raise test scores.

"We’re in a time where thought is in danger," said John Sexton, Ph.D., FCRH '63, GSAS '65, '78, president of New York University. "The measurers are coming to higher education."

Sexton, whose GPA at Fordham College Rose Hill was 2.1, compared the global study that gauges student achievement for 15-year-olds, known as PISA, to that of baseball's fielding percentage.

"It doesn't measure if you get the ball, or try to get the ball, it doesn't measure any of that stuff that can make a difference in the ball game," he said. "Because of the way I studied here at Fordham, I learned most from my peers. You can't measure that."

Doing work that can't be measured would be anathema to "the measurers," but it was part of the culture at Fordham in 1963, as was revealed in an anecdote told by Ralph Lopez, M.D., FCRH '63. Lopez recalled when Timothy S. Healy, S.J., took him aside one day and told him he should read Faulkner. Lopez asked which book, to which Healy responded, simply, "Faulkner." Lopez got the picture. Healy meant all of Faulkner.

"There's only one problem," Lopez recalled Healy saying. "You don’t get credit and don’t tell anybody."

If the knowing nods from the other panelist were any indication, it was not an uncommon story. Indeed, Sexton said that just before he graduated, it was Healy who stopped him in the quadrangle and told him that the faculty was disappointed with his performance, but that they were willing to give him a second chance by enrolling him in the Ph.D. program for religion.

Marchiano said he no idea about the education he was about to get at Fordham; to his mind, he was going to the "University of WFUV." Eventually, he said, integral aspects of the school's liberal arts philosophy began to rub off on him. In particular, he said his classes in ethics informed his career--including his current views on the sports industry.

"What has bothered me over the past few decades was that economic expansion of the industry has led to a dilution of talent, exorbitant ticket pricing, ridiculous salaries to the player, and, to me, the sports fan has been abused," he said. "Sports are still wonderful if you play hoops with your son or your grandson in the driveway."

Pressed on his thoughts about "big time" commercial sports, he said Harold Arlen's Broadway tune "It's Only a Paper Moon," summed up it up quite well.

"It's a Barnum and Bailey world / Just as phony as it can be," he said.
-Tom Stoelker

Be The Evidence Project to Host Family Caregiving Summit

In the United States, more than 65 million people are family caregivers, performing medical and nursing duties for their loved ones, often without any formal training. Such responsibility can have an impact on caregivers’ physical, mental, and financial wellbeing, and leave them feeling alone in their caregiving duties.

Next week, Fordham will host a family caregiving summit to provide support and resources to those who are tasked with providing special care for their loved ones.

Family Caregiving Summit: “Name It and Know Its Many Faces”
Monday, June 10
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
12th Floor Lounge | Lowenstein Center
113 W. 60th Street | New York, NY | 10023

Sponsored by EmblemHealth, Inc., New York City Partnership for Family Caregiving Corps, and Fordham’s Be the Evidence Project (BTEP), the summit will serve as a day of “mind, body, and spirit enrichment” for all those involved with family caregiving, including caregivers, care recipients, members of organizations that support caregiving, and anyone interested in family caregiving issues.

“The summit is organized around [EmblemHealth’s Director of Community Outreach] Rev. Greg Johnson's vision of the ‘many faces of caregiving,’ which includes traditional as well as alternative families,” said Tina Maschi, Ph.D., associate professor at the Graduate School of Social Service and executive director of BTEP. “The summit is an offering to family caregivers to learn more about taking care of themselves in the context of caregiving for others.”

The summit, which is open to the public, will include presentations on maintaining bodily and spiritual health, LGBT family caregiving, and legal and financial issues. The day will close with a question and answer session with representatives from organizations serving family caregivers.

In addition, Maschi will discuss an unconventional side of family caregiving—how incarcerated men and women care for the elderly and dying in prison.

“There are families and peer support in prison settings, in which incarcerated individuals take care of the older and seriously or terminally ill people in prison,” Maschi said. “There has been a lot of information in the popular press and on YouTube that shows incarcerated people, including those serving sentences for murder, showing compassion and mercy for the sick and dying by providing hospice care. This is particularly moving when many communities and community agencies have turned a blind eye to the sick and dying in prison based on the nature of an offense that may have occurred over 20 or 30 years ago.”

To reserve a spot at the summit, contact Cathy Marcantonio by phone at (646) 447-6285 or by email. Breakfast, lunch, and coffee are included.

The summit will be taped and posted on various Facebook pages and websites.

Below are videos on caregiving in prison settings.

— Joanna Klimaski

Fordham Law's Karen Greenberg on CNN

Karen Greenberg, director of the Center on National Security at Fordham School of Law, appeared on CNN's Newsroom with Ashleigh Banfield to discuss a top-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court order, which requires Verizon to turn over records on a daily basis.

The four-page order, published by the UK-based Guardian on its website Wednesday, requires the communications giant to hand over "originating and terminating" telephone numbers as well as the location, time and duration of the calls -- and demands absolute secrecy.

Check out video of Karen Greenberg's appearance on CNN here.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Pie-ified at the Party

Fordham’s popular Dagger John Day celebration on June 3 ended on a very sweet note—blueberry crumb pie sweet, that is.

A couple of dozen Fordham employees—let’s anoint them the “Good Sports Club”—competed in a pie-eating contest that was a raucous hands-behind-the-back, face-full-in-sickeningly-sweet-filling event. While some gave up long before making a dent in their dessert, others went the full distance, chowing down to the bottom of the aluminum pan.

The winner (pictured above and below) was Richard B. Gussenhoven, LTC, professor of military science, who teaches in Fordham’s ROTC program. It was clear that military training helped Gussenhoven, a veteran of both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, go the distance.

“It was mind over matter, I just kept eating,” he said.

Others took a more measured approach, especially as co-workers and loved ones looked on.

“I wanted to make everybody proud, but more than that I didn’t want to barf on the table,” said Patrick Verel, assistant editor at INSIDE FORDHAM who represented the Office of Marketing and Communications in the event.

More pie, anyone? (Photos by Bruce Gilbert)